This is our third year attending and blogging the TAC Amish Rally, and I am wondering what I am going to write that is different? After all, it was held at the same Wayne County Fairgrounds, attended by basically the same “Silver Family” friends, and was conducted the same first weekend in April. The country-side driving tour of the Amish hot spots was identical, and we knew well the routine of pot-luck dinner, silent raffle, and white elephant gift exchange that would entertain us on Saturday. Nothing was very different!
And that is when it dawned on me that it had the same familiar comfort of . . . . coming home! It just doesn’t get better than towing your home behind you and arriving at a destination with your camping family ready to greet you. Maybe that explains why we love rallying so much.
Also the same was the fact that early April is quite capable of cold and rain. It had rained for the early-bird Thursday arrivals, and much of the day Friday. It was not raining as we arrived Friday at 6:15, and it didn’t rain the rest of our time there! Our hostess Lauren directed us to a cement slab that was high and dry with a 50 amp electric hook-up, and a nice small pile of horse manure for fresh fairgrounds aromatherapy! Within 20 minutes we were joining the fun in the heated fairgrounds building that the rally was assigned for the weekend.
Saturday began early with our van filled with those eager to visit the town of Charm where the Keim Lumber Company sells exotic woods and the hardware store caters to the Amish in the area. From the looks of the parking lot, business was brisk on this Saturday morning!
Inside our little group split up to browse the beauty of the store and to gawk at the different stuffs.
Our plan was to meet back in the middle of the lobby in a couple hours. Tom and I headed straight for the exotic woods aisles where beautiful boards, planks, timbers, beams, slats, and logs were on display – with some very pricy price-tags.
This 513 year old tree ring was marked with historical events from 1492 in the center, to 1642, the outer-most ring.
Aside from lumber and hardware-type-stuff (tools, electrical and plumbing supplies) there was also a nice variety of home trinkets and nick-knacks. Tom bought a new mailbox, and I guess that will serve as our token souvenir to Keims Hardware store!
The menfolk (Tom, Terry & Larry) couldn’t get enough of the wood and tools, so the goodwives (Sue, Ella & Lou) encouraged them to continue looking all they wanted while we checked out the fabric store and quilt store down the road.
Leaving the quilt shop we saw a young Amish woman driving a paint pony in a small open cart! There was something very un-Amish-looking about her with her classy little pony and stripped down little cart.
Our ride through the Amish countryside was picturesque with fine-looking Amish farms. We only saw one farmer out with horses and plow preparing for planting – evidence again of a late spring.
Back in Wooster we made a stop at the Everything Rubbermaid store, a Hungarian Pastry Shop, and a Kitchen boutique, and admired the Wayne County Courthouse. Then, back to the Fairgrounds.
The traditional pot-luck began the evening with a food-spread sheltered in our private, heated, fairgrounds building, complete with kitchen, dining, and lounging facilities. The food spread was a smorgasbord -- take a peek at happy diners!
That brought us down to the silent raffle -- Loren’s distinctive way to raise money (and avoid a rally fee) to pay for the weekend’s many niceties -- and the white elephant exchange with some rather brutal gift-stealing!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown