There’s no welcome sign but I’m glad to go

I took a personal day Tuesday and went to “Amish country.”

That’s code for Sugarcreek, Ohio, and Berlin, Charm, Walnut Creek, etc.

Whenever I’ve mentioned this get-away destination to some of my relatives in the South who have never been there, they imagine it’s one of those outings where you drive along and then suddenly, taadahhh! There’s this giant “Welcome to Amish Country” archway you pass through that lights up and bells ring and whistles blare.

No, it’s not like that all, I have assured them, but I do tell them, it’s a great place to go, especially with a girlfriend who enjoys shopping and spending as much as you do.

Though I’ve done this, it’s not really designed for taking a husband and children who are basically bored at your every stop and every moment spent oohing and ahhing over all things everywhere you go.

My friend and I had conspired about going and on the calendar this get-together ultimately went.

We could not have picked a more lovely day to escape, the sun shining, the weather warm, the wallets waiting to release the green to help the economy flourish.

Yes, we left “our boys” at home (I don’t think they really minded all that much, honestly) and off we motored.

I picked Pam up, announcing “all aboard for the spend-a-lot-of-money train to Amish country.” Choo-choo!

In anticipation of this, I made sure the back was empty, ready for the seats to be folded down and accommodate hauling things homeward.

How lovely to be in the company of a girlfriend who is Amish-country savvy and knows all the great places to stop that I’ve somehow missed, probably because past trips have included a husband and son with a ready-to-go-home disposition.

I did compile a list of things I wanted to look for, but I was easily swayed to consider everything else I didn’t need. There is such beauty in that.

Actually, I was a little nervous about this outing because Better Half did tag along. He was there, perched on my shoulder, monitoring my thoughts and anticipated purchases. My shopping conscience.

It wasn’t too long into the day, however, when I lovingly flicked him from that spot with the fleeting promise to return with not too much credit card melting.

Here’s what I greatly enjoyed about the outing — all of the validating comments I got from my girlfriend that I don’t ever hear when I go to Amish country with Better Half.

“You should buy that!”

“It’s you.”

“That’s a good price.”

“That’s a good price, too.”

“That would look perfect on the porch.”

“You’ll regret not getting that.”

“It’ll fit in the car — no problem.”

“There’s room for that, too.”

“That is adorable!”

“I love that — I want one, too.”

I couldn’t believe how fast this day went or that our return trip included a mention of what else do you wish you would have bought.

When I pulled in the driveway, I didn’t notice any “Welcome Home” archway that lit up and made a lot of noise. But I think I heard Better Half cry when he opened the trunk.


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