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You may have seen the recent video that's making the rounds online of an Amish man skiing behind a buggy on a snow day, which made me wonder, do the Amish have snow days?
The answer is yes! Since the Amish don't have radios or TVs, someone from the school normally calls the nearest phone to leave a message. In many cases, someone has to go down and check the voicemail on the phone, which is located away from the house, out by the road or it may be a phone that is shared by several families on a single property. Telephones are permitted more and more among the Amish for businesses and for emergencies. Often they are kept in an out building, but there are some Amish settlements that still prohibit phones from being used.
When the roads are icy, slick and slippery with blowing snow, we all stay home together, Amish and English alike. Children are able to sleep in a little longer than usual and spend the day playing outside, making snowmen and digging snow tunnels as the white stuff piles up around the yard.
Other fun snow day activities we have in common include ice skating and sledding. If you're lucky you may even know a family that has a sleigh and can take you out for a wintery ride. Amish Country Riding Stables in Millersburg also offers sleigh rides. You can call them at 330-893-3600 to be put on a list and then they will call or email you when the conditions are right for an authentic horse-drawn sleigh ride. You may also be able to book sleigh rides through the Gugissberg Swiss Inn during the winter season.
In cases of extreme weather or high winds, there may be power outages in the area, but this isn't so much of a concern on an Amish snow day. They're used to living every day without power, so their routine goes on fairly close to the norm. The children enjoy a day spent home from school, but they still do all their normal chores and help with different tasks around the home.
As spring draws closer, we may be nearing the end of our snow day season here in Amish Country, but that doesn't mean we can't all keep our hopes up for one more day! One of my favorite quotes about snow days says that they are a day when God says "teachers, I love you and when parents realize just how underpaid teachers really are." Here's to hoping the joy of one more snow day might still be in store for us all.