While driving home from western Pennsylvania recently, John and I made a stop at a produce stand.

As John checked out the cucumbers, the proprietor started chatting to me and mentioned that some items were from the local Amish community in Smicksburg.

Smicksburg? I never heard of this town with a funny sounding name and Amish population, and I grew up about 40 miles south of here. I looked it up in Google Maps…


and there it was — about 12 miles away. Although not along the direct route home to New Jersey, it was in the general direction.

Why did the guy at the produce stand put the idea of Smicksburg in my head? Maybe it was a sign that we should go there. John was game for a diversion, so off we set, on the road less traveled, to New Jersey via Smicksburg.

We were taking in the rural scenery and rolling farmlands when we passed one of these signs…


and a few minutes later, as if on cue, we encountered a horse drawn buggy.

During the next 15 minutes we slowed down a half dozen times to pass horse drawn buggies and wagons (I respected the privacy of the drivers and passengers and refrained from taking photos).

As we drove through and beyond Smicksburg, John and I were remarking how interesting it was to see a thriving community seemingly content with a simpler way of life — and without need of machinery and modern conveniences. I was suddenly aware of the irony of using my iphone with ease to get to a place where the latest handheld gadget is irrelevant.

We wondered if a wealth of old world knowledge was stored around here — knowledge that may benefit a modern world with an increasing interest in organic farming.

We were still pondering Smicksburg when we came upon a road sign which caused us to pull over and stop.


Now, where do I want to go?

a)Paradise – it sounds ideal (and it’s the shortest travel distance), but with expectations set high, it might be a disappointment.

b)Desire – I’ve been there before — the road leads down to what I think I want, rather than what I’m really all about.

c)Panic – I know it’s very popular, but I’ve never felt a need to go. If I really want to join the crowd, I’m sure I could get there with fear and self doubt as my guides.

Hmmmm. After considering our options, John put the car in ‘drive’ and we headed toward DuBois! It was in the direction of home. We had four and a half hours of road ahead of us, and Jack would be expecting us (and his evening kibble).

We opened the sunroof, rolled down the windows, and enjoyed the fresh summer air on the last stretch of winding road before getting on the big highway.

Although we didn’t have time to stop in any towns, being mindful of signposts along the way made our journey more memorable and enjoyable.

live. enjoy. repeat.

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