I have mentioned before that my commute to and from work passes through a rather large Amish community. I’m actually thinking that there may be a couple of different Amish communities grouped together, because there are a couple of one-room schoolhouses that are separated by only a mile or two. I can’t imagine that this is an elementary and high school arrangement. I don’t know for sure, though.

On my commute I often run across quite a few horse-drawn buggies. Some of the buggies have a roof and sides and whatnot to keep everyone but the horse out of the elements, but the majority of them are open wagons. The driver usually sits on the right side of the wagon. The horse still stands in the middle, but out in front.

A few weeks ago I noticed that one of the open buggies was carrying three men to and from the small city that’s about 12 miles from the Amish communities. These three men are married (as noted by the presence of a beard). They wear their usual wide-brimmed hat and sensible work clothes with a blue shirt and dark pants. The are unprotected from the elements and they have plastic cooler/lunch boxes roped to the back of the buggy.

One other thing that I have noticed is that they never seem to be interacting with each other. They don’t even seem to be facing the same direction; they position themselves so that they’re not facing each other. The driver is thankfully looking forward. I see this as some sort of buggypool where they don’t have to contribute to the gas fund unless they all contribute to the care and feeding of the horse (I hope the horse isn’t gassy). But where most modern carpools have people that converse one another (I assume, since I’m big on that whole alone thing), these gentlemen don’t appear to be talking to each other at all.

I find this fascinating.

The other night it was well into the evening darkness at 17:30 and it was raining like crazy when I passed them. The sky was opening up and dumping buckets on the land and I passed the three gentlemen in their buggy, all positioned as to not be really looking at each other but soaked to the skin. From what I could tell they had a blanket to cover their laps but other than that they were getting wet. I briefly thought about helping them but then thought they would probably reject the offer and besides, I didn’t have room for the horse nor the buggy in the Jeep.

I enjoy their tenacity. I like the fact that they feel strongly in their beliefs that they didn’t apparently think twice about riding out in the elements like this.

I wonder if the horse enjoyed the experience.

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