Crossing Over: One Woman's Escape from Amish Life

Crossing Over: One Woman's Escape from Amish Life

Ruth Irene Garrett

Language: English

Pages: 208

ISBN: 006052992X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A work Booklist called ଯving and life–affirming, Crossing Over is the true story of one woman's extraordinary flight from the protected world of the Amish people to the chaos of contemporary life.

Ruth Irene Garrett was the fifth of seven children raised in Kalona, Iowa, as a member of a strict Old Order Amish community. She was brought up in a world filled with rigid rules and intense secrecy, in an environment where the dress, buggies, codes of conduct, and way of life differed even from other Amish societies only 100 miles away. This Old Order community actively avoided all interaction with ೨e Englishߜ'96 everyone who lived on the outside. As a result, Ruth knew only one way of life, and one way of doing things.

This compelling narrative takes us inside a hidden community, offering a striking look as one woman comes to terms with her discontent and ultimately leaves her family, faith and the sheltered world of her childhood. Unsatisfied, she bravely crosses over to contemporary life to fully explore the foreign and frightening reality in hope of better understanding her emotional and spiritual desires. What emerges is a powerful tale of one woman's search for meaning and the extraordinary lessons she learns along the way.

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and think about you every day. I really hope you have good luck to make this trip worthwhile for you. Ottie, I’m going to be awake when you pick up the banana bread. If no one is along, you could whistle and I’ll whistle back. (To say “bye.”) How I would want to meet you by the mailbox and talk, but I was afraid I’d be heard going out, so I thought it better I wouldn’t. Don’t whistle if you don’t want me to whistle. But I’ll be watching. Love, Irene Ottie later slipped me this note: My

the Amish for not doing missionary work outside the community have a good point, although he has an answer for the naysayers. “If I want to be truly forgiving and be a Christian like Christ was, if I want to be Christlike, I have to lay things down . . . the biggest mission field is here at home, isn’t it? Don’t we have many Amish people in need, just like they do on the outside? “Just the very people who think they’re the only ones who are saved are the ones in need.” A bell chimes several

focused on the love story in the context of “independence versus convention,” offered a lot of advantages, most notably protecting, at least for the moment, my parents’ identities. It was also Beth’s belief that the movie would not tread lightly on the Amish, but instead provide “an interesting way to look at a simpler life and realize that that’s not perfect, either.’’ That would put This Side of Heaven a notch ahead of another Amish film, Harvest of Fire, a 1996 TV movie about barn burnings

fingers when someone has gone astray. Neighbors tell on neighbors. Children tell on children. No one is safe from judgment. Among the things closely watched is the attire of women. They must wear a well-defined set of modest clothing, including starched organdy head coverings with eight pleats on either side. Not five pleats or six. Tradition is the main reason for this edict. The other: Fewer pleats on either side would make the head covering too small. Women wear the head coverings (scarves

paper bag, or make a cigarette vanish then reappear, or turn a single kernel of corn in his mouth into five or six. I’d watch other Amish my age stare in amazement when he’d roar through town in that spiffy gray van of his, or maneuver it to do circles in the snow. And to hear him talk was like nothing we’d heard before. He had a saying for anything, a bravado that was as large as he was. One of my favorite stories is the time Ottie exited the van to let out an elderly female rider. When he

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