Friday, May 14, 2010

'Shopping' Back In Time

‘Shopping’ back in time. Yes, the antiques in Shipshewana were the draw, but Yoder’s store is a trove of the past tied to the present.

Tourists stop at Yoder’s when they visit this small town, but this is a store that provides staples for those who live in the county, the Amish. There are no racks of dresses here for the women. No, bolts of fabric line the walls and tables. Needlework hangs on spindles waiting to be completed. Straw hats for men and bonnets for women, along with darling small sizes for children, line the tables. Racks of aprons, some handmade, hang ready for the cook to purchase. Simple products for a simple life.

The other side of the store offers a different selection. Along with touristy items, toys and trinkets are rows and rows of canning supplies and heavy duty pans, cast iron skillets and utensils for country cooks. Two long shelves hold oil lamps, lamps to light the Amish homes. A butter churn, an apple corer and other items once used long ago are still needed in this community.

Handmade and commercially made Amish dolls sit waiting for a child’s embrace or a tourist’s curiosity. The dolls with faces are not true Amish dolls for Amish dolls have no faces only cherubic heads.

Going to Yoder’s is a treat, a step back into the old Neff Road backroom with the canning colander and press, the old tub filled with lye soap, the old lanterns hanging, waiting for use when the power to goes out.

I did come home with a souvenir. A bar of Grandma’s (pure and natural) Lye Soap sits next to my kitchen sink. According to the wrapper, it is highly recommended for dry skin and may ease the discomfort of psoriasis, eczema, acne and winter dry, itchy skin. I love the little note on the side that says:

Things folks use it for:
Poison Ivy-Oak
Any Rash or Hives
Insect bites (a little lather helps)
Hides human scent for hunters
Best for dirty-mouthed kids (just kidding)

To me, Yoder’s represents a time when my mother made things from scratch, a time when women toiled in the home from sun up until sun down, wearing their aprons and creating the home in which we lived. It reminds me of my roots. Best of all, it smells like home.

Maybe I go to Yoder’s to be transported to another time, to bury my roots once more in a time, a time that has stood still.

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