The St Jacobs Market, Part III: The Followers of Menno Simons

It may surprise you to learn that Mennonites live all over the world. This Protestant denomination founded by Menno Simons (d. 1561) has broadened in its scope of ways-of-being, until those young Japanese tourists I saw on the main street of St Jacobs might well be Mennonites themselves.

My own Mennonite relatives, however, are not Oriental youngsters who could fit in on any campus; they’re German-speaking, Old-Order Mennonites. The locals. But there is none among them that I know to call family.

And so I treaded fairly lightly in my camera wielding on Thursday. Many Mennonites are uncomfortable about getting their photos taken. In today’s pictures, then, I’ve avoided close-ups and full-face shots. I hope everyone’s okay with that.

Mennonites are “plain Deutsch” as opposed to “fancy Deutsch” . The women don’t need to wear black, but they go for quiet colours, small prints, and standard dress patterns. Don’t want to stand out. A prayer cap is worn because St Paul asked that women cover their heads when they pray, and you never know when you’ll need to send one up to the Almighty. Any of you who have children, reflect on this idea for thirty seconds and you’ll probably agree how sensible it is.

By the way, not all Mennonites restrict themselves to horse-and-buggy transportation. This woman is selling her produce out of a truck.

Mauve print dress, with a comfortable, cover-all apron. Her grandchildren are helping to replenish the maple lollipop stand.

This woman looks like my great aunt. In fact, I wish she were my great aunt: she’s the cinnamon-bun baker!

Just between you, me, and the fencepost, buggywatching is easier than birdwatching. You can blink, turn around, and you still won’t miss it.

In fact, your car will go out of date, look ridiculous, and fall to rust, and you still won’t miss it.

“The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” Take your time. Do your tasks carefully and prayerfully. Be real.

5 Responses to The St Jacobs Market, Part III: The Followers of Menno Simons

  1. TheAgedCat says:

    [big grin, here] “The hurrier I go, …” My grandparents had a little plaque with that saying next to the kitchen door. They were old-order Ohio/Michigan. A lot of German in there too.

    The “Latest Limerick” is very sweet.

  2. jamesviscosi says:

    There was a Mennonite village near where we used to live in New York, and you could get all kinds of interesting cheeses, baked goods, and produce there.

  3. lavenderbay says:

    I think, Aged Cat, that my Grandad’s was in paper — a post card or paper napkin or something. It was tacked up in his garage/workshop. Hey! Maybe we’re relatives!
    I’m glad you like the latest limerick. It also happens to be the last limerick for the moment. I’m gonna hafta hold another contest or something soon.

    Ah, the good old days, James… But it must be nice, too, to have the Pacific Ocean across the street, and Mexico three doors down.

  4. Gina says:

    We have a Mennonite bakery about 60 miles east of Memphis and they have the best baked good!

  5. lavenderbay says:

    Good stuff, Gina! Be sure to let The Aged Cat know if you find any ham&cheese pretzel logs there. I don’t know where she lives, but just in case she travels your way…

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