New Wheels

Have you ever watched a teenager get their first new car?

Have you ever BEEN that teenager getting their first new car?

Remember the excitement surrounding such an event?

Well, what if you’re Amish?

The excitement revolves around getting your very first brand new very own buggy!

We visited our friends in Iowa last Saturday, and Daniel had to roll out his brand new buggy to show us.

Not a speck on it . . . yet.

Just wait till he has to take it to church some muddy Sunday!

He wanted to show me the inside of it. It’s got suede upholstery on the seats, with a design like tooled leather. I told him it was fancier upholstery than any piece of furniture in my house, which is true.

It has a dashboard. Hanging from the dashboard are keys on a keychain. So I asked the obvious: “Daniel, why do you need keys and a dashboard for a horse-drawn buggy?”

“For the lights!” he proclaimed.

And he turned the key and started flipping switches, and all sorts of lights came on.

It has headlights . . .

Orange flashers for slow-moving vehicle . . .

Green back lights . . .

Red taillights . . .

And on top of the dashboard is a speedometer (speedo-mometer, as Daniel calls it), complete with an odometer, and it does calculations that tell you your top speed, your average speed, and other such detailed information about your trip.

Parts of the buggy are made of fiberglass to make it lighter weight, yet still sturdy. State of the art as far as buggies go. I said: “It even smells new.” He said: “Yeah, I’ve got an air freshener in there.” Sure enough, hanging from the ceiling inside, a leather-scented air freshener! Extra keychains were hanging in a couple places, and there is under-the-seat storage.

Daniel has a girlfriend named Leona, and getting the new buggy is part of his preparation for getting married. You can’t marry a girl if you can’t provide for her properly! He’s on his way, I think.

Daniel first moved to Iowa last fall, and while waiting on his new buggy to be manufactured, he borrowed a buggy from his girlfriend’s uncle. He borrowed his brother’s carriage horse to go get the buggy. He harnessed it up at home, then hopped on bareback and rode over to the uncle’s house, hitched the horse to the buggy and drove it home. Carriage horses are NOT riding horses. Daniel said he was sore for 2 days afterwards! This from a guy who rides horses almost all day every day . . .

Now that he has his new buggy, he needed to return the borrowed buggy to the uncle’s house. The obvious way to do that would be to hitch the horse to the buggy, drive it over to the uncle’s house, unhitch, hop on, and ride the horse home. But Daniel wasn’t really looking forward to that, after the first painful incident. So we devised a plan to help Daniel return the buggy to the uncle’s house. I pulled it there with my Jimmy . . .

Gives new meaning to the phrase “horseless carriage”, huh?

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Published in: on May 9, 2011 at 10:33 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This is the BEST story EVER!!

  2. That is so funny!!

  3. That is great. Wow, those carriages are getting fancy. Those lights are probably a really important safety feature these days. Isn’t pride a sin among the Amish though? What part of Iowa? I had relatives in Amana, the heart of Amish country! 🙂

  4. awww, what a sweet story! I love the lights. We visited Amish country in Ohio a few years back, and not all buggies had lights, which can be a little dangerous on those narrow roads. I hope Daniel will be a safe driver.

  5. O.M.G. Living in Iowa, I’ve seen many an Amish & Mennonite buggy, but never a tricked out one owned by a teenager. Thanks for the smiles!!!


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