Life before the Motor

One thing I love about my job is variety. The saying goes that “variety is the spice of life..” My life should have lots of spice then.. 🙂 This week found me touring through Kentucky and Tennessee. The itinerary included a wide range of experiences- from stopping at the Vanbert Farms to gaze at Rocky Mountain Horses (which I really had no clue what I was looking at, but that didn’t keep me from having fun with the camera)…

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…to visiting multiple communities that choose to live ‘pre-motor” which creates for a very interesting and educational experience. We spent one afternoon being chauffeured around by a convoy of buggies. I had never spent that amount of time in a “rig” as they called it- so I was all eyes. Especially as we careened down a steep hill at an outrageous rate of speed and the one girl commented mildly that she sure wished that she had brakes.. Needless to say, I checked out the “In case of Emergency Exit ” options… From the back seat, they weren’t real great..


They were so hospitable and as always, I was just amazed… I understand that not everyone is ok with their picture being taken, and I want to honor that. I did capture a few sights that I want to share with you… So here goes..

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Probably what I minded the most was the absence of indoor plumbing… No running water… No showers… The lack of electricity also created a problem, but I have a good flashlight..


The one lady had a bakery in the one end of her home. They were making short work out of 115 doz cookies to be sold at market, with a huge and very warm wood fire oven..

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Every thing is run by real horse power. (Except where they have tapped into the power of water, which is also really neat, but I won’t bore you with all that this time..) The washing machine, table saw,etc all run by a horse on a tread mill. The saw mill and feed mill were also horse powered. We “helped” unload part of a load of hay up in the barn using the old method of a hay hook- where a team of horses hooked to a rope pulled the hook(as well as the huge bunch of hay in it’s grasp) up to the top of the barn. Then it slid along the tracks at the top, and was dumped into the mow. Fascinating. I climbed up into the hay mow just for better understanding. We all commented on how “springy” loose hay in a mow is. And I think we all secretly wished that we were a few years younger, and could’ve played there awhile..


But the dentist office was powered a little differently… They said that either you bring someone with you to pedal like mad to build up the air to run the dentist’s tools… Or you can do it before your procedure.. 😉 I wonder if this helps to deal with the apprehension that usually comes along with the dentist chair… Maybe a new way to work through that phobia.. 🙂


I find it incredible at how their community is growing and how these people appear to be living so quietly with lack of agenda or convenience.. This man was showing us how to make a broom.

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And so, I returned home. Hopefully a little wiser.. With a few new stories, and with a little different appreciation for the things in my life… especially that warm shower… 🙂

Blessings as you are Faithful where He has called you, Kendra

Bonus Pic:

Quick note from the Farm Manager:

I’m not much for emailing, but recently I received such a cool email on Kendra’s account that I had to share it with you…(I don’t bother with my own account, when I can just use hers..) You see, I’m in charge of all the activity around here. All of it. And the problem is, they keep taking equipment away from here and leaving it all over the creation and I’m still supposed to oversee what’s going on. That’s no small order, let me assure you. But I figured out that if I can ride on the back of the pickup, I can at least check in on part of the operation. ( I finally have Rolo to the place, that it’s ok to leave her alone to keep the farm going.. Well, for short periods of time, only.. She still really depends on my insight) Anyhow the Harvestor was gone for a long time, and every time I jumped on the back of the truck to go have a chat with it, and see how it was fairing (that’s what a mechanic does, right?) this stubborn family would make me get right back off. Now, I know that I just got out of the hospital from that minor car accident, but good grief! This was getting out of hand. You know how you’re not supposed to worry, because things just work out? Well, I got this email, that put all my fears aside. It sure is nice to have connections. Thank you, Jasper from Winding Creek Farm, for keeping an eye on the situation for me.. It sure is nice to have friends you can trust.  And I’m looking forward to the report from my new Patrol, I hear you are very poetic.. -Detroit for the rest of the Family

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Photo Credit: Philip Wenger Family








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