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Writer's Workshop: A Vacation to Remember

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The Misadventures of Mrs. B: Writer's Workshop: A Vacation to Remember

Cook. Writer. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Klutz.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Writer's Workshop: A Vacation to Remember

Mama's Losin' It
Prompt #1: A Vacation to Remember

Rumspringa is a Pennsylvania German term which means "running around", and it is used to describe a period of time for Amish youth from the age of 16 until they decide to be baptized into the Amish church or to leave the church and the Amish way of life forever.  During this time, the teenagers can pretty much do whatever they want in order to ensure that when they decide to become baptized, they are making the most informed decision possible.

Recently we watched a documentary entitled "The Devil's Playground" which told the stories of several such teens and their experiences.  It's fascinating and at times downright shocking to see what some of these kids will get into during their "time off".


This past weekend, Rob and I took a short trip to Amish country and stayed at a bed & breakfast just outside of Lancaster, PA.

It was a fantastic mini-vacation.  We relaxed for the sake of relaxing.  On Saturday we actually took a nap.  Yes.  A nap.  For, like, 3 hours.  Because we could.  That's one thing we never feel like we can attempt when we go to Disneyworld, for sure - everything's scheduled, there's always something more to do, you can maybe take a quick snooze if you play your cards right.  But in Amish country? Zzzzz....Bliss.

We had some really important, probing conversations, such as "What would happen if the government banned all fast food restaurants?".  We discovered a quaint little place called "Pancake Farm" and wondered if they, in fact, grew pancakes there.  Alas, we never found out, since they are closed on Sunday.

Most importantly, we did something we hadn't done in a while.  We did it again and again throughout the entire weekend.  Seriously, we were unstoppable.

We laughed.  

We laughed at everything.  We were silly, we were goofy.  Everything was funny to us.

One of our biggest running jokes focused on rumspringa.  We decided that we would just wreak havoc all over the place and shout "Ruuuuumspringaaaa!" at the top of our lungs while doing so.  And we came up with all sorts of crazy scenarios that sent us into fits of hysterical laughter. 

Oh, did I rear-end you because you cut me off in the parking lot? Rumspringa!

Did I tell you off because you're being all chatty and annoying while I'm trying to eat breakfast which you forced me to get out of bed at 8 AM for, B&B owner? Rumspringa!

Did I punch your lights out for walking back and forth, repeatedly, in the room above me? On a hardwood floor? Wearing heels? At 7:00 in the morning? Rumspringa!

I think we even decided to legally change our last name to Rumspringa.

And no.  We hadn't touched a drop.  It was just one of those magical times when you're drunk on laughter and silliness and the simple joy of being together.


We were at my favorite Amish smorgasbord on Saturday night.  I love the place.  It is Heaven to me.  Simple, homecooked food prepared expertly by people who know how to fry a piece of chicken.  If I could marry a restaurant, this would be the place.

The only drawback for me is sharing a long table with a bunch of strangers, as the food is served family-style on big platters.  I don't mind eating with my entire family or a big group of friends.  It's when I have to sit with strangers that I feel uncomfortable.  And besides, who wants to look like a pig at one of these places? My family and friends already know I'm a over good food.  But here, we all have to "share" and "be polite".  Psssh.

Anyway, we were seated first and wondered who we would be sharing our table with.  Soon another couple joined us.  And I knew from the get-go, just by hearing the way the wife talked about their numerous past experiences here, that they could very well foil my plans for gluttonous overindulgence.  I didn't want to have to break any fingers in pursuit of that extra slice of pie (seriously, I am so hardcore - I only eat there, like, once every 3 or 4 years).

In my distress, I texted Rob from across the table.  Throwdown

His reply?  RUMSPRINGA!!!!

Oh, homemade bread and apple butter.  You complete me.


Rob pointed out something to me last night.  Evidently our trip made a lasting impression with him and he's been thinking back on it quite a bit. 

To him, it symbolized that apart from all the stress we've been through in the past year, all the depression and anxiety and general insanity we've weathered...we still have "It".  It's still there.  We may not be able to tap into it as much as we would like, but the reason we're together in the first place stands strong. 

We were able to shed all of that excess baggage for a couple of days and get back to the basics of our marriage and our friendship.  We cut loose.  We lived without a schedule.  We overate (<-- understatement) and threw all caution to the wind.  And then we went back to our "real life" together, with a fresh point of view and the determination to tap into that silly side of ourselves more often.

It was a very important mini-vacation.

It was our rumspringa.



Blogger Ms Bibi said...

That sounds like the perfect mini-vacation.

I don't remember when was the last time I spend even one day totally relaxed and being silly without my kids nowhere inside.

There are many restaurants in Europe you share a table. I grew up there and I still have issues doing it.

Glad you had your rumspringa...I need mine,lol

February 17, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Blogger shelley said...

what you don't "relax" in disney world? hahahaha that is a post in itself.. sounds like you guys had such a great time, and laughing... so good! there is nothing like a good laugh.. o except maybe apple butter. YUM!
shelley :)

February 17, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Blogger DaisyGal said...

oh I loved this and I might just start using that word. My hubs and I have been trying to get back there the fun place...and so we hve been going to dinner/movies, holding hands, laughing at each other and at nothing, quoting movies etc.
I loved this post and am so happy that you and your hubby are in the RUMSPRINGA of your relationship again.

February 17, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumspringa! I love that word that covers every bad thing we could do...and make it okay! Loved this post!

February 17, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Blogger The Zany Housewife said...

It sounds like that was exactly what you both needed. In fact, it sounds like I need to schedule a trip for me and my super stressed husband. If only I lived closer to Amish country...

February 17, 2011 at 2:41 PM

Blogger Jessica said...

Oh my gosh I love this, makes me want to grab my husband and run off to Amish country. He is hoping for Aruba, I wonder if I can change his mind...

February 17, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Blogger Melissa said...

So fun!

February 17, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Blogger Danielle said...

Great post! Makes me want to pack up the hubs and head for Amish country!

Visiting from Mama Kat's...

February 17, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Anonymous The Flying Chalupa said...

Rumspringa is one of the best words EVER. How could you not shout that from the rooftops all the time? Sounds like a wonderful trip. I, too, get grabby when it comes to good food.

February 17, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Blogger Natalie said...

I've always wanted to go to Amish country!

This sounds like a great getaway weekend and it's exactly what Jason and I need. It's been way too long :)

February 17, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never been to Lancaster Cty, but I am related by marriage to several Amish families in northern Michigan, where they don't really do the Rumspringa.

Perhaps not coincidentally, there are no pancake houses, smorgasbords, or b&b's in their town.

I've been thinking my husband and I need a few days to reconnect and laugh together. Can I borrow your battle cry?


February 17, 2011 at 9:54 PM

Anonymous redkathy said...

Hi Jen,
Have to tell you this is some enjoyable, creative writing! OMG haven't been to Amish country since I was a kid. Obviously you n the hubs have a super relationship, very inspiring!

February 17, 2011 at 10:17 PM

Anonymous Mommy Shorts said...

I am TOTALLY adopting "Rumspringa" into my regular vocabulary. For starters— why am I up at 2am reading blogs when I have to be at work at 7:30?? Rumspringa!

I hope I used it correctly:)

February 18, 2011 at 2:03 AM

Anonymous Miel Abeille said...

This sounds like the most amazing way to spend Valentine's weekend! Lucky you!

You need to create a RUMSPRINGA recipe. Concoct something a lil sweet to make whenever you're feeling a lil rumspringa. Maybe make a monkey bread & call it rumspringa?

February 18, 2011 at 2:12 AM

Blogger Liz said...

You had me at nap!

Can you imagine if McD's was suddenly gone?!?

I think we need to make #Rumspringa trend on Twitter!

February 18, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Blogger Dr. Alice said...

I love this story. Those Pennsylvania Dutch restaurants are great, though I haven't been to one in years (I don't live in the Philadelphia area anymore). More importantly, it sounds like you have a great marriage. If I had a husband who sent me "RUMSPRINGA!" texts, I'd be the happiest woman on earth. :)

February 18, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Anonymous Morgan said...

So is this blog now The Adventures of Mrs. R? :-)
Loved it -stopping by from mama k's. Check out my blog and follow too please :-)

February 19, 2011 at 8:52 AM

Blogger Miri said...

This sounds wonderful, like something my husband and I would do. In fact, I think I'll go tell him all about rumspringa now :)

February 19, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Blogger Real Life Reslers said...

Inspired by this post, I decided to run and jump into bed next to my husband and yell RUMSPRINGA!!!!! He started laughing. I think it must be the funniest word ever.

February 19, 2011 at 10:09 PM


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