New Horizons


In my last post, I promised to bring you some news of what is happening in my life. David and I have decided to move to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. There are many reasons why we’re making this decision, which I will name later.

The easy part was selling our house here in Broadway, Virginia. If you want to see the listing, you can follow this link. A young couple getting married is buying the house. We need to be out of here by July 14 and we don’t have a place to move to yet. Therein lies the challenge.

The real estate market is tight in many places, but I’ve not encountered anything like Lancaster County. Many houses in our price range are selling for anywhere between $15k and $40k more than the asking price. At that point, they are no longer in our price range. That’s just the first hurdle. Then there is the fact that most buyers won’t consider an offer with contingencies, which means we cannot buy anything there without first having the proceeds of this house in hand. At first we thought we’d rent something short term as we watch for the right house to come on the market. No such luck. Landlords expect us to sign a year’s lease, and they expect tenants to have at least three times the monthly income of the cost of the rent. So there are more hurdles to convince property managers to consider our cash assets. We’ve decided to commit to a year lease because we will need that time to decide which part of the county we want to settle in, depending on where we get jobs, and which church community we become part of.

Our ideal situation is to house sit/rent from someone who is overseas for some months. We’ve sent a notice to several Mennonite churches to this effect. Basically David and I are quiet, we don’t smoke, we have no pets, we take good care of the place we live in, and we pay our bills on time. So if any of you reading this post know of someone in Lancaster County who needs their place taken care of whilst they are away, feel free to send them my email:

Now back to the reasons we made this decision. Several months ago, when David and I were in Lancaster for the retreat I attended, we met up with our son Tim and his girlfriend Niina. They had driven a little over two hours from Newark, New Jersey to meet us there. It had been nearly two years since we’d seen them, and we realized how good it would be to see them more often. We don’t like driving into Newark to visit them because of the traffic, and they don’t like driving five hours to see us. There are 14 trains a day running between Lancaster and Newark, which gives us the option of visiting them via train. And they are fearless drivers, so they will hopefully come visit us more often. This also gets us closer to our Vermont son, Paul, so we’ll hopefully see him more often as well. He is in love with a woman named Betsy, and we look forward to meeting her soon.

We will also be living in the same county with our young family, the Cains, who live in Ephrata. They have the two young lads we’ve adopted as our grandsons. Their five-year-old was so excited to hear that we are moving closer to them. When his parents told him our plans, he thought we were going to be their neighbors. His mom explained to him that it might not be real close, so our young lad said, “Oh, so they can move to the town of Ephrata.” The other day when David and I were looking at houses for rent we found one on Main Street in Ephrata, and I started laughing. I realized our favorite five-year-old has that vision for us.

I look forward to working with others in the Lancaster area who are doing important healing work for survivors of abuse. Linda Crockett is a good friend, and she would like help conducting workshops for her organization, Safe Communities. As of now, there are no translators for the court system of Pennsylvania German in all of the state of Pennsylvania. I want to learn the local “dialect” of the Amish in the area, and then I hope to become a court interpreter for Pennsylvania German speakers.

David and I will be looking for jobs. I hope to become an office manager in one of the colleges or churches in the area. David hopes to do something that involves energy efficiency and/or sustainable gardening and agriculture.

When I first left my Amish community, I wanted to go far away, which is why I chose Vermont. In those early years when I was going through the most intense part of my healing, those six hundred miles between Ohio and Vermont were just about right. As I get older, I have the desire to circle back to my Amish/Anabaptist roots and to assist those who may be struggling with some of the issues I faced when I left, both in terms of wanting more education, and in terms of healing from the trauma of leaving. Lancaster seems like a good place to build a bridge between my past and my present.



I pray that God will lead us to where we need to be to continue our life’s work, and I appreciate your thoughts and prayers as well. This move requires faith and some days I have more than others. Our first step is to find a place we can call home for the next year.

In my next post, I will continue the series I started. The next story will come from Aleta Schrock, who grew up Old Order Mennonite in Indiana. Hopefully that will be before our move. We’ll see.

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Saloma Furlong


  1. Kensi on June 29, 2023 at 12:26 pm

    Oh that’s where I want to move too and am also trying to figure out contingencies. I’m coming from Brooklyn where the housing market is tighter than Lancaster but didn’t know Lancaster was so bad! I hope to live in the downtown area. Ephrata is beautiful but a bit too removed for me.

    • Saloma Furlong on June 29, 2023 at 12:30 pm

      Kensi, that is wonderful. Perhaps we can meet up once we’re both settled. Best of luck to you in your move! Yes, Brooklyn is worse. Our son, Paul, used to rent there.

      • Kensi on June 29, 2023 at 1:21 pm

        Thanks that would be great. So one thing you could do (and I’m considering this too but with 3 cats life is a bit more complex)—sell your place, get cash in hand, immediately rent any place that is halfway decent, pay a year upfront (I doubt anyone will quibble with your employment status with a year upfront in cash), that also gives you a year to buy or rent another place.

        • Saloma Furlong on June 29, 2023 at 2:43 pm

          Yes, pets would be another complication for us. We did think about paying a year upfront, but it somehow doesn’t seem fair… the landlord gets the interest on that money instead of us.

  2. Jolene on June 29, 2023 at 12:40 pm

    I will pray everything works out for you and this move. I commend you and your heart for wanting to help others. God bless.

    • Saloma Furlong on June 29, 2023 at 2:43 pm

      Thank you, Jolene! Blessings to you as well.

  3. Esther stenson on June 29, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Thanks for the thorough update! Your reasons for moving are ones that I would have guessed—since we have spent many good hours together.
    Sorry to see you leave Harrisonburg though.
    Let me just say, if you don’t find a place to stay in Lancaster soon, you could stay at our place till You find something (for a couple months).
    Roumany would be there but he’s very quiet and busy.

    • Saloma Furlong on June 29, 2023 at 2:45 pm

      Thank you, Esther. That helps a lot, knowing we have this option. At least we know we won’t be homeless in two weeks! We’ll be in touch.

  4. Kensi on June 29, 2023 at 1:30 pm

    oh the other thing I’m considering—sell place, cash in hand, rent longterm airbnb (6 mos or so). Airbnbs you pay upfront and no one cares about your employment.

    Email me at if you want to bounce ideas 🙂

    Good luck!

    • Saloma Furlong on June 29, 2023 at 2:49 pm

      Hay Kensi. We thought about the Airbnb option also. We thought we’d open a PO Box and use that as our address. But alas! We tried that and because we are not Pennsylvania residents, we could not open one. One needs an address to get one… how upside down is that? Banks want a permanent address as well, so opening an account cannot be done until one has a permanent address. Signing a year lease seems to be the key to everything.

      • Kensi on June 29, 2023 at 5:55 pm

        Yeah things aren’t made easy. Additionally, health insurance doesn’t carry over from one state to the next. Talk about backward!

        • Saloma Furlong on June 29, 2023 at 6:45 pm

          Yes, that is something we still have to deal with.

          • Kensi on June 29, 2023 at 8:16 pm

            Massachusetts has the best healthcare options in the country. PA… not so much. I understand the allure of Lancaster, I’d like to move there myself. But I don’t know if it will happen. I’m going to email you a potential contact.

  5. Katie Troyer on June 29, 2023 at 2:32 pm

    I pray for you all.

    • Saloma Furlong on June 29, 2023 at 2:50 pm

      Thank you, Katie. That means a lot.

  6. Marye Maarsen on June 29, 2023 at 3:12 pm

    My husband and I will be visiting friends and family in PA in Oct. we will be close to Lancaster. Maybe we can connect with each other. I hope you can get things worked out in moving. Gr marye .

    • Saloma Furlong on June 29, 2023 at 3:18 pm

      Marye, I would LOVE to meet you! I hope it all works out! Let’s stay in touch.

  7. Aleta Schrock on June 29, 2023 at 3:26 pm

    Oh, Saloma, you are in exactly the same position I was in a little over a year ago. My house was sold and every acceptable house in my price range that I tried to buy was being sold out from under me at a higher price. I too desperately looked into renting and nothing was available. God miraculously came through and I’m praying and believing he will do the same for you. 🙏🏻 May you walk through this time filled with God’s peace.💕

    • Saloma Furlong on June 29, 2023 at 6:36 pm

      Aleta, I’m so glad it all turned out well. It sounds like you have made your house your home from our previous communications.

      We’ve made some progress this afternoon. Let’s hope and pray something comes through!

  8. Denise Ann Shea on June 29, 2023 at 3:44 pm

    I’ve always loved the Lancaster area. Some good friends of mine are originally from that area and still have family they visit. You are so right about the housing market. I live in the part of town that has always been affordable-elementary school within walking distance, playground, lots of churches-nice for families with small children. But the prices! They also have a quick turn around-a house around the corner from me went on sale last week. There is a “sold” sign in front of it today.

    Translating for the German speakers. German translators are very rare around here-Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, but not German. Is it hard to learn the Pennsylvania dialect? Is it somewhat similar to what you grow up with.

    Good luck in your new journey-you are right where you ought to be.

    • Saloma Furlong on June 29, 2023 at 6:43 pm

      Denise, I didn’t know you live there. I look forward to meeting up sometime.

      When I say Pennsylvania German, I mean the dialect that the Amish speak, which many call Pennsylvania Dutch. The Amish in Ohio speak it differently from those in the Lancaster area, which is what I meant by local dialect. Their accent and intonations are also different.

      Yes, it is hard for someone not in the culture to learn to speak it, partly because it is a spoken dialect only, and also because it is so intertwined with the ways of the culture or the “Amish way of thinking.”

      Thank you, Denise, for your encouragement.

  9. Bruce Stambaugh on June 29, 2023 at 9:24 pm

    I’m shocked and saddened to hear that you and Dave are moving! We will miss you, but; your reasons for moving make sense. We hope to see you before you leave. We wish you all the best.

    • Saloma Furlong on June 30, 2023 at 1:01 am

      Hey Bruce. I thought you may have heard from others that we’re moving. I hope, too, that we’ll get to see you and Neva before we leave.

      Thank you for your good wishes. That means a lot.

  10. pamela lakits on July 5, 2023 at 4:19 pm

    I cant believe your moving, again! But I am so excited that you are moving to Lancaster!!!!!!! When we head East usually stay in Paradise at the local
    Best Western. We try and go once a year . Not sure we will make it this year, but definitely next year (we usually go in the fall for our anniversary).
    Maybe by then you will be settled and we can pay you a visit!!!
    I’m so excited for you both, going on this new adventure, scary though it may be. Once again your braver then me and how I envy that.
    Will keep you in my prayers, may doors will be opened for you both. A place to live and jobs worthy of your many talents.

    • Saloma Furlong on July 5, 2023 at 5:28 pm

      I can’t believe we’re moving again, either, Pamela. However, I’m glad to hear that we might see more of you because of our move! Yes, we’d love to have you visit us.

      Thank you for your prayers.

  11. Karen Rose Moshier-Shenk on July 13, 2023 at 11:17 am


    I just read about your move in “Across the Fence,” from PVMC. I did not know this was happening. It seems that the housing market remains quite tight in many communities and what a challenge that is! My family moved to Lancaster area when I was in third grade for me dad to start the music program at Lancaster Mennonite School. And then with my work at EMU, that area was one of the main areas to which I traveled on a regular basis. I am not a “Lancaster Countian,” so my history is not there, however, having spent so much time there, I have a pretty good understanding of it. This city is quite vibrant, I think. And how lovely that you will be nearer to the Cain family! PLEASE, keep us updated on your move and housing and jobs and more! (we have one son and the grands in Boston!) and one son here in Harrisonburg. Figuring out family is important and sometimes challenging. Love to you.

    • Saloma Furlong on July 13, 2023 at 5:17 pm

      Karen, it is so good to see you here! Good to know you have Lancaster connections, so maybe we’ll see you up there sometime? We are in the middle of our move, but I wanted to acknowledge your kind comments.

      Love to you and your family as well.

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