My name is Will Bontrager and I grew up Amish.
During the first years of my life, I was a member of the Old Order Amish community in Buchanan County, Iowa, USA. A new Old Order Amish community was established in Monroe County, Wisconsin when I was about 12 years old. Dad moved his family there.
The Amish speak their own language evolved from Germanic languages. Because most non-Amish in the areas where they have their communities speak English, they generally are referred to as the English people.
At almost 17 years of age, I left home to go to high school and experience the world outside the Amish community. It required living as and among the English. Which I still do today.
Experiences after high school and up to today include cooking, carpentry, driving a taxi, writing both fiction and non-fiction, software programming, and serving the United States of America in the US Navy.
Three of those I really, really enjoy. I love the practice of each: Cooking, writing, and software programming. Each of those have stories:
The love of cooking was an influence from Mom.
The love of language and writing was an influence from Mom.
The love of software programming was a discovery with my first computer.
In the early 2000's, my wife and I spent nearly a decade in a motor home traveling about the United States of America, running the business between changing locations, mostly in the Midwest and West — more north in the summer and more south in the winter. All of what I enjoy doing was doable from the motor home.
Then grandchildren came and we now live in a house without wheels.
At this point, I am near what is generally considered retirement age. But that's not for me.
If I do decide to retire, it will be to cook, write, and program software.