Cherishing time and memories of loved ones
Columnist Lovina Eicher says moments of love from little ones lifts her heart.
It’s 5 a.m., and the temperature is 39 degrees. Yesterday we had a cold, rainy autumn day. We also had a few snow flurries and a little ice this week. Old Man Winter is just around the corner, it seems. Our tomato and pepper plants still didn’t get a killing frost, so we are still harvesting what’s left of them. Hopefully, there will be a nice day soon so we can clear out the beds and prep them for the winter. I really like having the raised beds this year and think we will appreciate them in years to come.
My husband, Joe, and son Joseph, 20, both left for work already. Son Benjamin, 23, is out in the barn harnessing our horse Midnight for me before he leaves for work. Daughter Loretta and I plan to attend the Pampered Chef shower niece Emma is hosting for Crystal (nephew Benjamin’s wife). This will be held at niece Emma’s house. Loretta and baby Denzel, 3 months, are here already. Dustin came over with them before he left for work. Now they are both asleep on the recliner. Denzel loves to cuddle up to his mama. He smiles a lot in his sleep. Such a precious little angel.
The Pampered Chef shower is at 10 a.m. then lunch will be served afterward. It’s a nice time to visit with friends and family. The shower helps a young bride fill her kitchen.
One afternoon last week, granddaughters Abigail, Jennifer, and Kaitlyn came here from school and spent the night here. They left for school again the next morning. We had so much fun with them. Daughter Verena came home for the night as well and helped entertain the little girls. They colored, listened to someone read books, put puzzles together, and played with playdough. We made fried chicken and french fries for supper and had ice cream cones for dessert. Their evening was full, and they were tired little girls when bedtime came around. They slept with Verena in her bedroom she still has here. The next morning, they were all cheerful and willing to get dressed for school. Their little goodbye hugs and saying, “Bye, Grandma — I love you,” made my day.
Saturday, the family gathering was well attended at brother Albert and Sarah Irene’s house. My parents have 42 living grandchildren. Nieces Mary (daughter of Paul and sister Leah) and Marilyn (daughter of sister Emma and Jacob) both died at a young age. Mary was 5, and Marilyn was 8-1/2 months. Out of the 42 grandchildren, only four couldn’t make it. It was a good turnout.
Albert had grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, corn, and green beans for the hot food. Then there were different kinds of salads, desserts, cakes, fruit pies, and more by everyone else. There is more than enough food by the time everyone brings something. I made three chocolate pies, a big bowl of taco salad, a pudding, and fruit mixed with fruit dip using 8 ounces of cream cheese, 8 ounces of whipped topping, a cup of powdered sugar, and two teaspoons of vanilla. Then after that is all mixed well, I add grapes, pineapple chunks, and apple slices.
Everyone brought snacks to enjoy before we all left for home. It was good to see everyone again, but our loved ones that passed were greatly missed. Rest in peace, dear parents, brother Amos, sister Susan, brother-in-law Jacob, son-in-law Mose, and nieces Mary and Marilyn. You will always be remembered, and we have many memories of you.
We do not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future.
God’s blessings to all.
12 slices bread
2–3 cups cooked and diced chicken
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
Salt and pepper
8 ounces shredded or sliced cheese, desired variety
1 can cream of chicken soup, diluted according to instructions on the can
Cracker or corn flake crumbs
Arrange bread slices in a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Cover with chicken. Mix chicken broth, milk, eggs, butter, salt, and pepper. Pour over the chicken. Add a layer of cheese on top, then pour one can of diluted cream of chicken soup on top of the cheese. Top with cracker or corn flake crumbs. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35 minutes till bubbly. It can be made a day ahead and refrigerated if needed.
Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Readers can write to her at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her.