By Lovina Eicher Contributing columnist
June 6, 2014
It is Tuesday evening. I’m sitting out here on the front porch and it is very quiet, almost too quiet. My sisters Verena and Susan wanted our five school-age children to come off the bus there and spend the night. They will go back on the bus in the morning. Sister Emma’s three boys also went. They have eight children there from ages 6 to 14 so I’m sure their evening is quite noisier than usual.
Meanwhile, daughters Susan and Verena went for a walk while daughter Elizabeth is out here on the porch also writing. My husband Joe is resting on his recliner after a hard days work at the factory. Elizabeth and Susan don’t have to go to work at the factory this week except for Friday. Verena and I were glad for their help here at home today.
The floors were mopped and laundry washed, dried, and folded. We had the last of the laundry in right before the rain came this afternoon The rain should give the garden a boost.
I’m enjoying my beautiful hanging pots of flowers here on my porch. They were all Mother’s Day gifts. So far I have kept them looking nice with the help of my daughters. I seem to be able to grow all kinds of vegetables but flowers are not my specialty. I love flowers but I think I either over water them or not enough.
Our family had a very nice relaxing Memorial Day weekend. We left at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday morning bound for Mackinac Island. We stayed at a motel in St. Ignace on Saturday night. Sunday morning we took the ferry over to the island and spent the day there. It gave us all some history lessons. One of our highlights was driving over the Mackinac Bridge that connects the Lower Peninsula to the Upper Peninsula. We even saw patches of snow still on the island. The ferry ride was chilly as we wanted to set on top deck. It was quite a different experience: The wonders of God’s creations. We have often heard of Mackinac Bridge and Island. But not until you see it can you really grasp the wonders of it. When I asked the children what the highlight of their trip was I get different answers such as the ferry, the bridge, the pool at the motel. I don’t think anyone mentioned the island as their favorite part.
Loretta was very wore out from all the walking. Finally we talked to the man at the livery stable and he let us rent their buckboard wagon and Ned, a big workhorse. The wagon had three seats and could seat all of us. We took in a lot more scenery after that and rode around the island for two hours.
When we arrived back to St. Ignace the children wanted to go swimming again. The pool relaxed them all, especially Loretta. They also had a hot tub and that relaxed her muscles. Loretta can swim and that is an exercise that she is able to do. Water relaxes her muscles.
We arrived back home safe and sound Monday around 3 p.m. It was a very nice family trip that will have good memories in years to come. How often do we take our good health for granted. Having a daughter that needs extra time to get around puts us back to a slower pace. It makes us appreciate our health and gives us a sympathetic view of other people with handicaps. The island wasn’t very handicapped accessible but we are glad we all were able to see it. Seeing is believing.
I think there were a lot of people on the island that never heard of or seen Amish before. We were stared at, asked questions, laughed at and lots of pictures were snapped. We all have the same God so we aren’t quite so different after all. Curiosity tends to sometimes bring out rudeness from some people but may God bless and forgive each one of them.
This is the cake we made for Lovina’s birthday. We put it in a horseshoe shaped pan.
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sour milk or buttermilk
1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup boiling water
Mix all ingredients adding water last. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.
Readers with culinary or cultural questions or to share recipes write Lovina at: Lovina Eicher, c/o Oasis Newsfeatures, P.O. Box 157, Middletown, OH 45042. To learn more about Amish culture and the Amish Cook column and to sign up for the twice weekly newsletter, visit www.amishcookonline.com or “The Amish Cook Fan Page” on Facebook.