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Holding onto precious memories as son turns 20

This week, I have been busy sewing for nephew Benjamin’s wedding, which will be next week.

Once again, I put off my sewing until it was too close to the day. I sewed my dress, cape, and apron on Tuesday. Yesterday, I cut out dresses, capes and aprons for daughters Verena and Lovina, and sewed Verena’s dress. Today after laundry, I want to sew again.

Daughter Loretta went to go buy her material for her suit, so I’ll cut and sew that for her too.

Then two weeks after nephew Benjamin and Crystal’s wedding is niece Leanna and Alvin’s wedding. This will be held at her parents Albert (my brother) and Sarah Irene’s house. Loretta, Verena and Lovina all need new dresses, capes and aprons for that wedding.

I will wear the same dress I wear to Benjamin’s wedding because it is the same color but only different material for Leanna’s wedding.

At Benjamin’s wedding, daughters Elizabeth, Susan, Loretta and I will be cooks. Daughters Verena and Lovina and sons Benjamin and Kevin all will be table waiters.

Son Joseph and his special friend Grace will be witnesses for Benjamin and Crystal. They usually have two couples for witnesses. Nephew Benjamin and son Joseph are the same age and have always been close cousins. Joseph was surprised and feels honored to stand with his cousin / friend when he gets married.

There will be an empty spot at the wedding without Benjamin’s dad, Jacob. Also, for sister Emma to be at her child’s wedding without her dear husband.

Sunday, son Joseph turned 20. His birth always brings back memories of my dear mother. Husband Joe’s Aunt Sylvia was my midwife, and Mom was there too, as she was with every baby I had.

Joseph was baby number six for us. My sisters had the other five children on that hot July afternoon. Mom kept chilling and asked for a coat. Sylvia kept taking her vitals and tried to make her comfortable. She had a heat stroke and was probably cold from having a fever, which we later found out.

Joseph was born at 6:35 p.m., weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces. After he was born, my sisters Verena and Susan came with our other children to meet their new brother / nephew. Jacob, sister Emma, and their four children came to see the new baby that night.

We had made Mom go lie down in the other bedroom, and she was covered with blankets. Jacob, Verena and Susan stayed for the night because we were all worried about Mom.

Little did we realize that in eight weeks, we wouldn’t have her with us anymore. My sisters Verena and Susan and Mom had gone to some book signings in Kansas and Missouri. Mom was in a motel in Blue Springs, Mo., when she died from an aneurysm in her stomach. What a shock when we heard the news. Precious memories are our comfort!

Sunday evening, our family was here in honor of Joseph’s birthday. We also celebrated son Benjamin’s birthday, which was July 14. We never had cake for him, so we had a cake for both boys.

Our menu was a Haystack Meal with cake and ice cream. Homemade bread, butter, strawberry jam and chips as well.

A haystack is made with Doritos crumbs, crushed saltine crackers, taco-seasoned hamburger, cooked spaghetti, lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, onions, salsa and ranch dressing, then topped with cheese sauce.

Baby Denzel is at 6 pounds, 10 ounces now and is getting a lot of attention with Grandpa, Grandma, uncles and aunts across the road.

Grandson Ryan turned 3 on July 27. Susan’s friend Ervin had our family all at his house for Ryan’s birthday. Ervin lives a mile from us, so it’s close by. Ryan felt so proud of all the attention when he blew out his candles.

God bless.

Pumpkin Chip Cookies

2 3/4 cup pumpkin

2 cups sugar

1 cup lard or shortening

2 eggs (beaten)

2 tablespoons milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons soda

1 teaspoon salt

1-6ounce package of chocolate chips

1 cup nuts (if desired)

Mix pumpkin, sugar, lard, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients and add gradually. Mix well. Stir in chips and nuts, then drop by the spoonful onto a cookie sheet.

Bake in a 375-degree oven for about 14 minutes.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight who lives in southeastern Michigan. Her newest cookbook, “Amish Family Recipes,” is available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at P.O. Box 234, Sturgis, MI 49091 (include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply), or email LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

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