Rereading early columns is an occasion to ponder life’s many changes

Timothy and Elizabeth’s new colt from mother Shiann. As Lovina reminisces and reflects here, life is always moving on.

Rereading early columns is an occasion to ponder life’s many changes

 Supper dishes are washed, and most of the family is relaxing and getting showered before bedtime. Hamburger potato casserole was on the menu for tonight.

As I sit here in my recliner writing, my mind goes back to 16 years ago, when I first started penning my first column. Mother had just died unexpectedly, while attending a few book signings in Missouri. She was 66. Life changed so much for our family on that day.

I was nervous when I wrote that first column. I was 31 years old, and my husband Joe and I had six children. Joseph was our baby, only three months old. Loretta was two, Benjamin three, Verena four. Susan was six and in kindergarten. Elizabeth was eight and in second grade. By now, 16 years later, there have been so many changes!

Rereading my earlier columns brings back memories of those years when our children were so young. In one column I wrote that I had water heating on the stove to wash the laundry. Now I have hot running water, powered by solar, and I can put the hose right into my Maytag washing machine. Now that my washing machine is powered by the solar panels on our pole barn, there is no more carrying water to get that job done.

I also wrote about my sisters coming to help in preparations for upcoming church services. It said sister Emma cleaned all three of my kerosene stoves and we cleaned all the kerosene lights. Now I have a propane gas stove and propane and battery lights.

It was hard to go on, with both my parents gone from us so suddenly. Dad had passed away a little over two years before Mother. At the time, it seemed almost impossible for life to go on without them. Remembering my mother’s words—things she always said—helped me a lot. She always said, “God makes no mistakes.” So why would we want to question His ways?

I also wrote in one of my first columns that I was trying to get the buggy blankets dried, as we had been caught in a rain. Yes, we had open buggies in those days, and those winter rides could get pretty cold! In rainy weather we had umbrellas to keep us dry as much as possible. We now have covered buggies and heaters to install in the cold winter months.

As 2002 ended and we started the new year 2003, we faced another year of changes. Our home place was sold, as were all our parents’ belongings. Life went on, but there was always someone missing from our lives. As we entered the year 2004 we started thinking we need a change. So after much thought and many prayers, we packed our belongings and with our six children made the move to Michigan. It was a big change to move a few hours from our home and with the children still young, and it was a busy time for all of us. It was a big change—but sometimes change is good!

The girls attended a new school and made new friends. In May daughter Lovina was born to us. There were complications, and I spent a week in the hospital after her birth.

Sisters Verena and Susan and sister Emma, Jacob and family also made the move to Michigan. We were glad to have family join us. In 2005 we were blessed with our eighth child, Kevin.

The years have gone by so fast, and of course all the children are older. I used to think that life would eventually slow down, but it seems to only get busier with the years! Then again, it could be that this grandma is just slowing down gradually. We have had so many blessings throughout the years that far outnumber the bad times. May God be with us as we travel into the unknown future. And we wish God’s many blessings to all of you as well!

This week I will share the recipe I received from a reader in Kansas. It’s very easy to make.

Brownie Muffins

1 cup butter
1 cup chocolate chips
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 18 cupcake cups with paper liners. Melt butter and chocolate chips together in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Let cool. Beat eggs and sugar together in a mixing bowl until thoroughly combined. Mix flour and vanilla into egg mixture. Fold in chocolate mixture until batter is smooth. Pour batter into prepared cupcake cups, filling them about 1/2 full.

Bake in preheated oven about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean or with moist crumbs.

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. She is the co-author of three cookbooks; her newest cookbook, The Essential Amish Cookbook, is available from 800-245-7894. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at

11 thoughts on “Rereading early columns is an occasion to ponder life’s many changes”

  1. I started reading your column when your mother was writing it. I’ve loved every word you and your mother have written. God Bless.

    1. That’s quite a record. Thank you for your loyalty and support and I’m sure you tell others about the column. God bless you!

  2. Time just keeps moving. It seems way to fast. Thanks for sharing your memories. Your mom was a great person so was your dad. Life really changes when parents are gone. Still miss them

  3. Thanks for the memories. Life is a journey and keeps on going. Precious memories that’s all we have left of our dear loved ones

    1. And thank you for commenting here; it all helps encourage and support Lovina’s column and writing. Blessings back!

  4. Lovina, I’ve been reading your columns right from the start, as I faithfully read your dear Mother’s column for a very long time before you took over. I was very sad when your Mother was suddenly called away from her Earthly home. But as you reminded us, your Mother always said, “God makes no mistakes.” I love that truth, and I’ve taken comfort in that and I’ve repeated those words many times, when a sad situation had no answers. I have four of your family books, and I believe I have the first one your mother wrote. I love them. Lovina, just wanted to let you know, I enjoy your columns very much too. I’ve enjoyed hearing about all the ups and downs in your familys life through the years. Your faith and way of life inspires me and makes me happy. I hope you continue your column for many years! I pray for God’s sweet blessings on you and your family! From, Jane Kramer, Versailles, Ohio

  5. I use to read your Mothers column in our local newspaper.
    I looked forward to Monday’s because that was the day it was in the paper.
    I remember that one of her daughters wrote the column a few times for her. Was that you or one of your Sisters?
    I was very happy when I found you on line?

    1. We believe that Lovina did write some times for her mother; we try to respond for Lovina here, as she gets too many letters to answer which take much of any extra time she may have!

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