Soaking in sunshine on rare October day, with sympathy for family of 12 children now orphaned

What a beautiful October day! It is sunny and the mercury on the thermometer climbed over the 70 degree mark. Laundry is on the lines, drying really fast. I think autumn days like this are probably few.

Daughter Verena, 17, is taking advantage of the sunshine to weed the flower beds outside. Hopefully, this will be the last time for this season. My flower beds were just put in before our daughter’s August wedding so they are still basically empty. I hope to plant some flower bulbs this fall so we will have spring flowers. Those weeds seem to always find their way everywhere.

Our grass should be mowed but both our mowers decided to give up at the same time. They are being repaired and should be done soon.

Monday I went with niece Emma, nephew Benjamin, and Emma’s friend Menno to pick grapes at the u-pick orchard. I decided to get a few more bushels of grapes to can more grape juice.

Lovina Eicher’s grape juice has deep flavor; she cans it in concentrated form.

I also picked a bushel for daughter Elizabeth and Timothy. Sister Emma and Jacob were going to go pick grapes, but found out Jacob’s dad was having surgery that day. They traveled the two hours to be with the family at the hospital while Jacob’s dad had hip replacement surgery. Sounds like the surgery went well which is always a blessing. We wish him a complete and speedy recovery!

We had a visit from Uncle Joe and Aunt Betty on Saturday morning. They brought brother Albert and wife Sarah Irene along. My friend Ruth and daughter Elizabeth and Timothy also stopped in for a while.

On Tuesday evening, Joe and I and four of the children traveled to Berne, Ind., to attend the viewing and visitation of Samuel Wengerd, age 52. He lost his battle to cancer. His wife died four years ago at age 46. They are mourned by twelve children, eight of whom still live at home. Four of the children are married. The youngest child is ten years old. I feel so sorry for the family. Our sympathy goes out to them. May God help them through this time of trial. Niece Elizabeth (daughter of sister Liz and Levi) is married to one of the sons. Jacob’s brother Martin is married to the oldest daughter.

My husband Joe will have only four-day work weeks in the month of October. Two of those Fridays we are invited to weddings. Tomorrow we will attend the wedding of Lester and Loretta. We hope it will be another nice day. Saturday we plan to attend a hog roast sponsored by our local feed mill for all its customers.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Melodie from Harrisonburg, Va. She works for MennoMedia, which distributes this column. We enjoyed her visit and hope her train ride home was safe. I look forward to meeting more of the ladies that work with MennoMedia! I owe them all a big thank you for all the help they have been to me.

This week I’ll share a recipe for apple bread. Two bushels of apples are here, which we will put into sauce as soon as time allows! God’s blessings to all!

Two bushels of apples await their destiny as applesauce for the Eicher family. Lovina likes to blend two different varieties into her applesauce.

Apple Bread
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
4 1/2 teaspoons evaporated milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped, unpeeled apple
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Combine sugar, eggs, milk, and oil.  Beat until well combined. Add flour, soda, and salt, mixing well. Stir in chopped apple and pour into pan. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top. Bake about one hour.


Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Formerly writing as The Amish Cook, Eicher inherited that column from her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, who wrote from 1991 to 2002. Readers can contact Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply) or at