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Appreciating God’s creation in a cold spell

It was snowing most of the day yesterday, although there was not much accumulation. It really does feel good to have heat in the house again. We had let the stove go out over the warmup.

I have been busy sewing this week, and that is my plan for today. The wedding in which daughter Loretta and her special friend Dustin are table waiters is Friday already. Daughter Lovina and her special friend Daniel also will go for the evening meal, as will son Joseph and his special friend Grace. Grace is a sister to Dustin and Daniel.

Last night, daughter Verena came here with grandchildren Jennifer, T.J. and Allison. Daughters Susan and Elizabeth and son-in-law Tim went to get some more stuff for Susan’s house. They are finishing the second bathroom. Susan took Ryan along.

Abigail cried because she didn’t want her parents to leave, so they took her along, too. Ever since son-in-law Mose’s fatal accident, she gets scared when both her parents leave. She used to never mind staying here while they shop. Poor little children can’t understand everything, but then, even we adults don’t understand it all.

As I write this, my husband Joe is still waiting on his ride to work. He’s later than usual. Sons Benjamin and Joseph left already. Daughter Lovina is at sister Verena’s house, so she should be on her way to work.

Joe has the gardens tilled up and wants to get some garden planted once we are through this cold spell.

Rhubarb and asparagus are coming up nicely. My spring flowers also are out. I hope the cold doesn’t bother any of it.

On Saturday, daughters Verena and Lovina went with me to the book signing in Shipshewana, Ind., at the Plain and Simple Craft Fair. My good friend Ruth took us, which was very much appreciated. We met a lot of readers there.

Thanks to all who came. We received so much encouragement. May God bless you for your kindness.

“Plain and Simple” is an Amish craft and decor magazine, and they hosted the craft fair. There were more than 80 vendors there, so it was quite interesting.

As I pull the curtains back this morning, a beautiful scene greets me. Although it might not be perfect timing for us, it’s God’s creation. Every tree is white, and the grass is covered with snow. The sun is out, and the snow is already dripping from the house roof. I don’t think it will stay long, but we won’t care, as we were loving the spring weather and warm days. Another time we let God be in control.

This is now a little later, and I just talked on the phone with sister Verena. She called to let me know the sad news. Cousin Amos’s wife, Rosemarie, from Wisconsin had a heart attack and died this morning. Rosemarie was a sister to my sister-in-law Sarah Irene (brother Albert’s wife).

Rosemarie was 63 and also a mother-in-law to nephew Ben and niece Elizabeth (sister Leah’s children). A lot of grieving hearts within their family. Our heartfelt sympathy to all. May God be their guide as they face life without wife, mother, grandmother in the future.

How much we know of the heartache that lies ahead for them. God makes no mistakes!

This week I will share the rhubarb juice recipe, since quite a few readers requested it again. It is also in my cookbook “The Essential Amish Cookbook.” Thank you to all the readers who have bought that book and the newest book, “Amish Family Recipes.” It has helped us so much.

God bless!

Rhubarb Juice

8 pounds rhubarb, washed and diced

8 quarts water

2 (12-ounce) cans frozen orange juice

2 (46-ounce) cans pineapple juice

4 cups sugar

2 (3-ounce) packages strawberry gelatin

Combine rhubarb and water and cook 25 to 30 minutes or until rhubarb is soft. Strain liquid into a bowl, discarding rhubarb. Add the orange and pineapple juices, sugar, and gelatin. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Serve the juice as is, add club soda or ginger ale, or mix with additional pineapple juice.

The juice may be frozen or canned. To can the juice, heat to 190 degrees. Ladle into hot quart jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims with a dampened paper towel and adjust lids. Process in a boiling-water canner for 20 minutes. Makes 8 to 10 quarts.

Lovina Eicher is an Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight who lives in southeastern Michigan. Her cookbooks, “The Essential Amish Cookbook” and “Amish Family Recipes,” are available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (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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