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Looking back on a special hot June day

June 14 was the 28th birthday of our first-born daughter, Elizabeth. I wish her many more happy and healthy years. She has been married almost seven years to a nice, loving husband, Tim, and they have been blessed with four precious children Abigail, 5; Timothy (T.J.), 3; Allison, 2; and Andrea, four months.

This year was hot on June 14, just like in 1994. That was a very hot night when Elizabeth was born at 9:58 p.m. We were living with my parents, and Joe’s aunt was my midwife. Dr. Osborne was also there just in case there were complications.

Dr. Osborne had delivered me in that same house 23 years earlier. He delivered all eight of us siblings.

I had a long labor, and I remember how warm it was. It was warmer than when all my three July babies were born. We didn’t have fans like we do now, except my dad would use a little square fan that ran with batteries when it was that hot. He had asthma and hay fever, and that little fan would help him breathe.

I still remember when Dad saw me having all the hard pain; he handed that fan to me and told me to use it for myself.

I was often thankful to have my mother there those next weeks when I tried to take care of our first baby. I had problems getting her to breastfeed, and Mom spent lots of nighttime hours helping me.

I have many precious memories of my parents.

On Monday evening, daughters Verena and Susan and grandchildren Jennifer and Ryan spent the night here. It was supposed to storm, and they felt better to be here. We had a lot of wind. Some places had trees down, etc. We were very fortunate that everything here was OK.

We have a sitting area in our basement, and with the heat and the storm coming, it was nicer to just sit down there after supper. Our basement is often a nice place to sit in with these days of excessive heat.

As we sat there visiting, it was funny when Jennifer said, “Kevin, you can smile. It will be OK.” Since he wasn’t smiling, she thought he was worried about the storm. Ryan wasn’t too worried. He found the toys down there and was playing and, of course, he brought his black hat (his late daddy Mose’s hat) and was wearing it again.

This week daughter Loretta and I made strawberry freezer jam from the 16 quarts of strawberries that neighbor Susan and Joas brought over.

We also canned 66 quarts of rhubarb juice from my rhubarb. Now Loretta has jam and rhubarb juice in stock. We also did laundry yesterday, so it was a full day’s work.

It was so warm yesterday that we just had frozen pizzas to heat up for our supper. We ate over at Dustin and Loretta’s house after the last of the rhubarb juice was canned. I am so glad that is done.

Thursday evening through Sunday, our family has plans to go camping. We are renting three cabins and an RV by the lake. We plan to do some fishing, swimming and just make more memories together. The grandchildren will have a lot of fun. It is also Father’s Day on Sunday. Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there.

June 15 is sister Emma and Jacob’s 27th anniversary. It’s her first anniversary without her dear husband. I’m sure today will be a hard day without him. My thoughts and prayers go to all those who have lost loved ones. May they rest in peace.

God’s blessings to all.

Cheese Broccoli Soup

1 tablespoon salad oil

3/8 cup chopped onion

3 cups water

3 chicken bouillon cubes

2 cups (4 ounces) of fine noodles

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 package (10 ounces) frozen broccoli (may use fresh)

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

3 cups milk

1/2 pound of American cheese

pepper to taste

Saute onion in oil, add water and bouillon cubes, and heat to boiling until cubes are dissolved. Gradually add noodles and salt and continue boiling uncovered for 3 minutes.

Stir in broccoli and garlic salt and cook for 4 more minutes. Add milk, cheese, and pepper and continue cooking until cheese melts, stirring constantly.

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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