Where should I begin? This week is going much too fast for me.

Friday and Saturday were spent helping at daughter Elizabeth’s and Tim’s house. The tent was set up with benches underneath it. Friday was Elizabeth’s birthday, although she didn’t take much time to think about it.

Sunday morning brought many visitors from other church districts and communities. The tent was filled to capacity. After the services, the benches were used to make five tables to serve the meal. The tablecloths were rolled out on the tables; glasses, coffee cups and silverware were placed at each setting.

On the menu for lunch were homemade white and wheat bread, cheese spread, peanut butter spread, ham, pickles, pickled red beets, hot peppers, fresh garden lettuce, strawberry jam, butter cookies and coffee and iced tea (also made fresh with tea leaves from sister Emma’s garden). Popcorn was served as visiting was done, and the dishes were washed and packed up to put back in the bench wagon for the next service.

On Sunday evening, we received the sad news my husband, Joe’s, Uncle Phillip, of Dundee, Ohio, passed away. Phillip’s death was a shock to all of us. He was never married but left to mourn many siblings and nieces and nephews. Phillip was a brother to Joe’s dad. They were 17 siblings, with Phillip being the sixth one laid to rest. Phillip, 67, enjoyed spending time with family and friends and fishing trips to Canada. Rest in peace, Uncle Phillip. You will be missed greatly.

We spent several days in the Sugarcreek, Ohio, area and attended the viewing/visitation Tuesday and the funeral Wednesday. Joe’s sister Esther and brother Benjamin both live in that area, so we got to visit with them and his sister, Carol, of Tennessee, and his sister, Loretta, of Michigan and their families. Many uncles, aunts and cousins of Joe’s were there. I met some more of my readers and appreciate the encouragement.

This morning seems hard to get started after all the traveling, but I need to make a salad to take to the visitation/viewing of a man from our community. Daughters Elizabeth and Susan are taking a dessert. I will drop the food off on my way to town for son Kevin’s therapy appointment. I won’t be able to stay and help, as we already have plans to help package gifts for the Christmas Behind Bars program.

We will travel to Shipshewana, Ind., for this with other members from the community that also are volunteering. Joe and I, sons Benjamin, 19, and Joseph, 16; and daughter Lovina, 15, will go along to help.

The girls will have granddaughter Abigail here today, which they will enjoy. Daughter Elizabeth is going to a workday at Tim’s sister’s house. Not having to keep an eye on Abigail, 2, will let her get more work done. Abigail is at the age when she can be in one place one minute and in another so fast.

It is another rainy day here in Michigan. We have had so much rain. We saw a lot of flooding while traveling. It makes us appreciate the sunny days so much more. I need to get busy. There’s much to do, and time does not stand still.

I want to wish all of you God’s richest blessings as we travel into the unknown future. As the minister at Uncle Phillip’s funeral reminded us, death is final, and there isn’t any limit to how young our age is when our time here on earth is done. Let us pray for one another and for peace in the world. Take care.

Try this version of rhubarb jam. It has pineapple added to it. Enjoy.

Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife and mother of eight. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please 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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