Friday, Jan. 31, is a day that brings sad memories to our family. Two years ago, sister Susan died at age 44; five years ago, brother Amos died at age 56. Both were still so young and are still greatly missed.
Joe and I, daughter Verena, daughter Loretta, Dustin, and baby Denzel started out with Heather as our driver on Friday morning. We headed towards Ohio and arrived at the viewing of Aunt Nancy around 2:30 p.m. Denzel was very good at traveling the five-hour trip. Hearing his chatter in the seat behind me made me want to hug him. He doesn’t seem to mind his car seat.
We all stayed the night in the motel nearby. With so many relatives traveling from farther away, the motel rooms filled up fast. We had to try the third motel before finding vacant rooms.
The funeral on Saturday was well attended by church members, her siblings, and many nieces and nephews.
Nancy’s mother (Joe’s grandmother) passed away at 36, leaving behind her husband and 14 children. The oldest was 18, and the youngest was 11 months. He remarried three and a half years later to a single girl in Ohio and had two children with her. He moved his family to Ohio. Nancy was three when her mother died. There are four sisters and five brothers left to mourn.
After the funeral, we headed back home and arrived safe and sound between 5:30 and 6 p.m. Daughter Verena spent the night here. How thankful we were to arrive back home safely. We heard of many accidents with the road conditions. Our hearts ache for the loved ones left to mourn the 22-year-old husband, his one-year-old son, and two young nieces. We do not know them, but we still have them in our thoughts and prayers.
On Sunday, we were just at home resting from our trip. Sunday evening, Ervin and Susan and Dustin and Loretta came for supper. I made a pot of chili and heated some chicken that was in the freezer from Ervin and Susan’s wedding. We also made homemade ice cream. The children liked helping, but the men did most of the cranking on the ice cream freezer.
Verena went home with Ervin and Susan and spent the night at their house so she could stay with their children while they ran some errands on Monday. Kaitlyn, six, and Jennifer, five, were so excited that Aunt Verena was going to sleep with them.
Daughter Loretta spent a night in the ER. She has a blood clot on her right leg. They gave her a different blood thinner. She has to have a shot every day. Dustin is staying home from work to help her. She is still having pain. She has an appointment in a few days. I really hope she will be on the road to recovery soon. The blood clot is in the opposite leg than last time.
I did laundry today and was getting caught up on a lot of little jobs. I wanted to go over to see Loretta but never managed to get that far. Our driveway and sidewalks are still icy, so it’s tedious walking out there.
Tomorrow is Customer Appreciation Day at the metal shop where Joe works. He will have to help grill hamburgers for their free lunch for everyone stopping by. Daughters Verena and Lovina and I plan to attend. I want to ask sister Verena if she wants to go with us.
I have had a lot of requests for the breakfast casserole I made for our family Christmas brunch. I don’t really have a recipe, but I’ll try to put one together.
1 pound bacon, fried and cut into small pieces
1 pound of smokies or precooked smoked sausage, cut into small pieces
6–8 potatoes, peeled, cooked, and shredded, or 2-pound bag frozen shredded potatoes
2 (16-ounce) containers sour cream
1 pound Velveeta, diced into small pieces
Mix all ingredients and put in a greased casserole dish or roaster. Green peppers, onions, mushrooms, and olives can also be added if desired. Top with 3 quarts of sausage gravy.
Optional: When almost done, put 6–8 biscuits (crumbled) on top and bake for a few more minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees until thoroughly heated. Baking can take up to an hour, depending on the temperature of the ingredients before placing them in the oven.
Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at Lovina’s Amish Kitchen, PO 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.
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