BY LOVINA EICHER
3:15 a.m. Time to get up. I prepare my husband Joe’s lunch which is homemade chicken noodle soup, crackers, ranger cookies – which daughter Susan baked yesterday – and some frozen peaches. Joe like soups better than sandwiches for lunch. But he always tells me not too put too much food in his lunch because he can eat better after he is done working, so he likes a light lunch. His job is to set the cabinets in RV trailers. He has been working for this company for over 7 years. In March it will be 8 years that we made the move from Indiana to Michigan.
3:45 a.m. Joe leaves for work. They start working at 5 a.m. every day but the drive takes 40 to 45 minutes. With all the slippery roads and blowing snow I hope they have a safe ride there. I go back to bed until it is time to wake the school children up.
6 a.m. I go to check the messages on our phone in the shed. Since the roads are slippery and snow is blowing I decide to check if there is a school delay. Someone from the school usually calls the Amish and leaves a message if there is a school delay or cancellation. Since we don’t have radios or TVs they do this to let us know. We appreciate this very much. If it is foggy or the roads are bad I always check the voicemail on the phone before waking the children. This morning I find that there is one that says school is cancelled for the day. I decide to let the children sleep in a little longer. When I lived in Berne we didn’t have this option since we weren’t permitted phones there, so sometimes we’d have to wait for the bus for two hours before finding out school was cancelled.
8:30 a.m. Everyone is up and ready to eat breakfast. The girls made baked French toast and scrambled eggs for our breakfast.
9:30 a.m The boys are out shoveling snow. They said they are trying to pile the snow up so they can make a tunnel under the snow. The girls and I are doing laundry, the dishes, and the weekly cleaning. I also slice and fry the poor man’s steak that I mixed together yesterday. After it is fried I layer it in a roaster and top it with cream of mushroom soup. This will be part of our supper tonight.
1 p.m. Lunch is ready. We are having soup which is always good on a cold day.
2 p.m. Loretta and I leave to go to town. Loretta has an appointment and I need to get some groceries. The boys take breaks but keep on working to get our drive shoveled out. The girls finish with the cleaning while I am going.
4:30 p.m. Loretta and I are back home again. Joe is also home from work. He helps the boys finish the shoveling. It is snowing again so maybe they will have to shovel again tomorrow. The girls have scalloped potatoes ready for the oven.
6:30 p.m. The outside chores are done and they are ready to eat supper. Our menu consists of poor man’s steak, scalloped potatoes, pork and beans, cheese, and ranger cookies. Elizabeth’s friend Timothy comes and joins us for supper.
7:30 p.m. Dishes are washed. Some of the children are reading and some are playing games. The boys are writing and drawing in their writing tablets. Recently they have started keeping themselves entertained for a long time just writing and drawing. Kevin likes to use pencils to draw all kinds of different things. He likes to write so much that he will write any kind of paper or tablet lying around. He discovered this book that I write my columns in and decided to add his writing. Sometimes he ends up writing on the back of someone’s homework.
9:30 p.m. Everyone has gone to bed. The children enjoyed their day home from school even though it included helping with the work.
Good night to all and God bless. Try this poor man’s steak recipe!
POOR MAN”S STEAK
1 – 1 1 /2 pounds lean hamburger
1 can 10 3 /4 ounce cream of mushroom soup
1 teaspoon salt
1 /4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup bread crumbs, dry
1 small onion, chopped
Mix all of the ingredients except for the cream of mushroom soup and shape into a narrow loaf pan. Let set for at least 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Slice into pieces and grill or fry just enough to brown each side. Put slices in layers in a roaster pan and spread cream of mushroom soup over it (without adding water). Bake for one hour at 325. Published with permission from oasisnewsfeatures.
EDITOR’S DISCUSSION TOPICS: Lovina mentions the phone in her shed in this column. This is actually increasingly common among the Old Order Amish. Twenty years or so ago, it wasn’t. But a concession to modern communication is that the Amish often are permitted to have a phone in an outbuilding for emergencies or business. The issue isn’t that there is anything wrong with the phone itself, it’s that if the phone is in the house than the outside world can interrupt any time…so having a phone in an outbuilding provides a measure of control. Still, phones have not caught on everywhere. In many conservative Amish settlements, telephones are not permitted anywhere on the property. And, ugh, can you imagine getting up at 3 a.m. for work each day? I can’t, but I bet some of you can….what time do you get up to leave for work? – Kevin Williams, Editor