By Kevin Williams

Sometimes we all need a fresh start, a chance to wipe the board clean and begin again.  Perhaps it's after the end of a failed romance, or simply getting a new car after driving the same clunker for the past dozen years.     Every Dec. 31 st , I'm filled with the excitement of a new beginning if only symbolically by the calendar.    When the first whiffs of warm air signal the start of spring, I think of the arriving baseball season, each team with dreams of playing in crisp October air for a championship ring.   And spring is a season of renewal all around us as flowers blossom, tree leaves unfurl, and birds build nests anew.

There's a foggy field separating running away from one's problems and simply beginning again.    When one runs away from problems, they think a change of scenery will change their lives, when in reality it's their own behavior causing the problems.   No change of scenery will change a person unwilling to first change themselves.

Regular readers of “The Amish Cook” column found out this week that Lovina and her family will be moving to Michigan. The move is expected to take place in April.   Lovina's single sisters – Verena and Susan – will be joining them in their move to Michigan.    Sister Emma and husband Jacob are expected to follow.

Lovina's husband's family resides in a small Amish community in Michigan.   Other than a deep desire to be closer to his family, and the excitement of a new change, there's no real reason for the move.   Elizabeth Coblentz – Lovina's Mom and the original Amish Cook – was such a strong presence in all of our lives that I think passing the old homestead and all the old memories each day became too much.   I've told Lovina that I admire her pioneer spirit, her willingness to take a chance by moving to a new area and beginning again. It takes a lot of courage to start from scratch, but sometimes the rewards can be so great.

So in April, The Amish Cook column begins a new chapter – in the state of Michigan.   Lovina will continue to pen the column and share her thoughts with us from her unique Amish perspective.   They'll have to adjust to some changes.   Each Amish community has it's own individual rules and wrinkles.   In this new Amish community, for example, they'll be able to drive horse-drawn buggies with a roof.   In the Indiana Amish community all buggies had to be “open.”   This meant that even on the coldest January days, there was no shelter from the cold beyond an umbrella.    The Amish community is smaller and less inviting to the tourism trade that can sometimes make Amish feel as if they are on exhibit.

On a personal level, this will be a huge and hard adjustment for me.  I could always visit Elizabeth, and then Lovina, with a relatively easy 1 hour and 45 minute drive.   Sometimes I would visit several times a week, other times I would go months between visits, but I always knew that I could, if I had the urge or need for something, be there in under 2 hours. Lovina, Verena, Susan, and Emma and I, though, will remain close. Our years of experiences together have forged an almost sibling-like bond. An extra few hours of driving will do little to put distance between us.

Kevin Williams

Oasis Newsfeatures Editor

Email me your thoughts on Lovina's move at [email protected]