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Site Updates and The Tour

One of my New Years Resolution is to update this site more often.

I hope everyone out there had happy holidays and is weathering the winter.
The Amish Cook and her family began 2002 as they traditionally do, with a large, all-day family get-together. New Years Day provides a rare occasion when Elizabeth and all of her eight children, plus the over 30 grandkids, can be together in the same place. The day is filled with eating, singing, and carefree family fun.

The real reason I am writing this essay, though, is to thank those who showed up at our book-signings last month. Elizabeth had never made any large scale public appearances before, so we were all a little nervous before embarking on our journey. But I thought it would be good for Elizabeth to get out of the house for a few days and meet some readers. So Elizabeth and her daughters Verena and Susan and I hit the road for six days in December. Our book-signing tour took us to Kokomo, Indiana; Muncie, Indiana; and the following Ohio cities: Archbold, Tiffin, Kenton, Mansfield, Washington, C.H., London, Middletown, and Xenia. We ended the journey with a three city blitz to Danville, Illinois; Hammond, Indiana; and Celina, Ohio. Most days we stayed overnight at Elizabeths house. Once we stayed with some friends of mine in Columbus, and another time at my parents house in Middletown, Ohio. My girlfriend Rachel joined us on one of the days.

I was worried how Elizabeth would hold up on this rather strenuous trip. Turns out, she did fine: Verena, Susan, and I each took turns feeling sick, while Elizabeth held up like a hardy redwood.

The trip ended with many memories which we will laugh about and remember for a long time. Among them:

1) Coming out of the newspaper office in Archbold, we discovered a parking ticket pasted to my window. I had parked the wrong way on a one-way street. There was also a note from the cop scrawled on the ticket that said check your trunk. In my morning haste to pack and hit the road, my necktie got caught and was hanging out of the trunk for 200 miles. Elizabeths girls said I was lucky not to be pulled over, it could have looked like I had a body stuffed in my trunk!

2) Many of the newspapers along the way were very gracious hosts, often placing a plate of cookies and bowl of punch for us and the readers to eat. In London, Ohio, a woman commented to me as I picked up a chocolate chip cookie to munch: Go ahead and eat the cookie, young man, you are plump enough, no one will notice. Sheesh, a nice warm welcome in London. In Xenia, a woman stuck an entire Russian tea cake in her mouth, showering all of us with powdered sugar as she talked. Then she grabbed a big chocolate chip cookie as she left.

3) Elizabeth was asked to sign names of every conceivable spelling. She learned that Kathy can be spelled Kathie, Cathy, Kathee, Cathee, Cathey and Kathey. We are still trying to figure out why one woman in Middletown wanted her book signed to Baby Grandma. In all, Elizabeth signed her name almost 2000 times on the trip.

It was a bit of a different environment for Elizabeth, especially the Barnes & Noble in Merrillville, Indiana, which is surrounded by strip malls and heavy Chicago traffic. But everyone made her and her daughters feel extremely welcome. Thank you! And I will update this site more often in 2002.

Kevin Williams
Executive Editor
Oasis Newsfeatures

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