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SPRING HAS SETTLED

FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK

Spring has settled in on the Coblentz farm.

On a May 10 visit to Elizabeths, I found her to be in good spirits, preparing for a plentiful garden this summer. Radishes, onions, peppers, and an endless array of other veggies have gone into the ground in a freshly tilled fertile plot of land behind Elizabeths house. Elizabeths garden - in the sometimes shadow of a tall, creaking windmill is the same one shes tilled for almost half a century. So spring is a busy, busy time for Elizabeth and her daughters as they sink their fingers into the fresh earth and life prepares for the coming spring-summer cycle.

Meanwhile, Elizabeths daughter-in-law, Nancy Jean, and husband Amos, should be having a new baby any day. This will be their ninth child. My girlfriend, Rachel, and I, stopped by Amoss where their oldest daughter was preparing for her 16th birthday celebration. At age 16, Amish teenagers can begin attending the "young folks gatherings." These gatherings occur on Sunday nights after church and usually consist of singing, yodeling, and maybe some outdoor games like softball. This is the first step in a slow transition to joining the church.

Earlier in the day, Rachel and I met two wonderful ladies for lunch at Elizabeths. As part of the 10 year anniversary of Elizabeth Coblentzs column, we wanted to have a "reader appreciation" lunch. The ladies were selected from a batch of book orders and essays submitted before Christmas.

I was hoping for a lunch spread of homemade soup, perhaps some sliced summer sausage, crusty oven-baked bread kneaded by hand, and maybe some cookies for dessert. But whenever I bring my cell phone with me on trips to Elizabeth, she inevitably want the rare treat of home pizza delivery. So I dutifully whip out my cell phone and instead order thick-crusted cheese pizzas for lunch. We also enjoy some of Elizabeths homemade potato soup.

The two ladies from Indiana were named Patricia and Vera Dyson, the latter being 90-years-old. She moved and talked like she was 30 years younger, which was an inspirational and enjoyable visit for Elizabeth.

In other items recently, I would like to welcome the Delphos Herald in Ohio as one of the newest papers to carry the weekly Amish Cook column, and bid farewell to our good readers in Yreka, California, where the Siskiyou Daily Times has dropped Elizabeths column. Dropping Elizabeths column is a rare occurrence, but it does sometimes happen. If anyone wants The Amish Cook in their local newspaper, contact your editor!

I am not sure how many people read these essays, but I am going to try to make them more frequent. In the meantime, check out these other new items this week:

Kevin Williams
Executive Editor
Oasis Newsfeatures

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