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Finished and Other Family Notes!

JULY 23 - Rachel and I ventured up to Elizabeth's for a warm July visit, a belated celebration of her recently passed 66th birthday. Indiana has been strangled under the unrelenting grip of a summer heat wave this year. Farm fields have been baked brown and gardens are withering. Life slows to a crawl this time of year in Amish country, with homes not being air-conditioned. With this in mind, I decided to give Elizabeth a break from the merciless heat and take her out for a birthday dinner at a nice cool restaurant in town. She eagerly accepted our invitation. Joined by Elizabeth's daughters Verena and Susan, we enjoyed a hearty meal and air-conditioning. This gave Elizabeth a chance to unwind and relax before a happy but busy period ahead:

After dinner, we took Elizabeth back to her daughter Lovina's where a vigil was beginning. Lovina, who was still scurrying actively around her house doing cleaning and caring for her 5 children, was expecting a newborn arrival. Elizabeth, Susan, Verena, and Emma (and even Lovina) pitched in to get the bedroom prepared for the blessed arrival. An Amish midwife, armed with years of experience and herbal remedies, will be summoned to the house when the labor begins. As dusk fell, Rachel and I headed for home, but I'll keep readers posted about the new arrival, which will be Elizabeth's 37th grandchild.

I also got to visit with Emma's husband, Jacob, who was recovering from an emergency appendectomy last week. He seemed in good spirits and was quite mobile, with just a bit of pain evidenced.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth and I went through one final read of her new cookbook slated for release this fall. The book, published by Ten Speed Press, is Elizabeth's first nationally published cookbook. The Ten Speed Press book, entitled The Amish Cook: Recipes and Recollections From An Old Order Amish Family, was a major undertaking. Elizabeth wrote the book entirely by hand over a 2 1/2 year period. My visit last week marked our last work on the project, doing a final review of the photographs taken for the book. Ten Speed Press was incredibly respectful of Amish culture and customs: people photographs are no where to be found in the book. Instead, the photos are a wonderfully artistic, warm rendering of Elizabeth's world. Here are a couple of images from the upcoming book. Stayed tuned for more information about the release date of the cookbook.

Kevin Williams
Executive Editor
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