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I havent written many Editors Desk essays lately. Thats because the activity of life fallsinto a slow winter rhythm on the Coblentz farmstead. There is no garden to tend, weeds to pull, or beautiful-day buggyrides to enjoy. Life becomes centeredaround the warm aura of the wood-stove. The Coblentzes are likely to settle in around the fire with a bowl of fresh popcorn and a good book in the evening. Yodeling, beautiful Swiss-sounding singing, is a favorite family pastime, filling their house with the almost-haunting sound of a music that hasits roots in 17th-century Europe. Its these cold, crisp dark nights of winter that make the warm sunshine of spring sweeter when it finally arrives.

I enjoyed the company of the Coblentzes on a cold March night recently as winter slowly yawned to a close. After picking up Elizabeth at her house, we went over to Lovinas for the evening. Lovinas house is a hive of activity with five children under the age of six. Lovinas oldest daughter carries the family name, Elizabeth. She is enjoying her first year of school and was excitedly talking about how she was learning swimming in school. Meanwhile, the rest of Lovina and Joes kids scampered around the living room while a delicious meal was being prepared in the kitchen.

My girlfriend, Rachel, quickly assumed the role of visiting friend for Lovinas children. She listened patiently as one of Lovinas daughters read to her from a book and gamely played six-year-old Elizabeth at "Connect Four." "Connect Four" is a popular game in the Coblentz household. Elizabeth Coblentzs youngest daughter, Susan, age 24, is especially skilled at the game.She sprang strategic traps on anyone that played her, her moves honed from longwinter nights of practice. Rachel managed to beat her twice, with Susan winning six times. I got clobbered in each of my games with Susan. This is another reason to welcome the coming of spring, we can play outdoor games and put away the "Connect Four" for another year.

For photos of our evening at Lovinas, click to the SCRAPBOOK.

Kevin Williams
Executive Editor
Oasis Newsfeatures