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Amish Traffic


My visit with Elizabeth on March 20 was a typical trip into Amish country. Cars gave way to horses-drawn buggies and paved roads turned to gravel. Power-poles disappeared into the rearview mirror and a sense of solitude embraces the land. I dont think I ever tire of visiting Elizabeth. I get tired of the two hour trek to get there, but I always leave feeling refreshed and with a slightly different perspective on the world.

Elizabeth was home with her daughters Verena and Susan when my girlfriend and I arrived about noon. We know how much of a treat pizzeria pizza is for the Coblentzes, so we stopped and picked up a mushroom-cheese-onion deep dish pie for us to all share for the noon meal.

After a heavy pizza lunch, I was sleepy, so Rachel and I sprawled out on a couch and took a quick nap. It was just a typical visit. After the nap, not far from the warmth of her coal stove, Elizabeth and I sat down and answered many of the questions readers have emailed into this site over the past month. For your questions and Elizabeths answers, click HERE.

To see a few photos from my March 19th visit to Elizabeths, click HERE.

Otherwise, all is quiet with the Coblentzes, which is just the way most Amish prefer it.

On the drive to Elizabeths, I am always struck by the names on the mailboxes, the same ones over and over and over. Common Amish surnames include Yoder, Bontrager, Miller, Zook, Mast, and Lapp. Coblentz is common, but not like the names I just mentioned. Many Amish men have the same first name, also, so you might see three Christian Yoders within a few miles of each other.

Almost a third of the population in nearby La Grange County is Old Order Amish. This can present a problem for the poor postal workers left to sort the mail. A postmaster once described their situation to me:

"Most post offices sort mail to the last name. We have so many people that have the same last name that we have to sort to the first name, and so many have the same first name that the carriers have to know their middle initial, the middle initial becomes very important," says Shipshewana postmaster Tom Seaton.

Everything is now definitely on schedule for Elizabeths first nationally-released cookbook due out this fall. Ill be spending the next few weeks proofing the edited version of the final manuscript. Stayed tuned for further details.

Kevin Williams
Executive Editor
Oasis Newsfeatures

CLICK HERE FOR NEW PHOTOS IN THE SCRAPBOOK

CLICK HERE FOR THE READER'S Q&A SECTION, ASK ELIZABETH

CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE OF THE WEEK