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Lovina the Cook

When I first met Elizabeth Coblentz 11 years ago, two of her daughters, Susan and Lovina, were standing outside in the driveway with her. (To read about how the column began, click here.)

Lovina (pronounced Luh-Vine-Uh) was the natural choice to take the reins of The Amish Cook column from Elizabeth after her tragic passing. Out of all the Coblentz daughters, Lovina resembles her Mom the most in looks and personality. While most moms would go out of their mind at home all day with six children under the age of eight, Lovina thrives on it. Like her Mom, faith and family are the foundation of Lovinas life. It was very difficult for Lovina to step in and take over the column while she was still grieving. But a promise was made to Elizabeth to keep her work alive. The Amish Cook column is an oasis of simplicity and serenity in our crazy world, I promised Elizabeth her work would not die with her. So Lovina, despite her own grief, stepped in to continue her mothers legacy.

Elizabeth would be very proud of Lovina. Lovina is doing an outstanding job with the column. You can hear her Moms voice in it, shes definitely her mothers daughter. But Lovina has also added her own touches to the column. As an editor put it in a recent note to her, she has taken the column and made it her own. Out of the 100-plus newspapers that subscribe to The Amish Cook, only two Manitowoc, Wisconsin and Indianapolis, Indiana dropped the column after Elizabeths death.

I marvel at how Lovina can find the time to write a weekly column with such a large and lively family. But she does. Shell write in the early morning before her children are asleep, or at night as rocks her four month old baby Joseph.

My goal for Lovina is the same as it was for her mother. I hope she can spread the same joy, but maintain her privacy and way of life. On recent visits to her house, I am convinced shell stay true to her beliefs, just like Elizabeth. These cold winter evenings are spent snug in their home. As the snow swirls outside, Lovina and her eight-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, pop popcorn while the whole family plays board games around a warm stove. Its a heart-warming and charming scene, a reminder that there was once an America where family and faith were first.

Stay tuned for further essays from me about my visits to Lovinas house.

Kevin Williams
Executive Editor
Oasis Newsfeatures