By LOVINA EICHER
3:10 a.m. The alarm goes off to start another day here in the Eicher household. It has taken some getting used to, having a scheduled time to get up this week now that everyone is back to school and work. I packed husband Joe’s lunch, which was leftover macaroni and cheese from last night’s supper, an orange, cookies, applesauce, and homemade party mix. Joe waits to eat something until breakfast break time so I make sure I send plenty along to eat. I also fill his jug with ice cubes and water.
3:45 a.m. Joe leaves for work. They are leaving earlier since the winter weather has started. I set my alarm for 4:50 a.m. and go back to bed.
4:50 a.m. I get up again. Daughter Elizabeth is awake already packing her lunch and fixing herself a little breakfast. Elizabeth always tells me that I can stay in bed but I enjoy this time together with her. We always get to have some alone time to visit with one another while we wait for her ride to work.
5:15 a.m. Elizabeth leaves for work. I relax and read in my recliner until 6 a.m., sometimes dozing off to sleep.
6 a.m. I wake up the seven other children. Kevin seems to be having the most difficult time getting used to the early wake up calls again after the Christmas and New Year’s break from school.
7 a.m. The six youngest children leave for school with the bus.
8:20 a.m. Susan goes out to do the morning chores but comes in soon after as her ride is here for her babysitting job. Susan misunderstood the time so she hurries up to get ready to leave. Susan leaves and I need to do the outside chores that Susan didn’t get finished. Before I get that far I receive the shocking news that there was a van accident and two of my cousins were killed. There were some anxious moments as I knew this was the same carpenter crew that my brother Amos worked with. I found out Amos was taken to a nearby hospital.
10:15 a.m. Sisters Susan, Verena, Emma, and I went to the hospital to be with Amos. His family had an over two hour drive to come to the hospital because they were en route to a job site far from his home (but close to mine). Once Amos’s test results came back they thought he should stay overnight since both his lungs were bruised. Amos, however, didn’t want to stay since he was anxious to get back home to his family. I offered that he could come to our house until his family arrived.
1 p.m. We are back home. Brother Albert and wife Sarah Irene, sister Emma, her daughter Elizabeth and son Steven, sisters Verena and Susan all gathered at our house to keep Amos company. I made lunch for everyone with the help of the others. Amos was really sore and stiff from the cuts and bruises. He also had a badly bruised hip, but X-rays showed no broken bones. He remained strong through it all. Our thoughts go to the families of the deceased. Cousin Chris was 50 and leaves to mourn his wife, children, and grandchildren. Cousin Danny also leaves to mourn his wife, children, and grandchildren. I imagine Amos will have some hard times yet. He was pinned in the van on top of Chris and heard Chris take his last breaths. They were all helpless to get out after being pinned in the van. The jaws of life were called to cut the van and a 23-year-old boy was life-flighted to the hospital. Our thoughts are with him and his family as he is now paralyzed from the waist down. How soon a life can change. It will take a lot of acceptance and may God help him.
2:30 p.m. Amos’s wife Nancy and daughters Susan and husband Joe and son Steven, Elizabeth and husband Paul, Mary Jane and husband Amos and baby Mary Jane and their son Ben and his special friend, Lovina came to pick up Amos. What a blessing to be able to take him home with them. The other families were not so fortunate.
5:30 p.m. Everyone has left for home and we are having grilled cheese and eggs for an evening supper. The day went quite different than what was planned. A warning to all that we never know when we will hear God’s call. Let us be prepared so we can meet in that Heavenly home above. The funeral for Chris is Saturday and Danny is on Sunday. We plan to head for Berne, Indiana early Saturday and stay until Sunday sometime.
Meanwhile, try this easy "all in one" recipe!
ONE SKILLET SPAGHETTI
1 pound hamburger
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cups broken spaghetti
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 cup chopped green peppers
1/2 cup water
1 8-ounce can sliced and drained mushrooms
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
In large skillet brown hamburger, onions, and drain. Stir in all other ingredients except for the cheese and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until spaghetti is tender. Sprinkle with cheese, cover and heat until melted.