Lovina Shares Stories of Phone Call Adventures


It’s Monday evening, and I wanted to get this column written tonight so I can get an earlier start with my work in the morning. 

It was a windy day with the temperature reaching sixty-six degrees. I hung all the laundry outside, and everything is dried, folded, and put away. Oh, how wonderful!

Sister Verena came here yesterday and spent the night. Tonight, her neighbor Mary came to take her home with her Gator. It was warm enough for that. Mary sure has been good with Verena. Good neighbors are precious! Times change and people are less dependent on each other and less neighborly. We are fortunate to have some good neighbors. Growing up, we knew all our neighbors. We would go there to use their phone if we needed to call someone. Now we have our own phone in an outbuilding. I still remember the first phone call I made. I don’t remember exactly how old I was, but I had to have been 13 or 14 when my mother thought it was safe for me to walk the half mile to our neighbors. I would walk past my aunt Salome and Uncle Elmer’s place, then past Grandpa and Grandma’s and Uncle Henry and Aunt Barbara’s places, a trip I made often for years after that. I remember my mother writing on a paper what I had to say. I was so nervous. The neighbor lady dialed the number for me on their rotary phone. I remember reading what it said on the paper so fast that I often wonder how it sounded to the friends I was leaving a message for from my parents. I imagine our neighbor lady also probably had to smile about it. If the first neighbor wasn’t home, we could walk a quarter mile farther to the next neighbor. We would put the coins by the phone for each call. Long distance calls were written on a tablet by the phone so we could be charged later when their bill came. I still remember having to wait on the phone, as the neighbors were all connected to the same line. I would pick up the phone and listen to see if it was quiet before dialing. Now on our home phones we have speed dialing and only need to push one or two buttons. All lines are separate as well. 

After we were married, we had neighbors across the road that would let us use their phone, but if they weren’t home, we had to walk over a half mile to the other neighbors. I remember well the time I had an appointment with the midwife and my driver didn’t show up. Plans were to drop my four children off at my parents’ house. After the driver didn’t show up, I put all four children in a little wagon and pulled it uphill to our neighbors a half mile from us. Our neighbor across the road wasn’t home at that time. I remember how tired I was by the time I was back home. I was almost full term with the next baby, so it felt harder to pull that wagon. We were grateful when the baby’s arrival time was closer and our neighbor put their cordless phone inside their grill outside their door, so if Joe had to call during the night hours he could without waking them up. 

On April 6, some of my family will come with me to the Plain and Simple Craft Show in Shipshewana from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. I hope to see some readers there. The address is 345 South Van Buren Street, Shipshewana, Indiana 46565.

I wish all you readers a blessed Easter! How thankful we can be that Jesus died on the cross so our sins can be forgiven. He is risen! God’s blessings!

Dinner Sausage

1 pound ground pork sausage

1 small onion, chopped

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup milk

1 cup diced cheddar cheese

1 (8-ounce) package of noodles

Brown sausage and onions in a skillet long enough to fry out fat but don’t cook until crisp. Drain off the fat. Cook noodles as directed on package and drain. Mix all ingredients together in a 10 by 10-inch greased casserole dish and bake at 325°F for 30 minutes. 


Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her two cookbooks, The Essential Amish Cookbook and Amish Family Recipes, are available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at Lovina’s Amish Kitchen, PO Box 234, Sturgis, MI 49091 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email [email protected] and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.


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