The Herald Bulletin

December 12, 2012

Amish Cook: Daughter Verena's been through a lot in her 15 years


— Another week has already passed and it is time to write the column again. We have also entered the last month of 2012. Where does time go so fast? I keep thinking next week will be less busy, and before I know it, the week has passed.

Daughter Verena had her 15th birthday on Dec. 10. How can she be that old already? It only seems short years ago that she was a baby. I’ll never forget the day Verena was born. I woke up at 2:30 a.m. and woke up my husband, Joe. I told him that I thought he would have to go wake the neighbors and ask to use their phone.

The midwife, Sylvia, which was Joe’s aunt, didn’t have a phone, so a driver would have to be called to go pick her up. Joe wasn’t in too much of a hurry, as our first two children didn’t come very fast. He said he would just wait until he saw lights on at our English (non-Amish) neighbors, which was usually around 4;30 a.m. He then went over and called a driver to go get Sylvia, and by the time she came it was after 5. Joe took the same driver to take our daughters Elizabeth and Susan over to my parents and bring my mother back with him. Mother was always a comfort to have during these times. Mother came prepared to stay all day. By the time Joe was back with my mother, it was almost 6 a.m.

Mother decided to make breakfast for everyone. Meanwhile, Joe wanted to go out and milk our cows and do the chores, since he still thought we had plenty of time before the baby’s arrival. But before anyone could get started on anything, Verena was ready to be born. She arrived at 6:32 a.m. and we were blessed with another precious, healthy daughter.

We were all surprised that things went so fast. Sylvia was not quite finished at our house when the driver came for her, as she was needed by one of Joe’s cousins. If I remember right, Joe’s cousin had her baby an hour after Verena. Verena was always full of energy and getting into everything at 6 months old. She would crawl from one end of the room to the other before I knew it. She has been through a lot in her 15 years. At times she still does get post-concussion episodes but it usually only affects her memory. Whatever happens during a post-concussion spell she will not remember. She has learned to cope with it, and over time it seems to be getting better. We pray that someday they will leave completely, and we are thankful how she has healed so far. She also seems to be doing well after her surgery to lengthen her heel cords on her right foot, a symptom of her muscular dystrophy.  She is doing well and is an eighth-grader at school.

Yesterday we did the laundry and hung it on the lines in the basement. It seems during the winter months that we always have laundry hanging in the basement. We usually do laundry on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I am glad we have a place to hang it inside and don’t have cold hands hanging it outside. We used to hang our clothes outside all winter to let our clothing freeze dry. It was a cold job putting it out and getting it in.

Our church won’t have the Christmas potluck until Dec. 30 this year, so that makes it a little less hectic before Christmas.