A Day in the Life of an Amish Woman

An interesting piece just out from Lovina Eicher, an Amish mother of eight who writes the Lovina’s Amish Kitchen column.

This week, Lovina shares an hour-by-hour account of a typical day:

3:00 a.m. Alarm rings—time to get up and pack husband Joe’s lunch, fill his water jug with ice and water, make a pot of coffee, etc.

3:45 a.m. Joe’s ride is here to go work in the factory. In January it was 13 years ago that he started working there. On March 20 it will be 14 years that we made the move to Michigan from Indiana.

4:00 a.m. Son Benjamin, 18, is up and getting ready for his job at the RV factory. He usually packs his own lunch. He does well to always hear his alarm.

4:30 a.m. Benjamin leaves for work; he only has a 15-minute drive to the factory where he works. A coworker picks him up and brings him home.

4:40 a.m. Nephew Henry leaves for work. He works for a local Amish family. They build trusses for lumber companies, if I understand correctly. I go back to bed for awhile and take advantage of getting some more sleep!

5:45 a.m. Son Joseph gets up to do our morning chores. I pack his lunch.

6:30 a.m. Joseph leaves to go help our nephew Noah on his construction crew. Son Kevin, 12, is getting ready for school.

6:45 a.m. The bus is here. Kevin leaves. I take a little nap on my recliner. I have a headache and think it might help.

8:00 a.m. I feel much better. The girls are up, and we are getting breakfast started. Daughters Elizabeth and Susan have plans to come for the day. It sure is hard to get used to the time change again! I really wish the time would stay one way or another all year long.

Three A.M. Ouch. Is that even earlier than Amish farmer hours?

The column continues with the next 13+ hours of Lovina’s day.

She discusses activities like making breakfast (including something called “coffee soup”), visiting, and chores.

Read the rest here.

Photo credit: Ed C.

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    1. Harriet

      Coffee soup

      Erik, I’m not sure if the coffee soup is the same thing that my Mennonite aunt calls coffee soup, but hers is cookies broken-up in a bowl topped with coffee with cream and sugar. It is pretty yummy, actually!!!

      1. Wow that sounds more like a dessert than soup…might be a bit sweet for me 🙂

    2. Rita

      Coffee soup

      I used to work with someone in Lancaster County who had his coffee soup every morning. For him, it was a large mug of coffee with raisin bread chunks soaking in it, eaten with a spoon.

      1. Rita, I’ll be in Lancaster County next week, I plan to ask about this version of coffee soup! Maybe even try it…

        1. Rita

          Bring your warm clothes and boots!

          Erik, even though the calendar says Spring, we are dealing with our first real snow. It’s been snowing since yesterday morning and the forecast says up to 10” more coming by evening. I understand next week is still going to be pretty chilly. Keep warm and welcome to PA!

    3. Debbie H

      4am wow that is early. The must go to bed at sunset. Coffee soup doesn’t sound good to me. I don’t like mushy things to eat. LOL

    4. Annette

      Coffee Soup

      One of my Mennonite (formerly Amish) friends in Holmes County enjoys coffee soup make with black coffee and Saltine crackers. No thanks. 😀 I’ll have some graham cracker pudding though. 🙂

      1. Annette we’ve gotten several versions of coffee soup so far, this one seems like it would be the toughest to get down 😉

    5. Al in Ky

      Lovina’s early morning schedule reminds me of conversations I’ve had with Amish of the Elkhart/Lagrange settlement who work in RV factories in that area. Several told me they like having to go to be at work by 4 a.m. because then they get off work in early afternoon, can go home, be with their families and work on their farmsteads the rest of the day.

      1. I’ve heard similar from those guys. Would take some getting used to…

    6. Terry Berger

      Coffee Soup

      I was raised in a Pennsylvania German/Brethren home. We had bread soup, sometimes during the week, often on a Sunday morning before church. My grandmother would make hers in an emptied jelly jar, break her toast up into the jar, add coffee and milk. She would swish it around to clean up the remaining jelly in the glass. (As she would say, that way she didn’t have to use sugar.)

    7. Brenda Hine

      Early rising

      Make the lunches the night before. Broken sleep leads to headaches. And yes the time change is awful.

      1. Ellie

        That's right ...

        … you tell an Amish woman how to organise her day – I mean, I am sure you have great experience in working that crazy amount of hours a day.

    8. Irena

      Similar soup from.. Poland!

      I am fascinated by the amish culture, so thanks so much for sharing this.
      I was born in Poland and I remember when my mom used to give me a dried and hard bread rolls /buns, that werent the freshest any longer and crack them into my bowl.. She would add a hot milk on this and that would be a bread and milk soup.. Sounds utterly disgusting but actually its very good in taste..