Life

The Amish Cook's refreshing summer punch

We were all ready to go at seven o’clock, Friday morning when the taxi driver pulled in the driveway. At last, all the clothes were sewn and pressed, the shoes were cleaned and polished, even the diaper bag was packed, and all five car seats were outside, ready to be buckled in for the short drive to where my sister Mary Grace was planning to get married. If you’re a mother, you know the efforts and satisfaction of getting everyone ready for an event as such. This time my parents rented a gym and auditorium where the event was to be held.

Twenty minutes later we were getting everyone unbuckled, I quickly slid on Rayni’s white Sunday cap and combed Jesse’s hair one last time. Again I reminded myself that if we don’t have everything just right; we’re actually showing a more realistic picture of who we are if not everything is to the ‘t’ of perfection.

Soon we were joining the rest of my family.

Both the bride and groom’s sisters, as well as the nieces, wore raspberry dresses. Austin was pleased to match in gray with the cousin boys. Jesse and Elijah’s new shirts matched the girls’ and my new dress. Now I know I’m a biased mama, but in my opinion, they were just the cutest set of one-year-olds with their matching raspberry shirts and brown corduroy pants. I was a bit nervous about how they’ll do during the church service, especially with us sitting all the way to the front. I can hear saying, Oh, don’t worry, let children be children!”

Ya, you’re correct, I think I am learning not to worry as much, I feel like I’ve been a slow learner in this aspect. Anyway, before long, we were all seated on long rows of chairs and benches. The room swiftly filled up with the 460 guests. Julia and her cousin Jeanette stood just outside the door handing out pens with Jason and Mary Grace’s names and wedding date while two of Jason’s nieces handed out program booklets.

Soon we had settled down with our little ones, and the congregation was singing songs that Jason and Mary Grace had chosen for their special day. Next, my dad had a short welcome speech and made several announcements. Jason’s father then had a devotional and prayer, followed by Dad sharing the main message. Every now and then, Julia and Austin would whisper, “How soon will they get married?” As the time got closer for them to step upfront to be joined as husband and wife, I felt my pulse quickening. Leaning over a bit, I whispered to Daniel, “It just makes a difference when it’s your sister getting married, I can just feel the excitement I felt nine years ago when it was me waiting for the moment to get married!”

Soon the young couple stood to the front, facing Dad. He asked them if they are ready to take this step and stand faithful to each other until parted by death. I felt tears coming to my eyes as they were joined, husband and wife. What is more beautiful than a young couple stepping into Holy matrimony after a pure courtship and months of waiting?

Soon we were ushered into the reception where we took seats at round tables that had been set for the family. The children were tickled to find seats where name tags showed them, which was their spot. Soon they were snacking on trail mix that had been set across the tables as appetizers. It didn’t take Rayni long until she had picked out all her M&Ms. As we waited until everyone was seated the servers, all stood to the side and sang song after song, adding a special touch to the wedding atmosphere. In the meantime, the punch servers served the punch they had just finished preparing, interestingly enough, their punch was flown in from Ecuador where Jason served on a mission trip. He had sampled some punch there which he declared to be better than any punch in the states!

We had a delicious full course meal of mashed potatoes, gravy, grilled chicken, noodles, salad, mixed fruit, cake, ice cream, punch, and coffee. The children did pretty well, though we did have little ‘runaways’ to chase after time and again. Funny how fast they can slip off their chairs and dash off after other interests. After the meal, there was more singing, including my family. We stood to the side and sang a song in memory of my grandma who passed away a year ago; we sang what used to be her favorite song, “Beyond the Sunset.”

The remainder of the day passed oh so swiftly; we enjoyed catching up on the news with family and friends and meeting new people. I especially enjoyed meeting several other who have done foster care. Amazing how easy it is to connect with others with the same interests!

At 5:30, we had a simple supper of ham and cheese sandwiches, noodles, salad, coffee blizzards, and salty snacks. Clean-up went exceptionally well with many hands making work light, indeed. At weddings, it is not uncommon to serve punch at some point throughout the day. We do not expect you to fly to Ecuador to purchase their drink mix so I’m passing our old stand-bye on for you. As a young girl I chose this punch for the drink at my birthday supper. You will find this to be a refreshing treat where ever you serve it, especially during these toasty Summer months.

Refreshing Summer Punch

1 (12 ounce) frozen grape juice concentrate

1 (6 ounce) frozen orange juice concentrate

¼ cup real lemon juice

1½ cup water

1 cup sugar

1 (2 litter) bottle ginger ale

Mix together grape and orange juice concentrates. Add real lemon, water, and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add ginger ale. Next add enough water and ice to make a gallon.