The Tale of My Silky Green Robe

I have a quilted green robe. It feels like silk, but the fabric is probably rayon. It has hung on a bathroom hook for a long, long time.         It has a history My mother-in-law gave me this robe as a Christmas gift before our children were born. It came from the...

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Aunt Ruthie’s Diary and a London Family Video

Do you remember where you were when . . . President Kennedy was assassinated? The Challenger exploded? Planes hit the Twin Towers in New York City? You can probably easily call up your surroundings when these cataclysmic events happened. But you most likely don’t...

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Do Mennonites Laugh?

My Mennonite parents laughed very little, except when relatives and friends tickled their funny bones. They took the business of parenting very seriously. Other relatives lit up with a sense of humor: I carry an image of my Grandma Fannie and Aunt Ruthie once slapping...

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Thanksgiving Collection I

This post was first published for Thanksgiving 2013, the year I began blogging. I did not know many of you as friends then, so I'm posting this again for our season of gratitude in 2018, keeping in mind those victims of California wildfires and senseless shootings....

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Fear, Faith, and My Kitchen Backsplash

Spiders, snakes, heights, tiny space . . . what feels scary to you? Other things that scare us: mud-slinging politicians, school shootings, low cash flow, a health blow Studies show that 95% of what we fear is baseless, and the rest are things we must learn to live...

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The Velveteen Daughter and My Memoir Title Reveal

A Real Book “What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?” “Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?” It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It...

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51 Years of Eat, Pray, Love

“Another anniversary. After the 50th, what’s so special about that?” Quite a lot, it turns out. Cliff and I observed another anniversary on August 5. We had just returned from a trip to Asheville this summer (where we spent our honeymoon 51 years earlier), but I...

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Who Put the Butter in Butterfly?

Inquiring Minds want to Know . . . Who Put the Butter in Butterfly? a book that survived my Great Book Purge of 2016, was a birthday gift from the Dean of Liberal Arts at my college in 1993. It is billed as“compulsive reading for anyone incurably curious about the...

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Aunt Ruthie as a 100-year old: Her Diary Speaks

My Aunt Ruthie died at age 98 1/2, so she never reached 100, a goal I sensed she hoped for in her healthy years. But she did celebrate birthdays on October 4 every year before then. Some happily in elder days.     Other celebrations had mixed results as her diary from...

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What Editing Looks Like: A Peek into Memoir

I’ve been writing memoir for 3 ½ years now, three more if you count years spent blogging snippets that have become memoir chapters.. Truthfully, I’m ready for this part of the process to end. And it will soon. The Tricky Mind Since 2015, I’ve taken memoir-writing...

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Wordless Wednesday

What are these sisters sitting upon? The location? Era? How are the two photos related? *** Do these pictures evoke a memory for you? suggest a story? Share memories of a special family vacation. The Worldometer registers about six million blog posts being published...

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The Runaway Truck: A Guest Post

    Daddy & I and the Big Truck I raced across the porch and jumped up into the big truck. Daddy and I headed up through Harrisburg past the street where sometimes we picked up big farm equipment like a tractor or combine. Today the truck pointed north toward the...

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Remembering Brother Mark’s Birthday

My brother Mark would have turned 65 last week on August 30, an age that often comes with the privileges of retirement, senior discounts, and leisure. He never reached that milestone here on earth. God called him to his heavenly home on May 22, 2018. On his 64th...

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Real Men Wear Aprons and Make Flan

Two Beaman families enjoyed Mexican fare at Chuy’s, a Fifties-themed restaurant where patrons can observe hand-rolled tortillas being tossed in air and prepared for the table. When our orders were delivered, we stuffed ourselves with tacos, enchiladas, and burritos....

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The Case of the Missing Sock

The Lost Sock “Look what I found!” my housemate exclaimed in his throaty voice. He held up a single dark sock. Grinning at me, he added, "Here's something you've been looking for since last year!" "Oh, my goodness! Where in the world did you find it?" "It was on my...

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Women and the Grain Harvest

"In a long, low cutaway view of a farmhouse at harvestime," women fuel men with food, supplying energy for harvesting grain under the summer sun. The two genders work in tandem to complete the cycle of food production, farm to table.     Iowan artist Grant Wood, best...

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