Sunday, December 11, 2011

December column

December's column is about gifts--those given, those withheld, and those given instead.


Quote of the Day:
[Amy, this is to make you homesick for Sunday dinner conversations.]

Jenny: It's so gross. Mom coughs in her hand and then she DRIVES. Her steering wheel is like COVERED with viruses!
Emily: So? It's Mom's car.
Jenny: Yes, but if someone else drives it...
Paul: How long do viruses survive on a dry surface?
Me: Half a day I think.
Ben: So is it viruses or bacteria?
Me: I don't know.
[Steven has that one-raised-eyebrow look like he's patiently waiting for rescue.]
Jenny: It's still gross.
Me: Everyone's exposed anyway. I mean, I've been touching doorknobs and coughing and breathing around here for over a week.
Emily: MOM! Breathing??! Seriously??!
Me: Well, I'm trying to quit breathing, because it triggers my asthma.
Jenny: Wouldn't that be cool if you could breathe through your skin?
Ben: That would be annoying, because when it was cold, you could only breathe through a little part of your face. Oh wait. That's how it is normally.

[At which point I laughed so hard I had an asthma attack and spread lots of viruses and bacteria into my hand, which I then washed. After that we talked about when to schedule all our family Christmas activities and ate cheesecake and had coffee and tea like normal people.]


  1. Your quote of the day (conversation) is too good! I laughed so hard I think I pulled a muscle. (Doesn't take much to amuse an over-tired mom of 4 who grew up with 6 brothers and had similar table conversations!)
    Thanks for sharing your family with others. I liked your column, too. My husband loves music and wants everyone to know they can sing. (And for the most part, unless people have hearing impairment or other physical factors, they usually can sing, and just know they can't because of childhood experiences like yours where they were told in rather formative ways that they can't.) But anyway, I think you have an excellent point that you WERE given a gift, that of pure enjoyment without analytical critiquing messing it up for you.
    Sarah S.

  2. oh, now that is funny! Gives me a warm feeling because I come from a family who has similar conversations.

  3. Patty Miller12/11/2011 8:27 PM

    Oh my, Dorcas. You portrayed the feeling perfectly. The table conversation was absolutely hilarious. I want you to know that I enjoy all your blog posts. Keep posting more!

  4. I really enjoyed your column, Dorcas. It gave me something to think about.
    I enjoy music and can hear it ok, but the timing on music escapes me for the most part. And I also enjoy listening to our children sing. (We are not of the Mennonites who play anything. Bummer!)But I see apostrophes in the wrong place!!! And misspelled words! But maybe I should be thankful even though math is a horror to me! You have a wonderful gift of words, and writing. Never quit! I love your posts.

  5. I absolutely LOVE your column. It actually made me somehow feel relieved and blessed for some reason. Content. Hmmmm. I'm wondering why...?

    And not being gifted with the skills of knowing or caring much where those dots and squiggles go in sentences, nor what words should be used when, I am now SURE that my comments must be greatly trying to you. I'm sorry! lol

  6. Sarah, I've often wondered just how different things would have been if I'd had good music teachers...

    Anonymous, please be assured that I withhold all judgments from comments!

  7. I just loved your article on the non musical Mennonites! I could identify only too well!!
    But I too, believe that for every gift withheld , there are others given instead.
    I have said that to be a good Mennonite you need to be able to sing and quilt well and I can do neither!
    But I do enjoy other things and hopefully those gifts can be used for the furtherance of the Kingdom.

  8. You don't know me, but I went to SMBI with Emily. (there, got the Mennonite game out of the way). Anyway, I just wanted to say that the ability to listen to music and thoroughly enjoy it without needing to critique is truly a gift. I'm a music major and I love what I do, but I hate the fact that I can hardly just sit and enjoy music (especially live music) anymore. I'm always hearing what's flat or sharp or a beat too early or lacking dynamic contrast, and sometimes I honestly wish I wouldn't, so I could enjoy the music minus the occasional grimace. On the other hand, I can't tell a tuck from a bias from a gusset, and zippers are one of the world's greatest secrets to my mind. And I can enjoy wearing clothes that make my mother shake her head and cluck her tongue when she looks at them, because obviously the seamstress responsible for them was not quite all there or else had a bit too much to drink before she sat down to the sewing machine.
    Rachel M.

  9. Mary--you're right, every good Mennonite better know how to quilt!
    Rachel, you made me chuckle. I enjoyed your perspective.