Friday, August 24, 2012

The Trip, The Wedding, The Baby, And More--Lavishly Illustrated

Would all our comings and goings to and from Janet's wedding somehow work in my future novel about a Mennonite wedding, I wondered.  Or would that put everyone to sleep?

Amy and I flew to Minneapolis where my brother Fred picked us up and took us to Mom and Dad's.  The next morning we left for Ontario, along with my sister Rebecca.  Meanwhile Paul, Matt, Emily, and Jenny drove straight through to Sioux Lookout.

Ok, that puts you to sleep.  Suffice it to say that we went hither and yon in all sorts of varying combinations that people like Paul like to figure out.

And I am happy to report that on the flight from Phoenix I finally started on a list of characters for my novel, and who they are and what they want, having had the terrible epiphany that I am just like the perfection-or-nothing brother of mine whom I harangued for years because he danced all around that novel without writing it.

Although I think he did eventually write it, after many years.

We got to stay at the home of Bill and Susan who have lots of Kalona, Iowa, connections and who invited us to stay with them even though we know each other mostly through Facebook.

They have a to-die-for place on the lake, with a few cabins they rent out, and they have the gift of hospitality.

Susan reads everything I write.  She said, "Everyone was just like I expected.  Amy was just as sweet, and Jenny just as cute, and Matt just as intelligent, and Paul, well he's just Paul, and Emily's just as articulate as you said."

The wedding was simple and beautiful.  Rebecca and I both burst into tears right on cue when my brother Marcus walked Janet up the aisle and gave her a big hug.

Me: Wait.  Did Marcus walk Janet up the aisle or down the aisle?
Jenny: It depends if you're a pessimist or an optimist.

Marcus and Anna's lovely family.  We all miss Leonard but had a keen sense of healing and restoration going on, what with that fine new son-in-law and Jay and Annette's new baby, Justice Creed.

Paul and I helped with the food preps.  The girls helped serve the food.
 Sisters above and below.

 After the action was over we went canoeing on the lake.  We heard a far-off tooot-toot and a long train came slowly around the lake and across the trestle.  The engineer waved at us.  Rebecca has a thing about trains, maybe from being in trainless Yemen for 17 years, and she thought she had died and gone to Heaven.

On Sunday the remaining ones of us went to church and found out that Anna's mom, which would be Janet's grandma, had died that morning.

So Annette and the baby ended up down at Grove City, and Janet and Mark cut their honeymoon short, and I took Mom and Dad to the viewing.

 Meanwhile, to say we are all crazy over that new baby is putting it very gently.

 Here's Nana Anna.

 Meeting the great-grandparents.

 Here's Great-Uncle Paul.

At Mom and Dad's we had good Yoderish visits and the kids and I did as much work for Mom as we could cram into a day and a half.

 Mom read the Budget and also helped us in the kitchen with amazing determination for a 92-year-old who broke her hip last April.
 Fred drank his coffee and told stories while Emily smushed applesauce through the old-fashioned applesauce smusher.
[Fred cut up all the apples, so he's not as lazy as he appears.]

Jenny with her grandparents.  Mom is wearing the dress she wore to the viewing.
I had to swallow my Amish shame because I didn't have any funerally clothes along and courageously wore a white skirt and bright floral shirt to the viewing.  No one seemed to mind even though I was the gaudiest guest by far.

It was a wonderful trip.

Quote of the Day:
"So my sister, who is a MENNONITE PASTOR'S WIFE, went to Africa and met this guy...and fell in love. TOTALLY fell in love. And nine months later she had a black child."
---my brother Fred, who has actually told people this. About me. Multiple times over. Oh how I have suffered at his hands for 50 years.


  1. Actually, if you use real-life characters and events, the less plotting you'll have to do to make it credible. I say, go for it! You have the ability to make reality interesting, as evidenced by your 3 current best sellers! :) -PC in VA
    PS- Glad you had a nice trip.

  2. I once asked you how to raise such humorous,vocabularied, thinking kids. You said you didn't know.
    Well I'm thinking it's genetics. That "black baby" bit is too funny...


  3. I totally get the "excruciation" of attending an Amish funeral in the wrong color. I managed to forget all my dresses when we were traveling to one a few years ago and had to wear the one I'd worn the day before: a happy, pale pink floral with a white vest. In that crowd of blacks, navies, and charcoals, I was, yeah, conspicuous. (squirm) I salute you with sympathy!

    PC from VA's daughter from OK

  4. Dorcas~~ Love your three daughters' black and white dresses! Beautiful!

    More importantly, how blessed you are to be the Mom to these three lovely young ladies~~lovely inside and out.

    Ruby Isaac
    Dayton, Oregon

  5. OK, your brother Fred is funny too! I just woke my hubby w/ my roars of laughter.
    Oh and I can imagine going to a funeral w/o a black dress.My 10 y.o.daughter thought it was bad enough when she attended my uncles funeral w/ and orange and yellow striped dress. I hadn't thought about how she would stand out...yah vel.

  6. PC--that is a good point. And to your daughter--thanks for the sympathy!
    Ruby--Thank you. I agree--I am very blessed.

  7. Dorcas-- I just noticed something. In the picture of your parents meeting Justice, I notice the other lady (Annette?) wearing a shirt that says, "Seek Justice". Any connection in baby's name and her choice of what to wear that day?! :) -PC in VA

    PS As I was typing that I thought about "meting justice". And Justice has indeed been "met" ! :)

  8. ^^^^^^ I guess technically, that would be METED OUT, not "met".
    Maybe that wasn't so clever after all! :) -PC in VA