Monday, April 15, 2013

On a Variety of Subjects


You are all invited to hear Steven and Jenny sing in the Joyful Noise spring concert at Fairview Mennonite Church on Sunday, April 28th.  Prelude music starts at 5:45 and the concert at 6 pm.  The church is located at 35100 Goltra Road Southeast, near Albany.  Admission is free.
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 As you may recall I posted about some dresses I bought recently.  As it turned out, the person they were intended for passed away just a few days after I got them, so I still have them here.
 
I'd be happy to pass them on to someone local who could use them.  Let me know.  They're size 5X.

Email dorcassmucker@gmail.com or call 541-520-8510.

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The lady who passed away was named Karen, and she and her husband attended our church for many years.  Karen always sent us birthday and anniversary cards.  There were years when I wasn't sure I or anyone else would remember my birthday, but Karen always did.

She spent the last three years in a nursing home.

I (and half a dozen others) happened to be with her when she passed away.  That was a new experience for me, and in a strange way it was a beautiful experience, a very peaceful and gentle passing.

After the people came from the funeral home, the hallway outside Karen's room at the nursing home began filling with staff people, from the head nurse to the chaplain to aides to blue-clad maintenance guys.  As they wheeled her outside, all these people slowly followed, singing Amazing Grace.

That was beautiful too.

When I came home afterwards, there was a gorgeous double rainbow in the sky.
 
We buried her on a rainy day at Alford Cemetery just up the road.

A train went by, of course.  A train has gone by at every single burial I've ever attended at Alford Cemetery.  In the old days, when this happened, Acapella Harmony Quartet would spontaneously sing "Life is Like a Mountain Railroad," and then go back to "We are going down the valley," after the train had rattled on to Harrisburg.

On the way home after the meal, guess what: another rainbow.
 
 Rest in peace, Karen.
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I have been sort-of following the case of the abortion doctor, Kermit Gosnell, who was such a butcher he would have felt right at home at Auschwitz.  I won't comment on how you ought to feel if you are pro-abortion, but I think it's good for us pro-lifers to see and hear the details.

Proverbs 24:11--
Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.

We will be held responsible for what we knew, and probably for what we should have known, and for what we did or didn't do as a result.

I am wondering: where are the men who fathered all those babies?  To my knowledge, not a single one has testified or even been referred to in the case, or mentioned in news articles.

It's like they don't exist.

Something is very wrong there, too.
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A few years ago my friend Mary Hake started working on a story-poem about a little girl growing flowers.  As she wrote it, she said, she visualized Jenny as the girl.

Recently it was published by Clubhouse, Jr.  When they asked her if she has any ideas for the artist, she said, "I picture a little girl with long red braids, in a flowered dress."

This was the result.  We are all proud of Mary and feel honored on Jenny's behalf.



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 Last night I was reading Corduroy Mansions, an Alexander McCall Smith book that I picked up at Goodwill.  In it he mentions a children's book called Struwwelpeter which he describes as "that none-too-gentle children's classic."

I was intrigued.  It certainly looked like a German name for a boy with messy hair, based on my Pennsylvania Dutch upbringing.

Sure enough.

The book is full of stories about children who were bad and something awful happened to them, which seems pretty typical for books from a hundred years ago, in German and English both.

I assume the w's are pronounced like v's, which would put the pronunciation pretty close to schtroovel, as we called it, with a good roll to the R.

Schtroovel was a noun, meaning a single tail of hair out of place as in, "You have a schtroovel hanging in your eyes."  We didn't use that word much.

Much more common was the plural, schtroovella, as in, "Comb your schtroovella back before we eat."

Most common was the adjective schtroovellich, which means messy-haired and had a distinctly negative implication, like there was some flawed moral character involved as well.

Mom had known someone named Nancy in her past who always had such messy hair that she was known as "Schtroovelich Nance."  If Mom told us, "Du gooksht vee [you look like] de Schtroovelich Nance," you got the feeling that you had more deficiencies than just needing to slick your hair back.

Interestingly, this word has enough power in the culture that it gets passed down in odd tortured forms long after people have lost the German language.  Paul's mom wouldn't be able to speak enough Pa. Dutch to save her life, even though she grew up in Pennsylvania, but she still used to tell her daughters they were "stribbly" or maybe it was "strubbly."

She would also say that her children were "sneaky," which is a word study in itself.

It's also interesting that the "struwwelich" person in the children's book is a boy, because we always applied the term only to girls.

I'd love to hear some other people's history with "struwwela."

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 Quote of the Day:
"Sometimes I feel like it would be easier to just go around naked!"
--anonymous exasperated teenage girl trying to assemble a suitable outfit for a special dinner.  She has my sympathy.

15 comments:

  1. No "struwwela" stories, but my grandma (or great-grandmother) read read Struwwelpeter to my Dad and aunts, and they ALL remember it enough to pass the horrors along to us grandchildren! ;-) No Pennsylvania Dutch in the bunch, but mid-western German Lutherans.

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  2. My 5-year-old son gets Clubhouse, Jr., and we just read that poem the other night! I frequently see writers from OCW there. How fun!

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  3. Sympathizing with "quote of the day"!!!!

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  4. oh yes, we still use "strubbly" to refer to flyaway hair and yes, it's negative. We only know about 20 words of PA Dutch and I'm not sure how we know them, actually. I should ask my parents! I studied German later, as an adult, and I enjoy seeing how the dialect intersects with the language.

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  5. You have to stop naming everything in OR the same as in PA!(or did we copy you?) I was about to put the date for Fairview Menn church on my calendar till I noticed the address.
    Definitely was "stroovli" a few times in my life as well as "bortsich" (mostly in church) and probably a good dose of "unschicht" thrown in for good measure.
    Love Corduroy Mansions..did you read "the world according to Bertie" Get the recording..so much better w/ the British accent

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  6. You have to stop naming everything in OR the same as in PA!(or did we copy you?) I was about to put the date for Fairview Menn church on my calendar till I noticed the address.
    Definitely was "stroovli" a few times in my life as well as "bortsich" (mostly in church) and probably a good dose of "unschicht" thrown in for good measure.
    Love Corduroy Mansions..did you read "the world according to Bertie" Get the recording..so much better w/ the British accent

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  7. Sue Beachy Kauffman4/15/2013 6:56 PM

    Oh my goodness, we had that Stuwwelpeter book when I was kid!!! I wonder if my parents till have it...I'll have to find out. Your QOTD reminds me of the time my little sister--when in her early teen years said in an exasperated tone, "I JUST DON'T LOOK GOOD IN CLOTHES!!" We've never let her forget it. =)

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  8. My family always used the word "stribbly" to describe messy hair. Not in a particularly negative way, but more of a teasing way. I never knew where it came from till now!

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  9. My family always used the word "stribbly" to describe messy hair. Not in a particularly negative way, but more of a teasing way. I never knew where it came from till now!

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  10. Hmm, I wonder--- My mom used to say we had stribbly hair, and she, too, can't even yell, "Help!" in PA Dutch. Dad used drive the Amish from Mt. Perry to their points of interest, so maybe that's where Mom got it. She always went along.
    My childhood friend Elaine used that word, and they didn't talk PA Dutch, either, although her dad could say this little rhyme that made you think maybe it was in his background somewhere. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? -PC in VA

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  11. The book "Struwwelpeter" is well known to all German children although it is very old.
    "Struwwelig" is a verb which means that someone has got messy hair (usually pronounced "shtroovvelich" or "shtroobbelich" --> German "ch" does not exist in English language), just like you described.
    There is also a book named "Struwwelliese" who is the female Struwwelpeter.

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  12. Seldom was I told I looked 'schtroovellich'; but quite often I was told I by my mom that I "looked like an orphan." I'm not sure which is worse! ~ Carolyn

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  13. "We will be held responsible for what we knew, and probably for what we should have known, and for what we did or didn't do as a result."

    I know that about 3,000 babies are being butchered legally every day. As a result of that knowledge, I am compelled to go out to my local abortion clinic and seek to "rescue those being led away to death".

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  14. The Baritone4/18/2013 9:57 PM

    Ha ha ha! Dorcas, I would be interested in knowing which funeral(s) we switched songs at. Not saying that it didn't happen, but I sure don't remember that anymore. :-)

    @Heidi: God bless you for your efforts.

    David

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