Thursday, March 09, 2006


Last night Emily and I were at WinCo when I noticed a family over by the vegetables. The mom and girls all had skirts on and long hair which is quite unusual so I was furtively glancing at them and every time I did, one of them was furtively glancing at me.

Finally the mom came over and asked if I'm Dorcas "Smuckers" who write in the newspaper. It turned out that she was none other than the mom of the Hanson Family Singers. We talked for a long time and connected in a number of areas.

Wayne and Leslie Hanson are a Catholic family with seven children. They sing at all kinds of venues, from various contests to the "Opry" in Creswell to the Lane County Fair to nursing homes. In December, they all wear Victorian outfits and carry little lanterns and sing acapella Christmas carols, from 25 to 40 engagements in one month.

A while back their youngest son, Daniel, age 12, got into yodeling and won the Western Music Association's national yodeling contest. His parents don't have a TV, so they had to go to a friend's house to watch their son perform.

Mrs. Hanson listed some of the awards they have won and the opportunities they've had, and said, "We have found that if we honor God, then he honors us. Our girls showed that you could wear modest clothes and sing the "Ave Maria" at the talent show at the Lane County Fair, and still win second place."

She also said something that the faded-jeans, shirt-tails-out, forgot-to-shave Christian groups ought to hear: "I tell my kids, 'You honor your audience by dressing up.'"

My gift is not in music, but I have found, like Mrs. H, that there is a deep hunger in our culture for a simple, Godly, family-oriented, down-home, old-fashioned message.

Quote of the Day:
"Bless the hands that prepared the food so they can prepare more and more."
--Steven, who puts his own twist on traditional Mennonite prayers


  1. Thanks, Steven! Seems like these hands get to "prepare more and more" whether they get blessed or not! Pauline

  2. Dear Dorcas,
    When we recieved an e-mail from Maryland from someone who reads your blogs, I thought I should look for you on the Internet to see what it said. Thank you very much for the positive encouragement!
    I woke up early the morning after we met and began to think about you being a writer and wondering if we might come up in your writing and then worrying about what I said during a casual conversation in the produce aisle! I needn't have worried and I appreciate you sharing with your friends.
    The Maryland people wonder if we can come back there to do a concert. We are at home wondering how we can begin transporting us and all our instuments and equipment around the country while being able to take our own food along so we can keep the voices healthy...lots of praying going on!
    Oh, I also have to contribute that Daniel won the International Youth yodeling championship. This year's and last year's national winners were competing with him along with two of his sisters!! Too bad he was the only boy so then they had him compete with all the girls. I bet they wished there were more boys so he could be in another category!!
    I also had an idea in answer to where we would be singing. A new concert could be set up. We would be glad to come to Harrisburg to a church for a free will offering. Let us know if you would like to do that.

  3. Leslie--we all wonder sometimes if we'll show up in Dorcas' writings from casual conversation!!!LOL She usually is pretty nice to even those of us who torment her unmercifully w/ whisperings and such!!!LOL

  4. Anne Lamott is a writer and I love this quote of hers:
    "If people don't like what you wrote about them, they should have treated you better."

  5. We met the Hansons for the first time a couple of years ago at the Hometown Buffet in Springfield. While they were eating I encouraged Ron to ask them if they are a homeschooling family. Sure enough. Before leaving, garbed in their Victorian outfits, they came to our table and serenaded us with a Christmas carol. Excuse me while I once again revel in their CD, "A Song in My Heart". This lovely gift to me features three of the children yodeling.


  6. Hmmmm--Dorcas--you couldn't be talking of me surely.......:)Love ya!!

  7. Dear Dorcas, What a coincidence! The next Sunday night after your blog the Hanson Family sang for us at Camp Harlow. We had a banquet and they were the entertainment for the evening. We certainly enjoyed them. Wished they didn't have to stop.
    I really enjoy your blogs and column. Thanks
    Phyllis Scoggins