Thursday, October 28, 2010

Life Connections

Some time ago I had a guest here, and to my regret I can't remember who it was, [tell me if it was you] and she was intrigued with all the small decisions behind the scenes that bring people to where they are today. "How did you and Paul meet?" she asked me, so I explained how I lived in Minnesota and decided to go to Calvary Bible School in Arkansas where I met two guys from Oregon who weren't Beachy Amish but for some reason went to CBS that year, and one of them recommended me to teach at the Mennonite school in Oregon, and so I did, and I taught little Rosie Smucker, who had this cool older brother teaching down at Winston, and I got to know the family and then I got to know Paul.

"So," said my guest, "you have this life today, with Paul and your family and this house and your ministry at Brownsville and everything, because for some reason those two Mennonite guys decided to try out a Beachy Bible school that year."

Intriguing thought, I must say.

I got an email from a woman in the East the other day. She wrote, "I picked up your first book about two months ago in a quilt shop in upstate New York. I loved it so much I ordered the next two. . . I am so nourished by your writings. I . . .felt right at home with your stories."

A day or two later I was "friended" on Facebook by a guy named Grant Podelco. I was happy to hear from him, as he had been the features editor at the Register-Guard who first hired me on to write a column, but then before long he went to Czechoslovakia to work with Radio Free Europe, and I hadn't heard from him for probably eight years.

I clicked on the link for his blog and then to a New York Times article about his wedding, where I read this: ". . .they met in Prague in the summer of 2001, when Mr. Podelco, who had left Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in 1999 to work at a newspaper in Oregon, returned to his old newsroom."

So, Mr. Podelco had been in Prague, of all places, and came to Oregon, of all places, and worked at the RG for only two years, if that, and then returned to Prague. And during that little window of time I wrote an impulsive piece for the anybody-can-try Write On feature, and it was printed, and I sent a copy to my friend Ilva, and she wrote to the paper and said they should feature this author more often, and Mr. P., who was looking for some new material, was intrigued with the idea and called me up and asked if I'd write a "Letter from Harrisburg" column once a month.

And in ten years that has led to three books and various speaking opportunities and a woman in upstate New York finding my book at a quilt shop.

It's no wonder my young guest was fascinated with the small decisions of random people that lead us to where we are today.

Quote of the Day:
"It's hard to talk Dutch with a British accent."


  1. Each step we take leads to somewhere. We might know we are taking a significant step, or perhaps we don't, but they still lead us somewhere. The hard part is making sure the steps are following God's way.

  2. I know what you mean. It fascinates me too. I keep thinking, "I'm going to college in virginia, I wrote a book, all because a mosquito bit me."