Monday, October 08, 2012

Crunching Leaves, Skunks, and Such

We are having a long and dry and astonishingly sunny late summer and fall.  I mean, one sunny day after another, on and on--the kind of weather we desperately prayed for in June and July, and now here it is in abundance.

The leaves are starting to fall and they crunch underfoot.  Oregon people are not used to autumn leaves crunching underfoot.  It is fun.

*     *     *
So today Jenny was telling me how she argued with the Sunday school teacher last Sunday, enough so that he went home and talked about it with his family over Sunday dinner.

I sighed and said cynically, "We can't let those Sunday school teachers get by with false doctrine, now can we?"

Jenny said, emphatically, "No we can't!"

Why is it always my children who argue with the Sunday school teacher?  From the least to the greatest--well, maybe the middle boys are a bit less confrontational--but otherwise it's always been MY children who argue with the teacher while everyone else sits quietly with their quarterlies in their laps.

And some teachers are more amenable to this than others, shall we say.

I get blamed for a lot but I can assure you that this gene does not come from me.  I am not the sort who argues with teachers.

[As we speak, Emily is across the table eating an apple and reminiscing about the year she scared off one Sunday school teacher after another.  She doesn't remember how many.  She just remembers it seemed like new people all the time, teaching the class and "I didn't have any clue at the time I was chasing them off."]

[Except for this one teacher.  "Then later when he came and talked to Dad I just felt betrayed.  I just got this idea that he really valued my opinions and then to have him just GO TO DAD!  It's like a friend that's friendly to your face and goes to your other friend and says you're a big fat meany."]

Not my genes. I repeat.  Not mine.
*     *     *
 Hard to believe this sweet little baker would argue with anyone.
*     *     *

Speaking of getting talked about over Sunday dinner:

A certain young man from Holmes County, no less, that bastion of fancy Mennonites, is suddenly dating a certain young Smucker lady who ventured east for Music Camp.

He was in church on Sunday, we all met him, and we discussed him over Sunday dinner.

There is no surer way to get yourself thoroughly dissected and analyzed than to start dating a young Smucker lady and come to church with her.

We dissect kindly and lovingly, you know that.  But also thoroughly.

*     *     *
We have skunks on the porch.  They started coming and eating the cat food. Last night there were three of them.

So tonight we brought the cat food inside and, following a friend's advice, I set out mothballs to repel the skunks.

Five minutes later, two skunks clambered up the steps and snuffled all around the porch.

Emily said, "FAIL!"

That seems to be what young people say when things don't work.  Sometimes they say, "Epic Fail."

*     *     *
Jenny and I went and bought a twin-size hide-a-bed couch at the neighbors' garage sale.  We said we'd come pick it up in the van.  They said that last week they sold one just like it to three college guys who were fixing up their apartment.  They had come in a little Honda.  The three of them hoisted the couch to the roof of the car, then one of the guys climbed up and sat on the couch, and they drove off.  They had three miles to go.  Mrs. Garage Sale shook her head and said, "If their mothers had seen them. . ."

She also said they had taken a picture.  I told her to post it online.  It would go viral overnight, I'm sure.

*     *     *
Recently Jenny had a slumber party with the same two girls featured in my column four years ago that ended up appearing in...which book was it?  My new one, I guess.  Dear me, that one's been a long time in coming.

9 year old girls at a slumber party:
Are all about being the same: hair, backpacks, etc.
Play with American Girl dolls.
Play American Girl cd's.
Talk about falling in love.
Eat a lot.
Stay up late and get up early, and they keep the parents awake.
Behave terribly the next day.

13 year old girls at a slumber party:
Like to be unique, to a point.
Like to dress up.  Not in like, Mom's bin of costumes in the attic.  Duh.  In, like, OUTFITS.
Like to take 435 pictures of each other in said outfits.
Listen to cool music.  Not like Katy Perry, but still cool.
Talk about boys.
Eat a lot.
Stay up late and get up early, but let the parents sleep.
Behave terribly the next day.

A slumber party photograph.

*     *     *
My old friends Mary and Marie came to visit me.  I would have loved to have hours more with them, but they had a tight schedule.  We have a long history, and it was wonderful to see them again.

*     *     *
Emily has been into cooking and baking.  She was teaching a little first grader and kept reviewing the "a-sound" flash card all week, which featured a big pink layer cake, which made her so hungry for a big pink layer cake that she made one on the weekend.

 Emily also made a batch of salsa which involved chopping some potent onions.  She said, "You're taking pictures??  Well, if you post them be sure and specify that this snorkel is SEWED on so I couldn't take it off."

"Ok," I said.

*     *     *
Jenny likes to cook suppers.  One evening a hot dog rolled under the stove.

*     *     *
This is as profound as my life gets these days.  Which is ok.

*     *     *
I miss my Kids Away from Home.
Like Amy, for instance, who worked at Grocery Depot all summer and brought me Provolone cheese and bargain dressings.

Quote of the Day:
"If you're gonna forget your lunch, hot lunch day is a good day to do it."


  1. Sounds like Jenny was "defending her faith" albeit in a very 13 year old way.

  2. Ah loved this post.

    The sleepover part is spot on. Yep. All truth. My mother would never let me sleep all day after a sleep over because Saturdays are work days. and I would be grumpy, and mom would be frustrated. :)

    thanks for writing. always makes my heart happy.

  3. That "certain young man" from Holmes County is one fine fellow! We think highly of him and he is a great school principal. Just ask our granddaughters!

  4. The snorkel! I LOVE it! I may just use this sometime. :) Thanks Emily!

  5. You warm my heart. I love this post! Your girls all look so sweet in their photos. I love that a flashcard inspired a cake and I wonder what on earth happened to that hot dog.

  6. MaryAnn--I'm happy to receive a positive reference for "that" young man.
    Margo--the hot dog collected a bunch of dust and hair under the stove, so I think it went to the cats.

  7. "Loving and thorough dissections." Like.

    And I have a hunch you know what I mean when I say that some days, Mr. Schrock gets full custody, depending on what his offspring have pulled. Yes, I'll bet you know. :D

    Waving and smiling,


  8. Ah! What fortunate teachers--to have students knowledgeable enough and excited enough about the lesson to argue. If you don't have the answers, its a delightful way to grow as a teacher. And it may prove to be the same for the pupil, when you both dig in for the answers.

    We need Bereans! Howbeit, we all need to learn to be gentle with our truth, and teachable ourselves.

  9. If I may be so...curious... is that rooster thingy by your stove a trivet? A cake-cooling rack? Or, as my mom used to say to us, "It's a layover to catch meddlers"?
    If you value your right to be mysterious, don't worry about answering! ;) -PC in VA

  10. PC--It's a cookbook holder/rack/stand/thingy. :-)