Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Glimpses of Life

Today Emily and I cleaned out the fridge.

You may recall that three of my children moved east in two weeks' time in September.

Years ago, I snickered mockingly at both my mom and mother-in-law, because when their children started leaving home they still bought huge amounts of groceries and cooked big cauldrons of food.  They just couldn't seem to help themselves.

At the time, I thought, Seriously, this is not rocket science.  Just buy and cook less.

I have now repented of that attitude.

*     *     *
Skype is wonderful when you have children away from home.  On Thanksgiving Day, there was Amy at her aunt Barb's house, carrying her computer around to give us a tour of the huge old house, and then Matt walked in and we got to see him too.

I connect with Ben in Toronto every now and then, listening to the words but also evaluating his image on the screen--is he happy? should I suggest a haircut?  And yesterday I talked with Matt all the way off in Washington, DC and "met" his landlord when Matt swiveled the screen.  And hmmm, Matt now has a beard.  I asked how he gets by with a beard if he's working for the Navy.  "I'm a civilian, Mom.  They don't care."

 Someday I will wish I had paper-and-ink letters from this era.  But we all know that Skype or no Skype, my boys wouldn't be writing many letters.

So we continue to appreciate Skype.

*     *     *

Another shooting, this time in Portland, at Clackamas Town Center.  It sounds like it was right at the spot where my SIL Geneva and I had lunch, once upon a time, back when she worked at Macy's.

There is no making sense of these things.

*     *     *

 It is not in Paul's nature to panic, but he got as close as he gets when it looked like a whooping cough epidemic was about to engulf our church school.  Should he shut down school, cancel the Christmas program, keep all the siblings home if one child got sick?

He contacted his sister the doctor and talked to the county health department.  I sleuthed for answers online, primarily to find out the risks for asthmatic adults exposed to whooping cough.

But then the two coughing boys were taken to the doctor and told they don't have whooping cough after all.  And the one diagnosed family was quarantined in time.

The relief is enormous.

*     *     *
Speaking of asthma and relief: It is now the 11th of December and I have not had any head-cold-turning-to-chest-cold-turning-to-bronchitis-and-please-let-me-die-now-asthma this fall like I had four times last fall/winter/spring.

 Was it the flu shot?  More vitamin D?  More exercise?  God in his mercy deciding I'd suffered enough?

I don't know, but it is really nice, and I am grateful.

*     *     *

My new book is selling well, so thank you to all of you who played a part in that.

And special thanks to the four fearless folks to went over to the Amazon page and left a review.

Today I was at the post office mailing a bunch of book orders.  A woman was there struggling with getting a package ready to send to her mom, so I helped her tape it up.  She noted my veil and said she likes to wear a pink knitted prayer shawl when she prays.

Then she said, "Do you know if Dorcas has written a book?  I met her in 2006."

I said, "Um...actually I'm Dorcas."

She engulfed me in a hug and said, "I was praying to Jesus that I'd run into you somewhere!"

Wow.  I'm not sure why she wanted to see me, but we had a nice chat and I put her on my list to get my column by email.

And it was nice to know I was the answer to someone's prayer.
*     *     *
Years ago Paul's grandpa used to follow me around and holler at me about a wonderful potion called DMSO oil.  Whyyyy, it would cure canzer and just about everything else.  You just rubbed it on your skin and it went right into your bloodstream!  (Etc etc etc.)

I wrote about this for an essay writing class I took through Lane Community College, way back in--I don't know--maybe 1997.

Then I also sent it around to be critiqued when I was in one of Verda Glick's famous Writers Workshops by Mail.

The other day Verda sent me an email.  "Dorcas, when I read this ad and watched the video (see below), it reminded me of the very first time I read your writing. It was that cute sketch about Paul’s grandfather and his DMSO oil. I was captivated by your writing then, and I still am."

I  watched the video.  It told tantalizingly of a miracle chemical that relieved pain and was absorbed rapidly through the skin and much more, and finally they said what it was called.  Yes.  DMSO.

*     *     * 

Emily glued a picture of Abraham Lincoln to the back of her phone so she could more easily distinguish it from mine.

Quote of the Day:
Steven: THAT'S a creepy guy!
Emily: Steven, that's Abraham Lincoln!  He freed you!
Steven: He didn't free me!
Emily: Well, he freed your ancestors' cousins!

Emily: I felt so clever when I said that.
Jenny: He looks more like Grandpa than Abraham Lincoln.


  1. What fun for you, Dorcas, meeting a reader in an unexpected place.

    A small Christmas gift, I'm thinking. :)

  2. I love the randomness of your posts. I all agree about Skype. Our three children all live far away from us and it's a wonderful way to stay in touch with them AND the grandchildren.


  3. My son has asthma (he is 5) and we live in Albany...he was sick more times than I can count last year (and the years before too), but this season has been a wonderful little respite for him. It is the first time (in his life) he has had little colds that don't go to his chest and cause an asthma crisis.
    My theory is the super late summer and warm temps we had into October and the mild, fairly dry fall we are having...at least until the last few weeks...
    Whatever it is, thank you God!

  4. My 50-something mother in Douglas County had whooping cough starting in April and is still suffering from the effects now. If she had Asthma I am sure she would have died.

  5. Rhonda--yes, it was.
    Crystal--Hey! You're bad for my self-esteem!
    Darcy--Somehow I never connected this respite with the long dry fall but it makes lots of sense.
    Anon.--I am so sorry your mom had to endure whooping cough. And that is incentive for me to go get a booster shot.

  6. It's interesting that you and Emily both wrote about cleaning the refrigerator and the quantities of food...what a great perspective to see two different views (not so very different, just phrased differently)

    I put a Minnie Mouse sticker on my phone to more easily tell it from my husband's phone...buy one get one free may be a deal, but with phones it can cause identity issues!