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How Many Pairs of Shoes Do You Own?

Current summer shoe collection, minus the “lost” favorite pair. the blue pair far right is my replacement pair, but just meh, not favs.

Another Way for week of August 10, 2018

How Many Pairs of Shoes Do You Own?

I lost one of my favorite pairs of shoes while on vacation at the beach this summer. I hesitate to say they were stolen—that would even be okay because then someone else would still be enjoying them. But who would steal a used pair of not-fancy $29 shoes? I think they were just plain thrown away.

The first night I left them outside on a landing near the door of our rental condo. They had sand on them, after all. Other items—sand toys and beach chairs were left outside as well. But my shoes—a handy pair of tan summer slip-ons, were gone in the morning. I hunted everywhere for them. Too late, I learned the condo rules said no shoes left outside. A person sweeping the porches one morning said that’s what usually happens—shoes are disposed of. And I realized that the job of sweeping stairs and porches would be made much harder dealing with shoes left outside. Okay.

It got me thinking about other favorite shoes I have had–especially summer sandals, because I have had several favorites in the last 20 years. Two well-loved and well-worn pairs got to the place where they could no longer be worn. They were my go-to shoes all summer for a number of years, and then straps broke or in one case the surface of the soles got rough and hard over winter—not pliable to feet. I kept them several years after I could no longer wear them, they were that dear. I hate throwing shoes away, especially favorites.

Have you had shoes that you hated to get rid of? When we’re young we wear the fashionable styles—perhaps with spikey heels. I used to wear that kind to work until I developed painful callouses on the soles of my feet. I think they were brought on by wearing poorly made shoes with little support, or in my case house slippers with slight heels. My feet tended to slide down those slanted slippers on the fuzzy surface. A podiatrist recommended that I buy very well made “support” shoes for work. He even wrote a prescription I could turn into my insurance. I swallowed my pride and wore dorky so-called old-lady shoes for about a year which did help tremendously. After the soles of my feet recovered, I did not continue to wear “prescription” shoes at work, but in my off hours wore well-made tennis shoes with arch support, and better-made, more expensive shoes that supported the amazingly intricate bones and padding of the feet. At least that is my memory from when I was in my late-twenties.

I hope this is a good reminder of how important our feet are—especially as we get older. Having shoes that feel good can be all-important to mobility and even longevity, right? Longevity because if you have shoes that don’t support you properly, a bad fall can occur and your health goes downhill with the fall.

This reminds me of the book I’ve been editing by Darla Weaver, Gathering of Sisters A Year with My Old Order Mennonite Family (comes out Sept. 25 from Herald Press), about Darla and her Old Order sisters getting together with her mother every Tuesday, along with children who aren’t in school. The sisters have fun teasing each other, along with sharing lunch and the quibbles of children. Here’s a short excerpt on shoes:

“Between paying for Cody’s braces and food for Alisha’s cats, there’s nothing left to buy shoes for me,” I grumbled. “See what I have to put on my feet? Shoes that Alisha wore to school until they were full of holes.”

Her sisters just offer to bring her more worn-out shoes, and she ponders how their parents managed to feed, clothe, shelter, and educate nine children, to say nothing of doctor and dentist visits. “Sitting at the table in Mom’s kitchen has a way of reminding me that holes in my shoes are a very minor blip on the screen of life,” Darla reflects.

Yeah, not-pricey lost shoes—a very minor blip on a lovely vacation.

***

Have you lost or a had a favorite pair of shoes stolen? Tossed? Shoe stories anyone?

***

This wasn’t the first time we had shoes “stolen” or disappear at the beach. Years ago my husband left his on the beach when we went for a sailboat ride with a brother-in-law. The kicker there was the tennis shoes also contained his high-priced medically-prescribed plastic custom-made inserts. Not a happy husband!

***

I already heard that one teacher of a women’s Sunday school class used this title for the start of a discussion! One class member said it made for a good discussion on stewardship, tithing, etc.

***

My former pastor told me that he and his wife only have three pair of shoes each: dress, everyday, and mud shoes. I found that amazing and startling. Anyone else?

For more about Darla’s new book Gathering of Sisters, check here.  Or write to me and I’ll send you information by regular mail (along with a free bookmark). Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why the Universe Exists

Another Way for week of August 3, 2018

Why the Universe Exists

I’m not the kind of deep thinker that would ever think of taking on the great mind of astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. He passed away of course this past March, after a full lifetime of dealing with the crippling effects of ALS, also known as “Lou Gehrig Disease.” I admired him for his courageous struggle and his great mind, wit and writing.

One of his well-known quotes is “My goal is simple. It is complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.”

Those of us who are Christian tend to believe that we have been given a rather complete description of why the universe exists in the stories of the Bible. We accept—and know in our innermost being—that there is more to life than the physical dimension. We believe that there is a spiritual dimension to us as humans and the universe.

I’ve only read a brief summary of the chapters in Hawking’s landmark bestselling book A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes published in 1988. That was long after my own years in college had passed, so I can’t and won’t begin to dive into that. But I do want to explore the spiritual dimension in relation to the universe.

Everyone who feels love towards another human or even for animals and nature has felt the spiritual dimension to life. We can’t touch love and we can’t see it. But yet we believe it exists and it shapes us, for good and for bad or sad.

The Bible tells us God is love, in 1 John 4: 7-8. Verse 16 of that same chapter expresses it this way: “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”

But let’s go back to the Stephen Hawking sentence—why the universe exists. The truth that I know and feel and experience every day is that the universe exists because God is love and created humans to return love to our Creator. As the Bible itself James Weldon Johnson wrote in his poem “The Creation”, perhaps the universe exists because God was lonely. It does say God noticed (Gen. 2:18) that it was not good for the man he created to be alone.  Ultimately God brought humans into being and created us to love and be in spiritual companionship with the Almighty.

I feel and know God when:

  • I feel awe with morning sun peeping over the eastern hills near our house
  • I feel the warm and loving human touch of my husband before I arise to start my day
  • I sink my teeth into a wholesome banana, savoring the goodness—the first fruit most of our babies taste and toddlers love
  • I reflect on my beloved children, grandchildren, and sons-in-law and the love they’ve added to our circle; we can’t describe or delineate how that love was born—especially between parent and child and grandchild, but knowing it is there helps me feel God’s love
  • As I stretch out for some morning exercise I admire how well God made our bodies and brains and muscles to move and work together
  • As I’m struggling with a piece of writing and a new idea pops into my head—is that God? Maybe sometimes, maybe not I won’t blame God for my ideas that are losers but certainly creativity is a spirit and gift that comes from the hand of our creator God.
  • I take a walk and enjoy the singing birds, the wild flowers, the squirrels and rabbits. As Jesus put it—if God so loves the birds and flowers of the field, how much more does God care about you and me?
  • I sit down to a meal of delicious sweet corn, garden ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, and green peppers—with some meat from God’s animal kingdom. We pause to thank the Creator.
  • I am stirred by billions of stars in the universe—the universe which Hawkings and other brilliant minds (which God created) have attempted to describe, and I know that I am seeing just a small part of the unfathomable universe. I’m glad for those who fathom how and why, and know that love and God are part of it.

Thanks be to God!

***

What are your thoughts?

What do you most wonder about the universe?

If you believe in God, why? What makes you know God exists? 

 

 

Comment here or send thoughts to me at anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A No-Tan Summer

Yes, this is pretty much how we went in the water.

Another Way for week of July 27, 2018

No-Tan Summer

We went to the beach this summer with two of our daughters, a son-in-law, and two grandchildren. I followed my daughters’ lead and not only put on plenty of SPF50 sunscreen every time we went out, I covered up with a hat, blouse, shorts or capris to enjoy the beach.

None of us got any sunburn. We came back tanless, even after four mornings of romping in the surf, sand, and sun with perfect weather, barely any clouds in the sky. It was awesome—both the beach and the not burning with pain and sore, reddened skin.

But I couldn’t help but flash back to my years and years of needlessly exposing myself to ultraviolet sun rays and increasing my risk of skin cancer. I remember so many excursions to the beach—especially the year and four summers I lived in north Florida—when I was actually disappointed when we arrived at the beach too late in the day to get very much sun. I lived by the sun rule: the sun burns the most between the hours of 10 to 2 and if I couldn’t get in a least an hour or so in the sun, I was not happy. If clouds came up, I was half mad. Seriously.

I also “worked on my tan” by laying out in the backyard, on my deck, on a hilltop at my college, and mowing with a tank top and shorts. Helping Dad by driving tractor in the field was even welcome because I knew there I would get a real tan, even if it ended up being kind of a farmer’s tan.

Oh what a price we pay for our ignorance and what’s the most unbelievable, there are many many who still haven’t gotten the skin cancer memo or wake up call. Even if you never get a single basal cell type skin cancer (the “best” and least dangerous kind), we age our skin by decades the more sun we expose ourselves too.

About 12-15 years ago I quit trying to tan. A year and a half ago I had my first basal cell cancer removed and the scar is still very visible on my chest. I’m not happy with the particular surgeon who had his very young physician assistant do the actual sewing up on me. I guess he left his signature on my neck.

I know that more are possible in my future—with a sister and mother who have also had such removals. Basal cell cancers are supposedly the “good” kind (not considered melanoma) because they haven’t spread, but the concern is to catch them early. The American Academy of Dermatology says “Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, but when detected early, is highly treatable.” I now have to have my skin checked twice a year.

My grandsons playing in the sun. No burn worries.

I still love the beach and I love people who still sport tans just because that’s the look they prefer or the lifestyle that turns them a rich beautiful shade of brown. But year after year, it increases our chances of skin cancer and the certainty that as 80 and 90-year-olds, our faces will be leathery and our necks lined deep with wrinkles, freckles and worse (scars from skin cancer surgeries), or, heaven forbid, an earlier death. I especially have trouble understanding those who frequent tanning beds. Experts warn it increases the risk of getting skin cancer, especially when begun under the age of 30. Some may argue that it is safer than the sun, and lotions may promote skin softness and delay dried out skin, but over time, I see deep wrinkles ahead.

Okay, so wrinkles don’t matter much and looking older than one’s age isn’t a worry for some in the grand scheme of life. Like they say, whatever makes people happy. Of course the sun also provides Vitamin D in megadoses—one element of a healthy life, but most of us get enough sun and Vitamin D in just the normal routines of going in and out of doors. But I hope you will seriously consider what sun or tanning beds are doing to your skin and life if tanning is still your thing!

 

For a free infographic to post in offices, schools, churches, etc., find them online at: https://www.aad.org/public/spot-skin-cancer/free-resources  Or write to me and I’ll send it to you by regular mail. Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

 

 

 

What Does Your Child Know about Getting Lost?

Another Way for week of July 20, 2018

What Does Your Child Know about Getting Lost?

The little girl was not more than two or three at most. Still wearing diapers, I’m quite sure. She first attracted my attention because there was no adult hovering nearby, and she looked a little lonely or lost. She didn’t seem upset, but was gazing about, and trying to climb up a small slide the wrong way (not the stairway part). Then she gave that up and came back down. And looked around as if looking for someone.

There was no adult or even older sibling hanging around.

What do you do? I told my own youngest daughter who was with me that I couldn’t see a parent or adult connected to the child and my daughter began to look around with me, and agreed that the child seemed lost.

The playground was modern but some of the structures were laid out in such a way it was almost impossible to keep near your child or children. Two of my own grandsons played nearby under the super vigilant eye of their father with whom we were hanging out, since their mother, my oldest daughter, was resting on a park bench. She’s about six months along and it was the end of a hot July day. Enough said.

Still no grown up in the girl’s vicinity. My youngest daughter stated what I felt: that I should approach her as a “grandma with children”—which is a line from a safety song about getting lost, from my daughters’ own childhood. All our girls knew “The Safety Kids” songs from a book and album, teaching the basics of safe behavior for small children. If you find yourself lost, the song said, “Look for a grandma or mother with children. Ask her to help you I’m sure she’ll be willin’.” (Sorry for the reverse chauvinism here, but women helpers still seem a little safer bet in the event of being lost.)

I headed over to the child, her curls framing adorable eyes and face. “Are you looking for your mommy?” I ventured. She nodded and I said “I’m a mommy and grandma,” with my best we-can-help-you look. She looked somewhat comforted. Then I added, “Do you have a mommy or daddy here?” She said “a mommy and a daddy” and then another woman entered the search, seeing/hearing us chatting with the child. “I saw her with a man with a T-shirt that said, ‘Eagles’ (Philadelphia)” she noted helpfully. My daughter swung into action saying “I’ll head around the area and look for that.”

But no luck. Minutes passed. Finally a man appeared who seemed pleased to see the small girl. With an Eagles T-shirt. There was no big rush of “Oh, you were lost!” or “Here you are!” but the look on the child’s face was nevertheless one of real relief as she smiled at her daddy. I kind of mumbled that we were trying to help; he seemed chagrined as he said the park was not designed the best for keeping track of kids.

Happy ending and while most child disappearances that result in Amber Alerts or missing child posters are the result of domestic issues, there is still real stranger danger out there. I realized afresh how easy it is for someone to start a conversation with a small child. That’s when the second song our daughters learned from that album comes in handy:

“Sometimes you just gotta yell and scream; Sometimes it’s the only thing to do! Noisy as a firetruck, you just gotta open up, and get the crowd’s attention turned to you.”

Most kids yelling in public spaces are having a meltdown, but sometimes they should not be politely ignored. Steal a glance and it will likely be obvious whether someone is intending harm with a child.

As you head to the park, playground, or pool this summer, keep this true story in mind and perhaps teach your children these songs (on YouTube) or any other memorable song or rhyme that helps them know what to do if they get lost. Or if, heaven forbid, someone tries to do them harm.

A family (not mine) I photographed earlier for a Valley Living feature story.

***

Have you ever helped a lost child? How did it go? Have you lost one of your children? If you have comments or stories to share, comment here on the blog, or send to me at anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

 

 

 

 

 

Fathers who make things for their kids

Our family in the cabin we built with logs Dad chopped down and put together. From left to right: Pert, Terry, Dad, Nancy, Melodie, and Mom.

Another Way for week of July 13, 2018

About My Dad

Guest column by Nancy Ketcham

Editor’s note: Nancy Ketcham of Wakarusa, Indiana, is the oldest sister of columnist Melodie Davis. She writes about her memories especially of their dad, inspired by Another Way’s “Father’s Day” column. Second of two guest columns by readers while Davis is on vacation.

The first thing I remember when thinking of my earliest memories is that Daddy would lay down on the living room floor after a big farmer’s dinner (noon) to rest a little before heading “back to the field.”

He liked it very much when I would sit on the floor by his head to comb and even braid his hair while he took a short nap.

I also remember the long blocks he retrieved from the chicken boxes which baby chicks used to come in. My next youngest sister and I built tall towers, stacking them like Lincoln Logs.

The playhouse that Nancy’s father, Vernon, made for Michelle (right). She and her father, Stuart, restored it to its original condition before our little grandsons were born several years ago.

I remember all the play stuff Dad made for us outside, oh my! Three big swings on a huge old tree with large swing branches, a monkey bar set with a sturdy teeter totter attached, and also a sandbox with seats on the side. And then of course there was the playhouse! It was just our size with a perfect door, windows that slid up and down, cupboards, and a kitchen sink.

Later in life he made one for my daughter, and one for my sister (Melodie) who also had a daughter (and then two more daughters). When our family visited them one year when my first granddaughter was three, she played in that same playhouse which now has been renovated by my sister’s oldest daughter and her dad. The playhouse now looks lovely again.

When I was young we used to play Indians and Cowboys in our “catalpa woods.” I was the squaw cooking on an earthen floor and pretend campfire, resplendent with an old kettle we found in the woods in which we cooked our beans. We tried to make our pony, Flicka, enter the woods so we could play real Cowboys and Indians, but she did not like to go in the woods; so my sister played the cowboy, and discovered stuff in our so-called caves.

I remember walking or riding bikes a few miles to the neighbors to play with their kids—Eli’s, Rassi’s, the Grove’s and a few more. We also would play “Seven Steps Around the House” in the dark with our cousins at our house, an exciting and scary game!

Dad made a pony cart one year for us four kids for Christmas. It was a surprise he parked outside the dining room window, for us to find on Christmas morning. It was big and Flicka wasn’t very crazy about being hitched up to it. If you are thinking our pony wasn’t very agreeable, you are wrong. She was wonderful: I could stand on her back and feed her popcorn and she had a couple of foals!

What did we play inside? We had no TV until 1963 when Kennedy died. Long winter evenings were spent playing games with Mom like Authors, Scrabble or Gusher. Every Sunday night and Wednesday night were spent at church; Dad was the deacon and expected to be there. We often went to visit “shut-ins” after church on Wednesday night, but if we were lucky, Dad would turn the car towards Dairy Queen and we would each get a five-cent cone! We also played checkers, Chinese checkers, or Dominoes with Dad. Later in life Dad taught us all how to play Greedy and The Farmers Game. I then taught those games to my grandkids and great grand kids. I used to make games as a kid: Clue, and Concentration are two I remember making.

The cabin we built near the woods and a pond, before any cement sealer was between the logs. Nancy took this picture of Pert, Terry and Melodie.

We also played in two creeks: one was close to the log cabin for which we cut down the logs and built. It had a fireplace and cool loft our friends loved. We could swim in the pond, watching out for blood suckers of course. We also fished. The other creek was across the road (on our property) by a second woods, but mostly we steered clear of that creek because it supposedly had sinking sand and Dad also found rattlesnakes back there.

 

Our farm home taken from a window in the barn.

We had what seemed like endless farm work: cultivating, cultivating, cultivating—we made up a song like that. And we gathered thousands upon thousands of eggs—a daily chore. I won’t go into that.

Regardless of the hard work, Mom and Dad would plan a family vacation every summer. Some trips I

Dad reading his Bible in the Rockies, Colorado on a family camping trip out west.

remember were to Hannibal, Missouri, Niagara Falls, Soo Locks (Mich.), Kentucky, church camps, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, California, Montana, Colorado, Oregon. Washington State and Washington D.C., Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota, and more. Maybe I should have just named the states we didn’t get to.

On the whole, I had a whole lifetime of experiences while growing up on an Indiana farm with my two sisters, one brother, and a great Dad and Mom.

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I’m so glad my sister shared these memories, because siblings often remember different things! Do you have any memories your siblings don’t seem to recall?

Do you have different takes on the experiences you both recall? I’d love to hear!

***

Comment here, or by emailing me at anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

Working Hard on an Amish Farmette

Winona grew up near where I did–this is the home and farm where I grew up; hers was just several miles away on a different road. Our farm is now owned by an Amish family.

Another Way for week of July 6, 2018

Working Hard on an Amish Farmette

Guest columnist: Winona Miller

Editors note: Winona Miller of Middlebury, Indiana, reads Another Way in The Goshen News and responded to Melodie Davis about her own growing up days. First of two guest columns by readers. (Photos from Melodie Davis’ own files.)

I grew up on a five-acre farmette, the second of eleven children. We lived so close to a busy U.S. highway that when semi’s would pass by fast, the house would kind of shake.

We had two milk cows and two horses. The cows provided us with plenty of milk and cream that Mom would dip off the top. She put the cream into a glass urn that had a paddle inside and a turn-handle outside, and we kids cranked until it turned to butter.

Typical haymow in a barn.

We grew about two acres of field corn for the cows and horses. We kids kept most of the weeds out of the corn. In the fall we husked the corn and brought it to the barn with Dad’s help. It kept us “out of mischief.” Dad promised us a new bike after all the work one summer, but I think we waited two summers, the funds must have been low. But we did get a new red Western Flyer, the Cadillac of bikes back in the day. One bike for all of us. It got lots of use.

We also had a big garden: lots of planting, weeding and harvesting. In the fall Mom would also order six or seven bushels of peaches from somewhere. To can them, we cut the peaches in half, pried out the stone, and peeled them. Then we stacked the halves nicely in clean quart glass jars, face down. Next a hot sugar syrup was poured into the cans. We put on the lids and gave the jars a boiling hot water bath for 20 minutes in a blue granite canner. We’d have yummy peaches all winter long. Mom was always there to help and teach us how. We also had five nice pear trees bearing pears to eat and can.

My dad was a carpenter by trade. Often after work in the summer, he would take the horse and buggy with his trailer and a big homemade wooden fishing boat, and went to a small local lake to fish. One or two of us kids would always go along. Many times, we’d catch a big bowl of fish. My sister, brother, and I would sit in the yard to scale and clean them. What a yucky job, but good eatin’.

We didn’t have running water, so we did the running. Dad built a washhouse a little ways out from the house, with a big iron kettle over an enclosed fire pit. The night before laundry day, my sister Bonnie and I would carry buckets of water from our outside well that had a small gas engine to pump water. It took quite a few trips to get the kettle filled.

The next morning, Mom got up early to start a fire to heat the water. ‘Twas great news if one of those big semi’s had a tire blow—that gave Mom fuel for a hot fire and the water heated quickly. With a large family and a wringer type washer, laundry days were usually an all-day affair.

Sometimes hobos would walk past on the busy highway and ask for food. Mom would graciously fix them an egg sandwich and tin can of chocolate milk. They were ever so thankful.

My own daughter Tanya scrubbing the sink after helping with dishes.

Oh the dinner dishes we had after the evening meal! That was my sister’s and my job. On nice summer evenings it was tempting to run outside and play for a while before dark. We’d play “Andy I Over,” throwing the ball over the washhouse roof to someone on the other side. If they caught it, they’d sneak over and try to hit us with the ball. We also did lots of cartwheels, skated the sidewalk with our one pair of clamp-on skates, played badminton, climbed trees, played Gray Wolf, Kick the Can and Hide and Seek.

In the meantime, the dirty dishes waited. Mom was busy with the little ones or doing mending or sewing.

We did have lots of fun, not always doing work and chores. Mom and Dad played Rook (card game) with us. Every Saturday Mom went to town for groceries and often she brought home a jigsaw puzzle for us. Many good memories!

***

If you would enjoy reading weekly stories like this from an Amish columnist with eight children, check out Lovina’s Amish Kitchen and subscribe to her weekly column which we at MennoMedia syndicate. Plus like the Facebook page we keep for her if you’re on Facebook.

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Nostalgia for your growing up days? Do you remember the work, or the play? Comment by emailing me at anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

 

 

 

How Often Should You Change Your Sheets?

If you sleep with pets, the sheets need to be washed more frequently. This cat, Riley, used to like to sleep beside me (he has gone on to his reward).

Another Way for week of June 22, 2018

Thoughts Upon Changing Sheets

What’s your worst cleaning-related job? Around your own home, what chores do you dislike most? Do you keep as clean of house as your mother—or your father —did, or do? Or maybe it’s the little job or jobs that you just put off from day to day?

I was amused by a recent email newsletter by author Sarah Quezada who wrote a book we published at Herald Press, Love Undocumented: Risking Trust in a Fearful World. She sends out a weekly email of her best finds—things she’s enjoyed reading or viewing or discovering—usually things online. She shared an article by another writer who detailed the various lengths of times adults change their bedsheets, and confessed to going as much as two months between changes, a practice that surely would have made our mothers’ generation “clutch their pearls” in dismay, as the article put it.

I love sleeping on clean sheets, but we now have a big thick foam king size bed (for which I am very grateful). But I’m not so thankful for the job of changing sheets. It’s heavier work changing sheets with a thick mattress than a thinner type, so sometimes I postpone this needed chore for weeks. Maybe as long as a month. (Dare I confess that here?) I was certainly brought up better than that—thanks, Mom. It was our weekly ritual to pull off all the sheets, wash them, and in earlier days, hang them out to dry (best way ever to have wonderfully smelling sheets!).

Really, it doesn’t take that long—I timed myself recently. Nine minutes from start to finish (including changing 3 pillowcases, and figuring out which end of the king size blanket needs to go at the head). I didn’t rush or push myself. A small job with dreamy dividends. The writer of the article said the job usually takes only 5-10 minutes. Making the bed every morning is another one of those things most of our mothers taught us, but many of my kids’ generation don’t worry about that daily trick which makes me feel at least a little organized and energized to start my day.

I’ve had my share of housecleaning jobs especially when I was a teenager and college kid, and I remember the family—rather wealthy and the county judge—who had me change the bed sheets twice a week in the master bedroom. I got the job through my mom’s friend, so I didn’t really know them. I felt like a bed is kind of intimate private space and I always felt a little funny—doing that job in the inner sanctum of their home.

But this is really more about more than clean sheets. I’ll confess I also didn’t like that particular cleaning job because it made me feel like a maid. I confess that reveals some hidden (or not so hidden) indications of class-ism or job discrimination or superiority based on job status. Of course a doctor or lawyer or judge or teacher gets more respect in our society than waitstaff, cleaning personnel, or sanitation workers. The Bible reminds us, “Show no partiality … if someone wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor person in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ while you say to the poor, ‘You stand over there,’ or, ‘Sit down at my feet,’ have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”

We may not be guilty of overt discrimination like this but most of us struggle with quick snap judgments about people based on job or appearance. As I age, I hope I can learn the secret to being more generous with my thoughts towards others, showing (and feeling) no partiality.

Love Undocumented

What’s your worst/most dreaded household chore? How do you feel about changing sheets? Who makes the bed at your house? Do you dare share here?? I’ll never tell. 😉

Here’s where to find that original article about changing sheets, if you go online https://www.esquire.com/style/news/a43134/washing-sheets-towels/ . Or use my address below to write me for a copy if you don’t use the Internet. And if you’d like to check out Sarah Quezada’s email updates called Road Map, you can sign up here. Or buy her book, Love Undocumented, here.

You can write me at @anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week (or two!) after newspaper publication.
I’ve been on vacation so things are a little behind here.

 

 

 

 

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