After sunshine and temperatures that made us flirt with thoughts of spring, it’s snowing tonight and the thermometer is dropping. I’m sitting here in Echo’s house listening to a piano lesson with Natalia. Echo is an intense teacher. She puts her whole soul into teaching.
Beside me is Echo’s dog, Rocky. He’s a humble, retiring little thing.
I look forward to this time each week because there’s no guilt in just putting my feet up and reading my phone and trying out Instagram filters. Of course I could be reading something deeper. So I guess there’s that.
Thank you for commenting on my last post. After I shamelessly ask for comments, I always second guess myself. So thanks to those of you who humoured me. You’re such good sports. 😊
Do you find it overwhelming to read a post from me every day?
I started and now I feel like I must finish. But it’s only February! I don’t usually have a hard time thinking about what to post. But if I really start repeating myself, maybe I’ll stop.
Here’s my Instagram story from today.
If you read here often but have NEVER commented, leave me a note about how you’re making a difference in the world. Or if that’s too hard, tell me your favourite colour. 😄
I don’t really care anymore about getting lots of comments on my posts. Especially if I’m going to be posting every day! That’s just asking a lot. But I am sometimes eaten up with curiosity about the people who read here. I love it when someone comes out of the woodwork and tells me a little about themselves.
I could tell you about my friend Lisa. Back when I joined xanga (a blog site that was popular 10 years ago) and then facebook, there was this Lisa Troyer that fascinated me from the beginning. She wrote with wit and beauty and the most outstanding thing about her was her grace with others. She always had the most fitting words to say. We became friends. The longer I know her, the more I love her. She has the truest heart and an understanding of humanity like few people I know. I’ve only met her once, but I hope we can get together again someday.
I could tell you about my cousin Judith. She’s a lovely one. Fun, deep, expressive, full of good fruits. She writes candidly about her experiences with deep loss and embraces life with joy and grace. I don’t see her often enough, but it’s always so good when we’re together.
Then there are my old friends Phoebe, Suzi, and Linnea. We share past stories and I’m so thankful we’re still friends. Once in a while I have coffee with one of them and when I do, I always wonder why we don’t do it more often. I ❤️ them. They’ve all been through some very hard things that have made them stronger, better people.
There’s my new friend Lisa from our one evening together in the psychiatric unit of Dawson Creek hospital. Something clicked and we’ve connected online since then. Lisa is open about her mental health struggle like I try to be about mine. I hope we have a chance to get together again someday.
An online acquaintance that became a dear friend is Christy Smucker. She heads up The Mom Community in Atlanta and inspires me so much. I love her gentle heart and her love for Jesus. It’s a good day when I get a DM from Christy.
I don’t follow a lot of blogs, but here are a few that do not disappoint.
Shari Zook-witty, so gifted with writing, honest. You can’t help but love her. Here she writes about her book that will be coming out soon.
Anita Yoder-beautiful writing and heart. I learn from her perception of God and art and literature.
Lucinda Kinsinger is just a dear. Her writing is fun and real and sensitive. She’s already published a book and here she writes about her second book.
I dug in my heels about Dorcas Smucker for a long time. I can be rebellious about following really popular people. But like the rest, I was drawn in by her humour, skill, and candor. She attacks difficult subjects with courage and I deeply respect her worldview.
Rosina Smucker writes about hard things with grace and humility. She is a beautiful soul.
So there you have it.
The evening shadows were so pretty tonight, but this picture doesn’t capture them.
I’m starting this post at 5:45 pm while the lasagna bakes and the evening sun’s rays slant across the kitchen. I just came back from a walk and it’s -17 C. But the February sun has power and for some reason I was thinking of tiny green plants as I walked up the snowy white lane.
I have three big brothers that I love dearly. I write about David a bithere. He’s a talented musician and businessman, a hero of faith in my books. I used to be afraid of him, but learning to know him better in the last few years has changed that. David reads voraciously and writes wonderful letters for the Peachey Post, the family letter we all contribute to every three months. He loves all people and often attracts people who struggle socially and mentally. (People like me, for example.)
Jon is my logger-turned-rancher brother who lives in Kamloops, B.C. with his wife, Donna, and their three small ones. Jon is a strong and determined person, very fit for his age. He accomplishes a lot on very little sleep. He is well read too. I love his interesting take on politics when he writes his Peachey Post letters. Jon is a really good dad and is so proud of his kids.
The brother I was always closest to is Glen. He’s five years older than me, but that never mattered. When he went to milk the cow every evening, I tagged along. I spent hours riding along in the tractor with him. One year when his teacher read the class The Scarlet Pimpernel at school, Glen told Linda and I detailed instalments of the story every evening at home. Glen has always had a really big heart and loves his current job as a care aide for the elderly. He is always looking out for homeless and underprivileged people.
I wrote this about my youngest brother soon after he passed away: Kevin climbed mountains, forded rivers, traveled extensively, ate with enjoyment, mountain biked, motorcycled, did the zip line thing, read the Word, created huge swings over canyons, camped, hunted, sang joyously, played with children, laughed with the elderly, hated conflict, grew up Mennonite, was baptized by the Baptists, wooed several girls, respected his parents, lifted weights, joined the “conservative” Mennonites for the last brief years of his life, drew pictures, built cabins, wrote poetry, was married in Pennsylvania, designed rock walkways, slept well, and grew bald young. Of course Kevin wasn’t perfect. But he lived a full and joyful life. He taught us how to live—and then he taught us how to die.
I also have some of the nicest sisters in law and some mighty fine brothers in law.
I love my mom, too, and I write about her here. And my precious, deceased dad deserves a post of his own someday.
I also write about my children, so I won’t brag about them again just yet.
So that’s my family. I told you the good things–and they weren’t at all conclusive.
I could also tell about rehabs and psychiatric units and divorces and separations and hurts and scars and arguments in my family. But that wasn’t the purpose of these posts.
I’m so glad for a family that’s close despite its huge differences. Hold tight to those you care about. Mend the rifts. Make the phone calls. Forgive the offences. Stand together.