Always Doing Something

 “You know,” a co-worker said as she turned toward me. “I was wondering something about you; do you think you got your work ethic from your Amish background?”

She and I had worked together for several months and she knew my background but she had never asked something so personal or specific before. Her question surprised me.

Responding with my usual candor, I laughed. Continue reading Always Doing Something


Good or Bad Angel

“Okay, I think I got what I need to get to my email account, but I don’t know about that other thing,” I said to Don, the person assigned to set me up with the technology I was told I needed for college.

“What other thing?” Don asked. “Oh, you mean Angel.”

Did you say angel? What in the world do angels have to do with Penn State?” I asked incredulously.

“Yeah, it is kind of a funny name, isn’t it?” he chuckled. “But you’re going to need to learn how to use it regardless of what it’s called.”

“Okay, but give me a minute to get past the questions. Why is it called Angel? What does Angel stand for? And is this angel sent from God or the devil?” Continue reading Good or Bad Angel


Use It Up, Wear It Out

My husband would make a good Amishman. He goes dumpster diving. Not because he is a thrifty Amishman but because he’s a non-Amish hoarder. Although I tease him about his dubious hobby and his “inventory,” I am glad that he shares my tendency to use it up and wear it out.

I recently helped him load up our white minivan and head off to the recycling center with half the contents of our back porch. Rather than get in his way, I stayed in the van as he sorted and dumped. In the midst of the dumping process, though, he suddenly opened the door beside me and thrust something at me. Continue reading Use It Up, Wear It Out


Numbers & Letters

The first time I went to school, I learned that I loved letters and hated numbers. Numbers were (still are) confusing, frustrating, and downright exasperating. Letters, on the other hand, became words and they clicked, fascinated, and stockpiled in my brain automatically. Vocabulary lists were my favorite thing. After I learned to read, I never stopped. I never stopped making vocabulary lists either.

But, during the first month as a college student, I learned that neither those early vocabulary lists nor the lists stockpiled throughout the previous forty years were going to cut it in a university classroom.

The day I discovered this, Continue reading Numbers & Letters