Another Way Archive

Racism: Show Up, Say Something Supportive, Sit There

August 12, 2016 Melodie Davis

I’ve been trying to write about this topic in a deep way for months. Then a brief encounter made me catch my breath, literally. I was power-walking through a nearby park and woods where I often go at lunchtime. It is also a prayer time for me, and time to relieve my stress of being tied to a mouse. You know the kind. What would it be like to be of a race where you usually have to second-guess the looks, motivations, and actions of people you are interacting with? So I had my head glued to the path, thinking […]

The Power of Imagination

August 5, 2016 Melodie Davis

One of my two-year-old grandsons (now two-and-a-half) has a play kitchen that is very cool. If I had had one when I was little, I would have loved it as much as he loves his. Sometimes it seems like we all lack imagination when it comes to solving small and big problems in the world. As soon as he could walk and play, he was fascinated with watching Mommy or his grandmas cook. He begged to be held up where he could see, or donned potholders and improvised with pots and pans to mimic Mommy. (The division of house chores […]

Swear Not

July 29, 2016 Melodie Davis

I was driving one day and noticed a license plate in front of me that said simply, “I YI YI.” Where and when did the common language of common folk become so common? Oh my. Did you ever have something that brought to mind the voice of your father with a phrase he used? All of a sudden, Daddy was right there with me in my car, even though he’s been gone 10 years. “Aye yi yi” was an expression he often used when irritated, exasperated, upset, or just dumbfounded. For example, with a broken farm implement that turned out […]

Interested in Quilting? Stay Tuned

July 22, 2016 Melodie Davis

I am not a quilter. I grew up Mennonite. My mother, an aunt on my father’s side, and a grandmother on my mother’s side were all either avid quilters or piecers, or both. A piecer is one who enjoys putting together designs and patches to make a quilt. Quilters are those who make the tiny stitches. And that’s the thing about a good quilt: most come with a good story, unless you got it online or in a store. Neither Mennonites or Amish have any special corner on quilting, even though Mennonite relief sales and quilt auctions are organized and […]

A Work in Progress

July 15, 2016 Melodie Davis

I went on a Master Gardeners tour back in June. I am not a master gardener, either in name or practice. But I learned something vastly more important than how often to deadhead a rosebush or what perennial to plant where. How reassuring to know that even Master Gardeners have problems with their trees and hedges and flowers. I especially enjoyed the home of a professor of biology whose garden and yard were like a laboratory of experiments. She calls her backyard “the Eclectic Edge,” and her husband cheerily admits it is her space—she gets to decide what to put […]

A True Community Service: Free Clinic

July 8, 2016 Lauree Purcell

Editor’s note: Lauree Purcell is a freelance writer and mother of two teenage daughters in Harrisonburg, Virginia. I met Kathy Whitten about 15 years ago at church, and I’ve always been impressed with the many ways she energetically helps and befriends people throughout the community. I look up to her as an amazing role model because she’s truly inspiring. This is about her volunteer work at the Free Clinic, which has served the city of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County for 25 years—and I’m guessing there may be a similar clinic and volunteers in your own community. Having someone to listen […]

Mystery of the Disappearing Cell Phone

July 1, 2016 Melodie Davis

I was clearly distracted. My husband was getting ready for minor surgery. The morning had been a blur of phone tree–type frustrations dealing with two different medical insurance issues. There were other paperwork hurdles, but you don’t really need or want the other details. A small inkling of dread and despair began to creep up my chest. One of our vehicles was in the shop for inspection and needed to be retrieved. And, oh yes, there was that leftover fried chicken to pick up at church from a Saturday night graduation party. (Pay attention to the fried chicken clue.) After […]

Osteoporosis. Mei?

June 24, 2016 Melodie Davis

Editor’s note: Third in a three-part series: On Growing Older. You might be noticing a theme here the last couple weeks in this column: I am getting older. This is the last of my three-parter and I hope to move on to other topics! But since so many newspaper readers these days are also “older,” perhaps you can identify. And if you are a woman and you hope to get older (especially in light of the alternative), this might be worth reading. When my post-exam card came back, it reported I had an abnormality. I called right away for an […]

Hearing the World in a New Way

June 17, 2016 Melodie Davis

Editor’s note: Second of a three-part series: On Growing Older. The rustle of a single hamburger wrapper sounded like the crackle of one hundred papers. The keyboard at my computer started clacking very loudly! I heard myself sighing vociferously. (Do I really sigh that loudly?) I heard ice rattling in the office kitchen—never noticed that before—and when our office janitor was putting away dishes in the kitchen, it sounded as if she was banging stuff like she was mad. But of course she wasn’t. As I walked up the office stairs, I heard my shoes scuffing the carpet. And birds—why […]

Renegotiating Living Together

June 10, 2016 Melodie Davis

Editor’s note: First in a three-part series: On Growing Older. A guy I worked with in the past, award-winning photographer and videographer Jim Bowman, wrote a poignant post while sharing an evocative photo on Facebook the other week. The photo showed his wife’s hand pressing a goodbye onto an Amtrak window as she commuted to a nearby city—an arrangement they had followed weekly during the school year for family reasons. This was their last week of the commuting separation. He noted, “Lin and I will need to negotiate living together again.” Our true personalities are revealed again in new ways […]