Another Way Archive

Where Rigor—and Community—Helps Form Strong Young Men

April 1, 2016 Melodie Davis

In the midst of disheartening U.S. presidential campaign rhetoric, terrorist attacks all around the world, and domestic racial issues always on simmer or boiling over, I was encouraged and moved to happy tears recently. We were watching an episode of 60 Minutes showing a Catholic preparatory school in Newark, New Jersey, that is educating young men—black, brown, and white together—to be the best they can be. With amazing results. They are taught and internalize that their lives have meaning, and students urge their brothers and friends to enroll. I have not been able to watch 60 Minutes for years because […]

New Life: An Easter Pep Talk

March 25, 2016 Lauree Purcell

Editor’s Note: Lauree Purcell is a freelance writer and mother of two teenagers in Harrisonburg, Virginia. As I live out my 50th year, I am going through some exciting challenges that are stretching my thinking and helping me grow. My father passed away last year, so I’m helping my mother clear out the home where they raised me. Going through all the letters, papers, photographs, and all our accumulated possessions brings back both happy and sad memories. Mom and I have been having some painful discussions, but we are also having a lot of fun doing new things she wasn’t […]

When It’s Raining a Glorious Candy Mess!

March 18, 2016 Melodie Davis

I’ve never met Marianne Jantzi, but after laboring with her for about eight months to bring her first book into the world, I feel like I could be its grandmother. The effects are long lasting. We all feel bright and refreshed and go at our work and play with more vigor. Marianne has four children and is about the age of my own middle daughter. She has been writing stories of their life together as an Amish family in a monthly column in The Connection, a paper read mostly by plain Mennonites and Amish. Marianne’s forthcoming Herald Press book (March 29 […]

When You’re Wound Up like a Rope

March 11, 2016 Melodie Davis

How do you experience stress? Do you get hyper? Depressed? Blocked by too much to do? Do you nibble constantly, or maybe you don’t feel like eating at all? Become aware of how your body is feeling—and loosen up those shoulders, wrists, and ankles. When I am overly busy and stressed, I feel tension in my neck and shoulders—sometimes with a headache. Back in January, stress was loading up because of a mix of both happy and stressful events. At home, my husband and I faced a looming deadline for a decision; some important factors related to our decision concerned […]

When Baby Makes Four

March 4, 2016 Melodie Davis

I was standing in line at a bagel shop, behind a mother with two children; she had one propped on her hip with a pacifier, while also hanging onto the hand of her toddler. I suddenly recalled myself as a new mother of two and how overwhelming everything, even simple errands, felt at times. I felt busier yes, and more harried than ever—but also more into the family thing. My thoughts turned to the evening before, as I was privileged to help one grandson get acquainted with his new little brother at the hospital, after a routine but very quick […]

Clumps of Trees Holding Hands

February 26, 2016 Melodie Davis

We enjoy visiting the churches our daughters are a part of when we get the chance to spend a Sunday or weekend in their community. Not only does it give us a taste of the spiritual nourishment they are getting and the people they see and pray with every week, but participating in their worship also offers us a chance to sample sermons from different pastors. It’s better than just being a straight-up cold-call visitor (so to speak) in a church you’ve never visited before and will likely never visit again—where the attachments and connections are nil. Pederson talked about […]

Dogs, Sin, Shame, and Me

February 19, 2016 Melodie Davis

I’m sure most readers have seen the hilarious videos on YouTube of dogs being shamed by their owners for chewing up a pen, taking apart the new dog cushion they so lovingly provided, snacking on their slippers, and so on. While I would never shame a dog just to make a video, I’m always amused—even if angry—when I have to shame our one-year-old overgrown pup, Velvet. Will she never learn? So, afresh, I got to see her turn her head, put on the sad face, and suffer my glare. They know your wrath is coming even as they mischievously enjoy […]

The Language of Human Need

February 12, 2016 Melodie Davis

As a college student I spent my junior year in Barcelona, Spain, in the early ’70s. One incident still stands out in my mind, offering a reminder for me even today. Between the three of us, we did not share a common language, except the language of human need and desire to help. On our Christmas break, I traveled with two other friends by bus to Germany and then to Austria. I ended up sitting by myself but landed a tall friendly Spanish guy, Juan, as a seatmate. Juan spoke his native Catalan (the birth language spoken by most natives […]

The Day I Got Caught Speeding

February 5, 2016 Lauree Purcell

Editor’s note: Lauree Stroud Purcell is a freelance writer and mother of two teenagers in Harrisonburg, Virginia. This past fall, I was driving through town with my college freshman daughter beside me. She was with me for the afternoon, a rare visit, and we were enjoying a fun conversation as I passed by her middle school. Since being pulled over, I have been much more aware of my speed. Why had I not noticed the flashing yellow lights designed to remind drivers to slow down in a school zone? Unfortunately, I was so interested in what she had to say […]

Imagine It

January 29, 2016 Melodie Davis

My middle daughter works for a symphony in a mid-sized city, and frequently we get to take in concerts when we visit. “Did you ever imagine when you were growing up that you would someday perform all over the world?” Last fall my youngest daughter and I attended a piano concert there with a young artist, Behzod Abduraimov from Tashkent, Uzbekistan (located in central Asia). He blew me away. His playing style was to hunch—potter-like—over the piano keys, indeed, sometimes curving his back and neck down to where his eyes were level to the piano keys. He pulled amazing sound […]