Melodie Davis Archive
The Irony of the Cross
You may recall in early August I shared the story of D. J. in Florida, who had sent handmade crocheted crosses to the Mennonite Church USA convention this past summer via her pastor. She had wanted to offer her “gift” in this way, and she frequently gives crosses in her church’s offering basket instead of money or a check. (See the original story here.) I do not know if I would have had the guts those women who accompanied Jesus to the cross had. I offered the crosses to readers, who sent me messages detailing the touching ways they planned to […]
When Loneliness Is Eating
Meet Bud (all names changed to protect privacy). Bud is an elderly widowed friend who lives by himself and can no longer drive. Indeed, he is almost blind, but he has various people that look in on him, officially and unofficially, and while we don’t see him nearly as often as we’d like or we should, we try to keep in touch. I hope you’ll consider ways you can connect—whether inviting them to dinner, taking over a hamburger or even a simple dessert, or just going out for some cheap fast food. So recently we offered to bring a hamburger […]
Would Your Children Enjoy Cooking More?
When did you start learning to cook? Did boys and girls both have the opportunity to try their hand in your family? How does she get her homework done, cook, and manage a hectic schedule during her cross-country and musical seasons? Recently I’ve been blown away by interviewing and watching a 12-year-old kitchen foodie, Lizzy. In celebration of Family Day in the United States (the last Monday in September), I’m again writing about the value and importance of families eating together. In Canada, a similar emphasis comes the third Monday of February (or the second Monday in British Columbia). I […]
Seeing Persons with Disabilities through New Eyes
All of us know persons with varying degrees of intellectual or physical challenges. In the Shenandoah Valley, we are blessed to have an innovative program serving needs of individuals with various intellectual and physical disabilities and their families: Pleasant View, Inc. This faith-based organization offers an assortment of living arrangements ranging from institutional care, where needed, to apartment living (aided by part-time assistance from staff or volunteers) to day programs for those who live with their families. If we believe all people are created in the image of God, that includes those with intellectual or other disabilities. Dave Gullman is […]
Building Up the Temple—Even When You Don’t Feel Like It
My mother enjoys reading to persons in the healthcare area of her retirement home complex. It may be more accurate to say she thrives on it—volunteering, having something special to do, connecting with people. She’s a very social 91-year-old. When we don’t feel like singing (or doing whatever) because of illness, grief, or getting older, just start in and maybe we’ll cheer up and find a new way of looking at whatever confronts us. A woman she’d read to once a week for a number of years died in the last year. So she was without someone to read to—a […]
Many of us will travel in the coming weeks, either for one last summer holiday, to take a university student back to school, or perhaps for an early fall getaway. As always, concern for making smart moves on the highways should be a priority for everyone. In a dumb move, I quickly decided to pass a slower truck in front of me, and glanced at my mirrors as I was rounding that curve. I remember the days when my father faithfully took time to audibly pray for guidance and protection on the highway before we launched any major trip as […]
Editor’s Note: Jodi Nisly Hertzler writes occasionally for Another Way and is a college counselor and tutor. Jodi and her husband have three children. Last year, I took on the role of college counselor at the private school I work for. Somewhat daunted, I immediately immersed myself in as much information as possible, joining national and local organizations, attending conferences, visiting colleges, watching webinars, and reading everything I could find. I successfully muddled through my first year, and as I begin a new season with a fresh round of seniors, I am reminded of the anxiety students and parents experience as they traverse […]
Simply the Season: Eat Fresh or Preserve for Later?
How did you first learn—if you did—to can or freeze fresh garden produce to eat all year? Did you grow your own foods as a child? For many of us who were fortunate to grow up on farms with gardens, truck patches, and even orchards, the answer is: Growing and preserving our own food is as normal as brushing our teeth and taking out the garbage. It’s what people do. The cookbook even includes ways to use the tops of carrots, discarded corncobs, celery leaves, squash blossoms, onion stems, and more. I understand that not everyone grew up like this. […]
What Can You Give?
My colleagues came back from a recent churchwide Mennonite convention, and one of them placed a collection of small white crocheted crosses in our break room. The crosses were in little plastic bags with decorative cards taped on that read “Handmade in Homestead, Florida.” Knowing that D. J. places her crocheted crosses in her church offering basket as her offering to God adds an even richer dimension to this simple cross. My curiosity was immediately piqued. Having been to 22 such Mennonite conventions over the years, I’ve always felt the planned business conducted there wasn’t as important as the little conversations […]
Transparency and Intimacy
Editor’s Note: Melodie Davis is on a one-week vacation from writing her column. Here is a column from the summer of 2000, about her life as a sometimes-recognized local newspaper columnist. I got my hair cut recently, and even some people who know me well had to look twice to see that it was still me. So I was a little surprised when a total stranger in Burger King asked, “Do you write the column in the paper?” He said he is one of those people who is able to recognize people by face alone—he doesn’t look at extraneous things […]