NOT Maintaining My Mennonite-ness

December 8, 2014

What Is Mennonite-ness? A friend told me recently that I should blog about maintaining Mennonite-ness in an unceasingly wired and media-oriented world. She is full of fascinated questions about my lifestyle–questions such as: Is it true that you drive only black cars? How does a bald Mennonite woman pin on her cap? Can Mennonites make rum cake? What I view as normal life, she views …

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Char and the Dog

March 31, 2014

I was drying dishes the other day, while my youngest sister, Elizabeth, washed. Since there is no room in our old farmhouse kitchen for a dishwasher, we wash them by hand, like pioneers. And with eight constantly-consuming adults in the family, that is no easy task. The one good thing about doing dishes the old-fashioned way is that it encourages conversations. I have had some …

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Mennonite Jokes and the Value of Different

March 10, 2014

There are blonde jokes; we’ve all heard them. There are lawyer jokes and Polish jokes and yo’ mama jokes. And then there are Mennonite jokes. I like these best, in the perverse manner of humanity. We love to laugh at ourselves. Self-ridicule brings a proud sort of shamed kinship, ridicule from others solidarity. Here’s my favorite Mennonite joke: What is a Mennonite dilemma? Free beer. …

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