Magical Memoir Moments

Genealogical fan chart made for our children and grandchildren. Showing eight generations. We have another that shows ten generations. Both are available to descendents of Swiss Anabaptists through Mennonite Life.

Digging Up a Hidden Heritage

Since I am the first person in both sides of my Mennonite family to go to college, and since my family praised “common sense” over too much “book learning,” I was surprised to discover recently that some of my earliest ancestors in America were actually public school pioneers. I should not have been totally surprised…

Read More...

What Will Your Death Illustrate?

He was the most powerful congressman in America during the Civil War. He helped unknown hundreds escape to freedom on the Underground Railroad. All pictures of him show a man of determination, a man who knew suffering, a man who eased the sufferings of others. His name was Thaddeus Stevens, and he represented Lancaster County,…

Read More...
From "The Woman Who Bought a Mountain for God, The Atlantic, June 20, 2023. By Stephanie McCrummen. Photos by Olivia Crumm.

Separation of Church and State

The reason my family today is American and not Swiss is due to religious persecution. How to explain this? My religious ancestors left behind few words for future posterity. Felix Manz and Conrad Grebel, the earliest Anabaptists, were well-educated, ardent seekers during the early Reformation, who disputed with the leader of the Reformed movement, Ulrich…

Read More...

What’s Good About Aging?

I turned 75 years old on July 30.  This is the first birthday that seems undeniably like the beginning of old age — three quarters of the way to 100. Six years away from the average American female life expectancy of 81. No matter my fate, I am beginning to see the horizon and the…

Read More...

Cancer and Father’s Day

It began on Thanksgiving week. It has ended, for now at least, on Father’s Day week. In between were consultations with oncologists and surgeons, surgery, proton radiation treatments, and infusions of the drug Keytruda every six weeks. And now. . . Stuart’s malignant melanoma is gone! The doctor declared him to be “cancer free.” In…

Read More...

Grandmas For Love

It started with a sidewalk conversation just after we moved to Lititz in 2021. I was admiring the artwork of my neighbor, Margaret Thorn, and trading stories about the Warwick High School Class of 1966 with her husband, my WHS classmate, Art Thorn. Margaret told me she had spoken at the local school board meeting….

Read More...

Ukrainian Grandma Star

The war in Ukraine has touched the hearts of millions around the world. Many people have found ways to show their concern. For two years in a row, a group of friends in our community has made comforters to ship to Ukraine. But one reader has a more personal connection. Let me introduce you to Lisa…

Read More...

The Grandsandwich Generation

Last Sunday after church, I brought my daughter, granddaughter, Mother, and a bowl of cookie batter to my sister Doris’ house. We joined her and her daughter, two granddaughters, and my niece Joyous and her daughter. We had lunch together and then decorated Easter cookies and made chocolate peanut butter eggs. Another way to describe…

Read More...
The left side is bruised but healing

Love and Its Relation to Death

“Death destroys a man. But the idea of death saves him.” –E. F. Forster We are traveling the pilgrim’s path between love and death. Our home is filling up with emblems of beauty, hope, and care from thoughtful people who have chosen to come on pilgrimage with us. Our neighbors, family, and friends near and…

Read More...

An Antidote to GrandSlump: Those Simple Little Pleasures

Perhaps you have seen this neologism from my friend Kerry Byrne: If you have grandchildren, and were lucky enough to have them all together, or even in stages, over the holidays, you know how grandslump feels. I do. After the children and grandchildren gather up their luggage and head for the car, and we have…

Read More...