Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Life

October 21, 2012

WHOLE FAMILY: Longing to remember a less normal childhood

— It wasn’t too long ago I was complaining — again — about the boring, shallow, seemingly aimless culture into which I was born. I mean I grew up so average American I considered hot dogs and boxed mac and cheese kitchen staples, my second language was MTV and my goals were … um … not very well-defined, I guess.

I sort-of shuffled along with the crowd through high school and into college, hoping my life played out something like a heartwarming romantic comedy.

Boring. Shallow. Seemingly aimless.

“Couldn’t I at least have been born into an ‘authentic’ culture?” I thought. The kind of culture about which sixth-graders write reports for social studies classes? Something from Africa, maybe? Or Orthodox Judaism? Russian peasanthood even? Maybe something from the pages of “Little House” or “Robin Hood” or “Anne of Green Gables?”

In more recent years, I grew fond of the Old-Order Amish culture and had a brief stint wishing I’d been born there. My desires evolved, as my age increased I suppose, from a youth’s wishes for excitement — the African jungle or Robin Hood — to the comfort and security of a homogenous people who love, serve and protect their own while enjoying the riches of simplicity.

If you cannot picture me with 4-inch hoops through my ears or in a kapp and dress, you’re not alone.

I was not meant to wear any of that.

SO IT WASN’T too long ago I was complaining — again — about the boring, shallow, seemingly aimless culture into which I was born.

Funny, but I was at the dining table in an Amish home when doing so. A gaggle of toddlers, including mine, bounded about a set of wooden blocks in an adjacent room while a group of sisters, their mother and I chatted on about the evils of pharmacia, about breastfeeding and babies and expanding hips — and about our husbands.

(Turns out, by the way, Amish or English, husbands and wives have a seemingly universal set of tantalizing issues.)

We talked some about differences between their Amish and my English cultures, both they and I asking careful questions about the other.

And somewhere in that chatting I complained — again — about the boring, shallow, seemingly aimless culture … well, you know.

One of the sweet sisters in her gentle way breathed the best advice I’ve heard in a very long time:

“I suppose we’re all to try to bloom where we’re planted.” Something like that anyway. Bloom where you’re planted.

And she smiled.

You know how you have moments, the ones where something clicks? Well, that was such a moment for me. Just like would happen in a romantic comedy, maybe, the video slowed, softish music swelled and I considered:

I’m not Amish or African or British. I don’t know anything about slaying crocodiles, much less sewing dresses or baking rolls, and my dominant culture is sickeningly poppish. Whether I like it or no, I carry a Blackberry, drink an awful lot of Starbucks and watch what amount to soap operas — medical dramas, I prefer to call them — over the Internet.

Ech.

But I could — I should — bloom where I was planted. Perhaps if I focused more on serving wherever I was and less on what I thought I was missing by being blah-blah American, I would be a better worker, mother, daughter, friends, wife or student?

Regardless of my People Magazine life, through some inadvertent twists and turns in my proverbial root system, I ended up working in the field of maternity care, of all things, and working with an all-out rainbow of cultures at that.

It struck me just how blessed I am to bloom here. Here!

Further, we women were all getting along swimmingly, stark culture differences and all. Didn’t matter they wore stringed kapps while I wore a fuchsia baseball hat meant to disguise dirty hair.

My Amish friends’ tow-headed toddlers and my boy were knocking and swiping the blocks together with joy — though their boys speak Dutch and mine some sort of baby-babble English.

Text Only
Life
  • gn140802 susan martin RELIGION BRIEFS GOSHEN St. Mark’s welcomes new pastor The congregation of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Goshen recently welcomed its new pastor, Susan Martin. Susan, her pastor husband Andy and their daughter Sarah moved to Goshen in late June. On July 1, Su

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Briefly ELKHARTBack-to-School Kids Celebration set for Friday, SaturdayBack-to-school will be celebrated with a fun and fashion weekend at the Concord Mall. The celebration will kick off with a twist reading and craft time Friday from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Mu

    July 31, 2014

  • GN140728 FAIR Presidents Baked Items multiberry crisp.jpg Multi-berry crisp claims fair president's award President Tim Yoder’s Baked Item this year was fruit crisp.Of the 20 entries, first place went to Sally Kyle of Goshen with her Multi-berry Crisp. FIRST PLACEMulti-berry CrispSally Kyle, Goshen1-1/2 cups flour3/4 cup brown sugar, packed1 stick cold b

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140728 FAIR Anything Goes with Cabbage.jpg May Beane wins Anything Goes with Cabbage May Beane of Elkhart won the Anything Goes with Locally Grown Cabbage contest, sponsored by Sweet Corn Charlie Produce, Wednesday at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.Twelve exhibitors entere 12 cabbage recipes.FIRST PLACEChicken Cabbage SaladMay Beane, El

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140728 FAIR blueberries.jpg Bread pudding takes Bursting with Blueberries prize Former Goshen resident and current Gainesville, Texas, resident Diana Julien Sims’ recipe for Blueberry White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Amaretto Cream Sauce won the Bursting with Blueberries top prize at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.The contest too

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Briefly GOSHENCripe reunion set for Aug. 16Anyone with an ancestor who was a Cripe is invited to attend the Cripe reunion Aug. 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at West Goshen Church of the Brethren, 1200 Berkey Ave. in Goshen.At 10 a.m., speaker Jerry Cripe will giv

    July 28, 2014

  • stephanie price column sig WHOLE FAMILY: Adapting a pledge I can truly honor “I solemnly pledge myself … in the presence of this assembly to practice my profession faithfully. I will safeguard my clients and the public when health care and safety are at stake. I vow to adhere to the legal and ethical principles of the profess

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • THE NATURALIZED MID-AMERICAN: Master wood craftsman shows the inner beauty of trees I am still surprised by the beauty I see in these lengths of wood, and suppose I always will be. They are testament to the carefully-wrought, intricate, and deep craft of creation. They are testament to Don’s generous craftsmanship, too — for which I am very grateful — which was an expression of the joyful Craft that created him. He and those beautiful boards were cut from the same living tree.

    July 27, 2014

  • Briefly ELKHART‘Dog Daze of Summer’ Aug. 2The Pillars of Elkhart will host the fourth annual Dog Daze of SummerAug. 2 from 5 to 11 p.m. at the Civic Plaza in downtown Elkhart. Dog Daze will feature two local bands, High Gravity and MR Z Band. Hot Dog vendors

    July 27, 2014

  • GN140726 Queen Kaahumanu GLOBAL FAITHS: Hawaiians' conversion to Christianity helped women A recent trip to Hawaii to visit family drew my attention again to Hawaiian religion. Original Hawaiians are Polynesians who came to Hawaii from Tahiti, Samoa, Easter Island and other Pacific islands between 500 and 1300 A.D. These Hawaiians were polytheists who worshiped and built shrines to various nature deities. But on the big island of Hawaii they came to revere especially Pele, the fierce and violent goddess of volcanoes.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Poll

Classes at Goshen Community Schools and St. John the Evangelist Catholic School will begin the 2014-15 school year on Thursday, Aug. 7. School corporations throughout the state have been trending toward earlier start dates the past few years. When do you think school should start?

I think early August is a good time to start
I think later in August would be a good time to start
I think school should start after Labor Day
     View Results