Magical Memoir Moments

On Being Not Quite Amish: A Mennonite Perspective

Last evening, as Stuart and I came into Union Station by train here in Chicago, we followed two young Amish families. They walked rapidly, carrying a matching powder blue luggage set without wheels, assorted other bags, and several babies. The men wore black hats. The women black bonnets, black hose, and long dresses. Everyone around…

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Not Quite Amish: Photos of Simplicity Rooted in a Mennonite Childhood

I like the honesty of this website name: Not Quite Amish. Here’s the explanation of the name from the home page: Maybe you’d like to be Amish…but not quite. You want more peace in your life, in your home, in your family, and in your heart. You want to try a new recipe and pick…

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Amish and Mennonite: What's the Difference?

Small groups like the Mennonites and Amish, which only surface in most people’s awareness when the national media pay attention, can confuse people. Especially when both these small groups contain a myriad of varieties. So it’s not surprising that MennoMedia’s Third-Way Cafe has become the go-to place online for people who ask: What’s the difference…

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100 New Beginnings: Your Chance to Be a Winner

Well folks, here we are. After reading 100 memoirs, writing 400 blog posts, and drafting page after page of memoir, we are entering the last trimester of labor. 100 Days Until Launch. Yea! Thank you, thank you, for sustaining me thus far. The best is yet to be. The goal has always been more than…

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Mennonites and Santa: Then and Now

This picture of Santa and me, taken when I was one and a half years old, says a lot about my childhood, but tells only half the story. You would think, looking at this picture, that my family members were big fans of Santa and had lots of decorated trees, windows and presents. You would…

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Emma: A Widow Among the Amish–A Son's Perspective

Since my own memoir focuses on growing up Mennonite, I have read a number of Mennonite and Amish memoirs and reviewed them here, here, and here. Ervin Stutzman, the current executive director of the Mennonite Church USA, gave himself an interesting memoir challenge: “How can I write the story that includes my own life (described…

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August 2, 1969

The Frugal Traveler: A Mini-Memoir

The pattern started on our honeymoon, 1969, 40 years ago.  Stuart had $600 in his checking account when we got married.  I spent all the money I earned that summer– the summer of my 21st birthday, the summer of Woodstock and the moon landing, and the summer of our wedding– on the wedding dress, flowers,…

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