I walked to our library tonight to listen to my favorite local "mom" writer, Dorcas Smucker. Dorcas writes a monthly "Letter from Harrisburg" for the Register Guard and has two delightful books, Ordinary Days and her new Upstairs the Peasants Are Revolting. She also has a blog filled with stories of her daily life on the farm.
In a room filled mostly with "older" women (and a few husbands), Dorcas read "An 'Irrelevant' Generation" from Ordinary Days, a blog post "Aprons, Aesthetics, and Hip New Things", and "Fearing Fatal Errors" from her new book. Her voice as she read reminded me of Minnesota women from my childhood (Dorcas was born in Iowa and moved to Ohio when she as 5, then moved to Minnesota at age 10 where she lived until coming to Oregon at age 19 to teach in a Mennonite school). Today at mid-life, she has three sons and three daughters ranging in age from 9 to 22 years old.
In writing about her everyday experiences, Dorcas brings to life the sweetness (and hilarity) of living in a family, getting older, family traditions, and the challenges of change. She also informs readers about living as a Mennonite woman in today's culture (yes, she has a cell phone but has never had a television), about life as a farmer's (and minister's) wife, and about mothering of children (in our electronic world).
Asked if she considered herself a humorist, Dorcas said "I'm always surprised when people laugh" when she reads her stories. "I'm just a mom, writing about life."
When I read a "Letter from Harrisburg" in the newspaper on Sunday mornings, I find myself in tears as often as I break into laughter about something Dorcas shares about her life. Her stories touch my heart and remind me to celebrate life and cherish my loved ones each day. And she reminds me that "often the things we don't know we need come into our lives without knocking."
Thank you, Dorcas, for being "just a mom, writing about life" -- sharing your words of wisdom with readers throughout the world.