Mr. Garrett Goes to Washington

Well, Daniel has just driven down the driveway on his way to his new job with the State Department. The first seven weeks of training will be the most intense, then he’ll spend some months in language study, depending on where he’s sent. He’s rented an apartment in Virginia, a short bike ride from the institute. He plans to visit us whenever he can. When he left, Grandma said, “Drive carefully and call us when you get settled.” She’s finishing her afternoon nap now.

We will all miss Daniel: his energy, his humor, his creativity. He says he’s confident I will continue to do a good job of caring for my grandmother.

Elvaisms #1

My grandmother’s first language is German, and she began speaking English when the world was very different than it is today. Here are some expressions she uses:

Well, I better hyphenate in my room and get out of your hair.

Hand me a bobbing pin, will you?

I think it’s good to be interesting in what’s happening in the world.

There you are, my little fuddy-duddle, my little cat.

About Michael

Maybe you want to know something about the creator of this website. When I began it, I was middle-aged, single, a writer and search engine marketer, caregiver for my elderly grandmother (1911-2006). I got married in 2005, moved back to Texas in 2006, and had a son in 2007.  I’m fifth-generation Methodist, descendant of circuit riding preachers in West Virginia, though my family left the Methodist church when I was 17. Since then, I’ve been part of churches with labels such as: Southern Baptist, Nazarene, charismatic, apostolic, Anabaptist, Assembly of God, Church of Christ, and (shudder!) Presbyterian. Hypocrite is another label that has been applied to me. Some aspects of my life I would rather not talk about. But I’d rather be inconsistent with my beliefs than to stop believing them.

 

Why I live with my grandmother

A couple of years ago, my youngest uncle moved back with my grandmother Elva, after her hip replacement surgery, having spent a decade driving to her house several times a day to check on her. It’s been hard to convince her that she could no longer live alone safely, but I think she understands it now. But, as a former worker in nursing homes (LVN), she never wants to live in one. She says she wants to live in her home until she “sprouts wings and flies away”.
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Tantalizing if True?

In the 19th century, newspapers would sometimes flag articles “Important If True” when their information was potentially urgent but they didn’t have time to verify it before press-time. One wag wrote that churches should put the same sign over their doors.

Even when we don’t fully understand the truth about God and the world he created, even when we’re frustrated when we try to talk about these subjects (“No, that’s not it… what I meant to say was…”), we ought to know that truth really does exist. We might even find that it’s specific, practical, and relevant. And it’s not just important, it’s tantalizing, because it’s so different from the way we’ve been living all our lives. Is the Good News too good to be true? Not hardly.

Unlike most bloggers, I find myself constantly editing and re-editing my earlier posts, sharpening the point I want to make. We need to wake up. We’ve been dreaming.

About Elva

Elva is what my grandmother’s Texan-German relatives call her – short for Evangeline. She is more than 90 years old, and remembers bouncing on her Civil War veteran grandfather’s knee before 1914, while he called her “My little elf” (in German). She’s fifth-generation Texan, but was raised in a farming community where everybody spoke German, so she didn’t learn English until she started to school. She raised eight children while working in nursing and food service, first in Houston and later in St. Louis.
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What is a homecomer?

“…The term “home-comer” has, of course, a religious connotation. For it takes a good deal of courage to say “no” to the fashions and fascinations of the age and to question the presuppositions of a civilisation which appears destined to conquer the whole world; the requisite strength can be derived only from deep convictions. If it were derived from nothing more than fear of the future, it would be likely to disappear at the decisive moment. The genuine “home-comer” does not have the best tunes, but he has the most exalted text, nothing less than the Gospels. For him, there could not be a more concise statement of his situation, of our situation, than the parable of the prodigal son.”

— E.F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful, Harper and Row, 1973