Another Way Archive

A Work in Progress

July 15, 2016 Melodie Davis

I went on a Master Gardeners tour back in June. I am not a master gardener, either in name or practice. But I learned something vastly more important than how often to deadhead a rosebush or what perennial to plant where. How reassuring to know that even Master Gardeners have problems with their trees and hedges and flowers. I especially enjoyed the home of a professor of biology whose garden and yard were like a laboratory of experiments. She calls her backyard “the Eclectic Edge,” and her husband cheerily admits it is her space—she gets to decide what to put […]

A True Community Service: Free Clinic

July 8, 2016 Lauree Purcell

Editor’s note: Lauree Purcell is a freelance writer and mother of two teenage daughters in Harrisonburg, Virginia. I met Kathy Whitten about 15 years ago at church, and I’ve always been impressed with the many ways she energetically helps and befriends people throughout the community. I look up to her as an amazing role model because she’s truly inspiring. This is about her volunteer work at the Free Clinic, which has served the city of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County for 25 years—and I’m guessing there may be a similar clinic and volunteers in your own community. Having someone to listen […]

Mystery of the Disappearing Cell Phone

July 1, 2016 Melodie Davis

I was clearly distracted. My husband was getting ready for minor surgery. The morning had been a blur of phone tree–type frustrations dealing with two different medical insurance issues. There were other paperwork hurdles, but you don’t really need or want the other details. A small inkling of dread and despair began to creep up my chest. One of our vehicles was in the shop for inspection and needed to be retrieved. And, oh yes, there was that leftover fried chicken to pick up at church from a Saturday night graduation party. (Pay attention to the fried chicken clue.) After […]

Osteoporosis. Mei?

June 24, 2016 Melodie Davis

Editor’s note: Third in a three-part series: On Growing Older. You might be noticing a theme here the last couple weeks in this column: I am getting older. This is the last of my three-parter and I hope to move on to other topics! But since so many newspaper readers these days are also “older,” perhaps you can identify. And if you are a woman and you hope to get older (especially in light of the alternative), this might be worth reading. When my post-exam card came back, it reported I had an abnormality. I called right away for an […]

Hearing the World in a New Way

June 17, 2016 Melodie Davis

Editor’s note: Second of a three-part series: On Growing Older. The rustle of a single hamburger wrapper sounded like the crackle of one hundred papers. The keyboard at my computer started clacking very loudly! I heard myself sighing vociferously. (Do I really sigh that loudly?) I heard ice rattling in the office kitchen—never noticed that before—and when our office janitor was putting away dishes in the kitchen, it sounded as if she was banging stuff like she was mad. But of course she wasn’t. As I walked up the office stairs, I heard my shoes scuffing the carpet. And birds—why […]

Renegotiating Living Together

June 10, 2016 Melodie Davis

Editor’s note: First in a three-part series: On Growing Older. A guy I worked with in the past, award-winning photographer and videographer Jim Bowman, wrote a poignant post while sharing an evocative photo on Facebook the other week. The photo showed his wife’s hand pressing a goodbye onto an Amtrak window as she commuted to a nearby city—an arrangement they had followed weekly during the school year for family reasons. This was their last week of the commuting separation. He noted, “Lin and I will need to negotiate living together again.” Our true personalities are revealed again in new ways […]

Helping a Struggling Family

June 3, 2016 Lauree Purcell

Editor’s note: Lauree Purcell is a freelance writer and mother of two teenage daughters in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Last month, my mother and I were happy to be a part of an intricate web of community support lifting up those who are facing much greater challenges. Getting a home ready to sell, we had quite a bit of furniture that we no longer wanted. With leadership from Celia and Becky, whom I know from my church, we decided to help a mother we’ll call “Jane” and her two elementary school–aged children. When I arrived at Jane’s apartment, her belongings were in […]

Waiting is Hard: Forty Years Later

May 27, 2016 Melodie Davis

I began writing this column a year ago. Yeah, some things take a while. But it’s interesting the perspective a year brings. Forty years ago this May I was still in the Big Wait. I thought our wedding day would never come. At this time last year we had an interim pastor at our church; I’ve written some about that. Our pastor had preached a sermon on waiting—very fitting for the place we were as a congregation. She read the passage about how Jesus, after his resurrection, told the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for him. But they […]

When the Regular Classroom Isn’t Working

May 20, 2016 Lauree Purcell

Editor’s note: Lauree Purcell is a freelance writer and mother of two teenage daughters in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Anna Green was nervous as she played a board game with her young student with autism. For several days, she had been showing him positive ways to react when he was unable to win a game. Now she was going to win this game and see if he could use his new skills to lose without blowing up in anger. Teachers know that every child is unique, and guard against making assumptions about students. Anna was learning how to be a teacher like […]

When the Worst Happens

May 13, 2016 Melodie Davis

Have you experienced a difficult death in your family or among your friends? I mean, all deaths are sad, and we mourn the loss of a dear person—but it is very different with tragic circumstances or when children or young people die. Anyone who has lost a child or has had a child with a significant physical or intellectual challenge has heard comments and questions that leave them cold. I remember wondering where God was when a busload of wholesome young baseball players careened off an exit ramp, killing most of them—and they had prayed for safety in a circle […]