Melodie Davis Archive

Those Fantastic Picture Machines

September 9, 2016 Melodie Davis

  My mother flew with my oldest sister to visit our family here in Virginia recently. I was so proud of her for making the trip—at age 92. She enjoys good health and a good mind, although she has numerous serious medical issues she has to manage. That makes travel an extra challenge. Her biggest “handicap” is increasing deafness. “I felt so dumb at the airport—everyone much younger than me. Everyone looking at their picture machines.” So it was particularly alarming when on their way back home, my sister texted me a half hour after I thought they had already […]

Reading To Kill a Mockingbird Almost 50 Years Later

September 2, 2016 Melodie Davis

I’m not sure how I got through high school as a literature buff and college as an English major taking many, many literature courses without reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I did watch parts of the Academy Award movie of the same name at different times, but never to my knowledge sat down and watched the entire thing. But I surely read it with different eyes and heart 50-plus years later, because of having lived a bit of Scout’s reality in the Deep South. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but at least now I’ve remedied my lapse […]

Faith That Goes Out on a Limb

August 19, 2016 Melodie Davis

Last year I wrote briefly about terrorism and martyrdom in the wake of the June shootings in Charleston, South Carolina. I’m sure every dedicated Christian recoiled at the thought of what if their warm fellowship, worship, or Bible study had been so heinously disrupted. Nine church members and one pastor were murdered. Those were killings more because of race than for faith, but their faith put them in the wrong spot at the wrong time. It may not mean getting my tongue pulled out, but it may mean getting shredded for unpopular opinions or choices. I was in my own […]

Racism: Show Up, Say Something Supportive, Sit There

August 12, 2016 Melodie Davis

I’ve been trying to write about this topic in a deep way for months. Then a brief encounter made me catch my breath, literally. I was power-walking through a nearby park and woods where I often go at lunchtime. It is also a prayer time for me, and time to relieve my stress of being tied to a mouse. You know the kind. What would it be like to be of a race where you usually have to second-guess the looks, motivations, and actions of people you are interacting with? So I had my head glued to the path, thinking […]

The Power of Imagination

August 5, 2016 Melodie Davis

One of my two-year-old grandsons (now two-and-a-half) has a play kitchen that is very cool. If I had had one when I was little, I would have loved it as much as he loves his. Sometimes it seems like we all lack imagination when it comes to solving small and big problems in the world. As soon as he could walk and play, he was fascinated with watching Mommy or his grandmas cook. He begged to be held up where he could see, or donned potholders and improvised with pots and pans to mimic Mommy. (The division of house chores […]

Swear Not

July 29, 2016 Melodie Davis

I was driving one day and noticed a license plate in front of me that said simply, “I YI YI.” Where and when did the common language of common folk become so common? Oh my. Did you ever have something that brought to mind the voice of your father with a phrase he used? All of a sudden, Daddy was right there with me in my car, even though he’s been gone 10 years. “Aye yi yi” was an expression he often used when irritated, exasperated, upset, or just dumbfounded. For example, with a broken farm implement that turned out […]

Interested in Quilting? Stay Tuned

July 22, 2016 Melodie Davis

I am not a quilter. I grew up Mennonite. My mother, an aunt on my father’s side, and a grandmother on my mother’s side were all either avid quilters or piecers, or both. A piecer is one who enjoys putting together designs and patches to make a quilt. Quilters are those who make the tiny stitches. And that’s the thing about a good quilt: most come with a good story, unless you got it online or in a store. Neither Mennonites or Amish have any special corner on quilting, even though Mennonite relief sales and quilt auctions are organized and […]

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 […]

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 […]