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Monday, January 17, 2011

Irma and Janice

Now, I understand that at first glance I probably appear to be one of those indiscriminate hoarders. But it taint true attall. Nope, the things that I hold my greedy mitts onto for years on end qualify in one of the following categories: They are either

  1. beautiful

  2. functional; or

  3. delightful

Irma; placed resolutely before her large bowl of asparagus is not particularly beautiful or very high functioning. She is, however, delightful. I bump into Irma every so many years as she slips out of a stack of other delightful things I have hoarded/stored/protected around the place. Most recently, she found her way onto my sewing room table and I grin inwardly whenever I set eyes on her.

The postcard was a note from my sister, sent to me while I was a hopeful (misguided? misplaced? nearly dismembered?!) volunteer for the Mennonite Disaster Service. The only available disaster back in 1988 or so was the entire city of Wichita, Kansas. I only served to confirm that status in the five months I found myself attempting to pour my areas of giftedness into a non-profit housing company that did helpful things like replace doors and windows, blow insulation, paint rotting wood, and apply caulking to thin sheets of glass that served as window panes. I think I may have actually been glueing the bits of glass to rotting wood, just to buy the homeowner a month or two of reduced windchill values.

It was a disaster from start to finish. And not only in my pathetic attempts of becoming part of a construction crew with zero training, zero confidence, ineptitude with numbers (turns out that doors need to be trimmed and measured before getting attached to house-type structures). Lucky I was blonde and had nice boobs at the time. It spared me from having my teeth knocked out with a set of donated wrenches.

Why am I posting an ancient postcard from the shadows of my failed MDS days? Well, it's twisted and wrong, but it's because one of my favourite commenters- Janice- is headed off on a MDS mission of her own. I know that her experience will be an absolute success, and I look forward to hearing about it, in hopes that it will replace the current mental file that I have marked: Disasters! Mennonite! First of all, Janice is not a kid. It wouldn't take her five painful months of faking it for her to find her voice and say aloud; "Hey! I ASKED! And you promised that I would get training!!" (note the excessive use of exclamation points. This means that I'm getting pretty riled up. Call the paramedics if you don't hear from me within forty-five minutes).

I'm also going to assume that Janice doesn't eat half a dozen donuts, washed down with milkshakes. Nope, from what I understand, she washes down books with a bedtime glass of wine, instead.

And that's waaaay healthier.


janice said...

WOW, I am famous. As I sit here washing my 5 donuts down with a (mmmmmmm cappuccino) milkshake, I am very impressed.
1. I am blonde and have nice boobs for my age (52).
2. I found out that a door needs to be measured and cut, AND you have to make appropriate shaped holes and grooves and slots for the hinges and doorknob. It took me months, but I hung a door in this old house.
3. Therefore, perhaps I don't need my boobs for this project.
4. My nephew went last year and he is quite the cynic, so might not be going again if it was a Disaster! Mennonite!
5. I am really a stalker and a hairy 90 lb male and make all this stuff up to compensate for . . . and I am a hoarder, too.

janice said...

OK, I am really Janice, the Mennonite mother. I hope I didn't offend any 90 pound, hairy males with nice boobs for 52.

(Verification word borstr - bustier?)

jenn said...

"Disaster! Mennonite!" - that's funny:)

joyce said...

my first thought was "borscht"...

Hang onto those boobs- just in case.

I was kind of offended at the "90 lb" bit- but then I realized It was extremely underweight, so I let it go. And don't knock "living in your mom's basement". I've made my sons promise that they'll grow up to do just that!

(do you feel awkward when you leave a comment and then NO ONE says ANYTHING?! It's because we're all getting together here in MB to talk about you behind your back)

janice said...

Cool - my back is definitely facing east - so you are talking about me - yea right. I am not that significant in your world, I am sure. Anyway, I do wash down books with wine, and am still flattered by a blog post about me and will let you know how my Mennonite Disaster goes.