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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Almost Mexico

I've been away for the past couple of days- mostly in the jahnt zeed area of Manitoba. (That's german for "the other side of the Red River" for those Anglisch amongst you). And I never had to leave the house.

"I Am Hutterite" by Mary Ann Kirkby transported me to the beautiful Manitoba prairies and into a lifestyle that has always held a certain intrigue for me. Her writing is easily read, and tears fell unbidden as I read about her lifetime of joys, losses, hopes, and the loneliness of life off the colony. I thought about human nature being ubiquitous, regardless of culture. I thought about the endurance of the human spirit. And I thought about all the many immigrants we have right under our noses that we probably snub and discount without a second thought. It's easier to feel regret when the account is told by someone with such mastery of our familiar English language, and an understanding of our more mainstream culture. But that doesn't discount the reality that people know when they are perceived as second class citizens, and that naturally they feel the sting and inferiority of rejection. Something to be mindful of in my interactions with people who cross my path.

"Almost Eden" by Anita Horrocks settled me into life of a younger, smaller Winkler. I remember as a child hearing whispers about Eden Mental Health Centers; about shock treatments, and drug therapies. This book is written from the perspective of a twelve year old child whose mother struggles with depression. Another easy read. (It's written for a young audience). I loved all the low German colloquialisms and the direct translation of grammer from that gutteral language. It was easy to relate to the story, having grown up in an extended family basted and marinated in all manner of mental illness challenges.

My head will be in yahnt zeed for a few days yet, anyways.
Nah, yo.
mein zeit!

12 comments:

Heather Plett said...

Sounds intriguing. I'll have to check those out.

Have you read "Of This Earth" by Rudy Wiebe? It's not yahnt zeed - it's Saskatchewan - but still a good Mennonite read with lots of Plautdeitsh thrown in for good measure.

Anonymous said...

I want to read that book "I am hutterite"...heard it's very good...L-lew

it's a gong show... said...

would love to read both of those books. sounds like your winter vacation was everything you wished for :)

Anonymous said...

hmmm. Almost Eden. I remember thinking as a teenager that Eden should have been named 'Far from Eden'. My grandma was whisked away for electric shock treatments and then returned to us, never quite the same. I think I'd like to read that book, yah?

gloria said...

"I am Hutterite" has been on my wish list for a few weeks already. I am surprised I have not driven out in blizzards to get it yet, such is my nature when I get a yen for a book.

I never heard about "Almost Eden", but I am going to look out for that one too.

Thanks for the heads up. Always pumped about new books eh!

joyce said...

gleeful gloria-
you are welcome to borrow the books.

joyce said...

Heather-
Now you've gone and made me want to edit my book list again!!
And I'm just now finishing your first suggestion- The Gift of Knowing Yourself.
It has a lot of content. I feel like I should go through it more slowly than I have been, its good. I think I'll read it more than once.

gloria said...

yay!

Romeo Morningwood said...

Wow!
I'm still trying to slog through the 'Cukes Of Hazard' by Valtar Kupansasser.

Once I'm finished that it's on to 'Like-You-Wouldn't-Believe' by some author that the Publisher dubbed "the funniest Chicken Boss in the world."

Enjoy our freshly minted holiday Screwy Riel Day!
Laisser les bon temps rouler!
sing-along..

"Louie Louie, oh no,
@##% is it cold!
Aye-yi-yi-yi!!
I said Louie Louie, oh baby,
Me gotta go."


See you in the...
Woo sajt maun Schpring op Plauttdietsch?

gloria said...

lord = he?

he seems to have more identities than a yahoo romance chatter.

Romeo Morningwood said...

btw:
If you're going to be playing Yahtzee for a few days I hope that you roll five-of-a-kind.
That's 50 points!

Hi gloria

Anonymous said...

I have Hutterite patients from time to time. Once, years ago, I had an Hutterite woman, she must have been in her 70's. She had cancer. Her husband stayed with her most of the time. I was in the room one day when she said something to him in low German, in a very sharp tone and I laughed. She looked at me and asked if I knew German and I said no but that I didn't have to understand German to understand that she was irritated with her husband. She laughed too.