The Notebook and First Excerpts

Preparing for the August 2014 release of When The Roll Is Called A Pyonder, a memoir of a Mennonite early childhood

I kept the little red notebook that mom gave me on my night stand tucked under my Bible on the shelf below the lamp and the kleneex box.  I can’t say how I came to feel, at the age of nine, that it was important for me to record and remember the things that happened to me or how it was that I knew writing things down was a way of laying them down; of being able to clear my mind and heart for whatever the next day would bring.  But as you will see, I clearly knew all of that.  At nine I was bravely suffering the joyful misery of unrequited love for a boy named Neil in my second grade class. I loved animals, fishing, playing outside and going to school.

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I have attempted to leave the spelling as much in tact as auto-correct will allow.  Here is how we will begin:

March 10, 1980

Today I stayed home from school.  I was sick.  We watched Little House On the Praire.  Laura met Almanzo.  Nellie had her own restrant but she didn’t like to cook!

March 11, 1980

Today I went to school for the first time in a week and a day.  We are studying Niagra.  I like Neil.  My teacher is Mrs. Mentzer, sometimes she is nice.  I sit in the back row in school.  My reading book is Lippencot 3:1.  My best friend is Karen.  In school I sit next to Cory Gibble.

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My sister Wanda and I, about 1975 wearing dresses mom made for us.
Anyone else remember rick-rack?

More entries coming next week…

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