Closing his devotional at a recent Hopewell business meeting, our former bishop remarked that he’d been reading a new book that afternoon and had a quote for us:
When he concluded with “by Dorcas Smucker,” I knew which book he’d been reading. 🙂
A few days after that, I was chatting a bit with one of my high school Spanish students. She had just slipped back into school from her first round of chemo for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Thanking me for a book I had sent to her while she was hospitalized, she added, “It made me laugh, which was good.” Yes, since “a merry heart doeth good like a medicine” (Proverbs 17:22), a cancer patient laughing is surely a good thing.
Those two anecdotes demonstrate why I like the latest of Dorcas Smucker’s books. I pour myself a cupload of it for the hilarity…and am not disappointed. Then I discover the life lessons…and am blessed or challenged (and, at times, both).
Can the child who eventually stays in this area understand that my flutter of excitement at another’s arrival doesn’t mean that I love this one more, that one less? (73)
I wonder about gifts and gratitude and why, so often, more of the one results in less of the other. (21)
Who knew one could find a sense of discovery and purpose in washing and reusing Ziploc bags until they wore out? (28)
I haven’t read all my way through Tea and Trouble Brewing. I might never. You see, while I’ve sipped several chapters using my own eyeballs, mostly I’ve swigged away happily with my eardrums. 🙄
Whether I use a lens or a cochlea, what of it? The literary delights still end up in my brain anyway. Besides, since Ruby grew up just down the road from where Dorcas lives, I get extras that no commercial audio version would have (were it even available):
- “That would be Judy H…”
- “I remember that!”
- “Oh, yes; that’s…”
- “Hmmmm. I wonder who that would be.”
But you want to know more about the book. Oh. Right. After all the other reviews you’ve read, what do you expect to read here that’s different?! Just go buy the book! 😯
OK, OK — that’s lousy for a review, so I’ll quote a couple more outstanding-to-me selections from Tea and Trouble Brewing:
Matt had helped Steven Google how to make a flame-thrower from a Super-Soaker, lighter fluid and a candle. “Breathe, Mrs. Smucker, just breathe,” I told myself. (59)
Then there’s the second cousin who wandered into politics, of all things, and who, forgetting much of this crowd is Mennonite and suspicious of government and anything showy, treats it like a Republican fundraiser… (67)
When we got to page 52, my audio version stopped. We also have a big old dog that we may need to bury before this Winter succumbs to Spring. So I drank the rest of that cup of bitter tea on my own:
I held his big trusting head until it dropped, and then I cried more than I ever knew I could cry for a dog. I brought him home and we buried him that night in the field behind the house. (52)
Oh, boy. 😥
Well, “of making many books there is no end” (Ecclesiastes 12:12). I suspect the majority of those books aren’t worth reading. Tea and Trouble Brewing is definitely worth reading. And if you want a sneak peek at future books by Dorcas Smucker, I suggest you visit the online archive of her columns at the Eugene Register Guard. (I wrote that, then discovered they have no such thing! What’s with that, ERG?! As a community service, I offer a better-than-nothing substitute: Google Presents Dorcas Smucker at Register Guard.)
Meanwhile, I still have at least 100 pages to…ah…review. That’s your job now, but perhaps I can help you with it.
Our former bishop read my personal copy of the book. My young friend read a copy Dorcas gave me to give to someone needing encouragement. I have one other author-autographed copy to give to you (if not someone else reading this blog post). To enter the drawing for this book, just leave a comment below.
Alternate Plan A: Buy the book directly from Dorcas Herself for $15 postage paid.
31148 Substation Drive
Harrisburg, OR 97446
This is only for purchases with a check. Right now, Dorcas has a special for US buyers only: Purchase all four of her books for $40 postage paid.
Alternate Plan B: Buy the book with a card through Amazon.
Oh, one more thing: More Than Character Can Handle.