Two little boys sat on the kitchen floor, the older on eating coconut by the handfuls right out of the bag. The younger one, seeing joy on his brother’s face, decides to get in on the action and sticks a hand in the bag. Upon swallowing the last of the coconut, he tells his mom, who’s been watching this unfold, with surprised and scared eyes, “Mom, I just ate a whole coconut!”
My mom told me that story a while back. We were reminiscing about the old days, sharing stories and talking about things we remembered from when I was a kid. Things like tricky dogs—those cute little magnetic toys that every little Amish child knows well. She shared how us kids used to put one tricky dog on the top of a piece of paper with the other one underneath, and then make the visible dog slide all around the paper, giggling quietly the whole time.
On page 73 of his book Lena’s Boys: Adventures on the County Line Road, my friend Frank Yoder talks of his own memories of tricky dogs. He begins his story about what it was like attending church as an Amish boy. He would sit next to his mother on the long wooden benches. He writes, “What was it like sitting there? Your feet did not reach the floor, and the benches were stone hard.” As an older boy, he was allowed to quietly play with a set of magnetic tricky dogs to pass the time. He was so fond of those toys that he still has them today.
This past year, Frank and his wife have been walking a lonely and difficult road. If you have read and enjoyed any of his writings, please consider sending a letter and tell him what his work has meant to you. Feel free to send any cards and letters to Frank to our office, and we will see that he gets them.
As always, may you find joy in the simple things,