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Like her grandmother, Lucinda J. Miller wears long dresses and a prayer covering. But she uses a cellphone and posts status updates on Facebook, too. Anything but Simple is the riveting memoir of a young woman’s rich church tradition, lively family life, and longings for a meaningful future within her Mennonite faith. With a roving curiosity and a sometimes saucy tongue, Miller ushers us into her busy life as a young schoolteacher.
Enjoy this excerpt from Lucinda J Miller’s Anything but Simple
A Conscientious Lot*
I AM WITH MOM—maybe standing against her leg, pressing my face into her skirt—while she talks to a strange lady. I am crying because the strange lady is in our house, standing on our porch as if it is hers, and we don’t live here anymore. “She misses this house,” Mom explains to the lady about my tears.
That is almost my earliest memory. The only one I can identify that came earlier is the day we moved: March 30, 1990, when I was three years old. I remember the vehicles piled high with our things, the momentous excitement of the day. But I no longer remember the little farmhouse by the river I cried for. All my more concrete memories were made in the new house on the new farm, a fifteen-minute drive from the old one. The new house wasn’t new, really. It was the same big white farmhouse where my mom grew up, which my great-grandpa had built and my grandpa had added on to. Dad and Mom sold the farm by the river and bought the family farm—with the Holsteins, the hay fields, the pond down the road, and the woods up the road—from Grandpa. Dad put new white siding and pretty, blue shutters on the old farmhouse, and he and Mom remodeled it over the years to suit their tastes.
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*Reprinted with permission from Lucinda J. Miller’s new book, Anything But Simple: My Life as a Mennonite. (Herald Press, 2017). All rights reserved. www.HeraldPress.com