Organized Chaos At The Dining Room Table

Today I spent time out of the heat of midday, lost in the depths of the Jake Epp Library on Elmdale Street here in Steinbach. Nope, I wasn’t checking out the new releases. Like I said, I was lost in the depths. I was at the very back, where the factual books are kept. Books…about Steinbach and about Mennonites. There were many books I wanted very badly to carry out of there, and into our home, but I resisted. Because…this is what my desk looks like:

It’s already piled very high with publications I intend to read. And yes…before I took the photo, I set the screen to my favourite website, The Daily Bonnet. You’ll also see my favourite beverage in the photo: “silver tea” (a.k.a. hot water). And the blanket I use to keep warm whilst writing, because Andrew keeps our home very cold. And yes, that’s actually our dining room table. We don’t really use it for its intended purpose very often, so I’ve claimed it as my desk. I enjoy working so conveniently close to the food in our home.

Speaking of Andrew…the other day, he approached me at my “desk” and declared that I looked like a mad scientist, with my puffy white hair and surrounded by haphazard piles of books. I like to think of it as “organized chaos”. (I have since received a significant haircut so my hair is no longer quite as puffy for the time being. Just felt I should be honest about that.)

So, today I chose not to add to my chaos by loading our car with library books. But those books are on my mind. At the library I found several family history books, some books published by the local Historical Society, some books by Royden Loewen, and a “Manitoba Ghost Towns” book. When I came across the latter, I eagerly flipped to the pages that promised to delve into the disappeared Mennonite street villages…and I was disappointed to see there was not really much info regarding phantom Menno villages.

But I paged through Royden Loewen’s book…I can’t remember the name just now, but it contained a chapter or two referencing several Mennonite diaries written on the journey across the ocean in the 1870’s. Because I’m self-obsessed and really that’s where this interest in Mennonite history is coming from, I determined that I must pay more attention to my own history, where did I come from. And this brought me to the conclusion that I really need to read the books on my desk, particularly the books about my own family history!