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Tea and Trouble Brewing

Tea and Trouble Brewing

Tea and Trouble Brewing

You never know what you’ll find in the Smuckers’ Oregon farmhouse. Perhaps teenage boys lighting WD40 on fire, an army of ants invading, opinions flying, or all the lights dimming. Dorcas Smucker, mom of six, gets her perspective back by brewing a pot of tea and escaping for a few minutes to sit and think. In this book, she invites you to join her for a cup, hear her tales, and then remember all the stories of your own.

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  1. 11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Love This Book, December 10, 2012
    By 

    This book is written in a way that is easy to pick up and read just one chapter at a time. Great for busy people. Each story both grabs my interest and has a conclusion that give me writers envy.

    I have a huge appreciation for Anabaptist authors, artists, songwriters, motivational speakers, etc. We need more of them don’t you think? Dorcas Smucker is one of my favorite authors. Dorcas writing makes me laugh. I love that. She also has a way of turning everyday moments into thought pondering truths.

    After only a few pages into this book I found myself laughing out loud (LOL you know) and before I knew it there were tears in my eyes because she made an important point that spoke to the heart. My heart.

    Dorcas’ writing style has been compared to Erma Bombeck. The Lancaster Paper once wrote an article on her titled, “Bombeck in a Bonnet?” Dorcas was raised Amish. She is now the wife of a Mennonite preacher and a mother to six children.

    I read more than one paragraph out loud to my husband.

    So, I loved her new book and I think that you will too…

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  2. 3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A treasury of stories for every soul, January 6, 2013
    By 

    A while back, Dorcas announced that she would be hosting a blog tour. I was thrilled and hoped that I might be able to join in on the fun. I e-mailed Dorcas, and she graciously allowed me to review her book.
    Dorcas is a Mennonite minister’s wife and mother of six. She has the remarkable ability of being able to squish humor, sentimentality, and wisdom into essays with ease and clarity.
    Tea and Trouble Brewing intrigued me because several essays held connections to my personal life. I laughed frequently and even teared up a bit as I read.
    I enjoyed reading snipits relating to Dorcas’s Amish heritage. As someone who lives over five hours from any grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles, it’s easy to feel disconnected and void of family identity. Perhaps my longing to know more about my Mennonite heritage is why I resonate so deeply with Dorcas Smucker’s essay “Characters in a Larger Story”.

    “This spot of earth along Muddy Creek makes for solid footing, and we are part of a long and complex story much larger than ourselves.” (p. 69)
    I found “A Study of Campers” to be one of the book’s funniest essays. Dorcas divides the South Beach campers into six catergories: College Kids, Hippies, Cool Families, Matchy Couples, Fit People, and Families Such As Ours. While not a camping enthusiast myself, I’ve had an abundance of camping experiences, including spending three months living in a camper during my dad’s sabbatical. The stereotypes in “A Study of Campers” accurately describe many of the campers I’ve witnessed.
    I’d say my family fits into the Families Such As Ours catergory. We make far too much noise, yelling things like “Who ate the Doritos?” and “Don’t use the toilet!!!”. Within seconds of leaving the lake, grainy sand particles and grass clumps become embeded into the seats of our vehicle. We tend to inspire visions of swimming and marshmallows through our fishy and campfire smoke odors. But, like the Smucker family, Families Such As Ours tend to have oodles of fun.
    As I read “The Children Who Leave or Stay”, several pent-up emotions surfaced. I felt a twinge of sadness as I thought about graduating from high school this spring. Nagging questions raced around in my skull. Should I go to a nearby or distant college? Will I return to the Midwest? How often will I see my family? As much as I enjoy traveling and meeting new people, I’m absolutely terrified of leaving home forever.
    On page 71, Dorcas compared two common reactions she has witness from parents whose children return home.

    “The ones who leave are welcomed home with shrieks and laughter and tearful hugs. The ones who stay come in the back door and Mom and Dad glance up and say, “Oh, hi.”
    Both reactions bother me. I dislike the thought of my family relationship becoming distant and awkward. I also dislike the thought of our relationship becoming commonplace and “boring”. I’ve tried to convince myself that such things could never affect my family, but I knew that even the best of intentions can be altered by time and space.

    Just as I was beginning to feel bogged down with hopelessness, Dorcas said something that halted my negative thoughts.

    “Can the child who eventually stays in this area understand that the flutter of excitement at another’s arrival doesn’t mean that I love this one more, that one less?” (p. 73)
    Her words helped me broaden my focus and realize that I’m not the only one struggling with the unknowns of the future. I got a rare glimpse at the feelings that might be on my parents’ hearts. Dorcas’s words calmed me and reminded me that, no matter the expression, a parent’s love remains the same. I need to be sensative to my family’s hopes and concerns, especially during this time of tremendous change.
    Just as “The Children Who Leave or Stay” expanded my vision, I am confident that every reader will find one (and perhaps many more) chapters in Tea and Trouble Brewing that will touch him/her to the core. Dorcas Smucker has written a fantastic book and I honestly have no complaints.
    I would, however, like to mention a few other perks that one will discover while reading Tea and Trouble Brewing. As an art lover, I couldn’t help falling in love with the cover design. Even the spine has some cute details – a row of mini-teacups which will elicit a sigh from most females. Besides the great essays and cover design, Dorcas includes some simple recipes in the back of the book, including “Easy Tea” and “Perfect Tea”. I am excited to give them a try.

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