Push or Be Pushed?

Are you a pusher or a pushee?

My husband’s family has a “cottage” on Lake Erie with a fabulous beach.



One thing that has been a “tradition” for years is that we take a large raft and someone pushes it down to the pier or down to the rocks.  Most people ride on the raft – getting off occasionally to cool off, find rocks, lucky stones, or sea glass.  Another person (sometimes 2) pushes the raft there and back.  The pushers obviously get a little exercise, especially on the trip that is counter-current.   Most of the time the raft remains stationary by the beach, anchored there with a brick or an anchor.  The family plays on it and enjoys the water.  But the trips down/up the beach on the raft are special times.




It is a lazy time to travel up or down the beach.  The people on the raft rest in the sun.  They visit with each other and visit with the pushers.  The pushers, as viewed from afar, would appear to just be hanging on the raft as well, but under the surface, their feet are moving constantly causing that raft to move to the destination.


I have rarely been a pushee… almost always choosing to be a pusher.  For a couple reasons:  1.  I tend to get motion sick easily and laying on a moving raft in waves would most likely result in that.  2.  I am not good at casual conversation.  3.  I like to keep busy.  (You know… the knitting while I watch TV, swimmeet, band concert…)


My brother-in-law, Mike was ALWAYS  a pusher.  I believe he was the one that started the raft transport idea.  His reason for being a pusher were probably different than mine.  He liked to go to those places.  He wanted his family to go too and he wanted to take care of them and bring them along in a fun and relaxing way.  Mike was like that.  Mike died suddenly last week, at a much too young age, of a heart attack.   What does that mean for the pushees and pushers?  It means that nothing will be the same… Mike is not there working away under the surface to take care of his family and take them someplace fun.


Will I still be a pusher… sure… if the situation calls for it.  Will someone else step up and help?  Probably.


But doesn’t being a pusher and pushee sound kinda like the whole Mary and Martha story?

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.  Luke 10:38-42


I know that I am definitely more of a Martha.  I prefer to be doing, serving, fixing, helping, preparing, knitting, serving, cooking, pushing…. than just sitting and visiting.  I’m sure this is mainly because I am not comfortable with the visiting part and I am confident in my other skills.   I am definitely an introvert and people skills are not part of my skill set.


I know that Mikey was a nice balance of both.  He was the first one to help out if you needed help.  However, he also knew how to just sit and visit.  I know for me, the grief of his loss, is more about his being able to “read” people and interact with them.  He was a buffer for me… he was an “outlaw” with me at these family gatherings.  Sometimes when things got all “family” he and I would just sit and visit while the rest of them did the family things they needed/wanted to do.  I knew that he could be counted on to talk to me and ask me how I was and how things were going and to actually listen and care.   Everyone talked today at the funeral about his great wit and personality, his Christian faith and love of family.  His ability to understand people and what they needed (whether they knew it or not) was a trait that I personally appreciated.   I will greatly miss him at all the future family gatherings because I will now be, in a sense, alone as the “outlaw.”


I’m sure that that first raft trip over Labor Day weekend, will be a hard one.  There might be tears, hopefully there will be laughter.  Will I push?  Most likely.   Can I change and be more like a Mary?  Just sitting and visiting and working on relationships?  I doubt that I will… that is not one of my personality traits… but I guess I will have to try or feel more ostracized than I already do without Mike there as a buffer.


What will Mike be doing?  Oh you know… hanging with Jesus listening to his stories… getting his “Mary” on.     🙂





What do you like to read?


I prefer Historical Fiction… Amish Fiction… Christian Fiction… mostly light, easy reading stories.

I NEVER read more than one book at a time.  I ALWAYS read books in a series in order.  I almost always complete a series before moving on to another.


HOWEVER, with the advent of the Kindle, I have not always done those things.  I only download what is free.  Sometimes that is just book one in a series.  I have a list of the additional books so I can watch for them, or check the library.


This week, I had started a book on the kindle, I was about 1/2 way through.  We were headed down to the beach, but there was not enough battery charge left, so I couldn’t take it along.  I grabbed a paper book.  So, I was reading 2 different books… 2 different time frames… 2 different eras….


If you know me, I HATE flashbacks in movies, I get somewhat confused, so reading 2 different books should have drove me crazy.  Maybe they were just different enough that I could keep them straight.  The paper book was set during the Revolutionary War in Pennsylvania in an Amish community.    The Kindle book was set on the Oregon Trail.


About that kindle 3584-the-oregon-trail-dos-screenshot-it-s-a-long-walk-to-the-promisedbook:  Finding Her Way by Leah Banicki.    It was my usual, light historical fiction, with a little bit of Christian theme to it.  However, with the book, I felt like the author was writing it while playing “Oregon Trail” on the computer.  Or maybe I’ve played it too often?  It seemed to follow that game pretty closely…. from the jumping off places, to all the forts and sites…. to having some wagons tip in the river crossings… or falling down the mountain/hill when you don’t use ropes/chains properly…  with weather related issues and insects… and trading with the indians … and death and animals being stolen… to choosing which trail to take or to take the Barlow Road or the Dalles River Rapids…     🙂

Don’t get me wrong, the story was cute.  It did take a twist that didn’t fit the usual mold of Christian fiction.  It was a nice escape and fun story and they lived “happily ever after.”


I’m just feeling like playing Oregon Trail now and I don’t have it on this computer.  Wonder if there is a free download.  LOL!!  I remember playing it on our old Apple IIe… with virtually no graphics of anykind… Fun times!


What are your holiday foods?

We are preparing for the 4th of July weekend and making foods to enjoy.


Whenever we have a vacation or large family gathering my go-to snacks and foods tend to be:


Chex Mix (in fact, I sometimes feel used just for my chex mix – it is REALLY good and much better than the bagged stuff)

Puppy Chow (you know chex cereal coated in chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar – how can you go wrong with that?)

Generally a pan of brownies (Lydia is experimenting this year with a new recipe because Brownies is one of the categories she can enter in the fair)

Rice Krispie Treats (the good kind – peanut butter with M&Ms)


Major Holidays (Easter or Christmas)  – might also see a pan of Baklava (it is too labor intensive to make for the 4th of July)


Lately, one of our favorites is a fabulous sweet vegetable dip for tortilla chips.  It has beans and corn and a light sweet teriyaki flavor.


My sister-in-law usually makes good things like:  Chocolate Eclair Cake (Wayne’s favorite) or Lemon Meringue Pie (her husband’s favorite) or sometimes that Pretzel Strawberry Salad and lately she makes a mean Trifle.


This year, I added a Pasta Salad to my menu.  I’m not usually a pasta salad fan, but this one is different.  In fact, it is even more different than the recipe I got from my other sister-in-law… because I amped it up a bit and added Feta Cheese and Spinach to it.   🙂     DSCF1885


We still have the Chex Mix to make and we are going to make a batch of cookies too.  But other than that, we are almost ready to celebrate.


Wait till you see all the food I make for the Graduation Party….  think Christmas Open house with a Summer ‘tude.   😉