Pennsylvania Historic Places

Ruth Hoover Seitz, By (photographer) Blair Seitz

Imagine raising six spirited kids on a grass farm. Today. Thatrsquoll test any mamarsquos strength. Dorcas Smucker and her brood live out their days in full view in this collection of musingspicking blueberries while watching for bears hoping for angels driving off the nearby freeway moving into the ldquothousandstory houserdquo enduring 15yearold Mattrsquos lecture on respect while captive in the car. Then there was the fourweek road trip which Dorcas says ldquoMy sisterinlaw warned me would be like putting your whole family in a bathroom and staying there for three days.rdquo Dorcas and her husband Paul are purposeful parents. But they arenrsquot perfect. Dorcas wonders if their marriage can endure when she and Paul canrsquot ever figure out what gifts to give each other. She tries to navigate her mild daughterrsquos development into a very certain self wondering ldquoWhen do I give in and when do I stand firmrdquoThere are no recipes here. But there is story upon story. Dorcas has three daughters and three sons. And she has a voiceencouraging doubting entertaining but never taking herself too seriously. Often slightly offstride and with disarming humility Dorcas keeps finding resource in her life at home ldquoOften the things we donrsquot know we need come into our lives without knocking.rdquo