My Scandalous Mennonite Diary #25

Kelvin Bueckert
3 min readMay 1, 2024


I swing the hammer in my hand.


The nail between my fingers punches into the wall.

I’m still a bit angry about that confrontation the other day. That anger drives my work.

I still don’t know why that Minister would say things like that about my wife.

I know that Mary would never chase after other men.

Noise catches my attention and I turn to the window beside me.

The neighboring family is out in their backyard. The younger children are running back and forth, laughing and yelling. All the while, the older family members are hard at work in their large garden.

This is a pleasant scene of life in a Mennonite village.

What will my own family life look like?

The question plays in my mind as my fingers pull a nail from the leather pouch at my waist and move it into position.

I swing the hammer in my hand.


The nail between my fingers punches into the wall.

What do all those traditions and rituals help? The people who practice them don’t have any problem abusing my wife and spreading lies around town about her.

This sort of gossip is a downside of life in a small village.

I can’t help but wonder if Mary has been right all along. She has changed so much. She used to be withdrawn and fearful when we were courting. As time has passed, she has become so outgoing…so, loving and caring…even though I know I don’t deserve it.

She even forgives those people who say such awful things about her.

Why? What has been driving this?

Could she be right that there is much more to life than what we’ve always been taught?

It doesn’t seem possible…but what other possibility is there?

The frustration behind these questions drives another nail into the wall.

Done. I step back to survey my work.

Yes, the shelf is perfect where I have placed it.

“Good work Abe,” Mary says as she enters the room.

“Thank you.”

“This will be a perfect.”

A smile dawns on the corner of my lips. “I have been thinking the same thing.”

My gaze sweeps my surroundings. Once this room had been full of random rubble…now, after two weeks of hard work, it can finally be called a bedroom.

“Have you thought about names at all?”

I pause. Names. Of course, our child will need a name.

“I don’t know, what do you think?”

Mary pauses. “I’ve been thinking, if it’s a girl, I’d like to name her Kathy.”

“But what if it’s a boy?”

“Good question, what do you think?”

I ponder this for a moment. “You know, I think I’d like to name him…Jake.”

“Jake, “ Mary smiles. “Yes, that’s a good name.”

“I can’t wait to meet…whoever it is.”

“Me either.”

For a moment we enjoy each other’s gaze.

A sudden shout catches our attention and we turn to the window.

The young children next door have started a game of tag. It isn’t a quiet game…it is a game full of all the joy and noise of youth.

Will this be what our family life looks like?

A sudden longing washes over me. “Mary.”


“I’ve been wondering about all these things you learned on the radio.”


“Could you…um…explain them to me?”

“I’d be happy to!”

What am I thinking? Will I turn my back on what my parents have taught me? I don’t know…but, I have realized that there must be more to life than all those rules and traditions I’ve been following.

Mary has shown me that by the way she has been living.

I need to find out what has that I don’t.



Kelvin Bueckert

Lives and writes on the plains of Manitoba, Canada…he is an actor, writer, and has also been known to peddle books on his website…