It’s a colorful life

Categorized as 11/16/09 Goshen News column

Life, I’ve decided, is a rainbow. Creation itself bears witness to this as we’ve just seen with the advent of autumn.

The Good Lord could have colored our world in monochrome, shades of gray and black. Instead, He opened up his paint box during the creative process, splashing color lavishly from ocean floor to mountaintop before flinging it across the skies with a final flourish.

Then He made us.

From sober thinkers to class clowns to type A movers and shakers who gets things done, our very personalities reflect a fascinating depth and range of color. Throw in all of the emotions that we humans experience, and the world is a colorful place indeed.

Interesting, isn’t it, that life begins with color? Our babies arrive, red and squalling, to be swaddled in those standard-issue white hospital blankets with pink and blue stripes. Lucky for them that they come as babies because you fall in love with ‘em on the spot, soggy diapers and all. By the time they become teenagers and it’s you that’s red and squalling, it’s too late. Even though there are moments when you’d like to send them to deepest, darkest Africa, you can never quite pull the trigger on that plan.

Speaking of red, my sister saw plenty of it when we were growing up, thanks to our younger brother. He was (and so remains) a certified stinker, full of pranks and tricks, and he knew exactly how to push her buttons. Actually, forget about pushing them. He would hammer them with a rubber mallet.

I can still see her lighting out after him like Wile E. Coyote tearing after the roadrunner. Oddly enough, that splotch on the sidewalk after she caught him was red, too.

Another color that was important in my life as a teen is the color yellow. That, you see, was the color of my first car, which was a 1975 Ford Elite. Never heard of that? Good, because those things were big and ugly and built like a Sherman tank. They had a long front end that literally hung over into the next area code. It’s no wonder that they only made them for three years.

While I was out looking at smaller, sportier cars, my Body Shop Owner father was looking at big, big, very big ones. I know what he was doing. He’d seen plenty of the cars that I was looking at coming through his body shop, crumpled up like accordions, and he wanted a steel cage around me. It’s just that driving such a monstrosity meant that my friends and I had so much more to run around when we’d bail out at a stoplight to do a Chinese fire drill.

Dad sure didn’t figure that into his calculations when he was looking for the perfect car. If he’d been the one running drills, I think he’d have picked a Volkswagen.

Brown, by the way, was the color of the roof on that old tank. It’s also the color of the cow that ran across our roof one night. I am not making this up.

When I was a girl, my parents decided to build their own house as they had time and money. So, they started with a basement. For a number of years, that was our house. It was covered with black tar paper with the roof of the basement standing about 2-1/2 to 3 feet above ground level.

Whether or not this was a failed attempt by Bessie to jump over the moon is uncertain, but at any rate, she ended up on our roof. Dad said afterwards, “If she would’ve come through, we would’ve had strained milk.” No, folks. It doesn’t get any fresher than that.

Next up on our palate is purple, which is the color of royalty. This one comes from Mr. Schrock who frequently tells people that because I’m the only girl in the house, I’m the princess around here.

I love the notion of wearing a tiara, perching on a throne, and having a sparkly scepter to point at people. I really do. However, when certain commoners don’t hop to it whene’er the royal scepter is pointed, the purple face I get just doesn’t jibe with the royal purple robe. Maybe the court jester and his minions could hear me better if I used a royal cap gun with a long black barrel to get their attention.

And speaking of the commoners, we’re finding out that it takes lots of green to raise them. Which is also the color I turn once in a blue moon when I hear about our friends whose holidays are spent lying around in their PJs, watching movies from dawn to dusk with no interruptions. It’s then that I remember those red little faces and I see their brown rooster tails, and the world through my glasses turns rosy again.

Rhonda Schrock’s email address is It tickles her pink, she says, to hear from her readers.

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