Dearest Dorothy, Slow Down, You're Wearing Us Out! (Dearest Dorothy #2). Charlene Ann Baumbich. Penguin (2004). 266 pages. Genre: Fiction, Christian Fiction.
First Line: "Dorothy leaned against the doorframe, her keen, brown, eighty-seven-year-old eyes slowly casting back and forth across the horizon. "
Summary: Dorothy Jean Westra has finally decided it is time to move from the farm she has lived at her entire life. She will be moving into a smaller house in town. Katie Durbin and her teenaged son Josh will be buying the farm and have agreed to keep it just like it is. Before either of these moves take place, there is a lot of work to do. The annual Fall tag sale will be taking place at the farm, and there is work that needs to be done at the smaller house. On top of all of this, Dorothy has been having some health issues and her beloved car, The Tank, is gasping for air. But, never fear, the residents of Partonville will pull together and help Dorothy get settled in her new home.
My thoughts: Reading this series is like visiting old friends. The town of Partonville is people with interesting characters. In this installment we get to know a few of them better.
Katie is a single mother who works in real estate. She has had to work hard to provide for herself and her son. Coming from the big city, she is finding it difficult to imagine ever moving to a town as small as Partonville. But each time they visit, she feels more welcome. Katie's son, Josh, has formed a relationship with Dorothy. She is the grandma he doesn't have. As Katie watches their relationship grow, she realizes there is a lot she doesn't know about her son. There is a lot of growth that happens in Katie's life over the course of this story.
Dorothy is dealing with some major changes in her life. Moving from her beloved farm is daunting, but she feels it is the right time to do so. She is also dealing with a serious health issue that she really doesn't feel the need to share with anyone else until she is forced to. Dorothy gives such an inspiring example of how to deal with the difficulties of aging, while keeping your dignity and sense of humor.
And humor is abundant in this story. There were several times I laughed out loud while reading. The author strikes the right balance of dealing with serious themes, while infusing the story with some lightness. There is a lot to like about this series - an interesting storyline, well-developed characters and a deep sense of community. I look forward to catching up with Dorothy and her friends in book three.
"Jessie Landers stood on the pitcher's mound, arms down in front of her, hands clasped around the softball. She glanced at the first baseman, who was staring at the runner for the Palmer Pirates, who was acting as if he was going to try to steal second. What Jessie knew was that he couldn't run fast enough to make it to second by Tuesday, so she didn't give him another thought."
"Maggie was as vibrant and exotic in her decorating as she was in her clothes, her hair, her life. Currently sporting somewhat chestnut-colored locks pulled severely back into a knot, she'd wrapped a couple beaded, bangle bracelets around it and they clattered when she bobbed her head. She wore tight, denim slacks, a highly patterned, short-sleeved cotton top and was barefoot, every other toenail painted either blue or violet. Referring to herself as a bit of a gypsy at heart, at seventy-two, Maggie continued to be a real corker, as she'd always been."
"Even if they were no longer there, she would still enjoy the exploratory prowling, as she liked to call it. 'Feels like mining for gold when I dig through the piles in resale shops,' she once told Paul, who had, of course, just stared at her in amazement that she could be so easily entertained."