Posted by: Bonnie Anderson | May 31, 2011

Oh Brother!

Frog Crossing sign from Germany - We need them here to warn us

I have a big brother.  If at all possible, I think everyone should have one.  My brother had the dubious honor of being the only boy in our family.  He was hopelessly out numbered.  I am the middle of the three girls – a position that I believe was advantageous to building a close bond with my brother.  I was not too close to his age and not too far, you know, just right.

Now my brother is a science teacher, but more specifically a creationist.  He has helped my husband and I lead our children in wonderful teachings that reflect how God created the world.  He loves nature, but his interests include parts of it that I would never take the time to appreciate.  He likes frogs and petrified wood.  I love that he does, but I have strong anti-frog feelings.  You might say I’m frogaphobic – I don’t like things that jump at me (that’s why I could never play basketball).  And petrified wood is really a strange thing – it’s rock-like in appearance.  I remember going to the Petrified Forest as a kid and thinking – okay, I can’t see the forest or the trees.

But, I digress; my brother is very supportive of me.  He is the person that God used to lead me to know Jesus.  Later in life, Bob and I let him lead our then-ten-year-old son, Joe, across the country on an adventure that allowed me new ways to trust in God.  (These were pre-cell phone days.)

Let me be clear here – I do trust my brother and appreciate his influence in my life, but there are limits.  With his permission, I am reprinting part of his response to my post – “Life in the Suburbs – It’s Bearable.”

Last night I went on a wildlife expedition myself here in the wilds of New Jersey. A bunch of us went on a “frog slog”. It was great slogging around in a vernal pool hearing a wide variety of frogs calling out with all their hearts. Our leader identified the calls for us with a CD player. I caught a northern tree frog, which was cool. A couple of rare and beautiful Pine Barren tree frogs were caught, as well. All were released after we watched them in an aquarium for a while.

Some things to note here:

  1. Wildlife expedition in New Jersey – I had not thought of that possibility
  2. Frogs as wildlife – the dark side no doubt
  3. There are multiple frog sloggers, enough for them to need a leader – I picture him slogging around in hip boots with a boom box on his shoulder doing a kind of “Name That Tune” thing with frog calls.  I can name that frog in two ribbits – okay, name that frog!
  4. My brother still is teaching me (have you ever heard of a frog slog, I hadn’t, and by the way – vernal means “happening in spring”). 

I appreciate so much the differences in my brother and me – they are part of the fun of life!  But it’s in the sameness of our relationship both with God and our family that we thrive.   So, yes, my brother has led me around a lot of our lives – and no, there is no chance he’ll lead me to slog in any kind of pool looking for frogs.  I am much more at home on my street hunting for bears.


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