“It is easy to be pleasant when
life flows by like a song, but the man worth while is the one who
when everything goes dead wrong. For the test of the heart is
trouble, and it always comes with years,
and the smile that is worth the praises of earth is the smile that
shines through the tears.”
this issue we have *two* holidays to celebrate! Actually, kinda
three. We have, of course, St. Patrick's Day. And
that doubles as Andrew's 10th anniversary of arriving in Dyeland!
Yay! I'm sure many of us wish we could be celebrating that with
him. Well, at least you get this newsletter. ;-)
Second, we have Past Assignments'
Day. On that day we take some time to remember Andrew's
assignments and his care for them. Big thanks to Rebecca for
writing a reflection!
Even though we have a lot to
cover, I'm glad to report this is another shortish issue! The
next one may be a bit lengthy. Although nothing like those 100
page ones I had going for a while. My wrists have forbidden me
from doing another of those for a while. ;-)
Enjoy and have a safe and happy St. Paddy's this Wednesday!
PS- Due to time constraints, I've decided to cease hiding easter eggs
in *every* newsletter starting now. So you won't find one
here. But they will still pop up at least once a month.
So since this is Andrew's 10th Dyeland anniversary, a couple top tens
seemed appropriate to start this off. On the 17th, the Dyelanders
will be gathered in the Fields of Gold for dancing, singing, good food,
and lotsa fun to celebrate the holiday and Andrew's anniversary.
I wonder what that will be like...
Top Ten Highlights (and Lowlights) of
Dyeland's St. Patrick's Day/
Some time ago, we decided to
celebrate March 20th as Past Assignments' Day. Through the years
we've played assignment-themed games, written fanfic, and recalled our
favorite of the angels' assignments. This year we mark the day
with two reflections about Andrew and Co. and their assignments.
Andrew's 10th Anniversary
When someone gets up to tell St. Patrick's story, Tess will
interrupt to tell how it *really* was.
Lady JenniAnn's grandma, who still doesn't realize Andrew's an angel
and remains desperate to marry her granddaughter off, will overhear
that they're celebrating an anniversary. In hopes of forcing
hand, she'll give him JenniAnn's dowry. Horrified, Andrew will
immediately consult JenniAnn. Neither feeling like they can
rightly keep the money, they'll decide to use it for a give-away of
groovy stuff for their friends. LJA will dole the goodies out
while parroting that famed giver-awayer... Oprah. "And you're all
getting new pocket watches and fllllaaaannnelll
this will only call to mind the talk show's host's constant
of Mr. Dye when he appeared on her show back in the 90s. Residual
irritation will ensue. Andrew will be forced to do an Irish jig
with his umbrella just to cheer everyone up.
8. Andrew will need to be
reminded that the name Irish Soda Bread
isn't meant to imply he should pour a can of ginger ale into the batter.
7. For a Dyeland flair on a
traditional St. Patrick's Day classic, Adam will serve up corned TLS
and cabbage. It won't be any better than the real deal...
blech. (Sorry, as Irish as I am I can't stomach corned beef!)
6. Adam's turkeys will break into the kegs of green beer supplied
by the Tunnel dwellers. And you thought turkeys couldn't
The AOD Band will decide to mark the day by playing
exclusively Irish music. Unfortunately, they won't remember until
the second verse of the Proclaimers' "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" that
they're Scottish. By then it'll be too late to dislodge "But I
would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more just to be the man who
walked 1000 miles to fall down at your door" from their brains.
Maybe they'll have it outta their heads by Easter...
4. Feeling festive, Andrew will
opt to wear his always impressive
jeans along with a green T-shirt and green and white flannel
shirt. Several gawking Dyelanders will collide mid-reel upon his
arrival. Best... ensemble... EVER!
Upon hearing that tin is the traditional 10th anniversary
gift, some of the youngest Tunnel children will give Andrew a
"telephone" made out of two tin cans and some string. Andrew
will, of course, act as if it's the greatest gift he's ever received
and spend several minutes talking with them on the "phone."
2. Andrew will give a toast about how much the past 10 years have
meant to him. Something like this...
"You know, when I first ran into some of you in this Field, I had no
idea how much you would all come to mean to me. Really there was
a lot I didn't know. But I've learned a lot here. There
have been the less serious lessons like that my flannel shirts are
community property, 'Amish Boy' and 'Andrewkins' are perfectly
acceptable names, and if I leave the Jolly Green unattended for too
long... pranks will be pulled and silly string will probably be
involved. I've also learned some
serious things like how to cook... well, that it's OK to tell people
the Father when I'm struggling, and that even though sometimes people
fear me... even hate me because of who I am... there's a group of
people who love me not in spite of who I am but because of it.
that... that's really meant a lot to me. And I won't ever forget
lessons I've learned during these ten years in Dyeland. And I'll
never forget any of you. Never."
1. And they'll never forget him.
Yeah... so I went totally sappy
about half way through that top
ten. So maybe I can keep this next one lighter! We all know
that a Dyeland St. Patrick's Day party would be a lot of fun and
touching and... sober. But what if that wasn't the case?
Ten Things that Would NEVER Happen at the Dyeland St.
Andrew's 10th Anniversary
10. The Dyelanders simply forget
it's Andrew's 10th anniversary
and completely fail to acknowledge the day... Sob.
9. Andrew sings any of the following and *no one* tears up:
Boy," "A Stor Mo Chroi," "Carrigfergus," "The Water is Wide," or "The
Fields of Athenry."
8. The AOD Band members all show up wearing kilts. No one
7. Andrew captures a leprechaun and they get into a fist fight
about who looks better in a green shirt.
6. Andrew decides it's no fair Monica gets to have all the fun and
downs a bunch of Irish coffees then serenades everyone with a sloshed
rendition of "Danny Boy" before getting arrested for disorderly conduct
and thrown in Dyeland's jail... which does not exist.
5. The Dyelanders insist upon watching those horrid "Leprechaun"
horror movies. Andrew ends up in fetal position on a staircase
and the Dyelanders' reaction is best summed up as "Eh, whatever.
He'll snap out of it eventually. Pass the popcorn." (Random
question: If you were never a fetus, would fetal position have any
meaning to you? Think about it.)
4. In a move to embrace his newly
discovered Irish heritage, Vincent dyes his hair green. Andrew
decides it looks super awesome and follows suit. Catherine and
the Dyelanders spend the rest of the holiday locked in their rooms
3. An intoxicated Dyelander will drunk dial the Hallmark Channel
which has recently dropped Touched
from its line-up. The call would go something like this...
"I dun need YOU, Hallmark Channel! I has Andrew. He is way
hotter than Martha Stewart. Don't need you. So over
you. You're, like... stupid. Andrew is lovely. I love
him... He loves me... ::giggling:: You should make a line
of cards for AODs. But NO. You're mean. Mean, mean
Hallmark. Oooh... Andrew's here. Ooh he has
coffee. I loves him... Buh-bye, stupid channel.
2. The Dyelanders vote to dye all the bodies of water
green. Then Andrew decides to go swimming... For the next
week he's forced to begin all his revelations with "No, I am not an
alien despite my green skin. I'm an angel sent to tell you that
God loves you... No, I don't know E.T. or ALF."
And finally... The number one least likely thing to happen at
1. Andrew ODs on the sugary yumminess of Lucky Charms cereal and
is found three days later running the circumference of the labyrinth on
Salome shouting "Hearts, stars, and horseshoes, clovers, and blue
pots of gold, and rainbows, and me red balloons!"
I just wanted to mention a couple of episodes where Andrew's character
really had an impact on me.
think he is wonderful in all of them because Andrew seems so
realistic, understanding and full of love. He always come from a
place of great compassion instead of coming across preachy.
loved him in "I Do." I believe that is the one with Patty
Duke. I love the dialogue between the two of them as the episode
reaches its climax. Patty Duke's character seems so lost and
afraid and angry, and somehow Andrew knows the right words and his
presence is so reassuring yet always real.
loved "Jagged Edges," as well, because the main character in that one
is so fragile and on edge yet he stays with her and can finally reach
her through his great love and compassion.
think his character brought so much realism to the show and his
character could deal with real issues with great understanding like in
"The Violin Lesson." He was also great in the one of my favorites
about World War II concentration camps guest starring Elliot
Gould. "Dear God." When Elliot Gould's character seemed so
inconsolable Andrew could take him where he needed to be.
believe that we really do encounter people in our lives that are
angels for us at that time. I know I certainly have and John
Dye's portrayal of Andrew certainly fits the bill.
my take on Andrew.
thinking about Past Assignments' Day this year, I decided I wanted
to step away from the games and write a reflection. But
I couldn't decide on just one of Andrew's past assignments to
focus. Instead, I want to give a few words of appreciation to
TBAA's writers for introducing us to so many intriguing
know, at times, I've complained about how TBAA focused too much on
assignments and didn't let us get into the angels' heads as often as I
would have liked. That remains true for me. I loved
episodes like "Beautiful Dreamer" and "In the Name of God" that gave us
glimpses into the angels' histories and let us see what made them
tick. I do think they coulda done with more of those types of
episodes. But in writing for JABB, I've come to a whole new
appreciation for what the TBAA writers did do. With most shows
you write for six or so characters every week. And, sure, you
have the occasional extra character like someone's girlfriend or
someone's father. But for the most part you only have to make an
audience care about those same six people. TBAA couldn't do
that. For nine years its writers strove to make us care about a
different character or group of characters every week. And they
had to make them as interesting as possible. And that can get
really hard! But, for the most part, I think they did it.
While TBAA will forever be the show that gave us Andrew to me... I also
can't imagine that I'd be as attached to Andrew if not for the
Wittenbergs, the Du Boises, the Masons, Erin, China, and others.
And that they weren't all carbon copies of each other testifies to the
there's another thing I've come to realize as I've written the
stories here. For most of JABB's existence, I've written
assignments solely as the impetus for Andrew's actions and
feelings. But then... I actually started to care about
them. And sometimes that made what I knew I had to write very
hard. I imagine the TBAA writers felt for their assignment
characters as I do for Hope and the Clearys and Maggie and
others. China haunted those writers' minds. Sarah Bingham
sprang from their hearts onto the page. They may have laid awake
nights with a vision of the lil girl we see Andrew carrying in "Lost
and Found." They loved Tony. Yet, they had to let all of
them die or be harmed. Because without that, TBAA would have
ceased to be a show that assured us that God loved us even when the
world seemed scary and cruel and instead would have been air-headed
fantasy. So I applaud the writers for giving us, via the
assignments, what we needed and not just what felt good to them at the
on this Past Assignments' Day, I'll be raising my ginger ale
and orange juice not just to one assignment or another but to the
writers who created them all!
(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this page are
from "Touched by
an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon
Water Productions. They are not being used to seek profit.)