A Mother’s Day Rescue


Things weren’t going well.  Haven’t been for a long time.  Spring chores have fallen far behind.  Among other issues, we have had a great deal of rain which grew weeds profusely while keeping me out of the garden.  I was beginning to despair of having a garden this year. 

Then came Mother’s Day and a convergence of generations–just ahead of the next round of storms.

One family arrived the night before and the other came that afternoon—eight in all.  The gardens didn’t stand a chance. They were quickly weeded and planted.

The men hung new shelves and fixed an amazing dinner.  Better Half replaced the small wooden ramp with concrete.  Youngest son gave me a Blackberry Curve.  Youngest Son #2 surprised all the women with flowers.  The Grands colored pictures for my “art gallery.”

While Youngest Son’s wife was loading the dishwasher, I thanked her for all the help and reminded her that it was, after all, Mother’s Day and she should take some time off to enjoy it.  Whereupon she replied, “That’s okay.  I don’t want you to work today because you’re the Supreme Mother.”  Well, the room went silent as everyone tried to figure out if she was praising me or cussing me.  Either way, I didn’t care because it was followed by the kind of hug a daughter gives when she means “I love you.”  And a lot of laughter.

Just a bit more proof of how very spoiled I am.  And how grateful I am for it.


In the Pink or The Ice Man Cometh

For the last several days we’ve been under a Winter Storm Warning. The weather maps colored us pink, just like areas for many states along our latitude. Now the freezing rain has arrived and the radar shows it as gradients of pink to purple.


See that little town called Kansas? The K is right on the edge of the blue and pink. We live 1.5 miles south of that first s in Kansas. See me waving?

Meteorologists are warning that this could be as bad as the ice storm of ’07 or ’09. In ’07 we were without electricity for nine days. No electricity meant no water from the well. Thank God we had propane in the tank and a gas range for cooking and a backup wall heater that worked without electricity. We learned a lot about preparing for ice storms in those nine days.

Now we have a generator and the capability of powering the well with it. We won’t be running medical equipment, cell phone charges, or laptops from 12 volt batteries charged in the car and rigged up with power converters. So long as we have enough propane for the stove and heater and enough gas for the generator, our lives change little when the power goes out.

Until we can switch our water heater to gas, we’ll miss hot tap water in a power outage. The automatic dishwasher won’t plug into the generator (but the clothes washer and gas dryer will). I’ll heat water on the stove and wash dishes by hand—and get the added benefit of soothing the arthritis in my hands. We’ll use lamps and flashlights instead of overhead lights. And there will be strategically placed extension cords for the fridge, electronics, and medical equipment. Small inconveniences, really. Hardly a hiccup in our daily lives.

We’ll have soups, stews, casseroles, fresh bread, hug-in-a-mug, and other wonderful cold weather foods that warm us body and soul. We’ll cuddle and watch movies or read books or play games….unless the buried phone lines quit powering our DSL, we’ll have Internet and I’ll still get my homework turned in on time. (Dang it, nearly all the schools in the state are closed but online schools don’t close down for bad weather.)

Well, like I said, we’re prepared for the storm…maybe a little too prepared.


In the Beginning

Nancy January

This is my first post of my first blog.

These last few months have been filled with firsts. Some were not so pleasant and landed me in the hospital. One was frightening and landed Donnie in the hospital. The most recent was amazing. I participated in National Novel Writing Month and wrote my first draft of my first novel—start to finish—in twenty-nine days.

Okay, the first draft is far from perfect, but it is finished. All my life I have wanted to write a novel. I have. Maybe I will rewrite and edit it to see if it is marketable. Maybe not. I wrote it only for the joy of writing.

I won in 29 days!

Not everything was a first. I have missed the companionship of intelligent women. Some have moved away, some have died, some have just been busy with their own struggles. During these past months, lost friends have been remembered, old friendships have been renewed and celebrated, new friends (both online and local) have been embraced. This feels much like coming home.

If I had to describe myself in one word, it would be “spoiled.” That is not a bad thing. It is an admission that my life is good. I know that it could be otherwise. And I appreciate that it is filled with love, joy, and blessings. My husband of twenty-nine years did not die from his heart attack. Our children are all happily married and have well-behaved, intelligent children. I have few complaints and fewer regrets (everyone should have a few of those).

I am, with the encouragement and support of my family, accomplishing my life goals. I have just written a novel and within a few months will complete my M.Ed. If all goes well, I will go on to get a doctorate. Why? Because it has been something I have wanted for many decades, and because I can. I will be the first of my bloodline to do so and will blaze a trail for my grandchildren. If they see that I can do it, they will not be afraid to try. That alone is reason enough.

I am eager to see what the future holds.