Saturday, June 26, 2010


1.  Work is a huge blessing. This morning I went jogging and then Grace and I went for a walk. Ande was giving some private swimming lessons at a friend’s pool and Calvin was mowing the lawn. We were late eating breakfast -cottage cheese pancakes (my, they are good—better than a crepe or pancake I think) –and Calvin dared grumble that there was no bacon. That fried me right ‘til we went outside and raked, hoed, weeded, hauled, burned, pitched, and picked. Sweat took the fight right out of me. Blessing one.

Joe and Ande brought tacos home from the farmer’s market, an unexpected and good surprise. After I showered, Calvin and I went to town for dog food, chicken feed, and ice cream. We picked gooseberries and rhubarb this morning so I made a gooseberry/rhubarb pie. Blessing two.

Any kind of fruit pie is edible if there is enough ice cream for the top. We sat out on the porch this evening rocking in the white rocking chairs eating pie. Weary. Happy.  Blessing three.

2.  My mother quit mothering when some of us were still young so I wasn’t quite sure what mothering young adults and adults would look like. I wasn’t certain if our kids would still need an active mother or for how long. Absurd. Mothering is like the sun. Just because you don’t see it for a day or two doesn’t mean you don’t need it, miss it, or want it. The sun and mothers nurture, warm, color, brighten, kiss, envelope, and strengthen and you need them be you 23 or 32. This week confirmed that wonderful discovery.

3.  Mr. Holland was a musician and he wanted to write an opus. Until he could earn enough money producing music, he taught it. He would carve out time to write a masterpiece, but things got in the way and the time was eaten by students, responsibility, family, life. Mr. Holland felt like a failure that he never composed a great piece. When he retired from teaching his former students came together to play the notes he had composed. The opus was in the people, not in the notes.

I had a Mr. Holland day this week:  I planned to work on a class. I need to finish my degree sooner rather than later. I sat down to study. A good friend stopped by and we visited for an hour or more. While we visited another friend called and wondered if I could babysit for a few hours while they took their baby to the doctor for an emergency visit. While my little friend and I made cupcakes for his family, another friend called and asked if we could take a last minute meal to a new mother that night. In the meantime, Calvin came home from work a couple of hours early so that he, Grace, and I could go to the temple. All the while, the class manual sat open near the couch.

As I climbed into bed, I wondered about the class.  Then I thought about my day. It was good. Very, very good. Far better and more meaningful than I had orchestrated.

4.  Twice Grace has solemnly said, “I didn’t hear from Abe this morning. Blackout.” I assumed blackout meant not enough power for the demand so the power was shut down temporarily. I didn’t understand until today (during a blackout) that it means all communication to the outside world is cut because there have been casualties and until the next of kin is notified, no one is allowed to communicate off post. Oh. Sobering. During those blackout hours spouses wonder if it is they who will receive the dreaded call. Though she feels an inner peace, it is still no wonder that Grace hates blackouts.


deidra said...

Good post. I like that ordinary life can be so rich when explained by NJP.

The thought of a blackout makes me sad. Rough times.

Deanna/Mimi said...

As I read your posting, I could not help but think of myself when younger. Those days are gone for me but it thrills my very soul to hear of your energy and drive and the exciting, happy life you have. You lift others when they are struggling. You teach others when they think their too old to learn. You are an example of faith, of endurance and do it with a smile on your face. I admire you so very, very much. At times I wish I could turn the clock back and had taken time for me and taken better care of myself...I wouldn't be in the "pickle" I am in today.
A note on the blackout...My heart goes out to Grace. She has had to deal with so much. But I am thankful that she has you, Calvin, Ande and Cali to take care of her and surround her with the good things of life.

Kim Sue said...


Barb said...

My kids are on the verge of being much more blessed starting this week (new chore system - yeah!).
Hopefully this new chore system keeps me from quitting mothering (some hard days this week).

Cassidy said...

Very good post. In many ways I could relate. in many ways. ;) Poor Grace. We're constantly praying for her and Abe. We can't wait to see you!!! Hope you don't mind visitors!

ps... you make the best food. yum.

Cali said...


I love these updates. They just make me feel like I was there. Thank you for including me. I agree with the idea that children ALWAYS need their mother.

I love you,

Ande Payne said...

I loved this post. Especially the Mr. Holland's Opus part. And I'm very glad you are still my mom.

Mindy said...

Well said and insightful. I just told someone the other day that my teenagers need me just as much as my younger kids do just in different ways. It's nice to hear that adulthood doesn't change that.

Jill said...

Oh Jane, even your snippets are powerful!

I love what you said about mothering and think you're totally right. Your children are truly blessed to have you for their wise mother!

I can't even imagine having to deal with "Blackouts", but especially not as a young, pregnant, newlywed!

Tiffany Fackrell said...

I too hate blackouts now. poor Grace. I am glad she feels peace, I cry for her everytime I think about it. She is one STRONG STRONG WOMAN!

I love your snippets.

Heather @ Multiple Hats said...

Oh, the "Blackout" part made my stomach turn. Prayers for Grace - many, many, many.

Good to catch up with you - I love hearing your snippets.

Chandra said...

Abe and Grace are always in our prayers. I always pray for the saftey of those in our armed services. May God bless you Abe.

michelle said...

Jane, I just love life in your world.

I love that you were mad at Calvin, but then the work and sweat took the fight out of you.

So sad to hear that your mother quit mothering when you were still young. Children always need their mothers, always. That has just been confirmed to me since my grandmother died and my 61-year-old mother suffered (and continues to suffer) such a keen loss.

I really love your thoughts on your wonderful day that was better than you could have orchestrated.

I too felt a pit in my stomach when I read about blackouts. Dear Grace. I am so glad she is with you and your family.

Dott said...

I wanted to leave a comment, mostly for Grace. My thoughts and prayers go out to her. My sister in law, Lisa Christensen, in Royal City told me about her little baby who has been diagnosed with Trisomy 18. I too was diagnosed with a baby with Trisomy 18 in March. I would love to talk with her if she feels like it would be helpful. You can contact me at