Stories by Janie Jenkins

About Janie

A lifelong resident of the Mahoning Valley, Janie Jenkins retired in 1987 as a feature writer and columnist at the Youngstown Vindicator. In June of that same year, she started writing her column, "On My Mind" for Farm and Dairy. She loves all animals and is an accomplished equestrienne. Local history is also one of her loves, and her home, the former Southern Park Stables, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Saying goodbye to a beloved pet

Thursday, April 14, 2011

One by one, like falling stars, they blaze too swiftly across our lives, then disappear except for their forever aura that never fades. We know we are just borrowing them, that they will not always be with us except for that glow, but what a joy to hold the glow for just a minute. Apache, […]

This fickle season fools us every year

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring has been tip-toeing behind retreating winter for several weeks. Now the troops are ready to storm the ice castle and banish the foe for another year. We hope! But April can be a wicked child — like the old saying goes, “There was a little girl who had a little curl, right in the […]

I’m not back in the saddle again, but I’m back

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It would have been much more dramatic to have fallen while putting a horse over a four-foot fence. Instead, it was a humiliating fall from the edge of my very own bed.

Mother’s column revives memories

Thursday, December 16, 2010

In a box on the bottom shelf of the pie safe are my mother’s columns for Farm and Dairy, dating back to 1952. She was old-fashioned and believed that “fool’s faces always appear in public places” so she used a pen name, Aunt Teek, since much of what she wrote until her passing in 1965 […]

Holiday memories are the best kind

Thursday, December 2, 2010

By now, your carcass soup — you do make carcass soup don’t you? — is waiting for the mashed potatoes or noodles or rice, however you prefer, and maybe this is the best part of Thanksgiving. No company, no fuss and so filling and hearty you don’t even need dessert. And speaking of Thanksgiving, I’ve […]

Deadlines always sneak up on you

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Deadlines are so hateful. They sneak up on you at the most inconvenient times. Like yesterday, I was regretfully pulling put my poor dead flowers and all of a sudden it hit me: I should have written my column two days ago! But between the beautiful weather, Veterans Day, getting storm windows up etc. etc., […]

Preparing meals back in the old days

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Once upon a time — all children’s stories began this way, in our childhood times my sister always labeled “in older days” — there were no McDonald’s, no Wendy’s, no Taco Bells or Burger Kings or even pizzas. Hard to believe, isn’t it, in these times of some kind of restaurant on every corner and […]

Photos of “family” trees fill albums

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Year after year, autumn after autumn, the same trees here are photographed, from every angle, in every light. I have pictures of them when I could touch their tops. It reminds me of parents who take pictures of their children from the moment they are born, through every stage, on every occasion. The albums are […]

Looking to ‘lots of good years ahead…’

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Such a dear letter in response to my column about being temporarily “out of order” and finally back on schedule feeling much better than before. The handwriting was exquisite. The name was not familiar, as the writer was from Kent, and I’ll not use her name since I don’t have her permission. But she certainly […]

Hospital staff made illness bearable

Thursday, September 23, 2010

From the sixth floor of St. Elizabeth Medical Center, watching an electrical storm split the night sky was akin to a fantasy, perhaps dream. The city lights could have been anywhere in the world, the height — perhaps the peak — of a mountain. But what in the flaming blazes was I doing there? Why […]

Is summer really coming to an end?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Just at twilight, the doe and her fawn tiptoe up the back fence line, their ears alert to any move I might make as I watch from the back barn door. I’d left Winnie in the house and was glad I had, or she would have ruined the pastoral picture. This must have been a […]

Horse book will change your views on how the west was won

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Surely, every American over 18 and possibly a few younger — I have no idea how American history is taught these days — has heard of the Battle of the Little Bighorn June 25, 1876, and of the Seventh Cavalry’s golden-haired leader, Gen. George Armstrong Custer. The massacre of Custer’s forces and their horses and […]

Bad grammar is all around us

Thursday, August 5, 2010

“Him and me are going to visit…” Me and my friends just pop in the car…” No one is faster than us…” Do you detect something wrong in these honest-to-gosh quotes? The first was said by a young lady who graduated from Youngstown State University in December, got her teaching degree and is employed as […]

‘Family’ antics fill the long, summer days

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Usually the big calendar hanging on the kitchen door is filled with all kinds of squiggles and notes about birthdays and birds and reminders of anniversaries — the reality days of life — but so far July’s page is comparatively empty. I should write that, as of the 14th, the four baby barn swallows which […]

Feathered friends pose some problems

Friday, July 16, 2010

How could it possibly be the middle of July when it was spring just a moment ago and June was almost non-existent? Somehow, the first day of summer and the longest day of the year didn’t register. Maybe because the rain was pouring down — and crossways — or because the furnace had to run […]

What did children do for fun before video games?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fireflies and foxfire . . . four-leaf clovers and bare feet . . water striders and pollywogs . . . baby rabbits and big black and yellow spiders centering their webs . . . crayfish in the creek scuttling backward to hide beneath a rock . . . Fortunate the child — as was I […]

Spring brings bluebirds … and flies

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Now the foaming white froth of the perfumed locust blossoms has been spent and honeysuckle has taken over the scent waves. The erratic spring weather with abundant rain — understatement! — has some of us feeling as though we are living in a tropical rain forest. In my pasture, buttercups and grasses are not quite […]

Respect: Key aspect of Memorial Day

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Even though Memorial Day is not quite here, this column is better enjoyed before than after the fact. I have kept a letter from Juanita Deal of Athens, Ohio, for a year because it paints such a tender picture of what were such sweet times, before “Decoration Day” became just another holiday — an “off” […]

Barn swallows return and lilacs fade

Thursday, May 6, 2010

“Welcome! Welcome home!” I cheered as the barn swallows swooped in the back door, circled a quick reconnaissance and whirled back out to gather the rest of the troops. It was April 25, the same date on which they have arrived the past two years, so I was really expecting them. Which means, of course, […]

Spring brings joy of mowing the lawn

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Why is it that the first mowing after the long winter is such a pleasure — and how is it that by the end of summer the last mowing can’t come too soon? Climbing aboard the dear old John Deere was such a familiar activity yesterday but I didn’t remember being quite so stiff! Winter […]

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