Looking to ‘lots of good years ahead…’


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 said the correct thing in her first paragraph when she wrote, “I missed your column in the Farm and Dairy. I always look for it first…” Obviously, a brilliant woman!

Anyhow, she observed that I was indeed fortunate to have such helpful friends and fine hospital care, and added, “You are only 88, so you have lots of good years ahead of you.”

She continued, “I, too have been in the hospital this year. I spent 10 days in Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna before they decided I needed a pacemaker.”

Here is the kicker: “The operation was an ordeal but has healed well and I was able to work in the garden as usual. I will be 101 on Dec. 21 and will probably quit driving my car.”

I’d love to meet this remarkable lady but just hearing from her — my handwriting is a wreck — is enough to keep me on track for the “lots of good years ahead…”

Unneeded insurance

Do you ever really read all the conditions spelled out on the innumerable pages of your household insurance policy? An update on my coverage came the other day and a particular item caught my eye: Limited Defense Expensive for Unwarranted Claim of Animal Cruelty.” What you say? I had to telephone my agency and find out what was going on, as I have never been accused of, or ever expect to be accused of, animal cruelty.

It seems that with all these “animal rights” people looking for a cause that someone might construe my correcting one of my pets as “abuse” and sue me. Certainly the HSUS has brought on a lot of this foolishness.

Lost 2000s

A calendar towel at the bottom of the pile of dishtowels came to the top and I was amazed: It was for the year 2000.

Where have all those decades gone? I should not the towel was still beautiful with dozens of brightly colored birds and went to work drying dishes.

Can you remember what you did in the year 2000? In the detective stories on television, the detectives are always asking the suspect what he or she was doing night before last or where he or she was on such and such night 10 years ago! Don’t ask me what I had for supper last night as I’d really have to think about it!

Old fan

Now that October has vanquished summer for sure, there are so many things to be done I have a list a mile long. I’ll put the old electric fan away, the same fan that moved the sultry air at home those many years ago. Today, as then its throaty hum can put you to sleep in a minute.

I’ll unplug the air conditioner. I’ll dismantle the screened porch — the sun was too hot to sit in it anyhow — and put away the weed killer and the horses’ fly spray and anything else that might freeze.

Hose off the John Deere and get it ready for winter. Get out the storm windows and put up the storm front on the other porch, and bring in the big fern and leftover poinsettia that refuses to die.

Internet humor

A friend keeps me supplied with laughs from the Internet and a recent one had giggles that stay with me:

Raising teenagers is like nailing jelly to a tree. Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional. No matter how hard you try you can’t baptize cats!

* * *

Weren’t the New England asters and the goldenrod especially gorgeous this year? As weeds, they loved the heat and the drought.


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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.



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