A Love Story

In the late 1800’s, young Fred left his home and family in Sweden and journeyed across the ocean to a new land.  After arriving at Ellis Island, he immediately continued his journey, travelling west to find land to homestead.

In Iowa he discovered a community of other Swedish immigrants and wonderfully rich soil to farm.  He also fell in love with Emma, daughter of another immigrant.  On October 6, 1910, Fred and Emma married.  They stuck together through storms, drought, and sickness, and raised corn, cows, chickens, and four children.

On their silver anniversary, friends gave Fred and Emma this plate:

SilverAnn 006

Fred & Emma’s children (as grown children are wont to do) married and raised families of their own.  When their oldest son celebrated his twenty-fifth anniversary, they passed the plate on to him, who in turn gifted the anniversary plate to his oldest child in 1988.  On my last anniversary, the plate was given to me. What a heritage.

On Valentine’s Day we might tend to think of cute little hearts, and picture dreamy kids gazing longingly at one another, but true love is so much more than those starry-eyed feelings.  It’s a man and woman teaming up, sticking together regardless of what life throws their way.  It’s the husband and wife sitting at Children’s Hospital today while their 15 year-old son has cardiac surgery.  It’s the octogenarian couple holding hands in the doctor’s office, silently supporting one another as they wait for the verdict.  It’s the twenty-somethings about to welcome their first child.  Warm fuzzy feelings are nice, but they don’t pay the bills or mow the grass or put meals on the table.  Love is a decision to stick together come what may.

I had high hopes for today.  Pick up a ham so I could cook my husband’s favorite meal, and follow it with a homemade apple pie…  Life got in the way.  We started the day with a 600 pound calf still down (it lay down yesterday and couldn’t get up).  I waited for the vet to come figure out what’s wrong and if it could be saved, then picked up the calf — no small feat — and got it warm & dry and some food into it.  A run to the feed store for special grain and some medicine, and my day was shot.  I placed a phone call to say, “Dear husband, I love you, but that calf will be food for 8 months if it grows up, or $1,000 toward someone’s college fund; you’ll get your special dinner another day.” I could hear his smile over the phone, “That calf is important. Love is more than a date on the calendar.  Let’s clean up leftovers tonight.”

Hoping you had a terrific Valentine’s Day with your loved ones.

A Little Housekeeping

I’m going to be rearranging the blog. Slowly.  I’ve been working on a few features that I want to add, and will try to get back toward what I originally intended this site to be.  If things disappear, they might reappear elsewhere.  Those changes won’t be immediate.  Please let me know if there are specific things you find helpful.

My oldest will be starting his freshman year of college soon, and the summer has been crazy trying to help him get ready.  The younger kids already miss him, and he’s not even gone yet.  My husband and I are both oldest children and have no experience with an older sibling leaving the nest.  We’d like to make this transition easy for everyone but have no idea what to do, so any tips you have would be most welcome.  Right now, our plan is for the entire family to drive him to his school and spend a couple of days so that everyone knows where he’ll be.  We’ll also have the younger kids think of nice things we can do for him, and send periodic care packages – within reason, since I don’t want to set an expensive precedent.

There will continue to be fewer posts, at least until we get child #1 settled in his dorm.  After that, there will continue to be fewer posts, and the blog will get a new look.

Hope your summer is going well!


Follow-up on my last (non-RA-related) post:  Unbeknownst to me, my daughter designed a website so that once she figured out how to do online donations, she’d be ready to go.

She figured it out, and the website has been published.  I’m amazed that she took the initiative to do all this!  Last year when my daughter’s group went to Guatemala, they worked with three or four different organizations.  This weekend we tracked down which organization is in charge of the brick houses that my daughter wants to raise money for, and discovered that they’re already set up to accept online donations.  That was much easier than setting things up with the Secretary of State.

Please click through to her website, Guatemalan Houses.  (I’m not asking for donations; many clicks will bump her site up on google searches.)

Thank you.  Next post will be back to RA related issues.