There is a lot of fun and laughter in our house these days even with an uncertain future. We have borrowed a grandma and moved her in and it was the best thing we, as a family, could have done.
Joette has a lot of life experience from being very poor to very rich, living and raising a family on a ranch and being a homemaker most of her life. She teaches me things every day and is an amazing cook. We spend some of our days in the kitchen cooking together and she shares advice from her days on the ranch such as canning and how to properly clean a cast iron pan.
She is also very into homesteading and we love talking about how to build a little farm right here in my backyard. She has already created an herb garden in the kitchen window and encouraged me to start a winter garden. Because of her support, I went ahead and braved the chicken farming world.
I know not all elders are as much fun or interesting but I just wonder why more families don’t enjoy having a parent or grandparent in the home. I love it. I was never able to enjoy my grandparents and Bali and I have no parents alive. I often feel cheated in this area and sad for my sons that they will never benefit from a grandparent around. But God has been kind and sent us Joette during these hard times.
Joette is our adopted grandmother and she is loving and firm with the children. She helps me with the home by washing dishes and helping with our urban farm dream. She cooks daily and watches the boys when I need to write or make an important phone call. This is huge since I’ve been doing all of this alone for years. It makes the days more fun as well since she has a great sense of humor.
She is a character for sure. She wears a string of pearls with everything even her pajamas, and she has a collection of very Southern hats that Arjan loves to dress her up in when we go out.
I do have a couple complaints. She is a horrible co-pilot when in the car. When we were driving through town the other day, I asked her to look over at the other lane as I was wanting to get over and couldn’t see clearly. I asked if the lane was clear and she informed me that she didn’t give that kind of advice. I had forgotten that the women can’t see or hear very well. It’s like driving with a mole. So, assisting with driving is not happening. I also have to talk louder than I normally do because of her hearing and my voice is very hoarse these days. Those are the only downsides.
The parents and grandparents used to live in the home with the families and still do in Amish communities. It’s sad that they are shoved in senior housing nowadays. I really feel like that is why they deteriorate so fast. No purpose, no family interest. They dwindle and die of heartbreak.
Since being here, Joette’s health is improving with the healthy lifestyle and all the activity. She is off her blood pressure meds and her kidneys are doing well. She feels good and sleeps well. Our diet is mostly vegan and tons of produce. We have the windows open all day with the fresh air and sun filling the home. We are always busy and outside planting gardens, painting chicken coops, playing, laughing. She becomes more active each day.
She was a gift from God when Bali was taken away and I felt frantic and alone with my children (that includes the dogs and Maggie the cat). She was in need of a home until some senior housing opened up and I was in need of comfort. I called her that day sounding a little crazy and she was on my doorstep that afternoon. Neither of us knew what to expect of one another or what we were getting into. It has been a blessing for us both.
I’m in my laundry room right now doing my writing and she is perched on her bar stool making fresh salsa. Every day she makes a dish from scratch.
I’m learning new ways of cooking, to be more patient with my sons, and we are creating a mini farm right here on Jones St.
Times are uncertain right now but we are too busy having a good time creating and manifesting to worry about that. I love having another woman in the home and I love all her little touches, she has full range of the house and my permission to create however she pleases. We learn from the wiser and older women. As a matter of fact, all my books are based on the great grandmothers of yesteryear and just updated or modernized.