Welcome to my blog

This is the story of my journey growing up in a family with all brothers who saw every raised platform as a stage. These guys kept me sane in the most difficult times in life. We had a bond that forms when children band together to make the best of a difficult situations. I loved them and they loved me. Together we pushed through the hardship and made it into adulthood, some more broken than others, but made it just the same with the help of God.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

All time high.

Today my life experience reached an all time high.
As I pulled into my driveway I saw what appeared to be a pack of dogs running around Center Circle.
This really concerned me as we have so many children that play in this area and some neighbors have had their chickens killed by dogs. So I rushed out to track down the dogs. They were goats!  Kurt's goats had escaped from their pen.
Loong story short...Sheri and I tried tethering the 2 adult goats hoping the babies would follow us. The trouble was the adult tethered goats would not cooperate. Somehow Sheri got her goat moving toward the pen, but mine would not move. Now I know what people mean when they say, " you are acting like an ole goat." I also better understand the term " You smell like a goat ."
Alas, we got all of them in the pen and locked the gate!
What the heck?
More goats were running around outside the back of the pen!
 No, not more goats, but the SAME goats.
The very ones that we had dragged, prodded, begged and used our mommy voice with were the same goats we just struggled to get in the pen.
They escaped...again :(
Ok, we can do this. Between us Sheri and I had raised 12 children surely we can contain 6 goats. We got them back in the pen and leaned a couple of heavy concrete pavers against the fence from where they were escaping. While I was doing this I saw one of the adult goats trying to unlock the gate...I'm not making this up! I ran over to secure the gate with a wire. Meantime Sheri had to leave. Peg Barcomb ( the goats grandmother) came over with a couple of leashes. She had called Kurt about the naughty goats and he said to leash the adults to a pole. The babies would stay put. As we were trying to leash the adults one of the babies got out...again.Finally Peg and I secured both adult goats  and put the baby back in the pen. .Alleluia!
Kurt arrived just as we finished. Kurt to the rescue
I started home feeling very much like the Goat Whisper.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Trying to find myself

Well, I am no longer part of a twosome. That's hard.
In my life I don't really remember worrying over the question "Who am I". So many people have agonized over this question for years but not me. Is there something wrong with me? Could be, I don't know.
I am still not asking the question Who am I, but who am I without Jimmy?
I was his friend and wife for 47 years....we were soul mates. Now he is gone, and I am asking that question, "WHO AM I WITHOUT JIMMY? "

Sunday, June 5, 2011

It's been a year? My, how time flies when you're having fun

Well,I guess everyone thinks I've stop blogging because it has been so long since I've posted anything,The fact is I just ran out of things to say. Last June I visited the "home" and this June I'm busy working in my garden. So far the money I've spent getting the whole thing planted far exceeds the produce I've gotten out of it. However, the enjoyment can't be measured. No amount of money could buy the pleasure I get working in the dirt.I'm going to post some pictures as soon as I get around to it.
There has been one really interesting thing that happened here in my house this June. We had a rat under the tub. Now when I say "under the tub" I am not talking about under the house under the tub, but in the house under the tub. That dang rat came up into the space under the Jacuzzi. There was a small crawl space with a little bitty door between me and that rat! Well, I can tell you I had a hard time sleeping knowing that rodent was spending the night with me. So, we closed up the hole under the house and since we didn't see hide nor hair of the critter we assumed he wasn't under the tub that day, and we put out poison.Not smart, not smart at all!
The first night that rat clawed and scratched, clawed and scratched ALL NIGHT! I'm not kidding!Even with my ear plugs in I could still hear him. He was frantic! I was exhausted just listening to him.I knew he had eaten some of the poison. I guess between the poison and being sealed up in that small crawl space under the tub he went crazy! I began to feel sorry for him.Poor little thing.I was feeling kind of guilty. I stared thinking about Stuart Little. The next night around ten o'clock I heard something that sounded like a thud. I thought "He's at it again. He's rested all day and now he's going to go wild all night"...but he didn't. I never heard another sound. I have been smelling something strange lately.HM MM I wonder what it is?

Friday, May 28, 2010


Yesterday I received an invitation to a celebration at Saint Mary's Home for Children( when I was there it was called Saint Mary's Home for Girls).The diocese of Savannah is shutting down the place because of a lack of funds and other reasons. I am definitely going to this event. This is the place of the birth of my faith. I am sad to see it go, but I know God will always provide a way for children to learn about him. Saint Mary's was where I encountered God in the person of Jesus. I learned to love God through my relationship with Jesus.
People are Jesus with skin on, as I like to say. Many very good people crossed my path because of Saint Mary's. Were all the nuns good? NO. Was I happy all the time I was there? NO. Good, as well as bad things happen in our lives. This is true of all of us, but the good nuns and good things that did affect my life far out way the bad. Before I gave my life to Jesus all I could focus on was the bad, sad things.I tried to put it behind me, but my past was always affecting my present. I was unable to see or remember so many of the good people or things. When I gave up my life in favor of the life Jesus was calling me to, it was like a curtain parted. Truly, it was like a curtain parted, and I started seeing things in a different light; I started remembering the good things too.
I know all of the people who might read this don't believe in Jesus, but I have to say one thing about this. Jesus said He was the Son of God. Either he was a liar, or he was insane... or he is the Son of God. For a lying nut case he has had more impact on the world than any other man who ever lived. His teachings do not sound like the ravings of a crazy man nor does it make any sense to me why he would allow himself to be tortured and murdered for nothing. I know some of you don't believe in the Bible but I do.
It is true the Bible(Old Testament)has mistakes as far as the time lines are concerned. Maybe a few other types of errors, but that does not prove it isn't the inspired love letter from God that it is. All of the books were not written down at the same time, but are a collection of writings. The earliest written recording of the Old Testament was 3,500 yrs ago(1400BC). Moses wrote the first 5 books. Other writers followed until 450BC. That last book of the Old Testament is the Book of Malachi.
The Old Testament is primarily a recording of how God invaded human history. Some of it is factual stuff and some allegory, but all is significant. I don't pay attention to the unimportant error but ask myself, "What is the spiritual truth God is trying to reveal to me?" The beauty of the psalms and the common sense wisdom found in the OT are beneficial for me today.
The New Testament was written mostly by Saint Paul sometimes between 17-40 yrs after Jesus rose from the dead. Saint Mark wrote the first Gospel sometime between 17-34 yrs after Jesus rose from the dead. Greek was language of the New Testament. Originally Hebrew and Aramaic was the language of the OT. 300 yrs before Christ the Jewish leaders had all of their scripture translated into Greek because most of the Jews only spoke Greek.( In case some of you are wondering how I know this stuff I taught the Old and New Testament in our high school for 5 yrs. But don't take my word. Look it up for yourselves)
So where am I going with this? Just wanted you to know where I am coming from. I was introduced to Jesus at Saint Mary's. I believe the Bible is his personal letter to me. I don't pretend to know all of it, but I love reading it. I feel I come closer to knowing Jesus through it.It is hard to love what you don't know. I think I have come closer to knowing what kind of person Jesus is by reading about him in the Gospels. Because I believe he is God I feel I know more about the mind of God and what He wants from me.
I don't believe Jesus was a liar or insane. I believe he is God. I pray you will too.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The orphanage

My greatest longing when I was in Saint Mary's Orphanage for Girls was the longing for my brothers company. The first Christmas I was there I wasn't allowed to go home so mom brought the boys to see me. I didn't care about getting gifts my gifts were Larry, Jerry, Bobby and Rusty. I cried like a baby( I was 6 yrs old ) when they had to leave. I always felt such happiness and pride when my brothers were around.I felt loved and safe in their company.I sank into a deep loneliness when they left that day. For the first time in my life I felt raging anger at...I didn't know who to direct my anger towards,..so I was angry with God. I blamed Him for all the problems, pain and loss. I felt he had let me down and forgot about me.
I never knew about God until coming to Saint Mary's several months before. It was there I came to understand that someone greater than anything created everything and allowed it to exist. If this was true,I reckoned, then it was God's fault all these problems and sufferings existed. Often I stood at the fence that surrounded the property and lamented at my circumstances. I tried desperately to reconcile a loving, caring Creator with my painful rejection and loneliness.
On the one hand I felt drawn to God and the beauty of the Mass and Sacraments of the Catholic Church, but on the other hand I felt confused and angry about my situation. Some of the nuns at Saint Mary's were loving, and some were aloof. One was abusive to me.( That can be another blog )For some reason I never blamed my parents. I felt they loved me and couldn't/wouldn't do anything to hurt me.
For many years I battled with these feelings and confusion. Then one day it occurred to me..BINGO... Freewill. We all have freewill. All the suffering that surrounded me was the result of the adults in my life exercising their freewill! It was then the curtained parted and I saw that God didn't have anything to do with my being separated from my family other than allowing people to use the freewill He had given them. Now I know that freewill was given so that we may choose to do good with this gift, but we can also choose to do otherwise. My parents had problems and couldn't seem to get it together for the good of their children.
As an adult I went back to Saint Mary's to visit. Many things had changed but the fence was still there. I walked around the property looking at all the special places I use to hang out. I walked up to the fence and as I stood there all the anger, pain and loneliness flooded back through me. I cried out to God,"WHY,WHY??" As I stood there expecting no response I was instantly filled with peace. In my mind and heart I felt that God said to me, " Joanne, you always saw this fence as a prison wall but I intended it to be a fortress wall to protect you." I realized in an instant that God had allowed me to be place at Saint Mary's for my good, to keep me safe from the lack of stability at home, and in my parents life. Yes, it was not always easy at Saint Mary's but I was provided for, fed, clothed, educated, had friends, and a measure of safety. Even the abusive nun was soon found out, and I was protected from her. So, God was taking as good a care of me as He could without violating the freewill of anyone else. As I stood there realizing all of this all I could say was "Thank you, dear God for caring for me and my brothers even though we may have blamed you. I now see You were taking care of us."

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Tonight at dinner Jimmy said I needed a raise because I had been cooking such good meals this week. He said to Granny, "Granny, you did a good job teaching Joanne how to cook." Truth is Granny never taught me to cook. Grandmother ruled the kitchen.
Grandmother RULED everything!
I let Gina spend two weeks in Albany Ga. with my Aunt Doris and Grandmother, and made the fatal mistake of asking Grandmother to make sure Gina brushed her teeth after each meal. Gina had just gotten her braces and the dentist stressed the importance of brushing, and not eating anything hard or sticky. Poor Gina, Grandmother almost drove her crazy inspecting her mouth after each brushing as well as constantly checking to see what she was eating.Grandmother would say, "Gina, come on over here and let me look at your teeth." Whenever Grandmother addressed you it was with real authority. You felt fear run up your spine. Mama said when she was a child if Grandmother was angry with her she would say, "Dorothy, come over here and let me slap your jaws." I ask mama if she always obeyed. She said, "Yes." Grandmother took her job as teeth inspector very seriously. When Gina returned home she told me she was NEVER going to visit Grandmother again until she had her braces removed.
I remember when I was little how Grandmother always did a once over of me before I left for school or church. Our appearance was important to her. She once said to me that "we may be poor, but that's no excuse for being dirty." As children I know we aggravated the living day lights out of her. Many a time she would say, "You Jarrett's can't do anything without making a spectacle out of yourselves." I never understood what she was talking about. I thought she was the one who made a spectacle out of everything. She was so dramatic. I guess we Jarrett's must have picked up some of that tendency to make a drama out of the ordinary things in life.
When I was twelve Grandmother went to work as a private nurses aide. She worked the night shift at a ladies home here in town. White uniform, white shoes...she was in her element. Because she worked from 8pm to 8am she had to sleep during the day. I came home from school one day to find Grandmother waiting on me in the kitchen. She looked at me with those serious blue eyes and said, "Here's the cookbook, you have to cook supper from now on." That was my first cooking lesson.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Metz Drive

Sorry I haven't posted anything in quite some time. I just wanted to let you know that I am not done yet. I am not sure exactly where to start again. I could tell the story about Rusty running away from home when he was 4 yrs old. He told Grandmother he was running away and she said, "go ahead", and he did. Hours passed and everyone started getting scared because we could not find Rusty.
We were living in North Augusta at the time and mom was working at Borden's Dairy. I learned to ride a bike at that house. Actually it was a duplex apartment on Metz Drive. The place is still there. I think it was Jerry's bike and he showed me how to ride. About a mile or so from our house there was a community pool. Grandmother would let us walk to and from the pool by ourselves.Jerry and Larry would dive off the diving board and I wanted to do whatever they did. I came very close to drowning in that pool. I remember the lifeguard grabbing me by the hair and pulling me out of the water. I saw my brothers jumping off the diving board so I thought if they could do it so could I. I remember feeling totally mortified that a life guard pulled me out. Larry told me to stay in the shallow water. I was not allowed to come into the deep end. He was not happy with me. Again, being the oldest child he felt responsible for me but I was angry with him and the life guard.
Anyway, back to Rusty. Rusty had a bad habit of disappearing only to be found asleep somewhere. I think everyone thought he was under some table or bed sound asleep. However, he was no where to be found in the house. As dark was falling over the neighborhood everyone started looking for him. All the neighbors and the police. Eventually Rusty was found. Poor little thing, he was about a quarter of a mile away locked in the back yard of some neighbor who was out of town. There was a swing set in their yard so he went through the gate into the yard to play. It was a privacy fence and when the gate closed Rusty couldn't reach the latch to let himself out, and no one could see him. Evidently the gate was left open and he spied the swings and that's how he ended up locked in someones yard for hours. Needless to say Rusty learned his lesson and never ran away again.....except one other time, but that's another story.