Returning To Country Moon

Reader Contribution by Lois Hoffman
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Many of you have inquired as to whether I was going to keep writing “Country Moon.” Indeed I am, and the next blog post should be in next week. As many of you know, I have taken the last two months off to be with Jim through his illness and subsequent passing.

However, the very reason I started writing these blogs is the same reason it is important for me to continue; that there are so many wondrous things around us that will enrich our lives just by exploring and learning about something unfamiliar to us. Long before I started writing, Jim and I would do just that. Sometimes it would take us a day to go a mere 20 miles because we would see something interesting as we passed a yard or business and would pull into to investigate. Remember the column “Where Do Old Tractors Go When They Die?” that I wrote back in September? We stumbled across the “tractor graveyard” as we were coming back from a ballgame.

Jim and Lois in Ellsworth, Michigan, a favorite spot for both of them.

There are so many items and phenomena that pique my interest that I would like to share with you as I learn about each one. I have never “gotten it” as to why we can have freezing rain today and sleet tomorrow. Isn’t it all the same? I plan to find out. Steam power has been a huge part of our culture and has always intrigued me. I want to learn more. Old barns. They simply fascinate me. The list is endless, there is always something new to broaden our horizons.

Most of my blogs are country-oriented because that is who and what I am. That will never change. I hope you can feel the enthusiasm for each topic I choose to write about because, if there is one thing I have learned through these bumps in the road, it is that time is indeed the greatest gift of all and if you are not passionate about what you are doing, then perhaps you should be doing something else.

It is strange how life takes you down different paths at different times in your life. Through this ordeal, we have learned so many things about how to cope, how to deal with the medical world in general, different therapy options for wellness, and many other helpful facts that may help others. I plan on incorporating these things into a separate blog while simultaneously writing “Country Moon”, but there is a whole other place and time for that endeavor.

These blogs are about fun, interesting things that allow us to escape the reality of our sometimes not-so-fun, demanding world, if only for a little while each week. For the past year these blogs have been my “retreat” for a couple hours each week from the ugly world of cancer. It always helps when you can find a positive in a bad situation.

Such has always been the case with my cooking, or rather, baking. Whenever I am really upset, I bake. It was the day Jim and I had our first argument as a married couple. I don’t remember what the argument was about, but I’ll never forget what happened. We were living in a small apartment and I was baking cookies, right around midnight. By the way, I am not a quiet cook. He came out in a thunder and asked what I thought I was doing. “Baking cookies” is all I said. Now how long do you think it took after that for him to figure out that upsetting me resulted in cookies for him!

Remember when I wrote about a group of farmers in Indiana who stop whatever they are doing every Friday night and go to their clubhouse, which is basically a man-cave in one of the farmer’s barns. They definitely get it, that life is precious and sometimes you just have to stop and take time for family and friends to pack as much love into each day as you can.

This special group of individuals sent Jim a card a few weeks ago addressed to “Tough Cookie.” It went on to explain that a tough cookie is:

  1. Someone with just the right mix of sweetness and strength.
  2. One who doesn’t crumble under pressure.
  3. A fighter who’s too busy kicking butt to sit down and cry, but knows it’s OK to do both.
  4. A person who doesn’t always ask for support, but has lots of friends who would do anything to help.

Then it goes on to say, “Hang in there, Tough Cookie.” I plan to do just that. I have the card setting on my desk to remind me. Besides, Jim and all those who know me and all those who read my blog would expect nothing less from me.

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