I once Googled my name (have you ever done that?) and discovered that there is a successful artist that shares my name.
She does nudes. I don’t. She displays her art in galleries. Mine, on tables.
My art: cooking. And although I work 25+ hours at my home church, I am happiest being at home and being a wife, mom and grandmother. My delight is that I get to do all of the above in generous helpings, because my children, grandchildren, husband and church all reside within 3 miles of my home. (Yes, my hubbie and I live together!)
My husband, David, and I live on the ranch that his grandfather bought in the thirties, and up until 2007, we lived in the ranch house that his grandpa, dad and he himself lived in here in the Helena valley. We now live up on the hillside overlooking the Diehl Ranch, the Montana big sky, with a million dollar view that can be seen from every window of our home.
I knew very little about cooking when David and I married in the cow pasture at the main ranch. I did know how to make a pretty good lasagna– a recipe I learned from a previous boyfriend’s mother. But most of my cooking skills were absorbed by watching my mother in law, Peggy, as she effortlessly fed her three working sons, a husband, one or two hired hands and her daughter Beth. I admired her casual manner of putting out lunch and dinner, and sometimes, reheating lunch and dinner for all that ate at her table and sat at her benches. It never seemed to bother her to stretch a meal for a few extra guests, and keeping a meal tasty in spite of the delayed arrival of the work crew was no inconvenience to her– all this before microwaves were in general use. I am forever grateful for the role model that she was to me, for I missed out on learning those skills from my own mother because I was consumed with school, boys and cheerleading when I was of an age to practice.
So then practice I did—on my husband, his brothers, the hired help and the hungry teens that we hired in the summers. I grew to greater skill in my role as ranch wife, sometimes teaming up with sisters in law for harvest meals or special events like branding or moving the cows. I was always more comfortable in the kitchen than on a horse, and never dared drive a tractor (though I helped spray crops one year and it did no favors for our marriage.)
I also had the privilege (and headache, at times) of home schooling my three children. All three have made us proud; thankfully they have stayed the course of our Christian faith that we taught them.
Our whole world was changed at the end of harvest in 1991. David’s body was ravaged by an auto-immune attack called Transverse Myelitis, starting with numbness in his feet until 4 days later, he became a complete paraplegic. We survived the acute attack and learned to live with the “new normal.” Seven years later he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a disease that took the life my own father when I was 17. We had been told that 20% of people with Transverse Myelitis will develop MS, and unfortunately, David was one that lost the bet. For more about our story, you can click here to read our story in The Prairie Star, or the Fall 2012 issue of Special Living Magazine. We also have been patient spokespersons for Nuedexta, a drug used for Pseudobulbar Affect, or PBA, a symptom common for those with brain disease or injury. For more about this, please go to: https://www.nuedexta.com/patient-stories/david
So that is a little about me, about my life and about what I value. None of the above would be complete without the Lord Jesus and the strength that He has supplied me in many dark hours. To Him I give the glory, and without Him, the joy expressed here would not exist.
And for that, I am forever thankful.