Jean Rosenow
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Goals and dreams.  We all have them.  Is there a difference, or are they basically the same?  We achieve some, others go by the board or change as life happens.  And some of them serve us later on, long after we have forgotten them. 

As a little girl I wanted to be a doctor or a nurse.  I didn't care the age of four their jobs looked to be just about the same to me.  That Christmas I asked Santa for a doctor kit and a nurse kit.  He was kind enough to bring both and that's the year I made my first career decision.  I would be a nurse because the nurse kit contained a plastic syringe and the doctor kit didn't.  Clearly, nursing would be more fun - they got to give shots.  I practiced endlessly on dolls, teddy bears and our saintly cat Martha until my parents took me to see my first dance recital.  In a small town a childrens' dance recital is high entertainment...this changed my career goal dramatically.

I would be a ballerina.  After a few  lessons, I discovered that you had to be not only graceful but acrobatic and brave to be a ballerina...I never got beyond a passable cartwheel and the splits...backbends and chest rolls just didn't work for me.  It was a bitter disappointment.  I was without a lifetime goal and hadn't even started kindergrten yet.

But Mother knew me well and she taught me to read that year. Very soon I discovered the Little House books and there it was in black and white...

my goal.  I would be a pioneer and live in the 1800's.

Years passed and I eventually  realized that living in the 1800's was probably out of the question. I could, however, learn to do things as they did. From junior high through high school I took every home-ec class I could get. We cooked meals from scratch, learned to sew and care for the families we would have someday. I was in my element. My high school home-ec teacher raised her family during the Depression and she taught us practical things, like how to make a child's jacket and snowpants from a man's old woolen suit. She taught us that it was okay to use pasta and flour that had tiny bugs crawling in it...they were just harmless weevils afterall. We wasted nothing in that class. So I was prepared when Prince Charming came along a few years later and I got to put all that learning into practice.

We married and, after his tour in Viet Nam, we had four little boys in rapid succession.  I was in my glory. We bought and refurbished old houses, transferred often, lived in five different states, then we finally bought a farm. I sought old recipes and prepared things like hardtack that I thought pioneers might have made in their day. I became a follower of Carla Emery and her Old Fashioned Recipt Book. My garden flourished and our pantry was full of home canned foods. We raised hogs and cattle in the Ozarks.  All that shot practice on my dolls and Martha finally paid off - I could vaccinate, clip and worm a pig before it knew what was coming.

Prince Charming was called home to Heaven in 1988...some dreams come true, but with an unexpected expiration date.  Those four little boys grew into young men and began lives of their own.  It was time for some new dreams and concrete work toward one more goal...  retirement.   I went back to school to combine two of my passions, food and health care, and became a Certified Dietary Manager.  I served in that capacity at an Ozarks area hospital until 2012.

How blessed I have been
to see so many goals and dreams accomplished. Perhaps not the way I first envisioned, but realized nonetheless.  I'm not a nurse.  I never did become a ballerina.  After a two week power outage during an ice storm here a few years back I decided life in the 1800's might have had some drawbacks. 

Now I'm retired and live with my good husband...yes, God blesed me there a second time...on seven Ozarks acres.  So many people, real and imaginary, have shed light upon my path over the years.  I now have time to think about them and the stories they have to tell.  The pioneers in the 1800's.  Life in the mid-1900's.  My precious small town and farm friends.  They all live in my heart and some in my imagination.  They have whispered their stories to me for decades.  Now, if you're interested, I would like to share some of them with you.





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