Monday, January 19, 2015

Kelsie's Whistle

The slush of the day had turned into a jagged ice and I was walking funny. I was walking funny and I was carrying a bucket of water and a bucket of grain, one in each hand. The funny walk had nothing to do with the weight distribution of buckets or even the ice, but because the night before I fell on my ass in the most comically painful way possible.

Friends, imagine a cartoon character slipping on a banana peel. Are you picturing it? Yup, you got it. That was me, all four limbs in the air and I fell smack on my tailbone. It was a bone rattler all right. I had the wind knocked out of me, my sinuses clenched up, and I got instantly nauseated. And that fall wouldn't have been such a big deal if I had not just come home to a burst pipe and a living room soaked through carpet and plank. I had been gone all the 40-degree morning at a local falconry meet and when I walked inside I discovered that the radiators in the baseboards had never been drained of their water after I switched to wood stove only heat and the water inside them expanded and burst while I was away. So as I felt my teeth ringing in my head and the wash of pain go over me I was still thinking of what sloshing around on a carpet felt like.

SO that was the low point of the weekend, and it all ended up being okay. Yes, the floor and carpet are soaked out I had a friend show me how to turn off the water to the pipes while keeping the hot water in the house running. That's the only reason I need the oil furnace, at least until I get a solar hot water system installed some day. So I have a sore butt and a wet floor, not exactly a tragedy. The only reason I am writing about it is because I thought I could share an observation that you guys could relate to:

When you are frustrated, scared, or angry think about Kelsie and her whistle.

Kelsie is a reader of this blog, and she is also a musician. She plays the tin whistle to and a few weeks ago she posted a video of her playing Sally Gardens on my Facebook Page. It was so beautiful. I watched that video ten times just to learn to play it myself. Then I sang that song all week, learning it, letting it sink in, loving it. My week was made so much better because a stranger somewhere in the world decided to sit down and create something and share it with me. It made me so happy, she just couldn't know. Because choosing to spend your free time painting, or singing, or doing any sort of art that you share with others is one of the most ignored but wonderfully selfless acts there is in this world. All she did was post a song, and yet when I was rubbing my black and blue bottom and worried about the floor of my living room... I hummed Sally Gardens and I felt better.

I felt better because in that moment of panic I chose to create instead of fester. I felt better because that song was a gift from Kelsie and because it inspired me to learn it too. And I felt better because even if I am bruised in the snow and worried about a million things there is this little instrument I can play a meditation on in a quiet place and change my entire biochemistry.

You know, I used to get so upset about people who called me horrible things. Now I just wish they played music. It would make them happier, this I am sure of.

So tonight I want Kelsie to know I am grateful for her, and I want the rest of you to know that no matter what bad things may have happened this weekend there are still people in this world playing music for strangers just for the hell of it. You may fall down, or get caught in the rain, or get picked on by a bully or fired from your job....whatever. The point is that somewhere a beautiful human being chose to create music and share it with the world and it made my entire month better.

So thank you, Kelsie. Thank you, readers. And thank you to all the folks on Facebook and Twitter to diagnosed me with a concussion I didn't have and/or offered to help with the pipes and rugs. People just showed up today to help and for that I feel darn wonderful. Soon my house will be dry, my butt will be back to flesh colors, and I'll figure out the next set of bills and goals. That's how I roll.

Anyway, I wanted to share that story. Know I feel wonderful because of a song and a blog reader and a little perspective. All she did was choose to create something beautiful instead of do nothing at all. That's all she did, and here I am weeks later humming sally gardens and playing music alone in a farmhouse to dogs who howl at the ceiling. Not a bad way to sign off for the night.

Time to go to The Barn.

16 Comments:

Blogger Erik said...

Reminds me of the time I slipped in the exact same way and fell on ice on asphalt...and my mom saw it happen and didn't believe I was hurt...feel better, Jenna! (Also I sent you an email, did you get it...???)

January 19, 2015 at 9:12 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Oh my, I wondered how you were this weekend. I understand the situation. I hope that you are not badly hurt. I am sending you a big hug! Sharon

January 19, 2015 at 10:54 PM  
Blogger Ohiofarmgirl said...

we love Kelsie! plus she has really superterrific friends. they are all hilarious. :-)

January 20, 2015 at 8:43 AM  
Blogger Tanya T said...

I hope nothing is broken! Ugh what a weekend but good for you for carrying on. You remind me all the time, just by being you and doing how you do that anything is possible. To quote a line from Hancock (the movie) "YOU good job."

January 20, 2015 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Jess Sheppard said...

A friend fell the same way and broke her coccyx - keep an eye on your butt! And here's to a speedy recovery!

A motto I've tried to employ at work in "those" situations is: don't react, act!

Choosing positive over negative etc blah blah blah lol

January 20, 2015 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Thanks guys! But what can you even do for a broken butt? a butt cast?

January 20, 2015 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I think that's just what pant are!

January 20, 2015 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Erik I'll check emails, i can't keep up with them!

January 20, 2015 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

And yes, Kelsie is amazing

January 20, 2015 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Nicola Cunha said...

We don't use salt or anything on the driveway of our farmhouse and around the barn. A friend suggested using wood ash when it turns to slush. It's not perfect but it's free! Feel better soon!

January 20, 2015 at 11:07 AM  
Blogger Joanna said...

I so needed that today, thank you!!!

January 20, 2015 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Elle Cashen said...

I just want you to know that you encouraged me a great deal. I am facing my own stuff ad this weekend could have been brutal but for 2 quotes that I found in a book called "The Wonder of Solitude"--see another person putting it out there for a stranger and it makes life better--maybe even good. The first quote is from Dorothy Edgerton, American author. " Whether living alone is adventure or hardship will depend entirely upon your attitude and your decisions. Become friends with yourself; learn to appreciate who you are and your unique gifts. Be patient with yourself and use your sense of humor to keep things in perspective." Isn't that great that she assumed that other people would have a sense of humor. Thankfully, I do. Without it I would have just given up.
I watched you Vlog about the food storage and just felt that you were much calmer and more centered than before. That encouraged me because I see you becoming more yourself even though I read that you have trouble sleeping and anxiety. Me too. But since you are becoming more who you are meant to be it makes me think I can too.
So thanks, Jenna. You heled me through a dark weekend and I feel a little more courageous now.
Elle

January 20, 2015 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Elle Cashen said...

I just want you to know that you encouraged me a great deal. I am facing my own stuff ad this weekend could have been brutal but for 2 quotes that I found in a book called "The Wonder of Solitude"--see another person putting it out there for a stranger and it makes life better--maybe even good. The first quote is from Dorothy Edgerton, American author. " Whether living alone is adventure or hardship will depend entirely upon your attitude and your decisions. Become friends with yourself; learn to appreciate who you are and your unique gifts. Be patient with yourself and use your sense of humor to keep things in perspective." Isn't that great that she assumed that other people would have a sense of humor. Thankfully, I do. Without it I would have just given up.
I watched you Vlog about the food storage and just felt that you were much calmer and more centered than before. That encouraged me because I see you becoming more yourself even though I read that you have trouble sleeping and anxiety. Me too. But since you are becoming more who you are meant to be it makes me think I can too.
So thanks, Jenna. You heled me through a dark weekend and I feel a little more courageous now.
Elle

January 20, 2015 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger Kathleen Stoltzfus said...

Perhaps that's where the term "ass in a sling" comes from.

January 20, 2015 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger Susan Conway said...

Sadly, the only thing that will heal a broken coccyx is TOT (tincture of time). Try using a donut cushion to sit on - supports the cheeks while relieving pressure on the tailbone.

January 20, 2015 at 11:35 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Hi Jenna,

I have a setup similar at my house, with baseboard radiator heat that almost never gets used, and a wood stove that does all my heating.

For $40.00 you can purchase a honeywell programmable thermostat. I did this and set it to turn on 15-20 minutes a day to circulate the water and keep it from freezing. I have used this system for 8 years an never had a problem.
Just a suggestion, do with it what you will.

P.S. first time reading your blog in about four years. The kids my wife and I had are finally old enough to allow for sitting and reading again. Looks like you have made alot of progress and are doing great.

Keep it up!!!

January 22, 2015 at 5:54 AM  

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