Notes from Jan

A Weighty Matter

August 21, 2020

It’s a rare day my computer doesn’t cough up deals for laser hair removal or promotions for products I have no use for, especially during this minimalist period we find ourselves living in.  But, at least, the Boston Globe’s thinned down.  It’s mostly news, now.  All those inserts with ads are slim to none, except for Sunday. Trimmed down is better, in paper and people, which is why I should have avoided that scale.

For a few weeks I dodged it like the plague. Now, that’s an old phrase with fresh meaning. But I digress, so back to the scale. Since it’s been a while,  I wore my birthday suit, held my breath and looked down for the verdict.  TWO pounds up!  I wanted to puke, which is not a healthy way to react.  Since March, my goal’s been to maintain not gain.

After stepping on and off several times, I  determined the scale was accurate.  So I dressed and headed downstairs for breakfast. While I nibbled on nothing much, “I puzzled and puzzled ’til my puzzler was sore,” like the Grinch. Surely munching on chips, salsa and grapes, while binge watching Masterpiece Theater did not this problem make. Then, I got up and took a hard look in the mirror.  What I saw was a hermit with long hair and barrettes. Picture Jan-the Baptist. Most of you wouldn’t recognize me,  if I ever get to walk outside without a mask.

Truth be told, and eventually it must, I’d never have weighed-in were it not for the fact  I’m due for my annual physical next week.  Can you blame me for wanting to avoid sticker shock, so to speak? Well, I was too downcast to pray so grabbed a fistful of grapes (they’re approved) and picked up  The Plague by Camus. I was already in a pit so why not try to finish this book I bought in a fit of panic in mid- March, hoping for insights. From fiction? Some do.

Before I read a page, the phone rang.  It was my favorite nurse practitioner calling to say,  “due to Medicare and the pandemic, your annual check-up will be conducted over the phone. There’s no need to come into the office next week.”   Over the phone?  I’m over the moon!  You cannot weigh me over the phone.

Well, to any of you diners on “early bird” specials, who tolerate “Sweetie, what are we having?”  know what comes next on a medicare check-up.  One counts backwards by seven, starting at 100, names some presidents, tells which day it is and swears on a pile of carpets, that there are no dangerous scatter rugs in the house waiting to trip the unsuspecting. A piece of cake! Which is exactly what I’m going to have with some iced tea and a couple of grapes on the side.

And if I didn’t believe before, for sure I know,  “God’s mercies are new every morning.” (Lamentations  3:23)





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  • Reply Sharon Wolgemuth August 21, 2020 at 11:10 am

    Oh Jan, I needed a good laugh this morning! I love your humor, laughing at yourself, so we can all do the same! Ain’t life grand?

    • Reply Jan Carlberg August 21, 2020 at 1:59 pm

      Yes, dear Sharon, as hard as life is right now, it is also good/grand and something worth celebrating and laughing about. It’s one way to say we are not without hope. Which is one reason I will take a hiatus from that scale. One can just bear so much during a pandemic.

  • Reply Radina Welton August 21, 2020 at 11:29 am

    You certainly haven’t lost your humor in all this bemoaned change! Since I am the same age with similar circumstances, I needed that good laugh today. Thanks

    • Reply Jan Carlberg August 21, 2020 at 2:01 pm

      Happy to serve up some laughter, Radina, with a side of grapes. Always good to see your name popup, like sunshine.

  • Reply August 21, 2020 at 11:53 am

    Dearest MamaJan, I would always recognise you! You are the same loving and faith-full person I’ve always known! The Lord is our Shepherd and we shall lack nothing, nor the strength to go on (and cheerful!) in spite of our circumstances.
    Love you lots, always.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg August 21, 2020 at 2:07 pm

      Well, precious Raquelita., it’s always a treat to hear from you in the Netherlands. You are much younger and very fit so you have no clue what I’m talking about. Which is why you took my blog to a higher plane and gave me a spiritual boost to lift some weight off my shoulders, so to speak. As my adopted daughter, I’m just happy you read something I’ve written, unlike some in the family. But that’s for another blog, perhaps.

  • Reply Mary Lou Day August 21, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks for your delightful honesty, Jan!! The long hair probably weighs two pounds…..

    • Reply Jan Carlberg August 21, 2020 at 2:09 pm

      Oh, happy Day!! You’ve given me tangible hope. I miss seeing you and Paul in LIVE church and Bible and Breakfast with a side of bacon.

  • Reply Becky Erickson August 21, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    Oh, Jan, I love it! I’m right there with you, sister.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg August 21, 2020 at 2:15 pm

      That’s one of my favorite words, “sister”! Thanks, Becky, for enjoying something I’ve written. I can just be serious or spiritual for just so long..or deal with politics. Well, it’s also true that JOY is holy so maybe spreading some laughter is more sacred than silly. We are all in need of that which lifts our spirits, if not our bodies, during this pandemic.

  • Reply Marty Lefever August 21, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    Love it! I had to weigh myself and take my own blood pressure for my tele-visit!! Horrors!!
    Finally got my loooong hair cut! Feels so good! Your words make me /my heart smile!
    Love you, my friend….

    • Reply Jan Carlberg August 21, 2020 at 4:58 pm

      Was it hard balancing on your phone to weigh?
      Happy to make your heart smile, very dear Marty.

  • Reply Valerie McCoy August 21, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    Well now….I had to step onto the scale because MY in-person physical is Monday. So I fully expected to hear the scale cry, “would one of you please step off the scale”, but instead the numbers showed 10 lbs less than last time!!! Well praise the Lord, thanks be to God, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, this is the day that the Lord has made, if you’re happy and you know it stomp your feet……..but wait…what did the husband behind me say?…. ….”you’re holding onto the dresser while you weigh in.”………..Oh

    • Reply Jan Carlberg August 21, 2020 at 5:01 pm

      Whew! I was thinking I’d have to confess jealous and envious feelings. Now, all I have to do is laugh and move my scale near the dresser.

  • Reply Evelyn Morgan August 22, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    I loved “Jan the Baptist”. Your daddy and mama would be proud. Thanks for the laugh – I needed that. I visualized you brushing those beautiful long, blonde strands so many years ago. Just pull it back in a ponytail, as that seems to be the style now with so many our age. Looks are secondary, esp. with the lovely. required face coverings these days. God is in control and He will take us “UP” regardless what we look like. That’s what really matters.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg August 25, 2020 at 5:08 pm

      It’s always a gift to hear from one of my college roommates. Thanks for reading and sending me a lift, Evie. I am grateful for masks!

  • Reply dale August 23, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    Hi Jan,

    I am rushing to beat the next edition, so I don’t fall into the “do you want to continue” pile or have to renew my membership at a premium. Thanks for “sharing” and I fought the temptation to create a mental picture. The mirror, I believe, was invented by God with the present benefit of seeing thinks only darkly. I am not sure we could bear the full light; at least, not now.

    Thanks for fusing humor with solid theology.


    • Reply Jan Carlberg August 25, 2020 at 5:15 pm

      Well, Dale, you’re one of the best I know at “fusing humor with solid theology.” I could also heed the words of my WW coach who said, “A set back is a set up for a come back.” That’s not exactly in the Bible, but it has a familiar ring to it.

  • Reply Wendy Lane August 23, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    Haha! Silly Jan – I’d say 2 lbs is fabulous considering how long we’ve been stuck with little to make us happier than good food can! I hope you enjoyed your cake and tea a la grapes. I love Lam 3:22,23 (ESV) – it was Steve’s Granny’s favorite, and is one of mine, worth writing out again and again: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end: they are new every morning: great is your faithfulness.” There is a LOT to be thankful for in those verses!!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg August 25, 2020 at 5:20 pm

      Well, the cake was great!
      We do have much for which to be thankful. At night one of the hymns I sing is an oldie, “When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed and you are discouraged thinking all is lost. Count your many blessings, name them one by one. And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” And I often find myself falling asleep overwhelmed by God’s goodness,mercy, strength and kindness.

      • Reply wendy lane August 25, 2020 at 5:24 pm

        Oh what a wonderful way to go to sleep!

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