Notes from Jan

On The Fifth Day of Christmas

December 30, 2022

Whenever we sing the Twelve Days of Christmas, I catch my breath on day #5. You know, ” FIVE GOL-DEN R I N G S!” Well, today’s been a catch your breath kinda day. Just the Grands and me on this drizzly day. Since it’s Heather and Matt’s anniversary they, plus Chad and Kristina took off yesterday for a getaway.

So, this morning I made Norwegian pancakes for the Grands for breakfast. Then Lily and Maggie made some yummy Asian style soup with udon noodles and exotic spices for lunch. Bazy went for a bike ride, Luke for a run, others hiked, watched a movie or read. All tackled getting the house back in order. It’s been a good day.

Yesterday, after reading awhile, I curled up in a chair in the living room for a nap. Some time later, Poco tapped me, then kissed the top of my head. I awoke to, “Good. You’re alive. Just checking!” I must give them pause now and then.

Earlier in the day, before the couples left for their getaway, Chad hugged me and said, “Mom, I love you.” As I basked in needed affirmation, he added, “And this time I mean it!” What is with my family? I still need a baseball hat that states, “Mama Tried!”

Well, give me the ability to laugh at myself and THEM, Lord. But also to keep a long view and trust the end of the story to the One who knows each of us and the future, but never panics. Today Buechner reminded me, “Youth isn’t for sissies either.” No matter our age or stage, we need each other to make it Home.

Oh, and thanks, Julie, for reminding me of one of my favorite lines by Wendell Berry.


So, on this fifth day of Christmas, I choose JOY.

Joy feeds contentment with or without FIVE GOL-DEN RINGS, a partridge, two calling birds and, especially, after considering all the facts.

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  • Reply dale December 30, 2022 at 7:28 am

    Hi Jan,

    Marty and I are at our cottage amid several feet of fast melting snow but this is our “happy place.” However, our place of joy is home with family. Thanks for reminding us that God sheds His love toward us through our families and this is an important fact.

    Blessings, Dale

    • Reply Jan Carlberg December 30, 2022 at 8:57 pm

      It must be beautiful there by the lake. As for fast melting snow, that acts like the 5th day of Christmas…a pause to catch your breath before another wintry blast covers your world in white. I loved living in Michigan. Makes me happy picturing you and Marty tucked away in such a tranquil and spectacular nook of nature. You are both JOY givers. Your family and friends are blessed to have you in our lives. I’m working on roping in the family to take some photos which I hope to post in my next blog. Prepared to be amazed or doubled over in laughter.

  • Reply Mark Taylor December 30, 2022 at 8:32 am

    Glad to hear of your wonderful visit with your family. Carol and I are just finishing five days with most of our kids and grandkids at the vacation house in Michigan. These are precious times. Stay warm, and keeping waking up from your naps.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg December 30, 2022 at 9:02 pm

      Well, that made me smile out loud. Love imagining you and Carol with your remarkable family. Music and laughter must bounce off the walls. These are precious times. Every day when I wake up in the morning I feel like shouting for JOY, like Scrooge, when he learns he gets another chance at life and love, giving and receiving. As for the naps, I missed mine today. Hope I don’t fall asleep at the dinner table. JOY to and through you, dear Mark and Carol, That should be second nature to you.

  • Reply Maggie Rowe December 30, 2022 at 10:40 am

    Merry After-Christmas and Happy Almost-New Year, Jan! I love hearing about your grands. Please share a picture of them with us sometime! I’d also love your recipe for Norwegian pancakes. We make “Norwegian waffles” but, truth be told, we use Bisquick mix, which is totally inauthentic. We do have the little heart-shaped “vafle” – maker, though.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg December 30, 2022 at 9:09 pm

      I have a heart-shaped “vafle” maker, too. My recipe is so simple. l cup flour,3 eggs,, 1 1/2 cups milk. It makes 9 pancakes. I use real butter in the skillet, Whe I’m with the Grands, I triple the recipe. My Mama made hers “ticker.” I make mine “tinner”…a cross between Swedish and Norwegian style to help bring about peace between the two countries., or between Jud and me. As for photos, I’m “vorking” on it with the family. Hopefully, we’ll have some in my next blog.

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