The Farm on Naked Creek

Chapter 1

My Kids Make Toilet Paper

March 20, 2020


I hope everyone is doing well. My family is doing fine. Our chickens are still laying eggs and we have a lot of hamburgers standing in the pasture field right outside my window… (Am I allowed to say that? : )


Things have gotten a little crazy this week, and I was trying to think of something I could do to be a blessing to you all. (Okay, and can I just stop here and say – I don’t always live up to this, but I know – my life is not mine. It was bought with a price. Every breath is borrowed, every heartbeat is in His control. Even before the recent events, there were some things going on in my life that made me question how attached I was to my worldly home, since my sights should be set on my Heavenly one, right? But my life is not supposed to be about me – it’s supposed to be about God. And if it pleases the Lord to put these trials in front of us, then our job is still the same, right? Let my life be a light; let it make a difference – because of Jesus.)


Sorry, I’m done lecturing myself now. : )


A while ago I talked about compiling all my old newsletters into a book of sorts. I thought this might be a good time to do that, so over the weekend I worked on getting it done.


Now, I have to admit, that I didn’t get everything completely finished the way I wanted to (for starters, I wanted to have the date with every newsletter, and I didn’t get that done). I also didn’t edit very much – I just put everything in the way it was when I sent it out. (Only, no pictures.) So, I talk about books releasing and what I’m writing and that type of thing.


Also, I feel like I need to say – a lot of the early newsletters are farm and personal and writing updates. There aren’t as many stories in those.


People ask us all the time how all this started – trucks, blueberries, chickens…what were we thinking? At the beginning of the book, I included an essay I wrote a couple years ago that kind of explains that a little.


I titled it My Favorite Things. I’m not announcing this anywhere but right here in my newsletter. You can get it HERE. I believe you’ll have to put your email address in, but you’re already on my list, so you’re not signing up. : ) You can share that link with anyone you want. This is just a perk of getting my newsletter and something nice I wanted to do for all of you. If you think it’d be a blessing to pass it on, go right ahead. : )


I’ve been feeling a little under the weather (not the virus, I promise) and I don’t really have a story, but I thought I’d share a group text from my kids. I didn’t actually see this – Julia read it to me from her phone. Any mistakes are mine.


The girls and I were gone for a few days on a trip down south and the boys were on their own to get lunch last week. Thursday when we got home, Julia promised them all she’d make sure they had a nice meal on Friday dinnertime, which was a relief to them because Friday’s are notoriously busy.


But, things didn’t quite go as planned and by 9:30 am on Friday morning Julia sent them a group text:


Julia: I’m sorry, but I won’t be cooking lunch today after all. I left some money on the windowsill so you guys can go get something.


Brother 1: What?? I didn’t stop anywhere when I was out earlier because I was planning on my sister cooking me a nice hot lunch.


Brother 3: No lunch?? The union’s gonna hear about this.


Julia: I’m sorry. Something came up.


Brother1: This is unacceptable.


Brother 3: I’m organizing a strike.


Julia: You guys need to find yourselves some women that cook.


Brother 2: Pretty sure Burger King has that.


Julia: (laughing emojis)


Brother 3: (thinking emoji)


Brother 1: No. I just need a sister who keeps her word!


Julia: I left money on the windowsill! I’m paying for lunch!


Brother1: Just like a spoiled, government-dependent girl to see a problem and throw money at it.


Julia: Drama much??


Brother1: It runs in the family.


Brother 2: No one runs in this family.


Brother 3: I run from the girls at Burger King.


Brother 2: You said “from”…did you misspell “to”?


Brother 1: The kid never could spell. He meant “after.”


Brother 3: You spell it. I can diagram it.


Julia: How many brothers does it take to pass English class?


The Hubs: (using Julia’s phone): Do you boys have that motor hooked up yet?


Brother 2: Yup. Now we’re trying to figure out how to make toilet paper from used motor oil.


Brother 1: And sell it on eBay.


Brother 3: I thought we were talking about lunch?


All right, it’s Jessie again. I don’t think the toilet paper thing is working out for them.


On Sunday morning usually the adult Sunday School has coffee and donuts. I’m in the nursery, so I never get any, but they switched things up this past Sunday. The teacher, a beef farmer, brought coffee and toilet paper. : ) One roll for everyone in the class. He had a couple of rolls left over, so while I was playing the prelude for the morning service, he set one on the piano for me. Nice. Now, if I could only get him to do that with the leftover donuts. 


After church Julia and I went to see my parents. (Dad was supposed to have a doctor’s appointment today, but it’s cancelled, although he’s still getting blood work done.) 


I think I’ve mentioned, my parents are very old-school. As long as their electricity doesn’t go out, they’ve got enough stuff stocked up to live the rest of the year without going to the grocery store. 


My dad mentioned that they had two cases of toilet paper in their upstairs bathroom. (Are there 72 rolls in a case? I’m not sure, but they didn’t just buy them, this is typical for my parents.) 


While we were there, mom was telling how Saturday night, dad was just kind of sitting on the couch. He wasn’t asleep, but he wasn’t really responding to her. (While she’s telling me this, dad’s dimple comes out. It makes me think it was deliberate.) 


My mom says, “I was so worried! I tried to think if this was what a heart attack looked like. Would he just sit there? I didn’t know what to do. I kept trying to talk to him, but he wouldn’t answer any of my questions!”


(Dad’s dimple gets deeper.)


Mom says, “I was really worried because he’d gained FOUR pounds in just that one day! But finally he got up and went upstairs. I thought for sure he’d have to go to the emergency room. I didn’t know what to do.”


Now, I want to say right here, that my mom is a smart lady. I know lots of smart people who don’t have college educations, but my mom has two Masters degrees. I guess dad has her kind of spoiled though, because this past fall when he had his hip replacement, my oldest son taught my mom how to pump gas and she filled up her car for the first time in her life.


My mom wrings her fingers together and looks at me. “What do I do if he’s having a heart attack?”


Julia says, “Call 911, Nana. Just call.”


My mom nods. Then she shrugs. “But he was fine in the morning. He came downstairs dressed for church.”


Dad said, “I figured I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to take some of our extra toilet paper to church – and sell it for $10 a roll.”


I think he was kidding. But I know my mom wasn’t when we got up to leave. She brought their phone over to me and held it up. “Show me how to dial 911.”