The details were never mine to know but something happened at birth that Josie became one of innumerable “Forever Children” that live on this earth. She was a beautiful baby but one knew almost immediately that something was wrong. She was soon behind in all the development phases of growing and learning. She eventually learned to help her mother and dad with helping to care for the farm, dogs, cats, horses and cattle. Her father died in her early years so she and her mother soldiered on, working together to do whatever needed to be done on a daily basis to keep a 400-acre farm going and animals fed and watered.
With Mom’s help and because Mom was involved in the running of the State Fair, Josie raised and showed sheep every year until she was no longer eligible to participate age-wise. One of their fun activities was going to the local sports games and rooting for their preferred team. Neither of them were interested too much in cooking so another favorite pastime was going out to breakfast at a local eatery. In a small town, everyone knows each other so everyone knew Josie and her mother.
Josie was never very sociable in the usual sense of the word. Given her own desires, she probably would have preferred to stay home but Mom made sure they were always active in the community. She does not want to be hugged and despises being called “sweetheart or honey” or any other endearments. She has a temper and who knows if that surfaces because once in a while in frustration she realizes her limitations.
Her favorite activity is watching TV. She wrote to all her beloved TV personalities over the years and asked for photographs and they usually sent them to her, autographed. She has quite a collection.
Whenever she was asked or needed, Josie helped fold letters, put them into envelopes and sealed them for local organizations. She was just helping out since this was a non-paying job but she was quite good at it.
Another pastime was buying boxes and boxes of greeting cards for anniversaries, birthdays, and special holidays. Josie, with the help of her mother, wrote out a long list of friends and relatives with addresses and birthday or anniversary dates. On every occasion, if you happen to be on that list, you will receive an envelope with your name and address in huge letters that cover the entire front and you will know that you have been remembered by Josie. This is her passion and she never fails. And God Bless the U.S. Postal Service for not returning them to her because they are overly addressed.
I am ashamed to say that I have only occasionally remembered her birthday and sent her a sweatshirt or a card or a memento of some kind. I’ll try to improve because it is important for her and it is important for me to remember how blessed I am to have children who are grown up and living their potential.
Her name is not Josie but this “Forever Child”, who is now in her mid-forties, will go on doing what she has always done on a limited basis…forever. Blessed be the Forever Children and their patient and loving mothers. God Bless until next week.
Winter in the Wilderness, the first e-book novel published by Minshall, is offered at most Internet book sites. A print edition may be obtained from Amazon, or you can order an autographed copy from the author at Box 1040, Congress, AZ for $7.95 plus $3.50 for postage and handling. The fourth edition of RVing Alaska and Canada is available through Amazon.com.
At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”