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 Things we might have lost in the Pandemic

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alterationsbyemily Posted - Jun 22 2022 : 9:23:13 PM
I have thought about this post for so long and I have wanted to put the words down as a submission for the magazine. My last issue I received from MJF was about March of 2020, I had been chasing down my issues for some time, I think it was due to a publisher change but it was such an oddly timed one to get in hindsight.

My last issue of MJF came in March of 2020, it wasn't something I was expecting but it was a random month that I received. Many years ago I was the Farmgirl of the Year. I was so proud of my achievement, I had learned a great many skills and I had sewn a great many merit badges onto my skirt and sash. At the time when I found MJF Magazine I was a bit lost, I was a stay at home mom and had few resources to keep me and my young children entertained. But I found Mary Jane Butters one day in a Borders and absolutely devoured the issue. Then I found the chatrooms online and nearly spent all my time updating the conversations and learning from everyone I could. I gave homemade gifts to family for Christmas, and became more and more aware of what I could do to make the most of my life in the country. I became very good at baking bread and biscuits. I kept a photocopy of the Mary Jane Butters recipe for canned apple fritters taped on the inside of my kitchen cabinet.

Life moved on and I ended up pursing my degree in Accounting. But the skills I learned during my time here led me through some of the most difficult time of my life. I was able to graduate college and go out to the professional world. In April of 2020 I was furloughed from my job and now I was a single mother of three kids. I remember walking out of the office and thinking, if there was one thing I could do to support my family what would it be. I went and bought a 25 lb bag of flour. Because I knew that Mary Jane and her crew had taught me to cook. I was able to finally live my homeschool dreams and be with my children during that time. Life was not that easy, but I taught my kids to sew and what in the backyard we could make salads out of. What berries grew still in my yard and have arrangements from the roses that I planted when I was a Farmgirl 10 years later. I began what would be my newest adventure in candle making, which is now a full blown business, because Mary Jane taught me that if I could figure out one small thing I could step up to the next merit badge and learn the next.

I did get a job working at an accounting firm in February of 2021, and had to go back into the office. I did not make very good money at the position but it was back to work and I was able to continue to pursue my CPA. But I continued to move forward and learn new skills to help me land my current job.

The idea of this pandemic we lost so much, but we gained significantly more. When days were hard I would crack open a MJF book or the entire backlog of magazines and sit and think about the things I could do with my children during the day to help them learn how to be sufficient. It was a wonderful time to reconnect.

But as seasons, things change. I am moving to Canada in about 30 days. My new husband has asked if the recipe for apple fritters in the cabinet is coming, they are some of his favorite. I had to tell him about rotating his plants in the planter on the balcony and that tomatoes and peppers cannot be put in the same planter.

Ingenuity and spirit never leave a person. I do look on the chatrooms these days just as an observer and see the lovely things people make and I think someday I would love to earn another merit badge and maybe I will. I get compliments on my Farmgirl #2951 necklace when I wear it and at any moment I will rave about the community and the women on here. I remember in 2015 I said on the chatroom that this changed my life and it was published in the magazine and I left that magazine in the bathroom of my internship. Mary Jane Farm is a staple and one of my most cherished memories. Going forward you never loose knowledge, you can always be kind, and I will always be thankful for Mary Jane Farm.

Emily Lam (formerly Hack)
Farmgirl #2951
- Insta and TikTok - awakenthedeadexperiences

Farmgirl #2951
2012 Farmgirl of the Year
And my new Etsy listings
7   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
texdane Posted - Jul 29 2022 : 08:09:01 AM
Hi Emily,

I agree. I feel very much the same. I feel like when things feel crazy, I reach for my “farmgirl roots” - favorite issues of past MJF magazines, MaryJane’s books, knitting, sewing, baking and gardening. I feel like the Pandemic, though hard, was easier to go through than for other people because of my “farmgirl” roots.

Good luck on your move. I have always heard such wonderful things about life in Canada!

Farmgirl Hugs,

Farmgirl Hugs,
Farmgirl Sister #1155
Suburban Farmgirl Blogger
Chapter Leader, CT Simpler Life Sisters
Farmgirl of the Month, Jan. 2013

Suburban Farmgirl Blog
StaceyH Posted - Jun 28 2022 : 7:04:58 PM
Hi Emily,

I agree with the others; such a lovely story and I'm glad you shared it with us.

May I ask where you are moving to in Canada? I'm new to MJF and live in Nova Scotia so would be a fellow Canadian Farmgirl here in the forum. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about Canada for your upcoming move. Even though apple fritters are very popular at Tim Hortons, I have a feeling your cherished recipe will be even tastier!

Welcome to Canada!
Red Tractor Girl Posted - Jun 24 2022 : 4:38:19 PM
Emily, thank-you for sharing your story of being a Farmgirl here at MJF. I think your experience mirrors that of many of the people who have been here. MJF is that unique place where we find like minded new friends and lots of interesting topics to share and learn together. The fond memories and experiences here will always be with you too. And even with you moving to Canada, we have several Canadian Farmgirls here in the Chatroom, so don't think that a border prevents you from being here as much as your heart desires. We all would love to hear about your new adventure living in Canada and what you are learning and enjoying. Thanks for stopping by and sharing and best of luck in the days to come!

Winnie #3109
Red Tractor Girl
Farm Sister of the Year 2014-2015
FGOTM- October 2018
JeanP Posted - Jun 23 2022 : 12:11:07 PM
Oh dear Emily, what a touching story indeed as April said. Yes we have lived through a unique time haven't we? The loss of community and face to face companionship combined with the isolation was truly devastating. But on the other hand it forced us to get a grip on our own weaknesses and develop our survival skills using good old Yankee ingenuity. I believe we've come through the pandemic stronger because of it. Clearly some experienced greater loss than others. My heart aches for those who lost loved ones and/or experienced serious financial hardships because of this terrible virus. I think the most important lessons I have learned over the last few years are to accept each day as a gift because tomorrow is not guaranteed. I learned to simplify my life and have loved the resulting peacefulness. I've learned that nothing is more important than my family,
Take good care of yourself as you embark on your new adventure. May all your dreams come true.
Farmgirl hugs,

"However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at."
. . . .Stephen Hawking
Dreamer42 Posted - Jun 23 2022 : 09:33:34 AM
Emily, What a touching story, I believe MJF has touched most our lives in similar ways, I know she has mine. I, too, was feeling a little lost and off track when I first came upon MJF magazine. I, too, was smitten as first glance and have been every since. She has helped remind me of my roots, where I came from and how I want to live my life. I echoe your thoughts about looking for the positive, just because something may be different, doesn't necessarily mean lost... but, renewed or reguided, but always with purpose! Loved your heartfelt story you have shared with us and may your move be everything you're hoping for.

Farmgirl Sister #7038
debbieklann Posted - Jun 23 2022 : 08:03:19 AM
Thank you, Emily....I loved your story. I can relate to what you are saying....sometimes I think about things that we have "lost" during this crazy time in our history. But I think it's better to look at what we've gained, instead of lost, just like you are.
Best wishes in your new move and please stay in touch! Would love to hear how you are doing in this new phase of your life!

Debbie Klann
Farmgirl Sister #770
2018 Farmgirl of the Year

"Well behaved women seldom make history"....Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
YellowRose Posted - Jun 23 2022 : 06:42:04 AM
Emily, thanks for sharing your story with all of us on the Farm. I read it twice so I wouldn't miss anything you had to say. I hope when you're set up in your new home in Canada you will come back here to share your new adventures with us.

Hugs, Sara "FarmGirl Sister" #6034 Aug 2014
FGOTM Sept 2015 & Feb 2019

Lord put your arm around my shoulders & your hand over my mouth.

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