Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Accentuate the Positive. (After whining about the negative.)

Today was a mostly horrible day. The horrible parts included a trip to the DMV (which in and of itself can make a day horrible) to renew my license, a suspension to my license that I didn't know existed, a $100 fee that popped up in the system related to my accident 20 years ago and that prompted the unknown suspension, leaving the DMV without a renewed license and a dead cell phone battery, two more hours on the phone with the NJ DMV (most of that on hold, and being called a liar, literally, as the rude woman slammed me on hold for another 20 minutes), and then getting a call from my car insurance telling me that as of today and for the next 3 years, my car insurance is now double since because of the suspension I didn't know I had, I no longer qualify for the Good Driver Discount. And that's before we add Lyndsay to the insurance once she gets her license.

I wanted to cry.

Wait, I did.

And not just because of the aggravation, inconvenience, red tape, and bureaucracy, not to mention the increased insurance costs that we can't really afford, but also because being dragged back emotionally---again---to the most horrible time in my life, and having it still haunt me, is really draining. And the whole thing feels so unfair to me.

But the day wasn't all horrible. Today I made strawberry jam for the first time. Strawberries were on sale for $1/lb, so I bought lots of them. An older woman in my ward had given me boxes of canning jars, and I wanted to conquer my fear of canning and just do it.

It worked out great! Here are my pretty quilted canning jars filled with homemade strawberry jam, setting on the counter. That was really fun. And I'm pretty sure I could live on homemade whole wheat bread and jam for a long time, happily.

But wait! I won't have to!

Because you see those mounds? That's right, BEANS! My beans are coming up! I planted over a hundred plants, and today they began their upward push!

Beans burst forth with such confidence, I love it.

And there are peas growing! The peas survived the scavenging squirrels, thank goodness, and pretty soon, I'll be up to my eyeballs in peas! Glorious!

See how God compensates for all my misery with His glorious bounty? I am grateful.


Cynthia said...

The jam is gorgeous but that is, otherwise, a very lousy day. Sigh. I'm sorry. My insurance is currently doubled because I scratched the bumper of my sister's neighbor's car (no dent, paint scratch). They count it the same as if I had totaled a vehicle. So not fair!

Nanette said...

Jenna, I honestly don't remember how I came across your blog...but I do find it always inspiring, especially when I am having a hard day! Thanks for sharing your refreshingly honest viewpoint, life IS hard...a lot of the time, but your spirit illuminates throughout whatever you are dealing with. You inspire me to be better - so thanks!

Hannah said...

Aww Jenna, I'm so sorry you had such a rough day. The DMV is terrible.
Look at all of that jam!! Nicely done. Did you use the full sugar pectin or low sugar?

Also, 100 bean plants!!!! Holy cow! You are going to be swamped in delicious beans. Not that that's a problem or anything. I finally have good bean plants growing. They look so much better than any of the beans I've grown before and are flowering now. I'm so excited! The sad (but cool) thing is this "bucket garden" of mine is so far much more successful than my other garden. I'm kicking myself for all of the time and work I spent trying to improve the soil at the old house.

Southern said...

One more positive to identify... Aren't you glad you don't still live in New Jersey?!! So sorry to hear. The insurance shouldn't rise for something that happened 20 years ago. Get an audience with your agent and try to work it out. Its worth a try, for 3 years increase!

Luisa Perkins said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the lousiness. Oy. But you came through! I'm so glad you had jam success. $1/pound is fantastic! I dream of canning together....