Friday, January 7, 2011

This gives me hope

Once in awhile I get an email from a reader that is so magnificent, it blows me away. Last night I received such an email from a young woman who clearly has her head screwed on straight. I wanted to post this to give encouragement to everyone.

She says she's amazed by me. Well let me tell you, I'm amazed by her. Here's a young couple who is obviously hard working and rising to meet their challenges. I wish there were more people like them.

Hi Patrice,

My name is Susan, and I've come upon your blog somehow while browsing the internet on how to garden. Let me give you a little history about me first. I am 25, married 8 years and have 2 boys ages 8 and 2. I work as a maintenance worker (a.k.a the babysitter) for Lowe's. My husband is a solar installer for a little company in town. Neither of us are high school graduates and have no formal education whatsoever. We both had incredibly toxic upbringings.

I wanted to write to you because I am AMAZED at all the things you do! I have been reading on your site and I feel like you are a role model, and a dang good one at that. My husband grew up in the country in Kansas, and has said how great it is, but me growing up in the city made me weary... what if we're not close enough to a hospital, how boring to not be close to anyone or anything to do! BUT I've always had an underlying curiosity. After reading your blog, how you get to be at home to raise your kids and be their role model and mentor... it's amazing. And growing your own food and raising your own meat... I'm just blown away!!! You have a true American dream. Not of driving a Mercedes or having the next hot gadget and owning 10 beachfront properties, but of true happiness and knowing the meaning of hard work, and most of all of family. Your blog is my new how-to guide.

You are so inspiring and your pictures are so breathtaking, and I just had to tell you that your site is a real eye-opener, and you are surely a blessing to many.

Thank you for what you do.

- Susan

My reply:

What a beautiful email! Thank you for absolutely making my day.

It sounds like you two had a rough start in life as well as an early introduction to some very serious responsibilities, i.e. marriage and parenthood. But clearly you are rising to the occasion with grace and strength. Seldom do I read such a well-written email from someone, formal education or not. That alone tells me you and your husband will do fine in life.

Lots of things my husband and I achieved were only achieved when we were older. Granted we got a late start on children (I was 33 and 35 when our girls were born), but remember that however difficult this phase of life may be for you, it's a phase that will eventually transition to another phase. That next phase will depend to a large extent on what choices you and your husband make. Set some goals and work toward them, and when you're our age you may be surprised how much you've achieved.

It's hard to start off so young with two children, but something tells me you guys will go far. Whatever your dream may be, whether it's moving to the country or staying home to raise your boys or anything else you long to do, if you keep making good choices you'll eventually reach your goal. Remember, those have to be GOOD choices. Staying out of debt is an excellent choice. Being the responsible and mature adults you clearly are is another excellent choice. Having a high work ethic is another choice. Keeping love and respect in your marriage is yet another choice.

For someone who isn't a high school graduate, it sounds to me like you're better educated (and certainly better spoken) than many with a college degree. People like you give me hope! God bless you and keep up the good work.

Kind regards,
Patrice Lewis

P.S. This is going on the blog. I want readers to know there are folks like you out there. Wow.


  1. this is great! it gives me hope, hope that this is still a country where people can reach for a better life and dreams, no matter howthey started. It gives me hopethat there are people in the younger generation who are not just selfish robots.
    Thanks for sharing with us!

  2. Aww, good for her and her husband! I'll keep them in my prayers. Thanks for posting this Patrice, it does give me hope (as does following your blog) that there are intelligent people with good values out there. It's easy to forget.

  3. The fact this young gal did NOT go to college is probably a good part of the reason why she is so open-minded and wise. She had no liberal professors forcing their lies and anti-Christian, domineering ideologies down her throat. God bless her and her family! (Everything she said about you, your blog and your pix I agree with in spades.)

  4. It's never said often enough, your life is what you make of it - all the adversities in a childhood need not carry into adulthood if you choose to not allow that to happen....Whatever it takes to find a way beyond a bad start, is a step ahead; and it takes a good talking to yourself to discover what you want your life to be like.....then go for it.....

    Susan is well on her way to a happy, successful life simply by the willingness to learn and then applying it....she's achieved some great things in her young life, already.....

  5. OK, contrarian that I am, I have a different view of this letter. First, I DO want to knowledge that the letter from Susan was quite magnanimous. Patrice's reply was, in turn, equally humble. Two great letters from two hard-working American families. Now, this is where it appears to me that maybe they are not so unusual afterall. And it's precisely because I don't think they are so unusual that I have great hope.

    Patrice and Don and Susan and her husband, and I dare say most of the other followers of this blog, are striving to achieve their goals and dreams. And they are doing so ethically and honestly through hard work, and with love for their families. I don't think they are the exception in this great country, I think they are the norm. Not that everybody reaches their goals as the Lewis family has, but that most Americans are working at it.

    I think the news media and the cynical politicians have done a good job of convincing us that we are all as corrupt as they are. That we are as bereft of integrity as the international bankers and the union leaders are. I think the America I love is still alive and kicking, but it's been ignored and shouted down and mocked for so long that it went underground for a time. I think the Tea Party movement was the beginning of that America's resurgence. And the election in November 2010 was the proof that real America is making a comeback.

    We're shown the stampeding crowds on Black Friday as if that's normal. It isn't! The only reason it was news is due to the fact that it ISN'T normal, despite what we've been led to believe about ourselves. We're told that Americans are racists and warmongers and that we're all greedy. The truth is, we aren't that way at all. Maybe some of our politicians are (most of them belong in prison IMHO) and maybe some of our banks really played us for fools, but the American spirit is alive and well and just needs to come back into the light. It just needs to take its rightful place at the helm of the ship of State.

    To be sure, there are segments of the population that have been used as pawns by power-hungry people. As a consequence, they have become unable to think independently, but they are not the majority. Instead, Americans like Susan and Patrice are the majority. Whatever the future holds for this country, I have a feeling we're going to do all right. Come what may, most of us will make it through to the other side and pick up where we know we should have been all along and start again from there. And that's because we've always been here, but we weren't always being heard or seen.

    What Susan's letter - posted on Patrice's blog - means to me is that real Americans are being heard again. Maybe not in the halls of Congress, but where it really matters - in our homes and in our hearts. Perhaps I listen to Glenn Beck too much, but I truly believe the rebirth of America starts with each of us, not with Washington, DC. That WE are the rightful owners of the keys to the nation, not the Republicans or the Democrats. That by pursuing our happiness, with integrity, we save America.

    Yes, thank you for what you do, Patrice. And thank you, Susan, for recognizing her simple greatness and wanting to emulate it. There is hope, there always was.

    Anonymous Patriot

    1. As true in 2023 as it was in 2011.

  6. And thank you, AP for those good words of American faith and inspiration. I think it's a very wise message that we all need to embrace and proudly pass on at any and every opportunity. We all need to be walking tall and being grateful and proud of the goodness of our country and her people, putting the lie to the twisted message put out by most all the media and the leftists. The good so outnumber the bad,
    and it's vital to remember this.

    Susan, I'm in complete agreement with Patrice, and pleased you have the obvious gumption to know a good role model when you see one.

    And Patrice, I'm glad you shared this with us. Moreover, I'm truly proud of you for the kind and uplifting personal response you sent to this young wife and mother. I feel sure it will never be forgotten.

    God bless one and all.


  7. What a great letter and what a great reply.
    Susan (and her husband too, I suppose) sound like
    they're taking Dear Abby's advice about making lemonade when life hands you lemons.
    I predict they'll do just fine.

    Yeah, I know I'm about a year behind.
    I've just discovered this and I'm very OCD-ishly reading the entries in chronological order.

    Charlie off the coast of Angola