Did you know last Sunday was Mother In-Law Day? I did not and thought
the name sounded a little like the sentence that comes before a punch
line. There’s always been a little running gag about mothers in-law
but the occasion made me think about my own.
Lisa was the reason for my original proposal years back, however I
knew I was also getting some great in-laws. The standard-bearer of
that little army of Walseths I married into was Jeanette Walseth, my
Now let’s get this out there; I love my mother in-law. I don’t
tolerate her, or humor her or anything less than love her. Anyone who
meets Jeanette always follows the occasion up by telling me “I love
Jeanette” or “I wish she was my mother in-law.”
We call Jeanette the “brave little toaster”, so named after the
children’s book of the same name. Jeanette got this moniker because
she will simply take on anything. She combines work ethic, courage
and loyalty into a carefully-aged ball of energy that can carry out
any task. Church, politics, benevolence of any kind-Jeanette
volunteers and works for the greater glory of all instead or her own
personal glory. I really respect this aspect of Jeanette’s
personality as some people do good acts not for the intrinsic quality
of the act as for public accolade.
I want to give you some Jeanette Walseth history. Jeanette owned the
St Hilaire Hartz Store that sold candy and produce. She ran her
accounts and her store in such a way that it was friendly and
businesslike-not always easy. Later in life she became a nurse and
over the next twenty years helped the sick and scared become neither.
She now works in the break room at Digi Key and at seventy four years
of age maintains her own high standards of work ethic.
Jeanette is a talented artist which she shares with her sister,
Joanne. Jeanette has for years presented everyone who passes the
corner of Markley and James with lovely, traditional Christmas
decorations. The manger scene plus Santa and his reindeer were all
hand made by Jeanette. Jeanette paints scenes onto saw blades and
canvas which are real treasures. Lisa and I have several and we
consider them family heirlooms.
Jeanette possesses the green thumb-although it is tiny like the rest
of her. Her flower garden is balanced, well planned and such a
peaceful place. My sister Debbie has remarked how good it makes her
feel each time she views Jeanette’s colorful corner and border. It is
a gift to any who view it.
Finally, Jeanette is simply a blast. She drinks the same beer as me
and often times even buys. We have had some of our best memories on
her deck and once, when Lisa was gone for the week-end, Jeanette and
I sat there, talked and turned full ones into empty ones. Jeanette
could teach a Master’s class in how to suck the marrow from life. She
is a joyful and cool.
Okay I didn’t get Jeanette anything for Mother In-Laws day, at least
until now. Even though this was a gift, of sorts, every word was true
and people should know it. Happy belated MIL day, Mother Walseth.