232. Stoned and Proud of It

Two of the “rock stars” in our family are having their 31st wedding anniversary today: my niece and nephew-in-law Jennie (nee Ford) and Jim Ward. If they had their druthers, they’d probably like to be celebrating the occasion hiking and biking – their favorite getaway.

Jennie and Jim have lived in Minnesota for 21 years, but for the past several years, they’ve taken trips to Montana and Sedona, Arizona where they hike daily.

Jennie told me, “We are fortunate to live in close proximity to a fabulous bike trail which takes us to a lovely little cafe on a lake for a weekend breakfast.   The home we live in currently came with a bonus in the form of a beautiful backyard and pool.  We swim daily in the summer months with the help of a heater which makes early Minnesota summer swims possible.” 

Jim is an avid outdoorsman, but his day job is that of chief financial officer for Davisco Foods International, a post he’s held for the past 25 years.

Climbing among rocks isn’t enough for Jennie.  She finds beauty in them.  She has a small line of jewelry which she sells at several local gift shops and an occasional outdoor art fair. Jennie says, “My work isn’t fine art, rather, it is earthy and organic.  I have a small but very loyal following who keep my business afloat.  I love rocks!”

This is a photo of Jennie getting “stoned” as per the movie “127 Hours”.   You will be thrilled to know that – unlike James Franco – she managed to extricate herself without becoming “disarmed”. Amazing but true. That’s my superwoman niece for you.  James Franco, eatcherheartout. 

Jennie and Jim have two sons, Josh (25) and Jake (23) who still reside in Minnesota.  Josh will graduate from the William Mitchell School of Law in St.Paul, where he has been a student the past three years.  Jake is currently a student in Mankato. They both are Vikings and Twins fans, enjoy golf, fishing and an occasional  pheasant hunting trip in South Dakota. They are engaging, interesting, compassionate young men. Both have girlfriends. 

Jennie said, “The empty nest syndrome hit me rather hard. I miss having them around.   It’s hard to stop being a full time mom after so many years.”

The fortunate beneficiary of the empty nest is their dog, Sam.  You’ll hear more about her (yes, it’s a “her”) on Jennie’s birthday next week.

Happy anniversary, guys.  Take a hike, but try not to get “stoned” this time.

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