Sunday, May 11, 2014

Magic Jeanne

John, Jack, Jeanne, Jerry, Jim Watt
Jeanne is the fifth in a line of four brothers, Jim, Jerry, Jack, and John.  She and her husband Steve are the parents of five children, with Nate being the last and a brother to four sisters; Melissa, Jessica, Elizabeth, and Jennifer Joy. That alone is enough to make her my hero for Mother's Day and any other day.

I nicknamed her Magic Jeanne this winter when she volunteered to help us paint walls and halls in our new home in Norman.   The energy, drive, and many talents this woman possesses is why I named her Magic.  

After we signed on our new home on Feb. 28, 2014 we immediately drove to Lowe's to buy the first of many gallons of paint. The next morning Jeanne, who had driven down from Laramie, Wyoming to spend the week with her mom, knocked on the door of new home.  "Hi Guys," she smiled and waved a paint brush in her hand, "I've come to help paint.  Let me just change clothes then tell me where you need me."  Now that was before I could say welcome.  "Don't worry guys, I always travel with my paint clothes, and this brush because it works on trim so well."  I guess the mother of five would be thinking ahead with each trip to visit her grown kids.    Jack and I didn't even think to bring painting clothes, but we did move in with a bed for the guest room, a dinning room table with chairs and a small television.

Painting the master bedroom took patience because we used paint that said primer and color.  Two walls were complete before I studied our handy work. "It's not working.  The mustard color shows through," I quietly muttered. Jeanne stepped back, "I agree.  I agree guys." With our three heads together we realized this paint job would take primer first then color. So began our trips to Lowes.   Back on task I painted the middle to lower wall portions, Jeanne with her personal paint brush meticulously painted all of the trim while Jack stood on the ladder and painted the top portions.  At any one time someone was on a ladder, squatting, or nearly lying on the floor painting trim.  We were a team for four days in a row.  Throughout the painting period we made treks to Lowe's, Subway, Walmart, Lowe's, Subway, Walmart, until we were able to laugh.  Then one evening a fiery sunset glowed through our west windows, and we proudly beamed with delight at the changes in our home. We couldn't have done it without Jeanne's motherly attitude and mantra, "We can do this guys.  We can do this."
Magic Jeanne keeping her hands busy. 

At week's end we drove back to Kansas and Jeanne drove home to Laramie via Omaha where three of her girls live.  One month later we were back in Norman with all of our furniture.  The next week Jeanne arrived to help her mom, and that's when more magic poured from her hands.  She stayed in our guest room, now called Jeanne's room, until a crisis arose and she moved back in with her mom.  

One day we were discussing and measuring where we could move some large pieces of furniture.  We were in the thinking stage. Jeanne arrived needing some down time so Jack said, "Jeanne stay her, watch TV, sit outside, whatever and relax.  We'll take care of mom this afternoon." 

"Ok, guys.  Bye, see you later,"  always smiling laughing Jeanne waved good-bye.  A few hours later we came home to find the large bookcase moved from one end of the house to the other.  "How did that happen," I asked somewhat incredulously.  "Oh, well guys, I couldn't just sit here so I moved the bookcase back to the guest room.  I hope you like it.  It looks really good." Her voice showed only enthusiasm, no exhaustion like mine might have.  "You truly are magical Jeanne," I replied, "And thank you but truly you can relax here sometimes."  
Jeanne and her mom, Alleen.

In the few weeks that she stayed in Norman, she helped us finish all of the unpacking and arranging, made meals for her mom, then went on to help paint in brother John's bathroom and kitchen. 

"Have Paint Brush Will Travel" became Jeanne's new card.   If it's Kilz you need or Primer you want that woman can tackle the job and elevate the laughter at the painting party.    

Her mom, Alleen Watt, is 90 and living proof that raising children only makes you stronger.   With ten children between them, they've learned what's important and what's not.  Happy Mother's Day.


  1. What a great story and wonderful woman she is. n

  2. Valuable lesson...paint and primer together NEVER works!!! pm

  3. This is a small world..... I met you at the library today and upon reading your blog I am amazed!!! I worked with Aileen Watt many years ago at Bell Tele. Sweet, sweet lady..

    1. Thank you so much for sending me this note. I will tell Alleen, but I'm not sure who you are. If you have my card it has an email on it, you could send your name that way if you want me to tell her. Hope we meet again.