Tuesday, January 1, 2008


The response has been so positive! I sent them off to everyone for Christmas, and so far, the ones that have received them have loved them...and some have even requested more copies for other family members!

I have also had the opportunity to hear more stories from the receipients about my mom that I didn't know. Apparently, she wrote children's books, too! My dad doesn't think they exist anymore...but I guess you never know! ;)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


It's done! It's off to print...it's ordered! I can't even believe it. Thank you to Gail and Lelle for proofreading...and proofreading...and proofreading! :) And for your enthusiasm and support!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


In the summer of 2007, while going through some family mementos with my brother, Kevin, and my sister, Jessica, we happened upon a folder with one simple word in my mother’s handwriting, “Manuscripts” tucked in with all of our school papers, health records, and old Christmas cards.

It literally took my breath away to open the folder and see a delicately typed page with the words “Slices Of Life” typed, and under them, the byline with my mother’s name, Diane Jenkins Jersey. I had no idea that my mother had been working on a book! Without telling my siblings of my plans, I decided right there and then to make my mother’s dream a reality, and publish her book.

It’s been a beautiful and touching journey to read the words of my mother, some of them in her own writing, about her perspective on our family’s life. “Slices of Life” she called them. She wrote stories about all the different stages of her life, in a way that only she could have. It has been such a gift to get to know my mother better, and to fall in love with her all over again. I hope you love them, and her, as much as I do.

- Jeannine Michele Jersey, proud daughter

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Good morning. My name is Diane Jersey. Our family moved here four years ago from Annapolis, Maryland. My husband, Dave works for UPS in Philadelphia. My daughter, Jeannine, is a freshman at Penn State – main campus. My son, Kevin, is a senior at East High School. My daughter, Jessica, is in seventh grade at Fugett Middle School.

I am the fourth of five daughters, originally from Kansas City. My dad’s job with the FAA required us to relocate every year that I was in elementary school. I don’t remember this as being too difficult or traumatic. We always became involved in a local church, wherever we settled. The church was an anchor in our lives.

I really appreciated that spiritual foundation, more than ever this past year. Without my faith in God, and the support of my church and family, I don’t know how I could have made it through this year.

In August of 1993, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My treatment would include 3 months of chemotherapy, a modified radical mastectomy, 3 more months of chemotherapy and then, 6 weeks of radiation. Prior to treatment, I had a bone scan, heart scan, chest x-ray and various blood tests. Each test came out clear! This gave us hope that the cancer was localized. Praise the Lord!

As people began to hear of my illness, wonderful things happened. I received cards, flowers, food and phone calls from all over the country. There was such an outpouring of love and support that I couldn’t help but feel uplifted.

My husband accompanied me to every test, doctor appointment and treatment. I believe he would have gone in my place, if that would have been possible. I will always be grateful for his support. Alan Brown came and prayed with us at the hospital on the day of my biopsy. He, Barbara and Pat also stayed in frequent contact throughout my treatment. Always encouraging and cheerful, they visited me after my surgery, as well.

I can count many blessings throughout this year. My medical insurance is certainly something to be grateful for! My team of doctors is all thoroughly competent, and wonderfully upbeat and compassionate individuals. My neighbors and friends provided countless meals, phone calls and cards of encouragement.

There were many times that God was obviously at work in my life this past year. For example, during chemotherapy, if your white blood count goes very low, you are vulnerable to infection, which may require hospitalization for IV antibiotics. During one cycle, I was precariously close to being hospitalized. My fever inched up and up. Coincidentally, my Bible Study Group from Annapolis was meeting that evening. They called to see how I was doing and promised to pray that my fever would go down. Almost immediately, it did! Never doubt the power of prayer!

Another unexpected occurrence was the need for a blood transfusion. My red blood cells were not strong enough to sustain me through surgery. Although my husband and daughter were willing to donate blood on my behalf – they are both A-positive. I needed O-positive blood. The rest of my family lives in Texas, so their help was not an option. Without a moment’s hesitation, one of my oncology nurses donated blood for me that very day. We contact Alan Brown, here at Grove, and within hours, he had recruited additional donors from our church. Words cannot express my gratitude to those people! I felt so much better with my new blood!

My mother passed away the day after Thanksgiving in San Antonio, Texas. Once again, God was working my life. I was at a good point in my treatment, so I was able to attend her funeral. On of my mother’s friends, who she affectionately called her “Guardian Angel” whispered to me at the service, that she knew about my “little problem” and would continue to pray for me. I was deeply touched.

Without a doubt, this has been the most challenging year in my life. However, it has also been the most faith affirming. No matter what has happened. God has provided the strength and grace to get through it. One of my favorite Bible verses is “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.” I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I do know that God will guide me through it all.

When You Go Back Home Again

Although I was born in Kansas City, Kansas, my family moved from there to Oklahoma City when I was in second grade. We then moved to Sumter, SC, Fort Walton Beach, FL, and then, to the suburbs of Washington DC. Ultimately, my dad retired from this job with the FAA and relocated to San Antonio, TX.

All of us kids had been born in Kansas City, as had my parents and all of their siblings. We have wonderful memories of family get togethers. There were always numerous aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins in attendance.

My dad built a house in Kansas City right about the time I was born. He drew up the plans himself. His dad and his brothers helped him build it. My aunts helped with the interior painting and wallpapering. It was a modest 3-bedroom bungalow, but to us it seems like a castle – our family fortress.

After we moved, we’d go back to visit occasionally, but the visits became fewer, the older we became. It turned out that nearly 30 years had passed since I’d been there. My sister Jane called from her home in West Virginia. My Aunt Marty was in a hospice in Kansas City and she wanted to visit her one last time. She asked me to accompany her. So, I drove from my home in West Chester, PA to Baltimore, MD. We flew out of BWI Airport on a Thursday afternoon and stayed through the weekend. It’s a trip I’m very glad I made.

I was surprised that we did recognize some places. Our cousin, Mitzi, took us around the first day to kid of help us get our bearings. She talked non-stop, filling us in on a lot of family history that we didn’t know, and taking us to see the houses our relatives had lived in, churches we had attended, the cemetery were our grandparents were buried. She even brought a Polaroid camera to take photographs for us.

My grandmother’s house was in sad disrepair. The whole neighborhood was pretty run down. We remembered happily skipping down to the corner to Mr. Thomas’s store to buy penny candy. The store was no longer there. We remembered shimmying up to the top of a stop sign pole beside the house. The pole is a lot shorter. (Of course, we are a lot bigger now.) We remembered doing the laundry with Grandma out on the back porch in an old fashioned wringer washing machine. The porch was not there. The present owners are in the process of building a deck.

The house my dad built was for sale. Of course, we wanted to buy it immediately, to preserve that part of our family history, but that would be impractical. Since the house was unoccupied, we peeked in the windows, remembering our bedroom where the bunk beds were placed, the stockings hung on the fireplace at Christmas, sing-a-longs at the piano in the living room, making homemade ice cream out on the screened-in porch and other memories. We drove up the hill to visit with our childhood friend, DeDe’s, mother who still lived there. She was so surprised to see us, but happily recounted tales of backyard barbecues, and neighborhood talent shows we staged in her backyard every summer.

At my Aunt Marty’s apartment we went through boxes of old photographs. We would take some of them over to the nursing home and she would identify people in the pictures and reminisce about the occasion for the picture being taken. I think it was as much fun for her, as it was for us!

It wasn’t easy to leave. There was such a blanket of unconditional love and acceptance, we wanted to go on being “the girls”, and not to have to return to our hectic “real” lives. It was overwhelming to realize that we’ll never see our Aunt Marty again.

How I wish my own children would have this opportunity to “go back home again”. We’ve moved around several times, so I don’t know where they would call home. Perhaps it’s a different place for each of them. Perhaps home, in this day and age, is just where you are for the moment. All I know is, just like Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ, “there’s no place like home” for me!

April 19, 1994

Anchor’s Aweigh!

The North Carolina coast was beautiful! The sand was sparkling white. The water was warm, clear and green. The area we had chosen for our summer vacation was relatively undeveloped, uncrowded, peaceful and serene.

We were sharing a vacation house with another family. This particular day, the men and children had ventured out to water ski. The women stayed at home to relax, read and do needlework.

The men took turns driving the boat and water-skiing. Then, the two youngest passengers decided they’d prefer to dig in the sand, so my husband, Dave, took them ashore and stayed there to supervise them. Our friend, Scott, remained on the boat to teach the older children how to water ski.

After one unsuccessful attempt, the two line became entangled in the propeller. Dave shouted instructions to Scott from shore. Turn off the engine! Drop the anchor! Jump in the water and untangle the line!

Scott obediently followed all of Dave’s directions. Unfortunately, the anchor wasn’t tied to the boat. Realizing this, Dave dove into the water and frantically attempted to rescue the sinking anchor. Scott emerged from underwater having successfully disentangled the ski rope, but wondered why Dave was now in the water, too. Of course, they were unable to locate the anchor, so they gathered all their crew members and headed for home.

The song “Anchor’s Aweigh” has a new meaning in our family!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I Hate Barbie Dolls

I always said that my children would never own one of these dreadful creatures. Frankly, I’ve never understood the doll’s popularity. It doesn’t make the least bit of sense to me to give a little girl a skinny, little 11 ½ inch doll with boobs and expect her to be able to dress and undress it easily. I can’t even do it.

A well meaning “friend” insisted that my daughter’s life would not be complete without a Barbie doll, so she gave her one on her fifth birthday. Soon, Barbie began accumulating a sizeable wardrobe. Eventually, the original Barbie was joined by other members of the Barbie family: Ken, Skipper, Barbie that blinks, Barbie with growing hair…I can’t remember all the fabulous, fluffy names. But, the interesting things was that my daughter only played with these dolls when other playmates initiated the idea. Barbie never fulfilled any big fantasies or dreams for my daughter. She was a source of irritation and frustration. The clothing was difficult to get on and off. Worse of all, the arms, legs and/or heads came off fairly easily, and this is very upsetting to a child!

Why do we encourage this aggravation? My vote is for nice, big, cuddly baby dolls. If toys are for teaching, why not instill loving and caring attitudes with baby dolls, rather than emulating rock stars with “Barbie and the Rockers” and all that paraphernalia that goes along with that? Children only get one chance to be children. Can’t we help them enjoy it by making sensible toys?