Back in Kentucky

If a picture paints a thousand words, imagine how much knowledge we can receive from actual words. With social and online media, we have adapted to the ‘scroll’ where few of us take the time to read and we entertain ourselves with millisecond visuals.

I am a writer – whatever it is that I have to say, I must write.  I am counting on the intelligent readers of VUE Magazine to help me bring back the healthy stimuli of words. Writers need readers, and readers need writers.

Last week, I had lunch with Carolyn, co-owner of Vue Magazine and as we took time to get to know each other outside of Facebook, we toyed with the idea of she and Maggie adding a ‘blogger’ to the mix of the magazine – me.

Who am I? My name is Jennifer Jeffrey Billington, and I was born in Murray, Kentucky.  My family moved from Murray when I was only two-year-old, and though we came to visit my grandparents often, I didn’t have the privilege of attending school here, so in moving back a few years ago, I still feel like a newbie.

My uncle, Buren “Boots” Jeffrey was Superintendent of Calloway County schools and Principal of Calloway High in which their gymnasium is named after him. My grandparents, Bill and Grace Jeffrey had one son – my dad. My grandparent’s owned a clothing store named Jeffrey’s on Main, and my dad taught at Murray High (until we moved to Lexington where he taught at UK).

When we lived in Murray, my parents were good friends with the Billingtons. Bob and Peggy were very involved in the community and very social as were my parents. When they got together with my parents it was to play bridge or the men would play golf. Whatever the occasion, I remember playing with the Billington boys. The brothers were Robert and Jason. My older tomboy sister played with Robert and they were the same age. That left Jason and I to play together, and even though he was a year younger than me, I thought he was a cutie. I had never forgotten our childhood playmates, even though life moved on (as did we).

After many years passed (and life throwing many lemons) my 40s were about me …dare I say, ‘finding myself’? But it was true. God brought me through some hard lessons, but also gave much wisdom, and it was then that I felt the calling to write about the things He was teaching me. I wrote while I lived in New York, and in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I left high paying jobs in the medical field to do what I love. And there I was. The ‘me’ I was searching for.

As everything fell into place, something inside was calling me. It first started with nature and hiking for this city-girl. Then, it seemed after a trip back to Kentucky, that my old Kentucky home was calling me. I wanted roots. I began searching for childhood friends from Lexington and Murray and I found a few of our old neighbors and …the Billingtons.

Jason, my playmate, was single and the minute we corresponded, our lives came together like two speeding trains (without the train wreck). We married a little over five years ago, and that brought me back to my old Kentucky home. Little did I know I would come back to my birthplace.

I still write under Jen Jeffrey, my pen name, but I love being a Billington as much as I love being a Jeffrey. And since I was never given a middle name, I get to be both.

My writing style varies so if you begin following my blog, you are in for small adventures and sometimes insights from the heart. I was raised in the city wherever my family would move, but in the last decade, I found myself loving the country. And with God putting Jason and I together, He had the perfect place planned for me be – in Calloway County (with quick access to the small city of Murray or just a hop, skip, and a jump to the city Paducah).

A mile from our house, we have a small ranch where we have horses. My twin sons moved from Chattanooga (where I had lived for 30 years) and moved into the ranch house to help us care for the ranch. They have added more animals – a pig, several goats, a sheep, and an English Shepherd dog, as well as a good ol’ barn cat! The ranch alone has brought many adventures (and some quite comical) as well as the adventures of having our sons and grandchildren living there.

When I wrote for the Chattanoogan news publication, I had several assignments and one was food reviews. I kept doing them even after Jason and I married. We were going to Chattanooga eating out for every meal over a weekend, trying new restaurants, and I would spread the articles out over a few months’ time until I needed to go back. But, that put weight on us both!

While I ended up letting my writing for Chattanooga fade out, as I got acclimated to Kentucky, Jason and I had various projects at the ranch that kept busy, and we never paid attention to our health. Now, our newest adventure is not just ‘losing the unwanted weight’ but changing our whole lifestyle.

Jason was a body builder in his early years and he even won the title of Mr. St. Louis. And, I used to teach fitness, and I had a healthy lifestyle before I began writing. Being fit wasn’t new to us, but eating the way we eat now is. We found an eating lifestyle of eating REAL FOOD and it has given us so much energy. No fad diets, just learning what not to put in our body that was causing us fatigue, joint pain and headaches. We feel ten years younger with our new way of eating, and we will never go back to our careless eating.

In future writings, I will tell you about how Jason and I got together after all these years. It is a cute story. Stay tuned for more!

  • Show Comments (2)

  • Teresa Kalberer

    Since I’m Facebook friends with Jen, I know quite a bit of her story. But I will enjoy reading her blog becauae I know she will.write about a lot of interesting topics!

  • Mary Jo Noonan

    I began following Jen’s adventures when she left Chattanooga and ventured north to NYC, oh my! She ultimately came back to Chattanooga, had several more “adventures” and then lived with her Momma, Sweet Shirley. She was reintroduced to Jason and then the “magic” began for JJ (that’s what I call her, lol). I am excited that she now is writing again and will look forward to her stories. HUGS and LOVE…MJ

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