‘Jottings of Joy’ is exactly that – collected thoughts and stories that Joy (Ford) Butler has written over the years.
I have always liked to write. Ever since primary school in New Zealand, where I was born, I have loved words. My teachers encouraged me to keep writing. My stories were about people, animals and the imaginary creatures that I enjoyed a special relationship with in my quiet childhood spent amongst nature.
New Zealand, in the 1950s and 60s was a pleasant place to grow up. My parents were older and had experienced trials and hardships during the depression years of the 1930s and into the 2nd World War, but I was the last born way beyond those difficult times. Therefore I was to experience a more relaxed way of life than my siblings had for now I enjoyed an abundance of good NZ cheeses, milk and meat to keep me rotund. My father was a successful building contractor and provided me with good clothes, holidays and a comfortable house which I shared with my parents. My grandparents lived close by and they enhanced my life with security and loads of love.
Church was important to me and during my childhood I was enriched by being closely associated with Seventh-day Adventists on Saturday and the Salvation Army on Sunday. The influences of these two churches have profoundly influenced my life.
After a long and miserable sickness, my mother died when I was 17 years old and this almost overwhelming loss in my life, at the time, turned me into the independent woman I was destined to be. She had taught me the basics of independence, maturity, Christianity, trust in God and had set an example of appreciation for fine music and reading widely. She, with my grandmother, showed me what it meant to be a liberated woman, able to think for myself and to lead and care for others. They both knew what it meant to be a leader/servant.
With no major plans to travel the world I found myself married to a man with dreams to travel and experience other cultures. At first reluctantly, then with enthusiasm, I have travelled much of the globe, experiencing the good and the bad, learned smatterings of various languages, steeped myself in the issues that surround women and gained a much wider knowledge than I ever anticipated.
My jottings will reveal some of my limited knowledge and will take you and me on a journey to many parts of the world where I have been privileged to travel or to live. They will not necessarily be in chronological order but they will, hopefully, stir your mind and heart to experience something of the great and wide world we live in with its plethora of joys and some sorrows.