Janet Higbee

“You Are Lucky”
Words and music by Marianne Fridell
with Mrs. Bauer’s 4th Grade Class
©2017 Marianne Fridell




      Janet Higbee

Growing up on the prairie, it grew on me
Grass everywhere as far as I could see
Rolling hills and a solitary tree.
I walked and walked and listened to the birds
I’d sing back to them just what I heard.
My grandparents’ place the only house that I could see
I felt safe. I know I’m lucky. I felt safe. I know I’m lucky.

Working outside, we’d each take our turn
Watering and feeding the livestock in the barn.
Milk in soda bottles, I’d feed the bum lambs.
Work becomes play with many helping hands.
I’d sing to them and they’d sing baa to me.
Outside with the animals is where I liked to be.
I kept them safe. I know I’m lucky. I kept them safe. I know I’m lucky.

Do what’s new for you
Even if it’s a little scary –that’s ok too.
Even in confusing situations, do your best calculations.
Try to see the other side. Let your perspective glide.
The world stretches farther than a prairie view.
And remember–you are lucky too.
And remember–you are lucky too.

Inside the house, we made up plays.
I gave my brothers cues and directed the fray.
We’d be vagabonds and even royalty.
Directing children’s plays comes naturally.
Imagination is a way to find your way.
My love for the theater endures today.
I feel safe. I know I’m lucky. I feel safe. I know I’m lucky.

It was cold and snowy, the night that I was born.
Paul and I got married in a winter storm.
I enjoy a challenge, but prefer them when it’s warm.
Icy winds are hard on life’s important days.
And now I love to walk in the warmth of solar rays.
Music fills my heart on a sunny day.
Singing with the ones I love, I know I’m lucky.
Singing with the ones I love, I know I’m lucky.


And remember–you are lucky too!

Janet Mary Higbee was born in February of 1956 in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. It was a cold and snowy night. She was taken home to their ranch, 50 miles north of Belle. Janet always felt safe growing up on the ranch with her family!

Janet grew up on the prairie and the only house she could see from their ranch was her grandparents’ house! Janet has two younger brothers and she enjoyed growing up with them. They were friends and worked together to take care of the animals on the ranch. She loved to walk outside and listen to the birds and play with the animals. Janet remembers helping feed the lambs from soda bottles. She would sing the lambs songs and she would name them—like Barney, Betty, Berny, Bobby! Inside the house she enjoyed doing plays with her brothers. Janet was the oldest so she would be the director. Her favorite childhood memory is working together outside with her whole family!

For school, Janet attended the Redig schoolhouse. It was a one-room school that included grades 1-8, and when Janet first attended the whole school only had 4 students! Everyone in school were either neighbors or cousins to Janet. She remembers playing with kids of all ages and playing kick the can outside. Her favorite subject was reading, and she enjoyed writing the math problems on the chalkboard. She remembers doing jumping jacks in the classroom (as they didn’t have a “PE” class), and learning English, social studies, arithmetic, and science.

Janet then came to Spearfish for high school. It was a difficult transition to go from a small school to such a large school. Her favorite subject in high school was English. She liked to read and study grammar, and tells that it was fun to learn how all the parts of a sentence would fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Janet joined the choir, participated in school plays, and joined the madrigal group. Later in life she would play the part of an old lady when she was 8 months pregnant!

On January 1, 1978 Janet married Paul. Janet remembers the day being cold and snowy, just like when she was born. Janet and Paul met in college and they were both doing plays. They have been married for 39 years—almost 40! They have two daughters, Julie and Kelsey, and Janet enjoys playing music with them. They also have a grandson, Kirby. Kirby and Janet spend time reading books together and Janet picks him up from school every day.

Janet has directed children’s plays at the Matthews Opera House in Spearfish. She stays busy working and volunteering at the church. At the church Janet helps plan music and enjoys working with 3 year olds through kindergarteners.

Janet reminds us to do new things in life (like participating in Elder’s Wisdom!), even if they’re a little scary. She encourages us to see things from other’s perspectives, as this is how we learn all sorts of wonderful things. And, of course–always remember, you are lucky too!

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