The Saturday Afternoon Visit

I've mentioned before how much I enjoy going to visit people.

Because, for one thing, everyone has a story.

And, Barbara did have a couple of stories.

For one, her brother died of a heart attack leaving 11 children, including a young baby.  His wife was strong and capable and was able to raise the children.  Life is so precarious and precious.  It's never a certainty about what is around the corner.

Another little incident she told me was when the hospital workers were trying to shock her father's heart back to working, they shocked him so hard, he literally fell off the table!  But, he was already deceased, so it was okay, I guess.

Barbara is a widow, but she was so appreciative of her life, her home situation, her good, good children, her extended family.  It was inspiring to visit someone so filled with gratitude for the many good things in her life.

It's a joy to be around grateful people.


Feeling Grateful

It's quiet;

just RAH and me.

The Christmas tree is up, but not decorated.  We will wait for our granddaughter to come on Sunday night...she wanted to help with the decorations.

RAH is trying to get the pilot light started in the fireplace.

We went to a movie today.  We ate leftovers from the dinner our neighbors invited us to yesterday.

Bill and his daughter, Kathy; they are two peas in a pod; both so thoughtful and generous!

We put away the Thanksgiving decorations.  I went to the dollar store to get some things.

We talked to a son today, a daughter yesterday; another son tried to call.  We texted a daughter.  We saw some pictures on Instagram from the other son.

And, I'm feeling grateful.

For many things.

I don't want anything to change.

I know it will, so for THIS moment, I will be grateful and happy.


A Letter of Thanksgiving to My Family on Thanksgiving Day - 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to you ALL!

On this marvelous day, I am remembering fond memories of Thanksgivings Past; but mostly thinking of each of you and what I have to be THANKFUL for!

Many times in our growing-upe years in Pocatello, we would be seated at a long table in our front year, and there would be a knock on the door.  Standing in the cold would be a tramp – who had come from the railroad not too far from where we lived.  They left a sort of signal that pointed to mom’s house, and she always gave them a plate of food.  And, who wouldn’t want my mom’s delicious home-made turkey, gravy and stuffing?

A favorite recollection is when I was a freshman at Ricks College.  I went on an art trip to Chicago….we left Rexburg Wednesday at noon in a blinding snowstorm, and arrived in Chicago the next afternoon -  Thanksgiving.  When I called to wish my parents a happy turkey day, they wanted me to hurry and get home because everyone was waiting for me to come home so they could get dinner going.  They thought my phone call from Chicago was a joke and that I was merely at my roommate’s home playing a prank.  Fun memory.

The first time I ever cooked a turkey on my own was in 1969.  Allen and I were living in a small trailer home in Rexburg; I was 7 months pregnant with Jeremy, and I was on crutches because I had sprained my ankle very badly.  Of course, there was no Google and who could afford to make a long-distance phone call to my mother to find out HOW to make a turkey, so we muddled through it using the Betty Cocker cook book.  I don’t remember much about how things turned out, but obviously no one got poisoned and Jeremy – in utero – seemed to survive it along with Justin and Jenni; out -utero.

The first time we didn’t have ANY family at all was a winter right after Allen retired and we were spending a few months in Sun City, Arizona.  We ate at a restaurant.  The guy in the booth next to us told the waiter there was a bread tie in his meal, so she gave the meal to him free.  I never believed it, personally.  But, eating out was an experience I’d never had before on Thanksgiving.  WHAT????  No left-over turkey sandwiches?

In China, we didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, except in our hearts, as we were teaching that day.  Just another day in China.

But, mostly, I have such fond memories of OUR turkey days together; take last year as an example.  We went shooting out on the desert, met Lisa for the first time, and learned Bobby and Kristi were getting married in September!  And, who will ever forget, Jenni and Brent jumping out of the closet when Janna asked Kristi to get her something from the pantry?

Memories; the stuff of happiness.

And, so on this day of giving thanks, I give thanks for each one of you.  For your goodness, your thoughtfulness, your fun, your BEING.

Oh, yes, I am thankful indeed.


Living Without Regrets

I never met Mr. Shephard; but I had met his wonderful daughter.

She, like everyone who knew Mr. Shephard, was stunned at his unusual untimely, unexpected death at age 58.  It was a shock indeed.

For you see, Mr Shepard ate some raw oysters and within a couple of days, he was gone.  He got a man-eating bacteria that ate away at his insides.  An horrific death indeed.

Upon hearing of this bizarre turn of events, it made me wonder:

Had he made up with all his family members if there were hard feelings?

Had he told his loved ones he loved them?

Did he have some regrets about his life that he had hoped to change?

Living without regrets is a marvelous idea....but, so few of us can REALLY do it.

However, it is a noble and satisfying goal;

To live so that we don't offend anyone, don't harm others with our careless words, be unfair, get angry,  say stupid things, left unsaid what we should have said....

We can make things right - if we have TIME.  If we don't drop dead of an untimely death.

And, there's the rub.  Who would ever expect to die of eating a rather common food...

So, the point is obvious.

We must try to live every day - without regrets.

Without being negative or hurtful or angry.  Because, then we truly can, RestInPeace!

Oh, yes, that is a noble goal indeed.

I'll try harder to live life without regrets.


Forgetting What Really Matters!

It's so true.

Sometimes I get caught up in my own life.

And, I forget what really matters.

And, then I get a wake-up call.

But, it comes with a lot of angst and some suffering.

Oh, I just want to be better.....

And, remember what really counts in life.


Family Feud

Doralee was one of the finest women I have ever met.  Two of her sons got in a feud that lasted until she died.  It broke her heart.  What could be worth splitting up a family over?!??!

Diana and her husband represent all that is good and wonderful in the world.  And, yet, two of her eight children disowned their parents and will have nothing to do with D and R.  The parents carry that heavy burden with them of having children who do not interact with the family in any way. What could happen to alienate a child so badly?

V and B had a son who walked out of their lives for many many years.  Finally, he made an attempt to reconnect.  Wisely, V and B let the past go and embraced and loved the son who had broken their hearts years before.

I'm afraid.

Because sometimes this family feud comes out of nowhere.

Family means everything to me.

And I can't think of anything that should cause families to feud.


Decision Making

One day a few years ago, one of our sons told me he makes bad decisions.

I've thought about that conversation a lot.

Because I make bad decisions too....

Could it actually be genetic?

Here's an example and it's still sort of sad.

I wanted to have something for the Primary kids to do in the lesson on MUSIC.

So, I bought 6 instruments at the dollar store.

2 each of 3 kinds.

SO, here's where I wasn't really thinking;


Because as it turns out, there were two very disappointed and weepy children at the end of Primary yesterday.

It was ugly and sad....

Will, whose facial expressions make me smile; Jonathon, who gave me a big kiss in singing time and is always so sweet;
Sam, who is the smartest kid EVER and willing to share his candy!

Olivia, whose language is so fun because it's hard to understand; Kelsie, miss personality and miss diva.
(Megan was gone because her mom just had a baby, but she always tells me how old I am!
Truthfully, I love them all!

If I had just taken the time to think through what I was doing, I would have realized that ALL the instruments should be the same.  IF there is no choice, they are all happier.  WHEN will I learn?

Man, I'm just not good at this decision stuff at times.


The Babysitting Grandma

When T had her first child, her mother told her:

"Don't ask me to babysit.  I'm done with that.  I raised my 6 kids, and I don't want to start over."

T has three children now, and I don't know if T's mother ever changed her mind about babysitting for her daughter.

BUT, I do know this:

she was missing out on one of the greatest blessings of being a grandparent.

Oh sure, it's challenging being a babysitter after all the intervening years;

Kids stay up late, get up early, they want you by their side every waking moment; they need regular meals (who eats regularly when there are 2 Sr citizens kicking about a home?), they need lots of exercise, healthy snacks, attention, and the list goes on.

It's not an easy gig, for sure.

But, what better way to get acquainted with those little darlings.

Over the years, we have taken care of grandchildren quite frequently.

And, I am ALWAYS exhausted when they drive away, or we drive away.

BUT, what a great opportunity to hold, teach, laugh, play, read, share with our precious posterity.


Spooky Granddaughter!

She lives with us....and decided to dress up for the BIG ORANGE HOLIDAY!

And, she did a good job of scaring some little kids.  

That made it fun.

Oh, way to go Ms Janessa.

Cousins Coincidence

Dixie texted; she wanted to meet us for lunch. Dixie is Allen's 2 or 3 COUSIN; who knows, but anyway, they are related.  She is won...