4.29.2018

I Write Letters to the Dead - Part Two

Dear Dad,

This is such a great picture.  I never knew you to have a mustache.  But, the hat, that's classic!

Last night was the Saturday night session of our stake conference.

WOW!  What a marvelous meeting it was.  From start to end, it was so inspiring.  The music was magnificent and EVERY talk was given by people filled with the spirit of the Lord.

The theme was the church's new program of ministering as the Savior did.  One lady told about how members responded when her house caught fire, destroying everything; another lady told of her brother's death in Iraq as a green beret, another talked of her father-in-law returning to activity after many years away. We were spiritually fed for one hour and a half, leaving little time for the stake president, who is a wonderful speaker.

And, then he got up to speak.  At that moment, I thought about you as the Stake President.  I thought of how the people in our stake love President Mike Thompson; he's energetic, a good speaker, a man of GOD.  And, I realized that the people of the Pocatello South Stake would have revered and honored you.  They would have felt the Stake was in good hands, that they were being led by a man of God.  They would have respected your wisdom, insight, Gospel teachings, and I was overpowered with a feeling of such great love and admiration for you, dear DAD.

Oh, what a great blessing it was to have been raised in your home, filled with laughter, music, and most of all LOVE.  Thank you, President Gee, for those rich beginning18 years.

Love,
Your daughter, VaLonne, Valon, Lonnie, Loni (but I think you know who I mean!)

Dear Mom,

OH, dear mom, I love this picture of you in your youth.  You always loved style, class, and beauty!  You are so beautiful!


Nearly every Thursday, I go to a YOGA class at the Senior Center - it makes me feel so old, but that's the target audience.

And, nearly every week, I think of YOU, dear MOTHER.  I think of how you took Yoga classes in California before it was so hip.  And, then, how you came to Pocatello, Idaho and taught a community class at a school close to your home.

I didn't even know what YOGA was when you told me you were teaching it!

I'm so proud of you, Mom.  You were always giving of your time and talents, no matter what stage of life you were in.

Oh, what a great blessing it was to have been raised in your home, filled with laughter, music, and most of all LOVE.   Thank you, Dorothy Gee for the rich blessing of being your daughter!

Love, your only daughter, so man, was I blessed!

4.28.2018

I Write Letters to the Dead

Dear Dorothy,



This morning, i went to the temple.

As I was folding my dress to put it away, I thought of you and Hubert.  I thought of how you went to the temple every Friday for over 20 years.

It could not have been easy towards the end when you were in such pain from your osteoporosis.

In my mind's eye, I can still remember visiting on a Friday afternoon and you had the ironing board out, ironing yours and your husband's temple clothing so lovingly EVERY FRIDAY!  (I cannot remember the last time I ironed my temple clothes!)  Every week, you took the widows in your ward who wanted to go to the temple, but didn't feel comfortable driving the long drive from St Anthony to Idaho Falls, especially in wintery, icy conditions.  But, weather didn't ever stop you...you went faithfully.  How pleased you would be now if you could go to the Rexburg Temple, which is so much closer!

Your faithfulness always inspired me over the years.  Now, my goad is to go every other week, but sometimes, even that goal is not met, so it makes me realize how truly faithful you were.

Oh, my dear mother-in-law....in every way you were so faithful and you have raised children that you can be so proud of.  Donna goes every week, and I think Regina does also.  I don't know about how often your other family members go, but they all have recommends and honor the life you led and taught them in your humble home.  And, I'm grateful to be a part of that good family.

Love, Loni


Dear Sylvia,

I absolutely LOVE This picture of you working in your father's drug store.  You know what?  You still looked like this the day before you died, when I went to visit you in the hospital.  You just had youthful genes, Ms. Sylvia!


This morning, i went to the temple.

As i put some names on the prayer roll, I thought of how many times over the years, I had put your name in that little brown box.

I thought of our temple trips together and how you were always willing to go, even though it was difficult with your situation.

How I miss taking you and going with you and Allen to Nelson's for your beloved ice filled-Pepsi!  You always had some great story about being in St George in its very early days.  You were such a part of it.

And, you were always HAPPY!  Never complaining; just grateful for each good thing in your life.

Oh, my dear friend, you cannot know how you have inspired me as I continue to think of and miss you greatly.

Love, Loni

4.23.2018

TODAY is....

WORLD BOOK DAY!



I LOVE books.

It was a great blessing to grow up in a home filled with books of all kinds.  Reading is such a marvelous past-time, no matter what the genre.

As I exercise or drive around town, I listen to books on tape.  Right now, I'm listening to Charles Dickens' GREAT EXPECTATIONS.


I know that his books are not appealing to a lot of people, but over the last couple of years, I have become addicted and either listened to/read/watched (or all Three) of most of his books.

He is so profound; he knows the human heart so well.  No one makes characters memorable like Dickens does.  Here is a paragraph from Great Expectations when Miss Havisham realizes that she has ruined Estella's life forever because of her own wish to seek revenge on a man:

That she had done a grievous thing in taking an impressionable child to mould into the form that her wild resentment, spurned affection, and wounded pride, found vengeance in, I knew full well. But that, in shutting out the light of day, she had shut out infinitely more; that, in seclusion, she had secluded herself from a thousand natural and healing influences; that, her mind, brooding solitary, had grown diseased, as all minds do and must and will that reverse the appointed order of their Maker; I knew equally well. And could I look upon her without compassion, seeing her punishment in the ruin she was, in her profound unfitness for this earth on which she was placed, in the vanity of sorrow which had become a master mania, like the vanity of penitence, the vanity of remorse, the vanity of unworthiness, and other monstrous vanities that have been curses in this world?

 I did not know what I had done. What have I done! What have I done!" And so again, twenty, fifty times over, What had she done!  "I stole her heart away and put ice in its place."

Dickens just speaks to my soul.  But, I read lots of other books also.

I just finished reading a book about elephants during WWII in Burma.  Man, I had no idea they were so smart and so like humans in some ways.  They are amazing animals, and did remarkable feats during WWII making bridges and transporting people to safety.



Before listening to Dickens, I listened to SHOE DOG, about Phil Knight and inventing the Nike shoe.  Just fascinating.



Or how about books about RUMPOLE of THE BAILEY?  Mom and dad loved to watch that show, which I found quite boring, but man, do I love the books.  I've read or listened to them all multiple times.  They are filled with dry humor and witticisms, mostly directed at his wife: She Who Must Be Obeyed.  Just great fun....for me, at least.



One of my favorite books is SEABISCUIT; a fabulous book about a horse, which normally would not hold my interest, but it's so well written and so well researched.


And UNBROKEN by the same author:

Truthfully, there are just too many good books to name.

SO, I'll just say this on WOLRD BOOK DAY, I'm so glad my family introduced me to READING at an early age.  It has been such a great blessing in my life for so many reasons.

I can't finish this post without adding that I also read the SCRIPTURES every day.  I have been a reader of the Book of Mormon for many years.


It should really be at the head of my list as I've read it the most and the most often.  And, I still love it and find in it new wisdom on a regular basis.  

Okay, I'll say it again:

I LOVE BOOKS!


4.20.2018

It's the Simple Things!

Today, Allen and I had a date.

We went grocery shopping at Smith's Market Place.

It was fun.

HA HA HA HA


We had some very specific items in mind when we headed to that fine establishment.

We bought them, and of course, MORE.

But, it was just fun...simple fun.


I must be getting old when a date to the grocery store makes my day!  HA HA.

4.13.2018

GRANDSONS are the BEST: They are Really GRAND!

Eli, age 14; Miles, almost 12; Loni, way too old; Sayre, age 12 (he's so excited to be a deacon!),
Oscar, age 15, and Calder , age 4.  Sayre and Eli were both just in school plays.  We got to see Eli's, but not Sayre's....maybe another time.  Oscar is getting mighty fine grades.
Aren't they a handsome bunch?


Last week was spring break for five of our grandsons; and we had a GRAND time!  I loved having them all here.  What fine young men they all are.  Just fun to be around.  GOOD, GOOD, GOOD.

And, I'm so grateful we got to spend some time together.

4.12.2018

What a Great Fun Surprise!

I really love our new Relief Society Presidency;

they are YOUNG and Full of ENERGY!

What a fun surprise when the day after my birthday, these wonderful ladies ( and one young man) showed up on my doorstep to sing Happy Birthday!  I loved it.  They are doing their ministering and I got to be the beneficiary!)


We had a great presidency before also.  And before that too.

Okay, I've just been blessed to have wonderful women as my leaders over the past years.  What a great blessing.

4.02.2018

Write About It In Your Journal

What a grand and glorious conference over the weekend.

One of the inspiring events to be a part of, was the Solemn Assembly to sustain a

NEW PROPHET.

He has such a delightful spirit and sparkling personality.  It is easy to see why the Lord wanted this man to be our prophet.


It was so meaningful.

As I listened to President Nelson talk about Personal Revelation, I pictured him as a prophet of old from the OLD and NEW Testaments.

Was I willing to accept him?  Would I pay attention to what he says?

Would I have done that in olden times?

Oh, how I hope so.

The messages, the music, the feelings...

All so very wonderful and inspiring.

Now, to listen again and follow what we were taught.  There's the challenge!

ADDENDUM:

On Easter Sunday, Allen, Jenni, and I fixed a mighty fine, healthy Easter meal.

Baked asparagus, Butternut squash, and Salmon.  Healthy and tasty; great combination!