Friday, February 26, 2010

Time Line

Have you ever sat down and actually charted out a basic time line of your life? I did a long time ago and came across it while I was looking for something else I'd misplaced. And, no, I never did find what I was originally looking for. Duh!

Anywho, when I got married at age 20, I thought I could safely say I had grown up in Springville. When  Alan and I had moved to Deseret basically as newlyweds (6 months into it) and soon to be parents (6 months into it), I knew our life was just beginning. When we moved to Delta three years and two babies later, I thought I had grown up in Deseret. When we moved here 16 years later, I felt our entire family establishment was being uprooted. We were all a little devastated (in different degrees). All five of our children were born while we lived there. They'd known no other place - they'd 'grown up' there for sure. I could say I'd definitely grown up in Delta. I couldn't imagine we'd really chosen to leave all that. Was it really possible for this family tree to significantly grow anywhere else? Obviously I wasn't seeing past the end of my nose!

Well, we've only been here for 14 years and I can't believe what little of our lives we really did live in that FmHA house on the little dead-end road in Delta. The paper I found was actually from only living here seven years. Here's how it basically laid out:

DELTA: 1977 - 1996

              5 children born (1 stillbirth)

HERE:   1996 - 2003

              4 high school graduations

              3 college graduations

              1 mission

              4 marriages

              3 grandchildren (#4 a month away)

I was amazed! Of course, it's impossible to outline all the memories during each set of dates, which if it were possible, would definitely add some meat to each span of time. I guess maybe I could say I've grown up here. Or maybe not. Maybe I'll never grow up.

Hopefully not.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Answer Me This

Seems like I'm always playing catch-up - trying to find answers to questions and dilemmas and situations and scenarios and what-ifs that are flying into my face faster than I can count and keep track of. I guess that's like having your body ache, though, it reminds you you're alive. As long as I'm searching for answers, it means there's still questions and I'm still alive and kicking against the pricks.

Another wonderful day in Primary Sunday, though. The children are learning the song, "He Sent His Son". Personally, from a feeble pianist's point of view, I don't like the song. It hangs me up every time and I always finish it with everything shaking from my fingertips to my batwings. It is beautiful, though, and after Sunday, the message is even more personal to me.

The chorister (who is the absolute best there is!!! hands down!!!) was explaining the parts of the song to the children by breaking it down. "How many times do we sing the word, 'Son'?" and "Listen as it asks a question and then gives the answer." Then he divided them into different groups and had one group stand up and sing the question and then the next group would stand up and sing the answer. The most tender part was when he divided the children from their teachers. The children sang the question and the teachers sang back the answer. It was especially touching in the Junior Primary where you could barely hear those angelic little voices asking the important questions.

Anyway, everyone of the answers contained the word 'Son', meaning the Son of God. Could this also mean that every situation that questions my mind, every dilemma that causes me to wonder why, every what-if and how-come and why-so: all of these answers lie in the Son of God? Believing in Him, following Him, trusting in Him, loving Him and accepting His love in return?

"That's a little simplistic", the Shark voice echoes from off my left shoulder somewhere. "Maybe so," I fling back at him, "but I'll take that answer over wild-goose chasing ships in the bottomless ocean just to get splintered in the end (I won't say which end, either)!"

Here's the words to the song, if you're not familiar with it. You can decide for yourself if the answers are acceptable to you:

He Sent His Son
Children’s Songbook, 34–35

How could the Father tell the world of love and tenderness?
He sent his Son, a newborn babe, with peace and holiness.
How could the Father show the world the pathway we should go?
He sent his Son to walk with men on earth, that we may know.
How could the Father tell the world of sacrifice, of death?
He sent his Son to die for us and rise with living breath.
What does the Father ask of us? What do the scriptures say?
Have faith, have hope, live like his Son, help others on their way.
What does he ask? Live like his Son.

Words: Mabel Jones Gabbott, b. 1910
Music: Michael Finlinson Moody, b. 1941
© 1982 by Mabel Jones Gabbott and Michael Finlinson Moody. Arr. © 1989 IRI
This song may be copied for incidental, noncommercial church or home use.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Meet My New Friend, Cyrus

Even though I don't read as much as I used to or as much as I should, I still love books - especially children's books. My opinion is that the majority of children's books are written for the adults who are reading them to the children. Maybe I'll have to make one of my tabs across the top a "Book" one and share some of my favorites. You'd have to get to know the Berenstein Bears and Frog & Toad, among others. Something to think about anyway.

 Thanks to Mariah, I have a new friend named Cyrus. It's a book she checked out of the library at her school and I got to read it to her one time when I was at her house. I immediately fell in love with Cyrus.

Cyrus is a sea serpent who is not the least bit fierce - even though his looks may give you a different impression. Cyrus is bored because all he does is wander the sea. One day Shark notices his boredom and tells Cyrus he wouldn't be bored any more if he went out searching for ships to sink and then he could eat all the people. Cyrus argues but in the end Shark calls him a sissy and that doesn't sit well with Cyrus. He sets out to prove that he is just as rough and tough as the rest of them. Cyrus finds a harbor where there are lots of ships. He watches one ship in particular as it loads up with people and heads off to a new land far across the sea. This is the ship he will sink, he decides.

As the ship leaves the harbor, with Cyrus following behind, an old man yells out a passle of warnings to the people on the ship.

"You're in for trouble!" he bellowed. "You'll never make it! You'll run into the doldrums and be stranded forever! Or a storm will take you under! And if a storm doesn't get you the pirates will! You'll never make it, I say!"

Even though Cyrus was planning on destroying the ship and eating all the passengers to prove he's all rough and tough, hearing the old man shout these discouraging things makes Cyrus start worrying about the ship and her passengers. Cyrus decides he'd better follow just to see what happens to them - he's forgotten that he wanted to wreck the ship himself.

Anyway, everything happens just the way the old man predicted but because Cyrus was following them, he was able to help them out of each of the predicaments. Of course when a strange wind comes up and blows them out of the doldrums, they don't realize it's Cyrus. And when the ship is miraculously saved from capsizing during a squall, they don't realize it's Cyrus. When the pirate ship attacks them, though, they see Cyrus for the first time as he breaks the pirate ship in half by coming up underneath it. And, of course, they panic and believe they will be broken up next by this fierce looking sea monster.

The passengers soon realize that isn't going to be the case, however, and when they have survived their perilous journey and reached their destination, they are ever so grateful for Cyrus, their Hero. Cyrus is no longer bored - he's worn out actually - and goes off for a long rest.

Well, okay, you'll have to read it yourself to get all the cool details. Here's my take on it: Cyrus helped them in three ways; by gently nudging them, by protecting them and finally by actually pulling them up onto the beach because their ship was too beat up to make it on its own. They did all they could do, though and Cyrus filled in the gaps. Also:

  • Cyrus didn't have to be something he wasn't. He found his life rewarding without having to go out and wreck ships and eat people and prove himself to Shark.

  • The ship and all her passengers didn't let the rantings of an old man keep them from their journey, which was something that they all had wanted to undertake. They believed strongly enough in the outcome that they were willing to ignore the tauntings of those who didn't agree.

  • And, last but not least, when I'm bored and have no direction, the adversary's ideas always seem more enticing. Not just ideas to DO things but just the adversary's overall negative thoughts.

Thanks Mariah for introducing me to Cyrus. I'm glad I know him. And he's now on Grandma J's bookshelf if someone else wants to get to know him, too.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Can't Resist

You don't need to say it. I know. There are a million other things I should be doing. There are a million things I was going through in my head before I left work - wondering how to prioritize them all and do the most important things first instead of the things I wanted to do. There's Amber's apron that she was supposed to get on her birthday - her birthday in 2009. There are doll clothes left over from Christmas that are still laying on the cutting table - fabric pinned to pattern pieces. There's the sash for Nellie's wedding dress - but wait - she doesn't need that until the fitting on February 20th so I've got plenty of time to procrastinate that (I'm saying that for you, dear Nellie). Of course I should be cleaning the house. I could be blind and sleepwalking and still easily pick out any spot that needed some degree of cleaning. Reagan's quilt is still in the thought process with fabric swatches strung around my sewing room.

Scrapbooking, writing, family history, blah, blah, blah. We won't even touch on all the gazillion projects in various stages of completion. Anyway, I'm obviously not doing any of them because I am whatever sided brain person it is who flies by the whims in her head - not even by something tangible like the seat of my pants and definitely not by any logical thought process. Nope. I felt a blog post coming on and I had to plop down and take care of it before the nagging drove me to drink another Maxine.

Actually, I already had an idea I wanted to write about. It was going to be one of those awe-inspiring ones I write so often with maybe a little symbolism mixed with a twist or two. Even that particular project is on hold - all bowing down before the important documentation that is going to occur here. Here is a hint:

Any guesses?????

Okay, fine. I'll give you a hint. No, actually, I'll just come right out and tell you. Alan is going to a party at the neighbor's house!! What kind of a party, you may ask?? Well, it's a "20th Season Survivor is Starting Tonight Party". I'm crushed I wasn't invited. I only found out about it when I was informing my dear sweet hubby that he was not, I repeat, WAS NOT tying up my downstairs television for two (2) whole hours - yes 120 minutes - while he watched the 20th season premier of Survivor. That's when he broke it to me. He had been invited next door to watch it with the neighbors. There wasn't even a semblance of an apology for why I had not been included in the invitation. Obviously my salsa is going. And, that's all okay, because I don't really care.

My distaste for Survivor may put me in a class by myself (kind of like not getting all excited about Maddox Turkey Steaks), but I'm content with that. Hopefully I haven't offended any other Survivor fanatics out there. It just escapes my reasoning abilities why I would want to watch a bunch of adults plotting ambushes, creating alliances and confiding their innermost, deepest, darkest 'secrets' (come on, we're watching it on TV, the snake in the grass has a camera strapped to his forked tongue, how secret is that?) and pledging their loyalty and support and everything dear to them (except the coveted Immunity Idol) only to 'secretly' (again-it's on camera for heck sakes!) use a stub of burnt wood to scribble the name of the person they just spent 60 minutes forming an alliance with on a piece of primitive paper stuff so said 'Person of Dearest Alliance' will in turn get their flame snuffed out and commanded to return to camp alone...and in the dark. Did that make sense? Good because neither does the show. To me, anyway.

Oh, well, I've always been the rebel, the black sheep, the weird one. I'm content to sit home and watch NCIS and Criminal Minds reruns and crochet or . . . hey . . . maybe even post on my blog.

So, there he goes. I got a peck on the cheek. Let's hope we both survive another season of Survivor!