Friday, August 13, 2010

Might As Well Get It In Print

Okay, this comic doesn't fit totally but when I read it, it fit enough.

I don't know as typing it will make it any less difficult for me but . . . here goes.

Joe and Mandy are moving to Manti.

I've bawled until the early hours of the morning on several occassions. And YES I'm well aware there is no - ABSOLUTELY NONE - sympathy for me because four hours is nothing compared to distant states and totally out of the country. But that doesn't mean my heart doesn't still ache for what it feels it is losing. And that doesn't mean I can't still cater my own Pity Party!

Joe shared his thoughts that I hadn't appreciated having my grandkids all so close. I don't think he meant it the way it came across but I've been in the depths of self-loathing thinking I am now being punished because I didn't do enough to show I really did appreciate the great blessing I had. Will I ever figure out where I was lacking? Are there second chances or will I always be their long distance grandma? Wrong and warped I know but my feelings, just the same. And, given time and patience, I will process these feelings and move on. I may, at the very least, have to change some of the quotes on my blog as it seems it was some of them that spurred Joseph on to take his family and leave his {and their} comfort zone! And, it seems me babysitting for them while they went to the Temple was another clincher. What was I thinking???

HOWEVER, this is an AWESOME growth opportunity for Joseph, and for the whole family. And what mother doesn't want her children to be the best they can be at whatever good venture they choose? I pray for it every night for all my kids. I'll just have to start being more specific in the parameters from now on!

As of September 7, 2010, Joseph will be working with Neal S. Magleby & Sons Mortuary which services Richfield, Salina and Manti. They've been looking for someone to man the operations in the more northern part of their service area and Joe was the one they wanted. Since the buy-out at his current place of employment, he has been actively looking for other opportunities and this one pretty well fell in his lap.

I'm thinking it's not always instinctive for mothers and grandmothers to

know how to stay with the nest after the babies have flown away!

The kids will most definitely flourish in the small town environment and they can have more animals and enjoy more of the farm life that they have tried to have in Smithfield. And they're getting down there in time to start school with everyone else and not have it be blatently obvious that they're the 'new kids' in town.  Hunting will be easier and more convenient, too. The way everything has fallen into place proves how right the decision is for them. They were even able to sell their house within a week of putting the sign up.

And, if I were to be honest with myself, I've seen it coming. The Lord has been mindful of me in preparing me for it without telling me specifically what was around the corner. I have been able to create a beautiful bond with Mandy over the last nine months and I know it's been for a reason. I've seen firsthand Joe's dissatisfaction with his means of supporting his family and how he's turned it inward. So, now, I have the option of continuing to feel abandoned and overlooked and 'weighed, measured and found wanting' {from a Knight's Tale}, basically ignoring the foundation Heavenly Father has laid for me, or I can choose to embrace the challenges of learning a new phase of mother-in-lawhood and Grandmotherhood. I choose the latter. Hesitantly, but I still choose it.

And know that I will personally be paying the salary of several UPS or USPS {maybe both} workers from now on. I may have to buy stock in Exxon. Maybe I'll have to invest in decent web cameras so I can keep in touch that way, too. Might as well make use of this technology stuff. That way I can keep track of Mandy as she measures the kids for their Christmas pjs! My hearing is so weird that phone calls are difficult. I'm open to any suggestions for long distance Grandmothering.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I found these pictures on my phone and thought I needed to share them. My sister has posted a couple of times about crossword puzzles and cross words. I'm not sure which of those this would fall under, if either of them - maybe crossed words. Anyway, back in February of this year, Grampa was playing Upwords with Carter and needed to leave so I got to finish the game with him. Pretty soon Carter got up and went into the kitchen area. I could see he was getting into the junk drawer but had not a clue what he was doing. In a minute he came back with a piece of yellow cardboard cut in almost the exact size and shape as the other tiles. On this piece of cardboard he had printed the letter he needed to finish his turn! What could I say? By the way, the word he spelled was 'lady'.

Like Monopoly gone bad, with each of Carter's trips to the junk drawer, I realized this game was not going to die a natural death within my lifetime so I had to put it down myself. Not before a few more yellow letter tiles were added, however. I just left them in the bag of tiles when we cleaned up, too, because we may need them again!

The rules were pretty lax and I couldn't say a whole lot about his spelling, either, because he was working so hard at sounding everything out. Darn difficult English language, anyway!

Friday, August 6, 2010

You Never Miss the Water 'Til the Well Runs Dry

Do you know what an A.I. is? No. Not Artificial Intelligence. Although some may argue as to whether the intelligence I have is real or artificial . . . or intelligence at all. In this case, I learned about an A.I. when I looked up the word 'appreciation' in the dictionary.

"Why would you need to look up the definition of 'appreciation'?" you ask.

Recently I have been challenged on whether or not I had fully appreciated a particular set of circumstances in my life. And, of course, amid my tears and hurt and confusion and frustration {all which led me to realize I was mad for a minute}, I began to wonder. How does one "appreciate"?

I'm sure I've handed down judgment plenty of times on other people, too. I trick myself into thinking I have the only cool pair of multi-focal glasses, allowing me to stand a safe distance away but also see all sides and dimensions in the current situation caught in my sights. It's a fact I've said many times, "Wow, too bad for them they can't just appreciate all the ___________ they have!" What were they doing {or not doing} that made me think they didn't appreciate whatever it was I thought they didn't? What have I done {or not done} that would mislead someone into thinking I wasn't being appreciative?

All this circles me back to my original question, "How does one 'appreciate'?"

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times, not a day goes by where I don't come home from work very, very, very 'appreciative' that by some miraculous intervention of God's good grace in my life, I do not have to live with the challenges the people who come to my window every day have to deal with. However, I am also 'appreciative' that I can mingle with them and learn so much from them. I 'appreciate' the privilege I have of being the owner of the American flag that was given to Mother when my dad died. I 'appreciate' it so much, I have it encased in wood and glass; thereby keeping it safe and protected and out of the dusty, moldy, rotting, changing environment. Is 'appreciation' like going to those museums they have created out of old forts or old pioneer homes where each room is cordoned off with a rope and I stand on the other side and let out sighs and point to objects that attract my attention and sigh some more; 'appreciating' the details and what it all represents with my eyes but never actually touching anything or coming in close personal contact with any of it. 'Appreciating' the fact I don't have to live like that which causes me to 'appreciate' the lifestyle I do have.

Does 'appreciation' mean I'm constantly watching my back? Waiting to be hit with a deviant snowball to remind me that snow is not just some soft, white blanket of fluff and it won't last forever so I'd better 'appreciate' it while it is white and soft because pretty soon it will be packable and then I'll get hit with a snowball and reminded . . . you get the idea. I'm beginning to sense that 'appreciation' and 'paranoia' could be kissing cousins. I 'appreciate' my breath, but I don't panic with every exhale, worried that the oxygen won't be there for my next inhale. Maybe I'm not 'appreciative' enough that I don't have to panic over my next breath. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who, physically, really do wonder if their next breath will be there.

If I'm doing all I can, when I can, within the parameters of my life experiences, is that not 'appreciation'?

I remember going to Shriner's Hospital with Nathan every three to six months when he was growing {which was probably until he hit high school}. The technicians who made his prosthetics, the doctors who kept track of his bone structure and skin condition, the nurse who was there with him through it all for 17 years and even the occasional Shriner (whose responsibility it was to raise the money necessary for Nathan to enjoy his freedom and mobility) {hmmm, did I appreciate them enough????} all loved to see Nathan come in. Why? Maybe because of his cute curly hair when he was younger. Maybe his contagious smile and candid responses when people talked to him. Maybe.

But mostly it was the fact that Nathan entered the clinic wearing his prosthetics - not carrying them like so many others - and he literally wore out every pair of legs they made him. Several times, while carefully examining a battered pair of Nate's artificial legs, comments were heard like, "Wow! And just think our own legs get this same wear and tear! It makes me hurt just to think about it." There were several times some new part - a knee or a foot - was being promoted by the designer. If it was at all feasible, they would put it in a pair of Nathan's legs because they knew the part would get a thorough testing. If it lasted through Nathan, it would last through anything!

Nathan 'appreciated' those legs and not simply by looking at them in a wood and glass encasement or from the far side of a velvet rope. He appreciatively used them. I think he hated them a good part of the time. I think he still does. {I know I did. And I still do.} But that didn't stop him from doing all he could in spite of them, though.

So, short story long, all these thoughts are what brought me to the point of looking 'appreciation' up in the dictionary. Here are some very applicable {at least in supporting my rambling here} applications for the word:

  1. Gratitude and appreciation are the very foundation of the Law of Attraction and enabling positive affirmations to work in your life. (This was actually my own contribution, from my own little pool of knowledge.)

  2. In accounting, when a sum of money 'appreciates' or interest 'appreciates', it represents an increase in the value. (And, the way the Wikipedia people separated it, 'appreciation' refers to the monetary definition. If you want the emotion, then 'gratitude' is the word to use. Interesting.) 

  3. There is such a thing as an A.I. (Audience Appreciation Index) where viewers in the UK rate a TV show or radio program on a scale of 1 to 100. The results show which shows the consumers prefer. {Maybe there needs to be such a rating system for life so I can record my A.I. for everything precious and important to me and at the end of the day, I could calculate an overall score and at the end of the month I would have an awesome line graph showing my varying levels of 'appreciation'}.  

  4. Gratitude, thankfulness or appreciation is a positive emotion or attitude. 

  5. Wikipedia also states that it's only been since 2000 that psychology has seriously looked at 'appreciation' and gratitude as important. Up until then they were only focused on dealing with and understanding distress. Since 2000 psychologists have begun recognizing the importance of positive emotions.

I should never have looked the word up, because I now realize that I could do some very interesting {and time-consuming} research on this whole 'appreciation' thing. Not that it would necessarily hurt, mind you. However it still hasn't totally solved my quandary.

Bottom line is, I guess, even though I try and 'appreciate' enough and express this 'appreciation' to my Heavenly Father constantly, it doesn't mean circumstances won't change and be different. That would be 'stagnancy'. Shall I look that up in the dictionary? Everything I love and cherish can't be framed in glass and wood. And, even if I chose to encase all those priceless possessions (not all worldly and tangible, mind you) that way, deep down I know that wouldn't really be showing appreciation. Kind of like those guys in the Bible who buried their money in hopes of retaining it longer. They lost out on a lot of learning and growing {appreciating?} experiences.

So . . . I guess I did what I did, I do what I do and enough is enough. It is what it is. Just please don't question my A.I. unless you ask to borrow my multi-focals first and see all the angles of my world.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Is Enough Ever Enough?

Yes this is going to be a vague, 'who was that masked man' post. More details in my journal but ya'll will have to wait until I'm dead to read that.

So, is enough ever enough? Can I ever appreciate enough? Can I ever love enough? Or hate enough? {I guess I need to give equal time to all emotions to prove I'm not prejudiced or perfect and that, just as work is making me culturally competent, life is making me emotionally competent. It's common knowledge I'll never be mentally competent!} Will my house ever be clean enough or my hands clean enough or my thoughts clean enough? Will the yeast ever cause my bread to rise high enough or the current challenge of the moment cause me to rise high enough? Will the winter ever be wet enough, the spring early enough, the summer long enough or the fall colorful enough?

But then there's that ever so brief moment in time when the sun rests on the horizon before sinking out of sight and God tries to teach me that whatever I did between the sun rising and its current setting . . . no matter what kind of a day I had . . . what I did was enough.  With the brilliant reds and yellows and oranges and pinks the sun flashes across the sky, I wonder, "Am I any less? Why would I be anything less than 'enough'?" As that thought crosses through the barrenness of my brain and dissipates, however,  it seems to take with it the memory that once, for just a moment, I was enough.

But, the sun will set again tonight and I can remember.