Sunday, November 16, 2008

In Honor of the Season...

... I’m posting my latest set of thanksgivings:

I love sunny Saturdays and Sundays when I can spend a bit of the day reading in the “sunroom.” (South addition my Mom had my Dad build on grandpa’s house, when they moved in, because she found it harder to deal with the cold the older she got. And what a considerate man he was to do that for her.) I also look forward to hopefully retiring one day and have plenty of daylight to putter in the yard and have a larger portion left over to spend in the sunroom. I’m also grateful for Norma’s pastels as opposed to the former hues. ☺ I can still fondly visualize Daddy napping on the floor, in the sun, with a newspaper page over his face.

I’m grateful Jewel’s shelter is a bit more secure (house she was renting ended up in foreclosure as a consequence of the owner’s inability to keep up with three mortgages!), and that her pantries aren’t bare (from the economy taking its inevitable hit in her corner of the employment world).

I’m grateful Hayden has fond memories of visits here (though little does he know Utah trips will be considerably less exciting what with our diminished numbers here). Every time we talk on the phone he asks me when he’s coming up, the sweetheart!, and is disgruntled in response to my ambiguity! Jewel says they’ll be in the car and he’ll ask to hit the road for my house. He’s been on enough road trips at his young age, back and forth, that it’s also nice to know he still thinks those long drives are worth it!

I’m grateful for the internet. I was able to follow the possibilities in housing re Jewel’s move and take some vicarious enjoyment therein. I’ve gotten better acquainted with Janeil’s posterity by joining the blogging world. I found a childhood poem I’ve been searching for, for years! (I’m going to post it for Christmas.) I bookmarked the t.v. fall schedule so I can waste less time in general and less time hunting and pecking with the remote. I have been able to follow my Dad’s Wells Fargo stock daily (if not hourly!) the last few months. ☺ I’ve been following the FDIC receiver failed bank list, three in 2007, 19 so far in 2008. Odd thing to be grateful for, I know, but it’s always good to widen one’s view, and that particular item takes the economy’s pulse rather dramatically. Even that provides a bit of amusement (at the expense of many I’m sure): Integrity Bank and First Integrity Bank bit the dust. Hummm, think the i-word had anything to do with it?? “Freedom” Bank recently joined the ranks - another foretelling hummm? I signed up for Google alerts and learned I’m grateful I didn’t develop my blood disease in childbearing years as my chances were already ifish without adding an extra live birth reduction rate of 50-70%! From watching Accuweather during Ike I developed a broader interest in weather patterns. Just never occurred to me that something going on so far away in the deep Atlantic can effect weather in Utah, etc. (I can’t, however, recommend being thankful for Google severe weather alerts - received 11 emails re one piddling storm that left an inch of snow which promptly melted - but, interestingly, was from Norbert! [and other interaction].)

I’m grateful for an occasional small raspberry shake from Purple Turtle (which they conveniently make it easy to spread over two days). And, that my cholesterol is 168 in spite of it! (So far.) Which prompts an apology to Grant and Jewel who used to occasionally desire their own P.T. shake to which I’d always reply that I’d rather buy Russell’s ice cream by the gallon from the grocery story, as it would be cheaper (but I don’t think I actually ever did that!).

And lastly, I’m grateful for obtaining and retaining my testimony, for it is the greatest gift I’ve ever received, and I perch on the verge of having it longer than not. I was (truly) converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Sterling W. Sill in 1977, when he was 74 years old and I was 32. My favorite church calling of all time was Primary music, which I was blessed to be able to do five times in four different wards, for approximately 12 years. And what fun that was, doing it in my childhood Primary room with the SMP in my childhood chapel.

Have a great holiday, everyone! And be sure not to take any wooden nickels (nor ditch any unpopped kernels of corn).

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Faith of our Forefathers (steps included!)

N.C.W.F. died 25 Aug 2004 at the age of 87.  She was reading the Book of Mormon for the 49th time that summer.  She was a pillar in every community she ever lived.  She was stake R.S. president at the age of 78.  I was blessed to know her and know that she loved me.  She was the only maternal grandmother my children ever knew. Almost every time she saw Jewel, she would hug her and say, "Are you as pretty on the inside as you are on the outside?"  That this house exists is a tribute to her love and honor of our family heritage.  [Grant, note the remnants of your huge painting project that mostly and promptly fed the flames.]  I often think of her but today's S.S. lesson reminded me once more of her example.  

President Marion G. Romney said "the efficacy of our prayers depends upon our liberality to the poor."  Norma was actually famous for the faith and power of her prayers.  I discovered that in detail when I moved into her house just over four years ago, and dealt with her "junk" mail.  She not only forever paid a full tithe and constantly had a humanitarian project in progress, she donated to a dozen by-mail charities.  One of them, a convent,  called and upon learning she had died, immediately and sincerely said, "We'll pray for her!"  It was kind and sweet but also amusing, considering, I'm sure, Norma prayed for t-h-e-m, as well as untold others.

Her eldest son, a BYU veep as well as a stake president at the time of her passing, said they all turned to her in time of need.   One of her grandsons had the desire but lacked the grades to be admitted into dental school, and he said she prayed him in and prayed his success to completion.  The year before she died, she prayed away the need for Jewel's scheduled pre-cancer cell procedure.

The peace I found the very night I moved in, and still find, I attribute to her 18 years here, 13 alone, as well of course to all the relatives who were residents throughout the 75 years before, since my grandpa and his brothers built this house.