Sunday, September 27, 2009


Hummmm. I think someone pilfered some pictures. I wanted to put in both Grant and Jewel’s senior projects. Jewel made a huge diorama of a particular Civil war battle and after we gave it to the neighbor boys. (Too big to take inside - they kept it on top of a low storage shed with a tarp over it and got up there to play with it.) Grant made a ski bike which he and Mike intended to market until they had to abandon them on Mt. Hood (later retrieved by Eldon, Ken and Mike). Well, it was more that ski resorts were leery due to insurance issues (why they ended up on Mt. Hood). The first version when Grant was a senior he milled the parts in the BYU shop under Mike’s tutelage. I’m sure Grant has pictures, and Mike, and then there’s the cool sepia video on Jared and Ruth’s facebook!

These two pictures are Jewel and Grant on the coast, the last trip there pre their marriages. Coming home, since it was a Sunday (I had work on Monday), Grant insisted we’d not be stopping for anything but gas, and we drove the whole way eating carrots and cheese and crackers provided by Brenda.

Going to an overnight work function was the first time I found out for sure that Jewel loved me. She didn’t feel too secure that she was, so she was careful not to show it. I stayed at home with her until she started first grade. I was asked to go to a state training that was in Ogden. She didn’t let on that she cared at all, but that morning as I was in the bathroom getting ready, she came in and hugged my legs. She was probably second grade by then. I patted her and hugged her back and she shook just a bit with a choked back sob. It made me very happy, not that she was unhappy, but that she “let her love show.” I’m glad she has a little girl now, and that Raygen has a big brother to love her as well, just like Jewel had Grant. But in case we’ve memorialized him too highly, don’t forget, boys will be boys (which Jewel can well remember if she thinks back J - being yarn-tied to a chair for example).

And speaking of memorializing, I must pay tribute to both for the place religion has in their lives. They’ve taken different paths, of course, but the fond memories are there. When Jewel was a Beehive the bishop cooked up this special trip for the YM/YW to take if they completed the Book of Mormon by a specific date. Grant’s reading of it was ongoing and he had no interest at all in being rewarded for it and refused to “report.” Jewel was struggling and acting like she didn’t care. Her Beehive leader loaned her a tape and it made all the difference, combining the hearing with the reading. She finished the first and second tapes and then came complaining to me because the leader couldn’t find the third one. It took me awhile, dense that I was (clear back then!), for it to dawn on me, hey, she’s obviously wanting, committed and able to do this, so buy the set! Grant was a good example to all of us the whole of his growing up years and his willingness to follow the plan of happiness served him and others well. When he got home from his mission his first calling was teaching teenagers. Parents would tell me that Grant was repeatedly the subject of their Sunday dinner table discussion. He was effective in getting them to “think” and want to talk about it more. Several moms were hoping he’d become interested in their daughters! Interestingly, Jewel was adamantly opposed to any possibility except Mary or Ruth. He’ll make a great college professor.

These pictures are at the airport, Grant off to Chicago, then on to Brazil. You don’t see too many missionaries in brown suits, which is exactly why he picked it.

Jewel and I had a very uncharitable-like reaction to his leaving and weren’t interested in inviting anyone. Since then, family can’t go to the airport either! (Post 9-11.) At any rate, a couple of them were far enough out of the immediate circle of family and friends to never get the “message,” and when Jewel saw Ray walking towards us down the long concourse, shook her finger at him and loudly exclaimed, “You! Go home!” Pretty funny thinking back, but at the time, pretty much dead serious. After we recovered from our forced sharing, Ray was taking pictures for us, and in one, he kept putting the camera down, we in the picture not knowing why until he said he wasn’t going to take it until Jewel smiled. It was hard for the family while Grant was gone, as basically our glue was gone, but he got along without us just fine, which was as it should be. When he reported on his mission, he said, “The happiest times I ever had was when we had the most people to teach, when we were running from house to house, when I didn’t even have time to open the letters from home.” [Moroni 7:45: Charity seeketh not her own.]

Well, that takes us up to the end of the FHE picture tour. Thanks for joining me! Will have to think of something else now… after I recover from being swamped with work. “FHE” has been and will be just another blur for some time to come…. And actually, in spite of being exhausted, I know exactly what it’ll be!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Added Song

Well, Jewel, since I can't find my calendar, I'll have to mark the occasion on my blog, with this song, which to me fits Johnny's philosophy of life to a T. And the sentiment bears repeating: With every good wish to the both of you. Love you both, Mom.

My New Calling(s)

I am blessed beyond measure!

You won’t remember, but back in the blogs I lamented about having grown tired of going to Sacrament meetings “alone,” both in my current ward and the prior ward. And you also won’t remember, but back in the blogs not quite so distantly, one of my gratitudes was getting to sub for the Sacrament meeting music director (which is very fun and where sitting alone isn’t quite so lonely). I’ve been asked twice in this ward, and once I was asked to sub for the 5th Sunday combined chorister.

I did have an unsettling experience, I might add, when subbing. After the opening and Sacrament hymns, I sat there thinking, “This is the calling for me!” It was a Sunday-morning invite, so I only took the time in practice starting each hymn and felt confident I was well enough familiar with them. The rest hymn had a time signature change on the second page I hadn’t taken note of, and for the whole of the hymn I couldn’t figure out why I was starting out okay and then getting off! So sitting down and realizing, studying it, was most humbling.

That’s one thing I deal with, getting old, the “daze” being far bigger than the occasion warrants!! (And I do NOT appreciate the local TV ads stating Alzheimer’s begins with such “blanks”! I mean, sheez, it’s been 15 years or more since I couldn’t find my temple locker!!!!!!!!!! [Took the wrong key.] J Which means I’m either doomed or they’re wrong!) But which is the same reason why my all-time favorite calling, Primary chorister, will never happen again, but then I got to do it for 12ish years all together, so I can’t feel too badly about it. And it just means, which I am fully willing, to spend the full preparation time I need, and never wing it (if I can avoid it)! And I know I’ll be blessed, if I give it full measure. That’s one thing I know, bear testimony of, that full measure = blessings.

So far (seven Sundays), it has been a wondrous experience for which I am most grateful, ward music chairman and ward music director. Jessie said she was happy for me. J Personally, it seems a blessing to have both callings; to be given the bishopric themes, pick the hymns, run them by the organist, give them back to the bishopric, as well as to be able to pick my own special musical numbers. One particularly nice pick was the rest hymn, Behold A Royal Army, based on the scripture chosen for the theme, and two of the three speakers used it in their talks! (D&C 104:82 - “And inasmuch as you are humble and faithful and call upon my name, behold, I will give you the victory.”) It was a particularly fun Sunday when All My Children attended my sacrament meeting and Hazel and Hayden waved to me from the congregation, as they audibly and adorably said, “Hi, Grandma!”

[These are pictures of the kids visiting that Sunday.]

I’ve had one “set back” so far, that amounted to anything. I truly believe (as any tempting-apostate-fate person would) J, that our ward under this bishopric is too limiting in the “is it familiar” hymn world. So I’m promising myself to be careful I don’t continue down the tempting-apostate-fate road, yet continue to slowly split the seams a tad as time rolls on.

I still have my other callings, but I do think they’ll soon jettison me from one of them as I can’t seem to overcome my aversions to it which translates as having become a thorn in their side! Another reason to feel particular blessed - in that one would think such would be a stumbling block as to subsequent callings. That calling is a dreamed up one tagged to being assistant compassionate service person, circa our new R.S. presidency who decided to purchase with the supposed leftover budget from the former presidency (us), canning supplies. And seems a tad odd given the fact that during our term we had a problem enrichment assistant who often exceeded her allotted budget! There wasn’t to have been any leftover, regardless, and three-fourths of the year gone before we were ousted, which means they apparently didn’t do what was designated for standard events the last quarter. But well beyond that, I have a hard time mostly due to all the government regulations I deal with at work, which would preclude loaning, for example, a pressure canner to various and sundry! Etc. (By far the worst of the lot, granted.) Not to mention advertising me as the instructor in the use of such objects! So I pushed for further clarification at just the wrong time, once the ward garden began producing. (eh-oh) They were nice enough to say they hadn’t thought it through, but I’m sure they’d been happier if they’d asked for the “right” person in the first place (i.e., not me). Another reason I think they’ll say se la vie is the fact that the two contradict each other when we have funerals. Can’t be in the kitchen and leading music at the same time. We had two funerals the same week in August!

Any one out there have a ward garden? Definitely a learning experience, it seems. In my boss’s area, they have a stake garden, and the planting, weeding and harvesting was divided out among the various ward organizations so that no one has more than one assignment for the whole summer. In our ward, the organizations have had numerous assignments so that individuals involved have had to neglect their own gardens to meet the needs of the ward’s. Ours is dealing with a lot of waste (regardless of the availability of canning equipment!), so the same plot for a bigger group would have worked out better. On the other hand, perhaps it’s just that we’re not hard enough off (yet), to make it “work.” And of course, there’s always the live and learn part of any new venture.

Well, excuse me for rambling on. Just felt the need to “cover” the subject, to propound the point that God demonstrates His patience and love for us in many ways, in spite of our frailties, weaknesses and opinionatedness(es)!