Monday, November 30, 2009
This is the day my very first baby was born--seven days late, I might add. I was so happy, so content, so new-motherish. Phil couldn't stop beaming. Trent was a wonderful baby, but not a cuddler--I think that's changed--he has seven kids, after all. He was always leaning back, looking at everything. He has never gotten over this habit. Everything fascinates him. When he was a teenager I had to tell him, "Go to bed and stop being interesting!" I blame him for my night owlish habits that got etched deep when he was a teen--but, don't tell--it sure was fun to be up late with him. He has the best heart--would do anything for anyone, and does volunteer work for the Sheriff's Department. When he leaves here, with a car full of kids, he always makes two circles in the cul-de-sac and the kids--and me too--love it. He is quirky as well as hard working. Everyone should be a little quirky and he does it well. He would go anywhere to help and has, even in the middle of the night. There seems to be a middle-of-the-night theme to his life.
Next--four years later--came Taylor, the cuddler. A fast delivery--forty-five minutes (Phil reminded me it was 20 minutes--it seemed like forty-five, times five) once we came through the hospital door, but seven days late. A chubby, happy baby. Then, at about year one he got sick, lost the chub and never put it back on. Well, until he worked in the bakery at a restaurant, when he was a teenager, and ate half a dozen rolls, hot out of the oven, slathered in butter, every morning. When he realized what was happening to his fit form he gave up the rolls for slimness. He is now a great cook and the things that boy cooks/bakes are divine. He asks us to Sunday dinner often, and we can hardly get there fast enough. Whenever his department (at BYU) has a cooking contest he takes first prize--every time. The last one was called, "I don't know what's in it but it sure tastes good." He reassures me when I am doubting and when I am worried. And the things that boy says! Totally off the wall. We're always laughing. His sister-in-law says he has "an excess of personality," and he does. He is quirky but tender too. Reads to his girls every night and then says and does things that keep his wife laughing--and shaking her head in disbelief.
Hillary, my first girl came 2 1/2 years later, two bloomin' weeks late. Her name means "happy" and it fits. Everyone loves her. She woke up happy, was happy all day and went to bed happy. I often tell her I think she is really Aunt Pat's child that got misdirected. (Aunt Pat was a total joy and I have moments of stoic grumpiness.) She has more friends than you could count and they all think they are her favorite--and they probably are. When she calls she often says, "It's me!" in the kind of a voice you would use to say, "You won the lottery!" And with her as a daughter we think we did. She is easy going 99% of the time but when she says she doesn't get mad, she gets even, she means it. She is the bestest friend a mother could have and we "play" often but not often enough. It was the saddest day of my life the day she left home. She is funny, compassionate, strict with the kiddies but says such off the wall things to them that they now say off the wall stuff too and we hoot with laughter.
A full five years later came our last boy, Bentley. He was three days early. Way to go, Bentley. Blond and blue eyed. A self assured little boy. "Counting" never worked for him. He just looked at you as if to say, "What kind of silly manipulation is this?" He was slow to read--wanted to be outside, in any kind of weather. When he was ten months old we couldn't keep him from crawling into Bear Lake--c-o-l-d Bear Lake. The first book he read was "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nim," in second grade, and from then on he was an excellent student. Nothing stopped him from good grades. We never had to say a word. He's put himself through college with scholarships and hard work. He makes me laugh and his laugh makes me laugh more. Then he laughs more and on it goes. I'm almost laughing just thinking about it. My favorite time is having him in the kitchen when I'm cooking, him hovering over me, holding a spoon or a fork, saying, "Maybe I should just taste that." He does love good food. He calls me for cooking advice, which I love.
Our last baby, Elizabeth, was a surprise. Nine years after Bentley was born--our oldest was 21 and on a mission. She was five days late and the doctor hurried her delivery--she's been mad about it ever since. When I wrote an April Fool letter to Trent with a bunch of silly stuff and wrote "The Rabbit died," (we had a powder blue VW Rabbit) he knew I was pregnant. Mom had died the year before and I have always been sad she didn't get to hold this beautiful baby. But, I'll tell you a secret. I think Mom is with her a lot. She looks a lot like Mom too. She is sassy, funny, and smart. I love staying up late with her--there's a staying-up-late pattern here--and I love when she leans over the back of Phil's recliner and talk to me as I'm on the computer. She is independent and determined. She should go into counseling as she can "read" people and sees things no one else does. She doesn't take any guff, well, at least not from her parents and I wonder where that strong will will take her. Good places, I think. Her grandma Snyder was hard headed and we think she watched from Heaven and took note. She is just two inches taller than her tiny grandma and sometimes, when I catch site of her, she takes my breath away as she is so pretty.
These are the things I am most thankful for.
Except for my main thankful, the man I fell in love with so hard so many years ago. He is my strength, my lifeline, brings sanity to my insane moments. He is positive when I doubt. He is steady when I waver. He holds me up when I fall down in a quivering mass of of self doubt. He is the Priesthood holder that I look up to. He goes forward in faith when I whine and look over my shoulder. (I'd probably be the pillar of salt. Well, not really, but I might be a pillar of tears.) He likes facts and numbers while I like Science Fiction. Numbers are Greek to me--I don't even know my own cell phone number. He has every church book ever printed. (Well, he wishes he did.) If you ask him what he wants for a birthday or Christmas he will whip out a 3x5 card that has a list of ten books on it. (He always has 3x5 cards in his pocket.) He is faithful in his church duties and goes the extra mile. He loves his children. He would walk through fire for them but can't express it. I'm the expressive one but he is the one who never steps off the mark. I'm all over the place, dancing along through life, laughing over my shoulder, until I bump up against an obstacle and then Phil rescues me and makes the bump on the head all better. He is a no nonsense kind of guy, so when he says things that are odd, I take him seriously instead of seeing the "funny" in it. Once I learned how funny he really is and quit taking him so literally, life has been a lot more fun. I hope to live through eternity with him by my side.
These are my biggest thankfuls. And my parents and siblings--there is no way to adequately give them the honor they deserve.
Also I adore the people my kids married, and are dating. How did my kids pick so well? I love their partners as if they were my own children. They each have wonderful qualities that complete my children and I honor the parents that helped make them who they are. I am lucky. And blessed.
And up too late, as usual.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I am not the kind of person who goes to the doctor or hospital but the pain was bad. If "ten" is a "the pain is so bad I'm going to pass out or die" it was a seven. This was not pain for sissies. I told Phil about it and he said we better go to the hospital.
I couldn't go with hair like that! I plugged in the curling iron and did my hair. Phil paced the floor and said things about my priorities that I will not repeat here. (Bless his heart.) It's a good thing I did my hair because about the time we would be halfway to the hospital I threw up. Throwing up in the toilet is much nicer than doing it in the car. (That's the only good thing I can think of to say about throwing up.)
I threw up my fish oil pill, which floated merrily around while I tried to drown it with contributions of my stomach, which was only water. If I had to throw up I'm glad I had something interesting to watch. You can't imagine how amusing a fish oil pill can be during a tempest in a toilet.
So, they ran tests--how much this will cost me I can only imagine. I had "leads" stuck on every available inch of my skin and I was hooked up to wires. The cuff for blood pressure cut my arm in half every time I got semi-relaxed. (They don't allow relaxation in hospitals. It's a rule.)
They wheeled me by the cafeteria at lunch time on my way to get an x-ray. Roast beef, the technician said as I inhaled, salivating on my gown. I will never taste roast beef again because I am changing my diet.
They said I DIDN'T have a blockage that made part of my heart die but that's about all they could say. After four hours they sent me home. I am supposed to have a stress test next week--which I have decided I aint havin'. Because I'm changing my life and I won't need it. Besides that, people die after stress tests. I've heard stories.
And when I was ready to leave do you know what was written on the prescription pad. "Take and aspirin a day." Does that sound familiar? "Take two aspirins and call me in the morning." I aint callin'. Most expensive dang aspirin I'll ever take.
So, I'm still here, a little nervous that this may repeat but having positive feelings that it won't.
Here's a tip for those of you who are local. Timpanogos hospital is not busy, it's somewhat relaxing. You can almost doze off, until the blood pressure cuff pumps it's self up, that is. I recommend it. But change your life with me, and you will never have to go and the blood pressure cuff will have to retire to Hawaii.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.
One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, 'God! How could you do this to me?'
Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him! 'How did you know I was here?' asked the weary man of his rescuers. 'We saw your smoke signal,' they replied.
The Moral of This Story:
It's easy to get discouraged when things are going badly, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering... Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground, it just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
When I was a teenager, and wasn’t dating anyone special, I was lonely. How can you be lonely in a house with parents who loved you? I’m sure you all remember such times.
I remember one of those times with such clarity that I can feel the winter’s cold coming off the window in the east bedroom. I was kneeling on the king sized bed, watching the snow falling under the street light at the corner of Olive and Lloyd’s house.
Photo credit's here. I tried to register so I could borrow a photo
with no watermards but ran into a glitch. My apologies to the owner.
The snow was falling at a slant, and it was a brilliant white. I mentally saw myself walking into the bright snow. I could almost feel the snow hitting my face. I felt like the only person on the earth.
I watched my imaginary self, walking through the snow, and out into the dark, all bundled up in my green coat. That night, kneeling on the bed, I felt like I had no future and was maybe the last person on earth.
The house in Annabella has now been sold to my bestest cousin, Holly, who loves it more than I ever could. The east bedroom is redone in antiques. The king sized bed I knelt on is gone. Gone is the teenage girl with the unknown future.
Sometimes, now, in the still of a winter night, with the snow falling at a slant through the streetlight on my cul-de-sac in Provo, I remember that girl I was. I want to comfort her, and tell her things will be better.
Today, in two separate emails these messages came. I wish I could have read them to her, so long ago. I wish she would have listened, as her breath made frost patterns on the window. I wish she could have seen the girl she imagined, lifting her face to the sky. I want to see her fling her arms wide and turn in circles, delighting in the knowledge that nothing bad stays forever and that her future would be bright.
And, even saying that, I hope I will remember this advice, for my day to day life right now. And I hope you will too.
One day it will all be a distant memory, Lynne, yet I can tell you now, with the supreme confidence of someone who's gone ahead in time to know, that you'll look back on this life and be so flush with love and admiration for yourself, your journey, and who it made you, that you'll wonder, as I do now, how it could possibly have escaped you then. Maybe this will help.
Sunday Will Come “Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.
“But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.
“No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, in this life or the next, Sunday will come.” (Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Dark Friday, Bright Sunday," New Era, Mar. 2008, 4 )
PS I still have that coat, just in case there is one day no heat on the earth. There is actually a knitted insert inside and it weighs so much it's a chore to walk in it. Whoever wears that green coat will really be alone because they will be the last person on the earth to freeze to death.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
"We can laugh and throw spaghetti at the cats or just put their heads in socks and watch them try to get out. At the very least it will be laugh therapy. "
Now, I ask you, how could things be better than that?
One year we were at their house for Thanksgiving. The weather was like September. My dad came up to spend Thanksgiving with us and we sat on the back porch, in the sun with him. Dad's gone now. He lived seventeen years after Mom died and he took such good care of us, his adult children. How I miss him. We all miss him.
I don't know if it's the same year or not but one year we were at Taylor and Sharee's house and I bought Silly String for every member of the family. I told them to come out back--it was warm so maybe it was the same year. Some of the parents weren't coming so I nagged and said at least bring your cameras--of course, no one did so there are no photos. Finally everyone was there and I "armed" them.
The Silly String flew. The laughter bubbled up in explosive bursts. It was one minute of craziness. If I remember right I was covered with every color. I could hardly see out of the tangled mess.
One grandson couldn't get his silly string to work. He was simply too little. Every one's canister was empty but Mark's. He kept saying in a little voice, "I can't do it," while the frenzy was in full force all around him.
When everyone's Silly String canister was empty, Tricia--generous girl that she is--said, "Here Mark, let me help you." She picked him up and the two of them sprayed all of us, laughing like two happily demented people. I can still see the two of them, spraying the last burst of colored goop. We were too startled to do anything but just stand there and take it.
Sometimes Thanksgiving's aren't traditional. Sometimes they are extraordinary!
Here's hoping your Thanksgiving--and ours--is one of those extraordinary ones. Or one with someone you love, sitting in the sun, talking and storing up a feeling of peace you can draw upon in years to come.
Friday, November 20, 2009
"Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness."-- Carl Jung
I hope you do not have too much sadness and that your happy is in full swing. And I hope the turkey is waiting patiently in the freezer, that the pie recipe is dusted off and that you have some family to look forward to next week.
And get the sadness (and the bummers) over early so you can have some laughs.
PS I liked this blog post today entitled, "How to find happiness."
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
For instance: I take my photo card out of my real camera and put it in my old camera because my old camera has a program on the computer to read the card. (My computer has no more room to do anything and so I can't load the new program EVEN IF I KNEW HOW.)
So, every single time I pop the card out of either camera I see myself, doing this, in a gondola in Venice, Italy and the card popping right into the water. Every single time.
How totally unrealistic is that? I'd say stupid but I don't want to admit to stupid, unrealistic is bad enough.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
We are going to talk about Thanksgiving. I originally had "1,000 things our family is thankful for," on these little booklets but Phil said that 1,000 things was overwhelming. I wonder how many they will end up with.And now, once I have them all printed I spellchecked and it says, "End of sentence preposition (consider revising)" NOW it tells me. Or maybe I should say, NOW I decide to check.
What are you thankful for? Do you think you could be find one thousand things you are thankful for this month?
PS Phil is thankful for Costco chickens. Oh my.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I already did. She says she forgives me. But....does she or does she not?
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Every single cookie I have tasted so far has been a keeper.
And now, I hear them calling, "Yoo hoo! Come and get me."
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
I wonder if anyone wants Christmas dishes for Christmas this year.
It's okay to serve Thanksgiving dinner on Christmas dishes, isn't it? Well, isn't it?
Please say yes.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thank you, my angels.
Have your angels done anything for you lately?
PS Wet stones at Chao's are only $1.15 but don't go for two weeks. I give a good knife, a breadboard and a wet stone for wedding gifts and I bought all the wet stones they had--they only had three as it was. I'm sure it wasn't the nice Chinese lady's fault that they only had three. It was that dufus-on-the-other-end-of-the-phone's fault.
The baby might be thankful for his Binky and his mom. One of the kids might be thankful that one day she will get horse riding lessons--thankful things can be anticipated. Mom might be thankful for the children's bedtime. Dad might be thankful for week-ends. The list could go on and on.
Here are a few of things I'm thankful for today (not the biggies, but the odd, little ones):
- ...that I have a friend good enough to tell me a secret and know I won't tell.
- ...for bathrooms--flushing toilets. How did Grandma do it, traipsing to the outhouse?
- ...for Costco. Actually, that one would be Phil's.
- ...for the seasons. Even the winter one with ice and snow.
- ...for best friends who know we don't need to talk every day or we can talk every day, sometimes several times, or email instead.
- ...old best friends can go without communication for months and start up as if we only talked yesterday.
- ...for movies. I love movies even though I seldom go. Gotta love Red Box.
- ...for geraniums. They remind me of Italy which reminds me of grandma's with maybe whiskery chins. Grandma's in black dresses, braiding garlic--which I did once, on the lawn swings in honor of the Italian women in black dresses. But I didn't wear the black dress or have the whiskery chin. Thank goodness.
- ...for the furnace and the fireplace insert. Mmm, heat whenever I want it.
- ...that I won't live forever.
- ...that I had a childhood that was just interesting enough but not too interesting.
- ...for Indian Summer. Today was glorious.
- ...for grass. I love the feel of it under my feet.
- ...for hope. There was a time I didn't believe in hope.
- ...for this computer, even with all it's problems. I love it. Thank you Trent for building us a computer which has never crashed. It's hiccuped and it is slower than molasses but I love it. Yes I do.
- ...for screen doors.
- ...for tomatoes. I have a batch in the dehydrator right now. Michelle will get some Sovory Italina Tomatoes for her LATE birthday.
- ...for legs. I saw a woman today whose legs didn't work well enough for her to walk the isles of the store.
- ...for the ability to write what my imagination dreams up.
- ...for calendars that tell me when I forgot someones birthday because I forgot to look at it. And while we're at it I'm thankful for grandchildren who want lunch and a movie instead of "stuff." I owe a couple of them lunch and a movie which I hope to be able to do soon.
- ...for tweezers. See #8.
- ...bed. Where I'm going now. After I read my scriptures and write in my pathetic journal. And brush my teeth and clean my face and go to the bathroom--which I don't have to go outside in the cold dark night to go to.
What are you thankful for today? The little things. The simple ones.
PS 23 ...for spellcheck.