Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
It’s true that “The ultimate in shapely curves is found in a smile”—anon Because a study conducted by UC-Berkeley found that women who smiled in their college yearbook photos led happier lives, had happier marriages, and had had fewer personal setbacks in the following 30 years.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Once everyone in our family got to earth we had to have two family cars because not everyone could fit in one, even without the seat belt or infant car chair laws requiring everyone to have a seat belt, and three full bench seats, and someone sitting on a pillow on the little step between the middle and back seats, there was not enough room for all of us. One of our cars was a green Chevrolet suburban—whether a ’71 or ’72 I don’t remember. But what I do remember is roll call. Before we backed out of the garage or parking lot Dad would run down everyone’s name and we would make an accounting by calling “here” or answer by proxy “he’s in the other car.” Our names rattled off the tongue like we were our own alphabet song, interspersed with “Here.” “Here.” “Here.” I loved roll call and being accounted for.
This morning I watched this inspiring video—a heavenly roll call of sorts where God’s creations pass by—and as I watched the birds in flight I thought of the scripture in Luke that says, “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God. But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore . . .” (12:6-7, italics added).
Here. Here. Watching this was the second best six minutes I've spent all morning. We are definitely here, present and accounted for.
Do tell, what insecurities do you struggle with?
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I have dozens and dozens of nephews and nieces and always wish for more time and interaction with them. They range in age from mid thirties to not-yet-two and their experiences and views are interesting on everything from hamburgers, heroes and candybars to politics. At least reading what they write (essays, stories, blog posts, shared journal entries and e-mail) helps to close the distance with the older ones. Here is an e-mail Maddie sent me a while ago:
REAR AUNT JANE
I cant wait to see you!!!!!!! no i cant imagine what it will be with out a voice at least you can write Right? obama? no i don't like him either NO obama thats what i say but try to not judge him by its cover wait that want sound right so dont judge him first thats what im trying to do whith other peopol. but its hard it takes a while. he needs to make better choucies that will be beter if he does. yeah we celabrated Pals birthday it was fun i like it better when someone else is happy some times. Love you so much write more later promiss love Maddie
Nephews and nieces are definitely some very happy blessings in my life.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Rachel isn’t born yet, but Marcia is missing. I wonder where she is.
2. I need a calendar. Several years ago my calendar was always so heavily loaded that I dreaded looking at it, so I threw it away and haven’t kept a regular once since. I decided I would take each day as it came rather than stress the future and expected my brain to remember the really important dates. I realize it is very irresponsible not to have a calendar and there’s nothing like a $216 non-traffic ticket to remind me of that fact. I forgot to renew our vehicle registration last year. Completely. Never even thought about it. However, the other day I was thinking, “Hey, it’s July. We should be getting our renewal notice soon” and not two days later Ande got pulled over and the officer asked her if she knew our tabs had expired a year ago. Of course she didn’t. I didn’t. But we both know now. When I called to renew our tabs, the very kind and helpful receptionist said, “I think you should just wait two more weeks; if you don’t you’ll have to pay for 2009 AND 2010 and you’ve made it this long . . .” So there you have it, we’re driving scared for another two weeks after driving in ignorant bliss for fifty. I shall mark July 27th on my next calendar as “Tabs are Due Day.” $216 would have bought years of calendars.
4. The circle journals a group of us started last November are still making the rounds. I have Sonja’s Family Recipes and Anita’s Favorite Vacations that I’m working on today. (Yes, I should only have one but last month kind of got plugged . . .) I have really enjoyed this circle journal project. At Sandy’s guidance and encouragement, twelve of us selected topics and then created a scrapbook/journal with that theme. We have a rotating order and each month we send the book we worked on to the next person on our list. By November, we will all have contributed a page to each person’s book and will get together and swap them. Part of the fun for me is that Susan passes books to me and each book has been accompanied by a generous plate of cookies tied in a pretty ribbon.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
“Mesopotamian gods lived their lives much as human beings lived theirs . . . they could be irritable, vindictive, and irresponsible . . . the motives of the gods were not always clear . . . the best way to honor the gods was to make the shrine as grand and as impressive as possible, for gods who had a splendid temple might think twice about sending floods to destroy the city.”
Argh. Can you imagine trusting a fickle god or trying to please a spoiled one? If nothing else, this class has increased my appreciation for twenty-first century worship . . . and popcorn.
Monday, July 13, 2009
One thing, however, that was not insured in our big family was exclusive ownership. We shared dogs, horses, socks, pop, beds, cars, toys, bikes, even my best friend. Pretty much everything was everybody’s. But I had one thing that no one else had; I had a cousin who lived fairly close by who was only eight months older and liked to play with me. When we were young he was in charge because he was older don’t you know. However he had a telescope, a Great Dane and he knew how to safely cross streets at Grandma’s house, so I didn’t mind. I liked him being in charge, except when he was nine and I was still eight, or he was ten and I was still nine and he told me I was too young to do some things.
Casey has good-naturedly used the older card on me for years, but finally, finally the tables have turned. Casey and his wife, Mary Jan (who is a regal woman that writes beautifully like the Bronte sisters) came to Abe and Grace’s reception and, albeit too briefly, it was so good to see them. Now that Casey is forty-seven and pushing forty-eight, he is too old to do with ease so many of those things that sweet, young forty-six year olds like me can still do and I made sure to kindly point it out before he left.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
And then, I remembered some of the facial expressions I’d seen in the last few weeks and I smiled. And then, I thought of some of the things we’d done and I smiled some more. And then, I thought of some of the words that had been said and I smiled even more. And then, and then . . . after I’d watched a series of mental re-runs I was no longer lonely, but felt extremely blessed.
*I also like Andy Griffith re-runs, but that's beside the point.
Friday, July 10, 2009
2. I do not have a cell phone anymore. It is mostly a very liberating feeling. We play rotating phones around our house—I start with one and then when one of the kids needs it it then becomes their phone. When another child needs a phone we see who needs one least and redistribute. With few exceptions we’ve passed around all the cell phone numbers and you have to remember who has which number this year. I think we’re finally through passing them around and I suppose I’ll get another one in a few months, but for now it feels good not to be responsible for one.
3. Our garden is popping. I love being able to go outside and have it be like going to the grocery store without having to park, dress up, pay or walk down the freezing meat aisle.
4. Yesterday I called Calvin and invited him on a date. It was one of my best planned ones ever—dinner and an art presentation by a local artist. I really, really wanted to attend. I thought the lecture started at 7:00, but when no one showed up I thought we had the wrong location. We drove to three other locations with no artist and no lecture. I supposed I had gotten the wrong date so we came home. I looked it up again when we got home and discovered the lecture started at 7:30, not 7:00. And now I know why I am never early. It only makes things complicated.
5. Life in My World—Unabridged Version is in this week’s newsletter. You’re welcome to read about it here.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
~A friend hand delivered a plate of fudge.
~Several friends called to see if we needed any last minute help.
~Friends invited us to Sunday dinner because they knew we would be tired from traveling to and from the wedding last week and preparing for a wedding reception here this week. They also sent us home with all of the leftovers (Dutch oven chicken, grilled steaks, potato salad, broccoli/bacon salad, pasta salad, baked beans, cobbler and German chocolate cake so we wouldn’t have to cook until after the reception).
~Grace’s friends decorated for the Utah reception, served at it, took the pictures and made the wedding cake, it was wonderful.
~A dozen friends made fancy cakes or cookies and displayed them on pedestal cake plates for the center of the tables at Abe and Grace’s dinner in Washington. They were beautiful and good.
~A friend made dozens and dozens of rolls for the Washington dinner.
~Several friends stayed behind to help us clean up after the Washington wedding reception when they realized our small, motley crew was only Calvin, Cali, Ande and me. They stayed until the last wire was down and the last dish was washed.
~One friend took all twenty two tablecloths home and washed and delivered them to our house by noon the next day. She and her kids also delivered and unloaded all of the wedding gifts.
~Several young friends volunteered their evening to come and serve the dinner and to help clean up, while another friend from work manned the kitchen.
~Friends gave of their time to come to Abe and Grace’s wedding and receptions; some driving or flying several hours. They also gave of their means in generous gifts.
~A friend helped us string hundreds of Christmas lights from the ceiling.
~A friend brought over four boxes of bakers—washed and ready to wrap—for the dinner in Utah and then two bags of freshly dug, new potatoes for the dinner in Washington.
~A friend gave us the use of his condominium, which is ½ block from the Salt Lake City temple, to stay in during Abe and Grace’s wedding—complete with a “Welcome” bag filled with grapes, strawberries, chocolate, baguette bread, sparkling cider and a gag gift.
~A friend played beautiful piano music during the Washington dinner and ate his dinner cold.
~A couple of friends called and offered spare bedrooms for guests.
~A friend helped Calvin grill 300 shish-kabobs.
Friday, July 3, 2009
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson—friends (they have volumes of correspondence), political allies (Adams was President and Jefferson served as his Vice-President), political foes (Jefferson didn’t support Adams’ decisions), great minds that worked together (Adams asked Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence and Jefferson relied on Adams’ feedback)—both died on the same day: 50 years after the Declaration of Independence was written and on July 4th. God be thanked for both great men who understood and stood for Freedom.