Showing posts with label friendships. Show all posts
Showing posts with label friendships. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Enjoying Riddle

       The school library will be open three times during this summer.  Yesterday morning was the first day and I took Jenna to return the books we already had and trade them for something else. We had also stopped by Soco to have a meeting with the committee for the  Children's Summer Reading Program.  Jenna asked me if I'd take her to the library in Riddle which was also on my agenda, but it does not open until 3:00 on Tuesdays.  We returned home before we went to Riddle.  I took care of some school work.
       Jenna had wanted me to present my Costco card at the library for identification.  I've had it for over seven years.  The picture is of both Jenna and me.  She had really wanted to be in the picture that day, and I was just going to have her stand in front of me, but the man who'd been waiting to take my picture said that we could both be in it.  I like the picture so I keep the card.  Jenna and I both look very different now in real life.

      After we arrived in Riddle and went inside the library, the librarian told us that there was an activity outside.  We went to the pavilion where the drama coach of Riddle High was conducting a session for eight teenagers who had shown for the activity.  Jenna found one of her friends at the activity.  They both seemed to enjoy themselves.  I took a few pictures with my cell phone.  I have cropped out the other kids as I did not ask permission to post them.

pretending to brush her teeth

the instructor had teens pretend they were walking

in various situations

the last two are mirror mirror.  

Jenna had so much fun hanging with her friend after the activity, she forgot about the library or reporting the other books she read.  We may return tomorrow.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Would You Like to Come for Dinner - Keeping up the (non) Tradition

       The primary had their program yesterday and only one practice.  I didn't understand as it feels so late in the year.  I don't recall there being a primary program this late in the year - not with any of the wards I've been in - including this one.  Last year we had more practice and performed on October 18. 

       This is the first year that Jenna wasn't on the stage as she is no longer in primary.  But as I looked out in the audience, I could see her singing along, and it really made me smile.  I'd have to honestly say that it was my favorite part about having the primary program.  I think the children did quite well for only one practice.

       Growing up, my favorite thing about Thanksgiving was spending it with a different group of people than the year prior as I mentioned here The smallest Thanksgivings I can remember included only 5 or 6 people.  Those were: one year with just my family.  My second Thanksgiving in the mission field: our landlady, her son and his wife, and my companion and me.  And my last Thanksgiving with mom mentioned here

       Three of mom's children and their families were able to meet on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  There were just over 20 of us gathered in a room between the kitchen and the cultural hall of my brother's ward.  My mom felt overwhelmed by the tremendous amount of people that were gathered there.  Roland, Jaime and I had only played one game one game and could sense mom's desire to leave.  The theater may not have been as crowded.  We had taken her to see the movie: Brave.  She seemed to enjoy herself as she no longer reacted to a possible crowd of people, but had lost herself in the movie. She said she liked it.

       The most people that I've ever had Thanksgiving with was just over 30.  Peggy Bird lived across the street from my mom.  Her Thanksgiving philosophy was the more people, the better.  It was held in a room by the kitchen of the ward building where her son attended Church.  That was a lot of people.   Several years later, Peggy invited my mom and her children to spend Thanksgiving at her house.  That year all of her married children had committed to spending the holidays with the in-laws, which would have made for a much smaller table otherwise. 

       Last year we drove to McMinnville to spend the holidays with Beth and Graham.  It was a nice to see them again, and of course, the meal was superb.  But the drive was long - not as long as if we'd gone back to Utah.  I think my oldest daughter-in-law was quite miffed that we didn't.  It just hasn't been practical or realistic for us to go back for just a few hours and then have to turn around and return as Roland works on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  I suppose he could ask for it off, but still.

       We had invited Annett's family to break bread with us this year, but as we never got a commitment and Nora is upset with us and doesn't even want Annett talking to Jenna at school, it was down to just Jenna, Roland and I. Jenna suggested we go to Home Town Buffet and would be okay with that, though I suspect she would like to have the association of others.  She missed her brothers and cousins tremendously. So we thought we'd try our hand at the community dinner here  in town.

       Yesterday we had two offers for Thanksgiving.  The first one from Roland's cinema buddy.  I had his daughter in sunbeams last year and his nephew this year.  And so we will be having our Thanksgiving dinner with all of their family.  And perhaps next year we can have dinner with the other family that asked after we had already accepted the other.  It will be good to spend Thanksgiving with two of three of Young Women leaders and help Jenna to feel more comfortable about going to Young Women's rather than primary.


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Two Peas in a Pod

Annett and Jenna are like two peas in a pod.  They just met this school year.   I thought it had been the first day of school on the bus.  But Annett does not ride the bus – at least not yet.  Perhaps it was in morning meeting.  I will have to ask Jenna to refreshen her poor old mom’s memory.

Yesterday, I had received a phone call from Annett’s mother, who wanted to meet me.  Jenna and Annett had set up a play-date (is that the appropriate word for a twelve year old?) for yesterday after school.  The phone call from Annett’s mother was the first that I had heard of it.  Isn’t it great when children make plans without consulting the parents?

Somehow the after-school visit turned into an overnighter.  Annett’s mom was right about them.  They are like two peas in a pod.  That’s great!  I hope this friendship will last for a long, long time.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Out of the Blue

          I vaguely remember reading about a situation of a girl who was struggling with maternal issues.  I don't know where I read it or how I had access, but evidently I commented on my own situation, trying to establish some kind of hope.  Two months later my family had moved from Kearns to West Valley.  I hadn't given my comment or the girl a second thought.

          We lived in West Valley for five and a half years before we moved to Oregon.  We've been in Oregon for seven months now and out of the blue I get this picture message and then a facebook request from someone I don't even know.  Turns out to be the girl who had saved my message to her phone and has had it there for all this time.  Evidently my words had left an impact on her end and she sought me out.

          I know I have done that myself.  Recently I sent a message to Jeff (mentioned in this post) although it's been over 35 years since we graduated high school  - at least I gave him something to go on - though he still may not remember me - nor is is it important.  What's important is that he was there for me and I did acknowledge it.  

        A similar situation occured with Maureen who sent me a friend request on facebook.  I did not recognize her name, nor did we have any friends in common.  She lives in Ireland.  I don't know anyone in Ireland.   I messaged her that I thought she had the wrong person.  But she was able to message me back exactly what I said.  

         The description fit.  How many other women with my name did not marry until age 39 and took in three boys and was grateful that she didn't have to go through potty training and had a tubular pregnancy and then gave birth to a girl even though the doctor said that there would be less than a 25% chance of getting pregnant. on and on.  Evidently I had also sent a picture of Jenna.  I don't remember doing that.

          I would not have this vague memory at all if I hadn't read what she had saved.  It is mind boggling to have someone contact you out of the blue like that.  I still don't understand how or where we made the connection.  She still has the same cell phone that she owned back in 2009.  I had gone through three phones and two different phone numbers (I think) in that same amount of time.  I have to delete things or else my phone will clog.  But then again, I still have a "grandma" style phone with buttons.  I don't like touch screen.  They frustrate me.

          I believe that God sends people into your life just when you need them.  We don't always know how we have influenced someone from our past, those we are aquatinted with, or even those we're not acquainted with.  Our thoughts, actions and emotions influence others close at hand and across the sea.  We don't always see it, but God does.  He has a hand in everything.  It is up to us to have the faith to understand the influence he brings to us through others.

          I just hope and pray that I may always contribute in ways that are positive.  I am reminded of this hymn.  I want to incorporate it into my life on a daily basis.  Thanks to modern technology, Maureen and I have the opportunity of corresponding and made a connection.  I am looking forward to many friendships.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

I Can’t Believe You’d Put Me in Band!

       Being in Oregon still feels so surreal to me – like at any given moment I will wake up and be in that cracker box house in West Valley.  Take this morning for instance.  It was definitely cooler than any day that we’ve been here since we had come out for spring break.

        I had dropped by the middle school to ask a few more questions.  The front door was open, and there was a light on one of the offices.  I think I heard a vacuum cleaner in the distance. It was before 9:00 am and perhaps was too early and so I decided to return at a later time.

        I drove to the pool which was still closed. I decided to sit on a bench and read until the instructor and lifeguards started filing in, and then walk down to do some water aerobic workouts.  I took a few pictures from my cell phone (as I had left my camera at home by the computer) before I notice the manager and then the instructor.  As I made my way over the hill and around the building, I couldn’t help thinking how none of this had existed for me just a month ago.  I wasn’t even aware of the existence of this part of the world.

        My aerobics start at 9:00 and go for an hour.  Jenna has swim lessons that start at 10:30. I allowed her to stay home while I was in the water and then returned home for her.  We had twenty minutes of waiting time and stopped at the school to ask the questions and I was also given the forms that I’ll need for registration. 

        After her swim class, we went to the music building which sits between the elementary and the middle school.  We introduced ourselves and I told the instructor that I was interested in putting Jenna in band.  He assigned her the clarinet and she had a four-minute instruction on how to put the instrument together and take it apart and gave her a first ten minute lesson on how to play each note.  He gave us a book and the clarinet and instructed us to return to the school to pay a rental fee. 

        Students are encouraged to practice the instruments during the summer so that they will be somewhat familiar once school starts.  I had been interested in starting Jenna in band when she was in the 5th grade, but when the leadership program was introduced to elementary school she attended in Salt Lake, it appeared that they had dropped the band program.  Now Jenna has the opportunity – which at this time she is not at all happy about – but she felt that same way about my having put her in the dual immersion program and theatre and those turned out to be pluses and band will, too.

        The school district does not offer a foreign language program until High School, but I am happy to say that Jenna will not lose her ability to communicate in Spanish.  Halla, a student who moved to Myrtle Creek from Mexico, speaks no English and so the school plans to assign Jenna as Halla’s buddy.  I AM SO EXCITED!!!!

        Last night Jenna played with friends for the first time since we’ve moved here.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offers a program to girls ages 8-12 which is supposedly similar to what the boys get with scouts.  The program is called achievement days or activity days.  We had taken Jenna to the church last night and she and Casey decided it would be great to continue playing together after the activity was over.  We brought Casey home with us.  Jenna was sooooo excited to have a play date with somebody – finally.

        I think we had only been home just 30 minutes or so when Casey’s younger sister, Carly knocked at our door.  She had with her Casey’s friend, Callie.  So Jenna, Carly, Casey and Callie played together and Jenna was in her glory.  It’s the happiest I have seen her in a long time, actually. She was hoping her play date would never end.  Of course it did end.  The skies grew darker and Roland’s eyes became heavier and he suggested sending the girls home.  I told Jenna she could walk down the street with them and then return.  I went out to the street to watch her – but it was so dark outside I really couldn’t see them.

        I heard my neighbor across the street and yelled out to her, “Hi, Judy.”
        When she seemed to respond, I had to cross the street to ask her to repeat whatever she had said as I couldn’t hear her.

        I saw Jenna return to the house – along with the three girls she had walked down the street with.

        “You girls cannot walk each other back and forth to each other’s houses all night!” I yelled. 

        Judy started laughing.

        “Casey’s mom wants to talk to you.  She’s right behind us.”

        The girls started playing games on the front lawn before Callie and Casey’s moms walked across the street to join Judy and me.  We must have all been visiting for 20- 30 minutes before Josie and Tara collected their girls and each went in a different direction.  Jenna was beaming and excitedly asked me, “Can I tell you what we did?” and started in with every detail beginning with activity days. It was quite amusing to hear her trip over the names of the other three as she explained the details of “duck, duck goose” and “mother may I”.  I am so happy to see that sparkle back in her eyes!

        This afternoon I took Casey and Jenna to the library for an activity.  We met the mayor – who, as it turns out, is my neighbor from just up the street (next door to Judy) and there was a programs and gifts and prizes and Jenna received a free t-shirt from a drawing. 

        I had planned on creating this post while Jenna and Casey played together, but Jenna asked if I would play a board game with them – which I suppose was necessary as Casey wasn’t quite getting the joy of playing it.  After a while, Callie came over and the three girls played together.  Now Jenna is at an outdoor concert which I could have attended as well, but chose to write this post instead. 

        I did feel a few drops fall down from the sky.  Not a heavy rainfall.  It looks like it could rain however.  It really has been a great experience being here. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Four College Students and a Bunny

            Last night we had four college students spend the night as they travel from Vermont (where they go to school) to Oregon (where at least one of them lives)

            We actually just met Sam, Simon, Julia and Jen last night when they arrived. Sam had made arrangements with Roland – although his mom had given him my number, I couldn’t seem to return his call from my phone.

            I had somehow believed that we had plenty of sleeping bags.  I pulled out two sleeping bags from the shed – (it turned out that one of those was actually just a blanket) and one from Jenna’s room.  There was another that I couldn’t reach.  But Sam could.  He pulled it down with no problems.

            While we were outside, he spotted a bunny.  I had never seen a wild bunny before and wondered if it was actually someone’s pet.  There are a lot of busy roads between here and the wild.  How in the world?

            Before I started asking our neighbors if anyone knew who the bunny might belong to, I opened the door to the house and told Jenna to come look at the bunny.  When I returned, Jen was holding the bunny and Jenna and the three other students had gathered around and were taking pictures with their cell phones. Jenna later told me that it was Simon who had caught the bunny.

            The weather was overcast and I think the girls were cold.  I had Jenna retrieve a box from the back porch and we put the bunny in the open box and gave him (or her) some spinach and water.  I put the bunny under the table so it wouldn’t get stepped on or into.

            Before I went to bed, I noticed the spinach was gone, and put out some more.  I had looked bunnies on line, what to feed them and how often, but wasn’t finding a satisfactory answer.  The spinach was gone.

            At 4:00 this morning, I got up and put some more spinach in the box – the rest of it actually. 

            At 5:00, I heard the front door open and close.  I rushed out to see if the gang would like to take banana and/or boiled eggs with them. I was about to open the door to go out when Julia came in with a bag of garbage to throw away.  I asked if they wanted to have the bananas and eggs.  She said she thought they were okay.  I asked if they had slept okay.  She said they had and thanked me.  And then they were gone.  And actually, so was the bunny.

            I just received a fb message from Sam.  It said: “We have the rabbit, and we plan on releasing it into the wild somewhere outside of the city, so it has less of a chance of getting hit by a car. I hope this puts your mind at ease, as it's a mystery that has been solved now. “  I think that’s cool for them to do that!  I just hope it wasn’t somebody’s pet.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Walking in Heaven

I don’t know when mom became an avid walker or how many years she and Pam Sanders had walked together practically every weekday morning.  I know that Corey was still in high school and driving because many times mom and Pam would end their walk at the high school and take the car.

            Once, as they were leaving the parking lot, a security officer from the high school pulled them over to see their ID – wondering why the car was being driven off the high school grounds during school hours.  I guess he figured out that they weren’t high school students. They laughed about the experience of being pulled over and stopped by a diner on their way home. 

            The girl behind the counter started to ring up their order.  I don’t know what they ordered, but evidently it was available at a senior price.  Neither one of them were of age at the time, but took the discount as they had been offended that they had gone from high school teenagers to senior citizens in the matter of only a few minutes.

            They didn’t always do the four miles.  Some days they would only do two.  Mom was in really great shape physically and sorely missed her walks when she had broken her bones one year and her leg was in a cast.

            I didn’t pay much attention to when mom and Pam got back into their routine or when they had stopped walking due to Pam’s ailing health – which seemed to come and go but lingered more as the years passed.

            Pam volunteered to assist with my wedding and worked in the kitchen and fixed plates for any guest who happened to the open house. 

            She and Jenna became fast friends when Jenna was two and three years old.  I remember giving her a picture of Jenna and she was thrilled. 

            As Jenna got older, Pam’s health deteriorated. I did not see much of hear or even hear much for that matter.  My own mom had her good days and bad days after she’d been diagnosed with dementia.  Pam seemed to have disappeared from her mind along with so many others she had known 40 – 50 years.  I stopped by a few times just to see how Pam was doing, but I never did see her again.  Her health had gotten worse.

            Today I heard that she had passed.  I don’t have the details.  I am hoping that I will be able to attend her funeral.  That makes how many that I’ve gone to in less than a year? 

            Corey posted a thought to facebook that perhaps the two of them are taking a walk right now.  What a nice thought.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Another Send Off - Returning Home

Before Jenna turned five she was introduced to Isaac – a cousin to Paula – who, at the time, was Biff’s platonic girlfriend. 
Roland asked Isaac how old he would be (or what age he’d just turned – I forget what time of the year it was) We both figured at least nine.  Both of us were quite floored when he answered seven..  He was too tall to be only seven. He was actually quite tall for nine.   Surely Jenna and Isaac were more than just two years apart.

     Isaac’s mom was involved with an Easter tradition.  Every year right after Church, the children would look for the plastic eggs that the adults had hid around the yard – her father’s yard to be exact.  Paula had outgrown the tradition and had asked Biff to bring Jenna so that Isaac and Paula’s brother weren’t hunting for eggs by themselves.  So from 2009 to 2012 Jenna has always done Easter with Isaac and his family.  


     Each year the hunt happened at Grandpa’s house – until last year.  Ruth and Nim had moved into a new house – she felt that her yard was ready.  Biff and Paula hadn’t spent much time together, but he was still friends with Isaac’s mom, Ruth.  She had asked him if he would assist with Easter set up.  He took Jenna with him and they spent the night.

Paula had told me that she came from a dysfunctional family.  I didn’t realize how dysfunctional until earlier this year. It’s true that Ruth had been excited to have Easter at her house – but it was not the same as it had been at grandpas.  I think Grandpa himself had been invited, but nobody else in the family had.  There had been a falling out, continuous squabbles – quite strained relationships among Ruth and her siblings.  It sounded horrible.  I feel quite grateful that I couldn’t (nor can) relate.

When Jenna was in first grade, Grandpa’s home was a sanctuary – I told her that if I was ever late picking her up, she was to wait for me at Paula and Isaac’s grandpa’s house. That was before the adult brother moved in and basically pushed his parents into the back room – taking away almost every inch of space from the house to store his worthless belongings and himself.  This year I told her NOT to go to Grandpas.  Even Ruth and Isaac would rather not be there.  I now understand why it takes him so long to cross the field.

Ruth, from what I understand, has always been insecure about her looks.  She has always felt overweight and unhealthy.  Others had made fun of her size and said unkind things that did hurt her emotionally.  But she was very strong willed and never unkind to anyone.  She was a friend to everyone – including those that had put her down. I thought she was beautiful both inside and out.

She did not have the Easter hunt this year.  Her health has been poor.  She was scheduled to have her hernia removed back in May.  But there was the issue with her weight.  She needed to lose several pounds and reschedule.  I don’t know how many times the surgery was postponed.  I had talked with her over the phone only a few times during the summer.  I had been to her house only one time.

Ruth’s home was always in chaos.  She just didn’t seem to have the strength to pick up after her two boys.  She considered them more than a blessing.  She said that Nim and the boys completed her life.   But somehow the boys didn’t appear to give her any help.  I don’t know why.  Isaac is such a sweet and thoughtful boy.  He has been a tremendous friend to Jenna. 

His little brother has a crush on Jenna.  He also looks older than he is – a little replica (well, smaller version – both boys are huge) of Isaac.  He just started kindergarten this year and Isaac will be starting junior high (or middle school) next year.

Ruth’s last surgery was scheduled for Friday, October 11.  She so wanted to lose the weight and get healthy not just for herself but for her boys. She died on the operating table.  I seem to be shedding more tears than with my own mom’s death.  I just feel so bad for Isaac and Marvin.  Marvin was so attached to his mother.  I don’t know if he will fully understand that mommy isn’t coming back or why.  He cannot depend on her anymore the way he used to.

Biff and I attended her funeral this afternoon.   We had gone early to attend the viewing.  I saw Ruth’s brother in the hall.  Her mom was near the casket – but that was all the family I saw.  No grandpa (her father) no Isaac, no Marvin, no Nim.  Ruth was in her casket smiling.  It was small, but still, it appeared as a smile. I don't think I've ever seen a smiling corpse before.

I visited with the principal of the school that both Isaac and Jenna attend.  She was the only person (besides Ruth) that I recognized. (How convenient it was for both of us that the funeral was just next door to the school.)  School let out before the funeral was over. 

You would think a family like that would have seen death before – but the funeral itself seemed to be a very unfamiliar situation for most of the family – at least from my point of view. I would imagine both Ruth and her dad have attended funerals before. 

Somebody escorted the two boys into the chapel.   I went to where they were seated and gave Isaac a hug and asked if he was okay.  He was holding a stack of homemade cards that I'm guessing had been created by his classmates. I started crying before I returned to my seat. I just couldn’t seem to pull myself together.

Nim joined his boys shortly after I sat down.  I’d never met him before and so introduced myself.  He looked broken.  They sat in the chapel with some other of his family members.  I don’t know if they were ever in the same room with the casket

Nim and the boys missed out on the family prayer as it was in the RS room and they were in the chapel.  Perhaps it was easier for them.  I don’t know. When the congregation was told to stand while the family filed in, Nim and his family stood along with the congregation and thus most all of the family members who filed in remained standing also. 

I think it is the first LDS funeral I’ve been to where I have seen the family stand and not take their seats once they had filed in. I know I've taken my seat as a family member while the congregation stood for us.

The services were nice.  Ruth is very well loved.  I enjoyed learning more about the great woman that she was.  I hope Isaac will remember the love and that he will take the advice of the speakers.  She will definitely be missed.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Weekends in Syracuse

       Jenna is loud!  Even when she is quiet for her, she is still loud by definition.  I think that's one reason Biff is gone.

       My eldest son, Biff, has a girlfriend in another county.  He says 45 minutes away.  I haven’t driven it. But it is where he current girlfriend lives.  He drives there on Saturday afternoon and doesn’t return home until late Monday night – I would guess at the same time that Jeanie leaves for work . . .

         He works on Saturday nights which means he is commuting from Syracuse to Sandy – that’s quite a commute.  And expensive.  Good thing Biff is using his own gas and not mine and Roland’s.  Not that he’d have our permission.  If you’re an avid follower you may recall from this post that Biff is supposed to be out of the house.

         Before he started driving his car again (which I still don’t know whether it’s registered or not) I had a dream that Biff brought Jeanie and her parents came with him – not to drop him off, but to help him move.  Biff introduced Jeanie as his wife and her parents – our new in-laws.  Now, my sister-in-law Sunny would be mortified if one of her children came home and announced he or she was already married.  Sunny would be hurt and heart –broken that she hadn’t been a part of her child’s marriage. 
         In my dream I showed no remorse, but total happiness.  I hugged Jeanie and her parents and welcomed them to the family – each was somewhat taken aback.  Biff went with his new father-in-law to rent a U-Haul and I helped Jeanie and her mom pack Biff’s belongings.

         Our visit was pleasant – as I recall – though I don’t know the exact conversation.  I did tell them about how Roland and I had met and that we were engaged for nine months before we were married and how we had a “reception” a month later.
         I woke up before Biff and his father-in-law returned.

         Roland doesn’t think it is a good idea to start marriage under the same roof as parents – but that is how Sunny and my brother Patrick started out.  Living in the basement of her parents.  Her father helped push Patrick into liking Sunny as much as she liked him.  That is my understanding anyway. Her father had invited Patrick to go with their family to California for their Disneyland vacation.  I believe that is where Patrick developed a love for Sunny.

         Sunny would have never eloped.  I had thought about it.  My mom made me promise that I wouldn’t.  But if we hadn’t already been married when terrorists crashed the planes into the Twin Towers at New York on September 11, 2001, I would have broken that promise.  I would have had Roland drive me to Las Vegas just after I got off work.  I thought the world was coming to an end.  I wanted to be legally married before the end happened.  But we were actually married two days before.

         The world didn’t end in the same sense that I had in mind.  But many of the comforts of the world I had once known were lost.  The economy started its downfall and regardless of oral reports that the economy has gotten better – not everyone sees that it has.  So many still struggle from day to day.  Struggle to put food on the table, to pay bills, to survive.  The world didn’t end but I think a lot of respect for it did.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

He found her through an Accidental text messaging

Roland ended up picking Biff up at the airport – which really didn’t do him any favors.  There have been many times that I have told Roland to stop holding his hand, but yet he continues.  Unfortunately Biff has remained clueless and it has been damaging to his persona.

Biff has struggled with being short, being slow and being single.  Hard to watch both of his brothers get their driver’s licenses while they were still sophomores and he did not even take drivers ed. until his senior year.  Hard to see them both marry before he even had a girlfriend.

He had posted on Facebook that he was in a relationship.  He was referring to Hailey from this post.  But now he is saying he wants to marry Jeanie who is only 45 minutes away instead of 18 hours.  

 Roland doesn’t want to discourage him, but sat him down yesterday and laid down the facts – although it is still Biff’s decision.  And as Roland told Biff that he wants him out of the house, he may just be pushing him further into Jeanie’s arms.  But I don’t know.  I wasn’t here.  I just got Roland’s side of the story.

I was still single and living with my mom when Roland met me.  But I was also doing chores on a daily basis.  Each person that I lived to prior to my marriage was responsible for cleaning up after himself or herself.  We didn’t just leave things where they landed – well, occasionally my mom did with shoes. 

Kayla and I once found twelve pairs of shoes in the back room – granted they didn’t all belong to mom – just most of them.  We set the shoes next to one another and made a circle of shoes.  That was the extent of our “naughtiness” Overall we’ve always been a tidy family.  "Tidy" is just not a part of my current family’s vocabulary.  If Randy and I had our way, our rooms would always be spotless  - but after nearly twelve years, I realize that it’s just a pipe dream.  Roland and Biff are too set in their ways to pick up after themselves (let alone anybody else). I’m still working on Jenna, but it’s frustrating.

Anyway, Biff has been borrowing our cars because his is still not registered (oh, there’s a surprise for you – NOT) and on Friday Roland asked Biff to mow the lawn and he put up a big stink about it and I couldn’t believe he could be so disrespectful when we have control over his ability to drive (legally) and haven’t had to house him since he turned eighteen and Roland told him he had to move out.

He’s still here.  I think he may have taken the car last night (without permission).  Or perhaps Jeanie dropped him off and picked him up this morning and drove him to our house.  I don’t know if he and Roland will work things out or if he plans on moving in with Jeanie and her parents (Roland says he doesn’t encourage going in that direction) Roland had also told me that he wanted all three boys out of the house when they turned 26.  He told them that before they had even met me.

And Biff says he wants to marry Jeanie – who he didn’t even know when he went to Texas less than two months ago.  Not that Roland has set a really great example in that department either – he had met me three days before he proposed.  Of course Roland and I were both older – perhaps for him it was old hat.  I still say it was too quickly on his part.  But then maybe it wasn’t his part.  We believe that God had a large hand in our getting together.

Kayla and Bill had known each other for only three weeks.  And Bill is constantly thanking Roland, as his proposal happened in little more lengthy time frame - when compared to ours. Randy had only known Carrie for less than four months when he asked her.  And according to Carrie, she thought Randy kind of nerdy when she first met him and was probably less thrilled about his extraverted behavior than I was with Roland’s.

I don’t know what the answers are.  Nor can I decide for my children.  If I could, my house would be immaculate and a lot more spacious.