Showing posts with label memories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label memories. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Remembering Mutual


      After summer of 1974, there were a total of twelve first year Beehives starting our first year of Mutual (or MIA which meant Mutual Improvement Association). Lessons and activities were held on either Tuesday or Wednesday nights.  There were the occasional overnighters or getting up early to do baptisms for the dead.  That usually took place a couple of hours before school started I think on a Friday.

            Joyce was the president for the girl’s classes.  She had two counselors.  I think there was a teacher for each class – though I don’t know if we actually had six classes.  We may have only had four.  Unfortunately I can only remember three of the leaders. 

            My first year Beehive instructor was Renee Barber.  I had always been taught to call my leaders by Sister or Brother Last Name.  I felt like the only Beehive who referred to her as Sister Barber.  Most of the girls called her Renee.  I don’t recall Joyce being addressed as sister.  She was always Joyce.

            I remember activities more than I can remember lessons – although I do remember smidgens of different lessons given.  For example, one of the leaders had given a small paper sack to one of the class members to pass around so each of us could guess what might be in there besides air – or was our faith wavered because it was too light to contain anything.  Most believed the bag was empty.  It wasn’t until the end of the lesson that the leader revealed the cotton ball inside.





            I also remember having a lesson in which papers were handed out to each of us and we were told to write a trait or attribute we admired about each class member.  Most of the girls commented on my inner strength and self-esteem – which actually surprised me.  I didn’t think they had even noticed me for the most part.

            I don’t know how often we did combined activities with the boys.  The only combined activities I remember doing was the summer escape and one during the winter season when the leaders would take us Tracey Wigwam (a boy scout camp) located at Millcreek Canyon in Salt Lake City, Utah.




            We would ride tubes and toboggans down a snowy ice-formed trail and drink hot chocolate and cider at one of the recreation buildings.  Though I did enjoy this activity (I must have – I think I went every year) it was always cold, and the drinks were always scalding and I always burned my tongue and would have sandpaper tongue for a few days.




            The summer group activities varied from year to year.  I recall one time we went to BYU and slept overnight in the dorms and followed a day to day activity that probably last for three or four days.

            One time we had gone to the Sports Mall here – I think right after it opened.  We stayed up late playing with the equipment.  I think we spent the night there.



            The girls ages 14 and up went to rough camp.  Beehives went to Oakcrest hereOakcrest offered cabins and bunk beds and thousands of girls.  Rough camp was pitching tents – but actually not all that “rough” from the boys’ point of view.  Rough camp was done at a stake level and just felt more interment than did Oakcrest. 

            Each ward had it’s own campground.  There were activities to do on a stake level, and time to do things as a ward. There wasn’t the enforced rule of keeping leaders in a tent separate from the girls.  I can only remember going to rough camp one year.  Our theme had to do with holidays and the holiday that we either chose or was assigned was Valentine’s Day.  

           There were two tents set up.  One was overly decorated in hearts and a path marked lover's lane.  The tent was full of four boy-crazy girls.  The tent I was in was decorated, but certainly not over done.  We had fun discussing any other subject that wasn't boy related.  Joyce stayed in our tent with us. I don’t recall any other leaders from our ward.  Just Joyce and seven girls.


            Joyce had brought a parachute to stretch among the trees to be used as an awning.  I think it was on our last day it caught on fire along with our breakfast.




I don’t know if it was before or after the three-hour block in which we had a lesson on temple marriage and how we should “wait” for that “perfect” someone. The example used was Annie Osborne.  


I don’t recall the exact way it was taught, but the point was she had waited.  She didn’t get married right away.  It sounded as though she would have liked to, but “God had other plans”.  She hadn’t married until later in life (by LDS terms at an age where most righteous girls woman her age were sending their eldest sons into the mission field) but by waiting and "enduring" in her righteous act she had been blessed with marrying a general authority.  As the lesson was given, I remember thinking to myself, “Dare to dream”

And yet I broke her record.  According to this article, she married when she was 38.  I was 39.  I did not marry a general authority.   I didn't even marry in the temple until Jenna was nine months old.  My view of temple marriage is so much different than what it used to be.  (See here and here)

I remember having been given a white hanky to have to use in the temple when the time came.  We each received a white hanger on which we could hang our wedding or temple dresses.  I still have both.


I believe I had the thought card until 2012
I don't know if the card was scanned or not
I put the hanky in my temple bag




           


Saturday, January 23, 2016

"Your husband is going to be late."




            A facebook friend had been sitting in heavy traffic.  He must have been bored out of his mind.  He actually made a comment on one of my posts - which in itself was out of the ordinary.  But the post was over four years old.  That's what really threw me.

            I had not even started my blog yet.  Jenna was taking a theatre class near my sister's house.  Our house was two hours north of the elementary school that Jenna attended, and Kayla's was two miles west.  On Wednesdays I would just drive to Kearns and park in my sister's driveway.  We would walk around the neighborhood and visit others until it was time to walk to the high school where she had her class.  But on that particular day, we had little time to spare before making our way to the high school.  Who knew that the heavy traffic between three and four would still exist (and actually worsen) three hours later causing the instructor to be late also.

            I had even considered calling her when it was 3:30 but chose not to believing the delays would be cleaned up by then.  I was wrong.  She contacted me after 7:00 because mine seemed to be the only student phone number that she had in her cell phone.  The class had decided to play a game of "duck duck goose" while they waited.  I had mentioned the accident before.  I reconfirmed it.

            The accident had happened on 5400 and 3200 W.  I'd been hit at that same intersection just six months earlier - but there hadn't been enough damage to cause a major back-up.  But there were major delays that night.  It didn't matter where in the city I happened to be driving or at what time.  Traffic was a bear.  It reminded me of a Friday.

            5400 is not the greatest street.  I have always hated it.  The decades has just made me hate the street even more - especially after all the "improvements" that were made. Dorky traffic lights and lane change lights that made me feel like I was driving in a video game.

            Evidently last night's traffic was a repeat (or worse) than what occurred on the night I asked the question on my facebook post "Does anyone know what happened?"  because generally when one is stuck in backed up traffic,  it is unknown why.

            A couple of friends responded that a collision took place involving three cars and that someone had been flight lifted.  Three cars were involved in last night's crash as well.  5400 - but further west of the high school.  I looked it up last night.  There really wasn't much to the story.  And I could only find one source.

            Meanwhile, I had called Kayla, who is a mother to three who are six and under and at least one was screaming.  It didn't seem like it was a good time for her to talk, but at least she understood why Bill might be late (or was late) getting home. 

            I really don't miss the traffic that I had to deal with in Salt Lake.  Thus far I have not seen much in the way of collisions or heavy traffic in Oregon - except in Portland.  But I am so far from Portland that the traffic there doesn't affect me.  Heavy traffic in Myrtle Creek has been eight cars behind the school bus.  I think a collision in Myrtle Creek would be embarrassing for those involved.


            Funny how somebody from Oregon was able to tell someone in Utah that her husband would be late due to slow and heavy traffic.  The wonders of modern technology. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Operation Grandma Care

I belong to 8 different groups on facebook.  I think the first group I joined (or was invited to) was a neighborhood watch - which apparently is still on facebook - but with only 4 members.  I don't know if it's active or not.  I had actually thought the group had dissolved, but I haven't been in said neighborhood for several years now - nor am I currently living in the same state.

Every ward that I have lived in has had a page and I really like that.  I especially like it when  organized members send out reminders of upcoming activities.  I was disappointed that there was no such page on facebook for this ward.  Thus after 6 months and 12+ friends, I decided to create my own page. Slowly the ball starts rolling.




I have joined other groups that have either dissolved (due to changes on facebook or lack of interest)  or haven't gone according to the  group starters expectations.  I think the one I enjoy most is the one we keep to share memories of our family - mom in particular.  It is also the smallest group I belong to.

It started out as a page of necessity created by my nephew-in-law, Nate.  He and my niece, Ellen, were living with mom at the time.  Mom's dementia would cause her to take off without any evidence as to where she might be, or else she would get lost and take a direction even further from where she wanted to be.  Mom could not be left alone, and we were each given a schedule.  Facebook gave us a source in which we could communicate our concerns.

Nate had included six of us in the group: Nate, Ellen, Ellen's mother Sunny, my sister Kayla, my brother Corey and me. Nate had named the group "Operation Grandma Care".  Over the months others had been invited into the group - Corey's husband Joh, Kayla's husband Bill, and our friend Peggy who lived across the street from my mom. Shortly after we put mom into an assisted living facility, Nate chose to leave the group. But we continued to keep the group open as we still had concerns and needs to express ourselves as we would visit mom. We focused on positive as well as the not so pleasant.  It was really good for us to have that source.




After my mom passed away, there were some of us who just didn't want to see the page dissolve, although we didn't need to voice our concerns about how mom was behaving or what our concerns were with her and the fate of the facility.  Kayla had changed the name of the group to focus on memories of my mom rather than our care for her health.  She laughed at the name as there were eight members of the group and only one was an actual grandchild.  The majority of us call her "mom"

It is my favorite group because we sometimes share things that others hadn't known.  Corey will share pieces of information from her journal.  Kayla and I have both shared things not only about mom but dad as well.  Peggy has also shared information that we appreciate being able to hold onto.


I love reaching out and having positive reasons to stay on facebook.  It really has done great things for a lot of people.  I hope to have the same positive results with the RS ward page that I just started.  So far all the feedback I've received has been positive.  

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

It's Snowing in Utah




Whenever my phone rings
Or signals that I have received a text message
Jenna jumps
Like Pavlov’s dog
Usually I don’t mind
I am not a slave to the phone
Though she seems to be

She’s always excited when she learns
That it is one of her brothers
Today she answered the phone with excitement
“Randy!” she yelled.
It isn’t any wonder that none of her brothers have gone deaf
First thing he asks her if it is snowing
He says that the Utah snow seems harsh today.
I remember waiting for the bus in killer snow

The snow seen in this part of Oregon is rare
Or so we’ve been told
We saw it fall for two days
But it was never like Utah
Buses were delayed for two hours
But Jenna did return to school
After the snow
We had our power back on
But some people did not.
Those who live in Tiller
Were without power for six days
To a week.

Mostly it rains.  The creeks and rivers rise
The grass turns green and
The earth is drenched with moisture
The Internet tells me
it is much cooler in Salt Lake
than it is in Myrtle Creek.
I do not miss the snow.
I don’t miss the biting cold.
I miss visiting with my family members
In person.



Monday, February 23, 2015

Before My Mind Forgets




I was looking for some photo pages the last week.  As I was searching, I came across a scrapbook that Jenna and I created together – or started to anyway.



A neighbor who had three daughters of her own had actually given the album to us.  I don’t know if it was something she intended to fill up eventually and life just got in the way, or if she just really wasn’t interested in that kind of thing – or why it had been in her possession in the first place.

I don’t even know how old the album is.  There is a copyright from Lansdowne Publishing.  It was first published in 1997 than in 1998.  The book itself is written and compiled by Deborah Nixon.  Designed and Photographed by Robyn Latimer.  Beautifully illustrated and very thoughtful.  It’s called  Mother’s Memories For my Daughter.


  I let Jenna pick out all the pictures that she wanted to use.  As I'd written down my memories into the book, she would cut out pictures and paste them in.  We had fun doing it – and I think it will be a great treasure for her one day – providing that she can actually read it.
When my mind is working faster than my pen, I tend to get sloppy.  The fact that cursive isn’t really taught in our public schools anymore has made it even more challenging.  Jenna can’t read cursive.




There have been several papers and stories that she has written on – sloppy print and misspells.  I have scanned many and have a picture in her original hand and a translation.  I figured I could do the same for mine.  And so I’ve started.  Barely.  Started.  My mind has raced with almost every page I’ve scanned.  There’s much more detail in my head than what’s been written.  I have been writing down memories, typing them, searching for more photos – which I know exist – but I cannot find them.  More searches.  More memories.  My fingers cannot keep up with my mind.

  
Corey has tackled the project of transcribing mom’s journal.  I am so excited for it.  I’m sure that it will take me longer to read than for him to copy it all. 

He shares certain memoirs every now and then.  It is fun to see them on facebook and remember when.  I love my mom.  I have great respect for her.  She was such an awesome woman!  And just so giving and compassionate.  I wish I were more like her.

The memories I have been writing down are about my grandparents and great-grandparents and then I started to write down what I know about Roland’s mom and then I asked him to change the things that I misunderstood and to add his own memories.  He wrote things about his dad.  I’m glad that he did, because I did not know him.  I was in high school when he died – just over twenty years before I had even met Roland.

As I’m typing or writing, I can think of more things.  I add thoughts, insert paragraphs, forever cut and paste.  I will easily fill up several flash drives.  That is where I am.  My blog is on the back burner – for a while anyway.  

Friday, December 26, 2014

Grandma’s Wrinkles Tell Stories – and I Love Each One


On Christmas Eve, I opened a gift presented by my granddaughter.  The name of the book is “Grandmothers Are Like Snowflakes . . . No Two Are Alike” by Janet Lanese (who I believe refers to herself as “Grandma Jan”) and had started reading it before I went to bed and continued after I got up and after we opened presents.   It’s got a bunch of great thoughts and little proverbs and I started reminiscing with many quotes that I read – starting with myself.


Some quotes come with full names.  Some are quotes taken from children in which first name and age of child are given.  One of my favorite quotes came from an eight year old named Tammy.  It says, I love my grandma’s wrinkles.  Every one tells a story – which is where I got the title of this post.    

I don’t feel much like a grandma.  I haven’t been with Ester much to make a connection in which we are both comfortable in our roles.  She’ll be three in March.  Ester is cute and smart and has an amazing vocabulary – pretty much like Jenna did at her age – though I think Ester is a lot more articulate.  Maybe not.  It’s hard to say as we do not see Ester daily or even weekly.  

  
Tony and Rochelle have been back from Texas for twelve months now, and I doubt that I have seen Ester more than ten times since they’ve been back.  I know Tony would like to spend more time with us than they do.  They spend more time with her family.

Randy and Carrie also announced that they’re expecting.  Even though I do see Randy more than the other two boys put together, I don’t see Carrie even half as often.  Right now they live about the same distance from us as Tony and Rochelle.  That could change before the baby comes.

I have a friend who had given me a book called “Grandma Time” which contains finger stories and activities. I’ve gone through the book and have used some of the verses – with my niece and nephew and even Jenna, but not with Ester.  As a grandmother, I feel distant about it still.

What children expect from grandparent is not to be understood but to be loved. - Grandma Jan

I remember my mom spending time with my brother’s three oldest.  She spent time with all of her grandchildren – but those three (particularly Ellen and Kimball) are the ones I remember her spending time with the most.  Probably because I, myself, was included – at least in the beginning.  I had lost track with Candy.  She was three when Roland and I got married.  I didn’t actually spend time with Patrick’s children after that.  But I always had updates on how they were doing.  They spent time with mom at least once a week.  She was quite the proud grandmother.  She was always looking out for their interests and spending time with them.  I can’t say for certain that she had a favorite, but as she got older, she would always express her love toward Brian.

                                                     Ellen with both of her grandmothers


I remember her playing with Jenna.  Simple games like finger plays and peek-a-boo to outings to wheeler farm and Disney on Ice.  She would take all of us to see Corey’s plays and spring for pizza and ice cream.  She had a very giving heart – not just as a grandma, but as a mother.  I don’t know that the “skipping children” part would apply.




                  The secret of a happy live is to skip having children and go directly to the grandchildren (this is quoted “Momma” from a cartoon character created by Mel Lazarus)

            My mom had taken Ellen to the hospital the day that Candy was born so that they could both watch the miracle of her sister’s birth.  Mom and Kayla were with me at the hospital when I had Jenna.  And even in her dementia state of mind, mom made it a priority to visit Kayla and Anna in the hospital and then Gary when it was time – though she was really slipping before he was born – telling me she could walk to the hospital to see him if she wanted to.  She no longer had the sanity to drive and we had taken away her keys.  But she knew that Garrett was her grandchild and she wanted that physical connection.

  
            I remember her playing on the floor with Anna – just like she used to do with Patrick’s children. I was happy that I got to see that before her mind got really bad.  Before we had to check her in to assisted living.

            Different minds.  Different grandmas.  Jenna doesn’t know her paternal grandmother as well as she started to know my mom.  She knows my mom well enough to miss her.  Well enough to miss who she was before her mind went.






Roland’s mom has scared her in the past – not intentionally. As mentioned in this post  Roland and I are from two very diverse backgrounds.  Being with Roland’s family is a cultural shock after being with mine.  Something Jenna was not used to.  My mom and Roland’s mom are definitely two different grandmas – which is not a bad thing.  Just goes to show we are two different snowflakes on two different environments.




            There’s an episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” when Debra has her parents sharing the same table as the Barones.  Marie and Lois of course represent two entirely different backgrounds.  Lois is a lot more cultured and well traveled and seems so caught up in fine art and material things that she seems to overlook needs and wants of human kind – including her own children and grandchildren – not quite fitting the “grandmother” image.

            Though many find her meddlesome and don’t always agree with her ways, Marie definitely seems to fit the grandmotherly image.  She tells Debra that it is not her fault and labels Lois as “not Mother-ish)
Both of Jenna’s grandmothers give and love her.  Neither one of them are like either Lois or Marie.

            Then there’s my own grandmothers.  I have more childhood memories of my dad’s mom than I do of my mom’s mom.  Grandma Helen lived in Salt Lake and later moved to Murray (a sub-area of Salt Lake) and Grandma Mary lived in San Francisco.  Both grandmas enjoyed traveling – though Grandma Helen seemed to do a lot more when Grandpa Earl was alive and Grandma Mary seemed to do more after Grandpa Ralph passed away.

            I was too young to remember all the trips that Grandpa Earl and Grandma Helen took – many before I was even born.  I do remember seeing pictures taken when Grandpa had taken the entire family to Sun Valley.  I remember when Grandpa was sick before he died.  My mom noticed a huge change in Grandma’s personality after Grandpa passed.  Mom had said she’d become withdrawn and insecure and given up on life.  I was too young to remember what she was like before Grandpa died.

            I remember her smile and buying toys and spoiling us, it seemed.  I remember her laugh more than any sternness or insecurity.  I remember her giving.  I remember playing in her big house.  It is my understanding that she designed it.  She had treasures in her house and rooms to explore.  Every time we visited with grandma, there was adventure.  Grandma encouraged us to play and enjoy life.  At least that is the message I received.

            After Aunt Alice moved out, her children encouraged my grandma to move someplace smaller – and someplace closer to her boys – not that we lived that great of a distance from her to begin with.  But after she moved into the condo in Murray, I could ride my bike to her house.  I could come by myself if I wanted. 

            My cousin Michelle and I would often stay the night.  We would pretend that we were in a hotel.  I enjoyed my time with grandma.  I enjoyed being spoiled.  I enjoyed our friendship.  She had taken my cousins and brother and I on a trip to California to explore Disneyland and other adventures. 

            After high school Grandma Helen and I took a vacation to Hawaii.  We went with a tour.  She had been to Hawaii several times before and kept on comparing how wonderful it used to be compared to how it was at the time we went together.  I wish she hadn’t been so negative, but still made the best of it.  

            Since Grandma Mary lived in San Francisco, I didn’t see her near as often – though more often than Jenna sees her out-of-state grandmother.  We would visit once or twice a year.  Sometimes she and grandpa would come visit us or else we would go to San Francisco to visit them.

            I would write letters to Grandma and Grandpa.  Unfortunately I don’t remember grandma as much as grandpa until after grandpa passed away.  After that, I gained a more intimate relationship with Grandma Mary.  And I remember going to San Francisco at least once without my family. We took grandma Helen with us on a vacation once. After visiting attractions in Southern California, we went up north to see Grandma Mary.

            After Grandpa Ralph died, Grandma Mary would save her money and take trips each year.  I remember her sending home material from Scotland.  With the fabric, my mom made matching outfits for Kayla and me.  Grandma had also gone to Russia, China, and Alaska.  I don’t know how many cruises she had been on. 

            Both of my grandmas had gone to Yellowstone with my family just before my mission. And mom and I have taken trips with Grandma Mary to Alaska, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon.  

                                                Grandma Mary & Grandma Helen

                                       
                                             Kayla, my mom and her mom

            Grandma Helen passed away shortly after I returned home from my mission.  Grandma Mary passed away while visiting my mom.  Roland and I had been married only a short time and I introduced them while she was in the hospital.  When we returned for a second visit, her mind was elsewhere and she didn’t recognize me anymore. 

                                            me, my Grandma Mary, mom  - Alaskan Cruise

                                                me, Grandma Mary, mom - Juneau, Alaska
                                                            shooting the Mendenhall

                                                     Grandma Mary and I at Yellowstone park

            We have grandmothers who are not biologically related.  Jenna calls our former next door neighbor “grandma”  and I remember when Ellen and Kimball were little they befriended their next door neighbor as they would a “grandma” and thus she was invited to birthday parties and such along with the biologically related family members.

                                                        Jenna with neighbor grandma


            I love my book from Ester.  I enjoy the memories that it has triggered.  Those are just some.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Jukebox Memories




         I read this piece of trivia: “On November 23rd, 1889, the jukebox was invented by entrepreneurs Louis Glass and William S. Arnold. They called it the nickel-in-the-slot phonograph which is possibly the least effort we've seen put into the name of a product ever.” and was reminded of having seen jukeboxes on occasion.

        Jukeboxes weren’t as popular when I was growing up, as I believe they were when my mom and dad were teenagers. But I do remember some restaurants featuring a single jukebox and one restaurant that allowed you to make selections from the table.  I also remember spending quarters (not nickels) for making a selection of up to six songs.  I don’t recall ever dancing to my jukebox selections – just having the music in the background.




            There was a jukebox at Snelgroves for a short time while I worked there.  Mostly members of the staff who would crank it up while claiming to work would play the same 4 – 6 songs over and over again –.  I was getting so sick of listening to the same selections night after night.

            And then one day the owner’s daughter asked my brother to find some replacement records for the jukebox – she requested that he make his selection of 50’s and 60’s music.  I remember going with him and allowed myself to help him pick them out.  It was great – because no matter what song was selected to be played, it would be one that we both liked.  

            The staff (mostly young kids still in high school) didn’t seem happy with the new selection.  I don’t think any of them knew that Corey and I (well, mostly Corey) were responsible and I didn’t say anything except that I liked the new selection as I was tired of hearing the same 4 – 6 songs which we didn’t keep (as I recall)



            My memories of jukeboxes are mostly fond.  I think it was a great invention.  They’re still around in some places.  But now so many have music programmed onto their cell phones and other electronic devices that they hold in the palm of their hands, it makes the jukebox seem really rare.

40 singles is exactly how many the standard jukebox used to hold.  It has been speculated that this is why radio stations often introduce the “top 40” rather than another number – like 50.