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

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Shop, Summer, Mail


        Sometime between the birth of brother Corey and the arrival of my sister Kayla, my parents decided to finish the basement.  I moved from my upstairs bedroom to the coolness of the basement.  They also had a phone put in at the end of the hall next to the laundry room.

        I don't know how old I was, but suspect it was after I had graduated high school when I heard the phone ring.  Mom had already answered the upstairs phone by the time I got to it.  Out of curiosity, I went upstairs to inquire about the phone call.  Mom said that it was her visiting teaching partner and she'd be leaving pretty soon.

        She had just started watching the movie "The Shop Around the Corner" with Margaret Sullivan and James Stewart and asked me to continue watching it for her so that I could tell her what she had missed.  We had a VCR, I think I offered to record it.  Or perhaps the recorder wasn't working.  I don't remember why we didn't record it.  I allowed myself to get roped into watching. 
        "The Shop Around the Corner"  is an old movie from 1940.  It surprised me that mom had not seen it already it, as she certainly had watched a lot of old movies and I had suspected everything with Jimmy Stewart but either couldn't remember or had missed this one.
        The characters' names were Klara and Alfred.  They both worked at the curio shop (at least I think they did) and didn't seem pleasant toward one another - mostly her to him. During the course of the movie we learn that each of them has a penpal they are currently writing but it is done secretly so not as to reveal each other's identity.  Eventually Alfred learns that he and Klara are penpals to each other, but she doesn't learn the truth until toward the end of the movie.
        The entire time I was watching it, the plot just seemed so familiar to me.  I know that I had never seen "The Shop Around the Corner"  before, but I was able to predict what events would happen.  How is it that I knew?  I finally figured it out  just before my mom returned.
        She had been watching "In the Good Old Summertime" just a few weeks prior and had been telling me that Judy Garland's character had been receiving anonymous letters from Van Johnson's character, and she'd been writing to him - and he knew, but she didn't.  I really hadn't been interested nor do I recall ever seeing it the entire way through.  But apparently I had watched enough to see the similarities.   

        So when she returned home to ask me about it, I turned to her and said, "This is In the Good Old Summertime without music."

      
       "No"
        I don't know why she didn't want to believe me.  So I started pointing to different characters and described what their role was.
       "Okay, that girl, there (I did not know Margaret Sullivan by name) she and Jimmy Stewart have been corresponding using false names.  And he knows it, but she doesn't know it."
        She asked me two or three questions which I don't recall, and I answered accordingly.  Finally, she came up with a question that only applies to one movie, but not the other.


        "What about the violin (or other stringed instrument; I forget)"
        "What violin?"
        I can't even remember what explanation she gave of why it was important to the story.
        "There is no violin.  But there is a curio box"
        "Oh, this is not the same movie at all."
          According to IMDB.com, "In this musical remake of The Shop Around the Corner, feuding co-workers in a small music shop do not realize they are secret romantic pen pals." We did not have (or know about) IMDB back then and so I was unable to prove my point.




       Several years later, "You've Got Mail" was featured in Theatres.  Instead of Penpals, Kathleen Kelly (played by Meg Ryan) and Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) would email one another.  Rather than exist as co-workers, they were actually business rivals.  I love that movie.  I loved Meg Ryan's character.  Of the three, it is my favorite. 




Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Things We Learn



          In these two posts (here and here) I mentioned how much Jenna loves learning about her family members. Until we had played Chatter Matters, she hadn't known that Roland used to play the trombone - or anything about his childhood really.  Usually it's just her and I, but she did manage to rope Roland into playing with us between conference.  After she won the game, we continued to go through the "family room" and "my room" cards so that Jenna could know Roland a little better. It reminded me of when my sibs and I would force the Ungame questions upon my dad.

          My parents actually did three listed on the card - hiking was more of a seasonal activity  or annual thing - and it was usually a part of either a daytip or full vacation so the specific places we hiked were Yellowstone National Park or Timpanogos Cave in American Fork, Utah.



           I don't know that shopping was ever restricted to just the weekend.  Movies also occurred on days other than the weekend.  I chose number one for myself as they took us to church which falls on the weekend.  By process of elimination, Jenna and I guessed that Roland's family would go shopping choosing from just those four.  Church was definitely out and they didn't seem like they'd be much for hiking. His parents (well his dad in particular) liked to have drinking parties - but that wasn't on the card.


          I remember going to the drive-in theatres when I was younger.  Mom and Dad had taken Patrick and I to one drive-in theatre called the Woodland.  The walls that surrounded the theatre were decorated in colored bubbles - like on a loaf of Wonder bread - but with more colors. 




There was a playground area for children to play before the movie started or even during intermission (because there was usually a double feature or sometimes movies that actually had an intermission; but we may have been asleep by then. 





          I also remember going to different movie theatres with my family both as a child and an adult;  Roland says the one and only time he'd ever gone to the movies with his parents is when he was an adult and had paid for all three of them to see "Kelly's Heroes"

 

Not all multiple choice, but once again Jenna and I had both predicted that Roland would answer "Watching TV".  I don't remember actually ever sitting down to watch TV as a family - unless it was something like "The Wonderful World of Disney" 


Mostly we played games or talked.  I don't know any families who read together.  Unless it's the scriptures - which I don't imagine would amount for "more" time spent.

          I don't know that Roland's family watched TV together either.  It was long before cable, and the TV offered only three stations.  There were no remotes and so the kids had to act as the remote and turn the station to whatever dad wanted to watch. 
       We learned that his father had only a fourth grade education and would often get drunk and come home and line up his children and say, "Your mother and I don't owe you a living".  I think my mom's dad may have been that way.  She said she was scared of him and when he would get drunk he would smack her mom around.  She was determined to give her children a  family environment different from the one in which she had been raised. 
         Roland's family didn't believe in families like mine - nor did I have any clue that families like his existed.  As I grew up, I realized that my family was not the norm. when we had all worked for Snelgrove's, for example, (each of us having worked there except for my dad) we would take the change out of our pockets and Kayla's would remain on the kitchen table for a few days.  None of the rest of us would take it as we knew it did not belong to us.  The money would have been gone in a heartbeat with many other families. The older I get, the more unrealistic my family seems.  That's too bad. 

          I don't know about Roland's side, and I don't believe he knows either.  But he counts Uncle Ted as family, and so with this question we all answer Uncle Ted - who celebrated his 100th birthday in February (I don't know why I didn't post about it to my blog; I did to facebook)


          My parents met at a Church dance.  I was surprised to learn that Roland's parents had met at a dance also.  He said his dad had been going with another girl at the time but had told his mom that someday he was going to marry her.  I think she just laughed it off - probably rolled her eyes as I did when Roland proposed to me.

          It had surprised us all when Roland said his favorite movie was/is "Oh, God, you Devil"  He received it for Christmas one year because he had said it was his favorite.  I have only seen him watch it one time.
          It's great how some memories will trigger others.  I think these questions are great conversation starters and I am happy that Jenna prefers this interaction over spending time on electronic devices.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

I Don't Wish to Be Normal or Average


                I always thought I was unique about seeing faces in patterns or saying a certain vegetable or color that is not the same one that everybody else thinks of.  Jenna has watched a lot of "Brain Games" and as I have watched it with her, I have discovered that I fall into the norm.  What?!  I don't want to be normal.  I want to embrace my differentness.  What differentness?

                Last night Roland and I were watching 20/20 (found here and here) in which Diane Sawyer interviewed a number of people and took us into a piece of their lives and I cried about the struggles of the average American working hard for so little - holding multiple jobs just to stay afloat.  And that is what most of us are doing - just staying afloat.

                My parents weren't the wealthiest of couples, but my dad was GREAT at math and budgeting. With the help of clipping coupons and knowing where to find the great bargains, mom and dad made it work.  They gave us everything with what little they had.  Every year my family would go on a vacation together.  Every year.  The one year that we couldn't afford to go on vacation, we spent each day doing family outings.  (see here and here)

                I had wanted to do that with my family whenever I had one.  I didn't know I would be so dirt poor that just going to the movies would break us.  I know there are many who are better off than we are (financially anyway) but apparently we're still doing better than average.  And that's scary.  What kind of a nation are we living in that people are donating their plasma to make ends meet or try to provide their child with a birthday gift or sleeping in their cars during the day so that they can taxi other workers home at day's end?




                Why is a firefighter doubling as a paramedic not getting paid a decent salary?  Firefighters put their lives on the line for us and they're only getting minimum wage?  What kind of crock is that? Why are so many educators working second and third jobs?  Why are so many people spending so many hours apart from those they are trying to support?

                This morning we were watching a documentary on the roots of Joseph Smith - how his father had been cheated out of a sale made, how the family moved from place to place and continued to struggle.  Evidently, we stand in good company.

                We have always had a roof over our heads, food to eat, clothes to wear.  Currently, Roland does not have to travel to work which saves for gas money and wear and tear on the car.  He hasn't had to spend 2-6 hours on the road to get to McDonald's just to make ends meet.  We have been blessed.  

                I still would like to take our entire family on vacation.  I'd like for all of us to go to Disneyland in October.  That is when mom and dad were married, and that is where they spent their honeymoon.  It would be hurtful to go at the expense of somebody else - struggling just to put food on the table.  It makes me sad.  It would be truly amazing if Trump could single-handedly turn us around.  Six more days.  Kayla's birthday.  What a thrill getting a new president inaugurated every four birthdays.  LOL


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.