Monday, March 28, 2011

KNITTING THROUGH THE NIGHT!

Tiny and delicate the peach colored yarn folded stitch into stitch. A lacy pattern began to form. I have never knitted baby clothes before. Patience is NOT my greatest strength. It takes patience to create something that forms so slowly with teeny, tiny, little knitting needles.

Through the years I've been intimidated by a command in the world of knitting PSSO....an acronym for Pass Slip Stitch Over. I have NEVER learned how to do this stitch. I tend to cower from things that are difficult in knitting. "After all," my reasoning says "Knitting is supposed to be relaxing, enjoyable. Doing hard things while knitting would just create more stress than it releases."

What a lovely time in which we live. I Googled PSSO...and in seconds, THOUSANDS OF RESULTS were at my fingertips. Finally.....FINALLY....I realized that I was being ridiculous...letting my fears keep me from creating something lovely....that I WANTED to create. So I watched a brief instructional video on this stitch.

Imagine my confusion to find out that I already had been doing this stitch for the last FORTY-TWO YEARS! Another name for this is "decrease stitch." Simply by learning that the stitch I knew how to construct had a different name, a whole new skillset was unlocked.

How often do I do that in life? "It's too hard, I don't want to be bothered," and in thinking this way shut myself off from great opportunities?

Our daughters Sarah and Ardis lead the way for me. They simply don't let FEAR of ANYTHING stop them from achieving their dreams! Ardis is attending Cambridge, Sarah is going on a mission. From the day of their birth they have taught me....a cautious creature of habit to reach further, stretch higher, and in doing so improve my life!

Before I had the privilege of Ardis and Sarah in my life, Nyle was my exemplar. He decided to finish his college education. He had severe spinal disease. Sometimes after attending classes where he sat for hours in seats that were simply not built for a man of his size his legs would give out. He would then lie on his stomach and make his way back to the car by pulling himself along with his arms. He did NOT see this as heroic, but simply doing what he needed to achieve his goal of graduation.

Before Nyle was a part of my life, there were two beloved parents. A Papa who taught me that prayer is power. A Mama who NEVER let me give up. My brother and sister loved me, lifted me, and sustained me.

I should be reaching higher, stretching further, and I'm SO grateful for these precious people that have shown me by example how to do that.

I have only mentioned my immediate family, but all of you....AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE...that have touched my life for good...including the dear sister in Primary who taught me how to knit, I love you, and I'm grateful everyday for your influence!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

RANDOM ATTACK OF AUNTINESS

Joyous moment when I opened the door and there was our beloved niece Garnet. One of my favorite creatures on this earth is the firefly. That delightful creature lights the darkness as though it's a small star flying about in the night. If I could describe Garnet as a creature it would be a firefly. She's a tiny little human, but mighty and powerful.

She has so much energy our dear Garnet. This week she is helping her sister. Sister dear has taken a much needed vacation. Garnet is watching over her 5 nephews and nieces, AND still keeping up with her University classes. Did I mention that brilliant light, and energy this girl carries?

We have lived far apart for all of Garnet's life. To have her less than half an hour away is so much fun. I feel as though she is a dear friend I have always known but now we are catching up on time spent apart.

I LOVE being an aunt. It's the fun of watching a beloved child grow, learn, and become, WITHOUT the heavy responsibility of being a parent! I LOVE being a parent, but being an AUNTIE is also AWESOME! Beware all nephews and nieces, I have the definite tendency to spoil you all....since I love you dearly!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME?

My beloved Mom -in law gave us her china. It is a simple, but elegant set with a white background, and a simple blue flower. I LOVE that china because it belonged to one of
my Mom's. I have two, the dear one who gave birth and raised me, and the beloved
one that gave birth to and raised my sweetheart, and then loved me like her own daughter after I married.

For some reason I thought that she had gotten this china from a store giveaway. The kind
they used to have where you received a plate for spending so much on groceries, or two
plates, or a gravy bowl....etc. They don't give away china so much for buying groceries...
NOPE, now we get a discount on gasoline, which currently costs about as much as china!

Imagine my surprise when I got out a magnifying glass to look at the label. (The label was
much to small for my eyes, or glasses covered eyes to see, part of the reason I didn't know the label.)
I discovered that it said Johann Haviland.

Haviland is a famous brand of rather expensive china. So....imagine my feelings when I discovered that this china that I had loved because it belonged to my dear Mom, actually
had financial worth? I pondered about that concept for much of my day.

What gives things value in our lives? Is it about the label? Does the fact that these china
dishes have actual financial worth make them matter more to me? Or do I love them just the same because Mom used to serve us some of the visible expressions of her love, in other words, her incredible cooking?

Our youngest daughter was in a bathroom stall in middle school. Two of her classmates came in. One of them said to the other, "I'm so embarrassed. My labels don't match today. I looked all over and couldn't find underwear that were the same label as my clothes!"

Sarah came out, washed her hands and left. Later she said to me, "Mom, I don't understand why it mattered so much to those girls who had designed or created their clothes. They were still JUST CLOTHES!" Imagine my delight to hear my teenage daughter say that?

So....my little challenge for anybody who happens to read this blog...walk through your house and list the five things that matter the most to you. No fair listing your family (Of course, THEY ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT). This is about understanding the THINGS that matter to you, and WHY?

It's important to me that our daughters use the glasses that were their great-grandmother's, the meat tray that my grandma used to serve Thanksgiving, and Christmas dinners on, and the furniture that my beloved Mom-in law gave us when we were starving students, the journals I've kept since I was a little girl, and the pictures of our memories as a family....the things that are reminders of the sacred connections of life.

What are your five favorites? Please share....I would really like to know....and please the reasons why as well.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My Mother, has served as President of the Relief Society in three states, California, Utah, and Missouri. (Relief Society is the oldest continuous women's organization in the United States) The position is leader of the Women's group in the local congregations of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saint. Just as different as those states are in culture, geography, and climate, so have the needs of each congregations women been different. Mama makes it look easy to love women of all backgrounds, and differences of opinion.

She has fostered over twenty children. She had eight pregnancies because she wanted a large family. Only three children survived from these faith filled attempts to bring children to this earth. When I asked once how she handled all of that disappointment she simply said, "I learned that you don't have to give birth to be the mother of children. There are many, MANY children all ready on earth that need love, and care."

One of my favorite stories about my Mother was when she was a beautiful twenty-three year old. Employed by ZCMI in downtown Salt Lake City she was assigned to sell war bonds in the front of the building in a Kiosk. She earned the position of 5 star general of sales. I think the management of ZCMI were wise enough to know that putting a beautiful young woman to sell the bonds could ONLY be a positive situation for them.

I could write a tribute about my Mother that would be hundreds of pages long. She is in truth one of my favorite humans to walk this earth. She's this dear to me, not just because she's MY Mother but as an example of the way to live life to it's fullest.

I was born with severe allergy asthma, hay fever, and skin reaction. My immune system was far too sensitive. I over reacted to almost everything on this beautiful planet.

For the first three years of my life I existed on three foods, and ONLY three foods. Every other food that she and my patient Papa tried to feed me wound me up in the hospital wheezing, and oxygen starved. Goat's milk, babyfood pears, and babyfood lamb were my diet staples. The doctors told Mama and Papa that my large appetite saved my life. That meant that since I was SOOO hungry all the time I was willing to eat whatever I had to. SIGH...that doesn't translate as well as it used to!

Mama and Papa were an indefatigable team in not only keeping me alive but helping me to understand the benefits of living. Mama feels the need to tell me every time that we're together that I AM A MIRACLE. I NEVER get tired of hearing that story. It reminds me in dark times that my live is more than a sum of it's parts, after all I AM A MIRACLE!

Mama took me to chiropractors, chiropodists, naturopath's, herbologists, podiatrists, reflexologists, allergists, and along our journey we found that some were quacks in medical garb, and some were heros. Obviously something worked because I'm still here at 54!

Mom and I have had our quarrels. They rarely last longer than half an hour. At this point we both start to cry, and throwing our arms around each other exclaim, "I'm so sorry," at the same time. There simply is no reason for the two of us to be at odds. I love my Mother. One of my richest blessings is to be born of this woman!



REJUVENATIVE/RELAX

A spa day is always a joyous experience. The physical act of being massaged, painted, and pampered never fails to renew me to face life.

Yet there is a better method for me to rejuvenate. Blessed with amazing family, being in their presence time marches away far too quickly. My Mama is one of my favorite humans. Our two girl's are also part of that familial circle of joy.

On Friday our youngest daughter Sarah came home from BYU Idaho to be with family, and help welcome the newest member of our family, Aurelia Hope. Aurelia is perfectly beautiful, and as we rejoiced in her entry into our world, I also felt gratitude fill my heart for this precious little woman. She will no doubt teach us, love us, and how we already love her!

Sitting at the table at my sister-in law and brother's home yesterday was four generations. My beloved mama at ninety-two, my sister-in law, niece, and her precious daughter. Watching my Mama hold Aurelia will be a beloved image forever in my mind. Aurelia slept in her great-grandma's arms, safe, protected and cared for.

There were other family members there making a joyous chaos of sound and reconnection. Our nephew (OK, technically, he's our nephew-in law but we don't bother with those qualifications. We simply can't remember what life was like before he was part of it! We LOVE that boy!) Jeff's parents were there. I have come to recognize that our family has been richly blessed by their addition into our ranks. I'm always sad when they AREN'T around.

My sister was there with her granddaughter. This is the first time in over ten years that my sister Carla-Rae and I have lived in the same state! I'm SO EXCITED about this. I've missed her beyond belief as she has moved about the world, having adventures, learning, and making the world a better place by being in it! She is after all Carla-RAE....my parents always called her their "Ray of sunshine," and in my life she lives up to that title!

Yet, within every joyous reunion is the hard moment of parting. How I look forward to the time when there will be NO parting. When time has no weight in our lives, and distance can no longer separate.

I want to pay tribute to the two Sarah's in my life. My Mother Sarah, and our daughter Sarah. the name means "Princess," and comes from Hebrew. The fact that there are MANY Sarah's merely shows to me that the name is so exquisite that many people are touched by it's power.

My Mother is salty, earthy, wise, funny, and if I had to choose only ONE word to describe her it would be LOVE! I believe that the Merriam Webster Dictionary has a serious flaw. Next to the word CHARITY instead of any other words it should simply list the definition as Sarah and then my Mama's last name. Of course, before that it would list her favorite example of that quality, Jesus Christ.

Our daughter Sarah was named after her grandma. She often tells me that we gave her an amazing example of how to live. Sarah Jr. is also amazing, attending BYU Idaho and in the current semester taking 20 credit hours. Somehow she managed to get A's while being in a dance group, having a church calling, ushering at devotionals, and singing in a campus choir. She does all of this, AND keeps track of family, and friends.

Having them together in my weekend reminded me that I am so blessed. In another blog entry I will discuss the two Ardis's in my life, our daughter and Nyle's Mother. Nyle's Mother was my Mother as well. She lovingly supported, and enriched our lives forever.

Nyle my beloved hubby of twenty-five years is conspicuously absent in this posting. Yet in every thought that I have he is there. I am blessed indeed to have paired with a man that has such an incredible ability to love.

This weekend has been far too short, but I will cling to the joy that it has brought me.

I am so grateful for all of these blessed influences in my life.