Sunday, March 20, 2011

dance in the rain

Today, March 20, 2011, is our 36th wedding anniversary. The years have flown by and much has changed since March 20, 1975. For example, 36 years ago no one owned a computer, cell phone, dvd player, ipod, or digital camera. There was no such thing as the internet. Star Wars wasn't a household name yet. Aids was not a regular part of our vocabulary. There were no skateboarders, or snowboarders. "Goth" was something associated with cathedrals. Thongs were something you wore on your....feet.

There have been other changes that have taken place. Many family members who were at our wedding have passed on. Beloved grandparents, aunts, uncles, and my father, are no longer here to love and guide us. New family members have been born. Little did we know that we would be become parents to five WONDERFUL people. Now we are the grandparents.

Life was full of hope and promise the day we married. It did not always turn out the way I envisioned. I never thought I would out live a grandchild. Ella Goodwin should have been five years old 10 days ago. I never thought one of my children would frequent the inside of a jail, or marry a tattoo artist in a drunken stupor in Vegas. However, in many ways, life has turned out more wonderful than I could imagine. I did not know then that we we would have a daughter grow up to become a civil engineer, or a daughter major in pre-law, or a son graduate from the Metropolitan Las Vegas Police Department. I did not know that the three daughters I would have would become my best friends, or that I would learn to love my son's wife, Racquel, so much. These wonderful, talented women have filled a long standing gap in my life because I never had a sister.

The man I married 36 years ago is no longer a young, skinny, youth. His hair is now white instead of the dreaded red color (I always liked the color of his hair). Through 36 years he has remained faithfully by my side, helping and comforting me, always working to support his family. He has proved to be the best husband and father. I chose well. We have weathered many trials and sorrows, but still laugh together. The past 36 years have taught me that life is not just learning to's learning to dance in the rain.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Keeping it good with God

I do my best to stay on God's good side. I have found it very beneficial to have an "in" with the Big Man upstairs. Why? Because I need alot of favors from Him. It's a tough life and I find the challenges are getting harder the older I get. Since I have the luxury of sleeping through the night for the first time in decades, I've become more aware of my surroundings. There's alot going on in this world and most of it's scary. Now, I not only worry for my children, but I worry for my grandchildren. So most of the favors I ask for are for my family and friends. I pray in my sleep.

When I slow down long enough to think about it, I realize God has always been there for us, protecting and guiding us in ways we are too distracted to notice. Like the time Aubrey was in a car accident with a semi. She and Larry should have been crushed like their car, but they walked away from the accident to the amazement of the police officers who reported it. Then there was the time Erin was coming back from a late night date and the young man she was with fell asleep at the wheel and their car somersaulted who knows how many times... and she wasn't hurt. Then there was the time when Aidan was the Sevier County fire warden and his engine got caught in a burn over...and he was spared. Then there's Austin....well he's worn out several guardian angels by now.

I think of the time I looked into the eyes of a serial killer and was warned to not accept the ride he was offering. He turned out to be Ted Bundy. I lived because I was guided by an unseen Force. When my husband, Scott, was on a mission in England, he was once riding his bike downhill at break-neck speed when a car door opened into him sending him somersaulting into the air. Like a cat he landed on his feet still holding the projector he was carrying... there wasn't even a scratch on him. Then there was the time his car stalled for no good reason at a stop light one foggy morning (we were newlyweds living in Logan). Had he proceeded into the intersection when the light turned green he would have been nailed by a semi sliding through the intersection unable to slow down or stop because of icy roads. It came unseen from his left and would have killed him. There are many other instances when our lives have been spared and we have been guided by the Divine.

So when God asks me to do keep the Sabbath Day holy... I obey. I've learned a few things about God. He loves all His children, but he favors the righteous ones... you know... the ones who love Him enough to keep His commandments.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Real Men

I was born in 1955, not that long ago. This was a time when most women did not work outside the home. Men were the breadwinners. Obviously their work took them outside the home. "Women's work" was inside the home. Women's work comprised all the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, the bearing and raising of children, and doing the laundry.

In those days laundry was often done by using a ringer washer. This contraption had two tubs. One tub was filled with soapy water for the dirty clothes to be washed in. The other tub was filled with clear rinsing water for the clothes to be rinsed in. In between the two tubs was a ringer, or two rollers situated parallel to each other in a horizontal position that was hand cranked. A wash board was placed in the soapy water. Dirty clothes were scrubbed clean BY HAND on it. The luxury item was the ringer. It made it so the clothes did not have to be wrung out by hand. After scrubbing the clothes they were rolled through the ringer which wrung the soapy water out before the clothes were rinsed. Once the clothes were rinsed they were put through the wringer again then hung out to dry using a solar clothes dryer...a clothes line.

Doing the laundry this way was labor intensive and would take most of a day to do depending on how much dirty laundry there was. I can remember my mother washing our clothes this way many times. Diapers were the worst. There was no such thing as disposable diapers then. Mother had six children. She washed alot of laundry. Her hands were always red from exposure to detergents and hot water.

I never saw my father do laundry, clean the house, or wash dishes. He would cook once in a blue moon. He and mother had an understanding, a division of labor. He earned the money and supported his family. She worked in the home taking care of us, which was a full time job, in addition to cooking, cleaning... and washing mountains of laundry.

My dad was a real man. He felt it was his responsibility to provide for his family since he chose to get married and have children. I never heard him whine about having to support a wife and six children. It wasn't easy with so many mouths to feed. He always had a job, sometimes he had as many as three jobs. Real men take care of their own. But the reality is they would rather earn a paycheck than do the cleaning, nurse babies, change poopy diapers... or do the laundry. Earning a paycheck is so much easier.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Crown Jewels

I'm not a jewelry person, never have been. 99.9% of the jewelry I see does not entice me to buy it. I don't own a diamond. I never wanted one, not even in my wedding ring. I just wanted a simple wedding band when I was married. The ring I have is a beautiful two-toned ring made with white and yellow gold. I don't know the difference between a cubic zar-something-or-other and the real thing. My mother, on the other hand, collects jewelry. There is once piece she has that has always intrigued me in a hypnotic way. It rivaled the crown jewels. It lived in a velvet covered box my entire childhood. It was so special I was never allowed to touch it, let alone wear it. It was made of the most beautiful hue of rich purple delicately intertwined in duo strands with the palest lavender. A symphony of elegance. Serious bling in choker length. It was dazzling.

There were times, when mom was gone for an evening, when I would indulge myself in clandestine peeks at the forbidden necklace. I would carefully lift it out of its nest of top drawer scarves and open the lid with bated breath. It was never disturbed since I would never take it out of it's protective velvet home. Like the Magi that came to the Baby Jesus, I would just adore it in all it's sparkling glory. I never wore it.

Fast forward three decades. It is Erin's Junoir Prom. She is wearing the most beautiful dark forest green dress. It is haute couture in the purest sense. She looks absolutely...Vogue. For some reason I think of mom's crown jewels and bravely ask if Erin can wear them to Prom. Grandparents always favor their grandchildren. Dad used to say, "Grandchildren are the reward you get for not killing your children." Mom reluctantly agreed on the condition I would be sold into slavery if anything happened to that necklace. I have always trusted Erin. She is more...cautious with life than some of my children have been.

When I picked up the necklace, it was discovered that a few of the stones had become loose and would need to be set back in. I was instructed to take the necklace to a jeweler's to have it repaired. I took it to a reputable jewelry store ready to pay whatever it cost to have the family heirloom repaired. Imagine my surprise when I was informed that they would not repair the necklace. "Why not?" I asked. Was it too expensive to repair? No. They only repair jewelry with "real" stones. It slowly dawned on me that the necklace was a fake!! All this time....

I took the necklace home and carefully epoxied the "stones" back into their settings myself. Erin wore it anyway. The necklace had lost its status as crown jewels. It was only made of colored glass. Yet, it still dazzled and sparkled on its special night out. The way I had always remembered.

Somewhere there is a moral in this. What do you think it is?