Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Constant Changes

I just discovered this draft that I thought I had posted a long time ago.  Almost four years ago, to be correct.  I remember well how it felt to have Michael and Laura live near us and to know I could get a grandkid fix any time I needed one.  All these feelings haven't changed although the circumstances of their lives and our lives have changed drastically:





Life as we knew it a few weeks ago is no more. But it's better. Now I have two little boys to help me burn calories and to help me remember what is really important.

Michael and Laura moved here three weeks ago. They are staying in a fifth-wheeler behind our house until they can find a home of their own. They are sharing parts of our house with us--the laundry room, the kitchen--we eat at least one meal together each day--and sometimes the boys are taking their naps in the guest bedroom. It is a delight to be lying in bed and hear the pitter-patter of little feet coming close and then suddenly seeing the doors flung open by a little one calling out, "Hi, Grandma!"



So what if I can't crochet as often, or work on the computer when they're around (they want to play "aliens!"), or keep the floor clean for a few days in a row. But the trade is that I get hugs every day, and they give me a good workout when we chase each other around the house or when I lift them with my feet and legs (good ab workout!) and toss them onto my bed. They are a delight, and Michael and Laura have been so helpful, sharing the cooking and clean-up, cleaning bathrooms, etc. It's a new life for me but I am happy. Being a grandma is my greatest joy in life.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


There you go, proof that I was actually in a spelling bee and was successful even without auto-correct or spell-check!  That is, until they said the word "alleged."  Then I made an error in judgment.  Sigh...

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Well, another week has passed for all of us. I hope that everyone can think of plenty of good that they experienced in the last seven days. We haven't heard much from friends and family and assume that no news is good news, so that's nice.
We sang with the ward choir in sacrament meeting today and also attended stake choir practice this evening. In this way we are getting acquainted with a few people in the area--people who share common interests. And this week and last week the Relief Society presidency was very happy to have a pianist to accompany the hymns, which I was so glad to do because I've not had a calling for so long.
Alan's and Jessica's home teachers came tonight and how nice it was to see home teachers again. Of course, they weren't ours, but we expect our records to be here next week so assume a home teaching assignment will follow shortly from the High Priests quorum.
Alan and Jessica have said for a long time ago they weren't going to get a dog, but two-year-old Eva found a way around that. She just decided to be a dog. She barks a lot and sometimes puts her food on the floor so she can eat it. (No, not right off the floor--from a bowl!) While crawling around on all fours she brushes up against others expecting a petting on the head. She is really the cutest puppy I've ever seen! What's best is she doesn't have to have you leash her to take her for a walk while you carry a little shovel and plastic bag to clean up her messes on the neighbor's lawns. And she doesn't bark at or try to bite the visitors nor chase cars.
We are enjoying this time with the Missouri Washburns. We hope they can say the same about us! Jessica gave up her photography studio in the basement and they put a bed in there for us so we are sleeping well every night. We appreciate the sacrifices the family is making to help us.
Friday night Alan, Jessica, Tom and I went to the Kansas City Temple and attended a session, after which I felt so much better. It was another hard week employment-wise with no call-back from Home Depot and a rejection letter from another mine ("we have looked over your application and although your skills are impressive we have decided to pursue other candidates for this position"). But Tom continues to apply to jobs every day and then takes a break and sees what he can do on Jessica's list of odd jobs that need to be done sometime by whoever has time first. Being able to do something--anything at all--keeps him feeling like he is worth something, that he is needed by someone when so many times this year he has been told he is not needed or wanted.
Tomorrow we're going to visit Amy and David and their boys three hours away on the other side of the state. We are looking forward to seeing Amy pregnant. :) We're just going to be gone a couple of days. Alan and Jessica have given us a curfew. :)
Yesterday Cindy sent me a video to watch. It is a message from Jeffrey R. Holland and one that I think every one of you may understand from perspectives similar to or even very different from our situation. Many times this year we have felt the Lord was telling us to apply somewhere in particular, talk to a certain person, travel far away, etc., and the outcome has never been what we expected. Why, when so much is at stake, would we feel inspired to make choices that turned out to be the wrong choices? This video answered that question for me and I hope it does for you, too. It is only a few minutes long and is more than worth the time it will take you to watch. Maybe within the next few weeks we'll understand why we have taken so many "wrong roads."
One last thing: In the very early hours of the morning I woke suddenly from sleep and heard the words, "Jesus Christ is the only hope." I pondered that for awhile before sleep overtook me again, and thought that perhaps I have spent too much time basing my happiness and my sense of security on whether or not Tom has a job and I have a home of my own. I hope that I am learning, slow though it may be, that I need to put my trust in God, in the power of the Atonement, and not in the men to whom Tom is appealing for work. I am trying to become wholly submissive to God and His will for me.
 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I didn't waste any time once we arrived in Missouri. The next day I got my haircut fixed! (I didn't have time to get it done in Grantsville.) I found a lovely young southern girl named Kelly who knew how to cut my thick hair to my satisfaction. She now has a job for as long as I hang around. Maybe I'll let her help me go gray and have it look natural. (Is that possible? Why is it that men with gray hair look distinguished and women with gray hair look old? Not Fair!)

In Missouri but not in Misery

The view from our windows at night time.
The penthouse top left is where we spent the last few weeks.
As I mentioned last week, Tom had a job interview scheduled for Monday morning.  Monday morning came and went and he heard not a word, although he left a couple of messages with the HR person who set up the interview.  That night he received an apologetic call and the interview was rescheduled for 8:00 a.m. Tuesday.  The less-than-five-minute interview happened and the man told him he'd get back to him in a month.  It was the kick we needed to get moving.  We finished what we wanted to do in the apartment (polishing, washing bedding and towels, etc.), packed up our personal belongings, and Wednesday morning said good-bye to our beautiful view of the Salt Lake Temple.  We were headed to Missouri. 

But first we went to Grantsville to get some things from our storage units and to (gulp) say good-bye to Brandon, Lisa, Corbin, Morgan, Miralise and Logan.  Since Lisa was born we've never been separated by more than three hours (except for when we were on short trips away from home.)  So it was hard to face the fact that she would not be close any longer.  (I am crying again as I write this.)  But all-too-soon we were on our way to say more good-byes.

Laura, Kalsin and Kodiak were next on our list.  We drove to Bluffdale and enjoyed a few minutes with them.  Eleven months ago they were the ones packing up and leaving us behind.  It wasn't easy then, either, but at least we knew we'd see them occasionally when we went to Utah for business and events.  This time, though, we were headed much farther away.  I surely hope that Lisa and Laura keep sending us photos of their darlings growing up--just like the rest of the family has been doing all the years they have lived so far away from us.

The hardest farewells were in Roosevelt where we hugged our parents and thanked them for all they've done for us and then we went to Vernal to have a few minutes with Michael before he went to bed.  I'm glad he likes to text.  We seem to have an ongoing conversation all the time.  That shrinks the distance between us.

Good-byes over, we checked into a hotel in Vernal to get a few hours of sleep before we started the long drive east.  Tom was able to find his way to dreamland within minutes but I was restless and it took listening to a relaxation recording to get my mind to shut down so I could sleep. 

About two o'clock in the morning there was an odor that woke me and I couldn't sleep any longer.  Not wanting to disturb Tom I just tried to block the smell by covering my head, by turning from one side to the other, by trying to shut my mind and senses off so I could go back to sleep, but nothing worked.  The odor grew stronger and stronger.  I kept thinking about how we were each driving our own vehicles and I needed sleep and worried that I would be too drowsy to drive as far as I needed to.  It was really a very unpleasant morning for me.  Finally, when I felt Tom had slept long enough I got up and showered and then he did and we packed our bags and vacated the place while the hotel manager was still sleeping.  We left a note about the odor, which we wondered, upon investigation, if it might have come from a dead body up in the ceiling.  (If you ever sleep in Vernal, Rodeway Inn is probably just fine, but stay away from room 136!)

Tom and I probably talked more that day than we have the last couple of weeks, because we talked to each other on the phone to stay alert and make sure we didn't lose one another.  Driving through Colorado was a pleasant experience for the most part.  There was beautiful scenery and the traffic was light, road construction minimal.  (I'd like to find out why "No Name, Colorado" was named such.)  (Okay, I found out: http://www.ehow.com/about_5209556_history-name_-colorado.html)
But going over the mountains was stressful for me as it had snowed and the roads were wet and there were warnings of icy conditions.  I was so relieved to get to the other side and to relatively flat roads from Denver on.  Truckers probably all know of the signs on the eastern slopes right before Denver.  First there is one that warns truckers of the steep grade for several miles.  A few miles down there is another sign that tells truckers not to be fooled, that there are still four more miles of steep grade.  The last sign tells them they aren't done yet!  But finally the truckers and I could all relax and enjoy the rest of the drive through Colorado.
http://usends.com/Explore/Truckers/index.html
We stayed in Colby, Kansas, which made us think of all the windy places we've lived.  Then Friday we headed east once more.  Is there anyone who has driven from Kansas into another bordering state who hasn't at least thought Dorothy's line from The Wizard of Oz:  "Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore?"  I think it--or say it--every time.

Our grandchildren didn't know that we were going to arrive Friday so we had some fun surprises that afternoon.  We are happy to be able to catch up on how much everyone has grown and learned over the last few months since we last saw them. 

Amy lives three hours from here.  It will be like living in Spring Creek and driving to Grantsville to visit a daughter.  Now it will be Amy instead of Lisa.  And Cindy lives the same distance from here as Katy lives from Salt Lake City.  I will always be missing the ones who are not near me, no matter where I live.  I wish I could spend a week at a time with one set of grandchildren, then move on to the next, and so on, and it would take six weeks to do that and then I could start all over again.  But that is not practical so I will just have to be thankful for the technology that makes it possible for us to stay connected though we are thousands of miles apart.

We don't know if Tom will find work here or not (he does have a job interview with Home Depot later today) but we know we have a home for as long as we need it. And sweet Bella said she was glad we didn't have to pack all of our fun together in just a couple of days. Now we can have fun together every day and stretch it out!




 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Quick update

I need to go to sleep, but I remembered that I had left my blog open so I could make a quick post, so before I shut down my computer and my body I'll tell what I couldn't tell a week ago. I had been summoned for jury duty and had to report last Tuesday. The case was to determine the guilt of a man accused of sexual abuse of a girl under the age of fourteen. I was there for three hours and was fascinated by the process. I was not selected for this jury and am glad to have been spared the awful details of the abuse. The newspaper gave more details than I cared to know. He was found guilty. I hope the young woman heals. I do hope that one day I will be seated on a jury. I would love to be part of the process. The judge last week was so good, and because of things he said and how he said them I am more-than-ever thankful for the jury system.

I hope that all of you are looking forward to a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Alone

Tom is in Reno tonight. He had to go meet with some engineers today and tomorrow he is going to a mine in Western Nevada. I have been spending the evening watching shows he wouldn't have been interested in while at the same time exercising, practicing some Spanish phrases, and reading my daughter's blogs. Now I am going to go to sleep so I can get up early. I will tell you about what I am doing tomorrow once tomorrow is over. I don't think I can talk about it yet.

Oh, yeah--before I go, I'll tell you I had an Amy experience. I got a letter following my routine mammogram telling me something was seen that required further screening. Unlike Amy, though, there was nothing on the second mammo. I'm glad Amy's isn't cancerous. I hope it stays that way.

Good-night!