Thursday, April 26, 2007

An Old Friend

31 years ago, just before I got married, it dawned on me that I would need a bed! Yeah, Roy and I had never discussed it, and so my dad and I ran to Levitz and picked up the cheapest double bed I could find, it took all of a half hour. Little did I know that this would be the one possession of ours that somebody, anybody, should have put a little thought into. Nobody told me that I would grow old on this bed and suffer aches in my joints. Nobody told me that I would grow bigger and a teeeny, tiiiiiny, double bed would seem awfully small, sooner or later. Nobody told me that I would fall off a horse at 45 and be bed ridden for months on an old, uncomfortable, sagging mattress.
I remember quite clearly when I was sixteen I visited my church leader in her huge home. She and her husband had a loft on the third story with a window dome over their bed looking up to the heavens. Underneath that dome was a teeeny, tiiiny, double bed. (Incidentally, they had 10 children) Another leader asked them how they could have spent all those years in that little bed. She replied, "Oh, we've always vowed that we would spend our lives in our marriage bed, and we've never regretted it." Well, that did it....being the romantic that I am, I vowed right there that when I married I would have a double bed and we would never get rid of it.
About, 5 years ago our children took pity on our aches and sleepless nights and bought us a new bed. But, they were considerate enough to buy another "double" bed because they knew our romantic history.
So today when a QUEEN size bed came in through the bedroom door and James and Chase happily wore it in, I couldn't help think that at the age of 50, some part of me had given up on the romantic notions of my past. I am bigger, and Roy does toss and turn, and I do have aches and pains and a little extra room would be nice - but, a large part of me wanted to tell them to take it back! Somehow hanging onto those young, romantic dreams seemed important. Why? I haven't really figured it out yet....or my heart of hearts, I'm still a young girl soon to be married with all the hopes and dreams ahead of her - and admitting otherwise, isn't something I'm eager to embrace.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Flat Road

When Neal Maxwell was driving across the Nevada desert he pondered on the landscape around him and later he made a statement something like, "Don't be impatient with the flat periods in our lives, these are the times we should reflect on the hills and valleys we have lived through, and prepare for the new terrain coming up."
I have driven the Nevada desert many times, especially when I had a young family and after several trips, I too pondered and came to a strong conclusion, " Somebody should blow up everything from Wendover to Salt Lake City, just a giant...KABOOM...and we'd all be the better for it."
Needless to say - the differences between us are all too obvious. Yet now that I fly to Salt Lake City instead of drive, I admit I recall with fondness some of the adventures along the flat roads. When Roy and I were just married we'd have hour long talks that led us down unexpected and illuminating highways of thoughts.
Then with the young children, the hundreds of games of "In My Grandfathers Tool Shed, there was a....", and "The Minister's Cat is an....alligator cat", or the plethora of traveling songs, the worst being "100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall."
As a young child, staring out the window of the back seat and watching the shadows speed past, while the humming sounds of the tire and engine lulled me into a sort of halfway world, where I seemed to float somewhere above myself.
Some of my favorite times were the magical "Toby" stories that kept the children enthralled for another thirty miles. Roy sometimes took a turn story telling and they would invariably be about cowboys, and ranches, which we patiently endured, except for Pat, who would come from the back corner of the van for the first time of the trip and perch himself as close to his dad as possible. Once he was so engrossed in the story, that when Roy got to the part when the rancher nursed the cowhand back to health, young Pat cried out in horror, "He NURSED him!!!!"
Yeah, I guess there is a place for the flat, monotonous, boring stretches of our lives. They can sometimes turn out to be paths of wonder.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What do you LOATHE?

Last night at dinner James was trying to acurately define the word - LOATHE - and after asking his mother and the rest of us, he nodded his head in satisfaction and announced, " I loathe Porsches!!!!" Yup, folks, you heard it here and you heard it correctly, James loathes Porsches. I envy James's ability to know so definitively just what he likes and just what he loathes, it brings him such ease of mind. James actually means what he says, you see there are no grills on porsches and a grill is an absolute must for his idea of a car. But I grew up thinking porsches were the ABSOLUTE tops in a must have car, so I yearned for one. I even kept going out with a guy for awhile that I didn't really like, but, he had a porsche.

James's behavior gave me an idea...if I just said, with great conviction, that I loathed something that I really painfully yearned for, maybe the longing would go away. Poof! like magic.
So here goes...I loathe first class seats in air planes. I loathe Hawaiian sunsets. I loathe family rooms, you know, a room where everyone can gather and there's enough room for all to play and laugh and then go to their bedrooms at night and not have to put mattresses and foam on the floor, covering all available space just to accomodate your loved ones. Yup, that I definitely loathe. And what about a trip to the beautiful homes and gardens of England, imaginging Austin, Bronte, Eliot and others, oh, decidedly unabashed loathing. I absolutely loathe the idea of a vacation home in some beautiful, wooded mountain lot.

There - I feel much better! Sort of............well..............okay, it didn't help at all. From now on I will be as firm in my yearnings as James is in his loathings. I ache, pine, and yearn for a Hawaiian sunset....yeah....those longings feel right at home.

Sunday, April 8, 2007


At Easter dinner Chase was accidentally whammed in the head by the Brita water pitcher, and I really mean whammed. After a few shocked moments, the tears started flowing and then broken hearted sobs. (He was adorably happy and babbling moments before, so it was a real shock) Angela kissed and cajoled but he wouldn't be eased. But as soon as "blankie blue" was laid on his cheek, he melted into the blankie and Angie's shoulder. His entire body softened and curved to his moms. The crying abruptly stopped. He laid on her shoulder a few minutes and then he was ready to continue with Easter celebrations.

Oh how, at times, I long for comfort that complete. There are times sorrow and anxiety are so actute I feel my body screaming inside for aide. Yet often I will turn down other's requests to assist, even at times turning from a similarly loving shoulder and hug as Chase had. Are my sorrows really that greater? Have I learned that a hug and shoulder aren't enough? Or, do I for some reason turn from the very comfort I may know deep inside could help?

Sadly the answers are not easy, or have not been found, yet I watch Chase melt into "blankie blue" and I long with every part of my soul for my own blankie.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Gotta Love Those Toys

James has just been talking to me about the Ninja Turtle he just got at McDonalds - Donatello! Wow, did that bring back memories of my boys and the absolute NEED to get all the turtles, and the pizza shooter. We knew the personalities of each turtle and the boys could give the equal of a "Doctoral Thesis" on the turles, and Splinter, and Shredder.

When I was a young girl the absolute "Must Have" was a troll doll. Oh how I loved my troll. I would spend hours combing my trolls hair (with the special comb attached to the doll) All the friends would sit around at recess and talk about the merits of blue vs. yellow hair, or that the white hair was fuller. We had troll families, and friends, and whole societies. My troll got me through many a long church or a sad alone time, or a special hide out together and have a heart to heart talk time. My troll did tend to take me away from the "barbie" friends, or the special "feel like a real baby", baby doll friends. But, at last, after trying very hard to love barbies and even baby dolls, I had found my real love and my real friends. Knowing me now, it seems a natural fit.

So what about toys? Angela had to swim the whole length of Burgess Pool (which took her weeks and weeks) to get the beloved "Cabbage Patch Doll", which then, Emily just had to have one for her own. She begged and pleaded and bargained for one. I think Emily was much more attached than Angela. Then there was the beloved "He-Man and She-Ra! " Even I loved that whole romance of that series. Later it was "Strawberry Shortcake and Lemon Meringue" and the others.

The boys, of course, loved the "The Ninja Turtles" but their real obsession was "G. I. Joes," which they thought about and plotted to get the newest or the rarest "Joe." Daniel Mason their neighborhood friend seemed to have all the really hard to find ones like, Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow! ( as seen in picture) But he obviously had the better mother(my boys thought) who would take him to Target every day to see if a new shipment had arrived and hadn't already been picked through. (Daniel's mother assured me she didn't go to Target daily)My boys reminded me of my failings often.

And now, here are my grandsons, James and Chase. James only too happy to jump on the latest must have new toy trend. And then Chase will come toddling up voicing in his own 2 year old speak... Yace hab ell! (meaning: Chase has Raphael)

So who did you love and (using Chase speak) who did you hab?