Friday, May 10, 2013

Roger and I traveled to Boise today. He had some meetings so I wanted to go along.  It was fun to get away together.  The drive was nice and we talked most of the way.  Even laughed.  I listened to him talk about work and He listened to me vent about some daily stuff.  

Anyway... We went to Red Lobster for dinner.  Ali and Chase gave us a gift card to eat there for Christmas!  

We were seated at a booth.  I faced one way and Roger sat the other.  His view was different than mine.  At the table next to us... Was a family of seven.  I hadn't really noticed them but they got my attention by a noise of the oldest lady trying to open an envelope.  Her hands were shaking with excitement as she tried to open what looked like a card.  She looked to be in her 80's.  Her attempt to open the card failed so she picked up her butter knife and finally got it open.  It must of been her Birthday!  I was about as excited as she was wondering if when she opened the card there would be some kind of gift card or money. But no... I kinda felt bad for her.  Then I realized the message in the card had to be more valuable than any amount of Birthday money.  She smiled as she read the card.  It was as if she had the stage to herself and for just a moment all eyes were on her and only her.  

It was only minutes later that the conversation at their table reassembled.  Most of the time the lady would drift off.  She seemed to always look off with her face kinda turning to the right. Not in a senile way. Maybe she was looking out the window.  She appeared to be invisible to her family.   

I interrupted Roger and his scrimp scampi to ask..."Which one of us had the best view in the restaurant"?  He responded a typical "I Don't know."  I pointed out the little lady to him. She would drift off and then revisit her food on occasion. After all it was her Birthday dinner.  I mentioned to him that I didn't think that her family intentionally were leaving her out. They probably loved her very much. She was just older.  She was taking on that role rather well of being elderly and feeling alone, less relevant.  Surely she couldn't bring anything interesting to the conversation.  I senced that she was thinking about her late husband.  I know... Call me crazy I didn't know her and could of been wrong. But her husband would of appreciated her.  He would of looked into her eyes. He would of asked her questions.  He would of smiled as she blew out the candles on her Birthday cake.  

I thought about that experience quite a bit tonight.  Made me think of my Mom and both Grandmothers. All three lost their spouses and lived alone for years.  Mom, Grandma Melva and Grandma Shenton had to of felt the pain of that isolation.  They say you come into this world alone and you leave alone.  You might not believe this but... I think before leaving this earth alone we need to of felt more relevant, more loved. I think we as family and friends should take a step back and be more thankful for the elderly. We have so much to learn from their wisdom. Spend more time with them. No money or gift card could ever replace that time spent. For they have given us LIFE and LOVE and LESSONS...  

Saturday, March 10, 2012

You might not believe this but...

I need to start this blog with a back story on my son Shaun.  When he was younger he attended TaylorView Jr High.  He was painfully small.  He has Cystic Fibrosis so his growth was severely delayed.  In 7th grade his stature was much smaller than his friends.  I learned the events that I'm about to tell you later in his life and I also have his permission to share his story.  So every day at school the same twin sisters would seek him out and bully him.  They called him UGLY they made fun of his SIZE and called him the TACO BELL DOG.  Each day he had to face the same group of kids in the cafeteria and the halls but these two girls were the ring leaders.  One day the Sisters had their guy friend dump Shaun head first into the cafeteria garbage can.  You can only imagine the humiliation of having your two best friends pull you out of the garbage then taking you to the bathroom to help you wash your hair of mustard and ketchup. Derek and Michael were good friends to Shaun and from what I understand one of them might have reported the incident that day. They even borrowed him an extra shirt or hoodie so he could get through the rest of the day.  He later told me that every day of school was HELL. He dreaded each day because the same offenders were always  ruthless and waiting.

This leads me to my story... Last week Shaun and I went on a lunch date.  We were excited to go out together and eat his favorite food at his favorite hot spot.  As we walked in the restaurant we were seated by a hostess. I noticed Shaun's face became pale.  He put on his friendly smile as he asked the hostess/waitress how she was doing.  She responded "Great."  As she left our table Shaun whispered to me.  "That's Her."..... "That's Who?" I asked.  He proceeded to tell me that was one of the Sisters who pretty much broke his spirit in Jr High.  So...You can only imagine the Mother Bear coming out in me.  Smoke might of been coming out of my nose and ears. I was ready to fold my arms and stomp out of there.  I was ticked.  I was sitting across from the son that I love very much the Son that I have watched fight Cystic Fibrosis even worse fight Depression to the point of being severely impaired.  I was sitting across the table from a kid who is a recovering drug addict, a kid who fights ever day Just to have the WILL TO LIVE... This kid was now a MAN.  I asked Shaun if he wanted to  leave and he looked at me with sweat on his brow and said "No its OK Mom I forgive her." The Lady came back and took our order.  She said he looked familiar and Shaun reintroduced himself and told her he had changed alot and was small in school. She then uncomfortably recognized him.  I witnessed my son carry on a conversation with this lady.  He took a sincere interest in how her life was going.  He found out she was married and had a family. Shaun seemed genuinely happy for her.  I slowly calmed down as I watched Shaun display to me the true LOVE of Christ. He was teaching me about FORGIVENESS.  It was weird because I was also watching my hand write down a tip on the lunch receipt.  A TIP?  Are you kidding me...

You might not believe this, But... As we went to leave
Shaun walked back to the lady and gave her a big hug.  It may of been a longer hug then she wanted or expected but I know it was a healing hug for him. As I approached the car I kept my head down so that I could hide my emotion. Shaun had taught me a huge lesson that day.  I just keep on learning.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

You might not believe this, But... in all of my 49 years of life I have learned many lessons from my MOTHER.  Stand up straight, Eat all your vegetables and don't swear.  Her silent example has meant the world to me.  She has never talked about anyone or gossiped and when I was a young girl she never raised a hand or her voice.  My favorite lesson is her amazing ability to feel connected to Christ.  Her example is perfect because she has always served others and put herself last. Whenever we drive by a homeless person on a corner holding a sign she says "Stop...That might be Jesus"  I'm sure she wishes we would turn around so that she can give him money from her modest wallet.  But we keep driving.  My brothers and sister and I joke that our Mom has 9 lives.  She has congestive heart and lung failure. Being on Oxygen 24 hours a day she never complains. She's been in and out of  hospitals a lot the last 4 years. She has escaped death many times.  Its a blessing because I have so much more to learn from her. This last hospital stay was extra serious.  I left her bedside so that she could rest.  Traffic was slow because it was lunch hour.  As I was driving to my house, I saw a homeless man on the street corner.  I watched him while waiting at a stop light.  His legs were mangled and his step was slow as he painfully approached cars.  He had a positive smile which surprised me as he held his sign with a strange sense of pride.  As I drove past him I caught a quick glimpse of his face. Our eyes even met for a split second. After a few moments I thought of my Mothers words.  "Stop...That might be Jesus".  So... I turned around.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Have you ever tried to eat a ZOTZ quietly?  Well try eating one in Church.  My daughter Ali and I learned the HARD way. I had two of these bad boys in my purse and I shared one with her while worshiping. Not only did our mouths snap crackle and POP...  We started to giggle... You might not believe this but... The popular candy ZOTZ made its debut in 1968.  I remember being around 6 or 7 years old when I experienced this spectacular confection. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

There is something so amazing about my husband Roger's HANDS...  Now before your mind starts going all weird let me explain...  A few months ago we were driving home from Boise and Roger put his hand out for me to pour him some cashews.  This might seem strange but for a moment I just looked at his hand and I felt this amazing sense of wonder.  It was in that instant that our life together flashed before my EYES.  This was the Hand that I held when we were dating. They were the HANDS that held mine  when we got married.  His Hands held our firstborn daughter "April" and those same HANDS held her in his ARMS when she died.  I felt so much comfort when his Hands blessed our children when they were sick.  Roger believes in hard work and his Hands have always provided for our family. He's never had a problem getting his Hands dirty planting the garden or working on the dry farm.  You can only imagine the look his EYES gave me when I asked if I could take a picture of his Hand.  But he agreed and did'nt even ask why.  Nothing that I do surprises him.  So when I took the picture I took a few extra seconds to be in AWE of him and his HANDS... You might not believe this... But my husbands Hands are beautiful.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Last night I had a dream...

Last night I had a Dream... I was walking and I was really out of breath and I came to a cross road to rest.  There was a sign with two arrows pointing opposite directions... One pointing toward the Cocoa Bean Cupcake Bakery and the other pointing toward the Fred Meyer Health food section.  I could turn right and have a Red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting and a hand dipped strawberry on top... Or I could turn left and buy the EZEKIEL bread. (Sprouted 100% wheat cardboard). Im not sure which direction I took because I woke up in a panic and yes even a sweat. (Pre menopausal).  You might not believe this, but... I have started a diet.  Yes its that same one.  Ladies you know the one.  No sugar and no carbs. The diet from HELL. Its the diet I lost alot of weight on about 7 years ago and since gained it all back. I look like I eat more then I do.  Dont get me wrong I love to eat but everything I stuff in my mouth is bad for me.  I swear when I die and when they find my body they will find traces of OREO and SNICKER BAR in my mouth. So anyway... everytime I start a diet I almost instantly start to crave Mint Brownies. My friend Marcene introduced them to me. She gave me the recipe and I want to share it with you too!!  They are so delicious.  Please dont bring them over to my house!

Hershey's Double Chocolate Mint Brownies

I cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (soft)
4 eggs
1 16 oz. can Hershey's syrup
1 cup all purpose flour
Beat until smooth.  Pour into prepared pan 13x 9
Bake 25-30 mins. at 350 degrees cool completely

Mint Frosting
1 cube butter (soft) 1/2 cup
3 tablespoons cream
1/2 tsp mint extract
3 drops green food coloring
2 cups powdered sugar (give or take)
Mix and frost brownies.  Make sure they are cooled completely first

Chocolate Topping
Melt 6 TB. butter with
1 cup Hershey's semisweet chocolate chips in microwave for only a min. or until smooth
Spread over mint cream

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Familiar Road

I have traveled the same road almost every day the last 23 months.  People might not understand the need to drive up the hill the same way everyday... Pass the same houses... take the same route and cross the same railroad tracks. Its quite a lovely drive.  As you get on the outskirt of town there are pretty pastures and horses and yes... even cows. Sometimes if its the morning I have to slow down for the chickens as they cross the dusty road.  Just as your about to take a bend in the road near the Ammon hill I always take a quick right.  Its there at the Ammon cemetery I visit my daughter April...  Most of the time I get out and polish the beautiful marble stone that stands so proudly as if its guarding her.  Sometimes I stay a while, sometimes I just slowly drive by.  Its a beautiful place to bring a lawn chair and read or just think.  The sunset around 9 at night is breathtaking.  Its a familiar Road.  You might not believe this, but... Sometimes a familiar road can feel very unfamiliar.  I mean how do you ever get used to losing a child?