Showing posts from May, 2011

Teachers, part 2

Mrs. Hawkin's classroom was bright. Probably partly psychological, partly because we lived in Arizona, but that's how I remember her room. Mrs. Hawkins was bright. And cheerful. And kind. She had white hair like a grandma and wore dresses.  Her room was so much fun.  She taught us to tell time by making a huge clock on the floor with tape.  We would stand on the numbers as we learned.  Whenever you finished a book in her box of phonics, you could go to the cupboard to get a sucker- at Christmas she had those little candycanes. To this day, every time I see one of those little treats in their own wrapper, I think of her. It's clear to me that she loved teaching, and most importantly,
she loved us. 
Mrs. Hawkins lived on my street. How lucky is that?  I don't remember her at church,though she went. But, I do remember visiting her house.  You'd think that since she taught kids all week, she'd be less than excited to have some of them show up on her doorstep.  Not s…

Reflections on Teachers

It was fourth grade and my teacher was Mrs. Coil. She was tall and thin and had pinched features. I don't know why she was a teacher. She didn't seem to like children at all. I grew up in the time of swats and other rather harsh punishment, which she didn't hesitate to use. Our desks were in rows facing her desk where she would look over her glasses at you. Glare is a better word. I don't think she smiled much.
I remember her room being dark. Not sure if that's because it was or it's just the way my mind has painted that year in my head. A boy named Danny sat behind me. His mother died that year.  I had no idea how you could live without a mom. That's the only thing I could think of every time I saw him.  He was sad all the time. One day Mrs. Coil yelled at him for crying. That can't be good for your Karma.
One of  my most vivid memories that year was the day I fell on the playground. Winter in southern Idaho meant wet. My butt was covered with mud. I c…

Frumpy at the Park

I took Noah to the park today. Had to take advantage of the one day of nice weather this week in this sorry excuse for spring. Noah had a great time. Me? Not so much.
Nothing like a trip to the playground to make you feel your age. Seriously, I think I could've been a mother to all the other moms. They traipsed around in their jean shorts and layered t's.  Their children were dressed in  cute mall outfits and I could smell the sunscreen. Crap! Hope Noah isn't burned. He had on brown sweats and a 'too-big' t-shirt.  Oh, well.
I watched them in their little cliques as they discussed shopping and breastfeeding.  These women are at the entrance- starting families.  Their children are small- teenage angst is a nightmare they haven't even conceived yet.  I am at the exit, closing that door behind me, so grateful that the sleep-deprived-lactating-diaper-changing days are behind me. That doesn't mean I want to feel old.
But, really, you could say I did a community …

Are You Ready for the End?

Apparently, the end of the world is coming. Saturday. Around 6pm. I'm pretty impressed that the preacher who has prophesied this was able to pin down such a specific time. Makes things easier for me to plan. I figure if we only have a couple days left, we need a list of what we will and won't do  as we prepare.

1. Our menu for the next days will consist of- cheesecake, peanut butter M&M's, Applebees chicken fried chicken, mashed potatoes and country gravy, maple walnut blondie, buffalo wings, chocolate chip cookie dough and lots of diet Coke.

2. I'd like to take back our mortgage payment, but I just won't pay anything else.

3. I will wear sweat pants and t-shirts until the end. No shoes. No bra.

4. The children will be allowed to eat whatever they want and stay up as late as they please.

5. I will not do any laundry. I don't care what anyone wears, but I definitely won't be washing anything!

6. My husband will not go to work. We've got stuff to do.

Just say it- Yes,I'm a Mormon

Dear Mr. Huntsman,
At the age of 21 I flew out to Washington DC to be a nanny.You know, the place you're hoping to make your home?  My employer,Tom, my charge's father, was a sweet, kind lawyer who wore bow ties and spoiled his children.  He is Jewish, a reformed Jew. This, as far as I could tell from living with his family, meant he believed in Judaism and went to temple for the holidays and had bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies for his children. But, as for day to day, or even, week to week observances, there were none. One day, he asked me if there was such a thing as a 'reformed Mormon'.  I laughed. I said that we have 'jack Mormons' but, it isn't really an accepted part of our religion. (I know that term isn't in use anymore, I'm sure you understand what it means.)
This conversation came back to me this week when I heard about  your interview with Time magazine.  I went online to read the interview to make sure I had heard it right. Sadly, I had.


"You look lost."  "I do?" "Where 're you headed?" "Well, I was just about to figure that out."

Castaway is one of my favorite movies of all time. I love the ending scene (above) where he's trying to figure out where he's going.  That's kind of how I'm feeling lately. I was so completely focused on getting my book finished so I could submit it. I know that I now need to do a major re-write.  I sat at the computer last week looking at the first page. I stared and stared.  I changed one sentence. Then I turned off my computer. I feel like my life has stalled.  I'm in the middle of the road. I know where I want to go, but no longer think I know how to get there. Maybe some time on a deserted island would get the creative juices flowing. Maybe I just need a kick in the pants.

Daughters of Eve

Being a mother can seem mundane. The cleaning, the cooking, the chauffeuring, the laundry. Then, you collapse into bed for a few hours of precious slumber before you get up to do it all again. This is mothering- a verb. But, being a mother is more than just the verb form of the word. Mother is also a noun.  I am a Mother.
I believe without any doubt, that I was called to be a mother before I ever  came into existence on this planet. I agreed to this divine role because I understood how god-like it is.  I am sure that I couldn't wait to give life to my spirit brothers and sister.  I am a Mother.  A mother like Eve. I think that all too often, our first mother gets a bad rap.  She is blamed for committing the first sin.  She did not, in my mind, make a mistake. She made a choice.  Because she understood.  She was the first of us who took a step and did what needed to be done for her family.  Mothers have been following in her footsteps ever since. Take the mothers of the stripling warrio…

A Bloom of Hope

Something is eating my tulips.  Rude.  I know we have lots of ants and potato bugs-  do those eat plants?  My mother-in-law said it might be snails. Gross. I noticed it a few days ago and was discouraged,  because I've had problems growing flowers here. Then, today, I saw this-

They're growing despite the stupid bugs.  They're my inspiration. Ignore the afflictions, whatever is 'eating' you,  and bloom anyway.

Wish List

For about three months, I had 3 children in diapers.  I cringe when I think about how much that cost.  There isn't much that is more exhausting than having three children under 4.  This was my station in life a mere 15 years ago.  I was 'on'  24 hours a day.  Between changing diapers, making 3 meals a day, handling my responsibilities as  young women's president, keeping the apartment clean, oh, and nursing a baby every 2 hours, I had no time for myself.  With Mother's Day looming I mustered all my courage and told my husband what I really wanted for my special day- a few hours all to myself. Alone.  He looked at me like I was crazy. I have no idea what I got that year, but it wasn't the cherished alone time I desired.  (In my husband's defense, when I mentioned this recently, he was appalled that he didn't give me what I wanted. We were young. I don't blame him at all.  He just didn't understand what I was going through.)
These days, alone tim…

Better that one man should die...

We all remember where we were. How could we forget?  I was home, getting my kids ready for school. Once I heard, I spent the rest of the day glued to the TV.  My heart sank lower and lower. This couldn't be real.We lived near the Salt Lake airport and for a week the skies were conspicuously quiet.   The next days were filled with sadness as I watched strangers plead for their loved ones to be found.  Lucky for me, my grief was distant and empathetic. I knew no one who died that day.
I've watched with interest since Sunday when Osama was killed.  Facebook gives us such a great ability to share our opinions.  I've seen everything from disgust that we would be happy about a murder-any murder, to those who are glad he died, but don't think we should celebrate it. Those who are more like me do celebrate his death. I don't think I would've gone out and joined the crowds, but then, I'm old. If I were younger, I probably would have. I think he got what he deserved.

Women's Conference

I came home from Women's Conference on a spiritual and emotional high. That lasted about 3 hours until the reality of my life settled back in. Broken dryer, broken car, children fighting, it goes on and on.  Lucky for me, Sunday was only a day away and that rejuvenated my elevated status.
Both years I have gone to this conference, I've gone with a question for my Heavenly Father.  It's interesting to me that although the questions were very different in every way, the answers were so similar.  The answers both had to do with this year's theme-

Elder Bednar and his wife spoke on Friday at the conclusion of the conference.  Elder Bednar said that by doing the small and simple things, consistently, are great things brought to pass.  The answers to my prayers from both years were that I needed to more of these 'small' things- consistently. I've often heard it referred to filling our lamps with oil.  We don't fill it all at once, it's a process of adding …