Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Still catching up: a little from the family reunion in New Hampshire

for my mother's side of the family.
On the right: Susie (Mom's/Nana's first cousin, so my first cousin once removed); on the left is her husband, Frank. Both are black powder rifle champions, and both are retired teachers. Susie said that at one of the black powder rifle championships, someone asked her what her profession in "real life" was. She said, "Oh, I'm a home ec. teacher". Her competitor looked surprised. "Well, what'd you expect a home ec. teacher to look like?" Susie asked, because clearly, what one actually looks like is: this. (Yes, I'm sensing a theme with the last two posts, too.)

Both are lovely people. They let me sleep in their very comfy camper-trailer, the night before the reunion-proper started.

This is what the tent/pavilion for the reunion looked like, the night before. Um, with some background, because with a background like that it would be practically criminal to leave it out. I have to say, the scenery in New Hampshire was SPECTACULAR. I would go every summer, if I could, but they only hold the reunion every three years (I think?) and at any rate they don't hold it in the same place every time.

And this is how they got the Official Photographer high enough to get everyone in her viewfinder for the BIG family photo. She covered her eyes on the way down. Heights, evidently, scare her.

Monday, August 23, 2010

So, Mom was the one who told us about how she kept getting thanked for the flower arrangements that Papa had done. Papa is the one who has told the following story several times in my hearing:

When my mother (Nana to the neeflings) first got hired at BYU, she and Papa were invited to a New Faculty and Spouses breakfast, held at what was then the president's residence-- not the White House, but the residence of the president of BYU. This building is a sort of half-timbered-look building on the eastern edge of Maser Hill where, at the time, Jeffrey R. Holland and his wife lived.

One of the male attendees at the breakfast asked my father, "So, what do you teach?"

"Oh, no, it's not me. My wife is teaching in the Math department."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Papa, with flowers

Seeing as how they owned a flower shop for ten years, it isn't that surprising that my parents were asked to do floral arrangements to sit at the front of the chapel during our most recent Stake Conference. Mom was feeling sort of migrane-y when the day arrived to actually put the arrangements together, so she asked Dad to do them-- and he happily obliged. He enjoys flower arranging.

Very promptly (less than a week) after the conference, a note arrived from our new stake president, thanking Mom for doing the flowers. The following Sunday, someone else thanked her again. We keep meaning to tell them who it really was, but we're all a bit forgetful, so it hasn't happened yet.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hooray for technology!

Ivy started it, but I've finally followed her example: I read aloud to the neeflings over the phone-- either books checked out of the library or ones from our own collections. I know it sounds silly that I hadn't thought of this solution before, but I have to say that it is much less exhausting to read someone else's story aloud than to be making up your own all the time. (Also, beyond that, there's this sort of happiness that comes from making a kid happy, and this is one of the most easily accessible ways for me to get to that.)

The story I'm reading at any given time may be truly age-appropriate for only one kid (sometimes two), but frequently several of them will listen in, via speakerphone. I hadn't realized quite how popular this was until the other day when I called to read to Sroon, and his younger brother Quarto shouted, "SPEAK-er-phoooooone!" with the last part getting more faint as he ran off to the bedroom to tell the others what was about to commence.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I am trying to catch up with myself. I suppose that this means that I should post more.

Assateague is a barrier island on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, just a few miles south of the ever-crowded-and-commercial Ocean City. We visited just before school let out, and it was very, very lovely (and sparse enough to be fun).

Yes, it's true that it's just a beach; but it is also true that this was my first true view of the Atlantic Ocean, and it was QUITE exciting to me.

All three of my pictures are from rather late in the day. I guess that this could be explained by the fact that we didn't get out the door until ten or so, and didn't get there until after noon, and didn't actually get to the beach until around five. That is, indeed, Papa; neither he nor Mom went swimming that day, but I had a nice dip in the Atlantic, and did a bit of shell collecting to boot. Papa just collected pictures with his camera (there were dolphins! If only one of us had had a telephoto lens and a tripod...) and Mom collected the sun's rays and chapters from the book she was reading.

While we were driving, Mom mentioned that they usually go to a beach in Delaware. I said that it was fine with me if we went to Delaware; I just wanted to go to the ocean. But she kept driving towards Assateague. Finally, she explained that she wanted to see the horses on Assateague. Ah-hah! And we saw some, literally as we were driving away. I got two shots (Mom asked me to); I chose to post the one I thought was more interesting.

One Friday morning a couple of months ago, my mother knocked on my bedroom door and said, "How would you like to go to Assateague today?" I promptly agreed. We had planned-- sort-of planned-- to go to Assateague a month before that but were waylaid by medical problems on Mom's part. I have to say that this experience is the only time in my entire life that I remember my mother spontaneously deciding to take a trip. (No vacation with Mom would be a vacation with Mom without her spontaneously deciding to change plans mid-stream; but actually deciding to go and then leaving the same morning is unheard-of, in my experience with her.)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Forgetting isn't everything

Stuff I've managed to forget/misplace, which affected me today:
  • my regular ring of keys
  • the spare car key
  • the other spare car key
  • the time of C and B's wedding
  • the key to my (usual, permanent) locker at the temple
  • because of the above, my name tag which identifies me as a worker at the temple
  • that it is a good idea to wear, ahem, *appropriately-colored undergarments when one is attending the temple
  • the time that prayer meeting for my shift starts
  • my little hand-sewing project which I thought I had packed just in case I ended up waiting around for a while, for a ride

Stuff I've managed to do anyway:
  • Talk my astonishingly patient mother into both dropping me off and picking me up
  • Borrow needed items of clothing 
  • Get a temporary name tag, and 
  • Just get a locker in the regular locker room instead of the worker room
  • Be on time to the aforementioned wedding (I was two hours early; whew!)
  • Help out the swamped, morning shift of the temple staff, because I happened to have an hour to kill, because I was two hours early to a wedding being held there
  • Let my shift supervisor know that I'd be missing the prayer meeting because of said wedding (I was there early! so I left a note)
  • Be practically on time to start working on my shift
  • Be a patron at the temple; I skipped being a patron early in the day because they needed me as a worker, but at the end of my own shift it was very, very quiet, so (with permission) I left my post and went up to another very, very quiet office where they were most happy to have me as a patron in the hour before my mother was able to pick me up
  • Find the second spare car key! Now if only my memory would show up as well...
*Just in case you didn't know: one walks into the temple in "street clothes," which means Sunday Best. Once inside, one enters a locker room (with individual booths for privacy when changing) and switches to "temple whites," which, as the name indicates, are all white. Since white doesn't tend to be terribly opaque, if one happens to be forgetful about what color of under-layers one has worn, it WILL show through.

    Friday, August 6, 2010

    Note to Self: Remember Eisenhower's Advice

    This is from a letter written to Lucius Clay, who at the time (1947) was the military governor for Germany. He tried to resign his post (officially) at least eleven times; unofficially, the count was even higher. Eisenhower had been his good friend for a long time, and in this letter, he was trying to talk him out of one of the threatened resignations. I found it quoted in The Candy Bombers: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlift and America's Finest Hour, by Andrei Cherny.
    "...please remember that now abide Faith, Hope, and Charity, these three, and greater than any is a sense of humor."