Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Quiet Moment with Grandma

When I arrived at Grandma's house on Tuesday evening (May 6), she had waited dinner for me and the second I walked in the door she threw the chicken in the oven. That gave us 30 minutes of quiet time together to just talk (Royce was down in the office). I love those moments with my Mother because I always gleen something wonderful. This time she was telling me a story I had never heard before about her and Grandpa.

They had met in the fall of 1944 in Cedar City. Mom was teaching there and Dad was in the area doing rare minerals research for the war effort. They had been dating and had quite fallen in love with each other through the fall. Mom wanted Dad to come to Wyoming (to the ranch at Star Valley where my Grandparents lived) for part of the Christmas holidays. She was not sure that it would work financially, but she invited him anyway and said that she would really like him to come up to Wyoming and be with her and her family for a few days after Christmas. He accepted the invitation.

She said that it was a very heavy winter that year and the snow was deep. One night, after Dad had been there for a few nights, they decided to take a long walk to a nearby town. They just wanted to be alone together. So, off they went. They didn't want anyone to see them along the road so any time an occasional car would come by (this was at night) they would jump into the deep snow on their backs and just lay there until the lights of the car would pass.

Dad came from a very inactive family in the Church. He was now around the Facers who were very much the opposite. As they walked hand-in-hand together that night, Dad said to Mom, "This is the kind of family I want to have. Ones who love the Gospel, who love the Lord and His Prophet, and who have family prayers and read the scriptures and go to Church." I felt the Spirit so strongly as Grandma was telling me this because I realized that this conversation, that night, affected my entire upbringing. They both talked and talked as they made their way those many miles in the snow and decided on what kind of parents they wanted to be. Within the week, Grandpa proposed to Grandma--and she said YES!

I love that scene and that story and I'm so deeply grateful that on that walk, that night, in the last week of December of 1944, this precious young couple decided how they were going to raise me and my brothers. It fills me with joy.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Surrounded by Women

This past weekend has been about as fun as it gets in life. I told my Fairfax friends that I had nearly all my girls with me this weekend (just missing Janette--well, also Kate and Madison) and we were having a blast. I loved the variety of activities (yes, even as a guy, I was involved in a number of them--as was the lone man of the next generation--Truman)--from breakfast at Mimi's (man, their food is SO good) to facial masks (I only observed) to cheering at Michaela's soccer game (the half-time show was the best we've had in 13 seasons) to going to Mariah's play at Robinson (Les Mis sank deeper and deeper into my heart) to wonderful talks during the airport runs (I can learn a lot in 65 minutes) to a whole-wheat waffle breakfast at home (we're learning how to be healthy eaters) to a Boston Market picnic at Burke Lake Part (now THAT'S a combination) to just sitting around and talking--this was all just pure fun and pure love. There were many times when I was just listening to all the chatter and I felt my heart would just burst with love for my family. I truly loved having my girls surround me again--in fact, my greatest wish for the entire weekend was to have one shot of me with my girls--and we got it right after Les Mis in the hallowed halls of Robinson. Thanks to all the girls for their love and sacrifice to make this journey to Virginia (clear from San Diego, Vancouver, Salt Lake and Boston). What a wonderful tradition! All I can say in conclusion is this: Watch out for the men, because I'm cookin up a competing tradition (I should say a complimentary tradition) of an amazing gathering somewhere that will be top-of-the-line fun--so, Scott, Eliot, Dave, Lucas, Jeremy, Andy, Thomas and Truman--stay tuned! Below are some fun pictures from the weekend (I'm still learning how to do this, so forgive any formatting problems).

The question on this picture is: Where is Mariah? (Hint: She's the one with her hands up in the air!)
So, all I can say here is that I'm glad Mariah played the part of the woman who bought Fontine's hair--"what pretty locks you have there!"
Mariah doesn't seem as aggressive here to get her money from her labors at the factory--probably because of the injury from the cart many years before...
Okay, so here's my wish come true--surrounded by my girls (my women). What a picture of joy and love and happiness!
You have one more chance to find Mariah in this picture. She is the one smiling.
Here we are waiting to go to our table at Mimi's! That is a gorgeous group of loved ones!
Here's a nice picture of Rachel. Love that back-lighting!
Two more of my girls--yes, Lucy is now one of the girls, too, and will be around for many fun years to come.

Best caption? To be in this family you really have to put your best foot forward! Second best caption: You have to stay on your toes to be in this family! I have to say those are the most beautiful feet I have ever seen.
There's the "Boston-Market-Picnic-at-Burke-Lake-Park group. Truman took the picture.

Here are TMWOSC (the masked women of Sideburn Court).
I don't know why I lost the last picture I had posted, so please also note that TMWOSC are wearing very cute aprons that are hand-made in the Philippines--actually they were made with love by Sister Rachel. What a sweetheart.