Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Two Special Ladies

Tonight I went to dinner with two dear friends of mine. Denise ( on the left) and Barbara. I met both of these ladies when I started working at Bruner, so six or so years ago. Denise was the Primary Resource teacher I was hired to aide for when I came to Bruner and Barbara was a 2nd grade teacher.

Denise and I hit it off right away. I started in her classroom in January, right after winter break and she was leaving to have some pretty major surgery 2 weeks later. Needless to say, we crammed as much as we could in that 2 weeks so that I could not only get to know the children, but also learn the classroom schedule and routine so that when the long term sub came in I could keep some normalcy in the classroom. We worked together for the remainder of that school year and then she decided to transfer to another school, one that was on a 9 month schedule. I am very grateful for the short time we got to work together. She is a genuine person that truly loves the children she is teaching.

Barbara was teaching 2nd grade at that time and has since moved to a new position, literacy specialist. Last year, I was working with her part of the school day assisting with a reading program for students that needed extra help. I think our friendship grew during that time. I respect both of these ladie, they have taught me so much.

The occasion for our dinner was Barbara's birthday. We have made it a tradition to go to dinner for our birthdays. Mine and Denise's are 2 days apart, so we go in May and Barbara's is on Halloween. It is nice because we don't get to see Denise very often since she moved to another school but we can always count on at least those 2 times a year. It seems like sometimes when people move away, you always say you will keep in touch, but then you get to "busy". I hope we can continue to keep our tradition alive.

Denise, Me, Barbara and the triple
chocolate "Pazookie" at BJ's

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Taking Some Advice

Uncle Brent suggested in one if his comments that I write about some of my memories living in Great Grandpa's House. I have to tell you that after reading his recent blog about my Great Grandparents I have been thinking alot about those years. He posted a picture of the inside of the house, simply looking down the short hallway from the kitchen to the living room and when I saw that picture, tears welled in my eyes. I just had not seen that view for so many years, then it was like I was back there again. I remembered a story I wrote when I was in high school about the house so I went on the hunt and found it in my book of remembrance (thanks mom).
I wrote this when I was a JR in high school in Mr. Bonzo's class.

Grandpa Grapes old house (called Grapes because there are grape vines growing all over the front of it) used to be the playhouse for us, my sister and a few of our friends, and me when we would go visit Grandma and Grandpa in the small Mormon town of New Harmony. The "neatest" thing we thought, was to go cook in the old two-story wood house.
Grandpa Grape, my great grandpa, died when I was quite small, right there in the worn down house which put a little fairy-tale scare into all of us when going over there to do our cooking with the berries and different colored leaves we found in the back yard. It was against the will of any of us to go upstairs in the house. We didn't know what was up there and really didn't care to find out. Our curious little minds stuck on to finding out about things in the master bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, (very seldom), and the living room. There was, however, one more room on the main floor but that was the room that grandpa grape died in so it was off limits to us for fear of what so called "spirits" we might find flying around there. Needless to say, the door to that room was always closed. After all, at the age of 6 or 7, what can be expected of a small, fearful but curious mind.
Time passed, and from visit to visit to New Harmony from my present home in Salt Lake City, I grew older. By the time I had just graduated from the 5th grade, my Dad's longing urge to move back to Southern Utah, came to an end. He had found a job for a trucking company in St. George. Until we could get a house built there, we were to live in Grandpa Grape's old house. This way, Dad could commute back and forth until the house was completed.
In between buying and selling of lots in the vicinity of St. George, time flew by us fast and our "dream house" still was not in the process. Our "few months stay" turned into a few years before we knew it. I then began to find myself getting used to this dirty town full of small crawling creatures and weeds. After all, I had outgrown the stage where I experienced such great joy in going next door to Grandma's to bake cookies. I had also learned to get used to the fact that there were no "spirits" flying around in my bedroom. But, along with everyone else in the family, I wanted a new house. My own carpeted room that was warm and cozy sure sounded good.
I also made alot of new friends, other that the ones I used to make my potions out of dried leaves and berries with. Friends were a great necessity to have in a small town, without them, you'd go crazy. To keep us entertained at night, kids my age, and some older would go down to the small brick church house and play "steal the flag", or just talk and laugh.
Another year passed, and this time my dad found himself working at still another trucking company, this time in Cedar City. I was reaching that wonderful age when I wanted to go to Cedar on the weekend. New Harmony was just too boring. Since I didn't have my drivers license yet, I spent alot of time calling around town for rides into Cedar.
My "new" room was now upstairs. It was then that I found out it wasn't as bad as those little 6 year olds thought it would be. But it also wasn't as good as my previously described room sounded either.
After 4 1/2 years of living in the grape-vine-covered house, I was starting to get some real ripped-apart feelings about my dad for ever taking us away form our completely finished, carpeted, orange brick home in Salt Lake. I think he was feeling the same feelings about himself also. We were sick of spending the cold winters in the stove-heated house, that only heated the immediate area around it.
Finally it happened. Mom and Dad came home with great news. They had found a house they liked in Cedar. I think the rest of the family all thought the same thing. We had heard this before, because on and off they family had been looking at houses and just never found the right one. But it was true. The house was in Cedar Knolls and the whole family liked it, all 7 of us. None of us could believe it. The house was in the process of being built, so after we decided it was really what we wanted, the whole family pitched in to help finish it up. Kim, my sister, Mom and I had a fantastic time decorating it. It was better that Christmas. By March, 1984, it was finally ready to move into. And that's just what we did. Kim and I were so excited to have a warm room that we spent the first few nights there alone, without the rest of the family. In those few days, I unknowingly became sick for that cold, hollow place called "home". I would lie in my warm waterbed at night and think about that dark empty attic that used to be my room.
I never did see Grandpa Grape's house again until everything was moved out and gone. Then one day I went to Harmony with Mom to clean up the house. I walked up the stairs slowly saying to my Mom, "I have to take one last look at my room." As I turned and looked in the well-lighted room, from the hugh window on the south side, I saw nothing but a bed, the one that was already there and would stay there. I sat down on the mattress, thinking then crying. Never in my life did I think I would miss this old mansion.
Down the stairs I walked with tears streaming down my face. Mom came and hugged me, she softly said, "I know, I didn't think I would miss it either." Still today, when I'm visiting New Harmony, I slow down when I drive by Grandpa Grapes house. It still looks the same from the outside but I haven't been on the inside since.

**I will share some more memories at another time. There are quite a number that come to mind, but at the moment, my fingers can't type anymore.....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Thinking Back....

As I read some of your blogs about fall and all that it brings, I was thinking about this past summer and some of the fun times I had. This was an unusual summer for me. Ever since I started working for the school district, I have worked at year round schools. This year my school went to a 9 month schedule so it was my first summer off in a few years. It was really strange for me. Mom and Kim always talked about their summers off and how the time just flew by. Not so when you are working the entire summer. I always told them it just makes it harder to go back after having that much time off. I guess that was just my way of making myself feel better since I was working and they were off. Well, this was it. My turn. I decided to go to Utah and spend some time at the Enoch Ranch. I really did not have a plan, as far as how long I was going to stay. I did not need one....I had all summer. Some of the highlights....and low lights:

**Canning Pickled Beets With Barbara**

As it is known throughout the land, Ted can grow a garden-and me loves to reap the fruits of his labors. I LOVE pickled beets and Barbara is such a wonderful mom-in-law, she offered to help me bottle some. We spent an entire day, from the picking fresh beets that morning, cleaning and cutting the tops, boiling, peeling, making the pickling juice to the bottling. I admire Barbara for her hard work every year when it is time to harvest the garden. She works her tail off and this day was no different. She was by my side all day, working and teaching me through every step. When all was said and done I took home nearly 2 dozen pints of those ruby red treats.

**Babysitting Mataya**
Kara went to Germany with her Mom and Grandparents, so Mom and I got to stay in Hurricane and babysit that cute little ....
FUN TIMES!! I have NEVER been around such a sweet spirit. That little darling is always in a good mood, even when she wakes up in the morning. Mom was there for about 2 weeks and I went down for a few nights to help her out. I was very grateful to have the opportunity to spend some time with both Kenyon and Mataya.

Mataya and Aunt Paula..deep in converstaion
**Spending Time With Mom**
Along the same note.... during that time Mom and I got to spend some time together. Kenyon was working all day of course so we spent days visiting, driving around Hurricane and surrounding towns, shopping and getting ultrasounds (inside joke).... I would not trade those times for anything. Thanks Mom.

**Going to the Lake**
While we were in Hurricane, Jessika and Dad came down one evening and Kenyon took us to Sand Hollow on their new little boat. What a fun time. We pulled each other around on the fierce looking tube, swam, had diving/jumping off the boat contests, opened our eyes under water, just because Dad said he could, Kenyon got a tummy tuck (another inside joke), and LAUGHED! Kenyon thought it would be fun to go double on the tube, actually the fun part was just trying to get 2 people on the tube. I don't think I have laughed that hard in a long time. Dad is such a good sport, and definitely NOT a quitter. He and Kenyon must have tried for 30 minuets to get on that tube together. Dad got a pretty nasty cut on his foot trying to jump off the side onto the tube with Kenyon. Jessika and I finally DID get on together and rode for quite a while.

Dad...pooped out after trying..and trying to get on the tube with Kenyon

Yea..we did it! Now hold on tight.
Kenyon's tummy tuck, thanks to the rope.

**Now for the low light....
During this time, I was kind of in limbo with my job. I had been informed before I left for Utah that I was being reassigned to a new school due to the budget cuts our school district is facing. I tried to enjoy the summer as best I could, what was the point in worrying about something I could not do anything about at the time. I finally found out that they assigned me to a jr. high clear out by the I was on the hunt for a job closer to home. I applied for many positions, and interviewed for one of them. I was called and offered that position on a Monday evening but it just did not feel right, so I decided not to accept it. The next morning, my old school called and said they had a position open up and did I want it. Isn't it funny how things work out. After much stress and worry, (I am cutting this story really short), I am back at Bruner and very happy about it. I guess this low light turned out OK after all.
It was a great summer......
Welcome Fall!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tales of the Truck....part 1

Today Rex was supposed to pick up his 1971 Chev from the paint shop. It has been there for almost a year. When he got there with trailer in tow, he found it was not ready after all. The bed was not bolted on and they could not find the bolds. He got a little impatient(imagine that) and got a little sideways with the owner of the shop. I think he pretty much opened up a can of whoop a** on him. So, anyway, I was going to come home and take a picture of him working on the truck (he has the engine ready to put in), but instead he came home and worked on the mertmobile. It had a heater knob that was broken. You know she will be needing that! Stay tuned for more "tales of the truck".......

Fixing the Mertmoblie

The engine will have to wait for now.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lindsey's Birthday

Today is Lindsey's 23rd birthday. She came over with her roommate Tiffany, and cousins Kristin and Jason. We had what I would say is her favorite meal--meat and potatoes. Rex grilled fillet mignon and it was yummy. We also made homemade ice cream (cookies & cream). It was a good time. It was fun to visit with family and talk about old times. Speaking of old....I am really feeling it today. It is a strange feeling having your child turn 23 when that is how old I feel. Rex tried to make me feel better by saying at least I am not a grandma! I loved having the whole family here. Jessika is here for a few days and since Lindsey moved out, we don't see her much anymore. It was a good day! Happy Birthday Lindz!!

Tiffany, Jessika, Lindsey, Kristin, JasonThe Family