Wednesday, November 7, 2007

"longsuffering with joyfulness"

I had a thought during my scripture study today. Right now I am doing a topical study on "light" or "Light" as it is used in the scriptures. It is slow going because I am looking up all the scriptures and going through the TG links found in the footnotes. I have been studying John 1: 1-11 today. Well, actually, just the foot notes for verse 3. I started going through all the scriptures in the Topical Guide topic "Jesus Christ, Power of" which lead me to Colossians 1:11 where Paul is telling the Colossians what he is asking for them in his prayers.

"That ye might walk ..., being ... Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;"

Now there's a thought "longsuffering with joyfulness". That's what I need. It acknowledges the fact that there is suffering involved and it has been long, but there can still be joyfulness and it needs to be prayed for.

I think I will make it my new theme for the year, make it a matter of daily prayer and find ways to remind myself of it, often. Any suggestions on how to remind myself of it often would be appreciated. I won't wait until January 2008, I shall start now, today, November 7, 2007.

Those of you who are my friends, which includes all you who help me at night, are invited to gently remind me to remember my theme when you see me obviously suffering, and not doing it with "longsuffering with joyfulness".

One has to be willing to let the pain not matter. Once I've done everything I can and the pain is still there I need to let go of trying to fix it and go on and ask the Lord to make me "Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;" It will be a daily, even hourly effort until the end or whenever joyfulness becomes part of who I am. It will be like learning to knit a complicated pattern. But that's another discussion.

Okay, now I'm done with my scripture study for today, not much reading today but a lot of thinking and writing.

I love studying the scriptures this way. It takes me all over the scriptures in a single study period and I frequently see old familiar scriptures in a totally different light.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Hanford, Not Hampton and Making "Ducks Work"

Thanks Jack. In his comment on my Oct 31 post my older brother, Jack, points out it was "Hanford" not "Hampton" He is right. I did a google search to check it out. They were still building it. I don't know why I have always remembered it as Hampton. I remember it wasn't supposed to be talked about.

I had visions of little ducks being forced to slave away at whatever you can make a duck do. Mom told me they were metal ducts and he made them out of metal. Then I thought he was making toy ducks and wanted him to bring me one to play with. When I was seven years old we moved to a house with a basement. One time when I talked about Dad making "ducks work", he spelled out the two words and took me down in the basement and showed me the very little bit of "duct work" that was down there. I was relieved he wasn't making "ducks work".

And Jack, your sixty year old mind still thinks I'm an idiot half the time.

PS This post has been amended to correct a spelling error. While I'm amending I would like to point out that back then I had never heard of television and hadn't been to a movie yet. My ideas of making people work came from bible story books Mom read to us. Some had wonderful pictures. So I had visions of long lines of ducks chained together like the pictures of the children of Israel before Moses lead them out of Egypt.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Don't Eat the Peas

When I was four years old (1953), we went down to Manti, Utah from our home in Washington state. I think it was a big family reunion, the first since the end of the war. We didn't have a car at the time and I can't remember how we got down there. I imagine we drove down with Uncle Bill; he had a car.

My world at that time was compact. We lived in a small development in Richland built at the end of world war II to house returning soldiers and their families. Dad was working as a sheet metal apprentice "out at Hampton". I think most of the fathers worked "out at Hampton". A bus came every work day to take men and their lunch pails out to "Hampton". (Lunch pails were intriguing things. I always wanted to examine Dad's, see if there was anything good he had forgotten to eat) I didn't know what "Hampton" was, I just knew he made "ducks work." He might have tried explaining it to me but it was years before I realized the term was "duct work".

Jack's school, the playground and the grocery store were all within walking distance. This was my world. Anytime we got in a car and went somewhere was a big adventure. Sometimes fun and sometimes not so fun, like going to the county health department and getting polio shots. That was not so fun.

Milk came in a carton and meat came wrapped up in white paper and you got them at the grocery store. Period. That's it. There was no concept of "before" the carton or "before" the white paper. The first day we were in Manti I went out to watch Grandpa do the evening milking. When I realized that I was supposed to drink that kind of milk for dinner I was having nothing to do with it. I remember crying and insisting I wanted real milk, not that stinky cow milk. Mom and Dad were going to force the issue, insisting it was the same milk which I knew darn well it wasn't cause I had helped Mom carry our milk home from the store, not from some stinky ole cow. Dad was saying I'd drink the cow's milk or he would pour it down my throat. Grandma stepped into the middle of the uproar and said "Oh! let them have store-bought milk." She then sent someone to the store to get a quart of milk. I happily drank milk from that same carton every meal the whole time we were there.

One morning Grandpa decided they were going to slaughter the pig. I, of course, wanted to watch. Anything the big cousins were interested in I wanted to be in on too. I had no idea what slaughter meant. Besides I kind of liked the pig. I went down to the pigpen with Grandpa when he fed him whenever I could. He would talk to the pig and scratch his back with a stick. I thought he was Grandpa's pet.

Mom didn't want me to go but Dad said I had to learn these things sometime so I got to go watch them slaughter the pig. They had the pig in a corral type enclosure. I had to stand on a rail of the gate and hang on tight in order to see anything.

First they shot it. I knew nothing about real guns and real shooting so I had no idea what they had done. I didn't even know the pig was hurt as it ran squealing around in circles until it collapsed and they strung it up by it's back legs. It wasn't until I saw the knife as they slit it's throat to drain the blood out of it that I realized they were killing it.

I went berserk and started screaming and crying and telling, begging, them to stop. Dad got mad at me and sent me back up to the house. Mom was waiting at the door. It took her a while to calm me down. She explained that that was how we got meat. Grandpa bought the pig when it was a baby pig and fed it and took care of it so it could grow big and strong so he could slaughter and get meat for bacon and ham and pork chops. Mom knew pork chops were my favorite meat. That stunned me. I didn't know pork chops came from a pig. I didn't know they had to kill a pig in order to make pork chops. I asked about hamburgers and hot dogs, two more favorites. They slaughtered cows too! I started asking about other foods and other animals. I was glad to learn we didn't eat horses or dogs or cats. It took her a while to convince me it was okay to kill the pig if Grandma and Grandpa needed the meat. I did calm down and even ate pork chops the next time we had them back at home.

Later, after we had returned to Washington, we were eating dinner one night. We were having canned peas, which we did frequently. Kathy, my younger sister, hated peas. She spit out the first spoonful that was ever spooned into her mouth. We weren't allowed to refuse to eat anything. We didn't have to clean our plates but we had to eat at least two spoonfuls of everything on our plates. I hated canned peas too but as long as I didn't chew them and just swallowed them whole I could meet the minimum requirements. I think eating them made Kathy feel clear sick. I just hated the yucky texture of them. That night Kathy was refusing to eat her peas and Mom was giving her a lecture about eating them so she could grow up and be big, and strong and healthy.

I freaked. I jumped up, threw my spoon on the floor and started yelling, "Don't do it Kathy, don't do it! They will slaughter you and eat you"

Mother and I then had another long discussion.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Thanks for the Memories

Today I sent the following to the weather team at KSLTV:

Kevin Eubanks and the KSL Weather Team

Thank you for the weather calendar contest galleries. I am quadriplegic and have been for 33 years. It has greatly limited my ability to get out to see the many beautiful and awe inspiring places in Utah and its surrounding states. You have brought Utah to me.

Before I broke my neck, I visited some of the more difficult to reach places in the canyon lands with some friends. I know the thrill of sitting on the edge of a cliff point watching the sun set over the maze in the canyon lands and looking to my left to see a big, white tail buck watching it too. Growing up in the Northwest and here in Utah I have felt that same overwhelming awareness of how beautiful this world really is and how grateful I am to have been able to reach out and touch it and breath it in [many times]. When I look through the contest galleries, after a while, I begin to feel again that same sense of awe, and reverence, and gratitude. Again, thank you for bringing this great smorgasbord of images back into my view.

I just wanted to share the feelings I have had as I've clicked through the contest galleries. I know the experience of actually being out there in the mountains and on the lakes and rivers is more powerful, (that's a given) but after about a half an hour of looking at these images I started to remember. Sometimes I remembered being there and seeing that; sometimes I remembered being somewhere similar. As I remembered I began to have the same feelings of awe amd reverence. Sometimes I forget to be grateful for the memories.

Friday, September 21, 2007

My "swirly twirly paisley math thingys"

First I had to figure out what "swirly twirly paisley math thingys" were. (I just love the way Jenn talks. I still get my bedtime helpers to "woller" my shawls every night.)

Okay Jenn, I created a web page on igoogle with some of my own "swirly twirly paisley math thingys", otherwise know as fractals. There are two main pages of fractal images. Two of the images have titles which are links to a series of similar images. (I couldn't decide which image I liked best). Click on the fractal you want to see and it will take you to a larger image. If you want to, you can double click on that image and look at the whole image in detail a section at a time. I will upload new fractals and explanations to those web pages and post links to them here on my blog.

These are huge images so I don't want to post them directly on my blog. The fractal image above is a medium size file, if you click on it you will get an image large enough to use as a background.

Let me know if the large images don't work with your browser. Just because it all works with my setup doesn't mean it will work with everyones.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Things I Like

(I can't necessarily still do them, but I still like them)
cooking with good equipment
walking through fallen leaves in the fall
the smell of autumn
walking against the wind
the smell of rain coming
hot baths
baked fish
primping in front of a mirror
make up
good hair days
nice clothes
the way I feel when I have finished a knitted project I am proud of
the way I feel when I find and polish a beautiful fractal
learning something new
giving a talk
a happy cry with a friend
long talks with friends
playing games
winning games
waking up after a good sleep
going to bed after working hard
the feel of freshly washed hair; my own or someone else’s
the way a freshly bathed baby smells
laughing with a baby
singing with the choir
feeling I have communicated with God
knowing I did well in a hard class
figuring things out
pushing for one more lap than I think I can do when I am swimming: doing it
making someone laugh
watching the eyes of a student when they have finally “got it”
having a student who has struggled do well on a test
sharing my heart with someone and feeling appreciated, even understood
knowing someone loves me
knowing I love someone
feeling pretty
lying in the grass
feeling the warm sun on my skin
exchanging smart alec remarks with a friend
escaping into a well crafted mystery or sience fiction or fantasy novel
making up talks in my head
feeling smart
the smell of cinnamon rolls baking
having pretty fingernails & hands with polished nails
looking at something I find beautiful
seeing how things work together
solving a hard math problem
solving a hard puzzle without cheating
working cryptic crosswords with a friend
watching the first big snowfall of the year
sitting inside on a rainy afternoon watching the clouds roll in
knowing the soup is cooking
new clothes (not shopping though)
going to the Shakespearian festival
feeling warm & snuggled down
a pain free day, hour, moment
fresh vegetables from the garden
playing with a child
holding a sleeping child
watching a snow storm with big wet snowflakes
watching the clouds move in over Camel’s Back
groaning & moaning & carrying on when playing board & card games
watching fractals cycle colors
day dreaming
going to sleep
reading out loud with someone
fresh air
looking at cook books
looking at knitting books
learning to knit new stitches
visiting with a group of friends
getting personal email

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Introducing Me and My Blog

I don't have a houseful (or even an armful) of children to provide me with humorous material for a personal blog, so why am I blogging?

I have decided this is as good a way as any to get down all those stories friends keep telling me I ought to get recorded. I really do want to record them but every time I decide to write them up I can't think of any of them and I don't know who I'm writing them for anyway which makes it rather hard to get started. After all, you need to know your audience before you can write effectively. So you guys give me suggestions, stories you remember when you've said "Have you got this written down?" and I have guiltily hung my head and given all kinds of lame excuses why not; and I'll get them written up. Then you all (and anyone else who decides to drop in) can be the intended audience.

While I've been typing this I have been listening to a science program on Stephen Hawkings. They are discussing whether or not information would survive being sucked into a black hole. I guess the new "information age" has made this a matter of great concern. Personally, I am not too concerned about it. Maybe they are predicting we'll get sucked into a black hole and no one will know we ever even existed, so it is imperative that the data bases survive. Hmmm ... The next program on the science channel says it appears Super Black Holes are in the center of every galaxy. Gee, that means we really are being sucked into a black hole. Seems to me I remember hearing rumors of such a phenomena back in high school physics. The idea gave me nightmares at the time. I am so curious about what is really going on out there. Scientists make such interesting guesses, some very useful guesses, but still, guess. Ahhh, here I am, already philosophizing about "What is Truth".

Confession: The picture above is 21 years old. I hate having my picture taken and it is the latest one I have.