Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pies and pennies

I taught my class about the spirit of Elijah.
I like to call it the scent of Elijah, because when I think of Grandpa, 
I can smell the sage that grows on the northern slope of the ranch.

Thursday we went to Pa Pa's house
Last year he bought us all the book Eat, Pray, Love
for our little book club,  and after we saw the movie he thought it would be
a fun spin to have Thanksgiving breakfast.
Because writer Elizabeth Gilbert wanted Thanksgiving dinner on her trip to Italy,
so she told her friend to cook the turkey and she would do every thing else.
About 15 minutes before dinner, she asked her Italian friend how the Turkey was doing.
"oh, should I cook it now?"
You get the picture...
They ate their Turkey in the Morning:)
He cooked ALL of these pies all by himself.
get this...he made extra turkey and rolls for us to take home!
"with a little help from your mother."
he says
But she helped with a lot more than pies.

He also made the best HOMADE bread I have ever tasted!
All to honor her gift of cooking,
All to help us feel her there with us,
All to help his grandkids connect with the spirit of Elijah,
To know who they are and where they came from.
He then did the same traditions, he did when I was a child.
To celebrate my Danish side,
Dad has us save our pennies all year long, and then we stuff 
my great great grandfather's wooden shoe with the money.
Because in Denmark, their wooden shoes were stuffed the night before Christmas.
Then dad cooks muffins and puts one penny in the batch.
Then every one eats a muffin, and the one who gets the pennies gets the
money in the shoe!
This year it was my 3 year old nephew Derek!
No he didn't choke on the penny:)
Then we had Pine nuts and Jerky.
To celebrate my pioneer ancestors.
One christmas my great grandmother, after crossing the plains with her nine children,
Could only afford a bag of pine nuts and some jerky.
So every Christmas of my Dad's life they ate pine nuts and jerky,
To remember the Christmas they had nothing but each other.
I grew up with the same tradition.
He even bought mom's favorite roses for the center piece.
And we tasted the Love in every bite.
Love you Dad.

(I am waiting on some pics to post our Thanksgiving dinner with the Smith Family)

Monday, November 15, 2010

I wonder

I wonder
All the time I wonder.
About seasons, and reasons
and how and why...

I hope
That all that was tragic
will grow into magic 
and give me wings 
to fly.

I choose
to not let one leaf 
fall in vein.

Not one.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Journey on...

"In the depth of Winter, I finally learned that within me, 
there lay an invincible summer."
Albert Camus

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Journey entry #3

12 pages!
12 pages!
I am falling into a beautiful groove
falling, falling, falling.

How about you?  If you could take a risk what would it be?
What is your passion?

journey entry #2

So I am going back to that place again, that place where all was safe, that space in mother's eyes, that brought out the writer in me to begin with.   She was after all, my only editor and let's face it...my only reader, so when she died, that ember she ignited in me did too.  

It was like I just stomped it out and threw it in the casket with her. And that is exactly why,  I'm sitting in the freezing room wondering if perhaps she could join me once more and remind me what it was exactly she saw in me.  I am wondering if maybe she could swim in my veins for a day, teach me to fall into my writing again the way a bird falls into the warm air currents before it can really soar into the heights it was destined for...I want her to be that wind for me today.
Am I delusional?  Does God allow such sebaticals? 

That is what it is like to loose a mother like her, you loose a little bit of yourself.  It was if she took that little girl with her, the one she filled with love and ideas of greatness, and left the rest of me to contend with myself.   Grief for me was two-fold.  It was mourning the loss of my champion, my guru, my constant unconditional source of confidence in my self, in my calling, in my "gift",and it was... to be quite honest an identity crisis.

"What was I now that she is gone?"
"What do I do without her vision of me?"

But it wasn't entirely selfish.  I grieved her, the very thought of her kindness, passion, open heart and mind and fearless devotion to christlike love...the very thought fills me up with the deepest gratitude I have ever experienced. 

I am thinking of how the years came and went and how the two of us worked together.  Whenever I wrote, whatever I wrote, she read it with wonder, like it was the original dead sea scroles.
She would then tell me I was brilliant.
And I believed her.
After each reflections contest, she would hold up my blue ribbon and declare that the rest of the world was just confirming what she already knew.  

One day she picked me up from school and told me that every writer needed a suit, and since I was bound to be the greatest journalist and novelist ever, that I had better start dressing like one.  With more pride than I ever saw from my mother she bought me a grey and black pin stripped suit.  So while my friends put on their cinderella shoes and E.T shirts, I was buttoning up my jacket Diane Sawyer style.  Perhaps I should have been slightly concerned about fitting in, wool suits aren't exactly on everyone's wish lists.  But it never occurred to me at the time to care.
I can still feel the collar itching my neck, but that didn't bother me either.
I was destined for greatness.

But then High school came and went and there was that english teacher who didn't think I was all that brilliant, and all the reflections I lost after her, mom thought it was a conspiracy, but I didn't.
After all she was an english teacher.
Slowly the wool suit got hung up in the closet to rot away with the mothballs.
So did my writing.
I quickly learned you don't get invited to parties if you confess you actually love to write, that was like confessing to aids back then.  So I played it cool, and piece by piece I lost that place in me that believed.
But mother didn't.
She reminded me constantly that I was here on this earth to write.  So now and then I would throw her a bone...a poem for mother's day or a story for her birthday and she would love them, and I would love her for loving them, but secretly thought her a bit delusional for making such a big deal about my words.
After all my english teacher didn't care for my stories.
And english teachers are experts.
But mom put that ember in me, and it quietly smoked in my heart for many years. 
Life came like it comes, good intentions rust away and reality takes over, but there were some good moments, newspaper articles, journalism classes,  a play here or a local story there, I just didn't know how to NOT write, even though at times I lost all confidence in my writing.
I even had a journalism teacher tell me my work was brilliant, and walked away thinking he must be desperate for writers. 
Besides, he didn't know what my english teacher thought of me.  But still their was mother, my great crusader...the one who would go to battle for my work...even if it meant going to battle with me.

So dear father, this is my prayer. Can I have her today?  Can you let us work together once more?  Will you send my your words, your passion?
I just read a scripture in D&C.  Perhaps it is his answer:
"verly verly, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy...."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

journey entry #1

(you will need to read the post below to understand why I am writing this.)

I am falling into a memory.
I am seeing a little girl stealing a mellow yellow post it pad from her mother's purse.  That little girl of course was me, but you have to understand,  snooping through my mother's purse was not something I was raised to believe was in any way okay.  It was next to stealing.
But the yellow was so mellow and the little sticky thumbnail at the top was so very fun to explore,  So I started to write.  I wrote like I couldn't fail.  I wrote like God was the ink to my pen, like his creative powers were swimming in my veins.
And then my mother caught me red handed. (or mellow yellow handed).  I had been taught very intentionally to respect other's property and I knew I was in for it, mother was compassionate to the core, but she could be something fierce when we disobeyed.  But instead of a lecture or swift punishment, she asked to read my writings.
I stood there awkward and uncertain as any child would be, contemplating my certain death, but when she stopped reading, instead of a punishment, her eyes swelled with tears and she knelt beside me and held my cheek with one hand while she stroked my hair with the other.  She looked at me like what seemed forever, in a way that simply melted my soul, it was like for the first time she was seeing beyond the child and into the wonder of all that I could be.  I felt love seeping from her the way water seeps into desert cracks, feeling up the dry uncertain insecurities of my self worth.
"You were meant to do this.  This is your calling.  This is your gift."
That was all she said.
And I believed her.  I believed her.  I was just young enough, just innocent enough to hold on to her every word in my heart.  It was a spark from heaven, through her eyes...it was my spark...sent to me straight from God.  I remember her embracing me after that, the way her big wet cheeks felt against my face and the recognition for the first time in my life, that maybe just maybe I really did have a gift after all.
She gave me that post it pad and many more...from then on she made sure that I had all the mead notebooks and fresh pencils I would ever need.  
And when my bedroom turned into a wasteland of my scribbles and loose papers, she announced that I needed an office.  
So together we marched downstairs and made a makeshift desk for me in the food storage closet.  A twenty gallon bucket of wheat was my seat, and my desk was anchored between the green beans and the canned peaches, mom filled old mason jars with fresh pencils for me and tucked paper in between the canned cherries so that I would never run out.
I think I am going to cry.
Not only because I am missing my mother something awful right now, because in this moment away from my children I am wondering if I am the kind of mother she was.
The kind of mother that puts fresh pencils in mason jars.
The kind of mother that sees beyond the child and into their calling...their destiny.
Okay, that is enough emotion for me right now.  I am officially sobbing.
But it feels good to cry like this, it feels good to let myself contemplate the question of my role in their lives, it feels good to hold this thought in my heart where it can remind me to be better...to do better, to have the courage to daily ask God what I can do for my children to allow them to discover the gift hiding within them...how can I love them into their highest self...into their destiny? 
That is enough for now.  Yes.  that is all my heart can take right now.
Good night.

I am taking a journey.

Today I took a risk.

I stepped away from life as I know it,  got in a car with my dad and drove to a hotel with the single intention of putting on my grey wool sweater, my funky glasses and writing my novel.  I get three days.  I have dreamed about this day for months now...but never thought I would have the courage to actually do it.  It is not totally embraced yet...the idea of a mother and a wife leaving her family for a few days to do something as silly and seemingly selfish as write a novel, but there is a story within me and I have a goal to have the first draft completed by december 31...and at the rate I am going it won't be finished until december 31...2020 unless I do something drastic, so it is a risk I must take.

And I might add...my children are adorably giddy with the idea that their mother could write a novel, and their belief in me has disarmed all fear of being judged.  And dear Garrett, thank you for taking the time of to support me in this venture...I hope I can pay you back BIG time some day...(oh but wait...this is my pay back:)
This risk was meant to be in silence.   In fact,  I slipped out of the house tonight without a peep or an unwanted person knowing...for good reason I have kept this quiet.  But now as I sit in this cold and dark hotel room, I want to journal this journey;  My every thought and stirring emotion, my journey if you will, of learning how to fall into my words all over again.  My journey to finding the creator in me.
I want you to take it with me,  you being my family and ohana and speckle of local friends that actually read this blog.  (If you are my neighbor please don't stop inviting me to parties:)

I love you all and I want to take yet another risk by sharing my heart with you...it is sort of a momentum for me...a baby step if you will.  Journaling this way helps me sweat out all pretenses and vein ambitions of my ego...taking me to my heart...and that is where I want to be when I write.

So here I go.  Hope to hear from you.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My wish for you~

It was my princess piggy's birthday this weekend.
eleven years old!!!
Stop this growing I say!
This is her circle of friends.
Most of them have been BFF's since they were 4 years old,
I love them like my own~
We went to the Ropes coarse for her Birthday.
You really should check this place out...
It has become a family favorite~
These girls are rock solid, stoic, and strong willed.
Beautiful, tender hearted and loyal~
They play softball, basketball and volleyball together...
giggle about boys, skateboard and tease each other.
My wish for you beautiful beautiful girls...
I hope you are always there to pull each other through...
I hope you lift each other to new heights...
I hope you hold each other's hearts, challenge each others minds,
and stretch each other's souls.
I hope you stay close...
forever and ever....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Everythings Amazing & Nobodys Happy


My window

I turned my big red chair around to face the window.
That was the biggest accomplishment of my day, turning my chair that is.
Then I sat in my chair, knees to my chest and looked out at the world,
the world from my window's view.

There was Lucy lu...my neighbor's cute little blonde riding her big wheel,
and Mr. Henry in his sponge bob p.j shirt trying to keep up with her.
My naked moses bush, (burning bush), loosing the last of it's color.
It's wet leaves on the ground, the only memory of the beauty it once held.
I sort of relate.

Minivans were coming here and going there, shuffling this way and that.
All around me was life.  Beautiful life.
Then I ran to the toilet.  For the bazillionth time in 6 days.

I made a mental note to come up with at least three blessings,
my puking, plugging, plunging body was trying teaching me in this mucky yuck sick.
Here goes.

1. Patience
The healing will come my friend.
2. Faith
When the healing does not come in your timing, trust in his.
3. Gratitude
For the home I have to heal in and the knowledge I have that the healing will come.
One more thing...
"Faith in a divine being, in the almighty, is the great moving power that can change our lives.
With it comes the only lasting comfort and peace of mind.  We simply can not do as much alone as we can when we team our effort with the divine.  Passive acceptance or acknowledgment of God is not enough. " 
Vibrant testimony comes of anxious seeking.
Gorden B. Hinkley

Monday, November 1, 2010

If a single word could do it.

Summing it up.
last few weeks have been,
undocumented, uncharted, but not unnoticed.

I've had happy moments...
Ranch. Boy's cooking up mutton.Sunset taking my breath away.
Weekend with cousins. 
Cold picnic at the lake. 
Pumpkin guts, Purple hair spray, candy.
Lots of candy.

I've had scary moments...
sick. sick. sick.
puke. puke. puke.
Laying in bed wondering why me why now?
Just when I was getting my groove back.
Feeling that familiar fear again.
Come on Body, don't fail me now.

I've had learning moments...
Accepting what is.
Making peace with my pride.
(Asking for help is not something I like to do.)
Taking comfort in a good book.
"Standing for Something"
by President Gordon B. Hinkly.

I've had loving moments...
Recording the tender mercies God sends me each day,
reminds me of his love.
His love is enough for me when I don't like my own company.
When I am letting every one down, because I can't get my head
out of the toilet, he reminds me to be kind to myself.
He reminds me that my illness is but a small moment.

I've had more happy moments.
Watching Henry bounce in his tigger suit. Painting faces.
Nosey kisses. Giggly smiles. stinky feet tickles.
Snuggling in my big bed with warm bodies,
that God helped me to create.

I guess this body isn't so bad after all.