Thursday, August 04, 2005

The first post about GT. There will be more

I am not very faithful in writing these posts. Although, when I do, I enjoy it. My husband? - he is faithful. He writes something everyday. He says he needs to do it, for his own well-being. He needs to evoke that creative aspect of his brain. It is a good thing to do.

Last Sunday the family was all sitting around the dinner table, eating dinner, as we do most Sundays, when Grandma Toni said, "I had a very strange experience this week." She has been wanting to buy a tiller for her garden. Why any widow in her mid-80's needs a tiller, I don't understand, but she's been looking in the want ads for months. This particular week she had spotted an ad with several lawn mowers and tillers that were for sale. Excited, she called to find out the price and the size, and other specifics. A gentleman answered the phone (wait let's not call him a gentleman, let's just call him a male. ie: Dr. Laura labels "men" and "males" seperately. A "man" is one who takes care of his family, is integrous, and stands up for his morals. Whereas a "male" is one of that gender who lacks the backbone or the where-with-all to do the right thing) So, a person of the male sex answered the phone. In her small yet steadfast Dutch accent she asked him how much he wanted for the tillers. His only answer? "I don't talk about 'men' things with women. Have your man call me back." Surely, with extra emphasis on "man", likely deepening his voice. She politely answered, "I don't have a man." Yet, immediately regretted saying it. She wouldn't want anyone to know she is "without a man" and thus possibly more suseptable to burglary, theft, break-ins in general. So, the conversation ended there. After telling the account she stressed to us, "and I will NOT have a man call back for me. I will not have anything to do with a man like that." She said it in a light-hearted way. She wasn't upset or concerned about someone who was obviously very strange. In fact, she added at the end, as she does with many of her stories - a Dutch saying - something like- "there are still a few out there, but not many." They never translate well, she says.

My Grandma has been a widow since my mom was only a few months old. Her husband was killed in an auto accident in Holland. And, for all these years, she's done just fine on her own. Raising my mom, supporting the family financially and otherwise, taking care of her home. She still climbs on her roof to get the swamp cooler working when the hot months roll around. There are so many things I could write about her. So, we'll just call this "The first post about my grandma. There will be more. "

Monday, July 18, 2005

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean

Every Friday I log onto MSNBC for "The Week in Pictures." I look forward to this weekly exploration into the various colors of the world. Lately most of the pictures have been of war, terrorims, and of tragedy. They like to put in about 3 photos of the good things as well. Today there is a beautiful picture of a porcupine fish in the red sea, 3 little girls in long dresses jumping on a trampoline, and a photo of fans along side a road in Germany as the tour-de-france speeds past - portrayed only by a smeared blur of bright colors with pops of white helmets and a few yellow balloons in perfect focus.

After trying to describe those beautiful pictures I just re-realized how true it is - a picture is worth a thousand words. Maybe more - depending on the picture I guess.

I really look forward to these 13 or so pictures each week. They give me a little bit of perspective on the world. And I just realized that it's one of those things that makes me feel small in this world - which in some strange way makes me feel renewed. Why is that anyway? I hear that every so often. Like in the song by that one lady - I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean. Is it just something people say without really thinking about? Cause I kindof want to think about it.

Here goes. In some aspects of life it seems like we're encouraged to feel the opposite of small. For instance, being told that you can conquer the world, or that you have the world in the palm of your hand. But, the reverse is also taught. Having a sense of being small in this world seems to give reverence or homage to God. We are just a small speck in His great world of creation. Just look into the stars at night. I guess my conclusion is this - (at least for now) we are small in the whole scheme but regardless of that God knows each one of us individually, and He hears our prayers individually, and He tailors experiences just for us as individuals - all of which make me feel pretty big.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Being Silly

Those who know me know I am silly. Really silly. I'm not sure if it is a nurture or a nature thing. Probably both. My mother is very silly and her mother too is very silly. My dad, however, is not silly. I grew up in a very traditional setting. My dad went to work everyday and my mom stayed home and raised 4 kids. I was so lucky. My sister, who has 2 kids, isn't as silly as me. But everytime my mom and grandma and I have the chance, we fill those kids full of silliness. Nothing brings out the silliness in us like little kids do. We use licorice to make uni-brows, mustaches, and large pimples on our cheeks. We try to fit our big feet into their little shoes and when they don't fit we put them on our ears. Have you ever seen an 83 year old act like a monkey - swinging her arms around and making that oohohh aah sound? Or jump on the trampoline with her great-grandkids, or dive on the grass to catch a a floating bubble? That's my grandma - but, I think she will have to be a whole other post altogether.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Another Confession

i have another confession.

i have a window by my desk that is covered with blinds. i purposely have situated the blinds so that from my seat i can see out but those walking by can't see in - (unless they are at a specific angle). by doing this i am stealthfully able to spy on situations that happen outside my office. and i love spying. you'd be surprised, with the blinds there, it's like i'm not here.

The Heat Is On

everywhere i went yesterday people were talking about the heat. it really seemed to be the only thing people were talking about. at Target... "it is like a fire outside"... at a restuarant where i bought a sandwich... "it has got to be 110 out there"...

at work my little office is right by the door, with my desk directly facing the door/window at the back entrance. so, all day i am distracted by people walking in and out. And everytime the door opens i have this uncontrollable urge to look up and see who it is. there's really no use trying to subdue the urge - that would be like not looking at an accident on the freeway or not eaves dropping on a fighting couple in a restuarant. i just have to do it. there's hardly a choice for me. some people feel an obligation to say hello everytime they pass - and i too feel a sort of obligation to at least look up, or nod, smile, or something. it has become somewhat awkard. i have noticed that a few people will deliberately plan to be talking on a cell phone as they walk in so as to the avoid the hello moment. i admit, i've done the same. once in a while when someone has been coming and going all day, and we've already done the complimentary nod several times, just as they're about to come in, i'll pick up my phone and start dialing - or worse, i've even just picked up the phone and pretended to be on hold. ohh, that hurts to admit. but really i've only done it like twice.

so anyway, yesterday, seriously, every person would walk in and mutter "it is so hot out there", "i need a drink", "i bet you're glad you're inside with the cooler instead of out there" was a popluar one. at this i would just look at my pasty white arms and legs - which haven't seen the sun since i was old enough to hold down a full-time job, and look longingly outside.

is it strange that i wear a jacket just about all summer long? it seems like there should be a rule against wool pants and a jacket during the summer months. what you don't know is while, yes it is hot outside, i don't go outside. i sit at a desk all day with the AC cranked to the max. it can actually be pretty cold. when i do go outside - to get some lunch or what-not - i like to sit in my steaming hot car for a few minutes without the cooler on and get warmed up. It's like my own personal sauna. But, of course after a few short minutes, I too start to heat up, get a little sweat on the forehead and I too think, "it is like a fire out here."

Monday, July 04, 2005

I never looked out that window

i never looked out that window
like i did when i was waiting for my mother
to come home from the grocery store that morning

i had received a phone call from the primary president
she wanted me to speak in church
i was terrified

my mother comforted me
and consoled me - never once falling for my irrational excuses
of why i could not get up in front of the group of 30 kids
and perform

she helped me prepare.
i tend to be a procrastinator
but my mom convinced me the more i practiced the easier it would be

i practiced that talk probably 25 times
when my grandparents came over
i would run through it with them, friends
and of course my mom heard that talk the most

on sunday morning i got up earlier than usual
read through the talk again
and got dressed
i folded the precious white piece of paper - my lifeline
and put it neatly and carefully on the kid-size picnic table
i used as a desk

when it came time to leave for church
i picked up the folded paper with my talked scribed inside
and went to church.

soon i was up on the stand
waiting for my turn
when prompted i stepped up to the podium
unfolded the peice of paper and started to read

this was not the talk i had practiced so many time the week before
this was something totally different

i read about 8 words in and realized the mix-up
where was my talk? what was this imposter posing as my own white folded paper
i stood paralized in front of the audience
it was the first and only time i would ever witness every child silent

standing there
i found my mom's face in the crowd and i looked at her
trying to explain what had happened
using only the pleading of my eyes
help me. my eyes were repeating

looking back time seems to have stood still
who knows how long i stood in silence and shock
but i did finally just walk away, down the steps and back to the seat
next to my mother

she motioned to me
as if asking what was going on
i just opened up the paper, she read
she understood

i never did find out what happened to my talk
is it possible that my mother set me up?

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Stream of Consciousness

truth comes in blows.
i love that. i haven't heard it for while. i feel like i'm always delivering the blows. where did i already write that?

shopping is: an outlet. an escape. a... what's the word... something to take your mind off the real problems, the real issues pounding on your mind. i'm really good at procrastinating the most important things. shopping probably isn't a healthy diversion - too expensive. cooking would be okay, or cleaning. maybe exercising, or reading. some people work to escape. too much of anything isn't good i guess.

on the radio yesterday they posed a question for listeners / callers to answer: if God told you everything horrible and good and just everything you would go through in this life, and then gave you the decision to come to earth or not, would you still come? a lot of people called in. it was interesting because this is a utah only radio show and the host isn't a utahn and isn't a mormon. he's actually a rabbi from somewhere in the eastern US. he seems to enjoy the utah culture and the utah perspective his callers have. anyway, several people called in to talk about the horrible things that had happened to them. whether it be by there own choices or not. one young guy was overcoming a porn addiction, someone had a parent just die and was contemplating having an affair, someone else was lamenting a 25 year marriage in which he didn't feel any appreciation or that he was needed. the host todl him that many men feel this way, that is why our society has such a problem with adultery, pornography, etc. men who aren't feeling appreciated or justified or fulfilled turn elsewhere to be validated and to not feel like a failure. interesting. people can be so complicated.

i think a girl might have gotten fired today at work. it's strange because she hasn't been working there long. but i noticed her coming in quite late and then leaving early just recently and i just thought, that's interesting. and then today she was in her boss's office kindof crying and then she left. she didn't take any of her pictures or clock or anything.

don't sweat the small stuff.
i do, all day, sweat the small stuff.
have i told you that everytime my phone rings i get this panic feeling and a lump in my chest? i scan my brain and think through who it could be and what they might be looking for. and most of all, can i give them the answer they want? is this healthy? i don't think so.