Sunday, May 30, 2010

In Flanders Fields
-Lt Col John McCrae MD
18872 - 1918
Canadian Army
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I Count

I do, I count.... frequently. When I walk, I count. I don't think it's always been like that, but now? I count. I think it started with "10,000 steps a day will make you healthy and lose weight". Out of curiosity, walking around the block, you know? I started counting.
But then, do you count every step or every stride? Or are they the same? Army drill type, left, right, left, right, left. Do you count every left and every right, or just every left? Don't know. But I don't count every step, because I lose track. So I start over, or try to pick up where I think I might have maybe left off. Maybe.
But if I stop counting, if there is nothing else going on in my head, which is most of the time, I find that I'm counting again. Huh. If I sing while I walk, I don't count. But I walk to the beat of whatever I'm singing. Which is frequently the Marine Corps Hymn. It just seems more march-ish than "Off we go, into the wild blue yonder". Sorry, Dad.
I'm not Monk-ish or anything. I don't line anything up in rows. Except shoes, but that's how they're supposed to be, right? And hangers. Hooked over the rod from front to back, the garment hanging with the front on the left side of the hanger. The shoulder seams right on top of the hanger and the garment centered around the hook. But nothing nerdish or geeky. Really.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How Ironic!

I wrote the previous post on Mother's Day, just before I left for church. I was so full of wisdom and comfort for those whose lives are not exactly perfect... sort of like mine. I would certainly like to have an "ideal" life now, but even more, I would like to have had an "ideal" home and family when my children were growing up. Even more than that, I would like to have been an "ideal" mother when my children were growing up.
Trust me, both of my children could tell you stuff that would scare you, if you knew them about me. Fortunately, they haven't... so far.

So, then I went to church and directed the music in Sacrament meeting. It was Mother's Day, so I had chosen the following hymn. As I sang it, I had to exhibit strict control to stop myself from laughing. After my earlier post, it was ironic to sing these words. Peace and plenty? Hate and envy ne'er annoy? Time doth softly, sweetly glide? Making life a bliss complete?

Yeah, right. LOL
Love at Home
1. There is beauty all around
When there’s love at home;
There is joy in ev’ry sound
When there’s love at home.
Peace and plenty here abide,
Smiling sweet on ev’ry side.
Time doth softly, sweetly glide
When there’s love at home.
Love at home, love at home;
Time doth softly, sweetly glide
When there’s love at home.
2. In the cottage there is joy
When there’s love at home;
Hate and envy ne’er annoy
When there’s love at home.
Roses bloom beneath our feet;
All the earth’s a garden sweet,
Making life a bliss complete
When there’s love at home.
Love at home, love at home;
Making life a bliss complete
When there’s love at home.
3. Kindly heaven smiles above
When there’s love at home;
All the world is filled with love
When there’s love at home.
Sweeter sings the brooklet by;
Brighter beams the azure sky.
Oh, there’s One who smiles on high
When there’s love at home.
Love at home, love at home;
Oh, there’s One who smiles on high
When there’s love at home.
Text and music: John Hugh McNaughton, 1829–1891

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I Have A Family Here On Earth

I love watching home improvement shows. I love to watch Ty build a house from scratch; everything completely perfect at the end, running smoothly all the way, in just seven days.
There is another type of home improvement show. In these shows, things don't go exactly as planned. The people work too hard, too fast, too desperately in order to have everything perfect right NOW.
Isn't that the way we sometimes work on building our family? We think that lots of people have perfect families, perfect children, perfect relationships with their spouses, parents and in-laws. Lots of people are having wonderful family home evenings where the children's minds and hearts are opened to the Spirit and their little testimonies grow rapidly and unwaveringly. Lots of people have harmonious, peaceful, uncluttered homes. They don't have to run through the house grabbing things and throwing them in the back bedroom when the doorbell rings. They can quote scripture from memory, including chapter and verse, instead of saying, "It says somewhere something about....". They never raise their voices to their children, never threaten to throw away all their toys or knock them into next week. They never raise their voice to their spouses, never sulk or pout or whine.
We think that if we were good enough, everything in our lives would run smoothly and be perfect all the time. Life doesn't work that way. We are where we are in our progress and everyone else is where they are. Building our family relationships with spouse, children, brothers, sisters, cousins and parents is a work in progress. We build as best we can where we are. There is no magic wand and there is no finish line. And there is no time when we can say, "I'm finished, all done!" Our relationships with our families, forward and back, continue to flow.
I am blessed with a great family. Parents who loved me and raised me with good values and work ethic, who kept me safe when the world could not. A brother and sister I grew up with, played with and squabbled with and love who have grown even dearer over lo, these many years. They are married to wonderful people whom I also love dearly.
I have two children who grew into charming, funny, intelligent adults, in spite of me. I have two grandsons who are growing up way too fast for me, who are sweet and smart and caring.
And I have Ronald darling. How much more could I ask for? 'Nough said?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ah-Ha Moments

I recently attended "Time Out for Women", an interesting, uplifting, quirky weekend shindig. There were speakers, musicians and lots of stuff to buy. I went with a group of 9 other women who were also interesting, uplifting and quirky. I had a wonderful time, talked too much, slept too little, ate too much and spent WAY too much money! But I had a blast!
We arrived on Friday evening, in time to eat dinner and attend the Friday evening session. The speakers were great, the music... not so much. I thought that opinion was a personal preference issue. However.
After dinner and the evening session, most of us ended up back at the hotel in our bedroom and talked for hours. What a hoot that was! Two of us in the room were in my age bracket (pretty old) and the rest were mothers of children still at home and very young children. Those young mothers were very nice to us old broads, laughed at our jokes and didn't do any of that "just smile and nod until she shuts up" stuff. Or if they did, they were very good at it - I didn't notice. LOL
Oh, yeah - back to the music. The musician was one I've seen in workshops; a great teacher of music history and style. But he can't sing, although he did. He composes a lot of music and everything he performed was his own. I didn't like it. The last piece, I suppose, was intended to be the spiritual highlight of his performance, but it wasn't. It went on for decades... okay, many minutes. And it was very very very very very very repetitive.
I didn't say anything about it during our apres' event chat but someone braver than I am, did. Turns out we all had basically the same opinion. Some of his remarks were interesting but the music? Nope.
One of the ladies was not a member of our church. When we began speaking frankly about the musician, we asked her what she thought. She figured that maybe that's just the way music is done in our church! LOL

But back to the title of this post.... While we were talking, one of the sisters asked if anyone had an Ah-ha moment. Something that just popped out. I had, but just couldn't remember it! I meant to take notes, but forgot the paper and pen with which to do that. It took me until lunch the next day to remember. But here it is:
Self-discipline is remembering what you REALLY want. Duh! I know what I want, but I have not been demonstrating the behaviors that will make it happen. I have a list of things that I want; and an even longer list of the things I need to do to make them happen. And an really much longer list of the things I am doing that get in the way. So that's my new wise saying.... I'll let you know how that's working for me!