During April 2016 I will be blogging about Childhood Memories from A to Z . These challenge posts will also be found at Random Thoughts and Tender Mercies http://marcysrandomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Friday, September 2, 2016

Summertime

"Summertime"

Summertime, and the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high
Oh, your daddy's rich and your ma is good -lookin'
So hush little baby, Don't you cry

One of these mornings you're gonna rise up singing
And you'll spread your wings and you'll take to the sky
But til that morning, there aint nothing' can harm you
With Daddy and Mammy standin by

Lyrics Source


"Summertime"  is an aria composed in 1934 by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess.   The lyrics are by DuBose Heyward, the author of the novel Porgy on which the opera was based.  A month or so ago DH and I had the privilege of attending a local musical festival production of the opera Porgy and Bess, performed with a full orchestra as originally written by George Gershwin. The story is somewhat sad, dealing with problems of poverty, racial injustice, drug abuse, and such, but the the music was wonderful, and we had an enjoyable evening together enjoying the music and each other's company.

This past summer has been quite busy with work and a plethora of family weddings, including the wedding of DS1 and our beautiful new daughter in law.   All of our children were able to be home for the wedding, and the kids pretty much planned and carried out all of the festivities themselves, so it wasn't really stressful, but it was a very busy time with everyone coming and going.  . . . . And then before we knew it, they had all returned to their various homes and things are pretty quiet around here again. 

 There is always plenty to do, with work and taking care of the house and the yards and gardens, but I have been particularly enjoying these late summer evenings this year.  I'm trying to take at least an hour or two most evenings to just putter around the yard and the garden and enjoy the cooler weather, maybe even laying back on the grass and watching the sun set.  This time of year has usually been quite hectic with back to school activities right and left, but now with an empty nest and several more weeks of daylight savings time . . . I am truly happy to be able to take time to relish and enjoy the little things:


Monday, August 22, 2016

Marcy Speaks Up: Evan McMullin for President


I rarely speak out about politics.  I do try to sometimes publicly share my thoughts and beliefs on a variety of topics, but for the most part I try to avoid controversy.  That being said, I strongly believe that it is my responsibility as a citizen of the United States of America to take an active part in understanding the issues of the times and voting in any public elections where I am eligible to vote.  This year in particular there seems to be some widespread major dissatisfaction with both of the US Presidential Candidates from our two major political parties, if not dissatisfaction with both major parties themselves.  If you don't feel comfortable voting for either party's candidate, what do you do?  Vote for the lesser of the two evils (if you can decide what that is)?   Risk "wasting" your vote by voting for a third party candidate?  Most views of these candidates have not really meshed with mine either.  Stick your head in the sand and not vote at all, hoping and praying that everything will turn out ok no matter who wins?

On August 10, 2016 former CIA Agent Evan McMullin announced his presidential candidacy as an independent candidate.  I had never heard of him before this announcement, but so far I like what I see.  If you are in any way dissatisfied with the current political state of affairs in this country, please take a look.   I'm not telling you how to vote come November, but please do a bit of reading and exploring, and if you like what you read about Evan McMullin, please spread the word.  Let's all be fully aware of what our options really are!!

Here's part of the introduction to a recent NPR broadcast about Evan McMullin:

"For voters dissatisfied with both major party candidates, there are a few other options.  There's Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, and a lesser known late arrival to the scene--Evan McMullin . . . 
"MucMullin has worked for the CIA, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Goldman Sachs, and as chief policy director of the House Republican Conference."
"In an interview with NPR's Scott Simon, McMullin argued he is the best candidate on national security.  He also spoke about his stance on the Affordable Care Act, trade, and Syrian refugees."


Please click on the above link to read more highlights from the NPR interview.  You may also want to explore these links:


Video of Interview with Mark Halperin   posted on www.bloomberg.com

Sunday, August 21, 2016

How Well Do I Know Him?

I'm somewhat of a loner.  I don't enjoy being the center of attention, and I relish my privacy and time alone.  But I am human.  I'm a wife and mother, a daughter and a sister.  I do have friends and neighbors and co-workers.  I love my family and enjoy spending time with friends and neighbors and co-workers.   I enjoy most casual social interactions, and I, like most people, crave and need to be understood.   We are taught that one of the most vital of human needs is the need to be loved, and I believe, understood.

As babies and young children, most of us were given huge amounts of love and care from our parents and other care givers.   Along with this love and care we received huge amounts of empathy.   As parents, older siblings, grandparents and other adults, we understand what it means to be tired, hungry, too hot or too cold.  We understand what it feels like to be uncomfortable and what it is like to be in pain.   We do all that we can to make sure that our sweet children and babies are taken care of, loved, and happy.  We can have true empathy for them in most situations that they encounter.

As we grow older, we encounter many varied situations and challenges.   At some point we each face problems and situations that our parents may not have faced.  Even if they have had similar problems, the circumstances are different, and the way we react to the same situations and challenges will be different from those who are close to us.   The same holds true in our relationships with siblings, friends, roommates, and even BFF's and spouses or significant others.   They may not have experienced a failing grade, the accidental death of a good friend, losing a parent, abuse from a loved one, divorce, cancer and it's treatments, diabetes, anxiety attacks, depression, loss of a job, serious sin, having very limited money/financial resources.   They may have had similar experiences, and time has numbed their memory and pain.   They may be the very ones who have inflicted the pain and have no real realization of what they have done.

I don't know about you, but I find it even harder to face a particular challenge or situation when my loved ones don't quite understand what I am going through.  Yes, they are usually sympathetic and empathetic to the degree that they are capable, but I often feel that they just don't quite understand.  You know the old teenage refrain . . . "but you just don't understand!!"   Yes, it's true.   At some point in our lives we each reach a place where none of our closest friends or loved ones quite understands what we are going through or where we are coming from.   So why do I always expect my loved ones to totally understand???

So where do we turn?   As Christians, we have been taught that we can turn to Christ.  WAIT. STAY WITH ME HERE.   I know this, but still I would rather have my loved ones understand.  They are usually who I turn to first.  My dear husband.  My daughters.  My sons.  My sisters.  My co-workers.   To their credit, they do their best to sympathize, understand, empathize and comfort me.  But why do I always turn to them first for comfort rather than turning to the Savior, the one who knows me better than anyone else?   Do I not believe that he will understand?  I have been taught, and I believe, and I think that I know that he understands better than anyone else.   That's what the whole atonement is about, that he has suffered and understood every single sin and pain and sorrow that I have or will ever suffer, and has ALREADY suffered these things for me.

So what is the problem?  It is me.  Where do I spend my efforts?   Who do I spend the most time with?   Who do I live, work, and play with?  Who am I most comfortable with?  Who do I know the best?    Am I spending enough time with my Savior, and am I close enough to him that he is the one I instinctively turn to?  Instead of my spouse?  Instead of my children?  Instead of my co-workers?  He has already offered to comfort all of my sorrows and my woes.  He has already suffered for all of my pains and sins.  Am I comfortable with Him?  I need to learn more of Him.  I need to turn to Him more often in thought and prayer and study.  He is there.  How well do I know Him?

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Being Mom


When I was a little girl, I needed to be in the hospital several times for several days at a time following surgeries.   While there, the nurses were my caretakers, and as much as they could be, my friends.   I admired them very much, and for a long time I told everyone that I wanted to be a nurse when I grew up.

While I was in school, I had many wonderful teachers, many of whom became my mentors.  I still look up to these teachers, and remember their examples, even though most of them have already passed along to the next life.  I have sometimes thought that I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up.

While I was in college, I learned about business and food science and  nutrition and people.   I had exposure to many brilliant and talented and faithful teachers and mentors and examples.   I felt drawn to doing something important with my life, something where I could teach and help others to live better and happier and healthier lives, perhaps in a third world country.

I have been blessed with a very beautiful, talented, loving, and faithful mother, who a little over a year ago passed along to the next life.  She was a musician and a teacher.  She taught me that I am a daughter of a Heavenly Father, who loves me and wants the best for me. She read to me, sang to me, fed and clothed me, and helped to provide me with every opportunity that she could , so I could learn and become the best that I could be.  I have always, always wanted to be Mom.

I was also blessed with two beautiful, talented, loving and faithful grandmothers. One nursed her husband through the great flu epidemic.  The other was a teacher and bravely sent her young husband off to war.  They grew up in times without electricity and running water and learned very young the importance of hard work.  They each helped to teach, nurture, care for, and love me.   I cannot remember a time in my life when I have not wanted to be a mother and a grandmother.

I have been blessed with a dear husband and helpmate, and six wonderful, talented and faithful children, and have recently entered the world of being a grandmother.   Yes, the years of being Mom have sometimes been challenging and have sometimes brought tears.  There have been nights with sick of fussy babies and little or no sleep, There have been mountains of laundry and countless meals prepared and dishes to be washed.  There have been scattered toys and messes of all kinds,  There have been late nights of helping to finish homework projects and early mornings of helping to deliver newspapers and driving kids to seminary or music practices.  There has been paint on the rug and there have been mud pies in the freezer.  There have been tantrums and holes punched in walls and fighting and quarrels.  There has been illness and heartache and pain and anguish, both for me and for them.

Have there been good times?  Most definitely.  Sitting with a beautiful, sweet sleeping child in your arms.  Seeing their joy splashing in the tub or the pool.   Listening to their pure trusting faith as they pray.  Reading countless stories and tucking them into bed with a hug and a kiss. Watching them recognize that letters make words and words make the stories they love to hear and can now read for themselves.   Seeing them discover the wonderful world of numbers and math and all of its infinite uses.   Hearing them play their first tune on the piano or the violin or give their first talk in church.  Attending their many concerts and sporting and dance events and art exhibits and busting your buttons.  Seeing them learn to cook and create their own delicious treats and even meals.  Hearing wonderful reports from teachers.  Watching them get so excited over planting their own garden and washing the dishes and helping with chores. Seeing them get their first job, their driver's license, graduate, serve the Lord, enter the temple, and serve their fellow men.  Seeing them find someone to love, and the joy they have in becoming parents themselves.

Is it worth it?  It most definitely is.   I now have more than thirty years of being a mother under my belt, and I can most definitely say it is worth it.   I have almost two years experience being a grandmother and look forward to many years of grandmothering ahead.   Now all of our children are grown and have left the nest to seek their own fortunes and built nests of their own. I continue to marvel at the wonderful people they have become, and feel so very blessed that they one day long ago they each agreed to come to our family and let me become Mom.

And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.   But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.   

King Benjamin,   Mosiah 4:14, 15

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Zoo

Did you visit the zoo when you were a youngster?   We didn't go very often, but I do have memories of the zoo.   One of my Aunties would usually plan an outing over the labor day weekend for her family,or sometimes another summer day, and our family would usually be invited along.  Most of the outings were to places that would fill one of the cub scout requirements for visiting a local historical attraction or bird watching or some such thing.   Since we did some such activity every year, we ended up visiting a lot of fun and interesting places that we may not have done otherwise.   The Zoo is one of the places I remember visiting together.  Elephants, Giraffes, Zebras, Lions, Tigers, Monkeys, Polar Bears, Birds, Reptiles . . . and so much much more.  The zoo also features a petting zoo and a train ride, features that attract any child.

I couldn't find any photos of our visit to the zoo back in the day, but here are some more recent photos from our local zoo's facebook page.  I think it's great for children to be able to see and experience as much of the world and it's creations as they can, and I feel that our local zoo does a tremendous job of providing natural habitat and careful care of the animals.







Do you have fun memories of the zoo?

Friday, April 29, 2016

Yhatzee



Yhatzee is one of the many games that we had in our house when I was growing up.   In reading a quick history of the game at Wikipedia, I am thinking that we must have first received the game sometime around 1973 when the Milton Bradley company bought  the game from the E.S. Lowe Company that first introduced the game back in 1958.

I must confess that Yhatzee was not my favorite game, but I did play it fairly often and managed to even score decently sometimes, which was not always the case with other board games.  We played a lot of board games during school vacations, especially at Christmas time and during the early weeks of summer vacation before the haying season was in full swing.    As one of the youngest of the family, I lost at board games more often than not, which somewhat soured me on board games for many years.   Monopoly, Risk, Life, Sorry, and even Chutes and Ladders and Candy Land were the games I remember playing, and losing, the most often during my childhood years.  Sometimes our family Monopoly marathons would last for days at a time . . .and of course I was usually one of the first ones to go bankrupt.

It wasn't until my Adult years when I discovered that I was a fairly reasonable player of Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble that I began to enjoy, and remember the enjoyment of sitting down together with family and friends over a good board game.  Possibly I have matured a bit too, and the winning vs the losing don't quite matter as much any more.  It's more about the time spent with those that I love.

(PS.  I'm still not a fan of Risk or any other strategy games!!)

What are your favorite board game memories?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

X-Rays and X-tra Teeth

One of my claims to fame is that I have never had a broken bone.  (Perhaps it is due to the calcium from all of the home grown milk I have consumed over the years).  I do vaguely remember having an X-Ray of my hand or my arm at some point in my childhood, but I don't remember exactly why.  I do remember the huge X-Ray machine and the heavy blanket (is it a lead blanket?)  that was used to cover me to protect the rest of my body from the harmful rays.

I do remember getting dental X-rays almost every year.   Every June Mums would schedule an appointment with the dentist who lived and worked in the neighboring town, and the entire family would load up in the car and travel to visit the dentist.  It always took the entire morning, or longer, for him to examine each of the eight sets of teeth and take care of whatever cavities or extractions were necessary.   I dreaded the visits to the dentist office that was located on the second floor of an ancient office building.   The old wooden stairs creaked as we climbed them, a foreboding sound as I pondered the tortures to come.   The high ceilings and linoleum floors accentuated that echoing of a frequently ringing telephone in another office down the hall.  It seemed there was never anyone there to answer that phone, and it would ring and ring and ring over and over again.

The waiting room was comfortable enough, filled with magazines and books to read.  I remember admiring the glass covered barrister type bookcases filled with important looking books.  But eventually my interest would wane, and the seemingly endless waiting for my turn in the chair would continue.   But my turn did eventually come, the dentist would poke and prod and clean, and sometimes the x-ray machine would be pulled around to check for the inevitable cavities or to see just where that new tooth or that extra tooth was.  Yes, one year I did have an extra tooth erupt from the middle of my mouth.  And no, I did not miss growing any other teeth, except for wisdom teeth.  I have never had a wisdom tooth.

The reward after the day of torture?  We would usually stop for hamburgers and ice cream before driving back home!

What are your memories of X-rays?  Did anyone else out there ever have an X-tra tooth?