Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Memorial Day and Rounding the Corner Into June 2009

Last weekend was a 3-day celebration of Memorial Day. I got into the spirit of things by getting a new (to me) American flag ready to post outside. It was one with the embroidered stars and the stripes of red and white sewn together. It replaced a badly faded one that was only printed on a single piece of fabric. It is considerably heavier, which means the blessing of it not wrapping around its pole so easily. Before I would feel guilty about it’s rolling itself up and leaving it or take the required time to unroll it several times each day. I have assigned Patrick the job of putting it up and taking it down.
Saturday evening May 23rd David dropped by in the evening with Adryann and Brynneé and the dogs, Barbie and Deja. The instant Deja saw the cat, he took out after Abby like an arrow sailing to the target. We called the dog and she returned and we didn’t think anything more about it. Sunday morning Patrick could hear Abby and discovered that her meowing was coming from up in the monkey puzzle tree. We took out one extension ladder and it’s sixteen feet proved too short. We thought that perhaps the other one we had here was longer, but were wrong. Patrick suggested calling the fire department, which idea I vehemently rejected. Thank goodness I was here to say, “No.” We had to leave her to go to church. When Daddy B.J. returned after a long day of meetings, which is typical for a bishop any Sunday, we asked him to see if he could get her down. His first fatigued answer was, “When she gets hungry enough, she’ll climb down.” I wasn’t sure of that. Since he will do anything for me that I really want, he started thinking. He remembered having one longer extension ladder. I was inspired to suggest that it must be at David and Fatima’s. He didn’t know if that was possible but called David, who said we could look over what he had. On the way I asked Daddy B.J. if he would recognize his ladder. He laughed and said that after the hours he had spent on it painting, he would unquestionably know it. David showed him one that wasn’t it and then said that he had a couple more in the garages not adjoining the house. They disappeared into the thicket of storage and came out carrying the twenty-four footer. Reaching up much closer to the lowest branches, it allowed my tall husband to extend a hand and words of encouragement that enticed Abby to him. Well, perhaps after almost twenty-four hours, she was willing to sacrifice some of her proud standoffish -ness.
Sunday for sacrament meeting Daddy B.J. called A.J. Portune, who was home on leave and in his US Marine dress uniform, to come to the stand as a visual aid. Daddy B.J. asked to remember that first and foremost Jesus Christ gave his life for us, but that also many others sacrificed for our freedoms and beliefs. He invited the audience to come forward and suggest a hymn that had particular meaning for them in that connection and to say the verse they wanted to sing. My eyes started brimming immediately and a Kleenex soaked up a lot of overflow. Ivy Greene talked about our ward’s cub scouts going to Miller-Woodlawn cemetery to place small American flags by the graves of all with records of military service. The Cemetery also posts full-sized flags along its driveways. Ivy said how impressive the whole hillside dotted with flags looked. She mentioned that she had served in the Navy and how Memorial Day and being part of the flag brigade touched her. You can see some of the pictures she took. Copy and paste: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ebeegrn/sets/72157618595792841/with/3556965221/
Chad Teasley was dressed in his Naval officer’s uniform and told us about an email he had received that morning. His best friend from submarine training and through their first duty assignment sent a message. They drifted apart for about fifteen years but found each other again a few years ago. Seeing that Chad was still active duty inspired him to join the National Guard and he is now in Iraq and commands escorts for convoys. The night before a vehicle packed with explosives drove into his convey and he didn’t even know the death toll yet. Chad’s sharing made the meaning of Memorial Day clearer.
Dale Magneson shared about living in a barracks during his duty time in Germany. The building was named after a pilot who died flying his plane in the Berlin Airlift when United States Air Force, Royal Air Force, and other Commonwealth nations flew over 200,000 flights that provided 13,000 tons of food daily for a year to the blockaded Berlin. Dale requested verse three of America the Beautiful, the one about “for heros proved in liberating strive, who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life!” For the closing song Daddy B.J. asked A.J. to tell what his favorite song was and Daddy instructed us to sing all verses. A.J. chose “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief.”
After sacrament meeting I drove Rita Kerner home. Upon returning one of our missionaries asked if I could take Amber Hardee home. I was eager to chat for bit with this recent convert, who was a friend of Benjamin’s about ten years ago. She is bi-polar and suffers from depression. She said she had been getting things put together quite well a couple years ago with a job as a receptionist with potential for advancement and Section 8 Houseing for herself and five children when someone introduced her to Methamphetamine, which for her led to immediate and un-preventable addiction. She lost everything including her children, who were placed with her parents. She said she has been clean for nine months and is working toward getting her children back. I asked if she was job hunting but she said “No, I have SSI and that’s enough.” She said her big problem was being lonely but that an old friend had recently returned to the area and it was good having his company.
The Relief Society book club selected “The Untamed Land” by Lauraine Snelling for next month’s discussion. I took that Sunday evening to start rereading it and found it wonderful again. I think I will slowly reread the whole series. It was announced this morning at church that Phil and Crystal Sutton had accepted the call as service missionaries for the next two years to run the Bremerton Home Storage Center, otherwise known as the dry-pack cannery. Consequently she will be released as the book club leader. I enjoyed the book so much. I’m glad I read it before learning about the change.
Monday I spent about five hours working in the back yard again, cutting or pulling weeds, raking the area around our canoes and boats and bridge and hauling the debris away. Looking forward to a ward father/son overnighter the following Friday inspired quite a lot of cleaning for both Daddy B.J. and me. He emptied out the breezeway and used the weed-eater all around the house, circle driveway, and garden. I took care of rock-removal to make mowing better up at the street, and then mowed everywhere Friday morning.
Tuesday I went to the zoo with Fatima, Adryann and Brynneé.
The girls rode in the bus to the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma but parents were to drive, so I went with Fatima. I really enjoyed out visit. At one point we were both enjoying the roadside painted with the gold of Scotch Broom in full blossom. She said that when he first moved here, she thought it was so lovely that she picked a bunch and took it to David’s office. She said she didn’t understand why staff and patients headed for all the doors. She was laughing as she recalled it, but many folks viewed it as a demon, blaming it for the misery of allergies.
Fatima mentioned that she had talked to Mama Cida on her birthday Sunday. As soon as she said that the light went on in my head. My father and Fatima’s mom did share the same date. Ouch. I love her mom and repented as fast as I could. I had my camera with me and took pictures at the zoo.
When I got homeI worked on those along with cell phone pictures Daddy B.J. took when we took the Adryann and Brynneé to meet their parents at the Seattle Temple (on May 1st). I chose the best ones from both series, added a letter I created with the help of the Yahoo Babel Fish website, which translates from English to Portugueese, and made a birthday card that evening.
Wednesday I ran some one-time-only errands and picked up Adryann and Brynneé after school till their mother finished with an appointment. All three were excited because they were leaving the next day for Las Vegas and a visit with relatives while David attended a seminar there. Thursday I took the whole day to be with Daddy B.J. I was his chauffeur. He had appointments in Lakewood south of Tacoma and then up in Seattle. Both were with clients he sold insurance to several years ago. The second was in the building where he taped his radio ads when he first started working with the “Building Your own Bank” ideas.
Then we went to the wet-pack cannery in Kent and worked for about three hours canning tomato sauce for the church welfare program. Our ward had been given the assignment to provide at least four volunteers and B.J. mentioned that morning that since we were driving right by we could stop and help. Two others from our ward did go, so we helped us save face.
For the father/son overnighter Friday I counted there were seven tents set up in our backyard. Saturday morning the elder’s quorum prepared a great breakfast for all the participants and at 9:00 we startedour ward yard clean-up activity service project at the homes of eight ward member’s. Daddy B.J. picked up a rental truck and worked on the move of Jadi and Todd Hoisington to her mother’s home in Belfair. I as always didn’t actually work at one place but went from site to site taking pictures. Then I returned to our house to set-up a small picnic of hot dogs, chili, potato salad, and ice cream for our volunteeers. The beehive leader, who is moving next weekend brought her class of girls out for a swimming activity and we invited them to join in our picnic.
Leah brought Michael and Joshua to us about 6:30 PM. She will be in California as a paid representative of the union for home-health care-givers till May 8th. Joshua will spend the most of the time with a less active LDS family, who have a boy in his school class. Michael will be with us. He will be in the bedroom beside my office.Tonight the fiancé of Todd Hilton will come to stay in the bedroom beneath ours. She arrived from the Philpinnes Saturday morning and has a three month visa. If they don’t marry within that time, she will return to her homeland. We met her at church this morning and look forward to getting to know her.
The big news for the week is the Ruth and her children and Joseph & Kathryn and their children have their plane tickets and will arrive in Bellingham on June 25th. Tim won’t be able to come because he will be studying to retake the bar exam at the end of July. It will be an eventful visit for all because Saturday 27th Adryann and Brynneé will be baptized. Mike and Jenna said they would be here for that too. It will be interesting to see how Heavenly Father goes about helping us have our bedrooms back for our own family by their arrival time.
Saturday the 30th I was up till midnight printing up pictures from the activity for our church bulletin board and posting the photos to a Kodak gallery on the Internet. At least the following day was an easy Sunday, one without a committee meeting or ward council for me to attend. Our choir has a new director and a new practice time – right after church. When one of the choir members said how hard it was to learn her part without a piano, I mentioned The Church’s music website and that parts for all the hymns can be listened to separately. No one else seemed to know about it so when I returned home I prepared an e-mail. Here it is for you:
Fellow choir members,
Here is the website for the Interactive Church Music Player. Copy and paste it into the address line of your browser. It goes to the page for selecting a hymn from an alphabetical listing of all the hymns. Select a hymn by clicking on its name. Give it time to load, which will vary according the speed of your Internet provider. Then scroll down the options in the left-hand column. From the Music Parts/ Volume choose the part you want to hear. It should be the only box with an “x” in front of it. Scroll to the top and click on the circle in front of Music with Parts. Then click on the play button, which is a large gray circle with a white arrow in it. The part you chose will play.
Just remember that I have it saved on my computer and ask me for it whenever you are interested.

Tuesday June 2nd – Today Daddy B.J. and I have been married for forty-three years.
I had it at the top of my list to finish a letter to Benjamin yesterday but here I am still typing away. Yesterday I thought it necessary to get Michael involved in some work, so I decided to wash windows. Well I finished the major part at 7:00 PM last night and we gathered for Family Home Evening. Daddy B.J. had each of us share a story from an Ensign or New Era. There was ice cream left over from Saturday’s activity for refreshments.
I had the chance to talk to both Debbie and Michael yesterday. Debbie said this was the final week for her boys to be juniors. In the fall they will be seniors. Debbie said now that T.J. has a girlfriend, he is consumed. She offered that excuse because I asked if T.J. had received his birthday card. That card caused a small problem. Daddy B.J. insisted we mail it along with a copy of The Church’s new Gospel Art Book. Jay was concerned that favoratism was being shown to T.J. since the cards for the other children arrive in smaller envelopes without presents. Oh, my! I do try so hard to be impartial. The book had just been published and it’s cost is nominal – a case of twenty for $30 or only $1.50 each. Daddy B.J. didn’t think T.J. would think of it as being exclusively his – but more for the whole family. Hear ye! Hear ye! We LOVE all our grandchildren equally and almost as much as we love their parents.
Debbie said T.J. is taking his girlfriend to the junior prom and Debbie has helped him buy a tuxedo – piece by piece over the Internet. He is amazed at how expensive such functions are from clothes and admission tickets to going in with friends to rent a limo for the evening. In a high-income real estate and school area the currency departs in large demoninations in flocks of bills. I’m grateful my children were so relatively afordable. Debbie said her family had Mike and Jenna with Anna Kate and Jenna’s sister Brianna join them one evening last week and how wonderful it was to be with family. That as always was music to my ears. Daddy B.J. and I are thrilled to have such loving children, who enjoy each other so much.
Michael told me that he and Jenna, Anna Kate and Brianna flew to Los Angeles the Monday of Memorial Day and returned to Bellingham last Saturday. Alligiant Airlines had a “Tax Day Special” on April 15th with tickets to L.A. for $15. They snapped those up and enjoyed the Disneyland fantasy world as well as seeing Debbie’s family.
Michael said he had a good long phone chat with Joseph and that Joseph shared about the misery he is going through. Joseph doesn’t ever complain so this was news to Daddy B.J. and me. Joseph has Bell’s Palsy. http://www.bellspalsy.ws/cause.htm is an excellent website for learning about the malady. Joseph went to his doctor because of his symptoms and he doctor said he had a bacterial infection and prescribed antibiotics. Joseph reasoned that since he had never heard of an infection creating pain, the doctor wasn’t right. He went to the Internet, described his symptoms, and discovered they matched up well to Bell’s Palsy. He returned to his doctor with that assumption. The doctor did some tests and agreed. Since the problem originates with a virus, there is limited help in actually fighting the source. However the doctor was able to prescribe pain-relief meds. Joseph confessed his problem to Michael only because they had been talking for about twenty minutes - talking brings on the pain. Joseph said he didn’t think his case was very noticeable to others. Michael heard Kathryn from the background say, “Yes it is!”
Anyway, next Sunday is fast Sunday. Please keep Joseph in your prayers. We will put his name on the prayer roll at the temple Friday. We’ll be going with our ward temple trip, but since Daddy B.J. has a seminar-workshop tonight, we won’t be celebrating our anniversary till the 5th.

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