Monday, November 29, 2010
To helping Saren and Jared with the big move to Ogden (after their struggling through a horrendous snow storm from St. George with the mini-van and the big moving van stuffed to the hilt)…
In the midst of the move, Saren even found time to meet me at KSL Radio to do a radio show with Amanda Dixon. Two of the women on the show had canceled so she was delighted to have Saren and got her signed up to be a regular on the show from now on. I can't believe she made it despite all that was going on with the move. She did a great job and is truly amazing!
Here comes Grandma’s piano coming up the sidewalk!
We were there three time during the move and would you believe that these are the only three pictures that I took of that beautiful new house? It is just an amazing house! Lenna who came to see it with Jess, sat down and played the Maple Leaf Rag on our old piano and it took me right back to high school when she first started playing that song which won her the first runner up ispot in the Miss Idaho pageant!
We also managed to squeeze in a visit to Jesse Hirschi (of Jesse and LaRue and Jesse and Ruby). He was so worried about his oldest son Jack who had just had major surgery due to cancer when they took out a kidney and found spots on his lungs! LaRue also died of cancer and her mother as well. Jesse was so worried and we were glad that he now lives so close to Saren in North Ogden so we can visit!
He is almost blind but uses this amazing machine the helps him to read almost anything. Here is a picture of him on his machine from his high school yearbook!
And this is his favorite picture of he and LaRue when they were dating, changing a tire. They got married and he left for the World War II the day before Jack, his oldest son, was born and was gone for two and a half years!
Jack is holding his own, Jesse was in good spirits and we have promised to go back and see his album of pictures that I’m so excited to see! Jess will be 90 in July and has a perfect mind and a positive mental attitude that is just amazing!
The next morning we left Park City where it was 6 below zero to sunny, warm AZ and a terrific Thanksgiving dinner!
That night we were among the 82 people who showed up at Bob and Marva’s house for pie! It was so fun to rub shoulders with so many of this outstanding family! We are so blessed to be connected!
What a fun week! More fun with the Pothiers in the next post!
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Two weeks ago we had the opportunity to visit New Orleans…again. We were there four and a half years ago, just after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. As we drove through what is known as the Ninth Ward, which was hit most directly by the devastating storm, we saw the power of the forces of nature with our own eyes. It still looked exactly as it did after Katrina hit on August 25, 2005, five months earlier.
As luck would have it, the beautiful old mansions of New Orleans were on higher ground and most were not damaged much by the storm.
In other parts of town, people had drained their houses and were moving back in!
The interesting thing about going back five years after the havoc wreaked by Katrina was that everyone we spoke to including our drivers, our friends in the organization we went to speak for, people in the restaurants and at the mall claimed that Katrina was the best thing that ever happened to them!
Of course those who you lost family members or a dear friend would not be able to say that but by and large people just couldn’t get over the things they learned from being a part of the biggest hurricane disaster in US history!
“It’s something we’ll never forget! It was such a blessing to be able to give refuge in our house to ten other adults and eight kids with six dogs in the garage,” one woman said. Another remembered housing media people in nearby Baton Rouge because there was absolutely no place else for them to stay as they covered the story.
One young woman said that she was a student at LSU at the time. She said, “It was a year I’ll never forget. I learned more in that year than I had for all the rest of my life put together!. They brought in an old battleship which served as our dorm rooms for the entire school year. We studied hard but we also helped those who needed help so desperately.”
One of our drivers said that his greatest regret in life was that he had heard about the storm and had decided to leave town. He was a writer and would give his eye teeth to have been there to gather stories on the ground as the storm progressed.
The city, thanks to an enormous number of generous donors including Brad Pitt has pretty much been transformed and put back together. The streets were clean, the food was fabulous (as always) and in general, things were much better than they were before the storm.
The thing that most people mentioned when they talked about their learning experiences was that they were forced to change! They soon realized that life was never really going to be the same. Of course many people left and never came back as they realized how good people were to them where they “landed”. Life was more precious and every day became important.
It reminded us of one of our favorite quotes by someone named Storm Jameson:
Happiness? It is an illusion to think that more comfort brings more happiness.
True happiness comes from the capacity to think freely, to enjoy simple, to feel deeply, to risk life to be needed!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
The sand felt like powdered sugar under our feet and looked like a moonscape:
Today we went fishing. Although I think that fishing is about as exciting as baseball games we had a great time, even though the wind was blowing like crazy and it took us 4 1/2 hours to find about seven fish. I thought the most exciting part was seeing an manatee! I didn't catch it's nose above water in time for a picture but this is how it looked under water:
And we even found a flounder at the end, which our Captain cleaned for us to barbecue on the grill!
On to New Orleans!
Monday, November 15, 2010
Back to Family Week! The theme of their week was "Strong Families Build Strong Communities". We loved that and had the nice opportunity to speak to families at two different churches. First at the Beymer Methodist Church in Winter Haven and then at the Highland Park Church on the Nazerene.
In the process, we met this wonderful mother who runs a pre-school for 130 children at the Methodist Church who, of all things has seen us on Oprah all those years ago, had bought all our books since then and loved the thought that even though she wasn't perfect she had really raised her children deliberately with ideas she had thought out and embraced as she raised her children! The girls will love hearing that as we are contemplating just how to use that word in our future thoughts about mothering!
As life goes, Lori had just had surgery on her knee and was hiding her crutches and her wonderful husband Glen, who is a Mormon bishop had just missed the bottom step while carrying a huge TV downstairs and wrenched his right knee and mangled his right foot (don't worry he saved the TV)! He was on a walker! They were quite a pair who you would never guess were invalids from this picture!
Some people are truly amazing and these two on the left are some of them! I came away thinking that I needed to be a better person! Their spirit of goodness and generosity permeated everyone we met...at church and at the family week meetings. Besides hosting us for the night they had offered a place to sleep..and a lovely breakfast for neighbors across the street who were moving the next day. Besides raising four beautiful children of their own they provided a home for a niece and her daughter who were in need. We also met several converts to the church who had listened to "the discussions" in the warmth of their very comfortable home!
They even offered to "babysit" a car for a neighbor who didn't have room in his garage! Gosh, somebody's got to do it! Glen didn't fit in this car (he's 6'9") Dad could fit in it just fine! It's a Ford GT??? I'm lucky if I know what kind of car I'm driving but Dad and I were pretty impressed!
I'm being a little tongue-in-cheek about the car but really, I am going to be a better person after being in Polk County for Family Week along with some of our new favorite people, Lori and Glen Waters and friends! Hooray for Strong Families!
For the column go to this.
We'll see where all this goes but we're pretty excited about it. The new management there have been wonderful to work with!
I think all the Eyre girls are working on producing something there as well. The announcement for that will come as soon as we know.
Friday, November 12, 2010
It truly does feel like a little bit of heaven!
This guy is a true cowboy! He loves his horses and....
Of course, no trip to St. George is complete without having fun with the Loosli kids!
That's a bit of Kolob too!
We're off to Florida and New Orleans. More on that next week!