Monday, October 08, 2018

Olsons in Guam

This past weekend's General Conference was superb.  So many points to ponder and to correct and to consider.  We will be heading to a 2-hour block of Sunday meeting schedule with the idea that gospel study and learning/teaching should be done in the home.  There will be a 1 hour Sacrament Meeting followed by 50 minute meetings.  the 1st and 3rd Sundays will be Sunday School. The 2nd and 4th will be RS, YW and Priesthood. Primary will consist of classes and Singing but apparently not sharing time...all to begin January 2019.  I think this was all met with joy and rejoicing by everyone.

Just when we thought there were no more announcements, it was the last 10 minutes, the Prophet got up to close the meeting by announcing 12 new temples.

We were so excited for our friends, The Olsons, who live in Guam and Guam will be getting a temple. Robert immediately texted his congratulations and I think he might have given them the news.  They get conference on a delayed schedule but they were excited.  Today I received some lovely pictures from Laura and I wanted to save them so I can always be reminded of this amazing family.

 A typhoon knocked down trees and knocked out electricity for 6 days.  But their home and lives were spared.



Leah with pup, Lauren, Landon, Drew



 Drew campaigned and won the election for school treasurer.  I gave him and Leah piano lessons and now he's playing hymns for priesthood meetings. How wonderful is this, a young man who sees a need and steps up.


 I am jealous of their sweet puppy.  They are blessed to have one and now I want one like theirs.  Silly me.
This was the last line of her letter to me today.  So very Lauren:  It is lovely here and the weather is dreamy and the palm trees are swaying:) . Our most exciting news is that Olive Garden is opening on Tuesday!! Woo-hoo!

I love this woman and her family .  I'm so glad they are happy but I wish they were still here. Probably they are happier there.  But.....

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Henry's baptism


What a weekend!  Henry Trefethen turned 8 today and was baptized today!  The kids started to arrive. First Dawn came Friday afternoon, then Jordan and Hillary and their kids drove all the way from Grand Rapids and got here at night. They were so good to just be willing to bunk down all in the red room altho Hillary tried to sleep in the family room.  Jocelyn and kids arrived at the stake center in time to rehearse their song before the baptism.

Jocelyn and kids view the water filling the font:

Cousins



The ward members in Lakewood were so good and supporting the family and the Primary room was filled. Hank had come early to fill the font but unbeknownst to him, there was a leak but Hank somehow managed to baptize Henry in the smallest amount of water I've ever seen.  There was only one split second where Henry's whole body was immersed before the one toe slipped up but it was enough.

The two grandfathers gave the talks.  Andy did a great job on baptism, putting peanut butter across Henry's forehead and talking about sin and then wiping it off related it to baptism. But then even after baptism he might err and more peanut butter was applied, and by repenting it was wiped off. Robert of course did the usual compass but forgot to say how he received his first compass but he also had Henry toss him a football that he refused to catch and likened it to how Henry must do things in order to respond to the Holy Ghost.  When Robert didn't even attempt to catch the football the first time he wasn't too thrilled with having to toss it again, know (cuz he's so bright) that his 'Bubba' wasn't going to even attempt to catch it.

Here's Jordan with Henry

Here's Henry with his parents


Only Guy, Scarlett and Honor sang during the baptism but they all practiced together

Marissa was very sweet and asked if we could party back here and I could just imagine my mom and Bonpapa peeking in and rejoicing in their children, grands, and greats enjoying this lovely home. But it was crazy and loud and happy and filled with joy.  I think Henry's expression says it all here:




A little pano and even this doesn't include the whole group.

But I think all the kids had fun and the house survived.  As did I.  Here's some more pictures of the afternoon:

Drake Meno, Oskar, Henry, Ada Meno and Simon



Marius and Lily at the beach, of course
Wonderful waves breaking on our beach.

Miss Hazel just loves to garden...or at least use the hoe.


Marius is attracted to the water feature.  Luckily the temps had dropped from the near 100 degrees of last week to in the 60s today.




Miss Hazel and Val loved playing in the soil right off the patio.


And then there's this one last shot of the lake, with a gentle wave coming ashore and clouds in the sky.  I think this was the feeling that pervaded throughout the big event despite the noise. It's the knowledge that there is still peace to be found in our lives no matter the turmoil that swirls around us.  We just must find it. And the start is to accept the gospel and hold onto it so fast that it might hurt.  There's nothing that can replace the Love the Lord has for us and His atonement.





Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Elder and Sister Day .... BY PHONE

What an amazing phone call.  90 minutes of pure joy. There are many moments of joy in my life but this was one of the best and probably will be for all times.  I had arranged a time when they would be home and I would call. BEST 90 MINUTES EVER!  Naturally I sat with tears in my eyes or flowing down my face more times than I can say. And then I'd look up at dear Robert and see his look of a crumbling face which meant tears were near.  OR I'd hear Elder Day with tears in his voice.  Wow.  Naturally I took notes like a madwoman so I could record our conversation here...with the determination I need to save my money and make one more trip to Utah.  It's a goal.

They loved meeting Cody, and Sister Day called him 'a darling boy' and offered to be his Utah grandparents, a meal if he was hungry, a place to study or even do his laundry.  Their nephew Braden Bate (or something like that) came over Sunday night and when they told him about Cody's visit it turns out HE KNOWS CODY!  How's that for a small world moment!

Elder Day said he's always had a soft spot in his heart for the Holmans/Centers.  He remembered the time  when my mom called him or wrote to him about coming to Utah in May 1972. That's when she and Daddy Center were being sealed in the SLC Temple but on the 27th Robert and I were being married in Manti.  And as paths cross, they were going to be in the Manti Temple that same weekend doing the work for the dear son, Richard, who had died in a swimming pool accident!  The president of the Manti Temple at that time was Elder Day's mission president back in the day and so Elder Day managed to get him to seal Robert and I and it was a lovely ceremony. That's the last time we saw the Days (previously I had seen them in 1962 when Grandma Holman went to SLC to be sealed to Poppy Holman.  The Days accompanied Grandma to the temple and I met Sister Day's sister Caroline!).

Dear young Richard has been felt from the other side of the veil by all the family, especially their son Doug who while serving a mission in England said that on difficult days he felt his brother Richard reaching out to him and sustaining him.

Next Elder Day fondly remembered meeting the Holmans while on his mission.  It was Christmas Day.  He had only been out serving in Ohio since October.  He and his companion (Elder Thayne) were sitting in their one room studying when he had sat long enough. "We need to get out of here and go tracting," he told his companion. It was a very cold Christmas day and they had to don galoshes, lined gloves, hats, earmuffs, etc and started out, being pelted with snowballs by boys building snowmen. At each door, people appeared irritated that they were bothered on Christmas Day.  Then they knock on this one door (6510 Morningside Drive, Parma, OH) and my grandmother came to the door.  Elder Day introduced themselves and said, We are ministers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and we have a message for you.  My grandmother said, "Come in," and turning to my grandfather called out, "Richard, we have ministers at our door."  Elder Day said it was wonderful how they accepted everything they taught as they sat at the counter in the kitchen.  "As long as I live, I'll never forget that day.  It must have been the Spirit who knew a special family out there would listen and have their lives changed....and here it is 5 generations later and what an impact the church has had on the lives of that one family."  These might not be exactly the words Elder Day said to me but from my notes, it is as close as it can be.  Their oldest granddaughter is serving in the Ukraine and sends home lovely letters.  She's currently planting seeds and not seeing a lot of baptisms but after  Cody stopped in Sunday, Elder Day wrote to her that it only takes one good contact to  reach to the 5th generation (and I sure hope longer than that).

He remembered how Grandma also fed them every time they came by.  He remembered her minute steaks (and oh so do I...I have tried often to replicate them but I think the cuts were different then).  She'd have a cake made and would cut it in half and then one half she'd cut again and gave each elder 1/4 of the cake to each elder and insisted that was their portion.  She also made them British Trifle.  After each meal, the missionaries would ask my grandfather to play the piano and sing for them.  My grandfather was a concert pianist as well as an opera singer.  It was a pleasure to tell them that my grandfather's very piano now sits in my front room and that we still play it.  Elder Day said to play something one day and he is sure he will be able to hear it.  On the food issue my mom, not to be outdone, always made them homemade spaghetti and meatballs.

Elder Day remembered how my mom would have us arrive at church, always dressed up, with lovely gloves and hats, Debi and my hair in curls.  I had to mention how I was trained to wear and wash kid gloves by my grandmother...and how when OJ Simpson's kid gloves didn't fit him at the trial, I could yell at the screen as well as to everyone since then when OJ's trial comes up that of course they didn't fit him.  They were soaked with blood and he took them off so they shrunk when they dried. I was taught you have to put on kid gloves, wash them while on and dry them while they are still on, smoothing and caressing them til they dried and would still be supple  or they would shrink and not fit.  A stupid memory to be sure but one that I know is true...that's how I KNOW OJ did it.  hahaha

He also remembered that mom always signed MIZPAH when she sent cards and letters.  I reminded then of where that verse was found in Genesis and said she used that until she died, and how some friends would call her Mizpah.  Of course I then had to relay how I had worked so hard to type of her funeral program but nothing made my printer print it so it could be run off.  How I tried it several times, several ways and I am pretty good with technology.  How I finally sat back in the chair, "talked" to my mom and asked...what am I forgetting?  Then I looked at the screen. It all looked perfect and something urged me to add the Genesis 31:49 scripture written out.  When I next hit PRINT it printed out perfectly.  And some people don't believe there's a connection to the next life!

Elder Day reminisced about the lovely little chapel, the first in the Cleveland area, at 9509 Lake Avenue, Cleveland, and said if he had a million dollars he would like to buy it.  I rehearsed how it had been sold but that Robert and I went there once and knocked on the door and were given permission to take a tour of the building and another time when the kids were visiting and we stopped there and got some pictures.  But sadly I had to relay the information that last year it had been torn down, replaced with an apartment building.  But I could tell him how Tom Rice went over to the site and snagged me one of the church's bricks/facade stone.  It's a wonderful keepsake.

Currently Elder Day is the chorister in his ward and uses the 100+ year old baton that his mom,  a soprano,  used.  Before the priesthood quorums were combined, he taught classes but now the younger adult men do the teaching and he still conducts the music.

Sister Day grew up in Yakima Valley and moved to SLC when in the 3rd grade.  Elder Day grew up in a small town in Utah but worked with BSA  in Merced but the BSA council office was in Modesto, CA.  Every Christmas Elder Day always makes treats for everyone in their ward so they begin in mid-December making and delivering either Jam or cookies every single night.

Sister Day's sister, Carolyn McFarland Ford married a man who sold (and sold me) maternity  insurance in Provo and then he went on to law school.  They had 9 children and one has Downs. Carolyn has had serious medical conditions with diabetes and an autoimmune disease and marveled that her daughter with Downs would be the one to care for her.  Isn't that sweet?!

In September 2015 while standing on the side of a highway, Elder Day was struck by the sideview mirror by a car towing a trailer at 70 mph, and then by the trailer itself.  He should have died right then but despite the pain he still suffers in his back and his head he survived (and obviously continues to bless everyone).

We talked about doing family history and I told them how Robert is so into this.   Because he comes from pioneer stock basically all his people are done so he's tried to help me with my Polish which is not easy.  But he's also helped our blind friend (convert) with her family names and now is working on another friend's line (also a covert) who is dying.

And this next brought us all to tears.  Elder Day asked if we would send him a Polish man and a Polish woman's cards and they would do the work in the temple and feel a part of another generation of my family.  Again Robert's face crumpled, I could hear the emotion in Elder Day, and of course, I was in tears.  So we need to find 2 more names!

Sister Day told me that they were among the first group to be set apart as temple workers in the then-new  San Diego Temple and she was set apart by the temple president. He foretold that when she dies multitudes of people will greet them and thank them for the work they have done in the temple.  I don't think I have spent enough time thinking about this but what a wonderful moment that will be.

At the end of our it was just Sister Day and me finishing up.  She commented about what a wonderful man Robert must be (and he so is) and then commented about being a young girl attending seminary and watching the younger adult men teaching the classes. She said they would be standing there teaching wearing white shirt and ties (just as Robert does each morning as he has started his 5th year teaching seminary in our home) and how she thought to herself, "that's the sort of man I want to marry one day".  When she was just dating Elder Day she watched him teach a class wearing, what else, a white shirt and tie, and figured "he's the one."  How such a little thing can cement in our lives dreams that can lead us to their fulfillment.  Her final comment to me was "What a blessing it is to marry the right person".

And thus it is!

There will be more phone calls and more letters and pictures between Utah and The Ohio.  And I still hope we can make it out to Utah one day.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Elder and Sister Day...FOUND

Saturday I happened to call my Auntie Carol to check on her and to encourage her to call Patsy. The conversation went someone alone these lines:

Me: Hi carol…how are things?

Carol:  Oh Susan.  All’s good. How’s mean ol’ bubba?  how are the kids?  what’s new?

Me:  I list a few items.

Carol:  And how is Patsy?

Me: She’s settling in but all these pushy friends on the east side who wanted me to be sure she got phone never call her so if you have a minute would you please call her?

Carol:  I will try but I am so tied down. You know I have the kids here as well as Mother.

Me gasping for air and having to sit still:  Your mother is there?  With you?  

Carol: Well yes,   she has been.  Actually right now she’s living with Gladys (my mom) since Gladys has air conditioning and I don’t.

Me: Well, that makes sense.  Well Carol I need to run. I’ll call you back soon.


Then I hurriedly called her son Richard but had to leave a message. When he called me back the first thing out of his mouth was:  “So did my mom mention Sah (his name for Carol’s mom, the grandmother) to you?  

Apparently she has brought up her mom several times  last week, as well as asking Richard what happened to Al, her husband.  Richard thinks this is all a problem with a B12 deficiency.  He did get her to the doctor and then had a blood test yesterday but says she stopped taking her BP meds 2 months ago and then her vitamins.

I realize that he has to come to a real medical diagnosis before accepting whatever this is. I know nothing about B12 deficiency and hope this is true but I don’t really think it.

That's the back story of how I found Elder Day, the first missionary who tracked out my family and brought us the light and knowledge we needed.

When I was looking up Richard's phone number in a very old and old-fashioned phone book, I noticed on the page adjourning that I had a Provo address for the Days.  I texted Cody and asked if one day when he had time if he would drive by and just see if this wonderful couple were still around.  Today was the day. Cody called to say he had time and was going to give it a go.  I was so excited and nervous and worried.  What if I missed my chance to reconnect one more time. To be able to show him, at least in pictures and in the body of Cody, that the gospel still stands firm in my family's lives and it was due to his service to the Lord and his testimony that made it happen.  But lo!  Cody found them.

He said he walked up to the door, saw the house sign that said, Days Inn, and knocked. At first no one answered so he went to the car to get a piece of paper to leave a note and when he returned they had come to the door.  And I believe Cody said they were so excited to meet him and share stories.  Elder Day brought out his old mission scrapbook and shared things.  Cody was excited to see my mom had sent them a picture with Cody as a small toddler sitting on Jordan's lap.  And in return, Cody snapped some pictures and sent them to me:


 Elder Thayne and Elder Day..who first came to my grandmother's home and she sent them up to my mom.

 Me
 Me

 Cody with Elder Day in his home in Provo, Utah



A newspaper article written by the elder while serving in Parma.  I remember that they were tossed in jail at least once because people were suspicious of them.











Letter my mom wrote to them after the death of their mother, August 1962 (it was great seeing her lovely handwriting).





 Cody with Elder Day in his yard.

Altho Cody gave us this wonderful gift of reconnecting with the man who saved our spiritual lives (and as an offshoot, our physical lives as well), he was rewarded with a jar of homemade jelly/

Holy Cow!  There are just no words to say how Robert and I felt. We were so excited and could barely get to sleep.  How wonderful was this. The plan I have is that when their lives settle a bit (since they have company right now) that we can call and talk, or maybe even FaceTime or Skype.  Wouldn't that be a dream!?  Better still, I might even bend enough to go visit Utah again.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Peter is an Eagle Scout

What a weekend.  We were invited down to witness Peter's Eagle Scout court of honor in Evansville, Indiana.  This was made so much easier to do without Niko (sad I still am that Niko had to be put to sleep...I so miss having a dog!) having to be put into a kennel while we were gone. Plus Hank's parents are staying with us til they find a place to live, relocating to Cleveland. This will make Marissa and Hank's 3 boys so happy to have both sets of grand parents so near.

We set off on Friday and took a bit of a different path...Heading into Indiana before we got to Cincinnati so we could see a quilt store.  When Robert had his colonoscopy, one of the nurses caring for him noticed my tote bag and asked if I had made it. She has the same material and then told me about her mom's quilt shop in N. Vernon, IN...Sharryn's Quilt Box.  I haven't been to a quilt store in some time so we thought it would be nice to go and meet this kind nurse's mom.  And it was. Plus we got to meet her dad.  The store is lovely and I found a new time to make.

We arrived at the Kennedys to find only Peter wandering around but soon enough everyone had gathered.  We loved being with them.  Jacob had bought so many pairs of blue-light eliminating glasses and talked to me about how damaging the blue light from TVs and devices can be on a body...causing bad sleep as well as possible dementia.  Naturally, when I showed interest he got on the computer and ordered us a couple of pairs.

Saturday morning we got up and went to Evansville's Frog Follies  which is this HUGE, no GINORMOUS car showed swap meet.  It was hot as hades but was fun to see all the cars.  We took the Kennedys to dinner at Olive Garden. Then we went to the movies.

Sunday was church and in the evening the Eagle Court of Honor for Peter.  The 4 boys surprised Cara by inserting into the program a musical number.  It was all about how Cara had earned her Eagle but they gave the patch to them.  It was great to see Jacob, Cody, Sam and now Peter all Eagles and Kipp well on his way.

Same was MC
Kipp posts the colors

Peter in the pew waiting!


Kipp receives his advancement

Kipp responds.

Cody watches, he's really not sleeping.

Peter receives his Eagle pin.

Peter pins the Eagle Mom's pin on Cara.

and of course, there's a hug.


Next it's Jacob's turn to get the dad's pin
Followed by a hug

Cody leads the Scouts in the Law and the Oath

Peter responds

An Eagle Nest of friends!





Today was also National Dog Day and I sure do miss Niko.  Luckily I had the Kennedy's Leo to romp with.




We returned Monday so happy to have spent a lovely weekend with this portion of our family.  Blessing cannot be counted nor measured.

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