Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Little More Trivial...

This weekend I enjoyed the midnight showing of Twilight (Yes, I loved it AND my dreams of Edward all night long). Did not enjoy watching BYU lose to the Utes. But did enjoy Coldplay in concert that night. Did not enjoy being sick with some stomach bug that has now been passed on to Courtney and Dan. But am happy that the Book Fair is over (that I was in charge of). And that sharing time is over so I'm off the hook for 4 more weeks. I'm looking forward to cooking Thanksgiving but am a little afraid of the pies. My Christmas cards are addressed and stamped and ready to go with the help of Nicholas and Christopher who were amazing lickers and stampers -- quite seriously! Very impressive work from the 7 and 3-year-old! Hoping licking so much glue doesn't turn their stomachs and give them what everyone else got. NOT happy that Mac makes it so difficult to have 2 different iTunes libraries, but am happy that my Christmas music is now in it's own little file to be opened at only the right time of year. Did enjoy listening to the Messiah today, breaking the "no Christmas music before Thanksgiving" rule in my house with the excuse that we've got to get familiar with it again before the Sing-Along next Saturday. Not looking forward to impending snowstorm over Thanksgiving. Although by then I might change my mind.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

More Thanks for Anonymous People

The next anonymous person I'm thankful for is the woman who found my 18-month-old nephew on the street while I was supposed to be watching him. There are really not a lot of details to make a good story and truthfully, it still haunts me and hurts to think about.

I was babysitting Jaxon while my sister was in town. She had gone to a meeting. All the big kids were outside playing and I was working on the computer (and, quite honestly working on the class calendar for the month -- not surfing the internet) and supposedly listening to Jaxon play in the other room. Several times I felt I should check on him but put it off trying to get a few more items completed on my project.

My doorbell rang and I opened the door to a woman holding Jaxon and of course I immediately knew she'd rescued him and I had horribly neglected by responsibility to my sister. She asked if he was my child, and in my shock and gratitude I stumbled out an explanation of Yes, kind of. My sister's. I'm babysitting. I thought I could hear him. Where did you find him? Don't answer that. Obviously farther than the safety of my home or even my yard. I thought he was right here... I thought... What if...? Thank you! What's your name? Thank you. I'm so sorry...

She was kind and the mother of children. She knew how fast they can get out. She was happy to help. It can happen so fast.

So again, no judging. No ill-will. Just kindness and understanding. She handed me "my" little boy and was on her way. She rescued Jaxon, she rescued me.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Third Thing

Another group of people I'm thankful for are all those I've passed while riding my bike uphill who cheer me on. There's the super steep hill by Sev at the Canyons that took several weeks to become comfortable getting up. One day 3 riders all passed me (going up!) and simply said, "You're doing great!"

On three different occasions as I've ridden up the hill at 30th East walkers coming down the hill have said, "Great job!" or "Wow!" or "You can do it!"

Finally as I came up a little but somehow very tiring hill on Wasatch Blvd., a young girl in her soccer uniform leaned out of the window of her dad's truck and gave me the big thumbs up and shouted, "Way to go!" That last one made me laugh because as kids we were always pulling mischievous stunts in the car or shouting at people we drove by. (Remember when we wrote "Help, We've Been Kidnapped" on the inside cover of "Kittens for Kim" and held it to the window as we drove on the freeway?!) So this little girl was probably goofing off or dared by her friend or maybe she really was filled with a lot of good-will, but it totally gave me a boost!

So thanks to all the high 5's I've been given while out doing something hard! It's all these shows of support by complete strangers that confirm for me that the world is a good place, that people care about each other and that we'll try to help each other the best we can.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Thanks Giving

My college years were filled with lots and lots of fun. We played pranks on our roommates, ran wild through rainstorms, stayed up late laughing, generally had great roommates, worked hard in school, supported each other in difficulties, took lots of goofy pictures, spent a fortune getting them developed in "under an hour," and made lots of friends. I feel strongly that every child should live away from home and get to be independent in college. The experience can't be duplicated.

But with independence comes a greater measure of responsibility--mostly in the form of paying for it. I put myself through school--tuition, books, housing, life--the whole deal. I think I give myself a lot more pats on the back now than I ever did then. Back then it was just something I did. My parents couldn't afford to help me out--it was my responsibility and I didn't think twice about taking it on. I was having such a good time it was worth it.

That being said I had some lean months. And one such month didn't seem to be getting any better. It was the start of the semester, which meant purchasing books and supplies. I was due to receive a Student Loan, but it hadn't come in yet. Luckily my birthday is in September and my awesome roommates bought me groceries for a birthday present!

I was working, of course, but don't you remember how you got paid a week or two after the end of the 2-week work cycle? Back then 2 weeks was eternity and $25 was a million bucks. Finally on Sunday, my roommates encouraged me to ask the leader of our church congregation for help. Right after the meeting he approached me first and asked if we could talk. "I felt inspired to ask if there was anything I could do for you," he said.

I explained my situation--I was out of money and wouldn't be getting paid for another week. My student loan hadn't come in yet and I needed to pay my share of the apartment bills. I'd used up all my money on books. "How much do you need, he asked? Would $100 cover it?" Even now I want to cry at what $100 meant back then and with gratitude for his generosity.

He came over to my apartment and gave me a $100 bill that evening. Just gave me a high-five and then shook my hand--quickly sliding me the money and leaving. He acted like it was no big deal and never treated me any different.

We've had our opportunities to help others who needed $100 or some other amount just as important to them. And each time I give, I've always thought of when he gave to me. And I'll be forever grateful.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

I'm Thankful

A couple of days ago I was driving past a large Albertson's shopping center. 20 years ago it was only one large house on many acres of land. On the adjacent street small, older houses with large yards or small farms lined the street. A shallow irrigation ditch ran along the road -- probably a couple of feet wide and less than 2 feet deep. Now most of the houses are gone and a nursing home, office building and apartment complex have been built there instead.

My senior year of high school I delivered papers along this street, sometimes driving our family's small Honda and sometimes driving a very old, very large, Buick stationwagon. One of the houses still remaining is an old duplex. One snowy day at 5:00 in the morning 20 years ago I was driving the Buick to deliver the papers. As I tried to turn into the driveway of the duplex, the stationwagon slipped in the snow and we ended up in the ditch. Although not deep, it was impossible to get out.

Given the early hour, I hesitated to ask for help. But what else could I do? I was too far from home to walk back so I needed to use a phone. I timidly knocked on the door and a young woman answered with her husband right behind. I quickly explained and in an instant her husband said not to worry. He had a truck and a chain (!!), and before I could respond his boots were on and he was jumping in his truck. He towed me out, got my car on solid ground and I was back to my paper route.

Before I knocked on their door I worried they would be annoyed. I knew they'd be tired. I worried they wouldn't be home. I thought they might be mad. I wondered if I'd get a lecture. My hair was a mess, I was in pajamas and a sweatshirt--I must have been a sight on their doorstep. And then to have our giant Buick nose first into the ditch in their front yard. Of course they'd have excuse to moan and utter a frustrated or nasty comment or two. And then even when I did call my dad--what could he do? I was pretty sure he wouldn't call a tow truck. So we'd have to think of friends who might be able to help. How do you get a car out of a ditch? And how long would it take? I might be inconveniencing them all morning.

But instead, there was no complaint, no negative remark. They helped me out and sent me on my way. Unfortunately, I'm sure I never gave them a note or a gift. But I've never forgotten and hope I'll respond in kind. This Thanksgiving season they are one of the people I'm remembering and to whom I give Thanks.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Crunch, Crunch, Crunch...

...his feet sank into the snow. He walked with his toes pointing in, like this. He walked with his toes pointing out, like that. ...

Nicholas and a friend put on their snow clothes to go play outside today. Wondering if they'd need my help riding the sleds or building a snowman or who knows what, I waited.

When they got outside Nicholas called to his friend, "Let's make tracks!" Such Simplicity! One of my favorite books is "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats. I love having a three-year-old!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Could anything be better than having Halloween on a Friday? And then having Daylight Savings the same weekend? That was really the best. AND THEN... snow today to usher in the Holiday Season! I think I'll include Thanksgiving as a Holiday festivity this year and embrace an early Christmas since we actually have two weeks off of school to celebrate (for the first time in 4 years -- obviously a bunch of crazies plan the School District calendar!!). Usually I don't allow Christmas music until after Thanksgiving... but with the snow, we just might have to break tradition!