Thursday, October 28, 2010


Mom's purse always held fascination and wonder.  One time Mom couldn't find it.  We searched the entire house.  She came to the conclusion that my friends must have taken it and I was forbidden to have anyone in the house on week-days.  On my way to my room to have a good cry, I passed the dresser in the hallway where Mom always put her purse.  There almost hidden by a sweater was a loaf of bread.  I turned, went to the kitchen and looked in the bread box.  You guessed it.  There was Mom's purse.  We had a good laugh, but I still couldn't have friends over during the week.

Once Dad asked Mom when she thought we could afford a newer car.  Mom opened her purse and in a brown envelope there was enough money for the car. 

Taking vacations always began by looking in the purse to see how much was there. 

Tithing was always in the purse.
Fast offerings were always in the purse.
New clothes for school were always in the purse.

Duane asked me to visit Mom and see if I could get her to put money in her account.  He was helping with her bills and noticed that she had not deposited her retirement checks for some time.  You must know that because I lived in Maryland and Duane was almost next door, I could get Mom to do things that he couldn't.  I asked Mom if she would like a hamburger for dinner.  She loved McDonald's hamburgers.  She said,  "Find my purse."  I went to hand it to her and she said, "There's an envelope in there.  Get some money and go get us a hamburger."

Well there were many envelopes in the purse and I asked her which one I should use.  I sat on the floor next to Mom, who was sitting on the couch.  I pulled envelpes out of her purse one after another after another.  As I opened each one there were fives, tens, twenties, and even hundred dollar bills.  We stacked them on the floor and counted.

"Want to buy a new car?" she asked. 

We didn't buy the car.  We put the money in the bank.  After that Duane had direct deposit set up and the purse sat on the dresser.

Yesterday, Bill said, "Do you have any change?" I opened my purse and gave him a $20. 

"How come you always have money in your purse?" he asked.  I just smiled and remembered.  Do you think you can inherit a purse?

Why didn't we do this years ago.


We have been "fixing up the laundry room.  For years it has been a hole in the wall with falling insulation and "stuff".  I was the one remaining "who'd want to buy this?" we had to change.

Bill is so handy.  He removed all the old insulation and sprayed in the new.  He build shelves from wood.  They are so sturdy you can put just about anything on them and they look pretty. (very important)

There was only one problem and we didn't discover it until we received notice the water man couldn't read the meter.  Bill had unconnected the signal wires to put up the dry wall and had forgotten to reconnect them.  The water guy came by and replaced the meter and checked everything out. 

We have one shelf left and then making the decision of what to do with the floor.  We are thinking carpet tiles.  What a difference.  I love it.  Laundry is no longer a dirty word.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Coincidence or Miracles

Some choose to believe that life is a happenstance.  Things just happen by luck or as the natural order of things.  I choose to believe that a loving Father in Heaven watches over us and is active in our daily lives.

Our home has a semi detached apartment.  It has been rented constantly since we first move in over 30 years ago.  Before our last renters moved they "spread-the-word" the apartment would be available.  One month passed, then two.  This was a very strange thing.   No longer than two week without renters had been the pattern. 

Bill and I felt no push to find a new renter though it would have been to our advantage for many reasons.  Then in March Sarah told us that Randy would no longer be stationed here and would have to return to New Mexico.  She asked if she could come home and stay with us.  Family was very inportant at this time because Maren's third heart surgery was looming before us.

Coincidence?   To add to the story, Randy received a temporary transfer to DC and will remain with his family.

There certainly are big miracle.  Maren is one of those.   Then there are the little things that happen everyday.  I believe in miracles.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Moments in Time--Digitalized

Bill was very secretive, yesterday.  He announced,"I'm going out."  "Where are you going?" I responded.  "D'no just yet.  Just out."  About an hour later he came back with a bag and handed it to me.  "What's this?  "I love you," he replied.  I opened the bag and there was a digital picture frame.  I gave him a hugh hug and a kiss.  "Thank you.  I love it and you."

Being 68 years old and quite cautious, it has taken me a day to figure out how to use the frame.  But, finally it all came together and I started downloading pictures from the internet and then uploading pictures from the computer to the memory card and VOILA!  Instant Family History.  I sat and watched a picture frame.  And cried. 

This morningThe Plan of Happiness was briefly digitalized.  A mortal moment.

Friday, March 12, 2010

We're NOT having Chicken Soup Tonight

It happened this way.  The missionaries came over for dinner last evening.  I put a chicken in the oven and it was perfection.  After dinner Bill left with the missionaries to visit some ward members.  I cleared the table and cleaned up the kitchen.  "We'll have chicken soup tomorrow and I won't have to spend time with dinner."  I put the boney remains of our feast in the large, shinny, copper bottomed cooking pot, filled it with water, set it on the stove, and turned the burner on.  I patted myself on the back for a job well done and retired to the computer to do a little farming.

About an hour later I left the computer and entered a smoke-filled familyroom.  "What's going on," I thought.  The kitchen was like "a foggy day in London Town". 

I turned the burner off and grabbed the oven mittens.  My "soup" was taken out the back door and set in the driveway.  I wondered what signals the smoke would send.  Running back in the house I opened every window, turned off the heat, turned on the fans and wondered why the smoke detectors hadn't sounded.  Bill just replaced the batteries about a week ago.

It took about an hour for the smoke to clear.  I had to go outside a couple of times because I was caughing so bad.  Bill finally came home and said, "It looks like you're cooking like Bill."  We laughed. 

Today I'm scrubbing the pot.  I'll be scrubbing the pot for at least a week.  Needless to say, "We're not having chicken soup for dinner."

Monday, March 8, 2010

Compulsory Behavior and Agency

I joined Face Book last week.  My intent was to keep in touch with family and friends on a more regular basis.  Welllllllllll, turns out there is this game, Farmville.  Need I say more!  I keep telling myself there is a choice.  You can play or not play.  I gather up the laundry and put it in the washing machine. AND return to Farmville.  I straighten the kitchen and return to Farmville, I make the bed and return to Farmville.  Oh, dear!  Happy or Sad, Good or Evil, Right or Wrong, there is always a choice.  AND then there's Farmville.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Moments in Dillingham History #1

Ok guys!  I know the answer, but do you?  Where was this picture taken and what was the special event?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Mom

Olive Mary Miller was the 6th of nine children born June, 26, 1913, to Thomas Henry Miller and Rebecca Crane. She was caring, creative, devoted, and fun loving. But, most of all, she was my mother. I love her and miss her very much.

Mom grew up in Herriman, Utah, a small farming community south west of Salt Lake City. She often said she would return there in a heat beat. "You can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl. She adored her father and spent every minute she could with him. As soon as she was old enough she would go with him to the upper range to cook for the men who gathered in the sheep. Later, her talent for cooking secured her job at Cottonwood Hospital in Murray.

As a girl she loved sports and often told of the softball games and squabbles that would arise. She was on one team and Aunt Rae, her older sister was on the other. It seems they were rivals in childhood but were devoted to each other in adult life. At one point the "fighting" got so bad grandma insisted that Mom walk one way to and from school and Aunt Rae walk another. If Mom was particularly "bad" grandma would tie her to a chair with string and there she would sit until grandpa came home. Mom use to laugh when she told the story. "All I had to do was tug a little and the string would fall to the floor. But, I never did." As soon as grandpa came home he'd take her outside with him to do evening chores.

After graduating from high school, Mom worked in the kitchen of the Cottonwood Hospital. She loved to tell of her friends and the fun they had. On weekends she would return home to help with the work on the farm. Sometimes she would get a ride with Alden, an older brother. Other times she would ride her bike to work. That was a wonderful bike. When I was 12 Dad took it from the rafters of the garage, fixed it up including a new paint job, and I was set for the next 5 years. What a great bike that was. I could out-race anyone. AND so could Mom.

Mom wasn't much for the day to day cleaning of the house, but come spring boy did we get a workout. Everything was cleaned, even the wallpaper. I especially remember cleaning the shear curtains that hung behind the draperies in the living room and each of the bedrooms. Mom had curtain stretchers especially for this spring task. They set up like a poster stand except instead of a tripod they were rectangular. At the front of the frame very sharp needle-point tacks protruded every inch from the sides as well as the top and bottom. After the curtains were washed, they were dipped in starch and while wet, were attached to the frame by pushing them onto the tacks. The curtains would dry and be very crisp looking when hung. This was a real skill. First of all it had to done evenly beginning at the center points and continuing evenly to the ends. Like setting up a quilt. The big trick was not to prick your finger or you hand. If you did blood was on everything and the curtain would have to be pulled and washed again. Six curtains atop each other would fit on the stretcher at one time. If you got stuck really good you might have to put two or more curtains. Blood was not the only culprit. Bird poop really made a mess.

 It was during these "Curtain Days" that Mom would tell stories of her life on the farm, how she and Dad met, and how much she wanted to be sealed to him in the temple.

Mom always thought of others first. When we first moved into the house in Rose Park it was a brand new subdivision. Ours was one of the first homes completed. Along with building homes the Church was building a chapel. When the heavy contraction was completed members would help complete the building. The "helping" was manual labor as well as money for materials--the Church Building Fund. Mom had saved $200.00 for a new couch. It took a long time. We were not a well-to-do family but Mom could work miracles with money. The day before we were to go shopping for the couch the bishop came to the house and said they were approaching each member of the ward for additional donations because working of the chapel had stopped. Without a bat of the eye Mom gave the bishop the envelope with the couch money in it. I realize now how she must have scrimped so I could go on my mission to France. Our home was always open to friends and relatives, especially those who were out of work or needed a place to stay until they got back on their feet.

In her later years Mom discovered she was a great teacher. There were many working women in the ward. Mom was one of them. The bishop along with the Relief Society President organized a Tuesday evening meeting schedule so those who worked during the day could have spiritual lessons in the evening. Mom was called to be the teacher. She would spend hours preparing for those lessons and enjoyed teaching and visiting with the sisters.

When on my mission, I received letters every week from Mom. One particular letter stands out. "We have been taking temple preparation classes and today I received my temple recommend. Dad and I will go to the temple this Saturday and be sealed for time and all eternity. I can't believe that something I wanted for so long is finally coming true." Dad jotted a note at the end of the letter. "When you get home. We will go to the temple and you will be ours for eternity."

So many more stories to write; hiding on the basement stairs, driving the car through a herd of sheep, growing and testing roses for Jackson Perkins Company, how a sanitary napkin saved her life, and the very sad effects of Alzheimer's disease.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Dad

I can’t call this a history because I do not have all facts and dates. But, I do have loving memories of my father, Meldo Francis Dixon.

Dad came to this earth December 29, 1905 in Manti, Utah; the first of three children born to William Dixon and Elizabeth Braithwaite. The family moved to Tooele when Dad was still very young. He loved his mother very much and wanted to be with her. He accompanied her frequently as she went visiting teaching and caring for the sick. After grandpa died he would make weekly trips to Tooele to care for her needs and make sure all was well. I remember going with him to clean house, pick raspberries, take care of the yard, and descend the dark stairs of the root cellar to get honey and homemade jam. Grandma came to live with us for awhile but missed her home and friends so returned to Tooele. The story I remember about that visit was the mistake she made of fixing a sandwich for herself using the cat food that was in the refrigerator. She thought it was potted meat.

Grandpa was a stern man. I don't remember him smiling at all. I do remember handsome white hair and candy mints in his pockets--pink mints. I would sit on his lap and search his jacket pockets until I found one.

Dad and Grandpa didn't see eye to eye so Dad left home at 15 or 16 to work in the silver mines. He roamed from Utah to Nevada and Wyoming for work during the 1920's and 30's. He sent money home that helped Reba complete school and receive a teaching certificate. He would continue to help Reba and her family until he died. He was like a father to her children and they loved him very much.

When Dad went to Tooele he would always visit his mother's family.  They loved to sing. Dad would take his guitar and concertina (a small accordion), Mary or Martha (Dad's twin aunts) would play the piano, and everyone would sing. "Bye, bye, Blackbird", "My Buddy", "In The Shade Of The Old Apple Tree", "Paper Doll", wonderful old songs I still love. Dad had a very mellow tenor voice. I can still hear it in my mind. Very soft. I particularly remember Dad singing "Always" to my Mom. "I'll be loving you, always. With a love that's true, always. . . Not for just an hour, not for just a day, not for just a year, but always." He loved her very much.

Dad and Mom met in 1937 or 38 at a dance. As the story goes Mom's date became very disruptive and drunk. He even passed out and Dad drove first the date home and then Mom. From what I understand it was love at first sight and they married in February of 1939 at a friend's home in Salt Lake. They lived in a small rental home on Quale Avenue just off Main Street. Dad worked for the City Water Department and hung wallpaper on the side. He continued working for the Water Department for many years until he retired in 1970. When he retired he was an Inspector Forman. He boasted that he knew every water line and main in Salt Lake and beyond.

Our family moved to Rose Park in about 1947 or 48. How we loved our new home. This is where I came to appreciate my Dad for who he was: devoted, hardworking, honest. "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right." "Do your best, that's all we can ask." With mom's help they turned the dessert clay of 974 Prosperity Drive to a fertile rose covered cottage. Dad built a trailer that hitched to the back of the car and spent every weekend hauling mountain top soil and spreading it around the yard. They planted grass seed, roses, bulbs of every kind. In later years they won first prize for roses and mums at the county fair. They really loved that house and so did I.

Dad was a fisherman and loved every minute of it. Trout fishing was his first choice. He loved being in the mountains and fishing the large streams of Utah. He usually went alone. Sometimes Duane or I would go with him. But when mom retired they went together always together. They bought a little camper and roamed Utah. . . together.

When I was 21 I decided I wanted to go on a mission. Dad wanted no part of it. "Over my dead body", he said. I had never gone against his wishes. This time out of my mouth came, "If that's how it has to be, that's how it has to be." I talked to the bishop and submitted the papers. The week before my farewell I asked Dad if he would come and speak at the meeting. He didn't say a word. He hadn't spoken to me for quite awhile. He was really upset. At the meeting he did speak and I think that was the beginning of the mighty change that took place in his life. While on my mission he and mom were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple and he began serving a mission at Desseret Industries. He talked about that mission for the rest of his earth life. He loved it. He loved the Church and loved attending meetings. Like his father he carried mints in his pocket--pink mints--and the children of the ward loved him and would run to him after meeting. "Were you reverent at church today?" If the answer was yes hands reached in his pocket for a mint.

My dad was a wonderful man. A devoted son, a loving husband, and a caring and protecting father. There are many stores to tell. Driving to seminary in a jeep, Sledding on the Golf Course, Skating on Decker Lake. They will have to wait for another time.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Baking Bread

I love to make bread.  I love the feel of the dough.  I love the smell as it bakes in the oven.  I especially love the memories and associations.

When I was growing up Mom didn't bake bread but she made rolls.  The best rolls on earth.  Ask any of my cousins, aunts, uncles, and sister-in-law.  Hands down THE best rolls on earth.  I remember her saying one time, "I wish I were back on the farm.  Then I could put as many eggs in these rolls as I wanted to."  Wish I knew her secret but no one does.  Sometimes I wish she were here so we could make rolls again.

My Aunt Ruby made bread.  Smelled like heaven in her house.  When I returned from my mission I wanted to learn her secrets.  "Honey," she said,  "Don't tell anyone but it's Rhode's Frozen Bread.  I haven't made bread from scratch for years."  That didn't matter.  There was something about that smell and seeing the fresh loaves on her kitchen table.  I wanted that in my home.

I started baking bread when we moved into the Carrollton Ward of the Silver Spring Maryland Stake.  That must have been in 1968 or 69.  What a great ward that was.  Lots of young married couples with small children.  (The Lemke's were in that ward.  Gosh I've known them a long time.)  There were two older sisters that knew how to do everything and loved to share.  We made wheat bread, white bread, sour dough bread, oatmeal bread, and potato bread.  You name it we tried it and we made it by hand.  If I was angry I'd pound it and the anger would go away.  If I was sad I'd spread butter and honey on it and the sadness would go away.  If it was raining outside I'd give each of the kids some dough to shape and like magic the sun would shine inside.

I love to think about the scriptures when I'm making bread: feeding the multitude; mana from heaven; the leaven in the loaf; the bread of life; all beautiful images and calming thoughts. 

I guess the best thing about home made bread is the sharing.  It's just plan silly to make one loaf.  Most recipes make three or four.  There's always one or two for the family and the extra loaves for a neighbor, a friend, someone who needs cheering up, or the guy who comes to fix the dish washer. 

I love to bake bread.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Walking Away

I read the Book of Mormon every night before I go to bed.  This year I started from the back of the book.  It's giving me a different perspective as to why the Nephites were destroyed.  Here is one example from the Book of Helaman.

Nephi has returned from preaching the gospel in the north.  He is about to enter the city of Zarahemla and is overcome by the wickedness of the people.  He climbs a garden tower and begins pouring out his heart to God.  People gather and wonder what on earth is going on.  The story continues with Nephi announcing the murder of the judge, five men being sent to verify this fact and put in prison, and finally discovering the truth with the judges blood on the hem of his brother's garment.

Something different held my thoughts this time.  The people who gathered at the wall to watch and listen were divided.  Some thought Nephi was a prophet, some thought he was a god, others knew he was able to discern the truth.  They talked among themselves very openly about what had happened and their particular take on the situation.  Then a strange thing happened; at least strange to me.  And this is what I have been pondering about.  They walked away.  They simply walked away.  They didn't do anything about it.  Their lives didn't change in the least.  They just continued as usual doing the same old things, making the same old mistakes, living the same old way. 

So, here am I with scriptures in hand, living prophets to guide me, and what am I doing?  Do I just walk away?  Am I any better today than I was yesterday?  I have reread these same passages over and over.  I really don't want to be like the people of Zarahemla.  I think they were playing at the righteous game instead of living righteously.  What changes will I make.  Will I just walk away?  Talking and knowing is one thing.  Doing and living is completely different.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I'm sitting here this morning trying to figure out how to move the pictures from the right to the left so they stay with the blog. I feel so dumb and useless. I know it can be done but I can't figure it out. Maybe there is a phanton blogger who can enter my computer and with a red arrow point the way. There has also got to be a way to check spelling or I'm (I was going to say screwed.) I'm in deep (nope! Can't say that either) Oh! dear, can someone help me.

On the "I can do this side", I did figure out how to leave a post on someone elses blog. Life is good

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Blizzard of 2010

I knew it was going to be a big snow, but I had no idea what BIG meant until I looked out the bedroom window. By the end of the second day the accumulation had reached 29 inches in our back yard.

Bill was called into work to keep the parking lot at the temple plowed. He was unable to get home until Saturday evening. The snow was so heavy I couldn't even begin to shovel it. It just lay there on the ground laughing at me.

By Monday morning we had only managed to clear a swipe from the back door to about 15feet down the driveway. On Tuesday morning six Snow Angles appeared at our door and we gladly paid them to finish the driveway. Before we caught our breath another 10 inches fell.

Luckily our power did not go out and so far we still have our roof and the ice dams have not caused water to come into the house via windows, walls, or floors. These are great blessings and believe me, I thank Heavenly Father continuously for them.

Bill raked snow from the roof to allow the sun to get to the ice. He had to dig a path as he made his way to the front and back of the house. The snow is stacked 4 to 6 feet in some places.

One of the pictures that keeps returning to my mind is the Martin Handcart Company trapped by the early snows near Rock Springs Wyoming. How incredibly brave, strong, faithful, and couragous these saints were. I look at my surrounding--warmth, clothing, food, and shelter and cry for their cold hands and feet; for their dead spouses and children; and for the living that had to go on without loved ones. I pray I might have that same courage to go where the Lord calls no matter the trials that may follow.