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.