Happy Birthday Dad

Today my dad turns…old…at least another year older. I can never remember his exact age and I hate math, so there you have it. I wanted to take a minute and acknowledge my daddy and wish him the biggest happy birthday ever!. From the minute I was born (so they tell me) I was a daddy’s girl. We just clicked…isn’t that the way it goes with little girls and their dads? Especially since I was his first girl…which obviously means I am his favorite.


So I want to say cheers to this man. He is the reason I love Shakespeare, the outdoors, and music like Led Zepplin, James, Taylor, Paul Simon, and Vivaldi. When I was five years old there was a picture taken of me holding five fish I caught “all by myself.” I have always been proud of that picture, thinking it was so neat that I could fish like a pro at age five. Of course, now I realize, my papa san must have been the one doing the heavy lifting. As any good father would, he let me take the credit. Credit I willingly took until probably today as I thought of the memory.


When I was a baby my dad owned a skunk. I don’t remember the skunk obviously, but there is a picture, somewhere in the universe, of me in one of those walkers and a little skunk nearby. I am sure I knew then that my daddy was super legit. If the lore I recall is correct, I believe the skunk had had its scent glands deactivated somehow, possibly removed. At least that is how I choose to remember the stories told to me about sharing a living space with a skunk.


My dad has taught me to crave adventures. When I was little I received a set of cross country skis. We only went one time. And even though it was bitterly cold, I hold it as one of my fondest memories. One of those Arctic winds had blown in. And my grandpa drove us up to Brighton ski resort and then picked us up at Solitude a couple miles down…the order of the resorts may be backwards or entirely incorrect. However the fact remains, we cross country skied for what seemed like a freezing eternity. When my grandpa picked us up at the lower ski resort, I don’t think I could move my face because it was so cold. But grandpa had chili and hot chocolate waiting for us in his mauve-ish tan Oldsmobile (that may have been my favorite part of the adventure). I think dad felt bad for it being so cold, but thanks to him I have a pretty cool story to tell and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!


I have so many memories of him trying to instill a desire to experience life through the outdoors. When I was 12 my dad paid for me to take scuba diving lessons. I never got certified because I had asthma, but I did scuba dive in Murray High School’s swimming pool. I was younger then that when he put me on a horse. I fell off on my first ride with my sister, but he taught me to get back up again. We were in Cedar City that weekend visiting the Shakespeare festival. The outfit I was wearing when I rode was stolen from my mom and I had to sit through Julius Caesar with a cold cloth on my face to ease the sting of the scratches from the sagebrush. He gives me so many stories of adventure to tell even now with trips to Moab, instilling a newfound love of Opera, and encouraging me to chase my dreams.


Without my dad, my sisters and I probably wouldn’t be as competitive as we are (or as stubborn for that matter). This makes for some really entertaining game nights. All of us trying to win sure makes life interesting. And sad for them, because they always lose, because I am a champion; thanks dad. I have memories of playing games like Monopoly, where the competitive man would move his piece about the board only to knock yours over intentionally if he passed it. A tradition I happily noticed he is demonstrating when he plays games with my nieces and nephews.


When I was a teenager, well into adulthood, he and I butt heads like no other. Getting along was difficult since we were both always right. I am so grateful for the relationship we have today. I have two amazing sisters who are twins and they are so close. We all love each other and my envy for their closeness is easing with each year that I get older. Last Christmas I was lamenting that I did not have Joshua, a younger brother close to my age, whom we lost when he was only an hour and a half old. I told my dad that I wished I had a friend like my sisters had for each other. My dad sweetly told me he IS my friend. And it is so true. Papa San, you are my dearest friend and I love you so much. Happy Birthday! I hope your day is filled with nothing but happiness and love. I miss you and wish you lived closer. XOXOXO


Grace’s Grandma Lily

The next day. Grace rested on the sizzling wet cement. The towel she had put on the ground was bunched up into a pillow under her neck. The sprinkler on the lawn kept the ground under her body wet and cool. Her short wet brown hair stuck to her cheek as she inhaled deeply, drinking in the smell of the mixture of warm cement and the grass her grandpa had cut earlier that morning; before the sun had time to start smothering the crispness the night before had left behind. Grace had to keep her eyes clenched shut in order to keep the sun from blinding her. She was downwind just enough that she could feel the light spray from the sprinkler.
Soon enough, she was pulled out of the mire of her thoughts by the slam of the screen door and the Cody screeching happily as he ran out to stand over Grace. Feeling his little shadow blocking the sun from her eyes, she left them closed, “Yes Cody?” At just that moment she felt his little finger poke her cheek, “Gwacie come eat,” he giggled and poked her two more times. Grace’s eyes flew open.
“Ah c’mon Cody, that hurts,” she muttered as she swatted lightly at his tiny hand. She took his little hand in hers and pretended to bite him. “Mmmmmm you tasty,” she said in a growly monster voice, “nom nom nom.” Cody squealed in delight and ran away towards the house, giggling and screaming something nonsensical. She heard Grandma open the screen door and holler, “C’mon Grace,” as she pulled herself up off of the ground and dried herself off a little better.
When she was mostly dried she walked quickly to the front door. She could smell that Grandma had fried up some bacon and immediately surmised that BLT’s were most likely on the menu; Grace’s favorite! As she entered the house, she took the steps two at a time and raced into the kitchen. Grandma was slathering mayo onto the toasted bread and Grace’s stomach growled. Grandma must have heard it too, because she immediately said, “Now Grace, you know you are not going to sit on my chairs in a damp swimming suit. Go change and it’ll be ready to eat when you get back.” She didn’t have to ask Grace twice, not when there was bacon involved. The little imp darted into the bathroom and hurried into her dry clothes. Just as she was tugging her shirt over her ears she heard the telephone ring. Grace glanced in the mirror and tried to smooth her wet drying hair out of her face, encouraging it with all her might to just lay flat. After about 5 seconds she lost interest and saw her unsuspecting Grandma pick up the phone while she scooped Cody up who was trying to sneak out of the kitchen and down the stairs again. She hadn’t strapped him into his high chair yet and he was sneaky.
“Hello?” Grandma Lily said. Her face fell and her old, soft, brown eyes flashed in anger. She put the receiver on her chest and handed Cody to Grace, “Buckle him in would ya?” Turning the corner from the kitchen into the hallway to try and hide her phone conversation from the kids. Grace’s heart started pounding a little. There were only a few things that made grandma’s eyes flash, and Lily’s daughter was one of them.

Cody wiggled the whole time she strapped him in. She was a master at it despite his wriggling, Grace strained to listen while she grabbed herself a paper plate and plopped one of the sandwiches that were ready onto it. Cody started singing a garbled version of a Lion King song, “Oh dussss cannnnnnn wayyyyyt ooooo be kiiiiing.”
“Pssst Codester, shhhhhh,” Grace pleaded and he busted into a fit of giggles. Grace set her plate down and tiptoed as close as she dared to the corner that her grandma was turned by. All the while thinking how Cody was the luckiest kid in the world. She wished she could be 3 and oblivious to everything else going on in her life.She heard Grandma Lily’s voice raise a tad, “No. Absolutely not. You let me keep them here. I’m not going to let you take them back and forth on a whim all summer. You dropped them here and you can deal with it-” There was a pause while Irene must have been responding. Probably saying something like, “momma, they are my kids and I can do as I see fit.” Grace figured she guessed right by the response her grandma retorted with, “Irene, if you step foot in my house within the next week I will not be responsible for how your daddy will handle it. Now, you let them stay here. You dry out! And if when you come and fetch them, if it even looks like you are not sober, I will not hand them over. In fact I think you should consider just leaving them here until sch…Irene?hello?” Lily sighed heavily and Grace tried to sneak back to the table as fast as she could. As she was about to pull the chair out to sit, Grandma came around the corner and set the phone down rather firmly and fixed a smile on her face, “Gracie, what did I say about listenin’ in on my telephone conversations?”
“How does she always know?” Gracie thought to herself. As she shrugged and fixed her own smile while batting her long eyelashes at her grandma, “How am I supposed to know when to run away if I don’t hear if it’s your daughter coming to pick us up again


Where were you?

I know I’m not the only one who can recall exactly what I was doing on September 11, 2001. Usually I have a ton of conversations each year, discovering where my coworkers were and what their reactions were. Today I started a new position, so my focus was completely on learning new tricks to my new trade. I mean I knew what day it was, I gave it thought. But I didn’t connect with anyone about it. It wasn’t until I was driving home from work and saw the flags at half mast that I really took a moment to remember. We promised to never forget. But I can’t help but wonder if we are forgetting; or maybe it’s just me. I don’t want to forget, but last year I didn’t even post my traditional picture I took when I visited ground zero in 2009. And this year I didn’t even talk about it. I live alone, and work was filled with work things, so I decided to use my blog to express my thoughts.

I remember I was getting ready to work, curling my hair. I was listening to the radio and the morning show on this particular station often did pranks. When they announced the first tower fell, I thought it was a joke. It wasn’t until their serious tone carried on for a bit that I started to realize something terrible was really happening.

With the TV now turned on, I sat on the couch in complete shock as I watched footage of the first tower falling. I remember crying in disbelief as I watched it unfolding before me. When the second tower fell I was watching it on live television. I can’t remember if the footage of the poor people jumping from the towers to escape the heat of the hellish consuming flames was seen live, or if it is burned into my brain from all the footage that aired all day, and so many of the days after, but I remember it just the same. I am not sure how long it took for the initial astonishment wore off. And as I am writing this, I am not sure it has ever completely worn off. Because as I write this, my eyes are brimmed with tears.



At the credit union where I worked, there was a hushed tone and a solemness hanging in the air. The employees and the members who were forced to do business that day. “Can you believe it?” people would say choking back tears and even sometimes spilling them. I worked the drive thru that day. We, along with the rest of the nation all paused for a moment of silence. We closed the teller windows and put a sign up notifying our members that we were pausing to remember for a full minute.

I remember that every break and lunch we congregated in the break room to stare in horror as more and more information came in about who was responsible. The footage was repeated over and over. After work was spent with friends and loved ones on couches watching the story unfold. My dad was working in Qatar at the time. People who didn’t do it were claiming they had. I remember being so terrified.

There was something else I remember. I remember our nation banding together. We were a country under attack. It was a tremulous time and together we stood united. Every person felt this devastation of the assault. While I know the families of those suffered infinitely more, I know the loss was felt by us all.

When I was in New York City in 2009 my friends and I visited Ground Zero. The place where I cried the most, where all of us cried the most was actually in St. Paul’s Chapel. It is a historical church that dates back to colonial times, so I was already super 


enthralled. St.Paul’s Chapel is where the workers who dug through the rubble rested in between shifts. Inside the chapel there is memorabilia. It is covered in letters and banners from the entire country expressing their condolences, their support for the volunteers. Thereimg_1784 is a huge banner from Oklahoma stating, “To New York City and all the rescuers, keep your spirits up. Oklahoma loves you!!” There were memorial pictures of rescuers and others who died. I cried as I walked through the displays. When I visited again in 2011 with other friends, I cried again. They were tears of mourning and remembering. They were tears brought on by remembering the compassion we showed for one another in such a terrifying time. We really must never forget

Please comment if you feel like you need to share your thoughts and feelings about this day. I would love to read them.

Humor · Mental Health · Uncategorized

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time there was a fair young maiden. Well, maybe not so young, but she wasn’t old really. In fact, she was more “mid-single” as her religious culture might deem her. She was a strong woman, who had gone through many trials, not unlike any other normal human being. But alas, she was blessed with a sensitive soul and her trials affected her deeply. Her sensitivity was a gift and a curse at the same time. Her big heart was a great comfort to her friends and family, sometimes it got her into trouble, but mostly it helped her grow and become stronger than she ever imagined possible.

Alas, the trouble she got into would leave her heart broken from time to time, but she persevered. Each time the fair maiden fell, she got back up again. With every incident she became a little stronger and wiser. One day the woman realized that through her course of her trials, she had gained a lot of wisdom and perspective that others found comforting. Her advice was sometimes sought and the wisdom she had gained not only gave her her own sense of comfort, it helped those in her life. Some people even deigned to call her witty, as her ways of telling her  tales with a flare of humor often left people in stitches.

Aside from this ability to entertain with words and wit, there was a desire in her heart to express the ideas and trinkets of wisdom gained throughout her various life lessons. On her journey through life and on her quest to value her own self worth, she realized she had a lot to offer and even more to say. She could see humor in her daily life. Her life was filled with adventures and funny yarns about her crazy nieces and nephews, and her occasional attempts at cutting carbs out of her diet. And it is with this knowledge, that she had something to offer and something of value to say, that this blog has been created.

So stay tuned for the adventures of the fair young maiden whose Fairy Tale in Progress is sure to elicit all of the feels and possibly all of the giggles one can muster.