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Look carefully...at the seemingly small moments...in the constant shaping of souls.- Neal A.Maxwell
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The New Normal
The pollen count where I live is crazy high during most of June.  Seventeen years ago I developed seasonal asthma and thus began an annual tradition of spending most of June in Utah with my parents.  My husband generally comes for 1-2 weeks during that time.  Last year J went home with his father, he had a job and his senior project to attend to.  This year J and C both went home with their dad.  J has work and C chose to attend a 4-H camp.

Summer evenings prior were generally spent with the three boys playing on the lawn while mom, dad and I sat on the patio talking and watching the boys.  Mom and I would almost always end up laughing, sometimes to the point of tears, at the antics the boys came up with.  This summer dad, B and I sit on the patio chatting.  Then while dad waters his garden B and I play ball or go for a "sprinkler walk" around the block (B is allowed to get as wet as he wants as long as he stays on the sidewalk and off lawns).

During this evening's sprinkler walk we saw a tent-trailer set up in a driveway.  We could see the outline of some boys playing in the the trailer.  My mind flashed back to my childhood.  When I was quite young I would invite up to three friends for a sleep-over in my dad's old army tent set up in the backyard.  When I was a little older my parents purchased a tent-trailer which they would set up in the carport where I could have up to 5 friends for a sleep-over.  When our family had out-grown the tent-trailer but I had not outgrown sleepovers I would invite a single friend over and we would take sleeping bags and sleep in the driveway in the back of the Ranchero our neighbors had loaned us for the two years they were on a mission.  Though the location and number of friends changed each sleepover had at least two commonalities 1) the sense of adventure of sleeping "outdoors" and 2) the special breakfast mom would have prepared for us the next morning.  The top two favorites were cinnamon streusel coffee cake and French breakfast puffs.

Growing up/growing older is interesting.  I don't think that I realized the last time I had a sleepover it would be my last one.  Last summer I did not know that this summer C would leave Utah early, with J and my husband.  I certainly did not know it this summer would be without mom.

I am frequently asked how dad and the rest of the family are doing.  My answer is that we are all adapting to the "new normal".  I was thinking of how that phrase applies to all of life's changes.  Sometimes the new normal occurs suddenly, sometimes it creeps up, almost unnoticed.

C came home from 4-H camp today.  I called and asked how it was.  He said he had a good time but wished he had chosen to stay in Utah instead.  Maybe my June "new normal" will take a slight backslide next year.
But how's the weather?
I recently placed a linen cabinet in the front bath.  The top half of the cabinet has shelves which hold hand towels, washcloths and glass jars holding Q-tips and cotton balls. The bottom shelves are behind a louvered door.  From day one my oldest complained about the cabinet and expressed amazement that I thought it looked good.  Recently he said the back bath was out of Q-tips.  I told him to get some from the front bath.  He said he could not see any in there.  I went in and pulled the jar off the shelf.  He looked surprised, bent from his 6'4" height to my 5'8" height and said, "Oh, is this what you see.  I can see why you would like this."  He then left the bathroom and returned with a stool for me to stand on.  All I could see was a slightly dusty cabinet top.  He asked, "Can you see why I don't like it?"

Hit-Run Car Knocks Girl Into Gutter, Vanishes
Doctors Battle to Save Life of Child, Still Unconscious in Hospital

    Apparently struck by a hit-run Motorist at Eighth East and K avenue as she delivered valentines at 8p.m. Monday, eight-year-old L. C. remained unconscious as doctors fought for her life at the hospital Tuesday.
    Special police investigators intensified their search for the car believed involved in the mishap, while the child’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. S. C., K avenue, remained at their daughter’s bedside.  She suffered jaw and leg fractures and other injuries.
    Police, reconstructing the accident at the scene, reported the girl’s shoes and galoshes were knocked from her feet with the force of the impact of the hit-run car – the small brown oxfords remaining tied in neat bows and the buckles ripped from the rubber boots.

Called by Unknowns

    Officers were summoned to the intersection by unidentified persons who apparently acted on orders of Mrs. O. D, E avenue, one of the first to reach the child’s side.
    Mrs. D., waiting for Mrs. J, K avenue, passed the spot at Eighth East street, not noticing the quiet form lying partially covered by deep snow on the east half of the street.
    “When Mrs. D. had walked past a few yards,” Mrs. J. related, “a little girl ran to her saying there was someone lying at the roadside.
    “Mrs. D. investigated and found L. lying there unconscious.  She sent for a blanket, wrapped her in it and had the police notified,” Mrs. J. said.

Ran for Help

    The other small girl – who found L. in the snow – was unidentified, but Mrs. F,  K avenue, Tuesday said the girl thought L.’s body was a Christmas tree and walked over to it, then discovering it was another child, ran to tell Mrs. D., who was walking down the street.
    L.’s identity remained unknown until a playmate, B. B., daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. R. B., K avenue, joined a gathering of spectators and cried, “Oh! It’s L,” Mrs. J said.
    Preliminary investigation by police indicated there were no known witnesses of the accident and no automobile was remembered by neighbors as passing the intersection at the time of the mishap.
    The child was apparently struck at the intersection and was carried or thrown 20 feet.  The shoes and galoshes were lying at the side of the intersection about 20 feet from the injured girl, neighbors said.

Growing up I knew mom had been in a hit and run accident.  I knew that her leg had been broken in the accident and that she had marks where her leg had been pinned together.  I knew that neighbors and friends brought her the Madame Alexander storybook dolls she let me play with when I was not feeling well for her to play with while she was recovering.  I did not know until I found the newspaper article today how serious the accident had been.  I showed the article to dad, he had not known the severity of the accident either.  We were both struck by the impact the recovery of that little 8-year old girl had on his life, my life and the life of so many others.  Tonight I held my 9-year old a little longer and a little tighter before he went to bed and thought of how my grandparents must have felt that Valentine's night years ago. 
The Cutest Girl
My oldest, J, was in a Writing class that consisted of 2 boys and 10 girls.  I asked him which girl was the cutest.  He said he couldn't answer that.  I asked who the girls in the class were.  He listed them.  I said, "So B and H are the cutest?"  He said, "You might be right, but how would you feel if you were one of the other eight?"

I had asked the question to tease information out of J.  I did not get the information I was looking for, I learned something much more important.
Graduation "Text"

Looking at graduation pictures I discovered my son's friend texting during the ceremony.  I made a light-hearted comment to her about it the next day.  She gave me a surprised look and said, "I didn't even have my phone with me during the ceremony."

Any guesses as to what that not-a-phone is in the photo?

Bacon bread.  A friend passed it to her and she is breaking off a piece.  Dinner and a show :)

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