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Look carefully...at the seemingly small moments...in the constant shaping of souls.- Neal A.Maxwell

Keeping busy
My annual stay at dad's is longer than usual. J's mission ends 15Jul. We will pick him up that morning and spend the day going places and meeting people that have been a large part of his past 2 years. We were fortunate that the President of his mission area allowed C to be J's mission companion this past Saturday. Even more fortunate, all four of us were able to meet J's current companion and see his current home. Sunday we were able to hear him speak in two church meetings, have dinner with him and then attend another meeting in which he sang in the choir. We did not arrive back at dad's until after 10pm. The boys were hungry and C wanted to shower. I asked dad if our noises would bother him. He said, "If I hear you I will be happy knowing you are here. If I don't hear you I will happy sleeping." -------------------------------------------------- My room at dad's is beneath the kitchen. Each morning I am awakened by the footsteps of his morning routine. When I was younger I did not like being awoken by kitchen noises. Now it is a favorite part of visiting home. This morning, after the normal breakfast footsteps I heard what I figured were apricot drying footsteps. I lay there picturing dad rinsing, splitting and flattening each apricot before placing it on a drying tray. When I went upstairs I saw the real version of my mental image. I said, "Dad, I think part of why you're so happy is because you're so busy." He beamed and said, "I think so." -------------------------------------------------- Three years ago the boys and I went ice-skating. A large group of teenaged tourists from Japan were skating that day. After the rink closed a couple of the girl tourists asked C if they could take a picture with him. He agreed. The two girls called other girls over. They stood in line and one by one had their picture taken with C. B and I were amused, J was tolerant. Last night most of the missionaries in J's mission area were at the meeting in which J sang in the choir. (It was a Mission President's Devotional meeting). After the meeting was over missionary after missionary came up and asked if they could have their picture taken with J. B and I were amused. C was tolerant. (Actually C spent the time helping put chairs away - but I liked the literary aspect of saying he was tolerant :) ) I mentioned to J that it was the skating rink reversed. As soon as I said it, I knew it was a thoughtless thing to say. At the skating rink the tourist girls wanted a picture with a random cute American boy. Here, the missionaries wanted a picture with someone they have come to love and respect. -------------------------------------------------- When J was in first grade his teacher told me that she was impressed that he always allowed others to be front in line. She thought he was being thoughtful. He was a thoughtful boy but in that case he simply didn't want others to give him "flat tires". He was quiet, well-behaved and a target for bullies for years. I did not know this until the summer J was entering 9th grade, his first year of High School, he said he was excited for school because the people who had bullied him would leave him alone because he had grown so much over the summer. I asked why he had never mentioned being bullied. He said that he preferred dealing with it on his own, in his own way. That Fall one of the bullies stopped J's bike as J was riding home. J popped a wheelie with his front tire, knocking the boy down. The boy's friends laughed and J went on his way. True to J he felt bad for the boy. He set the goal to become genuine friends with everyone. J was voted Best Personality his Senior year. He received a $1,000 Botany scholarship that he had not even applied for. The day of graduation the Botany teacher told me that J's presence at the high school had made a definite, noticeable difference. He truly had tried to be friends with everyone. A trait he carried into his mission. -------------------------------------------------- When I got home last night. I sent my last e-mail to my missionary. I apologized for my thoughtless remark and thanked him for his example of serving with love. Starting Tuesday, as we learn to be a family of 5 again, we will all need to remember the importance of serving with love and keeping busy.
The browser on dad's computer is not very compatible with blogging on copper. I can't choose fonts and I can't format paragraphs (no indenting or spacing). Most frustrating of all, at this moment, is the inability to post pictures. Pretend I can and imagine a picture of my three boys together for the first time in two years. There was a lot of smiling in front of and behind the camera. :)
Dad and I were reminiscing about mom's sense of humor and quick wit. One of his favorite memories was when they were in Hawaii. A sign pointing one direction said "Scenic Overlook." A sign pointing the opposite direction said, "Viewpoint." Dad asked, "What's the difference?" Mom said, "With one you have to have an opinion." -------------------------------------------------- B purchased some smoke bombs at the dollar store. That evening he lit them while dad and I watched. Each of the 6 smoke bombs gave a little poof of smoke and then were finished. All three of us laughed at how anticlimactic they were. Today we purchased some more smoke bombs, this time from the grocery store. This evening B lit them while dad and I watched. They were everything a 12-year old would want from smoke bombs, the blue in particular. Later this evening B was playing with a bright orange soccer ball. Dad said, "Wouldn't that be something if it were a smoke bomb?" B replied, "Well, it would depend on where you bought if from." Dad laughed and laughed and then laughed some more. He turned to me and said, "That is your mother's humor right there." -------------------------------------------------- I am grateful dad is busy and involved with home, neighbors and church. It is fun to share happy memories of mom. It is so nice to create happy memories with B and his grandpa.
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