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

time to move
     I woke up to this message on the laundry door:

big spider post-its.JPG

Big!!! spider Ran In Here Last Night
Very Fast It's Time to Move
He Is Seriously This Large
(post-it note sized drawing of spider)

to Utah and back
     Recently, walking to the ladies room at a crowded rest stop something hit me in the back of the head with enough force that it temporarily knocked me off balance.  Turning to see what or who had hit me I saw a magpie flying away from me.  In the restroom I asked two women if they had been attacked by a magpie, neither of them had.  Back in my vehicle I watched to see who would be attacked.  Not everyone was, and all who were were tall, dark haired females.  Speaking of, while in Utah this summer I asked a gentleman to relay a message to my husband and 15-year old B.  According to them, this was the interchange, "A tall, tall woman with gray hair wants me to tell you she is waiting for you outside."  Six-foot B responded, "She's not tall."  Grayer husband added, "She's not gray."  I think the magpie agreed with husband, though the mirror tells me the gentleman is not far off.

     On our way to Utah we stopped to visit our oldest, J, and his wife H in Rexburg Idaho.  J purchased a drift trike a year or so ago.  When he bought it I told him I wished I could ride it.  He remembered my saying that.  When he noticed the back wheels wearing thin he stopped riding the trike so B and I would have a chance to try it when we came.  B rode first, then I took a turn.  J asked if either of us had drifted on it.  B said he did not want to ruin the back wheels.  J said that that is what he saved it for.  B got back on, pedaled fast, drifted around a corner, pedaled fast, drifted again and the wheels were shot.  It was enough - B and I both know what we want for Christmas.

drift trike.jpg

     We have an overlook near our hometown that is a favorite of J's.  He would drive the 30-40 minutes and hike the 20 or so minutes it takes to get there on a regular basis when he lived here.  The aforementioned gentleman in Utah told me of an overlook that is a 10 minute drive from dad's and a 10 minute hike (15 if you aren't used to the altitude) from there.  Husband and B joined me, with some resistance, the evening I had heard about it.  Husband and B and husband's sister joined me very willingly the next evening.  B said if we lived near my dad he would drive to this spot frequently once he had his license.

great salt lake.JPG

     My 83-year old father recently got a Samsung tablet.  He is surprisingly quite savvy with it.  B is savvier.  B taught both dad and I tricks with the tablet camera - including how to take a panoramic shot.  Dad kept moving during my first attempt at a panoramic shot.  If you know anything about the energy and work ethic of my dad, you know my result matches him perfectly.

dads garden.jpeg

     A number of my Utah friend's, dad included, are in their mid to late 80's.  Each year when I leave, I know there is no guarantee these people will be where I left them when I come back.  I guess that lack of guarantee applies to friends and family of any age, and any location.  When I arrived home I learned that my 80+ neighbor - one of my best friends, my late-into-the night porch buddy -  had moved.  She now lives with her daughter and her house is getting ready to be sold.  I am grateful for phones for talking and cars for visiting but I miss the porch.

just between you and me
this post is rough draft and in progress, likely too rough to read.  I only put it here in hopes it will help me remember to finish it

     Heading out the door tonight, 80+ year old neighbor called to me from her front porch, "I have a just-between-you-and-me something to tell you."  Already late I called back, "As soon as I get home."  Neighbor was still on her porch when I returned.  I walked over, she spread a blanket on the step for me to sit on, I sat, and she started to laugh.  I knew the "something" was going to be good if the laughter came before any words were spoken.  Two sentences into the story had us both laughing.  Still laughing at the end of her story (which I can't write because it was a just-between-you-and-me) I related a story of my own.  Which reminded neighbor of another story which reminded me which reminded her...We told stories for well over an hour - some humorous, some sweet, some serious.  In that hour I was reminded of things I have not thought about for years.
     Neighbor tells her great-grandkids stories about her grandpa when they spend the night.  When my oldest was little his preferred bedtime stories were of when I was little.  Usually he would ask for true stories of when I was little sometimes he would ask for pretend stories of when I was little.  When my second was little he wanted stories about Chicken Licken and his pals Turkey Lurkey and Goosey Loosey.  Usually he was content with whatever story I came up with sometimes he would ask for a story when Chicken Licken was bad.  When my youngest was little we went to a Science Museum where there was a "magic" show done by a chemist.  During the show the chemist mixed some liquids which instantly turned into a big line of foam coming out of the beaker.  The chemist called it "elephant toothpaste".  On the way home from that night I told a story about a baby elephant coming to the museum after all the people left so he could get toothpaste to brush his teeth with.  There on after youngest would ask for baby elephant bedtime stories.  Throughout each childs' storytime span my husband would tell me to write my stories down.  I thought they were to simple and silly and that no one would be interested.  Now I am interested - unfortunately not only can I not remember any of the stories but I can't even imagine I was ever creative enough to come up with a nightly story.
     I can't eat beef, one of my son's can't eat pork.  We eat a lot of poultry at our house.  Every November I cook 8-10 turkeys and then freeze diced turkey meat to be used for soups and casseroles the next few months.  The first November neighbor learned of this she had a dream that every kitchen cupboard she opened had a turkey in it.  The same year I dreamed that I had neighbor and I sit in a foil turkey pan because it could fly like a magic carpet, the only problem was that it was not strong enough to hold our weight so we had to put a cookie sheet underneath BUT the cookie sheet wasn't magic so we had to hang onto it with both hands while in flight.
     I have a friend S who was born with a mental disability, as well as some difficult physical issues.  The other day I was mentioning to another friend J how much I admire the openness and fortitude in which S goes about daily life.  I mentioned that I have gotten to know S pretty well because she calls me on a regular basis.  J responded, "Don't let her do all the running,"  That statement hit home to me.  I have know S for years and for years S has called me a number of times each week.  I realized that I could count on one hand the number of times in those same years that I had initiated a call.  That evening I called S.


     This evening I was pruning my iris when I saw Neighbor leaning out her open kitchen window calling her grandson to come in.  I walked over and tried, unsuccessfully, to quote Shakespeare "what light through yonder window breaks".  She understood my rambling well enough to call me Romeo.  I stood outside her window and updated her on life at my house, and then she me on hers.  She mentioned that recent cataract surgery had left her with large floaters and blurry vision in one eye.  I told her that would make me feel claustrophobic.  She told me it does make her feel claustrophobic and then she moved on to a different topic.  A few minutes later I yelped, startling Neighbor.  I showed her my arm and said that I had thought the rhododendron blossom sticking there was a big spider.  She said, "Oh, I thought it was a big floater,"   to which we both laughed really hard.  

     My neighbor, another example of strenghth and fortitude.

strong breeze
damp earth
snake warming in the sun
weeds to be pulled
thoughts to be mulled
life to be enjoyed

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