While a certain woman (ME!) was off gallivanting on trains and bikes, things have been happening at home. Following is an update of happenings on our Happy Hislop Half Acre. (Really we own an acre but only a half-acre is under cultivation and “Happy Hislop Half-Acre” has such a nice ring to it. Please forgive the inaccuracy.)
- Spring planting is done! Tanah and I put pea, carrot, lettuce, beet, spinach, and onion seeds into the ground on March 15th. We also pruned the raspberries (me) and the apricot tree (Tanah). I have decided to track the garden’s progress on the blog this year. If all goes as planned (not likely but possible…) I will take a photo of the garden on the 15th of every month and post it on the blog. Stay tuned!
- Spring break is also done….at least for Chick and Tanah. Both of them spent their spring breaks in Roy though we did not see a lot of either of them. Chick spent a lot of his time in his room and Tanah spent a lot of time in her room when we were awake and awake when we were sleeping our rooms. Teasing aside, we love having college students and would recommend it to everyone.
- While home Chick worked 2 days for Focus Services. They were so impressed with his work ethic before he went to school that they told him he could work for them whenever he returned; they’d take him whenever they could get him. We feel the same way. We’ll take him whenever we can get him.
- While here Tanah completed the medical and dental examinations required to serve a mission. Her current plan is to submit her mission papers as soon as possible, specifying an end of May availability date. WHAAA-WHOOO!
- Tanah is a vibrant FORCE. Her spunk and drama fill our home with energy when she visits (which we love, by the way!) While home she helped me plant the garden and pruned my apricot trees and helped me correct notebooks at OPA and made dinner several times AND altered Grace’s prom dress. The Prom dress alteration was truly amazing. Those of you who understand sewing will truly appreciate the skill required to turn a satin, halter-top dress into a sleeved gown. The result was stunning.
- The prom dress alteration was stunning both because of Tanah’s alteration skills AND because of Grace’s natural beauty. She wore it with style. Lance hates it that Grace is beautiful.
- Grace is also talented, a fact that Lance does not hate. After Roy High’s performance of their one act play at the region competition, the judges singled Grace out as an outstanding actress. “I loved watching you perform,” one said. “Your character had a story the entire time.”
- Miles is going out for track though his participation is a bit more than semi-reluctant. I love track and I love him so I worked hard to bring my two loves together. Now he is working hard at track practice and he does not love it.
- Miles does love March Madness. He gives a running commentary of current occurrences to all who will pause to listen.
- Our ward’s young men and young women’s group did a tour of the Weber County Jail. Oh my lands!!!! It was a very, VERY powerful experience. Most powerful was the part when two inmates told us their stories. One, a tall man with glasses who used words like “duplicitous”, came from an upstanding LDS home. A sports injury as a teen led to an addiction to pain killers that led to a life of crime; he repeatedly committed armed robbery to get money to support his habit. The second man came from a broken family—no father, gang connections, etc—where, as a youth, he figured that he would “graduate” when he was sentenced to prison. He, too, was in prison on drug related charges. Both men repeatedly testified of the horribleness of being in jail, that every aspect of it, EVERY aspect, sucks.
When I asked them what their estimate was of the percentage of inmates who were there on drug related charges they said “Every one….except for the sex offenders, everyone here is on a drug related charge.” Sobering.
At the beginning of this letter I identified myself as a “certain” woman. I would like to end it with an insight about that.
Linda K. Burton, president of the women’s organization of our church (the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) addressed us last night. In her remarks she referenced multiple scriptures (Luke 8:2, 10:38, 11:27, 24:22, Mark 5:25, 7:25 and Acts 16:1,14) where the phrase “certain woman/women” is used to refer to faithful sister(s). One of the definitions of “certain” she explained, is convinced, positive, confident, and firm. These scriptural women were confident in Christ, convinced of His divinity, positive about His promises, and firm in their faith.
I want you to know that I am a certain woman. I do not always know—like many of you I am, at times, assailed by doubts and attacked by questions—but I am always certain. I am confident in Christ and firm in the faith. He is our Savior and His way leads to peace and joy. Of this I am certain.