Some stories are smaller and some stories are old.
This week I’ve many little stories that beg to be told,
Stories about people that I love to hold.
Okay, so I am a much better writer than I am a poet,
This is a fact—you should know that I know it--
But darling Aunt Linda said I must make a rhyme
Because if I did not, I would owe her a dime! (Which, incidentally, is a true story.)
All of the following stories—stories about people that I love to hold—are also true.
Chick is a grave digger. He is also a prospective USU student, a high school graduate, a hurried parker, and a young man whose mission papers have been submitted to church headquarters. Grave digger first….
Chick started his first real job this week. He works for Roy City Parks and Recreation and spent most of his week mowing lawns, trimming edges, and whacking weeds. Friday the city needed to move a grave. Chick, who loves to be on the working end of a shovel, dug out one side of the vault while three other city workers took turns digging out the other side. My fears of that he would not be able to keep this job have been buried.
Concerned that Chick might not have received a scholarship for which he qualified, I called USU to investigate the matter. “We have no record of your son even applying to our university,” I was told. Not good. In a BIG way. The kind lady offered to look into the matter while I sat stewing on hold. After what seemed like forever, she returned to the phone line. “I discovered the problem. Your son applied to spring term, not fall semester, and we don’t give scholarships in the spring.” I took a deep breath, readying myself for the battle I was certain would come; somehow I had to get that enrollment changed and I shuttered as I imagined the reams of paperwork and hours of phone calls I was certain the situation would require. “Don’t worry,” the kind lady continued, “I have switched him to Fall Semester and forwarded his information to the scholarship office. You should be hearing from them shortly.” In less than an hour I received an email from USU congratulating Chick on the $1000 scholarship he received. I love USU. YEA AGGIES!
Chick’s graduation was fabulous…..and not just because he graduated. In preparation for the ordeal I imagined that graduation would be, I readied myself for two hours of intense boredom. I was so wrong; graduation was a delightful experience. “Take your mess and make a message.” “It doesn’t matter if the glass is half full or half empty, just drink it….and then fill it up again.” Even watching 436 graduates receive their diplomas was wonderful. The afternoon marked the commencement of my new attitude about graduations.
Friday night, having been abandoned by the rest of the family, Chick, Grace and I decided to go to a movie. We made our decision late which made us late; we arrived in the theater parking lot at 7:40 p.m. for the movie’s 7:20 showing. Chick pulled hurriedly into the closest available space and did not leave much available space between our van and the large, red truck in the stall next to us. Opening the passenger door, I had to shimmy sidewise to exit the van.
After enjoying the movie, we returned to the parking lot. As I began to drive home, the kids noticed a Subway napkin under the windshield wiper. Hoping it was a coupon (Subway is our favorite) they insisted I stop so Chick could retrieve it. He grabbed the napkin, looked at it briefly, casually dropped it on the ground, and got back in the van.
“Did you just throw that on the ground,” I asked incredulously.
“You just threw that on the ground?” I repeated, flabbergasted.
Images of Teresa the Tree-Hugger flashed through my head while scripts of lectures I had given about caring for our Earth echoed in my mind. “Son, we don’t litter,” I said, my voice filled with moral indignation. “Pick it up.”
“Alright,” he said, “But I am not going to let Grace read it.”
Suddenly the light dawned. Big red trucks are usually driven by men with big red necks. And big, red-necked men would have a hard time fitting into the small space available between the passenger side of our van and the driver’s side of the neighboring red truck. Laughter burst from my mouth as an image of a large man entering the passenger side of his truck and crawling over the console to reach the driver’s seat entered my mind. We were lucky we only got a Subway napkin. Whoops.
Chick’s mission papers are at Church headquarters. He could receive his mission call anytime. President Sorensen—greatest mission president ever—once said that wise parents would pray not that their children were sent to a good mission but that they were sent to a good mission president. Every prayer that I offer includes a prayer that Chick will be called to a mission presided over by a fabulous mission president. Feel free to include the same plea in your prayers.
Miss Tanah has some fun news but I am not allowed to share it until next week.
Miss Grace turned 14 today. Happy Birthday!!
Annually at SAA, the principal gives a special award to one person in each grade, someone who she feels exemplifies citizenship and scholarship. This year she gave the 8th grade Principal’s Award to Grace. When Lance, who teaches at the school, heard Grace’s name, he ran forward, yelling loudly and waving his hands in the air. Unfazed, Grace responded by yelling, waving her arms in the air, and running towards Lance. They met in the middle and hugged. A friend wrote in Grace’s yearbook “Are you scarred from your dad hugging you in the assembly?”
Mr. Miles loves the Harry Potter books. Mr. Miles hates to read. Mr. Miles’ Mom (me) wants him to read but knows that forcing children to read is a very thankless task and often unsuccessful task. “Let’s make a deal,” I told him in the tone of voice that says the deal will be made whether or not he likes it. “For every page of a book you read to yourself, I will read a page of a Harry Potter book to you.” So far, so good. He has read 26 pages of a Charlie Bones book and I have read him 26 pages in the fourth Harry Potter book. Lance calls it manipulation; I call it motherhood.
Lance and I drove to Zion’s Camp (Belfair, WA) where my parents are serving an LDS mission. I fell asleep about LaGrande, OR and awakened to see the Columbia River on my right side. Hum……when going to Belfair, WA one should cross the Columbia, not court it.
“How long have we been following the river?” I asked with a forced calm.
“Not too long,” Lance said. “Too” is relative; in this case “not too long” meant 60 miles. We exited the freeway and headed east so that we could cross the Columbia and begin heading west again. At this point, I needed to use the bathroom. Coming out of the gas station, Lance re-entered the freeway ….heading west again. So we had to drive west until the next exit so that we could drive east so that we could drive west again. Oh my. I was laughing so hard it was a good thing that I had used the bathroom recently. If I had been laughing that hard on a full bladder things would have gotten really ugly.
Teresa received a letter from the State Board of Education Nominating Committee telling her that she was not selected for an interview. My run for public office is over. I am not sure what they were looking for but it clearly was not me. Bummer but not too bad.
I also received an email from Doug Gibson, Opinion Page Editor for the Standard Examiner, offering me a bi-monthly (4th Tuesday every other month) columnist position. Huge WHAAAAA-WHOOOOO!
The 2014-15 school year is over. The end of school was great—lots of figurative pay days. I noticed one student sitting on the front row in the awards assembly and realized that he had no friends and probably did not earn any awards and knew that I should have invented an award for him but, at that point, it was too late. I wrote in my journal the next morning that I should have given him an award. The next day, the last day of school, was field day. We were all at the park playing. He found me and hung out next to me (he does not have any close friends) and said something about the fact that he did not get an award from me. Thank God (literally) I had written about him in my journal so I was honestly able to tell him that I wanted to give him an award and just messed up. He said, "I knew it was a mistake. I knew you would have something for me." WOW! I did get him an award and presented it to him at his house. Heavenly Father took care of us both.
Heavenly Father takes care of all of us.