Thursday, July 25, 2013

More Random Dreams

Looking back on a lot of dream history, I have to believe that school left indelible marks, if not scars on my subconscious.  Here I am, a grandpa many times over and still dreaming about school.

Like most of these dreams, in this one I had come to the realization that I had blown the professor and assignments off all semester, and now the Day of Reckoning was coming.  I couldn't believe I had done this AGAIN.  I don't remember who I was with, but it was near graduation time, and without this class I wouldn't graduate, and it was perfectly obvious that since I had turned in no assignments, taken no quizzes or tests, and written not papers, attended no classes, I was not going to graduate.

So I'm explaining this to someone and walking across a big courtyard and I see a familiar figure - here comes my mom and she is moving briskly along.  In the dream she is probably in her late 60's, and full of energy.  I'm still trying to explain this epic failure when I realize that I'm 61 and shouldn't be giving school a thought (you're 32 Joe, 32......), and the dream kind of came to a halt with a realization of how, even though our bodies age, we are ageless in our spirit.

That realization shot me back to when I was about 4 or 5 and my mom would put on her makeup before church, and I thought - wow,( she was the same age as my daughters are now).  I thought she was movie-star beautiful (and she still is.) and (I know this is a very busy dream) I thought how interesting it would be to know and visit with her and Dad as young parents.... and then thought that is how it will be when we are reunited on the other side of the veil.

I'm not sayin I'm ready for that yet, but how interesting it will be to visit as peers with Grandpa Wall, and Grandma Skaggs, Great ;Grandpa Starck.....people that I never really saw as people I could relate to because of the difference in our ages. All age and generation difference washed away.  I'd love to hear stories of how they worked the fields, trained their horses.  I'd like to hear how they worried about their kids as they grew up, married, went to war.....all the scary stuff of life that at the time, you just don't have any idea how it's going to turn out, or what will happen, but looking back on history is it summed up in a sentence: "Jack was joined the army in 1912, was wounded in France in WWI...." Those are the kinds of sentences we find in histories. But I would like to know the back-stories.

I guess that is all.  It was just a funny realization...a window in the mind opens and light shines in dark corners and you find a small treasure.  Sleep well, and dream.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Picking Raspberries

Becky and Travis came down and spent the 4th with us.  It is always fun to have them here.  They are mellow and low maintenance and we sat and talked and played with Teo quite a bit.

They weren't able to come until after work on Wednesday, so they got to Delta fairly late and then we talked until it was really late (for me....medium to easy peasy for real Night Owls).  In the morning we were all stretching and getting the kinks out, and I thought I would take a bowl and pick some raspberries for our cereal.

I was a little slow getting out there, so I don't know if anyone actually go to eat them on their cereal, but it was a beautiful summer morning.  It hadn't gotten too hot yet, and the morning still felt fresh.  The birds were still singing - all in all, it was just about perfect.

So I went out with my bowl and started picking.  These are black raspberries, and they must have some kudzu genes spliced into them.  They truly are a thicket.  I had cut back most of them clear to the ground, but that group of fresh canes is almost 5 feet tall now.  I was picking around the edge that I hadn't cut (as most raspberry varieties form fruit on the 2nd year canes).

There were really quite a few berries.  I was surprised.  I picked from West to East and then when I was at the East end, I looked back towards the West and found that I hadn't gotten even half of them.... and so I went back West, picking away.  When I got to the West, I started lifting the canes, and found another treasure trove of berries that I hadn't seen the first two times.  Sometimes I had to reach and stretch, and hold onto the thorny canes to keep my balance.  My arms had more than a few scratches on them by the time the last of the ripe berries had been picked and put in the bowl.

As I was picking, I couldn't help think of a friend whose wife recently died in a car accident.  They had just come back from visiting their son and his wife, and seeing a new grandchild.  In order to make a quick connection he had left his car in Leamington, drove up and back with her, then picked up his car, and a companion and went to a Home Teaching appointment.  His wife never made it home.  It was a devastating catastrophe, not only from the loss of his wife, but that it happened so suddenly, and after such a sweet trip.

Our whole community is in shock.  Not every single person is related to someone in the valley, but for the most part we have lived here so long that it feels like losing a family member when something like this happens.  But when I went to the viewing, the family was composed - saddened, but supportive of each other.  I asked my friend how he was doing - mentioning that without the Gospel, this would be the end of the world, and it was pretty close anyway.  He agreed, but said that he was going to be OK, that he had received some tender mercies that would get him through it.

So as I picked the raspberries, I listened to the birds, but those words echoed in my mind the whole time.  Tender Mercies.....hmmmmm......  Well, if he had received them, then he would know.  But I thought we probably have to look for these tender mercies that a loving Heavenly Father puts in our paths.  We can walk down to the berry patch and find a few berries, but to find them all, we have to look under the leaves, and try to get a different perspective than the one that is easy to have when we are standing on the sidewalk.  We have to leave the path a little bit, and probably stretch and get a little off balance, and we probably will get scratched up by life a little bit in search for these treasures. But blessings are there, we are not alone.  We need to keep looking for blessing in our life all the time.  Some of the blessings are probably just blossoms, some are like green berries, and in time they will ripen.

That is all. It was a good morning.  I got a bowl of berries and some comforting insight right in my own back yard.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Dan and Ash's Visit

Dan and Ash and family came down for a quick visit in June.  Josh and Sayaka Henderson were getting ready to move to New York, so it was a multi-purpose trip.  We had a nice visit and the kids got to play in the flood.  I'm kind of kicking myself now for watching the irrigation more than I paid attention to taking pictures. Now I'm limited to these few that make the cut. 

There isn't a lot more to tell.  It was good to see everyone, and good that the kids still knew who we were, but we didn't do any activities to speak of.  Dan and Ash and the Hendersons had a barbeque in the back yard, and I think everybody had a pretty good time.  Josh and Sayaka will be in New York for at least 2 years, so it was good to have a moment to say some good-byes.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Lots and Lots of Miles - Oregon

We didn't get a lot of sleep - Sunday was a day of rest, but we got up early on Monday and hit the road.   So we hit the road, for the next 17 hours or so and when we got  there, it felt like the road hit us back.  We were pretty tired.

But then the party began....quite a bit of it was a work party.  We bought a cargo trailer and had it packed to the gills with furniture and supplies, and paint.  We knew we were going to tackle a living room paneled with dark wood, and try to make it much more bright and cheery.  We weren't sure about how well it would turn out..... we had looked on the internet and found that others had tried it, and that by and large it looked pretty good.  It took two coats of KILZ primer and two coats of good paint to finally make the walls a bright and even white. But in the end, the room was light and bright, and our couches and tables looked right at home.

We had a great visit with Andrew and Caren, and with Dennis and Joan.  The kids ran back and forth between the two houses.... they would be 'upstairs' or 'downstairs' begging treats and attention from Grammy and Grandma.  It was a very sweet time.

I'm sorry if I didn't get good pictures of everyone.  It is not something that you notice until the party is over, and you are going through the pictures.......  These are mostly pretty good - no one is forking a big bite of pie into their mouths.... or turning their head into a blur as the shutter clicked....etc.

It was a great trip.  No drama, just a fun visit and a lot of work ....and another 17 hours coming back.
                                                           Grayson and Andrew
                                                         Party Time at the Schofields
                                           The Mighty Acrobats Perform after dinner. So sweet.
                                                          Mat's Birthday Celebration
                                                             Andrew and Grayson

                                                    Calise, Ivory, Mat, Grandma, and Seth
                                                          The Living Room Pain Project
                                                        Local thief stealing apples
                                                     Mat LIKES opening presents!
                                                              After the paint is dry
                                                         And with couches and tables.

                     I just can't get enough of this view. Every time the weather changes, it is different.