Saturday, June 22, 2013

Memories of My LIfe

What I have learned since I have received and begun reading my sister, Elizabeth’s, beautifully printed book.

1.        To record one’s life is essential to tie the dots together.

2.       To write with a hand of kindness will never be a mistake.

3.       In the tapestry of her cloth, there is, no matter what, one thread that is bright in color and unbreakable:  her faith.

4.       The choice to reclaim blessings is not only possible, but essential.

5.       Love heals.  There is no room for bitterness.

Perhaps I should have finished reading the book, before making these comments.  As of this morning, I have her arriving in Germany to spend 2 years teaching.  Maybe I will think of more to say, or maybe someone else will have comments as they read.

I, for one, am very appreciative for Elizabeth’s hard work.  And I am very thankful that she is our sister.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Is This the Chittendon Bridge?

I hated to interrupt the fun flow about the visit to Layton, but this picture is a mystery that needs to be solved.  I found this extremely faded photograph tucked into an old envelope for Craftsman Wood Service Co. in the pile of pictures I'm sorting.  Does anyone know why:  1.  I have this picture?  2.  Why it is tucked into a Craftsman envelope?  3.  Is the significance having to do with road and    in the Park?  I can't tell, but this doesn't look like a concrete bridge????  Remember Grandpa telling the story of how they poured the concrete for the Chittendon Bridge (which no longer exists).They waited until the moon was almost full, and then, mixing the concrete by hand in big wheelbarrows, mixed and poured 24 hours a day around the clock.  It must have been an exhausting endeavor.  
    P.S.  I wrote this and then thought about doing a search for the Chittendon Bridge.  Read about it in Wikipedia - it's quite a story!  Now I know more than I knew before, but I didn't see a picture???

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ann and Dwight Make a Trip to Layton to See Louise June 18 2013

Ann and I went to Layton yesterday to see our sister Louise.  We visited extensively and Louise gave us a tour of her extraordinarily well organized home, with a room for scrapbooking, a room for sewing, a room with the quilting frame and computer, and a living room for watching TV.  Amazing.  She has made dozens of wonderful scrapbooks with photos and writing, and she estimates she has made at least 150 quilts.  We lament that our mobility, or lack thereof, keeps us from more frequent visits but we cherish the time we can spend together.  

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Bit of History from Uncle Brooks Wasden

As I'm sorting through boxes and boxes of old pictures and documents (translation, Stuff), I ran across this letter - I know that I have pictures of Uncle Brooks, but you can just use your imagined recollection as you read this descriptive letter of his great adventure, written in his inimitable way.  This is very long, but I thought it worthwhile to share with all of you.

From a letter dated May 9, 1987
Medford, Oregon
From Uncle Brooks Wasden to Russell and Elna Blood.

“....Horace Albright; how very thoughtful that you would enclose his obituary.  Yes, I knew him and darn near attached a little worship to the man.  If I calculate rightly, I was 17 years older then and he had been Park Superintendent for a year.  He was promoting the need for improved roads for the sure-to-come automobile traffic - which Father hated to see come, but had to bow to “Progress”.  Father felt this was the sure sign of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse rampaging through the world, desecrating and destroying all that is good and beautiful.  How near his summary of such things proved true may not be as debatable now as then.  But it was the increased activity in road building that gave Father the opportunity to return to living in the Gardens of the only remaining Eden on earth and feel the limitless wonder of it all.  I can still see him wake up in the morning, go outside the tent, pause long enough to stand erect, raise his chin to bring into focus the heights of the mountains about our camp, and inhale the sublime joy of privilege to live and feel and listen to the solitude his whole person could encompass.

‘Mr. Debs and his brother helped me trail our eight horses from Penrose to the Park.  We drove “4” on a wagon loaded with grain and hay, and our bed rolls plus cooking needs.  The other “4” trailed along behind.  We made it to Cody the first day and camped at the bridge which crossed over to the railroad station.  This was the farthest I had been from home and the only time I had seen the Shoshone River with the city of Cody and its adjacent interests.  We rolled out our beds and slept on the ground.  Think of doing that now.

‘Early the next morning we were on our way.  The only way to travel was the little thin line along the north side of the canyon you can see as you travel the present highway.  Mr. Debs drove the team - thank goodness - because I was so totally enthralled with what my eyes were seeing.  At first it appeared like a solid wall of stone and mountain blocked our way, but as each step forward of the teams revealed a widening crack - maybe, just maybe we might get through and not have to climb over the top.  It was like the jaws of a huge gate slid noiselessly apart to let us through and then closed just as noiselessly behind us locking us in for keeps.

‘An automobile from Texas caught up with us.  At the first chance we pulled our wagon into a side gap to let them pass.  As they pulled up to do so, the trail horse at the rear jumped out and her hind leg hit their fender.  They stopped all right.  The poor lady was terrified.  This was before the days of glassed-in windows and doors - just canvas “pin-ons”.  To the lady it appeared the horse was intending to get in and ride!  Seemed there was a difference of opinions.  I hopped down, went back and shooed the horse back into line.  But the lady’s terror increased:  “We didn’t mean to do it - We didn’t mean to do it,” she babbled hysterically.  Her hands were quivering before her face and her eyes were so pleading - like she expected to be scalped and thrown into the gorge below.  That’s when I learned I had charm!  I rebuked the horse, smiled at the lady, told her we were sorry. Her expression changed like sunshine bursting from behind a cloud.  “You see, Henry, they are not mean; they will not hurt us.”  Such assurance!  And they drove on.
The rest of the trip up the canyon was [a] more and more mind boggling thrill.  The roar of the water, the birds daring to fly up those sheer walls, and then the dam with the water piled up behind it.  This little boy had all that his eyes and mind could behold for all time - he was sure.
We made it to the ”Hanging Rock” for the evening camp.  Real trees ...big!  A place to graze the horses like the story of “The Virginian” by Owen Wister.  Next morning, we passed the rock formation “The Holy City”.  What romance that excited!  And the day continued to expand unlimited beauty and more beauty.
Father met us below Pahaska, on horse-back.  Wondered what took us so long.  Camp was inside the Park just below the steep incline to Sylvan Pass.  About a week later we moved camp down to Pahaska.  It was here that Father put me on a road-grader - very pleased with what he had taught me to maneuver it.  Hoped I would not let him down.  We “bladed” the road from Pahaska to the entrance in time for Mr. Albright’s first visit. The road did look neat and he took time to speak to me.  This excited the other laborers because “officials” did not usually notice them.  The next morning, father kind of shuffled about for a bit and then said,
“Now, don’t get the big head but Mr. Albright said, ‘That son of yours can handle a grader like that?  Tell him he’s always got a job here with me as long as he wants one.‘  Father, I know, hated to tell me that because he knew that it would be hard on hat-bands. But for Mr. Albright to notice me, to give that notice of recognition, did a miracle for my self esteem.  Perhaps, just perhaps I could do something good, worth a compliment. It has ever been a cherished thing.
The next year I did send him an application for work.  When it arrived in the mail box there in Penrose - a big envelope - there was a second big envelope with it.  One envelope said, “Report to Cody, Wyoming, to-------”  The other envelope said, “You are called to fill a Mission ----”

Friday, June 14, 2013

Father's Day 2013: Memories of our Dad, Russell M. Blood

Father's Day 2013.  Dad has been gone since 1993.  I stopped writing in my journal on the day Steve called me at 4:00 a.m. but I knew what the message was before I picked up the phone.  I haven't written in my journal since though I have tried to start numerous times.

Dad lived a hard and troubled life, never fully recovering from the loss of his parents and the treatment he received from the people who raised him.  Mother struggled all her life to restore his confidence, to instill a sense of self worth.  And yet he lived a good life.  All of those hard years during the Great Depression.  We often saw him only on rare weekends when the Model A roadster would come put-putting down the lane, and here was Dad with the Denver Post and we were whole again for a weekend and then we would wave goodby to him as we watched the Model A roadster vanish down the dusty Penrose lane as he was off to try and make a dollar here, a dollar there and Mother nearly wept when she used something strong in her dishpan and a hole sprung through in the bottom and she didn't have a quarter to buy a new one.

Then the hard years on the farm, from the fateful day Uncle Orvil lost his life in a home fire and Dad moved us to Penrose to farm Grandpa Wasden's place.  Up at 4:30 in the summers to change the water.  Home for breakfast and milk the cows.  Work all day in the fields, on the tractor, in the hay fields, for years with a painful hernia and troublesome truss because he could not afford surgery to fix it.  Back to the house for supper, milk the cows.  Rain or shine, snow or sleet, milk the cows and feed the cats.  Maybe read an article or story in the Saturday Evening Post before going to sleep, bone weary.  Next day, a repeat of the day before.  And the day before.  Maybe only once or twice a summer Dad took us to the Park, up Northfork for a picnic, up to Sunlight Basin where he spent his youth.

Yet we had a good life in those last idyllic days of a small subsistence family farm with chickens and pigs and a team of horses and two broken down tractors and some ancient farm machinery held together by Grandpa Wasden's wizardry in his blacksmith shop and Dad's not-too-patient comments. The smell of cow manure punctuated our yard and we never thought about it.  Dad cussed the "bog clods" of the gumbo-laden Penrose soil.  He was hard on us children some times, but we never held anything against him, and he would freely admit it when he realized he was wrong.  He took us to the movies.  He took us to band concerts.  He skimped and saved and went without so we could have socks and shoes and pants and dresses for school.  He shared his one box of cherry chocolates each Christmas with all of us, barely enough for one apiece.  I spent a quarter each Christmas to buy him a package of Gillette blue blades at Fryer's Pharmacy in Powell.

So, Dad, much of what we six children are today we got from you and Mother.  We learned how to work. We learned how to figure things out when we needed to.  We learned to have a sense of humor. We learned how to persevere through tough and unrelenting times and tragedies.  We have learned that things aren't all that easy, and as we tried to do our best and made our share of mistakes, we know how hard you worked and struggled to do your best and provide the necessities for your family.
What we remember most is the laughter, the sights and sounds and smells of the fields, the river, the barnyard, the cellar full of food for winter, the beet fields, the hay fields, the irrigation water running down the furrows to water the desert soil of Penrose.  We remember it all and we, all six of us, share in honoring you once more this Father's Day 2013 for giving your all so that we might have the necessities of life and then find our own way down the uncertain and sometimes-treacherous paths of life.

P.S. The petunias for Dad's Father's Day are from Ann's beautiful flower pots.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Happy 49th Anniversary to Ann and Paul

So here's how the day went.  Judy woke me up at 10:a.m. since I was having a nap to make up for my sleep deprived night.  While talking to Judy, Liz tried to call me according to call waiting, not just once but twice.  I called Liz back after Judy's call but she was then busy, talking to Ann.  We were leaving soon for Provo so I told Liz I'd talk to her later.  Russell took us to Provo where he was going to meet with a client.  Russ, Ron, three of Ron's girls, and Lani met at La Dolce Vita for lunch, one of my favorite lunch places from my years at BYU.  After lunch, we went to Wells Fargo to go over our accounts and then stopped by Ann's.  We discovered that today is Ann and Paul's 49th wedding anniversary.  So here are some posies from Ann;'s gorgeous flower pots on her front porch and a picture of the happy couple.  Happy 49th from all of us.  And,. seriously, don't any of us have anything else to do?  But we wouldn't want it any other way, would we?  P.S.  Judy instructed me to take pictures and post them.  So I have followed instructions.

Memories of a Very Good Family Day

I am doing the mammoth job of sorting through boxes of pictures that have never been put into an album (old way), or scanned and put on a disk or hard drive.  I came across the batch of pictures that I printed off from some prints that Dwight sent to me - I think that Jim took them.  Of course, they are only on regular paper, and the quality is terrible.  (Don't even try to enlarge these.  I couldn't alter them enough to make them acceptable.)  However, I am showing these two, because they are representative of the wonderful pictures that were taken on this day to honor Dwight.  (By the way, who was standing up on the table to help hold the memory quilt up high?)  Anyway, just for the record, my files are vey absent as far as good pictures from this day.  Louise has already offered me a copy of some of hers - anyone else?  I think that I took some, but my old camera didn't allow light in the right places, and they were pretty much duds.  What a good day this was for our family.   We were missing Steve, but for those who came to Orem and were a part of this, we won't forget about Dwight's retirement and our honoring him.  (The quilt was special to Louise, Cheryl, and myself.  Louise planned it, I found the pattern and altered it, we all sewed, and then quilted it at my house in Preston.  What a fun summer.)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Ann's Version

There has been more nonsense over making "the bag" these past several weeks than one could imagine.  However, my end result does become an interesting personality study of siblings.  Elizabeth's pretty bag was made following the directions so beautifully.  Mine - well, not so much.  Coloring the pansies with crayons, then doing the embroidery was lots of fun.  So far so good - I was following the directions, just like Elizabeth, although not with the same artistic flair.  I was just excited to stay inside the lines- seriously, I needed to do some shading?  Next time!  Then came the phone call from Elizabeth about how small her bag was and how she wished it was just a little bigger.  About that time, I looked at the fun embroidery panels and thought maybe I would just roll them up and put them away for another day (I have been known to do that with other projects).  Then came a phone call from Judy and an introduction to a website she has been spending some time on that had a video about how to make a bag using 6 squares of fabric on each side.  Ah ha, says I.  I think I can do that and make my bag a little bigger.  So here is my end result.  Personality study - yes, indeed.  Elizabeth follows the rules and ends up with such a pretty bag.  I look at the instructions, wonder if I really want to go to all of that work, and then wing it, with not exactly the same results, but it is still "one of a kind".  Thank you dear sisters for having so much fun over this little project.  There have been times when I have wondered what Louise would have done.  Would she have rolled her eyes and said "seriously"?  For Dwight and Steve, I wish you each had a sewing machine and some embroidery thread.  We are headed into a block of the month project next.  Crayons, anyone?
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Friday, June 7, 2013

Project Completed

Ann, Judy and I have worked on a project found on Crabapple Hill Studio web site.  The company is found in eastern Washington.  Louise opted out - she was probably smart, either that, or deeply engrossed in other quilting projects.  Sorry, Steve and Dwight, because this posting will not be of interest to you - necessarily, but it is important to keep informed.  How neat is it and sisters can keep in touch and work on a project together at such great distances.  However, do enlarge and enjoy the sight of the dancing frogs rejoicing because I finished my tote.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ben Had Business in Wyoming

Name that place!

I don't remember a water tower that looks like this!

Now I know where we are!

The week of Memorial Day, Ben flew into Cody and then drove through Ralston and Powell.  Armed with bouquets from the florist in Powell, he made his way to Penrose.  Of the cemetery, he said it was sure a quiet place. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tanner Family

Because our family blog (Grandma's Fried Oatmeal) is private and some of you can't get access to it, I thought I would post a couple of photos here that are kind of fun.

We are missing John's four children from New Hampshire and one of Jim's daughters who was in a play that night.  Names (with no last name): Back row:  Brooks, Spencer, Colby, Braden (Kelsey's husband), Jerry, Jim, Greg, John, Madeline, Nathan; Next row:  Kristen, Matt, Kelsey, Beth, Kim, Shea, Shaun, Laura, Bridget holding Gwen; Third row from back:  Eli (Not looking real happy), Savannah, Lucas, Jacob, Kaitlin, Isabel, Shane, Jessica, Jonah, Jack;  Front row is happy Mom and Dad

We lost Laura in this photo, but some of the expressions are kind of fun.  There is one other photo that is coming with just the seven Tanners in it, so when it comes, hopefully you won't mind if I share it here.
How thankful we are for family.  Life is full of such amazing experiences and opportunities because we have each other.  No matter what our circumstance is, there is great comfort that comes from knowing we aren't alone.