Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Today at 2:00 pm MST the Blood Family will gather together in Riverton, Utah to rejoice and to give thanks and to mourn.  Since I will not be there, I will dress appropriately, listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing "Homeward Bound", and reflect on my own memories.

We have been blessed to have shared life's journey intimately with one of God's faithful stalwarts, Velna Black Blood.  And because we love her so, emotions are close and our eyes will become cloudy with tears.  But we will also let a smile cross our face and maybe even a chuckle as we recall her ready wit and humor.

This is what I will remember about Velna.
The summer in Fort Collins while working for Dwight, Velna took me under wing.  She had their little boy, Russell, to tend with another baby on the way. Yet her patience with all of us ruled her day.

Velna, Dwight and Russell, home in Penrose for a visit.

She handled my brother as no one else could have or would have.  She saved him.

(See what I mean?)

I cannot find photos of all the times the Petersen kids found home away from home at Velna's home. All sought the comfort of her home and the food from her kitchen.  They were smart beggars.  They knew where to go!

This photo taken at the temple is probably my favorite.  She loved her family fiercely.  She loved music, the church and Dwight. She was loyal and true.  

We know it will be difficult to be her equal,  

Friday, October 23, 2015

In Memory of Velna Black Blood

On October 15, 2015, Dwight wrote and posted on his own blog the following:

"The gift of hope is one of our most potent protectors.  Even on our darkest days, when even a small glimmer of hope seems beyond our recognition, hope can be our bright and shining light.  We all have days when everything seems to go wrong, when our most ardent hopes seem dashed into dust, and when the future looks bleak and foreboding.  We feel that hope has abandoned us.  We shed tears of remorse and our hearts are heavy with sadness.
Under the worst of circumstances, we must still hold out our hands to grasp the strong bonds of hope. When we couple our hope with our faith, we strengthen our ability to cope even more.  By uniting hope with faith, we keep our hearts and minds open to brighter moments ahead.  We may not receive the result we were hoping for, but we will recognize, whatever the outcome of our despair, that we have, nonetheless, been blessed.
Task Number 287: Never lose hope.  Today's task is the shortest one I have written throughout the entire year.  But the message I am sending can still, nonetheless, be one of the most uplifting and helpful if we will seek a few moments of calmness to weather our storm and move on to a brighter day. Good luck, and keep going.  The Curmudgeonly Professor."
His words are needed even more today than the day they were written. Last night Dwight's sweetheart of his life, Velna Black Blood told him and this world goodbye for a bit.  The entire Blood Family honors her, loves her, and clings to the hope that Dwight described.   

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Happy Birthday to our Mother

October 4 was always a special day for me because that was mother's birthday.  I tried to send her a birthday message and a card every year that she was still with us.  Today we, your children--Louise, Dwight, Elizabeth, Judy, Ann and Steve--remember and honor you on your birthday.

Here is the home where you grew up with your parents and three of your siblings.

Here is the church you attended as a girl and where I was given a blessing by my grandfather.

Here you are in Sunlight with Louise and Dwight

Family photo minus Dwight and Elizabeth

I was fortunate to spend only seventeen years of my life at home with mom and dad.  Those years, however, were enough to light my life with memories to last a life time.  One of the saddest times of my years was when we moved back from Pennsylvania to Wyoming to be near our families only to have dad and mom move far away only two years after we returned.  I was only privileged to see mom a precious small handful of times during the rest of her life.  The influence that mom had on me during my years at home and the support she gave me by writing weekly letters during my four grueling years of college have enriched my life forever despite our limited contact during the later years.

I remember Mom reading to us from her college Children's Literature text, one of the few books we had.  I remember re-mopping the kitchen floor at her behest when I had given it only a lick and a promise.  I remember her long nights of care and concern during the lonely years when dad was gone so often.  I remember Mom and Dad letting me leave for college at age 17 without a penny in my pocket without either of them stopping me and asking me how on earth I thought I could get through college without any money.  I remember mountains of fried potatoes and invalid eggs and pancakes and orange cake and chocolate pudding and beans and tomatoes and macaroni and applesauce and canned peaches and pears and beans and peas and anything else she could can.  I remember Mom turning the water from the Shoshone River down the rows of her garden where she raised everything that could be raised plus gladiolus and dahlias.  I remember the worries and concerns our parents had during the long days and weeks of various illnesses that we children seemed to excel at experiencing.

I watched Mother teach Sunday School and then I knew how to teach.  I watched Mom and Dad work and then I knew how to work.  I watched my parents subsist on practically nothing and then I knew how to be frugal.  I watched my parents persevere and then I knew how to tough it out, how to get by. I learned not to cut corners, to do the best job possible and I learned the penalties of shirking one's duty.  These are the eternal gifts I received from home in lieu of money.  These are the gifts that have guided my life and have lit my path during troubled times.  These are the gifts that have made my own accomplishments possible in the face of overwhelming odds against success.

I know that somewhere Mom is in a garden picking big red strawberries and raspberries and digging new potatoes and picking corn and fresh peas.  I know that she is in a field of flowers, tall multi-colored gladiolus and gigantic dahlias.  I know that she has spent every day of her existence both during and after her earth life with feelings of concern, hope, and love for each of her six children. We were never perfect and I know you never considered yourself perfect.  But, thanks to you, we were good enough. We made the grade.  We learned our p's and q's and our abc's.  And we owe it all to you.  So, once more, happy birthday.  May your flowers be beautiful and your pain be long gone and may we all look forward to a reunion some day.  With love from your children.