"Have you thought about writing your family history, but found yourself stuck from the start? Writing a family narrative can be a daunting task, but Karen Jones Gowen found a way to bring her mother's story to life." (Homespun Magazine)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fathers and Mothers

I come from a family of women. One mother, one father, three sisters, eleven cousins (all girls). One grandfather died before I knew him, the other was so scary I didn't want to know him, so two grandmothers. As a result, I grew up with completely erroneous ideas about boys. When I was in grade school, I defined them as either ugly or cute (most of them very cute imho). I learned at a very young age like first grade maybe? that they would be smitten if I looked at them with my big eyes and then straightened something on their shirts.

Fortunately I made it through my high school and college years without attracting the wrong sort. Oh wait, there were a couple of the wrong sort in college, but I escaped before anything bad happened. Then I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (became a Mormon, upon which my parents breathed a huge sigh of relief even though they were Methodists), and after a few false starts, I was blessed beyond measure to meet and marry a young man who turned out to be a gem, an uncut diamond, oh look at that, wouldn't that make a good title of a book about our early life together, and we proceeded to build our house of diamonds what do you know, there's another one.

We had eight boys and two girls. I had a LOT to learn about the nature of the male psyche, the differences between boys and girls, men and women, mothers and fathers. One thing I learned is that a father is not meant to be the male version of a mother. And it's a good thing, too, because then kids can benefit from both sides.

Just to illustrate in this excerpt from Uncut Diamonds--

"He picked up Jeff, Elizabeth, Alex and Eric one by one, until he had four laughing, twisting children hanging from his six foot frame in a wriggling, breathing, noisy sculpture of family life."

Now how many moms can do that?

Happy Father's Day to all of you dads out there. I hope your family pampers you a little today, because you deserve it!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Park Across the Street

Now that warm weather is here, I keep the window open in our bedroom, the window that looks out on the park across the street.

In the morning, as the sun rises and wakes me up, I see elderly people walking their excited little dogs along the pathways. I see middle-aged couples power-walking to burn off the fat.

Mid-day, it is moms, and sometimes dads, who inhabit the park with their small children.

In the afternoon, school kids of all ages walk past on their way home.

It is in the evening, when I am winding down for the day that the park is the noisiest, occupied by giggly, squealing teenage girls and overly-attentive teen boys.

In the course of one day, the circle of life is captured in the park across the street.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Seeking the Perfect Purse

I see it in the store. It looks AT LAST as though I have FOUND the perfect purse. Not too big, not too small, pleasing shape and design, trendy color, pockets and zippers enough to hold all my pursely possessions. I must have it!!

But I don't need another purse, do I? I already have so many good ones. Ah, but they are not perfect. There is indeed something wrong with each and every one of them. See above list. This new one will most certainly be perfect. It looks, smells, feels so wonderful. A brand, new wonderful purse! I must have it! However, being the disciplined, frugal person I am, I don't buy it. I leave the store and go home, resisting temptation. What do I need a new purse for? Pshaw! Silly me!

Although I do keep thinking about it....and thinking....and thinking. In fact, I cannot forget about it. How could I have left behind the perfect purse? What a fool I am!

I look at my other bags which all pale in comparison and look like garbage. The only thing to do is go back and buy the perfect one before someone else gets to it first. That's it. I must go back to the store, and I must hurry before my prized possession gets away. Because after all, since it is perfect I will never again need to buy another one. So really it's a huge savings to spend the money right now, that way I won't have to spend it later. This is the only sensible course of action.

I rush back to the store and there it is! Yes, it is perfect! I was not mistaken, I shall buy it. So I do. And I get it home, with my things tucked inside, everything at home inside the fresh, new promising environment. Now at last I will be organized. I and all my outfits will look amazing and fashionable with this marvelous accessory. Aha, the perfect purse!

Except. . .  the next time I am in the store, I see tables full of quite lovely purses, each one better than the one I just recently bought.  But I look away. I am committed now. This one will have to do. At least until my birthday comes around again. Or Christmas. Or there is a once-in-a-lifetime clearance sale. Or I run across the most perfect purse ever.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Goal-setting and Goal-keeping

Nearing the half-way point of the year, how many of you like to review where you are on goals? Like the ones set on New Year's Day? I'm an obsessive goal-setter. It's like if I write it down, I'm half-way there.

Today I looked at my New Year's Resolutions and decided to chuck the whole lot. Because they just make me feel bad about myself. I did read the 50 books. I read them all in about three months time. The writing and the walking resolutions? Don't even ask!

But, in my defense, Universe, in case you are listening and keeping score: my mom died, my husband and I had a major move from our home of 13 years, uh...uh...uh....excuses?....excuses?.....Okay, those are the only two big events, but they work, I think, as pretty good excuses reasons to get stalled.

Okay, now it's time to move on and set some new goals, because today is the first day of the rest of my life!