Sunday, January 31, 2010

First Outing

Sister was getting stir crazy! Cabin fever! Nutzoid! Spending the winter looking at four walls with no company except Tiny Dancer (who, although very sweet, has a wild temper!) had her doing the crazy laugh and fraying her hair!

All right that's a lie. The truth is, she wanted to get out and I invited myself along, as usual.  Then in our supreme intuition, we decided to drag Big Sister along with us.  This was a calculated risk, since BS is still in rather a fragile state of bereavement.  She was, as usual, a trooper and came along.

We decided that this was the Barn Day. We didn't get there in the summer when we first talked about it, but today was as good of a day as any to get it done.

We had to take a bit of a stop at Borders to buy some books, and at Sam's for a few necessaries, then off we went to Newton!!  

Where's Newton, you ask?  Good question. With more luck than ability, we got there with only one minor detour.  Think of the Great American West, then think of Utah.  Once you are in Utah, stay far north, near the Idaho border out in the middle of the farmland and frozen tundra, and here we are.

The next question I'm sure will be asked, is: "Why Newton?"  Answer: That's where the barn is, silly! It's also where our niece's home is.

There is snow in Brigham, where we came from. There is SNOW in Newton, where we went.  Good thing I had my faithful little Jeep. Niece drove to the barn and we followed.  She was absolutely right, it was a fantastic barn. We stood on the road and took pictures because we are old babes and there was SNOW.

Niece had her baby with her in the car.  The plowed part of the SNOW by the road was hip-high, and I'm pretty tall.  On the other side of the SNOW windrow, a single snowmobile track led down the side and beyond the barn.  Little Sister, the adventurer said, "I'm going in!"


Now, keep in mind that Big Sister and Little Sister are delicate little flowers. Me? Not so much. Think behemoth. Tons of fun. Beached whale.  Still, I couldn't let her go on alone. What kind of sister would I be?  

Did you know that snowmobiles just kind of skim the surface of the snow, like a very large snowshoe?  Yeah, they do.  Did you know that even size 9 tennies are not like snowshoes? No, they're not.  (Step, sink, step, sink, wobble, lurch, etc.)

We made it to the fence behind the barn.  The side of the barn is as cool as the front, and I was perfectly happy to take pictures of the barn from the lone snowmobile track.  

Little Sister said, "I'm going in!"


Being the responsible big sister that I have been for many, many years, I knew what I had to do.  

"You're on your own, you knucklehead!"

 She peered in the broken window.  She eased over to the open gap, and squeezed herself inside.  Then came a terrible racket that sounded like I Don't Know What.  

"Are you all right?", I screamed.


Crap again.

I'm not going in.  Did you see how deep that stupid SNOW is?  What if the whole interior of the barn fell on her? Niece said there are barrels of stuff in there.  What if she's buried under tons of them?

I guess we'll find her in the spring, cause I ain't going in!

Soon I heard the horrible racket again, and out she eased with no harm done.  At least, until I get my hands on her.

Back she trudged with frozen fingers and feet and a rosy nose.  We went out the way we came in, with the minor change of her taking pictures of me lumbering like a mammoth in front of her. 

I did good until I had to climb over the SNOW windrow by the road again, then I went down like a ton of bricks.  Not the proverbial s*&t house, just the bricks.  Luckily the car was there to catch my fall.  

When we quit laughing, we got Big Sister out of Niece's car, where she had the good sense to wait for her retarded siblings, hopped into the Jeep and went to one more location.

This is a typical pioneer house.  It has the little historical register sign in the front.  It's one of Utah's oldest homes, but in the scheme of things, Utah is a very young place.  Our Blackfoot and Shoshone neighbors beg to differ, but that is another story.

We voted among ourselves and decided that Betty had been a good sport, but was getting very worn out.  It was time to take her home.

We got to her house, took her parcels in, and the little doggie was waiting at the door in raptures. Her little tail was wagging so fast it was a blur. She put both her little paws on Momma's cheeks and kissed her and kissed her. 

I got home and the granddaughter glanced up from the computer and said, "Hey, Nana", then went back to what she was doing. 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Live, Laugh, Love

We are a family who love to laugh.  We get it from our parents, grandparents, and others who came before us. Laughter lifts the heart and warms the spirit.  If one of us takes a prat fall and the others aren't there to witness, we'll call with all the gory details. It takes a long time to tell these stories because we are laughing our way through it.

We've always been close sisters as children and as adults.  We have the adult bonus of discovering how fun the younger kids in the family can be. We've raised our children together, and now their children can be friends.


The best thing I've discovered in a long time is how fun it is to spend a day with the sisters.  It gives us a chance to be kids again and recharges batteries like crazy.


 When we were kids we had a whole neighborhood of other kids, and we played until we dropped.  When we were teenagers we were goofy hippies.  When we were parents we raised our children to laugh and love each other.  Now we're old and . . . we still like to laugh.

These are some of my third generation laughers.  They are another close group of sisters and brother.


The laughter and love are what sustain us when things aren't funny.  The thought that one day we will be able to laugh and be goofy again may help us survive tragedy. As long as we have each other, we can do most anything.

Did I tell you about the time I fell on my back like a turtle with my feet stuck in the air when all I was doing was putting papers in a box under the table?  It was a riot!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lest We Forget

Life is a series of changes, and some of them suck canal water.  Like when Skinny Brother-in-law started to finally get a pot belly around Thanksgiving time.  Remember, Skinny was 66 then, and . . well, skinny.  He liked to remind those of the family who weren't that he was.  It was a joke 37 or so years in the running.  Hell yes we were going to tease him! 

Then he came home early from working with his nephew because he was having a hard time breathing. After a little while of this, they took him to the doctor to see what was going on.  It took approximately three weeks for him to go from the ultrasound to the mortuary.  He died the day he was supposed to go back to Ogden for the consultation on his liver biopsy.

They only had the one son, but they had dozens of children in their nieces and nephews and neighbors.  He stayed Skinny BIL because he was so hyper and worked so hard.  He took care of all of us, but mostly me -- after his wifey.


He wasn't a drinker or carouser or gambler or any of those rotten things.  He was home at night like a good husband ought to be.  He was seldom wrong about anything.  Didn't matter what anyone else thought, because he knew more than everybody else.  We got used to it and loved him in spite of it.


He talked to us when we were lonely, gave us a home and money when we had none, was our plumber, electrician, mechanic and carpenter.


He laughed with us until we all had tears pouring down our chops.

He had more energy than those of us who were years younger than he. Our lives were all intertwined very closely, so when he left he took part of us with him.


We might see him again.  In the meantime, we will take care of his little wife for him.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Once upon a time, photographs were major productions, as this one of my grandmother with her parents and sister. 

Skip a few generations, and it got easier to take pictures, but the color wasn't always reliable.  This one was displayed and the light faded it badly. 


Those previous little honyocks (sp?) grew into these big ones and started producing honyocks of their own, and photography moved through the 70s.

I haven't been playing as much with my camera and pictures and editing software lately, and I missed it.  

My little honey's bangs have grown so long that they go below her eyes.  We haven't seen her eyes in weeks.  Yesterday she was lying on the floor playing with the dog, when I noticed her eyes.  I made her momma run for the camera, and she was a good sport and let me take some pictures.  That was only half of the fun.  

I edited two pictures into the five I posted here.  I couldn't decide which one I liked best, so I put them all on.  The other kids won't hold still long enough, and the dog only has one expression and bloodshot eyes.

The black and whites still have her eyes in color, but it's hard to tell because they are a greyish greenish color.

Playing with pictures is very diverting. I said "die-verting" with an English accent because I think it sounds cool.  If done correctly, photo editing is a sort of Mayberry trip.  

We need die-versions lately.