Monday, May 17, 2010

My crush on Mister Rogers

I don't know if I have ever told anyone this,
But I had..have a crush on Mister Rogers.
I think of him every Monday as I am waiting impatiently for an email from Elder Nerent.
As I wait I realize that I should be doing something productive and so a song he use to sing comes to my mind,

Let's think of something to do while we're waiting
While we're waiting for something new to do.
Let's try to think up a song while we're waiting
That's liberating and will be true to you.
Let's think of something to do while we're waiting
While we're waiting 'til something's through.
You know it's really all right;
In fact, it's downright quite bright
To think of something to do
That's specific for you.
Let's think of something to do while we're waiting.

It always takes me back to my secret crush.
I never really paid attention to him when I was young,
Mostly because by the time his show was aired I was past my childhood prime.
I know my brother Baby Davey would watch,
And I as a know- it- all teenager  laughed at the Saturday Night Live parodies of him.
But then I became a mother.
And Mister Rogers more than any children s programming seemed to bring a sense of calm
and peacefulness to our house
Let's face it.
Sometimes he could be downright boring.
But it was a favorite of my children and it would buy me a half hour's peace.
I never understood why he needed to change his sweater and shoes all the time but hey...
Different strokes for different folks.
(btw: His mother made those sweaters that zipped by hand for him....ahhhh)
His puppets were crudely made and well let's face it again..
Lady Elaine was scary.
But there were days as a stay at home mother,
Where I didn't feel as happy or grateful to be home.
Attending to the mundane every day tasks that can seem never-ending,
I let thoughts creep in that maybe I wasn't always the best housekeeper
or the most patient mother.
Maybe I wasn't cut out for it.
Not every day.
But sometimes
and on one of those days I collapsed in a heap on the couch and just watched Mister Rogers.
He looked at me (I swear he looked right into my heart) and said
"You are special

Just the way you are."
And I believed him.
I watched him everyday after that.
Because he reminded me of something that I already knew...
But just needed to hear.

One of my favorite Mister Rogers stories is this about his accepting a Daytime Emmy:( excerpt from Esquire Magazine's coverage of the gala, written by Tom Junod)
" Mister Rogers went onstage to accept the award — and there, in front of all the soap opera stars and talk show sinceratrons, in front of all the jutting man-tanned jaws and jutting saltwater bosoms, he made his small bow and said into the microphone, "All of us have special ones who have loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are. Ten seconds of silence."
And then he lifted his wrist, looked at the audience, looked at his watch, and said, 'I'll watch the time." There was, at first, a small whoop from the crowd, a giddy, strangled hiccup of laughter, as people realized that he wasn't kidding, that Mister Rogers was not some convenient eunuch, but rather a man, an authority figure who actually expected them to do what he asked. And so they did. One second, two seconds, seven seconds — and now the jaws clenched, and the bosoms heaved, and the mascara ran, and the tears fell upon the beglittered gathering like rain leaking down a crystal chandelier. And Mister Rogers finally looked up from his watch and said softly "May God be with you," to all his vanquished children.

So to you Mister Rogers...
I thought of something to do while I'm waiting...
Ten seconds
to think of you and how you helped me to become who I am.
Thank you.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cheap Hotel

This is the view from our hotel on our recent trip to Los Angeles.
Every time I plan a road trip I spend weeks on the internet agonizing over every detail.
One of the biggies is the hotel.
The hotel choice can make or break a vacation.
(well maybe that's a little dramatic but you know what I mean)
I drive myself crazy reading every review and trying to stay within a budget.
Not too cheap but definitely not too ritzy.
L.A. was really a hard one.
The bigger the city...the more options there are.
I asked Baby Davey what his thoughts were since he lived there for about 8 years.
I told him that I was considering a Quality Inn in Hermosa Beach
He said that it was a good choice.
The whole two days drive to get to LA I wondered and fretted over my choice of hotel.
We would be staying there for 5 nights so I wanted it to be decent.
And it was...
It had a view of the ocean...kinda
And it was roomy and clean.
I was proud of myself.
After we got home my husband received a phone call from our credit card company,
asking him to verify some charges that seemed unusual for us.
He starting listing some of the places that we had used the card.
"McDonald's in Fort Stockton Texas"...check.
"Hotel room in Demming New Mexico"....check.
"Welcome center in Willcox Arizona".....check.
"Cheap hotel in Hermosa Beach"......?
My husband asked him to repeat the last charge.
"Cheap hotel in Hermosa Beach"?
Mr. T replied,
"Well I don't know about that...It wasn't that bad a hotel..."
"No Sir" the operate replied....cheaphotel.
"The restaurant."
"Oh Mr. T. chuckled, Yes we ate there."

I was reminded of that story while I ate at Chipotle today with Mr. T. and Peanut. For some dumb reason EVERY one in my family LOVES Chipotle. I do not share their feelings. My feelings can be best summed up by a quote someone wrote on facebook about Chipotle.
"Why It's Overrated: Eating in a Chipotle is like grabbing lunch in a high school metal shop. The hard surfaces create an echo chamber that turns table talk into a hearing test. The chairs and tables, welded into place like a bus station cafeteria, aren't conducive to the enjoyment of a 1,250-calorie burrito the size of a bed and breakfast pillow."
Today was particularly annoying as they had the temperature set at about 60 degrees and packs of adolescents kept coming in "talking" at the top of their lungs. Add some really really loud jungle drum music piped in and you have the makings of a massive case of indigestion.
Happy Saturday everybody!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Guatemalan Mothers Day

My mom doesn't think she is beautiful.
It is my experience that you cannot convince someone something about themselves.
Unless they want to believe it.
So here is my best effort....

My mother is beautiful.
She is from a generation that the world
will miss when they are gone.
She makes being a mother and wife seem easy...
and beautiful.
She was raised in an age where giving service to your husband and children
was not extraordinary.
It was expected.
But my mom WAS extraordinary.
She is an amazing pianist.
Her talents on the piano not only enriched her family's lives
served whatever ward she lived in.
I wish I had a nickel for every time she accompanied someone or played in the background.
I would be rich.
She was an excellent seamstress.
She not only sewed the clothes for my sister and I growing up. (matching of course)
but she made mini replicas of our clothes for our dolls.
I wish more than anything that I still had those dolls and their clothing.
Halloween problem. Handmade.
even as hobos we were dressed to the nines.
Notice the curlers in my sisters hair.
Even as hobos we needed to be well kempt for church the next morning.
Pioneer parade.
The real pioneers only wished they looked as good.
Holidays and special occasions?
They were always special.
She could decorate anything and make it feel like magic.
Decorated cakes, centerpieces, handmade invitations
and do it all while rocking a swimsuit.
(sorry mom I had to put this one in)
She was pre Martha Stewart and her decorating empire
and made all of tablescapes from scratch.
Her holiday meals are now legendary.
I have only made my own Thanksgiving dinner a few times.
Why would I want to miss out on one of her feasts.
Happily I cannot compete.
She has patiently passed on her culinary skills to her granddaughters.
Which is good so that I always have a place to eat.
She skies alongside her husband.
To make sure that he is always safe.
She runs, jumps, tubes, bungee jumps, plays, and travels alongside her grandchildren.
Putting any of her own fears aside.
So that they have a cool grandma
and so they learn that they can do anything.
She slips them cash for things that their parents deem frivolous.
Things that make them feel a little cooler like
Doc Martins or
Vera Bradley purses.
She defends them when she thinks their parents are being a little too tough on them.
And there is no limit to the amount of time that she will tickle or scratch their backs.
At my fathers side she has traveled the world.
Sometimes in luxury but sometimes in the cheap
where a hotel room might have just a light bulb hanging from
a cord in the middle of the room.
She has hiked, walked, climbed, and posed through almost
every continent in the world.
Because she is curious,
but also just because she is a faithful traveling companion.
Russia, Peru, Greece, Japan, Holland, Spain, France, Brazil, Egypt, Morocco China,
and many other ports of call.
She has served faithfully in almost every calling that the church can ask.
She has been a ward RS and Primary president, a chorister, a seminary teacher, an organist, primary teacher, counselor, scout leader, Stake RS and Primary president and so on.
She recently finished a year long mission here in the Houston Texas South mission and is now the Regional Genealogy coordinator along with my father.
She is smart,
(Did I mention she was valedictorian of her high school class?)
funny, kind, hard working, loving, generous and devoted.
It is hard to imagine that she could have done anything more for her family and her God.
She has given me immense love and an example which seems impossible to ever measure up to.
But she has made it seem like she is just an ordinary mom
Doing what she can.
If that is not BEAUTIFUL....
then what is.

Happy Mothers Day Mom!
I love you
P.S. I am technically not late with this post as it is Mother's Day in Guatemala (really I am not kidding) and you all know how half of my heart is there anyway.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A New Helmet

I spent the day on memory lane today.
It's a nice place to visit but...
I needed to pick 20 pictures for a slide show for my Peanut to be shown at a church Senior Roast.
It is a tradition in the wards that meet in our building.
I did it for Raar.
I did it for Nerent.
And now it's Peanuts turn.
20 pictures to try and represent her from cradle to high school graduate.
20 pictures.
I scanned the first one....
I looked into those eyes and....
uh oh.
This was not going to be easy.

When this picture was taken I was in the thick of things
as it were
of Motherhood.
There didn't seem to be a minute that there wasn't someone needing something from me.
Sometimes I felt like if one more person called my name...
Mom mommy momma mama mother....
I would scream.
If one more person needed to be held or picked up or changed or fed.....
Sometimes when Mr. T came through the door I wasn't even sure that I could give him a hug.
I just didn't NEED anymore physical contact...from anyone.
It seemed like it would be that way

How could I have looked forward to this day so much.
And yet be so unprepared for it now.
It makes me think of the story I told the Primary kids on Sunday about faith.
The lesson was about how faith is strengthened through obedience.
I told about a time when Peanut was 8 or 9.
It was a rule in our household that if you were on something with wheels you wore a helmet.
And if the wheels were on a car...a seat belt.
I did a pretty good job of enforcing that rule.
Anytime the announced that they were going to ride their bike I would say,
"Wear a helmet"
(Groans and rolling of the eyes followed the edict)
But helmets were worn.
Peanut went to spend the night at a friends house.
I don't know if the rule was not followed there or if it was because the mom went out that morning,
But Peanut decided that just this once....
No helmet.
The phone call I received was a doozy
I could hear Lauren in the background screaming and crying.
The oldest child there was trying to get Peanut to talk into the phone but to no avail.
No one could tell me what was going on.
I finally yelled into the phone, "WHAT IS GOING ON? WHAT HAPPENED?
Peanut finally calmed down enough to tell me that she had fallen off of a bike and hit her head.
Her helmet-less head.
Mr. T and I rushed to the car and sped off. I prayed the whole way.
Please let this be OK.
Please don't let this be serious.
We got to the home and found Lauren crying.
Her yellow shirt was drenched red down her back
I was glad that she couldn't see how much blood there was.
I searched her curly tangled mop of hair for an assessment of the damage.
It didn't look too bad.
We took her to the emergency room where they glued it back together and told us to watch for signs of concussion. The doctor said that she might throw up but if she did more than twice then we would have to call him to decide what was next.
She threw up three times.
I called and he said that we would give her just one more chance.
But no more throwing up or we would be back at the hospital.
We watched her all day and let her sleep.
I held her in my arms wihile stroking her matted curly mop of hair.
As soon as she felt better we would address the infraction.
The lack of helmet.
She was not prepared to ride a bike until her head was properly protected.

As I looked for 20 pictures of Peanut today,
20 pictures to represent her life
I thought about that story
And realized that I am not sure that I am ready for this next phase.
I feel as if I am getting on a huge new bike......
Without a helmet.

I am definitely going to have to find new one.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It Started With a Wink post script

I wanted to add a post script to my story,
Of Mr. T and I meeting.
That has always seemed pretty amazing to me.
And I neglected to include it in the original post.
Mr. T and I grew up in the same stake.
For my readers who are not LDS
Church units are divided geographically into wards.
Those are the people that you see and worship with every Sunday.
The wards are then put together in unit called a Stake.
(sounds delicious but unfortunately there is no high end beef served there)
As a teenager you are constantly meeting with other teenagers in your stake
For dances and youth conferences and firesides.
(firesides are sunday meetings where there is a smores or anything)
Mr. T. and I grew up in the same stake
And I NEVER laid eyes on him until that amazing, heart beat inducing, photograph.
Trust me!
I would NOT have overlooked someone like him
Later I even found our names on the same committee for a youth conference.
An explanation, you ask?
That's a good question....
Fate, kismet, call it what you will
Sometimes things just work out like that.
Like on one of my favorite shows LOST,
They show the main characters in flashbacks walking by each other with no knowledge of their true destiny.
But when the time is right....

And in other news.....
Here is what NOT to give me for mother's day....
Not that I thought you would give me anything
But just in case.......

I saw this on an infomercial at about 2 am.
You really have to see the commercial to appreciate the creepiness.
It is two stuffed arms.
They come in a box that looks like it might contain a dozen roses.
But is two severed arms that you are suppose to wrap around your neck or waist.
But here is the best part....
You push a button....
And the arms talk.
In the voice of your loved one.
Talking severed arms.
Happy Mother's Day

P.S. again: After Mother's Day what do you do with your talking severed arms. Do you continue to wrap them around you? Do you put them back in the box until next year? Do you pass them on to someone else who might need a hug? Just wondering......