Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Contents of My Small Brown Purse

My husband says that I should occasionally take everything out of my purse/bag and make a list of everything in it...for my they can see how much junk I carry. I think it is kind of a fun, clever way to capture a bit of my own personal history.

Since the contents of my diaper bag that I usually carry are extensive, to say the least, I thought I would record what's in my "kid-less" purse a/k/a the purse I carry when I have no children with me. It was the last bag I carried today.

  • Pink water bottle, half full
  • Package of Dentyne gum, spicy cinnamon (my favorite)
  • Package of cute striped note card from the $1 spot at Target. I think they are still there from a baby shower I went to last week that I never actually wrote a card for.
  • "Bright Tastiness" Weight Watchers coupon book
  • Check book with three checks left (the first check in the book was written almost a year ago for tithing; the last check was tonight for a weight watcher's meeting)
  • $20 bill
  • Weight Watchers pocket guide and daily food/activity tracker
  • Two napkins from Chipotle restaurant
  • Four receipts
  • Wallet including the following: driver's license, insurance card, credit card, debit card, "MasterInCharge" card, library card, blood donor card (B Positive), Sam's Club card, Borders Rewards card, New England Aquarium Membership card (expired), Price Chopper grocery store advantage card, current temple recommend
  • Cell phone (last phone call: my husband called me on his way to work the midnight shift looking for a phone number for someone in our ward)
So what stories does your purse tell?

Monday, July 27, 2009


Sunday morning I got a phone call from the ward organist saying she had a sick child and asking if I would fill in for her. I love to play the organ and readily agreed. The closing hymn was "Come, Come, Ye Saints." As I sat tucked behind my extra-large print hymn book playing that hopeful hymn, my heart was touched. I was overwhelmed by the spirit of those early saints and the sacrifices they made to live close to the Lord.

Tears come easily to me and this was no exception. With both my hands and feet busy and a corner of my eye committed to watching the music director keep the beat, I hardly had a second to compose myself. In the end, I couldn't. By the middle of the second verse the tears were hot and stinging and by the third verse they spilled over and streaked my face. By verse four I was lucky I could see the music at all for the abundance of tears and they began to drip down and splash onto my lap.

I suspect no one saw my moment of emotion. That moment, however, was one deep in my soul and long in the making. My pioneer heritage is one I've always treasured. I want to make sure my children know the stories that have most blessed me and have left such strong impressions on my faith. It is impossible to separate me from my forebarers. I thought I'd record a couple of my favorite stories and memories of important people in my life and family history. I'll probably do them one at a time as time and a little memory touch up allow. I am certain that one reason we are to do our family history work is that we might become more well rooted in who we are, understand where we came from and go forward armed with the knowledge of where our ancestors were going and how we, too, might get there. My stories hail from Norway, Wales, England and New Zealand and trecks West for the most part. But I think I'll also include some of those stories of my loved ones who have braved new roads in other ways. It is vital that I remember these people and their experiences.

Just this past Saturday I was sitting in the Celestial Room of the Palmyra Temple stuck in a moment of befuddlement when I quieted my mind and suddenly had the words, "all is well, all is well" enter my thoughts. I sense that recording these memories will help me sort out some of the things that are on my mind lately. So between peanut butter sandwiches, long swims in the pool, and the piles of laundry to do and floors that need mopping, strength will find me as I find the strength of those who have gone before.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Oh to be Three

There is magic when my three-and-a-half-year-old son comes in the room. He is a delight to be around and everything he touches {or laughs at} just turns to gold. I thought with only a few short weeks before A starts his days as a preschooler and things will forever change, I'd pay a little photo tribute to my boy.

Photo above: A decided he wanted to be a magician one morning when we were folding laundry and he found his cape in the closet. He insisted that he needed a magician's hat and wand. We spent the rest of the morning looking at pictures online and in books until I had the exact picture that A wanted for his magician paraphernalia.

On a side note, the beautiful cape was made by my sister-in-law, Juli, who even in the mist of her own suffering with a loosing battle with cancer made this for A's birthday. We just got word that Juli is only anticipated to live a few more weeks. What a fitting tribute from my son that he should want everyday to wear that cape made by the aunt whom he prays for in every prayer.
The Smith Farm in Palmyra, NY.
Sacred Grove, Palmyra, NY
Cousins. West Lafayette, IN
Raspberries from our garden.
J sent A into the house to give me a big fat raspberry on the first day of picking. A promptly showed it to me and ran out of the house. When J asked A how I liked the berry, A just shrugged. J asked what happened to the berry. A's response: "I think it accidentally got into my tummy!"
Korean War helicopter at a local air museum.
Happy Hollow, IN
Father and Son Campout.
Cleaning the mess hall at the Father and Son Campout.
Avoiding the rain while hiding out inside the tiny pup tent at the Father and Son Campout.
Dancing on a Thursday night at a local concert in the park.
An geologist in the making: "take a picture of my rock, Mom."
Or and archeologist: "Take a picture of this piece of glass I found."
Blowing bubbles for Dad for Father's Day
Hoggle Zoo, April 2009