Sunday, October 27, 2013


You know that song, "People who need people are the luckiest people in the world?"  Yep, well, I am one of the lucky people in the world.  I need people, and I have great friends.  Nothing makes me happier than to talk to someone, and if you know me, I can talk a lot!  I like different people---let's use a few antonyms here....young people, old people, funny people, serious people, intense people, laid back people...they are all my friends and I am so grateful for each one of them.   I have a sign that hangs over my back door that says it all for me, "Friends are the family that one finds along the way".  I have found a lot of people who are like family to me.  I am sure that I am irritating at times because I once surmised that if I stood back, and thought about "me" as my own friend, I would be irritating.  I would also be kind and funny and interesting in an odd sort of way.  So, it's all good, and I am happy being me.

   I love my own company, but after awhile I crave a little more stimulating conversation. I have been told that I hum when I am alone, so I must be in touch with my inner self.   I can go downtown and stop in just about anywhere and talk to people.  I know people from the grocery store, the music store, and even got invited to a wedding reception from a lady who hands out samples at Sam's Club!    I don't just know their names, I know all about their families, their likes and dislikes, and some pretty deep feelings.   I can carry on a conversation with just about anybody and do so on a regular basis.  I suppose that some might find me nosy, but others appreciate my friendliness and open up about all kinds of things in their lives, (some I'd rather not know about):D  I would not have it any other way and only wish I had more time to connect more.    Yeah, I also wish I were thinner and younger, but I like that I can be friends with just about anybody.

   I have been friends for a very long time with a group of friends who know me about as well as anyone else does.  Probably more than Jerry:D   MaryAnn, Dorma, Lori, Debbie and I get together a couple of times a year to play.  Yes, we are old and we still play.    We travel, laugh and mostly make each other laugh.   We have been through it all with each other.  The birth of our children,  miscarriages, divorces , our parent's deaths , surgeries, cancer, and a lot more.  These events have sealed us for life, and I can't imagine having survived trials without them.  I have countless friends and to name just a few:

 SueAnn, who took me to her house when I broke my collarbone and elbow.  I ran over myself with my car, but I digress (another story) and nursed and showered me.  I stayed at her house for three days, and she had her son Jeff rig up a call button as I lay in the kid's bottom bunkbed.  Now that is friendship!!   We have been friends for almost forty years, and I could make pages and pages of the things she has done for me and my family.   Robin and Vickie who take me for rides where we eat Lay's potato chips and  swig coke  and solve the problems of the world.  Kathy , Elaine, Debbi and Suzanne whom I have loved since college days.  Gayle, you are the best when I can talk to you about anything and everything!  We tried to lose weight when we were skinny and in college, and now we are grandmas and still talk about the same thing!! Alisa, what would I possibly do without you in my life?  I have never know anyone more Christlike and giving.  What an example you are to me!!   Michelle, my book friend, who always enlightens me  with the best of literature.  Laurie, who is always just a phone call away and who came and bought me dresses when Adam was getting married and Jerry was out of work. Karen , who taught me to make banana cream pie, and who is the best friend/ boss ever.

  Donna, Fern and Barbara, my "old lady" friends who were my dear, dear friends for over a decade while they were in their eighties, I learned so much from you!  I mourned each one as you passed from this life and remember our good times together.  You were funny, smart and so very wise.  You were such a support system to me, and I loved you so, so much.

 Amy Herrick, my friend who has taught me not only about teaching,  but about selflessness and family.  So many more out there who know who they are and how special they are to me.  I rarely go a day when I am not encouraged or inspired by one of many people I see daily.  My co -workers are the greatest, and I am so fortunate to work with children every day of my life.

To all the friends in my neighborhood and ward who care about me and my family:  You know who are and how important you are to my life.  All friends past and present have enriched my life so much!!
   I hope that my children who are out in the world are meeting people and making that connection of friendship.  You cannot teach anyone anything until you care about them.  It is a wonderful thing to become friends with your children, and see them emerge into adults.  Jerry and I are learning to be friends again after co-parenting, and I told him he would have to be my buddy.  Friendship takes a little work, but it is so worth the effort.  It has enriched my life in countless ways, and I am beyond blessed for all of the people I care about and who care about me.  I am thankful to be friends with Jerry's mom, Joann and with his sisters, Jackie and Jan who welcomed me into the family from the start. I love my daughter-in-laws Jess and Carly, and hope I do not appear to be the strange mother-in-law, but their friend.  Layne, I hope you find me a little less strange as time goes on:D

   Fay Johnson, you are never far from my heart and will continue to be my greatest friend and advocate.  When she lay dying, I laid my head on her heart, and asked, "Oh, Mom, have I ever made you proud?"  I selfishly wanted her approval even at the end of her life.  She struggled to whisper, "always".  She was a friend to all, and I try to emulate her in her love for people.  When Dad died, people from all walks of life came to pay tribute to Thiel Johnson, a man who loved and served others.  What a great legacy I have, and what choice friends!  Sorry that this is such a gushy blog, but I am feeling blessed tonight!!
                                       gotta go, my favorite nephew, Brian,  and his fiancee, Cadie, just stopped in
                                      and I am making them chocolate chip cookies!

                                          They were pretty good!

Dorma, Debbie, Me, MaryAnn and Lori


Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Last of the Four to Go

Bethany Anne Taylor departed our home Wednesday, October 9 to arrive at the Mission Training Center at 2:45 p.m.  This kind of sounds like an obituary!  We are not grieving, but rejoice in the adventure soon to be hers in the San Fernando, California Mission.  I did shed a tear when I found her size 10 converse shoe beside my chair".  Usually, I would have pitched it downstairs while yelling, "Bethany...take off your shoes in your own room!"  Instead, my eyes misted over.   I quickly recuperated and it hasn't been too bad.  I think my initial tears last year when the boys were preparing to go were for the demise of childhood.  I am feeling old!  I was always the mom of young children, and now as I am forced to concede that they are grown; I had to admit my own advancing age.  My brain is a bit fuzzy, my knees are bad, and I hate seeing pictures of myself because I am viewing someone who doesn't look like me.
   I told myself that when Bethany left, Jerry and I were to start our own new adventure.  No kids, no one baking cookies well into the night for kids who were laughing and shrieking downstairs.  Thank goodness for piano kids who fill my life with fun and purpose. I have to have a little noise!!
    Bethany spoke on the 29th of September, and did an awesome job.  I think the word "awesome" is overused, but it was a great talk.  She was assigned  to speak on spreading the Gospel to "every kindred, tongue and people".  She spoke about Camp Bartlett, and Philmont Ranch and her associations with the people there.  She told us how every person we come into contact with can be affected by the way we live.  She gave examples of great people in her own life who had impacted her own way of living, and of others she had watched with great admiration.  Bethany has worked in an after school program at Club Heights Elementary School, and she loved it so much.  She also taught school in a highly scrutinized Title one school and learned so much about what people needed in their lives.  They need love and hope, and she will be able take that to the people she meets in California.
   We had the usual "non-farewell mormon buffet" at our house and Bethany was able to share her special day with Ruby.  Ruby's dad was in Missouri for five months following her birth, and he was able to finally bless her so it was truly a great day.  Layne's Mom and Dad came, of course, as did his brother Spencer  and sister-in-law Megan.  Ruby's Great Grandma and Grandpa, Donna and Layne.  We served pulled pork, Bethany's favorite, and I have the best friends in the world who brought salads and cookies.  The weather sort of cooperated, and most people ate outside.
    Bethany is larger than life, and her presence is so missed at our house.  She is a passionate person.  Passion was one of our third grade vocabulary words last week, and when I introduced it, I thought of her. When she was little, she drove me crazy because she was so stubborn and driven.  Now I see it as a wonderful attribute that will take her far in life.   She loves people with an intensity that is overwhelming at times, yet I know that the people in the mission field will return that love.  She and I are so very close, because I think that she is the most like me out of all my children.  She knows me better than Jerry does!!
She knows I like orange Tootsie Pops, and will buy me several when she goes out.  She brings me Dirty Diet cokes "just because".  She is in tune with all my mannerisms , and knows what I am thinking and why I am thinking it.  I can't help but remember her as a
misbehaving toddler, and marvel that she has become one of my best friends!  What a treasure she is, and how I miss her!!
   I feel so blessed, and privileged that Heavenly Father would send me such choice spirits to raise. Frankly, I often think that Jerry and I were so incapable of harder trials that He sent us pretty good kids. We would not be very good at dealing with much more than we were given.  The Taylor kids are not perfect, but we are sure grateful for their choices thus far in life.
   I will try to blog more, but find it hard to turn on the computer without anyone to help me:D  Seriously, we will see how this adding "pictures" thing goes!  Anyone out there have extra time for a tutorial?  I tried to have the kids show me, but they got a little hostile after the 86th time.
   I can hardly wait to hear about Bethany and the MTC and will be better about posting their adventures!                          

(These pictures were really hard for me!, I will try more later when I am not muttering under my breath)

Bethany and Friends

Bethany with Garrett and Carson Schoenfeld (piano students)

Adam, Emily and Ruby, Bethany and Ben