Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bearing Fruit: The Mother Tree




A woman is a tree of life;

the heavens know her grace.

In her is found an essence that

eclipses time and space.

She reaches heavenward, her fingers

branching toward the sun

and winds her roots through rocks and dirt

to bless the work she’s done...

to feed and anchor tender shoots

by her good seed begun.



Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Taking Those Final Steps...

Today is one of those pins-and-needles days for me. My youngest son has an interview this afternoon at the medical school he most wants to attend, and I'm focused on that to the extent that I can post about nothing else. Of course, I am hoping and praying that he will be able to overcome whatever nerves he must be feeling and put his very best foot forward. (I may be prejudiced, but it's my considered opinion that his best foot is a really good one!)

Needless to say, I will spend my morning and much of the afternoon sending good thoughts and many prayers his way. I'd be deeply grateful to anyone who'd like to join me.

Faith moves our feet along each path;
hope lightens every day.
Love nurtures what the heart desires,
and courage clears the way.

But ere we see our journey's end,
before we reach that final bend,
life puts us squarely in our place
and teaches us about God's grace.

No battle fought, no victory won,
no paltry prize or grand
is ever ours to claim.
Each gift is given by His hand.

It's all in His hands now. And I, for one, find that very comforting.

=)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Winning and Innings Make Me Happy...


Baseball makes me happy...and winning, too! On the mound is our nephew, Brian Anderson, who pitches for the San Jose Giants (a farm team for the SF Giants). Brian's team just won back-to-back California state championships, which makes four championships in the last six years. Not a bad team to root for, and we have a ball (pun definitely intended) every time we hit the park.

Of course, everyone else has a ball, too...

adorable little babies included!

It really is fun to get that old-time feel in a small venue like this.

Silly games & hijinks between innings make cheering for the team more fun.

And here he is, folks. Brian Anderson, relief pitcher.

Getting ready for the big wind-up.

And the equally big release.

(He looks good from far away, too.)

Yep. That's our guy! =)

PS. More on happiness here. (It's the sequel to this one.)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Music Soothes the Savage Beast


Does anyone out there find music as palliative as I do? It doesn't exactly have the power to banish every woe, but it sure can make a down and dirty day take a quick turn for the better and brighter.

Likewise, the right accompaniment can make even a happy day feel more joyful. Doesn't music wrap a warm, golden glow around every wedding reception? And what party would be a party without some Top 40 tunes filling the air?

My favorite mood-altering (in a good way) singer is James Taylor. That guy always sounds exactly right to me, mood notwithstanding. But some artists are more specific in their application.

For depression? James, James, James to get out of it and Joni Mitchell to wallow in it. Simon and Garfunkel to enjoy it.

For anxiety? Enya to relax out of it, Mormon Tabernacle Choir to relax into and make peace with it. (The Motab CD, Peace Like a River, is good medicine for my soul.)

For spirituality? Afterglow to ease into it, Kalai to rock it, Motab to ponder it, Michael Maclean to belabor it a little, and John Canaan to dramatize it.

For fun? Beach Boys, Brenton Wood, Temptations, and Four Tops to bring it; Jack Johnson to package it, and Jason Mraz to riff on it.

For sentimentality? Neal Young (mostly without Crosby, Still, and Nash) to gently ride the surface of it, Nick Drake to dive into it, Simon and Garfunkel to savor it, and John Denver to celebrate it.

For deep thinking? Brett Dennen or Bob Dylan to ruminate about it, Cat Stevens to model it, and Bocelli to accompany it. Paul Simon to put different rhymes and rhythms to it.

Get the idea? The truth is, I could go on and on here (but I will spare you). I'll bet you could make a pretty heft list, too.

Isn't music wonderful?

=)

Who are your favorite music-(and mood)-makers?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Blessings by Grace


Don't you just love Saturday Centus, that best-of-all-memes in which Jenny Matlock (or one of her cohorts) gives us a prompt so we can add 100 words of our own and come up with one little gem of a story? I sure do!

Below is this week's effort, courtesy of yours truly and in honor of Tom Goette's birthday. (Have a GREAT one, Tom!) The prompt is in red.

∞§∞


Blessings by Grace

He never dreamed, when he blew out the candles on his cake, that the hands of a pregnant woman had lit them. She, on the other hand, was reliving her early morning test, same as countless others yet breathtakingly different. An old movie would have said the rabbit died, but all Grace could think of was that something, someone inside her lived at last.

All day long her mind danced through scene after scene of bestowing her gift beyond measure: he swooped her up and ran to the still-empty nursery, screamed like a lottery-winner coming up roses.

Reality was sweeter. He rocked her to sleep in his arms, blessed her womb with his tears.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Love Letters


Jen, my good friend over at Denton Sanitorium, has asked her readers to write a letter of thanks to someone who has been a strong influence in our lives. I have written many such letters and will undoubtedly write many more (I am, after all, a complete freak for such things), but I thought it might be more meaningful if I wrote about "the one that got away."

When a dear friend of mine died unexpectedly some time ago, I sent a letter of thanks to her daughter. That I was too late to send it to her will be a lasting source of sorrow for me. I had often thought about how wonderful she was, and I knew how much she had impacted my life.....I even told her on occasion.....but I never took the time to sit down and write her a letter that she could hold in her hands and read when she needed to remember that someone loved and appreciated her and thought she was practically perfect in every way. (I'm not exaggerating. She was.) But she did have her struggles, as we all do, and I wish I could have given her the gift of a simple letter expressing my love.

Instead, I found myself writing that letter to her daughter. I had missed my chance. Sadly, the next best thing was the only thing left for me to do.

I'm sharing my letter as a tribute to the lovely woman Dee was and is. I hope reading about her calls to mind those people in your life who are ready and able to receive the letter my friend never received from me.

Dear (Dees's daughter):

When your mom moved away, I was really sad. I had been her visiting teacher, and I didn’t want to give up the job…not because I was doing so much for her, but because she was doing so much for me. Being Dee’s visiting teacher was the greatest experience of being nurtured that I have ever had, outside of my own family members.

When I walked in the door, she would let me choose my favorite teacup, and then she would fill it with a delicious herbal tea. We would sit and talk about anything and everything––life, love, and (our favorite topic) motherhood. It was Dee who taught me that once your child chooses someone to marry, you make a decision to love that person, no matter what. She also taught me about cousins’ weekends at grandma’s house (a tradition I intend to adopt as soon as my grandchildren are old enough). She was so proud of all her children and their accomplishments. She showed me much of your beautiful photography and shared with me your brother’s determined and ultimately victorious journey to becoming a doctor.

When I was Young Women president, I asked the bishop to call Dee as a teacher; it was an inspired calling. She filled her girls’ hearts with love and laughter. They knew how much she cared about them, and I know their testimonies and self worth grew because of her spiritual gifts and devotion. Just walking into the room where she taught them was uplifting. She really knew how to set a warm and cozy mood, not by design, but because that was a part of her.

Of course, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. After all, she’s your mom. But I just wanted you to be aware that she mothered many people, myself among them, and that the following words are as true today as they were the day I wrote them, when she moved from our ward.

DEE STEWART IS...

Delightful as the darling hats that only she can wear
Enchanting as the flowers she arranges with such flair
Empathic as can be, she is a loved and loving friend

Serene and soothing as a cup of tea (her special blend!)
Terrific as the job she does on almost anything
Endearing as the daffodils that pop up in the spring
Wiser than the wisest owl and warm as woolly mittens
Adorable as puppies, bunnies, baby chicks, and kittens
Refreshing as the ocean breeze that cools a summer day AND
Totally irreplaceable in every single way

with much love and joy in remembering your wonderful mother,
Sue Anderson

Dee's letter is in purple because that was her favorite color. The pink is to remind me of her soft cheeks and flowery, ribboned hats. I am grateful that I did at least write and send her that silly little poem after she moved away.

I guess the message I want to get across with all of this is simple: DON'T WAIT. Tell people you love them, and do it now. (Tell them why, too!) Let the people who have made a difference in your life know they matter...and sometimes, put it in writing. It means so much to get such a letter. I know, because I have saved every single one I've ever received. I treasure and revisit them. I'm sure you do, too.

So thanks for reminding me, Jen. (I think I have a few letters to write...)

••••••••••
After such a lengthy post, I really hope you can spare the time to read my guest post over at Salsa Pie today, where Caroline is enjoying a brief maternity leave (blog-style) after the birth of her beautiful baby boy. I really think you'll like what I have to say (though it probably made Caroline blush a bit). Oddly enough, it's sort of in keeping with what you just read...as regards letting others know how you feel about them. Nothing happens by chance, does it? Not really, anyway. Hugs to you all.

=)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

On Abundance and Appreciation

Lord, how manifold are thy works;

we all have eyes to see.

The earth is full of thy riches;

our hearts sing praise to thee.

Thou touchest the hills and they smoke;

in thy light, shadows flee.

Our meditations shall be sweet;

our joyful spirits, free.

©2003 Susan Noyes Anderson, His Children, Karisma Press

∞§∞

O Lord, how manifold are thy works!
in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.
I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live:
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.

Psalms 104:24, 32, 34

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Today, I Give You a Gift...


Yesterday, I received a lovely gift that was exactly what I needed. Today, I am passing it on to you.

You can open this remarkable gift with a click. Inside, you will discover Maurine Proctor's article in Meridian Magazine called "Yearning for Something We Just Can't Find." I sincerely hope you will not put my gift on the shelf; you may need it as much as I did. If you decide you can't spare the time, you will have saved a couple of minutes and lost a sweet, peaceful feeling of truth and spiritual centering.

So take those precious minutes and read. Trust me; it will fill you.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tahoe is Terrific!

Tahoe is one happy place to be!

Very happy, indeed.

My husband camped there with 60 young adults last weekend.

They put up tents all over the place.

And ate lots of food.

And had lots of fun.

Apparently, the cooks had lots of fun, too...the flying pancake variety.

Not Susan, though. She had nuttin' to do with those hot cake hijinks.

(She does have something to do with the instigator, though.)

Saturday morning finds the hikers all geared up for a good time.

The scenery was splendid.

The landscape was luscious.

The terrain was tremendous.

The backdrop was beautiful.

And the magnificence was...yep...magnificent.

(Definitely worth a cell phone shot or two!)

Hey, can I borrow your camera?

I'd like to take a picture of the dopes that actually went swimming...

in near freezing (but crystal clear water).

Yep, this guy was one of them.

(My not-always-so-prudent son.)

(I'm pretty sure these two are laughing at him...)

(These two, however, aren't noticing him at all...)

And these guys are just plain chillin'!

Cool chillin'.
(Dude, this is the life.)

Yep, Tahoe does makes people very happy.

But parting is always sweet sorrow.
(that's a wrap)

***BONUS PICTURE***
My husband and son, on top of the Tahoe world!

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