Sunday, November 19, 2017

Memories of home

In the middle of a busy day of work last Monday, I took a break and checked my phone.  In the middle of a variety of texts and emails about this and that, I got these pictures.

To you, they are simply pictures of people, a temple, a river, Churches and a building.  To me, they are memories of my childhood and I teared up just looking at them.  It was so unexpected, too, which added to the emotional impact.

These are from Richland, Washington, --truly the most beautiful "ugly" spot in America.  I grew up here and felt it was like the most perfect spot in the entire world to be from.  I could go on and on about it, but I have probably discussed it before.

These were sent from Andrea Pedersen Slack.  Andrea and I met in high school in Richland and she was one of my freshman roommates at BYU in 1973.  Andrea was there, helping a friend who had just moved from Houston to the area and she offered to help drive up one of her vehicles.

This is Andrea on the left with one of her friends in front of the Columbia River Temple.  This temple was built long after I moved from there.  It was a sweet moment when I got to attend a session there the first time and now Andrea has also had that experience.
This is our old Stake Center.  It was built in the mid-60's at a time when the Saints were expected to help both with financial donations and also with labor.  I can remember that my dad served as a night watchman and we all cleaned up from time to time in little projects safe for kids.

Columbia High School--"The Bombers"  I thought it was a normal mascot name because I grew up planning to be a "Bomber."  There is still debates now about the appropriateness of the name. I only ended up attending one year and then we moved to Texas where I got to be a Caprock Longhorn and then a Tascosa Rebel (with the confederate flag and everything.)
Columbia River--Richland is a desert with less than 10 inches of rain a year.  The ground was mostly sand and the native plans were tumbleweeds and sagebrush (actually they were sagebrush first and then tumbleweeds.)  It got hot in the summer and was often very windy.  But when you live by two rivers--the Yakima and the Columbia Rivers--you get some amazing scenery, nonetheless.
They have really upgraded the shore along the Richland side of the Columbia.  There is a paved walking trail with benches to sit and enjoy the view.  Andrea found a bench which has been placed there by a family in honor of their parents who we both knew.  That was sweet.
The Jadwin Chapel--the place where I was baptised and I learned most of the lessons of my youth.  We did attend the Stake Center for a couple of years when I was 10-12 years old, but most of the time it was this amazing building.  For years, if I ever had a dream that included a church, it was inside this building.  They don't make very many three story LDS churches in the US any more.
It was in Richland I learned to love clouds (at my mother's knee for sure. She loved nature.)  This is a view of the high school which built on a slope.
Andrea moved to Richland in her early teens and I moved there when I was 2 months old.  She commented that much of what she became as a person was started or influenced by the time in her life that she spent there.  I agree.  I was so lucky to have spent 16 years here being touched by the good people, inside and outside of the Church.  I certainly hope that in the eternities there will be time to find them and thank them each personally for the ways they have touched our lives.  I read recently a meme that stated that we carry traces of those who have touched us so we must be careful of the traces we leave with others.  I know that is true, because there are so many people through simple ways and some not so simple have impacted my life for good.  I still feel those traces in my heart so many years later.  That is why I got tearful, just by seeing some simple photos from this specific spot in the world!

Thanks, Andrea, for sharing.

And Christmas is coming.....

Which for us means lots of parties---

There is the annual Hall Almost Annual Adult Christmas Party on Dec. 2nd--

I know.  I am so cheesy,  I asked Gary if it was "too cheesy'" and he replied, "Of course, but that is what people expected from you so do it."  So I did.  For some reason over the years, the invitation has become a part of the whole tradition.  I don't want them to be at all the same or "traditional," so I guess after so many years, you are going to end up doing a snowman sooner or later.

Then, we are having a neighborhood caroling party on the first Monday of December which will end up at our house for cookies and hot chocolate.  (After all if we are cleaning the house for one party, why not add another into the mix two days later?)

Then later in the month, we are hosting the GIRLS Christmas Party which is a traditional party of 12 young adults with Down syndrome which are all on the same Special Olympics team.  The older ground of girls have been doing it for years and have added some of the newly young adult girls over the past few years.  It is our turn to host this year, which should be so fun.

I mention all of those things, because I spent most of last evening, getting the invitations ready and general plans for these activities to make sure that we are ready for all of this Christmas fun.  It mostly worked as a distractions since both the BYU football team and BYU Men's basketball team lost their games and didn't play well for most of the games.  Sometimes it is hard to be a fan!!!  On a positive note, the BYU Women's Volleyball team swept their match on Saturday.

Jena's Hike in the Hills

 Jena's Wednesday activity included a hike up in the hills above Provo
Emily, Sara, and Jena
 If you look carefully, you can see the Provo Temple in the far left of the picture.

Jena and Amy heading down the path
 The group shot with Emily, the aide for Amy, Amy, and Sara with Jena and Hannah in front.
How lucky Jena is to be with these fun ladies!!!

Happy Upcoming Thanksgiving Week

We will see if things all get pulled together for Thanksgiving day in time for dinner on Thursday at 12:30.  I haven't done this as a full-time working person, so I am a bit nervous.  But I remind myself that there are millions of American women who manage it without the support and resources that I have, so I think it will work.....the great thing about my family is that they are quite flexible about things.  As long as there is a turkey, dressing, and some pies, they don't really care if the napkins are folded in a fancy way or if we have three kinds of punch.  Fortunately, I wasn't all "Martha Stewart" as the kids were growing up and I was home full-time so expectations are low.

That said, I do like Thanksgiving.  I love the memories I have of past Thanksgivings, of ping pong tournaments, singing around the piano--not in the Hall house, but when I was a child in the Giberson house, family and friends.  I love thinking more deeply about my blessings, which are more numerous than the grains of sand  on the beach.

And I always love an excuse to have a good cherry pie!!!

Enjoy your week, my friends and family.  I will be counting all of you among my many blessings this year.