Wednesday, November 14, 2012


A few months back, we had a sweet little old lady join us in our mission. I would guess that she's probably in her early seventies.
Yesterday at our planning meeting she had a story to tell. It seems that she loves cats and that for many years she has been feeding some feral cats. There's a big tree in a field and there, she has built little shelters for them. She said that she is currently feeding 14 cats.
This past weekend was very stormy and that didn't stop her. She said that as she was returning from the field, that a car stopped and two cute girls got out. They asked her if she was the one that takes care of the cats and she responded that she was. The girls said they would like to help and each of them gave her a one inch stack of bills. (she later counted 150 $1 bills) She thanked the girls and asked what they did to earn the money. They responded that they were pole dancers and strippers.
The little old lady said to us at our meeting, "you know where those bills have been"

Monday, November 5, 2012


After dropping Nan and Les off for a race, I finished my chores and headed to my favorite therapy spot. As I headed east towards the canyon, I noticed how all the mountains were gold and red. My favorite spot is a bench about two minutes down the Granite Quarry Trail. It has a great view of the mountains across the canyon and you can hear the babble of the creek below. Today the temperature wa...
s mild and I was comfortable wearing a jacket. I only stayed for 30 minutes and although there were a few cars at the trailhead, I only saw one person while sitting on my bench. It was so peaceful and the soft breeze carried a promise of warming with it. Looking at the rugged canyon with the high cliffs and being surrounded by the colorful trees, it's hard to imagine that there was once a little town there while the quarry was in operation. I've always loved Spring the best, but this year with all the colors and with my favorite bench on the trail, I've come to realize that perhaps Fall if fast becoming my favorite time of year.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Bridge

During the spring of 1983, we lived in a nice neighborhood in Sandy. We had always liked the neighborhood, partly because of the location, but also because of our LDS ward. The people there were more than neighbors. They were truly brothers and sisters. They loved one another and showed it by their actions.

There was a family in our ward with young daughter that had been sick for a long time and wasn't expected to live much longer. We, along with other neighbors, did the usual thing...take in meals, offer assistance when needed etc.

At last the young girl passed away. Of course the parents were heartbroken but maintained faith that they would see her again in the eternities.

The funeral was planed and was to be in Mayfield Utah...a couple of hours South of where we lived. They were from Mayfield and wanted her interned there.

(I was aware of where Mayfield was because I had, many times, driven through there on the way to 12 mile canyon which connected with Skyline Drive on the top of the mountain. My first time there was probably when I was around 12 years old.)

At this time we had recently purchased a new 12 passenger van. We volunteered to car pool some of the ward members to the funeral. The bishopric and their wives wanted to ride with us. The bishop was to conduct the funeral.

The trip was uneventful until we left Gunnison and were a few miles from Mayfield. We had timed things just right and should get to the church about 30 minutes before the funeral was to begin. Then we came upon a sign that said "road closed" and another that said "bridge closed". We proceeded further, recognizing that it would put us far behind by going back to Gunnison, then North to the other road that could take us to Mayfield.

1983 was a year of heavy snowpack and there were many floods throughout the area. This area was no exception. When we came to the bridge, there were small barricades there to stop the traffic. We got out and looked at the swollen stream and how it had washed out much of the dirt and material that was around and under the supports of the bridge. The water was literally roaring under the bridge. We walked across the bridge and back and decided to give it a try. Rather than put everyone's lives at risk, we moved the barricades and rather quickly and very nervously, I alone drove across the bridge. Everyone else walked across. We replaced the barricades, everyone got in the van and we got the church on time.

The people in Mayfield were more than gracious. After the funeral and grave side service, they served us with a nice meal before out trip home

Not too long after that, we move to our present location. We have fond memories of that time in our lives.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Previous time:

I'm old enough to remember that in my youth, we used to play marbles. There were cats eyes, colored marbles, agates, and the most coveted were the flints. We might play keepsies with most of these, but never with the flints, they were a treasure to us.

Present time:

After our volunteer work at the state prison last night, as drove to the corner, I asked Nan "right or left". It is just a question and one I knew the answer to. She always says right. The left turn takes us to the freeway, the turn right takes us past the prison grounds and an industrial area followed by a winding road through a rural area mingled with an upscale area of homes.

We were quiet as we drove along together, each alone with our thoughts about the things we heard in our meeting with the inmates.

My thoughts suddenly changed directions as we crossed the Jordan river. How many times I had been to that very spot, fishing. I thought about my teenage years when my dad, brothers-in-law and I had gone fishing at different places on the Jordan river. Sometimes the fish weren't biting but most of the time the misquitoes were. I remembered one time in particular when those little bugs were so hungry that they biting me through my shirt.

One time I was fishing near where the water comes out of the lake. There was a little mud bar kind of jutting out in the river. I fished off the tip of that bar and had the best of luck. There must have been a school of catfish there, because I was catching one after the other, no waiting, just reeling them in. I finally got tired and went home.

The next day, I thought I would try that same spot. When I got there, there were two men already at the tip of the mud bar. They were both catching the fish as fast as they could get their lines in the water. They were both laughing and giggling like a couple of little girls at a tea party. I had almost as good a time as they did, just watching them.

My thoughts turned to my dad and how much he loved to fish.

My father once asked his uncle Will (who loved to hunt and fish), "what will you do when you get to the other side and there is no hunting and fishing"?

His uncle thought for a minute, then answered..."when I was a young boy, there was nothing better than a game of marbles...but I grew up!

Just saying!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

What Can I Offer

As we approach another Christmas, my thoughts have turned toward the true meaning of Christmas.

Often I wonder what we offer our Savior... not only at this season, but what do we offer him throughout the entire year? I know that he says "thou shalt offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in righteousness, even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit."

I wonder about my own heart, is it still running free as a mustang on the prairie, or has my spirit been tamed...broken as you will, like a horse willing to come when his master beckons.

Am I willing to do what He asks of me, looking forward with faith, knowing that He would ask nothing of me that He wouldn't expect me to accomplish...not on my own, but with His help.

What more can I offer?

Has my gift to Him been sufficient?

I think back to the time when the widow gave her two mites and some thought that it was a paltry offering...until the Master stated that hers was more than the rest who gave much more, because she gave all she had.

Thinking back to last January when we narrowly escaped having a head-on that most likely would have taken our lives, I have come to realize His hand in the outcome. We came through the debris thrown in our path almost untouched. I know what I saw thrown into the air along with that cloud of dust. Without some intervention from some unseen power, we wouldn't have been so fortunate to continue this life.

I have come to the conclusion that there must still be something left in this life for me to accomplish. Perhaps it has something to do with my new calling, working with LDS Family Services in the addiction recovery program. Perhaps not to help others, but to help me to overcome pride and turn my heart, my life un to Christ without reservation.

Perhaps I have the opportunity to serve my family and friends by example, by word and love for another season.

I am grateful for our Savior. As we celebrate His birth, I personally celebrate his atonement, his redeeming sacrifice where he suffered for our sins and pain and worries and hurts, taking some of the burden from us. By doing so, he understands how we feel and he knows how to comfort us.

Might we, might I always be found in His service is my Christmas wish. This wish/gift I give to you.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I received a call from a friend last week wanting me to do a little project for him. I drove up our street to 700 East and turned south which carried me to the heart of Draper. On that short drive, the memories came flooding back. Just past the tracks on the West side of the street is a red brick house. Across the street is a commercial building that has been renovated many times over the years. My dad had a friend named Jack who lived in the red house and would build houses on the lot across the street in front of the commercial building. He would build them on a bulk work of timbers so they could be moved. I remember working on some of them as I learned to be an electrician.

Sometime before I began working with my father, he had been working on a project with Jack. While there, a big dog ran up to Jack and bit him on the leg, causing a severe injury. My dad had a bottle of iodine that he poured into the wound to keep the infection away. As Jack squirmed with pain both from the bite and the iodine, my dad told Jack that the dog had mistaken him for a t-bone stake.

Interesting enough, my dad started calling Jack T-bone. The name stuck and I think others called him that too. At any rate, we all knew who T-bone was.

Jack liked to smoke, and smoked a lot. After many years of doing so, his body rebelled. He came down with a severe case of emphysema.

I liked T-bone. In some ways he reminded me of my grandfather. He was gray and old and was always friendly and kind to me.

The last time I saw him was when I was working on a little house on the lot in Draper. I was in my early teens and T-bone came over to see how the work was going. He was now too old to do any of the work. I remember that the trek across the little road that 700 East was back then, was exhausting for him. He hardly had enough breath to get there, and had to rest before going back home.

It wasn't long after that, that T-bone passed away.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I remember as a kid, in the fall, we would rake the leaves from the giant silver maple trees around our yard into a big pile.  It was always fun to play in those fluffy mountains, jumping into them, running through them, riding our bikes through them and covering ourselves with them.  I never stopped to think that we probably tracked a lot into the house and our mother, patient as always, cleaned them up after us.  I don't remember it, but she probably chastised us for the mess.
After our fun was over, we would bring a large canvas tarp out, rake the leaves onto it and carry them out to the garden where they became mulch.  This was repeated until the lawn was cleared.
Down through the years, leaves became more of a chore.  As our children grew up and no longer cared about piles of leaves, someone (this means me) had to clean them up.  The lawns are easier than past years as we have a riding lawn mower that vacuums them up.
We have a tree next to the driveway.  Our driveway is long and collects all the leaves from one particular silver maple tree.  The mower doesn't do so well picking up the leaves from the driveway.  I learned about twenty years ago that if mother nature cooperates, this means the leaves falling at the proper time and if the South wind blows at the right time, I don't have to do a thing to clean up the leaves off the drive.  The leaves like waves of water float across the street and end up in the church parking lot, lawn and beyond.  Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't which means I sometimes have to sweep up leaves from the drive.
This year was payback.  I watched as my leaves floated away a week or so ago.  I was satisfied that my drive was swept clean as a kitchen table.  When we get storms here, we usually have a South wind (which carried away my leaves), followed by a North wind immediately preceding the storm.  Today was storm day.  I watched as waves of leaves floated across the street into my driveway, lawns and beyond.  Not only did I get my own leaves back but all the leaves that came off the trees from the church and neighboring properties.
I'm not placing the blame on anyone, but perhaps there is someone in control that has a sense of humor.
I'm thinking that perhaps we'll get another South wind and send 'm all back again.
Or not.