Sunday, October 12, 2014

Summer Welcomes Fall

We ended August at the cabin of some very dear friends up in the mountains.  
At that altitude, Autumn was already in the air,
so, the fireplace inside and warm company were very welcome!
Jim Bench designed and built this place, and both he and 
Marion have filled it to the brim with charm and gorgeous decor.  
A retired English school teacher, Marion has been my cheerleader and stand-in 
Mum, ever since I bought my place in Midvale.  The views from their cabin deck are breath-taking!
Jordan, Karli and I did our bit to help with dinner,
and hummingbirds, more friendly than I ever imagined, came to feed and perched on our fingers!!!
They know good company and Marion says they wait outside the window--hovering--waiting to be fed when she and Jim return to the cabin every summer!  Karli captured this moment in time, but all of us were delighted to experience the surreal touch of tiny birds landing, ever-so-briefly, on our hands as they fed.  Thank you, Jim and Marion, for a perfect day in every way!
The 3-4 yr olds in my Sunbeam class on Sundays gathered at my home in Midvale for a play date, and I discovered Jordan's old Legos are now considered retro, 
there's nothing like a huge white stuffed tiger to capture the heart of a little boy,
the cupcake you decorate yourself is the best,
and my bunny, Ginger, loves little ones petting him!
Before moving to Logan in order to shorten my commute to Box Elder High, I accepted 
a fun Saturday job of face painting for a Princess-themed party of a young girl.
I don't do a lot of these jobs, because time simply doesn't allow for it, 
but, that afternoon was such fun!
Meanwhile, teaching HS, particularly in Brigham City, has rewards which 
overshadow the exceptionally low pay.  The kids are so great!!!  They get super psyched at assemblies and attend town events like Peach Days.  A bunch of them hang out in my
classroom almost daily during lunch, as part of a club called "Days and Knights."
Jens Anderson, in the front on the right, started the club, and he just transferred here from Provo.  He's got serious leadership skills and a never-ending imagination for story writing.  He pulled together a group to do a short silent video for our multi-media Edgar Allan Poe project.  Here's the guy who played "Death" in the Masque of the Red Death:
His girlfriend did the pustules and shadowy make-up, and we draped a black hoodie over him for this shot.  We had some extremely creative approaches to Poe, including a skit from the Interrogators of The Pit and the Pendelum's point of view, and a comedy talk-show style interview with 
the guy who escaped from that Pit.  They used all the assigned vocabulary, and quotes from the 
short story, but had us laughing 'til we cried.  
Autumn is in full sway, spreading over the mountains in patches--
we did a section on はいく poetry, while studying Emerson and Dickinson.
Undoubtedly, this influenced my feelings toward the views:
Confettied mountains
oe’r windswept azure and white,
Summer welcomes Fall.
It's been just over a year since Jordan and Karli decided to make their friendship permanent in the Salt Lake City temple, as the prettiest couple (in my opinion) on the planet.  To celebrate, they went to Jordan's beloved city, Boston, Massachusetts, where he served his mission and graduated from B.U. with an MFA in Screen Writing.  Part of me is secretly pining to go back East too....
However, last week, my brothers, Tom and Mark, my nephew, Matthew, and my son, Jordan, helped me all day to pack up, clean, drive the truck, and unpack many of my belongings into my Logan TH.  
I bought (or rather, acquired the mortgage on) the place nearly 10 yrs. ago, but have rented it out ever since.  In pondering about why I own the place, I petitioned the Lord.  Perhaps, if I found a job up in that area, I could try living there....lo, Brigham City's Box Elder High hired me as one of the 11th grade English teachers (tentatively--I'm VERY new, with a LOT to learn).  Logan is still a 30 minute commute  to Brigham City, but it's a heck of a lot closer than before.  

Today, is the anniversary of the last day of my mission in Japan, btw--where I boiled water to bathe for nearly 2 months during the winter.  Again, I awoke and boiled water to clean up.  After trying all weekend, I STILL couldn't get the hot-water tank pilot to light.  So, I got to my new ward late, even though it's right across the street.  I brought my journal, so as not to feel "alone," if there was no one to talk to.  

The ward is HUGE, w/as many people sitting in the cultural hall, as in the chapel. Further, there's so much noise--half the ward seems to be in Primary or Nursery!  While waiting to go into Sunday School, I started chatting w/a lady next to me, Cathy.  She's single and recently divorced.  We chatted until it was time to start.  There were remarkably few people in Sunday School, and the teacher asked for a volunteer to pray.  I looked around, waited a bit, then volunteered.  Shortly after that, someone popped in, asking for a couple of helpers in the nursery.  Turns out there are THREE nurseries, w/a total of nearly 80 toddlers (if all of them came at once). Again, I looked around, waited, and then stood up to go help.   One other woman, Carrie Horsley, who's quickly becoming a new friend, stood up at the same time.  We both have one child--a son--and enjoy being around munchkins.  So, we clicked. She and her husband, like a lot of the people in my congregation, live in my development.  They drive a truck to Memphis together, twice weekly, delivering airbags, of all things!  Best of all, they've invited me to join them and some other friends once a month for game night; AND her husband came over to take a look at my hot-water heater's pilot light.  Who knows how he did it, bc. it looked like exactly what I've done for days, but, who cares, because....TA DA! 

Now I have water heating up as I type this!!!  Woooo Hoooo!  I jumped up and down, cheered and my new friend hugged me!  She said she doesn't know what she'll do if she's on her own someday, and I answered, "you'll do exactly the same thing I'm doing--make new friends to help you!"  

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