What with summer ending and school starting and, well, who really knows what all else, there has been little time left for things like blogging. There still isn't time really, however, a little email from a niece the other day had me laughing enough that I decided rather than blog myself, I would just put her email on here. Before I knew it, I was spending a lovely afternoon reading through various saved family emails from the past year or two and happily copying and pasting parts of some of them into this post. Do any of the rest of you love doing that? (No, not copying and pasting -- though it is a simple way to create a post. I mean reading old emails and the like). If I have a few moments of quiet all to myself, I very often end up reading old emails, old notes, old journal entries, old blog posts, etc. It reminds me of so many good things and is, I find, quiet an enjoyable way to spend an hour.
Anyway, on to the email that initially spurred this business. Earlier this summer, one of my sisters-in-law made a little photo flip book for all of us. It contained pictures of every member of Mike's family so that our kids could keep track of cousins and names and the like. I thought it was such a great idea and wondered if I could make a similar book of everyone in my own family. The fact that there are currently about one million members of my family scattered about, I knew, made this a daring enterprise. We can never manage to all be together at once, and I easily go a year or more with out seeing some family members, so taking pictures of everyone seemed an unworkable route. My only hope was that perhaps I could get a member or two of each family to email me a current and decent enough quality picture that I could just load them all into a little online book maker. I initially only emailed a few family members, and have yet to have much luck even from the few. But, even if the whole thing never actually happens, it will be OK, because, if nothing else, I got this awesome email from my niece Ashley out of it. The subject line simply stated "pictures" -- suggesting . . . well . . . that there might be some pictures attached. Here it is:
Notice, quickly, that there is no attachment. I have not sent pictures as the Subject line would lead you to believe. Its more that I'm emailing you to apologize for not sending pictures. We got Internet last Tuesday, but I haven't been in Productive Mode for a while. First of all, I was wasted from all the cleaning, traveling, moving, unpacking, and shopping, etc. Then, my mother, little devil that she is, taught me how to play Spider Solitaire, and it quickly took over my entire life to the point that I no longer, ate, or slept, or showered and sent me into a deep, dark depression, which I am only now beginning to escape from. I've just passed through the mildly grouchy, unmotivated to do anything, and bored phase, so I should be well on my way to a full recovery. My psychiatrist is hopeful. Probably by tomorrow, I will be ready to be helpful, if it is not too late . . . . Is there a due date on this assignment? I've already failed, haven't I? Give it to me straight, Nancy. Don't sugarcoat anything. Tell me that you're horribly disappointed in me and regret that you can no longer hold me in very high esteem. That's certainly how I feel about myself.
Yours in sackcloth and ashes,
Here was a cool email response from my sister Kathy after I had thanked my sisters for praying for Abe when we moved back here and the kids were about to start school mid-way through the year. Abe was terrified and sick about it, but, thanks to MANY prayers, day one went better than we could have even hoped -- setting a great tone for the whole year. Kathy mentions Carson in her email. He is Abe's cousin and is about two years older. (I tried to make all the emails be in smaller print, but blogger has been freaked out about all my copying and pasting -- it keeps refusing to change things and at first wouldn't even publish my post at all).
You are so welcome Nancy, and I think the reason Carson’s prayers were so strong is that last night he was saying how he didn’t want to start school again today and how tired he was and nervous and then I reminded him of the thing Mom always told us although I used it with Abe and said, every time you think about being sad or not liking school or something upsets you today, quickly say a prayer for Abe (or Mom would say for someone in the class that looks sad. Smile at them etc.). It was so cute 'cause the first thing Carson said when he came in the door was, “Mom, how did Abe do?” And I said, I don’t know but I need to call Nancy and then I went off and did something or other and he said to me again, “Mom, you HAVE to call Nancy and see how Abe did” and so I called you and so I heard the good report. Yes, prayers are powerful that is for sure. I am just so very happy for Abe and of course Daisy who all the school children loved within two minutes.
Love ya all,
P.S. Now if you would all just pray for me that I would win a million bucks….ha ha ha…just teasin’…..my family is amazingly blessed in every way.
Now, here is a treat. My sister Megan had actually recorded this conversation between two of her boys on her blog, but I thought it was so funny (especially Will's definition of a fairytale), that I forwarded it to any family members who might have missed it.
Will- No Joe, He's a fairy type dude that wears a diaper and shoots people so they fall in love. Joe- I hate fairy dudes!
Will- No Joe, this ones nice....and it isn't real arrows, they have hearts on the end so they don't kill you. But If I see that dude I am running fast! You know why Joe? Because you will fall in love if he gets you, and then you have to love girls!
Joe- I hate girls!
Will- Ahhhhh...Joe! I'm telling mom, you said you hate girls and that means you hate Layla!
Joe- I don't hate Layla, I love Layla!
Will- Joe you should not have said hate. Were not supposed to say hate.
Joe- I didn't!
Will- Yes you did and now you are going to be in big trouble!
Joe- MOM! Will says I said hate and I didn't!
Me- Don't ever use that word.... And I need to focus on the road so you two need to be quiet. (moment of profound silence)
Will- O yeah and guess what the dudes name is Joe! Mom, whats the fairy in a diaper's name?
Me- Cupid. Now be quiet.
Will- Yeah Joe! And guess what rhymes with cupid? STUPID!!!
(All the sudden hysterics break out.)
Joe- Will, you could not have dared to tube down that hill (pointing to the rock cliff on the side of the road).
Will- Yes I could Joe and besides I wouldn't, because those rocks would pop my tube! So NO! That's why I wouldn't tube down that cliff!! (A bit more quietness) Joe, Cupid is a fairytale. Do you know what a fairytale is?
Joe- I don't have to know what a fairytale is because mom said I don't, so NO!
Will- No, Joe listen, a fairytale is a fake story made to make girls happy. Like a unicorn would be a fairytale.
Me- You're right Willy now it's time to say a prayer and get out of the car for school.
This was a little email from Priscilla last year when her plan for a cousins' Easter egg hunt in my parents' large (and surrounded by hollows) backyard fell through. Her email is followed by my response.
Every year it's been the same story with our crazy weather. So, I'm sorry to say there will be no egg hunt at Polk's End this year. If I could have arranged it for today that would have been awesome since it's beautiful! Oh well. Love you all and Happy Easter. We will try again next year.
Besides, those darned raccoons in the fields love eggs, so they probably would have just eaten all our candy filled Easter ones anyway . . . and when our kids tried to get some away from them, the raccoons would have eaten their fingers right off as well, and then we'd all have the worst Easter ever . . . so I'm sure this is all for the best.
Thanks for tryin' P. Hope you had a lovely birthday.
P.S. Abe has previously had some reserve about going on a mission -- not for lack of religious feeling, mind you, but from an acute fear of leaving home for so long. Luckily, and what a blessing, the current squabblings around here have caused him to view a two year hiatus from home somewhat more favorably (as evidenced by the following conversation):
Abe: Daisy, remember how you used to always be so nice to me?
Daisy (sighing in a "those were the days way"): Yah, and you used to be so nice to me too.
Abe: Well, it's mostly Goldie who is the mean one anyway.
Abe: I can't wait til I leave on my mission so I won't have to hear Goldie yell at me for two years.
Daisy: Well, Abe, . . . sometimes Goldie can be pretty nice.
The following was an email sent from my brother Aaron about a conversation between two of his kids.
Definitions of koan on the Web: a paradoxical anecdote or a riddle that has no solution; used in Zen Buddhism to show the inadequacy of logical reasoning.
Some of you may remember the intellectual struggles that plagued our sister Nancy as she, at any early age, wrestled with the following question: Would you rather eat a pig or die? Recently, Sam asked Josie a similar question: Would you rather eat a cow or die. Josie pondered and as she did so her brow furrowed and she became increasingly upset before getting in Sam's face and shouting angrily, "I choose neither of dem clues. I stay on Earth without the cow. I choose not to die."
I think that is a good example of thinking outside the box.
I applauded Josie for her fiery refusal to be forced into a corner. Still, in my own defense, I had to add the following to my reply:
At least, in her instance, she was considering a cloven hoofed animal that chews its cud. It was much more trying on me having to consider a non kosher beast.
I don't recall what sparked this cool message from my sister Megan, but it was pretty awesome.
Sometimes I picture us sisters sitting around a beautiful home like in Room With a View or Pride and Prejudice. Sadly I look and see you and Shan so belonging there with your love of knowledge, books etc. Mom in the corner knitting, Kathy at the piano and Amy enjoying some sort of puzzle. As I look a bit further I see a girl and say, "Oh what would I be doing in this beautiful home on this breezy afternoon?" I look closer and see the girl, me of course, only not me, stupid Lydia. And then I abandon the dream quickly as I shudder, that, that is who I am in all of this....booo.
Here is a slacker email from me to my sister Shannon. She was planning on making tamales for everyone to eat after her son's baby blessing and needed some help making them.
I totally hate that you asked us to help make tamales because now it will be just like the little red hen story and when you say, "Now, who will help me EAT the tamales?" and we all say, "Me! Me!" You will simply say, "I cooked the meat and I rolled out the corn flour stuff and spread some stuff and rolled some stuff and wrapped them in corn husks . . . and now I alone will eat the tamales!"
But, I can't come Saturday because Mike has it in his head that we are maybe camping this weekend (and I don't want to be Miss Spoil Sport, but I hope we aren't because I don't want to pack and unpack, etc. etc.), BUT, if we aren't camping he is sure he will be accomplishing something fantastic around here . . . which means no leaving kids for me :(
But I fondly recall coming to help you make tamales with one of your Mexican pals when I had just had my eyes dilated and the doctor gave me no dark glasses and I was driving home with sun shining off of bright white snow and I was like, "Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh I'm blind!!!!!!!!!!! It's so bright!!!!!!!!!!!! Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!" And I still couldn't really see when I got home and left with you and of course I didn't understand an ounce of the Spanish spoken during the blind tamale making and it was all very blurry and bright and dreamlike and they were some gooooood tamales.
The fox, or the duck, or the pig or whoever else didn't help little Red
This is an email from my sister Amy. My little nephew Christian was just about to get married at the time. Amy had been reading her old journal entries (I guess she likes to do that too) and found this entry. What with Christian being all grown up and getting married, she thought this was a funny look back in time. Here is the recorded journal entry from her email:
"Nanners just called me at work in a panic wanting Kathy's phone number. Apparently she and Meg are tending and Christian is screaming his head off. As I was looking up the number I heard Megan yell to Nancy, 'Can't you do something with him, I'm trying to watch a show.' Nancy huffed and then angrily said, 'Shut up Megan. I've done all the dishes and vacuumed and fed Jessica and you never even helped one bit. And I'm going to tell Kathy not to give you any money!' Meg had some response which I didn't hear because I was quickly transferring the call to Kathy before I had to listen to any more."
Here was part of my reply:
Haha, yes, very funny . . . and while I don't remember that exact situation, I am certain that that is a sampling of how life always was -- me ever the responsible one.
This next email was from a time when Megan had just sent out an email trying to talk a bunch of family members into running some race -- which she told them they had a full seven months to train for (though we had actually just discussed on the phone how it was nine months away). So, here was my reply:
And, truth be told, they have NINE whopping months . . . remember, how we figured that if someone were so inclined, they could get pregnant post haste and then run at full term? Unless of course that someone were an elephant -- as I think their babies have a longer gestational period. But, if that someone just remembers things as well as an elephant, well, that is neither here nor there.
Oh dear, these emails are revealing far too much of my true character -- the cruel and selfish character only revealed, generally, to my closest family members. First the no helping with the tamales. Now this? The following was my response when one of my older two sisters (who usually plan our huge Christmas Eve party) suggested that "any takers" would be free to be in charge that year.
Ha! You wish there were "any takers." It's going to take a whole lot more than simply feeling old and tired to pass off the torch on this business.
Besides, if you aren't careful, Megan and I might take over the planning . . . and with our husbands as co-chairs, there will be no presents, no service, no good eatin' or Christmas cheer. There will simply be a contest between individual families to see which family can catch a greased pig, rope a steer, milk a goat, and bale a field of hay the fastest.
This next email is kind of sad and kind of sweet and a little funny. Sweetly sad? For any of you reading this who aren't members of the LDS church, we believe that, thanks to Christ overcoming death, one day we will all be resurrected -- henceforth able to die no more. Immortal. Anyway, I have explained to my kids that yes, we will all die some day, but we will also be resurrected -- live together forever and never die again. Apparently I missed a few key points in my explanation. Here is the email:
I was just telling Goldie about the friend of Aaron and Allie's we want to fast for in hopes that Heavenly Father might let her stay alive to raise her children. Then Goldie said this: "I know why Grandma and Grandpa Sharon can't die."
Me: "Why's that?"
Goldie: "Because they already died!"
Me: "They did? Then how can we go to their house and play with them like we do?"
Goldie: "Because they already died and came back alive!"
Anyway, then I had to very sadly tell her that grandma and grandpa had not already been resurrected never to taste of death again as she had believed, and that made her kind of embarrassed and kind of sad.
An email from me when I felt birthday wishes, perhaps, needed a little encouragement in coming:
Can you guys BELIEVE it is Nancy's birthday today?? I can't. Doesn't it seem like only yesterday that she was a tiny little newborn -- and now look at her -- 33! Wow. Time flies. She's great. I sure loved when she used to always make us Sunday night brownies. Those were the days. Happy Birthday, Nancy. You are pretty much the greatest ever.
Response from Shannon:
I tried to call you on your cell phone AND at home BEFORE reading this e-mail. I did not forget. I asked Goldie if you were going out to do anything special. She said no but that you were buying happy meals for them (which means you didn’t have to cook, yeah!) and that they were wrapping presents and making cake for you. I love you and hope that you had a good 33rd birthday.
I love you very much. Thank you for being such a wonderful sister and best friend to me for the past…like…33 years.
There were a lot of other good wishes, but my sister-in-law Darlene did an especially splendid job (of course, she might not know about me not helping with the tamales):
I do wish you a happy birthday! And you are pretty much the greatest ever because I remember when you used to make us Sunday night brownies. And you write the best emails. And you have the sweetest kids. And you are the nicest person around. And I think you are wonderful! I hope you had a happy birthday--
This was a fun one. I was thinking about some of my memories of growing up, and I decided to test my sisters and see how similar our thoughts and memories of seemingly tiny things could be.
OK, I'm going to give you a little something and see if you have the same exact memories that I have.
Here it is -- grandma's binoculars at Bear Lake.
What memories have you got? Where were they? What would we look at?And from where? Etc.
Here was Megan's response:
Of course. They were on that ledge at the window that overlooked the lake. And looking at sail boats, or sea shells up close. Sometimes looking at the big rocks where we sat to get into the water.
In the same vein, the bell on the trailer wall....and the sound everytime you shut the trailer door just right. I have the binoculars, unless I gave them to mom...
Yep, they were on the ledge where you’d bonk your head when the bed was pulled out if you weren’t careful. The case was kind of falling apart. And I mostly remember trying to see sailboats…ocasionally seeing what I could see on the other side of the lake but it was mostly just the mountains a little closer. I love the memory of the bell, too.
More from me:
Oh, and the reader's digest condensed versions, and the gray and brown outdoor blankets, and, of course, the yellow bucket for feet washing and the clothes horse for wet swim stuff. And, the exact sound of someone stepping off the step from Mom and Dad's bedroom to the outside (usually dad in the early morning).
Amy chimes in:
Ohh the “sound of someone stepping off the step from Mom and Dad’s bedroom” was about the best one yet, maybe because it took me emotionally right back in time. Its that way with smells for me. Also, when I’m stressed I mentally go to two places. One, is remembering one of my babies sleeping on my chest, and the other is lying on my stomach on the tan blankets, smelling the slight scent of suntan oil and feeling the warm sun on my back.
Here is one from me (followed by a response from my oldest brother Mark), when I had just discovered his next position would be as Chief Trial Judge over the United States Air Force.
So, let me get this right (because I don't want to be bragging as I'm wont to do and be wrong) -- Chief Trial Judge of the Air Force? Like the whole Air Force? That is like you aren't even my brother . . . you are . . . I don't know . . . someone regal and imposing and powerful. I'll take it. Tell me it is so.
Loved the letter as usual (particularly the bit about Chief Judge's being murdered on their thrones).
Chief Judges don't get murdered on thrones -- they don't have thrones. They just have judgment seats, which for them is basically the same thing as the electric chair.
This email came about after a string of emails beginning with the discovery of the wonderful "ped egg" and disolving into rambles about all sorts of "as seen on TV" products. Here I was agreeing with one sister's asessment of the Snuggie.
I second the "snuggie is crap" camp. I wanted to love it. We even bought kids' ones for our girls. They like them in theory, but that is the trouble. They can only be liked in theory. Once you have one you want it to choose -- either be a blanket or be a robe. CHOOSE! And it won't. It won't really be either. You try to wear it around because it has sleeves, but then it just seems like you bought a hospital gown that falls off from no ties. So then you try to just have it be a blanket but yet again it has sleeves and you feel like it must become a robe again -- and it won't. It's a vicious vicious cycle. Goldie makes me put a big binder clip on the back of hers so it won't fall off . . . leaving me to wonder, yet again, why I didn't just get her a bathrobe.
BUT!!! I don't want to knock the opinion of those of you who love your snuggie because I will say, despite it's clear lack of being anything particular, it has an ultra cool name . . .
Here was one that came about when Kathy was apologizing to my sister-in-law not realizing she'd had a frightening fall and injury. She told my sister-in-law that maybe she should have let her know she had nearly died that day. (Also, apparently I was feeling a bit jealous of my niece Tessa's impending trip to Hawaii). Here was what I had to add:
It's true. Anytime I want Kathy to pay me a bit of attention, I simply HAVE to start out by saying how I almost died that day. It works pretty well . . . only I'm afraid soon she might start to think I'm crying wolf. Oh well, then I'll just have to find a new means of attracting her attention. Perhaps this: Free Donuts! Oh wait, that's the way you guys can get my attention. And don't worry about crying wolf too often. I will never skip a chance to possibly get free donuts no matter how many times it may have been a farce in the past. (Just don't try any funny business like "free apple fritters" -- I'm not buyin' that for one second).
P.S. Tessa, next time you go to Hawaii, you're going to get a beating.
Alright, that is all for now. There were many more snippets that I loved but that were either part of too long of a chain or required too much explanation. Can you see why I had such an enjoyable afternoon perusing these?