Saturday, March 26, 2011

Gospel Ring

OK - I know rings have great gospel symbolism, eternal life and all that. But a different thought struck me the other day about my wedding band so here it is (in case you care).

This band is very special to me. Beyond that it symbolizes my eternal companionship with my best (sometimes only) friend, it was purchased in a very special place during a wonderful time. Jeanne, Emily and I all flew to London to pick up Mary from semester abroad (see previous posts) and one day went to Portobello Road. The whole place is like a giant outdoor market and we had a wonderful time. One of the vendors was an artist who worked with silver. He had wedding bands. They were simple, beautiful, reasonable and we were in a romantic place so Jeanne and I both bought new bands. Hence, it is very special to me.

Skip to now. Jeanne and I swim at the YMCA nearly everyday. For some reason I never realized that chlorine tarnishes silver - really bad. So, by exposing my ring to the pool water it gets tarnished. Thankfully we have some silver polish so every now and then I shine it up. After so doing the other day it struck me - this is the whole gospel! Each of us are eternal rings. We get exposed to the things of the world and become tarnished. If we are willing, we can, through the use of polish and a little work, become beautiful and shiny again. Christ is the polish. He can clean anything off of us if we let him and are willing to do a little work. When we shine we reflect light, when we are tarnished we are dark. Simple but true. May we all shine!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Daddy/Daughter to the Gold & Green Ball

"Daddy, why do they call it the Gold and Green Ball?" "Uhmm, I think it was some organization's value colors a long time ago. Call Grandma Pickett, she'll know, she used to run them." "Hello, Grandma, this is Emily. Dad said you'd know why they call it the Gold & Green Ball." "Well, I don't know. Let me find Grandpa and see if he knows." "Floyd, do you know why they call it the Gold and Green Ball?" "No." After the ball, the phone rings. "Rodger, this is your mother. I've called all my old timer friends. We've concluded it's called the Gold and Green Ball because those used to be the MIA colors." "So, was the ball for everyone or just the young folks?" "Oh, it was for everyone, but the MIA put it on." "Thanks mom!"

Now you know - maybe. Anyway, since Jeanne was working through the night at the hospital, Emily was a willing date. We were only there an hour or so when all the young folks decided they wanted to go to the Everett Stake Youth Dance instead. I'm a soft touch and of course said yes. I'm still glad Emily will hang out with me, even if it is only for an hour at a time!

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Bill Saga

One day last summer, Bill, 26 years old, married, pregnant wife, nice house, decent job, announced that he had decided to enlist in the Air Force. Whoa - big surprise. But, then, maybe not so big. The more I thought about it the more it sort of made sense. One day when Jeanne ask me what Bill was thinking, I said, "it could be like when he came home from High School one day and said, 'I'm done with public school.' He longed for more structure and discipline then and maybe he does now." Well, I'm not sure of everything that led to it, but I just got back from his basic training graduation and the Air Force seems to be fitting him quite nicely. Not only did he look happy and express feelings of purpose and contentment, he also told me of numerous spiritual experiences encountered during basic, which I (selfishly) accepted as answer to my personal prayers. Here's some pictures from the trip. Two days after I left, he left for Biloxi, MS for computer training. I still have fond memories of my trip to Biloxi after Katrina and hope it is as special a place for him as it was for me.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Family Portraits

Jeanne & Rodger
front l to r - Ella, Hailey, Zoey
back l to r - Laynie, Addison, Clay

Due in part to the need by certain family members for advance planning of activities during our Christmas Holiday together, we decided to spend part of one day getting family portraits. I just realized that none of them are posted anywhere so here they are (well some of them).

Mary & Emily

Katalyn & Casey

Bill, Rochelle & Zoey

Annie, Hailey, Addison & Kelly

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Travelling - despite it all - Can Be Fun

Far be it from me to complain about airline travel. Every time I consider complaining about a 6 hour delay in Denver, I just think of my pioneer ancestors who took up to 4 months just to cross the plains to arrive in Utah, and that quells such thoughts. I DO NOT want to meet them in the hereafter just to hear "you whiner!" Anyway, the key to tolerating delays, and travel in general, is to identify the fun things in life that are going on all around you. Last week I traveled to San Antonio, TX to witness Bill's graduation from Air Force Basic Training at Lackland AFB. On the way I got stuck in Denver. It was long (a definite relative observation) but there in the waiting area was a rather fascinating girl. She looked like she was practicing extreme gymnastics moves. Everyone was watching, some were laughing, some were incredulous, I was curious. At the first opportunity, I motioned her over and asked what she was practicing. Turns out her name is Danielle. She's 21 years old, graduating from college in June and just happens to make money in her spare time as a professional break dancer (eat your hearts out Chris and Josh!). Anyway, turns out she was on her way to San Diego for the graduation of her brother from Marine Basic Training so we had much in common and had a great talk about life. She was charming and nice and hopes to get on with Cirque as a performer before exploring other life options. Good luck Danielle and God bless you in whatever happens in the next few months.
Of course, you might think it would be hard to top meeting someone like Danielle in one trip. Well ... Ursula was certainly right up there. Ursula got on my flight from San Antonio to Dallas toward the end of the passengers and very politely asked if she could sit in the middle seat. I'd already met the man by the window, George, a very nice man, so I said to Ursula, "welcome to the funnest row on the plane. Can you handle that?" To which she replied, "Oh yeah, I'm fun!" And as it turned out, she is! First of all, you should know that Ursula is a chemical engineer. She grew up in the Dallas area but wound up taking a job up in Minnesota. She liked the job alright, but the weather sort of nagged at her. She needed a fun outlet, and what do you know, she found one. A little unorthodox, but fun indeed. She decided to start playing Roller Derby. Yes, Ursula is a chemical engineer Roller Derby queen! Now, because I grew up in the Bay Area and was able to watch Roller Derby every Saturday (the Bay Area Bombers played in the Cow Palace and were on TV every Saturday afternoon) Ursula and I were able to have a very fun and cogent conversation about what she really loves. Her team is moving into a 5,000 seat arena this spring and Ursula hopes if she doesn't get a little pay, she'll at least be able to play for free (it costs her about $400 a year for the privilege to get beat up once a week). So, my wish for Ursula is she'll become a Roller Derby star and make a million dollars doing what she loves. She actually is kind of a star. She had pictures of her with Drew Barrymore and all the stars of the movie Whip It which was filmed in her league.

And my wish for all the rest of you is the next time you travel, just look for the fun out there and it will appear!