country


Hello friends! I thought I’d pop in and mention a couple of things. First, Debbie asked if I was using different colors on my two BBD pieces.  I am using the threads that are called for on the Quaker House, with the exception of the green.  I’m substituting WDW Scuppernong for the Olde Willow Stitchery that was listed.  On the ‘Tis the Season piece, I worked out a cotton overdye substitution, because I just didn’t want to buy all that silk for a holiday piece, however wonderful it is!  But, I should also note that I used my “vibrant” setting on my camera.  I will take some new pictures in the daylight and post those this weekend.  I am also using a different linen than is called for on each, but I can’t remember which ones!

And, Margaret, I have to agree that Merrill’s are wonderful.  In fact, the Keen’s I bought were to replace a really old pair of Merrill’s, that have a lot of the sole worn away on them.  But, who am I kidding?  I won’t get rid of them.  They will still be my weekend kick-around shoes.  I just couldn’t find any Merrill’s that would work for weekdays.  Almost bought a black and fuschia pair of Merrill boots though!

Now, to the main event.  At least the main event in my life lately.  I’m watching the women’s Olympic snowboard / half-pipe event right now.  How many of you are watching the Olympics?  What is your favorite event?  We have an Orem native who is competing in the skeleton.  I’ll admit, I cheated and checked the results online, but I’m going to also watch late night!

And, as I watch all of these events, I wonder what is in the psyche of these competitors that allows them or pushes them to go FAST down a hill on sticks or spin high in the air on boards?  Or run and jump onto little tiny sleds, head first, down what I can only describe as an icy alpine slide on steroids, like Noelle Pikus-Pace?

I live at the base of some of the most beautiful mountains in the world, where skiing is the ultimate call-in-sick excuse.  I did “transfer in” from Southern California just before high school.  I remember all of my new friends would go skiing.  I never had the money to ski really, so I didn’t.  Until I was an adult and working for a company where I helped to manage some conferences for key partners.  We arranged for the conference to be held at Deer Valley, and part of the fun was free ski lessons or a snowmobile tour.

The bunny hill was wonderful!  My instructor asked me if I had ever skied before; he thought I was a natural (of course he couldn’t have been biased by the fact that he was being paid!).  I picked up on the whole technical aspect of skiing immediately.  I could even stop at the bottom of the hill.  I spent the greater portion of the day going up and down that hill.  It was my friend and I loved it.  Absolutely.

Then, I took my first ride on the big lift.  I barely got off in time for the easy run.  That should have been an indicator what was to come.  It was a beautiful day. But a day of sunshine that created more slush on top of a very thick layer of powder.  I readied myself at that top of that run.  I knew I could do it.  After all, I was the queen of the bunny hill and a “natural” on my first time out.

I set off down the hill.  I told my legs to move my skis.  I felt like I was moving through marshmallow creme.  I found I could plow through it if I just went fast and straight down that hill.  That steep hill.  I wondered if I could actually stop.  It was that downhill thing, combined with fast.  That’s what kept me snow plowing in the slush.  And, I kept falling.  And falling.

I kept getting up.  Then, when I found  myself on my backside again after what felt like twenty times, I looked over and saw the mid-mountain shuttle stop.  That little sign on the post, outside a snack bar.  It was just a short walk away.  I got up, and fast, I tell ya.  My move to get out of the skis, was the fastest thing I did that day… I must have looked like a big awkward duck in those boots as I walked past the snack bar and over to the shuttle stop.  I know.  You’re asking me “where was your pride girl?”  I had none.  I didn’t care.  Funny thing… the shuttle driver didn’t seem to be fazed that I was standing there in full gear, begging for a ride down.  I got on, and dreamed of the bunny hill where I had a glorious time skiing like a real person.  And I vowed that skiing on the big mountains wasn’t for me.

I took the easy way out, and haven’t been back since.  I’m really tempted to try cross country skiing though.  I keep looking at all of the beautiful powder and I want to be out in it.  So, I’m working toward being more in shape to do that.  But, downhill snow skiing is not in my future.  I gaze at beautiful snow-covered mountains all winter from the valley.  Unless of course I drive up to the outlet mall in Park City where I take part in my own Olympic event of shopping.

Sometime I’ll have to tell you all about my water skiing experience.  Think fish bait.

I’m going to stitch now.  I hope you are all getting in some great stitching time, and cheering for your favorite Olympians!

If you asked someone about their childhood memories, and they responded that hanging around a cemetery was among their most favorite, you might think them odd. But, in America and around the world, people celebrate the lives of their ancestors by “hanging out at the cemetery”.

I have fond memories of Memorial Day weekend. After a big lunch at the bowery, and a family softball game, in the less-than-a-mile-long town of Deweyville, Utah (which is at the top of the state of Utah) we migrated up the hill to the cemetery. The cemetery has had big changes since I was small. There are still pioneer-era headstones, but there are more recent ones. The number of plots available has increased from what was the size of a neighborhood baseball field to a football field. They’ve removed the cottonwoods that were at the edge of the hill overlooking the valley. And, I think they even have “automatic” irrigation.

I remember my grandma getting her box of plastic flowers from K-Mart out of the Buick and telling my mom which flowers were for which graves. My grandpa was buried there in the little Deweyville cemetery, along with most of my grandma’s family. I remember his lone plot next to one of the four small roads dividing the cemetery. It has a flat marker, and always had a cross next to it, with a small American flag flying on patriotic holidays. When grandpa was called up to serve in World War II, he was a married man, with three children at the time. A fourth came shortly after. He was young when he died, and they determined his early death was a result of the health problems that were intensified during his service. My grandma was left a young widow.

In my memory of that early Memorial Day, my grandma was older. Her children were all grown and had their own children. Yet, I could see a young woman as she placed the flowers on my grandpa’s grave. And, although I never met my grandpa in this life, his service and the loss his family felt when he died have helped to shape who I am.

My grandma remarried. The grandpa I really knew was a man who had served in the Navy. He tells of watching the flag being posted at Iwo Jima from his battleship. My dad’s father also served in the armed forces. He’s been awarded several medals, and it’s clear when you talk to him about his service, that he’s been deeply affected by things he experienced while serving. There are other examples of service to country in my family, but these are the first generation to answer the call. These men continue to shape my view of the world, both in war and peace, because of who they were and are, and what they sacrificed for me.

Tomorrow is Memorial Day in the United States. My grandma has been gone for 17 years, and her body is buried next to grandpa’s in a dedicated plot within the little cemetery in Deweyville. And, I’ll be using real flowers rather than plastic, but not much else has changed. I look forward to the feelings of gratitude and respect that will be enlarged for me, as I spend time with family. As we celebrate the beginning of the summer season, I’ll remember that we first gathered as a family to celebrate the legacy left to us by our ancestors. I’ll remember those who served, as well as those who sacrificed so that others could serve. Although I didn’t know it at the time, these are the reasons some of my favorite childhood memories are centered around a little cemetery at the top of Utah.

Thank you to the men and women who honorably serve the United States of America. May God’s best blessings be upon you and your families for generations to come.