Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Family


Jimmy and his wife Eva were visiting for the last couple of days. It was so much fun having them here. I was sad to see them go, as I am whenever my family visits.

As much as I love living in Idaho, my past and adventures of living overseas seem so far distant and long ago that it sometimes feels as though they never happened. It seems there is nothing, if anything here in Idaho that resembles my childhood. At times it seems so far away, almost light years away. It feels like it was a vague dream or that perhaps it all happened to someone else other than me. That makes me so sad. I loved my childhood and the things I saw and experienced in the different countries we lived and in the people we met.

When my family is around, it reminds me that those things did happen and that they did in fact mold me into who I have become. My parents sacrifices, the many awkward first days of school in a new country, and the river of tears as we left that country for those many, many years were not in vain. I am able to reconnect to my past self and I feel more complete.

I envy Dennis being able to drive down the roads he drove down every day of his childhood and seeing the same people that have known him since he was a baby. When you live overseas and move around, you can never relive the past. You can go back to visit the countries, but because of the nature of the people you knew and the places you lived, very little, if anything remains. You go back to visit an "empty" place. It's almost as if you lived in a bubble that pops, never to be recreated, as soon as you leave it.

Yet even as your reality seems to vanish into dust as soon as you walk away (or fly away in our cases), your family remains constant. They knew the people you did and experienced the things you did. And even though people in the U.S. might look at you with a blank and sometimes indifferent look as you tell them of your childhood experiences, it's these people, your family, that can relate to who you are, your views of the world, and your irrepairable quirks that have been inherited from years of nomadism (and in my case, there are many of these quirks).

When I'm with my family, I find myself reverting back to my childhood self and enjoying a part of life that can only be enjoyed with the people that have known me my whole life. When I see them leave, I feel almost a sense of mourning as I watch my "childhood" drive away again.


Thanks Jimmy and Eva for the visit.

Monday, June 28, 2010

God's Country

This past weekend we had a family reunion with Dennis' family. It was a blast. We had a great time 4-wheeling, bow shooting, swimming and kayaking, and just spending time together. One morning I went for a jog. The air felt so cool and clean and I was just soaking up the smell of the freshly cut hay. I was climbing a hill near my in-laws house and I caught a breath-taking view of the valley that they live in. The sun was peaking over the plateaus and the sleepy, tiny farmtown was waking up from it's nightly slumber. I could see some men watering their fields and some of the towns people beginning to set up for their annual town festival. The people of this small town of less than 1,000 people are some of the friendliest you'll ever meet, yet many people that live just an hour away don't even know that this town exists.

The phrase "God's country" came suddenly and clearly into my head. I thought this was odd and as I kept jogging I kept thinking about my sudden thought. I thought that if Christ were to come to earth today and choose a town to live in, it probably wouldn't be much different than this one. One that to some people may seem of little consequence- but for those that call this place home, holds a deep-rooted place in their heart. One where sports cars and luxury SUV's are replaced by tractors and where high-heels are replaced by irrigating boots. One where everyone waves as they drive past you, regardless of whether or not they know you. Over the years the weak have been sifted and left, and only the most resiliant seem to have remained in this small desert town. It's a hard-knock life to say the least.

Having lived mostly in fast-paced cities with millions of people, I've had a hard time adjusting to this way of life, but I've started seeing it's charm, mainly as it shines through it's residents. My children are blessed to claim this "God's Country" as part of their heritage.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Birthday Pictures







Since all of my kids' birthdays are within a month and a half of each other, I took them all in to get their birthday pictures at the same time. I thought they turned out pretty cute.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sawtooth Relay

This past weekend Dennis and I had a chance to do the Sawtooth Relay with some friends (Brian and Becky Preece and Travis and Stephanie Edwards). It's a 62 mile run, from Stanley to Ketchum, that is broken up into 12 legs, with each runner taking two legs. It was a blast. The scenery was unbelievable and I just wish that my camera could do more justice to the beauty of what we saw. It was fun to go from exchange to exchange waiting to cheer on our runners as they went by. I love the comradery among the racers. That's my favorite part about races. There were over 300 teams participating with some teams only consisting of one runner! Everyone was so friendly, and if you were lucky enough, as Brian and Stephanie were, you got mooned as they drove by!

I had vastly underestimated the difficulty of the course and found myself huffing, puffing and struggling much more than I thought I would. The altitude was a killer.

I was so proud of my sweet husband who would jump out of the car each couple of miles and walk or run along side the runner as he offered them water. We were all especially impressed with how he trucked up Galena summit, the most difficult leg of the whole race (pretty much straight uphill for 5 miles).














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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Patriotism

I realize some of my posts have been a little heavy. I don't intend on my blog being so heavy but this is one subject that has come up quite a bit recently and as Dennis can attest, there are some things I just can't let go. Yesterday my husband asked someone to stop forwarding anti-government, anti-Obama emails to him. This person then angrily questioned my husband's values and patriotism. As you can see, this hit a nerve in me.

Here's a typical political conversation about politics that is heard I'm sure not only in Idaho but in many conservative circles. "So I heard he doesn't believe in God." "Did you know he funds terrorists and supports Marxists?" "Did you know he's going to raise the gun tax by 40%?" "Did you know he supports live-birth abortion?" "I heard he's not even American."

So then I say, "Hmmm...I kind of like the guy. I don't agree with everything he does, but mostly, I think he's a decent guy." The room hushes, a couple of people squirm in their seats uncomfortably, and the topic is quickly changed.

Heaven forbid that an LDS, conservative Republican (mostly) has anything nice to say about our president. Come on now, how can a man that has been married to his wife longer than most other politicians, with two daughters, and that grows a garden, be the one to single-handedly usher in the apocalypse?

So back to my husband's patriotrism called into question, what is patriotism then? Is it in blindly embracing everything that is thrown our way by politicians? Or is it cutting down every word that comes out of Obama's mouth just because it's coming from a democrat? Last I checked, the number of times you hit the "forward button" isn't the defining factor of a patriot. Here are some examples of what I think patriotism is:

It's a friend of mine's husband enlisting in the military because he hasn't been able to find a job and figured he might as well serve his country. He will be leaving his wife and two young sons for 19 weeks for training. Thank God for people like him who refuse to resign to being "professionally unemployed."

It's my husband and other scouting leaders spending HUNDREDS of hours and most of their paid time off work in the scouting program, teaching our young boys how to grow into strong, honorable men.


It's the elderly man I see every day walking down the street carrying a plastic bag, picking up every piece of garbage that he sees.

It's the school teachers that I know that are sticking with their professions, even as most of them face salary cuts, because of their love for and hope in the youth of America.


It's my father-in-law, who when he sees change that needs to be made in his county, runs for county commissioner (and wins!-Way to go Joe). He spent countless hours and a pretty penny to campaign, even without the guarantee of success.


It's my two brothers, one who served in the military and one who serves our country in the Middle East with the state department, who have sacrified so much. My father also spent his entire career serving our government overseas.


And then it's my husband, again, who yesterday told me he would gladly go to the front lines to fight for our country, regardless of who was president.

So maybe instead of just sitting on our fannies, cutting down our leaders, maybe we should reread the 12th Article of Faith. "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law." Unless I'm missing something, I didn't see a caveat for "as long as we agree with them."