Tag Archive | plinky

Seth and Penny

This is a Plinky post answering the question “What is your earliest memory?”

My earliest memories come courtesy of the teenagers who lived kitty-corner to my family when I was a small child. At the time, my family lived in a community too small to be called a town–perhaps even, too small to be called a village.

There was a post office, but the nearest place to buy gas or groceries was a half hour away. Rather than load a three and four year old into the car to go shopping, Seth and Penny from across the street would watch us when Mom needed to go to town to run errands.

Honestly, I don’t remember which of these two memories happened first, so I’m going to include them both.

One, Penny, my sister and I were in the front yard of our house. Penny and my sister were talking about dreams, and, being three, I didn’t know what a dream was, so I asked.

Penny answered “A dream is what you see when you close your eyes.” So I closed my eyes. I didn’t see anything, so I made something up. I said that I dreamed I was a dancer.

The other memory comes from Seth. Our house was built in the 1940s, and had been added on at least once by the time my family lived there (it had, incidentally, been built by my Grandfather, and it was the house my Mom grew up in too. My sister and I used to fight over who was going to live in the house when we grew up.) As part of the add-ons, there was a rather awkward basement, where the TV would go to live during summer months. Once, when Seth was watching us, he told us “There’s a ghost in the basement, and if you go downstairs, it’s going to get you!”

Now, I don’t know if Seth didn’t want to go in the basement, or if he was just messing with us, or if he really believed that our basement was haunted. What I do know, is for a long time after we were told that, my sister and I were both afraid to go downstairs by ourselves. Even after the TV moved downstairs for the summer, we were afraid to go in one of the two basement bedrooms–because it had hunting bows hanging on the wall, and we thought the ghost would shoot us.

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Desert Girl

This is a Plinky post in answer to the prompt “Begin writing the first chapter of your memoir”

There is an importance to place. While we are who we are, where we are effects us in strange ways. I would not be the person I am today had I grown up on the beach, or in a forest. I am a desert girl.

The desert stretches out around me.

Grass gives way to sagebrush, which in turn yields to the brittle cedar and juniper, and all yield to the white hardpan where nothing can grow. Hills rise and fall, and turn into mountains.

Streaks of black volcanic rock jut out in places, giving variety to the endless, drab beige that otherwise surrounds me.

I feel like I’m the only human in miles.

I feel like I’m home.

I’m a desert girl, born and bred. This place is in my soul. My ancestors came here on order from Brigham Young, and, as a testament to their faith, stayed.

I relate to the desert that is the Great Basin. It is not inherently beautiful. It is difficult to get to know, difficult to love. But once you learn to see the beauty, it never leaves you.

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Who could choose just one book?

note:  This is a Plinky post answering the question “What book could you read over and over?”  The picture below is NOT my library.

Books behind the bed

What, I can only choose one?

I love to read, and I love to read books over and over again. It’s like visiting old friends.

I honestly can’t imagine reading my favorite books only once.

The joy for me is in the journey, not the destination. And the journey of reading–well anything, can and should be enjoyed over and over again.

For the books that I have (and will continue) read over and over again–let’s see, the Scriptures leap to mind, as well as Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and Terry Prachett’s Discworld, The Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, everything David Mitchell has written, but it took reading his #9 Dream three times before I understood it, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, Little Women, The Secret Garden, The Little Princess…

Friendships and Opportunities

Note: this is a Plinky post answering the question: What have you lost that you want back?

Getting Crowded Around Here

Everybody is going to say their sanity. I say sit back and enjoy the ride. Sanity is overrated.

So, here’s the thing, I’m a clutterbug. I know I am. I’m losing (And finding) stuff all the time. While there are a few physical things that I wish I hadn’t lost (my high school ring, my GPS receiver, the wallet I replaced three years ago, to name a few) the things that I really wish I had back fall into two categories: friendships and opportunities.

Over the years, I can count the number of close friends I’ve had on the fingers of two hands. The close friendships I have now can be counted on less than half a hand. I have a tendency to not put the work into keeping friendships alive and vital, and so they whither and die.

I miss my friends, but am too shy to revive the friendships.

I don’t know how many opportunities that I’ve lost over the years, I’m not sure I want to know. I know I’ve lost years to the depression, and it’s taking everything I have to make sure I don’t lose any more. At least the important ones.

Whistling at the Northern Lights.

I’m a geek. More than that, I’m a nerd. I love most things science, and meteorology/astronomy are no exceptions.

My whole life, I’d dreamed about seeing the northern lights. There were times, when the news said that there was a particularly violent storm on the sun, and we might just get some auroras when my dad, sister and I would drive out to the desert to escape the artificial lights, and watch for them. All with no luck.

When I received a call to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I was ecstatic. I was called to the Canada Winnipeg Mission, which covers Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and the eastern third of Ontario. The mission also goes north to the north pole, but (at the time I was there, anyway,) there aren’t any missionaries in the territories.

My first area was in Saskatoon, which is why I chose that as the location, but really, the first time I saw the northern lights was in Winnipeg. It was the second night I was in Canada.

During the summer, the northern lights usually came out after we had to be home for curfew, and it was hit or miss if the apartment I was living in at the time would have a view of them. During the winter–well, we were more concerned about preventing frostbite than watching the pretty lights in the sky.

One time, in particular, I remember well. I was just assigned a senior Sister as my companion (young missionaries are assigned companions, which can change every six weeks. Senior missionaries–usually retired couples stick with their companion for their whole mission. Men can only serve with their wives, but women can come out by themselves or with a friend.) My new companion, Sister Place, had come with her friend, but Sister Hillman elected to go home about halfway through her mission, because her daughter was having a difficult, life-threatening pregnancy.

For a few days, Sister Place, Sister Hillman, myself, another of Sister Hillman’s daughters, and one of Sister Hillman’s grandson’s shared a small apartment. One of these nights, I couldn’t sleep, and looked out the window to see the northern lights. I could hear the daughter moving around so I alerted her to the fact that they were out. The display wasn’t very spectacular, but it was the first time that the daughter had seen the northern lights.

One of the things you learn quickly when working with the people, especially the natives of Canada is to never whistle at the northern lights. The story I heard says that the northern lights are your deceased ancestors coming back to visit, and whistling at them would be very disrespectful.

Although, come to think of it, I never heard what would happen if you whistled at the northern lights…

Evey new beginning comes from some other beginning's end

The phrase “end of an era” reminds me of a line from the Semisonic song “Closing Song”, ‘Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

Now that we’re out of that forest of quotation marks…

I have a hard time with change. I’m one of those people who craves stability. It make sense, I suppose, stability isn’t something that I can find in my own head, and, at the time of this story, was in short supply in my personal life. (This was just a few years after the end of The Experiment that consumed most of my teenage years. People who know about it will know what I’m talking about, and those who don’t, well, the memories are too painful to share.)

It was the day I graduated from High School. I had already been accepted into college at Utah State University, and would be starting classes there in a few weeks. I had housing lined up, and was, in theory, ready to get out of my parent’s house.

This night, when I should have been out celebrating with friends, I was instead trapped in a deep depression. (It was one of the first times I could actually feel the depression coming on. I’ll never forget it–I was standing on stage, pausing for pictures, and feeling my mood drop. I had been ecstatic a few minutes before, and now, I was fighting back tears.)

Upon returning home, I went into my bedroom, turned on the radio so my family couldn’t hear me crying, and collapsed onto the bed. I was terrified of what happened next–the ceremony I had just participated in literally marked the end of my life as I had known it. All of a sudden, I was facing a big, scary unknown.

Then the song “Closing Time” came on the radio, and the line “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning end” struck me. I shouldn’t be thinking about the end of my High School life, but the beginning of my life as an adult.

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end” has become sort of a personal mantra for me in the eleven years since I graduated High School. When I’m faced with a change in my life, I remind myself that I’m facing a beginning, not an end.

If I had easy access to a helicopter, I'd fly to up this weekend

Who needs a destination?

If I had easy access to a helicopter, I wouldn’t go anywhere in particular–I’d fly around just for the fun of being in a helicopter.

Although the map seems to think I need to go to San Francisco.

Nate, if you’re reading this…

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