Monday, June 9, 2008

199 Days Until Christmas

A chill went through me when I saw those words today. So I checked my event clock. (Like that would make it better?) Down to less than 198 and a half. I always promise myself faithfully and sincerely that I will plan and buy through the year so that I will be ready for Christmas. Want to guess how many Christmas presents I have ready?

Are you kidding?! I have a beloved granddaughter's birthday coming up in a week that I haven't figured out yet! (Not that I haven't given it any thought!) And there's mail time to consider! I am in trouble.

I have started my home-made Christmas gift for the person whose name I drew. I work on it in bits and pieces – waiting for Light Rail and if/when I get a seat, even standing in line at Costco, sometimes in church. I will probably have it done on time, but 1) will it come out looking anything like it is supposed to? 2) will it come out the right size? OR will I have to start all over again? The uncertainty of success and slowness of the work are why I started in MARCH. Back then I found I had to practice the basic stitch pattern. I didn't actually start the item until April, I think April. Into the 3rd month, I am still far from done.

How come days at work go by so slowly, but weekends speed by? Why does time to work on something like a Christmas project evaporate immediately? Something is wrong with our clocks.

Not much living goes on during the week, although I am trying to do better. It is so easy to just collapse and lose what little is left of the day after work. It is hard to be fully alive and involved, but I am making an effort to do better.

What a weekend we just had!

We had to choose between going on an easy family hike along the American River and picnic with the Elder's Quorum or going to help clean up Girl's Camp. Let's see – get up at a reasonable time, do a little laundry, etc, go on an easy stroll and enjoy free food OR get up early, work hard for several hours, no mention of food, risk missing the Belmont Stakes. I am bad, I voted for the easy morning. No objections from the guys.

One reason for the "hike" we learned, was that we could park free at one point, walk ¾ of a mile on the parkway, and eat at the picnic spot in another park where we would have had to pay to park our cars. It really was merely a stroll. (Had we had to carry food, I would have considered it a real chore, but the food was waiting for us at the picnic area and just walking was very nice.) The boys and Anna left the paved path and took a dirt trail. We went back to the car more or less that way which was easily twice as far. It was a pleasant outing.

We got home just in time to watch the Belmont Stakes. I was as sure as one can be of a horse race that Big Brown would win the Triple Crown. What a shock that he had to be pulled up and finished dead last – the jockey felt something wrong, but as far as I know nothing concrete has been discovered yet.

We completed Saturday by going to see Emma Smith, My Story. That was the quietest movie audience I have ever experienced. In fact, after the movie, some people handed the boys popcorn that they hadn't eaten. Emma is not a snacking movie. People were almost reverent. The only sound in the theater during the entire showing was occasional crying. Or maybe I was just too focused to hear anything, but I think it was really, really quiet. Good movie – well done, entertaining, enlightening, moving.

In Sacrament Meeting Bro Hammond reminded us about Bro. Uchtdorf's talk, A Matter of a Few Degrees. He also talked about doing an orienteering course with his Scouts. The lesson was the same: The further you go on a bearing even a little bit off, the further from your desired destination you end up. We need to constantly check our bearings and make the necessary course corrections to avoid tragedy and arrive safely at our destination.

A paper banner is hanging in Ruth's house that has celebrated Mother's Day, Memorial Day and several birthdays. As each event rolls around, they line out the no longer appropriate word and write in the new one. It is running out of room. Ruth says that yesterday, Andrew's birthday dinner, was the banner's last stand. I think we will be sad to see it go. Andrew, like Ruth, chose BBQ hamburgers, tater tots, and pretzel / jello / whatever dessert. We were a bit behind on Things We Like About, so we had papers for Ruth, Tom and Miriam as well as Andrew.

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