Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ode To Buckeye

About a month ago, Nolan was feeling sad about the move and in an attempt to cheer him up I handed him the camera and told him that I would drive him around and let him take pictures of Buckeye. Well, his pictures turned out to be just what I needed to accent this post, because around the same time, I was feeling sad about the move, and I wrote this poem. Since I'm about to pack my computer and this is my last chance to say goodbye, here it is. Consider it a love letter!

Past prickly hills to flat valley floors,
where buzzard beaks pierce the squals of dust
and fields of crunchy cotton plants in bloom
fill the desert with a false sense of Christmas snow.

In rows of homes stacked shoulder to shoulder,
young families are budding, neat and new,
and a friendly windmill waves hello across the fields
to double-wide trailers donning wind chimes and yard chochkies
and spilling over with tradition.

Where farmers work the thirsty fields of their fathers,
wrestling fruit from stubborn ground,
below a breeze that splits the stagnant air,
stale and warm and stirred in with fresh fertilizer.

But the ground seems to grow great souls,
and faith adds inches to the height of men and women
to make the tallest people in the world.
They fill church pews with dusty boots and broad belt buckles,
constantly called to lift or carry,
with backs that don't bow down.

Their stature sprouts strong and straight
like a saguaro shaft with outstretched arms,
unphased by the heat that would level anyone lesser,
they seem to soak it up.

In the shadows of backhoes,
Along the tract-home trails and in the Walmart aisles,
Under the plumes of nuclear powered smoke stacks,
In the long pick-up lines of school parking lots
and upon the barren fields of future crops,

Their noble silhouettes dot the land
and decorate the desert skyline
in worshipful imitation of the Savior,

and Buckeye becomes beautiful.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Temple & The Emergency Room

This last weekend we unintentionally mixed a special occasion with a violent illness and the result made for a very interesting day. Our friend Kevin (who is especially near and dear to our hearts) had set a date to go through the temple for the first time and Scott and I were looking forward to it with anticipation. Nothing could stop us from going - in fact, we had to bow out of other important family plans in order to attend. So of course nature (and/or Satan) had to take a shot at us too and sure enough, we started to feel the flu set in a couple of days before the event. I had been totally bedridden those two days with fever, chills, full body aches and a painful head and chest cold. Scott followed right behind and it knocked him right off of his feet too. When the important day came, we prayed for strength, called in a babysitter, drugged up and went to the temple. Other than my embarrassing amounts of coughing, I felt fine and was grateful. I assumed Scott was doing just as well, but I couldn't see or sit next to him. When I finally did see him at the end of the session, he looked grey and corpse-like. His fingers were blue and he was shaking all over. I urged him to get out of there and go home to bed. He insisted on coming out to dinner to celebrate Kevin's special occasion. So we did, but I kept a worried eye on him. At the restaurant when he turned red and flush and his face began to break out in blochy hives, I announced that Scott would be leaving and I pushed him out the door. We were both unsure whether his flu had develeped into strep or pneumonia or something else more serious, so I made him promise to go straight to urgent care. Since none were open, he ended up at an emergency room (meanwhile Kevin, Ryan and I finished eating and visiting).

Sounds like an unhappy ending, I know, but there were some other unexpected circumstances to prove that we were (or at least Kevin was) in the exact right place at the exact right time that day. Kevin had asked me ahead of time to invite the missionaries who taught him to be at the temple with us. I did my best, but one of them had a baptism that day and the other one was already home from his mission. We thought neither one of them would be coming. However, as I was sitting in the chappel waiting for the session to start, Elder Blackhurst (the missionary who had gone home to Idaho) came walking in and sat down in front of me. I asked him if he was there for Kevin and he said no, he didn't even know about Kevin, he had come with someone else. But he was as pleased as me that God had led him to that session on that day. And Kevin beamed when he saw Elder Blackhurst in the Celestial Room. It was like a little Temple-Day present to Kevin from his Heavenly Father.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Oceanside Vacation

We definately milked this little corner of California for one weekend's worth. It was a three-day whirlwind made up largely of driving, but there were bright spots of beach and pier and pool and play and honestly, I would have driven all the way there just to watch TV in that hotel room. It was luxurious! The company wasn't bad either - we sure love those Gordon cousins!