Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Joy in Serving

It’s July, and as hot as well, hot as a day in July. I wonder if we could fry eggs on the sidewalk. I heard that expression many times when I was a child and always wanted to try it. My mom wouldn’t let us. Besides wasting an egg it would make an awful mess to clean up.

I think my mom was one of the most influential women in my life. I say one of because I remember things that my Grandmother told me, see the way my sister lives; remember things different teachers have taught and even now hear things my daughter tells me that are having a great effect on my life. What a unique opportunity we women have to influence those around us. Two of the women I met here in Virginia that have had a profound influence on my life have left this week to start new lives on the other side of the world.  I miss them, but I know they will meet and love and be loved by the new sisters they get to know and teach. 

I belong to a woman’s organization, which has had great meaning in my life. Wherever I move, whatever crises erupt in my life, I know I can call for help and empathy  from another woman, a sister, to guide me, to teach me, to comfort me.
This is the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They have become my friends, my family away from home.

Boyd K. Packer wrote about Relief society,” This great circle of sisters will be a protection for each of you and for your families. The Relief society might be likened to a refuge—the place of safety and protection—the sanctuary of ancient times you will be safe within it. It encircles each sister like a protecting wall.”

In the book, Daughters In My Kingdom, I read about a young woman, Bobbie who moved with her family from the United States to Taiwan for six months. Even in this short time, her Taiwanese sisters encircled her in the protective influence of Relief Society. A terrible earthquake shook the country with its epicenter near her home. Within hours the Relief Society president arrived on her bike to make sure Bobbie’s family was all right, and then went to visit each of the other sisters in her ward.

I have felt this security and refuge. I have appreciated it. It has made my life a little easier. I am grateful to the Relief Society president who took my two year old son every day for two hours so I could take care of my ill husband; the one who came and got my ironing when I was in bed with a difficult pregnancy; the one who took me to her quilting group when I was in mourning; the ones who encouraged me in my writing; and the one who helped me to go to the temple by taking me. We have a new president now. I hope you have a chance to get to know her. She’s terrific and just in case—she rides a bike.

What opportunities do you have to serve and nurture those around you?

What women have had an influence in your life.

Hope you are having a lovely summer and that the heat isn’t getting to you.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

I'm So Proud!

I got a package today in the mail that made me laugh. It’s nice to have something to laugh about on a hot and steamy day. The first laugh was because the sender’s name was the same one as someone I used to know. The package was from a different Sandy, but it brought back memories of sitting on the porch in the summertime watching the world go by, children playing noisily in the front yard, dogs barking, bees humming. Neighbors walking by, waved and shouted hello. Life was uncomplicated. We were younger then.
The second laugh came when I opened the package and looked at the assortment of quilt blocks. I was excited when I won them on e-bay. I think it’s fun to take things  someone else  had made, and then discarded and change them into a beautiful work of art.. But it can some days be a challenge! I looked at several of the blocks and thought, “What were they thinking? Why would they choose those combination of colors and fabrics?” Other blocks said, “What pattern is that? I don’t know that one.I bet they made it up!"
My third laugh came upon examining the workmanship. No wonder they sold these. The seams don’t match. The edges are crooked. No two blocks are the same size. And selvedges weren’t trimmed. In fact, the blocks looked a lot like the ones I made. How easy it is to be more critical of other’s work than we are of our own. I had to laugh at myself this time.

 What a great tool this would be for teaching a quilting class. “Things Not To Do And Why;” or “Some Color Choices Have More Impact Than Others.” Many times, when I take a quilt class, the teacher shows all her beautiful and perfect quilts. I could never compete with them.

I remember going to the Cocaran Gallery in Washington DC one summer when one of my favorite fabric designers had a show of some of her quilts. Being the only one in the room at the time I examined each quilt closely and read all of the displays and literature about the exhibit. A guard came into the room and proceeded to talk to me about the quilts. He told me things, which were different from what I had just read about the exhibit. I argued and explained that he was wrong, and why. Later, I was out on the bench behind a potted plant, waiting for a ride to come when there was a changing of the guard. The new guy asked, “how’s it going?” The old guy said, “It’s been quiet. But”, he whispered, “watch out for her, she’s a quilter.”

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Hot hot hot hot
That’s what summer’s for!
Wouldn’t just go for a swim
In the ocean on a whim
If the snow was falling in.

Hot hot hot hot
That’s what summer’s for!
Time for playing on the beach
Catching Frisbees out of reach
Eat a juicy cooling peach.

Hot hot hot hot
That’s what summer’s for
Have some ice cream, lemonade,
Find a park bench in the shade
Find a cool stream, have a wade.

Hot Hot hot hot
Yea! Air conditioner’s working!