Monday, August 31, 2009

Baby Blessing

We had a wonderful visit with our daughter and her family. We had the glorious opportunity to participate in our granddaughter's blessing. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we bless babies after they are born. The purpose of the blessing is to give them a name that will be known upon the records of the Church and throughout their lives. Additionally, the person giving the blessing--usually the father--gives the baby a blessing as the spirit dictates. Her blessing was wonderful! Heavenly Father definitely loves our new granddaughter.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Social media

Joanne and I are learning more than we ever dreamed about social media. When our daughters left home, they felt we needed a better way to connect to them. Yes, we all had e-mail--to a point. They soon had us each sign up for G-mail, which we did. Then, they showed us how to do "G-mail chat," which has been loads of fun.

Thankfully, my mother forced me to take "typing" (that's keyboarding to all of you young people) in my sophomore year. Mrs. McIntire definitely spent a bit of time with us. With G-mail chat you can type conversations to each other as fast as you can. Amazingly, my daughters can "chat" with numerous people simultaneously and keep the conversations straight. I think the most conversations I have participated in have been maybe two or three at the max, and that was a difficult thing for a guy who learned how to type on a Royal 44.

Then, after G-mail, my daughters said, "Dad, you have to have a blog." Thus, I now have a blog albeit not as delightful or grandiose as some I have seen. Nonetheless, it serves its purpose to "inform." Plus, I have a great time posting photos of our trips.

Now, after G-mail and after the blog, our daughters said, "Okay, now's the time for Facebook. They helped us get on Facebook, showed us how to post pictures, and write notes. Next thing you know, we both have a Facebook page, and we are busily posting stuff--pictures, notes, and things. I have posted dozens of pictures. Many of them have received comments, which make me happy.

I believe one of the greatest things about Facebook is this: You can find people, and they can find you; people from my graduating class have found me; people from my mission in Chile have found me; and people from our past lives in Idaho Falls, Lewiston, Boise, and Miles City have found us. Plus, we are able to keep in contact with our family members and friends.

Probably one of the coolest things about this whole social media thing is the video portion of G-mail or whatever mail package that you have. On Saturday, I was outside working in the garden when my lovely bride of 30 years called me to come in. She and my oldest daughter were chatting via G-mail video. While that is cool in and of itself, the cool thing was that there was my new granddaughter up and front and precious. We had a wonderful visit. Of course, she is only two months old and was probably wondering what in the world was her mother doing sticking her in front of a camera and saying, "Say hi to Grandma and Grandpa." I suspect she will understand more of this in a few months. Now what is better than talking to and seeing in living color your daughter and granddaughter live?

I think in our society, keeping in touch is such a difficult thing. Letter writing has, unfortunately, gone by the wayside. But social media has brought the connectivity back, perhaps not as personal as old-fashioned letters home; but it has returned people to writing albeit a bit "non Englishy..." Most people try to write decently, which I appreciate. Of course, if someone asks to be your friend, and you don't want that to happen, you don't have to "accept" them as your friend. This may seem a bit odd, but your choice of who can or cannot be your friend is strictly up to you. Of course, once you accept someone, then everyone on their list can see what is going on with you via your friend. Thus, everyone literally has a zillion friends.

So, there you have it--social media from my perspective.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Let it Howl

Let It Howl

Summer escapes sometimes unscathed.
Perhaps, it is the wind that pronounces
its blessing or curse upon all of us, shouts at us
from the west, north, and then the northwest, sometimes

simultaneously from all three.
Early morning usually dawns quiet with just a whisper
but by nine, the wind abruptly climbs
from its lethargic bed like some giant lizard

that hasn’t eaten in days, perhaps weeks.
As summer matures and ripens into fall,
the winds clamor for winter and snows and blasts
from the direct north, hoping to catch one of us unawares

at the post box to snatch the paper and fling it south
where it will melt when the sun bores down on Arizona.
But we are too cautious, perhaps arrogant,
that we will beat this nasty wind.

Let it howl like wolves at night,
just meters from the sheep in Uncle Milt’s pens.
We shall prevail and capture mail before
the winds know we are there to fetch it.

Let it howl as we dig and chisel dirt
around for the 20’ x 30’ garden.
We will prevail in growing daisies, raspberries, strawberries,
mums, grape hyacinths, petunias, and even peonies.

Let it howl that we may see its ferociousness,
its lagging red tongue of strength.
Perhaps, it can show how it shifts tumble weeds
from fence to fence, from farm to farm.

Let it howl that we may howl back,
with thick voices, choked with pride,
shake our fists, stamp our thick boots
on the hard ground, frozen tundra of the high plains.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Arches National Park's the scoop....For a mere $10.00 per carload,you can enter one of the most amazing parks in the Unites States called the Arches National Park just outside Moab, Utah. Joanne, Hailey, and I went there this past week. What an amazing place! The Visitor's Center called many of the rocks "recycled" rocks. If we could recycle rocks to look like these, we ought to get busy recycling now. I was extremely impressed with the formations. The bottom line is this: I wish we had gone in earlier, the earlier the better, and stay later so we could have taken certain pictures when the sun was just rising and others when the sun was just setting. Nevertheless, here are some of my favorites: