Saturday, April 23, 2016

Last time home

Last time home

Last time home was dismal although a bit therapeutic.
We went to see my parents’ graves and others’,
decided we should drive by the old house in Menan.
We drove slowly, noticed the sheds had been torn down.
The raspberries were gone too, same with the garden
and the old cement mixer that had mixed
more yards of cement than I can remember.
Mrs. Butterworth and Mrs. Beyeler were gone
too, gone long before. I do remember shoveling snow
at both their houses, watering their lawns,
and even hunting night crawlers, all entangled
after a good water and a full moon, waiting nonchalantly
before we grabbed and tossed them into bait cans.

I wondered whether the new people have ever heard a cow,
bellering to be milked or about my horse, three-years-old
and green broke, that died. We dragged her out to the field
with the Massey Ferguson tractor, both legs tied tight
 with a chain from the barn. We had dug a deep, deep hole
over a few days, beneath a giant cottonwood.
We had said a few prayers and then shoveled the dirt on top of her.

I wonder if the new people know about the asparagus
that grows wild along the ditch bank that waters Hunting’s property.
Still, I wonder whether anyone remembered the woods
between Hunting’s property and Spring Creek, the pheasants
and magpies and the skunks and the little boys who roamed
those woods, thinking they were Daniel Boone and other fur trappers.

I wonder if the new people have ever hunted green heads
down along Spring Creek in the dead of winter
when your breath cracked every time you blew it out
and the incredible snow drifts that filled the ditches
and the swamp that allowed us to make snow forts and caves.
I wonder if the new people know how many raspberries,
potatoes, chickens, pigs, tomatoes, and rhubarb we grew there.

By that time the wondering waned—actually it never wanes—
we had crawled past the old place, the fence now leaning
closer to the ground than I remember. Much to my chagrin,
it’s not the same as we aren’t the same—changed
so subtly by our environment and life gnawing at us
from the outside and from within, slowly, deliberately.

Our memories now gnaw on us, growing
ever more grandeur than they ever were—
or should have been. But they are our memories,
fed by lazy clouds, fishing in Spring Creek,

and tag out back under the weeping willow.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

All Creatures of Our God and King

Today in Sacrament meeting, we sang All Creatures of Our God and King. I know I have sung this hymn before in a variety of places, but today the hymn touched me differently than it ever has, especially the last verse, particularly when I think about all of my blessings that Heavenly Father and, as the hymn states, “Mother Earth” have given me. 

The verse that goes: 

“Dear Mother Earth, who day by day

The Hammon Family
Unfoldest blessings on our way,

Grape Hyacinths and spring snow
Alleluia! Alleluia!

The flow’rs and fruit that in thee grow, 

Flowering bush in front of our home
Let His glory also show,

Capitol Reef in Utah
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia

Flowers at the new Provo City Center Temple
Oh, praise Him! Alleluia! 

The glory and the magnificence of it all truly hit me today. 

Joanne's designs. Truly, Families can be forever....

May we always sing hymns to Him and to Mother Earth who continually give us enormous blessings:

The Keller Family

Spring daffodils


Our grandchildren

The Utah Valley University Board of Trustees has announced that UVU plans to offer five new master’s degree programs, potentially bringing the total offered at the institution to eight.
Utah Valley University


Darrel, Joanne, Hailey, and Anna Rose
Truly, we sing hymns of thanks each and every day for all that we have.

Mt. Timpanogas from Deer Creek 
Thank you!

The Johnson Family