Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stranger at Home

Sixteen years ago I left my hometown.  
I was an 18 year old girl ready for change! 

Last week I returned to find change moved in when I moved out.

 A visit to the Christiansen’s brought us to Hurricane, (the place where the majority of my life experiences and memories were created) but this wasn’t the town I remembered.

Spotted here and there I recognized buildings and houses that triggered memories but for the more part I was a stranger in my hometown.  
This visit, I viewed Hurricane through a different lens.  I understand today how little I knew then, but still yearned for that youthfulness.  

Nothing was the same.  Houses seemed smaller than I remembered them, the schools I attended were not the schools I saw and the streets my friends and I ruled were replaced by strangers.
Those friends, that life, and this town aren’t mine anymore.

I felt sad as we drove away.   
I felt as if  my memories and relationships didn’t really exist.  

I wondered if car racing through the streets, high school sports,  or missed curfews ever happened- 
then I looked at Sam and remembered they did.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

all boxed up


I spent the weekend in St. George visiting Mom and Grandma Great.
While I was there mom pulled out a large box with my name on it   Opening it I found letters and things from long long ago.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to dig deeper.

 My kids (and Sam) jumped to the box eager to see my boxed up past. 
We found cassett tapes (and of course I had to explain what they were!), misclanious pictures and trinkets I had kept.  

But the golden nugget was my diary from elementary and letters I collected after high school!  
They had a great time reading about my 4th grade crush and letters from other "boys".
It seems like a lifetime ago.

Now they tease me. :)

Monday, February 25, 2013

My moment of fame?

This weekend Sam and I attended a benefit dinner for Rising Star Outreach 

I am so excited I got to attend this one for 2 reasons.

First, I always miss their events because head quarters are in Provo, Utah.
This time I moved to Utah one week before the event!

The second reason I was excited to go was because they showed my video I made from my first trip to work with the leprosy afflicted in India.

But it doesn't end there!  The singer/songwriter of the song I used, Bianca Merkley, was there and performed live during my video!!  How cool is that?

She sounded great too!

        Bianca Merkley!
I was excited to wear my Indian clothes, until I saw this picture!  Is it cliche to say these clothes make me look fat!!?  I'm so bummed about the turn out.  My hair!?!  What?  I've seen better days.  I looked so much better in my mind.  :)

Sally Read, President of Rising Star Outreach.  

I got started with this organization because of Sally!  I was her visiting teacher in New Canaan (before she became the Pres.)  You can read about that here.

I am so happy I live closer to this organization.  Working with them is so uplifting!
So, who wants to go to India with me??

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Feeling LOVED

Today I was given a farewell gift.
It was a book filled with notes written from the ladies at Church.  I wanted to read them without being interrupted so I waited till after the kids were in bed.

In a quiet moment I re-opened the book.
Page after page my "love tank" was filled.  By the end I was in tears.  
Women I have known for a short period of time and those whom I have known for many many years, took time to write me a small note.  I will treasure those notes forever.

The word has been out that we are leaving for the past 5 months.  Our initial plan was to be gone in December.  Those months leading up to December several people approached me and/or Sam and said such nice things about us and how we will be missed.  Having this repeated several times I turned to Sam and joked "we should fake a move in the future just to hear people tell us how wonderful we are."
It feels good to hear those things.  

As I sat in the afterglow of  kind words I wished all of them could know how meaningful it was for me to read them.  In my reality, I am hanging by a thread most days and looking to THEM for inspiration. 

My Church and several in the New Canaan Community have been "family" out here.  This is where my kids grew up and this is where I grew a lot. 

I am so touched when I get a kind note.

I keep them all.

Next week I step into a whole new world.  I'm scared.  I'm sad, but I do feel loved.