Tuesday, May 31, 2011

my grandma

Lately, I've been thinking of my Grandma O and her life. She was a pretty gutsy woman.

She told me about spending hours as a young woman in the beet fields hoeing weeds and working in her father's dairy. She was a freshman in college in 1941. She told me that by January 1942, all the young men were gone off to war, including at least two of her brothers. She came of age during a time of great uncertainty and turmoil.

After WWII, she got engaged the same night as her sister did, and married the love of her life, a returning soldier who was a farmer. She had a daughter, my mom. Her husband died in an accident and a soon after found she was pregnant with her second daughter. She never remarried.

She moved back to her home town across the street from her parents into a home built for her by a brother-in-law. She went to work as a teacher and with the help of her parents and a great aunt she raised her two girls.

I remember going to visit her in school and being totally fascinated by her classroom. She had great bulletin boards and fun projects happening in there. Her students still remember her with great fondness. She started losing her eye sight, and eventually had to retire.

She was declared legally blind and went to a school for the blind to learn a new set of life skills. She kept sewing and making things with her hands for as long as she could. Eventually she started tying quilts and tied a quilt a week for the Deseret Industries. Ladies from church set up a quilt each week in her living, placed big corsage pins where ever she needed to tie a knot on the quilt and away she would go. She actually could roll the quilt by herself. She even took piano lessons!

She remembered me as an eight year old girl, because that was the last time she could clearly see my face. She would call to hear about the sunset and my latest date. She loved hearing about my life and having me read my homework over the phone to her. Often when I traveled I would a take a tape recorder with me and record letters for her. I recorded the sounds of Paris, a cab ride in London and kids in Chile. I wanted her to know the things I was doing. I would tell her about the amazing meals I was eating in London, France and Italy, and she would get so hungry just hearing about the food.

She loved to read and always had a book-on-tape playing. She listened to more books than I've ever read in my lifetime. She even tried to get into the Harry Potter series, but just couldn't enjoy it like her grandchildren did.

She lived on her own for as long as she could. She served her community as well. She tutored kids in reading at the elementary school on her block for years and loved it. She was part of a senior support group and had people she called every day to check on. She came to every performance I was in, every recital I played in and all the choir concerts.

She was pretty fearless, but sometimes she would worry that God had forgotten her or that Grandpa didn't love her any more. She grew more and more child like the older she got, but she kept on fighting to have a full life and do the things she loved.

Grandma loved life. She worked hard and lived very frugally. She lived to the fullest and at times lived vicariously through her grandchildren. She had a ready laugh, could be very serious, insisted on going into the bathroom to pass gas and burp, laughed loudest at herself, and always reminded me that I was a lady.

Grandma O with Lane
She loved her girls, her grandchildren and especially her great grandchildren. She often told me that her greatest joy was her family and that she wished the same for me and all her grandchildren.

It was her birthday this weekend, and even though she's been gone from this life for a while, I still remember her birthday every year. She is a role model for me and when I remember her I want to be better and live a fuller life.

Happy birthday Grandma and thank you for your legacy.

Monday, May 30, 2011


crazy.  chaotic.  totally.  fabulous.  free.  crush.  smelly.  inspiring.  surprising.  fun.

freedom tower at ground zero

ground zero

before the actor's workshop

during the actor's workshop

walking to times square

everywhere you look there are...

architectural surprises 

madison square gardens

more suprises

a venetian inspired surprise

we watched this musical - pretty awesome.

name that movie:
"life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get."
lunch at bubba gump's

real life and model. which is which?
this guy's hair is fabulous.

rockefeller plaza with my charges for the day.

rockefeller tower

the lego store had lots of fun things to look at.

so many legos to choose in every color, shape and type

the lego dragon. and check out the lego lights.

the iconic entrance to radio city music hall

the carpet at rcmh

artwork in the grand entrance

the men's washroom at rmch

a corner of the guest book in the private rmch apartment

the rmch grand foyer and members of cirque du soleil  rehearsing

an entrance to the rockefeller tower

panorama from the top of the rockefeller tower

another panorama from the top of the rock

yes, that's the empire state building in the background

the hershey's store at times square.
this is for you tara!

it was fleet week in nyc - so lots of sailors.

times square at night

awesome neon
i'm hooked and i can't wait to go back.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

a memorial

Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from hishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation's gratitude, the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.

Friday, May 27, 2011

unexpected plans

if i can make it there...

photo from here
i'm chaperoning high school drama kids tomorrow with my friend cr.

we have a workshop with real broadway actors.
a tour of radio city music hall.
the view from the top of the rockefeller center.
dinner at mama sbarra's

and finally...
spider-man turn off the dark on broadway.
it's my first broad way show in nyc!

photo from here
and a group photo in times square.

whoo, what a day! i promise photos and a recap.

with that sweet moon language

Admit something:
Everyone you see, you say to them,
     "Love me."
Of course you do not do this out loud;
Someone would call the cops.
Still though, think about this,
This great pull in us to connect.
Why not become one
Who lives with a full moon in each eye
That is always saying
With that sweet moon
What every other eye in this world
     Is dying to


Beautiful. I don't remember where I first read this, but it stopped me in my tracks and I've been thinking about it ever since. I recently found it again, and just had to share. I've got to get a book of his poetry.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

thoughtful thursday: unexpected

If you do not the expect the unexpected you will not find it, 
for it is not to be reached by search or trail. ~Heraclitus