I’m in a Parade!

Friday night we headed to Idaho to see my brother Andrew. We were exhausted and late but we made it just in time for bed. On Saturday I decided to tag along with my three youngest kids to the Wagon Days parade in Ketchum, Idaho where my niece was going to be riding a wagon to support the MDA.

When we got there they asked the whole family to ride in the wagon, including us. After all, we were an MDA family as well. Ariana pushed my wheelchair across a huge dirt and gravel lot, they loaded it up into the wagon and we were suddenly in a parade.

I had no makeup on and I’d forgotten my hairspray but I didn’t care. I was having a great time!

The Ketchum fire department was amazing. They were friendly, took pictures with the kids and were just awesome. They did all they could to help me and kept thanking us for being there.

The firefighters were out there with their boots collecting money for the MDA as part of the Fill the Boot campaign as we waived and yelled from the wagon with another MDA family. In the hour of the parade they were able to raise $6500 for the MDA.

By the end I was exhausted and never did really recover. I had cancelled most of our hoped for trips and had gone ahead with this one but it took a lot more out of me than I would have hoped, probably because I’d had a bad attack earlier in the week.

Once we got back and also found out that my oldest son was sick, we packed up our stuff and cut our weekend short. We made the four hour trip home safely and climbed in our beds at 11pm. Thank you to my brother and his wife for great food, a fun parade and rides on the horse!!

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Murphy’s Law

What a day!! I spent all day getting ready to assemble 72 hour kits and first aid kits with the young women in our ward. Anything that could go wrong did.

I double checked all the items and found that the item that had been mis-shipped had never gotten re-ordered. Then I ran out of labels. Then I realized when I picked up the foil bags and sealer from Welfare Square I had forgotten the oxygen absorber packs.

While I was running around town with my daughter trying to pick up the items we needed my husband headed from the train station to pick up the oxygen packs. Not long after that I got a call that he had been in an accident on the freeway.

The miracle was that he, my son, and the woman in the other car were not hurt. However, the car was totaled and we only had liability insurance.

After I picked them up we tried to pick up the oxygen absorbers but the cannery was closed. We wouldn’t be sealing them today as planned.

I was able to make it to the church with the supplies fifteen minutes late but forgot the pouches so we couldn’t even get started until someone went back for them. The girls were troopers and the little band that was there worked hard to get 100 72 hour kits and 24 first aid kits assembled.

By the end of the night I was exhausted and my garage was full of kits that still needed to be sealed. All I could think about was how grateful I was that my husband and son only had red marks. This car served us well for 13 years. It was running great when it died. Chad loved that car!




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Dreaded Stairs

My arch enemy- stairs. The barrier that people with working legs hardly even think about. They are everywhere. In the foothills of the mountains there are even more. 

Tonight it was one single stair. I had talked to the school secretary about back to school night because our school is on three levels. There is a ramp to the main level and an elevator to the second (locked so kids can’t use it). But the kindergarten and first grade classrooms are down a flight of stairs. There is an outside entrance which I thought had no stairs so I was told the door would be unlocked for me so I could enter that way.

Not only were the doors locked but there was a stair. I live in fear of stairs with my wheelchair- I don’t like being tipped so far to get up a stair. Even small lips at the end of driveways are concerning. Others don’t notice them but I certainly feel it when I have to grab on quick to keep from being dumped to the ground.

My husband had to push me over to the ramp, up into the office, to the secretary who had to get the maintenance man to meet us at the doors. Then we had to go back outside, down the ramp and back to the doors. Then Chad had to get my chair up the stair and through two locked doors so I could get into the kindergarten room. 

Today I started out feeling strong. I’d actually make it to three out of four back to school functions this week. I ended feeling weak and helpless. All around me were people walking quickly up and down stairs without a thought. I had to have the help of a wheelchair, the janitor, and my husband. All I want to do is stay home where I can pretend I’m normal.

All my worries rush back to me. What if they call home sick and I can’t drive that day? What if I can’t find someone to push me up the ramp to sign them out? What if I wake up paralyzed and can’t get my kindergartner ready for school? I know the last one is likely to happen repeatedly. 

The only thing I can do is push my worries aside. School is looming on the horizon. My kids are excited to have something to do instead of sitting home all day every day while Mom lays in bed. They will be happier there. It will be good for them. Somehow God will see me through. Somehow the kids will help each other, be independent, and make it there and back even when Mom can’t help.

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I’m 40!

August 19, 2014, my fortieth birthday. It started with the promise of test driving a Corvette- my favorite car for the last 25 years. After seeing a picture of a 2014 Corvette Stingray I decided I’d rather just sit in that beauty than test drive an older Corvette.

All I can say is WOW! That car is a work of art. Chad gave me a “drive by” so I could admire it’s sleek lines all the way around. Then as I slipped (ok, heaved myself) into the seat and sunk into the genuine leather it was like floating into a painting. I took a deep breath and couldn’t stop smiling and stroking that beautiful leather. In that moment I came alive again. The last year didn’t matter anymore.

It didn’t stop there. We caught a movie with the older kids and then Chad took me to the Pantry in the basement of Brigham Young’s home for salmon and the most divine chocolate cream pie. With a full belly he pushed me around temple square to look at the beautiful flowers, the Christus, and the little model of the inside of the Salt Lake temple. I breathed in the peace and serenity and felt alive again. The wheelchair didn’t bother me, I didn’t notice the people staring, all I could feel was the cool breeze and fading sunlight of a perfect summer day fresh after the morning rain.

I had to go home and rest up enough for the main event- another bucket list item of being able to meet a celebrity. You have to realize I’m a country girl. And I don’t watch the “popular” shows. My celebrities aren’t the same as most peoples. I had already passed up the opportunity to visit the set of Desperate Housewives because I’d never seen the show and it meant nothing to me. This time my husband arranged for me to meet Scott Christopher whom I had seen in many movies and starred in my favorite TV show- Granite Flats.

It was amazing. We met at Cheesecake Factory where over the 30th anniversary cheesecake I got to chat with Scott Christopher. I was in heaven. He was handsome, tall and looked even more beautiful in person both inside and out than on the screen. I found out I shared a birthday with his wife Liz and we got to talk about Granite Flats, kids, and normal everyday things.

I smiled more in that day than I had in over a year. The first day of my year in pictures was spectacular. It was time to truly live again.

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Some people learn about service by serving others. People like me learn about service by being served. I’d rather be on the other end, but I’ve learned to accept help with gratitude.

Today newlyweds Kevin and Kaysha came and served us all day. Kaysha is Chad’s youngest sister. Kaysha helped me turn a case of pluots into jam and syrup while Kevin spent the day working on the railing of our deck with Chad.

Poor Chad has spent the summer spending a few hours here and there trying to get the deck done. The project was beginning to feel like it would never get done. The enthusiasm that Kevin brought was truly a blessing from God. That deck has been weighing on both of us.

Both of them also did dishes, swept, and helped make eclairs. It was truly an incredible blessing to us. After they left I remembered a heart felt prayer I had lifted several times that week- “Please, Father, please send someone to help me with the cleaning. I’ve lost my cleaning lady and I don’t have any money this month to pay for it anyway. I can’t stand how dirty things are anymore. Please send someone who can help me and who actually wants to help me.”

The mental boost of having them here was almost as appreciated as the actual service that was so needed. I also have a fresh stock of tangy pluot jam, low in sugar and so delicious and we were able to get the railing down and back up without worrying about children falling off and breaking something.

Thank you Father for answering my prayers. Thank you Kaysha and Kevin for taking time out of your busy homework filled lives to help us out. I felt bad we couldn’t pay for your sandwiches- someday when we have some money again, we’ll make it up to you.

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