Friday, August 3, 2012

Why Idaho?

Some people wonder why I choose to live in Idaho. Well, it's simple, really. That's where my best friend lives.
You see, I used to be against living in Idaho. I don't know why, I just thought I would never want to live there. Maybe it's because it seemed so "far away" from everything. Or maybe because it is full of farm land and so spread out and open. I'm a mountain girl, so that was not appealing. Or so I thought.
But then something happened that I never thought would happen. My husband got a job in the neighboring state of Wyoming. He commuted from southern Utah, where we had moved a few years earlier, and it was a long trip, even once a week. So we moved to a little city called Rexburg, which is where his new company is based. It was a much closer commute (7 1/2 hours versus 3 hours) and we had family and friends there already. So off to Idaho for me!
Just a little less than 2 months later, his position was no longer needed. But the company hired him back at the local office - something that wouldn't have happened if we hadn't moved there. And now we are officially Idahoans.
It's not what I would have chosen, but I have found that there aren't many places on this big blue marble that I don't like. And now that I am here, I would choose it any day of the week. Okay, so the mountains are a little farther away but I have found that I really prefer farm land when I can't have trees and sloped landscape.
Some day you will have to come take a bike ride with me and get the whole picture in your head. It's not enough to simply see the area, you have to experience it. Ride past the fields of wheat, potatoes or hay and see how slowly life unfolds. Smell the air and all its flavors. Float down the lazy river and watch a moose stroll across the stream ahead of you. Stop and watch the cattle or horses or other farm animals as they silently and peacefully graze and realize that you're just in too much of a hurry.
Then there is the people aspect. As you enter the town on Main Street, you see a sign that welcomes you to "America's Family Community." When you shop you are greeted warmly by others who live here and love it. Or you may be helped by a young college student working his or her way through school. And then you return home to the nicest neighbors in the world. This is not a place to hide out. No, your neighbors will help you move in, bring you dinner, help you gather firewood for the winter, and stop by just to say hi. It's a simple life, even with all the hectic intrudings of our busy world. Mayberry, perhaps? Just a little. But I wouldn't have it any other way.
Yes, I live in a place I once thought would never appeal to me. Others think it's funny that I do, and I can't blame them when I was once the same way. But maybe that's a good thing. If everyone knew just how wonderful it was to live here, it wouldn't be the same.
So, thank you, dear hubby, for getting me here. And thank you, Lord, for letting there be a few places left in the world that are still so wonderful and calm. I have the internet and a cell phone to keep in touch with my loved ones and the goings-on in the modern world, but when those are put aside, I have peace and comfort in my awesome little old-fashioned town. If you have a moment, come sit with me in the back yard and sip lemonade while we watch the clouds roll by. It's something much needed in this fast-paced, selfish world. And maybe you will like Idaho, too.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cheerful Aging

I just noticed something the other day: it is much easier to do things without the kids around. Okay, so I didn't just notice this, but I was doing some things around the house and suddenly I had this little light bulb moment. I was fixing dinner and thinking to myself "why am I still fixing dinner for so many people? It should just be me, Lee and two boys." Then I thought about why those people are here and I knew I was blessed, even if it is a little bit crowded and a little bit hard.
My daughter and her husband are staying with us for a few months to save some money and get into an apartment soon. They are in college and working and we are helping them out.
We also have an exchange student from Taiwan. It is a very great blessing to have someone live in your house who is from an entirely different culture. We have learned so much and I hope he has learned a little bit, too.
So here we are, all seven of us in a teeny little home. The three boys share a room in the "attic" which has a low ceiling that slopes on each side. (My boys are over six feet tall.) And my daughter and her husband are in the little room at the top of those stairs before you turn into the boys room. No privacy, no room to put much. Just their bed and a rolling clothes rack and a hamper. So we all have to give a little here.
And guess what? Our exchange student leaves the first of June (just over a month away) then my older son leaves to go on a mission for our church for two years near the end of June. Then my daughter and son-in-law will move out around the end of July (they think). And who will be left at home? Just me, my husband and our youngest son (who happens to be a senior this year). And then I will be left wondering who to cook for.
Just when I finally figure out how to cook for many, I will have to start learning to cook for few.
Well, life isn't fair, is it? Nope, it really isn't.
But I did figure out something else. I don't like a dirty kitchen. And when I am not feeling good, sometimes that kitchen does get dirty and stay dirty because Mom is not in there cleaning it. Or Dad. (My hubby is a great help to me most the time but I think he had so much else to do this weekend.) So today - feeling much better, I noticed, even though I had a headache - I cleaned the kitchen and made dinner. Wow. That felt good! So, family, if you read this you might take note that Mom is much happier when her kitchen (and house, for that matter!) are clean!
Ah, yes, I know - I will miss them when they aren't around. No messes to clean up, no kids to taxi around, no laundry piles in the bathroom to yell about, no - wait, maybe I won't miss this them THAT much ... *giggle, laugh* I will. Really.
But this makes me think ahead a little: do grandkids mess up the house?
Ha ha! Have a great week, everyone. And keep on smiling, it makes people wonder what you've been up to!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Do Over!

Happiness is being married to your best friend!
Okay, I call "do over" since I have not written on this blog in FOR-E-VER!
It's not that I am unhappy but perhaps because I have been busy BEING happy. But that's no excuse, so let's move on...
I can feel my life being blessed lately and I think it's because of many things, the foremost being that I have been working hard on blessings. Do you ever do that? We are promised that if we live right, we will receive blessings and if told that if we don't, we have no promise.
Well, I am happy to report - and give testimony to - the fact that I can see this working in my life.
I read a book once by a man who talked about "the universe" and how there is this thing about everything interacting with everything else. He even believed that when you give, the universe gives back. Hmm, how about that?
Yes, it is truth that no matter how you believe it, there is something about life, the universe and everything that adds up to more than 42. (That was for all you Hitchhiker's Guide fans). And I have seen it. I personally attribute it to my Heavenly Father and the laws of the universe under his direction. Choose your own way of believing, no matter what it is, but just believe it. There really is something about giving in this world that sends better things your way. And I know it.
Isn't it great to be alive and to know that when you do good out there that somehow it is making more good for everyone else and even sending some back your way?
I had a co-worker once who said she didn't think people were as good as many others thought they were. She believed that if one were to lose their wallet, it was gone forever. Most people would keep it or toss it. That's just the way it was. People were generally selfish and she was afraid of the world in general.
Now, this woman lived in a small town in the USA. It was a family-oriented place, full of people who were generally good Christians. She had never lived anywhere but there and yet she felt this way. Was it the news she watched? Was it just her attitude? I was always unsure about that. But one thing I did know: she was never truly happy. She always seemed to be nervous that something bad was going to happen, fretting that someone was out there waiting to attack her or a loved one. She lived in a little town with good people but she was afraid.
Now don't get me wrong. She was a good person, did service and even worked with children at an elementary school helping them improve their reading. But she just couldn't relax and enjoy life.
I, on the other hand, have lived in some big cities where you never spoke to your neighbors or got involved in their lives. I have seen selfish people on the freeway, on the streets, in the parks. But I have also seen someone I know lose something at the store and have it returned to them soon after. I have seen strangers help an old lady pick up something that was dropped or mothers look out for children they didn't know. I believe that people are generally good. I think they all want to be good but sometimes they are in circumstances that cause them to choose differently sometimes.
And I am almost always happy.
Attitude can affect us and the world around us. I think that maybe the universe also gives happiness to those who share it. Those who have positive outlooks tend to draw more positive energy back to them. It sure seems to happen that way, anyway. Take a look around you (or in the mirror?) and watch: those who are happy and have good attitudes tend to draw others to them. We are all creatures of light and we crave that happiness that we see in those people. When we make up our minds to see the world in a positive way, we are telling the universe that we are part of that energy and it feeds us as we use it.
Or - you can look at it this way as well - when God gives us a promise, he keeps it. We give good, we receive good. What an awesome concept!
So, wherever you come from - believer or not - choose to be happy! And if you haven't tried it yet, what are you waiting for? What's it going to hurt to try and be cheerful and nice to others?
Hey, there are some crummy people out there but even they can change. Besides, you have to know that there is that reality that not everyone is on the same plane. Some people haven't discovered how to be happy yet. And if you are aware that some are liars or bad people, just stay clear of any situations that might harm you. You don't have to be gullible.
And one last thing. Keep this motto in mind: If you loan a friend twenty dollars and you never see that person again, it was worth the twenty dollars!
Keep on smilin'!