Sunday, July 31, 2011

Exciting Event: Tristi Pinkston's New Book Launch

Author Tristi Pinkston is excited to announce the release of the third novel in her Secret Sisters Mysteries series.

Titled Hang ‘em High, this novel takes place on a dude ranch in Montana. When Ida Mae’s son invites her to come for a visit, of course she brings Arlette and Tansy along with her. They are expecting to spend the week looking at horses, avoiding the cows, and making amends in Ida Mae’s relationship with her son. What they don’t expect is to be stuck on the ranch in the middle of a blizzard and to be thrust headlong into the middle of a mystery.
Help Tristi celebrate her new novel in two ways. First, come participate in the two-week-long blog contest, where you can win a book nearly every single day! All the details are up on Tristi’s blog.

Second, come to the book launch!
You are invited to an
August Authorama!
Saturday, August 13th
Pioneer Book, 858 S. State, Orem
12 – 4 pm
Games, prizes, balloons, face painting,
and Dutch oven cobbler
prepared by world champion cook
will all be there to sign books.
This is one book launch event
you will not want to miss!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Time Capsule

If you read a previous post, you'll know how excited I was when I learned my mother's high school graduating class was going to be opening a time capsule in celebration of its 50th class reunion. I was hoping there'd be something from her that would give me some insight into her life since she passed away 36 years ago.

I waited for the report on the local news channel and even watched the clip of them opening the capsule. Much to my disappointment all it contained was a newspaper from that time period and a directory of school district employees. Blah. Not exciting at all.

In my mind, I had built up this incredible experience where they'd open the capsule and there would be letters from students, including one from my mom. In my imagination her letter talked about her dreams and aspirations, her life in high school, and maybe even a bit about her personality. I fantasized that I'd be able to get that letter and hold it in my hands, a tangible piece of my mother.

She wrote a book of poems that I illustrated back in the early 1970s after my father passed away. That book gives me some insight into her heart and what it was like to be widowed at such a young age, but I still yearn for more.

I suppose I'll never really know her until I have the opportunity to see her again. I know many people do not believe in life after death, but I'm as certain of that as I am that the sun will rise each day. I've had far too many experiences to deny the existence of life after death. I know someday I will be reunited with my parents and I will have the opportunity to truly know each one of them.  And this is what gets me through the times when I miss them more than usual. The times I wanted to share with them in mortality like the births of each of my children, birthday celebrations, Christmas, vacations, graduations, marriages.

Through the years I've learned to live with their absences and no longer feel that stabbing pain of mourning, but missing them has never ever left me. You'd think after 35 plus years I wouldn't even think about it, but my parents are a part of me. Though I did not know them much in mortality, they live within me, and someday, I am confident, I will spend eternity with them and this time apart in mortality will only be a small memory.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Time Capsule from My Mom?

I'm on pins and needles . . . .

My mother was part of the first graduating class of San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara, CA in 1961. She was very active in her class. She was a cheerleader and a Homecoming princess. This weekend that class is celebrating its 50th year reunion. In addition to the regular reunion activities, they will be opening a time capsule.

My mother passed away in 1973 when I was a little girl. I never had the opportunity to really know her. I remember that she was beautiful, something I can see in photos. But, I never knew her personality. Was she funny? Compassionate? Kind? Silly at times? Strong? Sensitive? Did she believe in God? I honestly don't know.

Since my father had passed away in 1968, after my mother's death my sister and I lived with our maternal grandparents. I often asked my grandmother to tell me about my mother but her memories were more about surface things like how she wore her hair and what clothes she liked. Grandma never really shared much about what my mother was like inside, the kind of person she was. As a result I've yearned for information about my mom, wondering through the years if I'm anything like her.

This time capsule has me very intrigued. I wonder if my mother put anything in it. And, if she did, what she put in there. Will it give me a glimpse into her life? Into her personality? Will there be a letter? A photo? I'm so curious, almost ridiculously so, because I feel like after all of these years without her, I might have some communication from her. Of course, it wouldn't be to me because I was born a few years after the time capsule, but maybe she left something that will give me some insight into her.

I don't even know how I'll find out about the capsule. I have contacted a friend whose mom was one of my mother's friend and who is in charge of the reunion and I'm hoping she'll let me know if there's anything in the capsule from my mom. Until then, my mind is racing with all sorts of possibilities.

This is a family photo when I was about 6 months old.

My mother and me when I was about 7 weeks old.

Christmas. Grandma had a flocked tree with the same decorations for years and years.

We're in the backyard of our house close to the beach in Santa Barbara.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Righteous Leadership

Political parties are revving up for the upcoming elections in 2012. As I watch the various campaigns and promises I am reminded of the account of King Noah in the Book of Mormon.

Zeniff was a righteous man and king. He instilled the value of hard work within his people and they were industrious.Zeniff conferred the kingdom on his son, Noah, and then he died. Noah did not walk in the ways of his father. He was lazy and glutted himself on the labors of his people. He and his priests lived a riotous lifestyle and had many wives and concubines. They did not keep the commandments of God.

As a result, his people became wicked. He, as their leader, set the example of a corrupted lifestyle. He lead them away from God. When Abinadi came to King Noah and his people and called them to repentance they sought to kill him. Eventually, they burned Abinadi because they did not want to hear the word of the Lord. They were content in their iniquity and had no desire to live the laws of God. Because of their refusal to repent of their iniquity, Noah's people were put in bondage to the Lamanites. If Noah had been a righteous leader, or if Zeniff had conferred the kingdom on a righteous son, their outcome would've been different. The account of King Noah teaches us that our leaders do have an affect on our society and we must be careful of who leads us.

As we consider who we'll vote for, we need to consider whether that person will lead us toward the light or the dark. Will he/she affect our society in a positive or negative way? Will he/she lead us toward God or away from Him?

Many want to deny the existence of God or our dependence on Him, but whether you believe in God or not does not change the fact that He is real and He is eager to bless us when we keep His commandments.

Many good men and women in politics are tarnished by the acts of a few. We've seen examples recently of politicians who chose to have affairs, father children out of wedlock, and use the internet for evil purposes. My brother-in-law, J. Paul Brown, is one of the most decent men I know. He is currently serving the state of CO as a representative for our area in SW CO. He is honest, hard-working, and smart. He is the kind of leader we need in our states and in Washington D.C.

As I look for those for whom I will vote, I will determine whether or not they will lead us in a good direction. I hope that as we near the 2012 elections we will all take the time to learn about our candidates and make sure we vote for those we feel will best represent us and will be honest in their dealings. It didn't take long for the effects of King Noah's wicked leadership to destroy their society. For evil to prevail, good men must do nothing. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Provo and Eternity

We spent last weekend in Provo, UT. All of my older kids live in Provo so it makes it nice to only have to travel to one place and we can all be together. Even though there are so many of us, I love when we're all together.

We've lived in CO for almost 17 years. We've been working to make our home and surrounding land self-sustaining and we've put a lot of time and money into our property. I love living in the country. I love having the space. I love the quiet (well, that's relative considering I have so many kids). I love the dark nights and the sky filled with sparkling stars. I love the country lifestyle. I love the privacy. I love so much about living here.

And yet, I feel myself pulled toward Provo because that's where my older children live. I realize they may not live there forever, but, right now, they do and I feel this pull. Of course, we aren't going to move right now so I have to settle for visiting them. I love to visit them, but I'm always so sad when we leave. I miss seeing them every day. I hate leaving part of my family in another state.

Yes, that's part of life. I know they need to grow up and move on and live their own lives with their own families. But, no one ever prepared me for this part of mothering. No one ever told me how hard it would be to let my kids leave. No one ever told me that I'd miss them this much. My husband teases me that I need to cut the umbilical cord, but I don't want to. Where did all the years go? How did it zip by so fast?

Knowing how I feel now, I cannot imagine facing eternity without my family. I think hell for me would be being separated from my family forever. And that gives me a tiny glimpse into how Heavenly Father feels when we make choices that separate us from Him. I'm sure He is as desperate to spend eternity with all of His kids as I am to spend it with mine. I can only hope that each member of my family will make the choices that will allow us to be together forever. I want my family to be eternal.