Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Never Ending Adventures of life with Hank

My dad is 83 years old.  He recently moved from middle of nowhere, Wyoming, to my house.  Although he has only been at my house for a couple of weeks- he is making an impact on me and my family.  He is also funny without trying to be.  I am keeping track of this new adventure in my life because there are so many of us in the "sandwich" generation.  We are busy with kids on one end, and busy helping our parents on the other end.  Let's enjoy this sandwich time together, it won't last very long!!

HANKISM- Definition-  1)Interesting things Hank says, or does that are unusual to the way I would say or do things. 2) A solid excuse for the reason I act the way I do.  3) Just too dang funny not to share.

I saw this book at a bookstore before Hank moved in and thought it would be interesting for him since he loves to read, and was part of the Berlin Airlift.  Here's how that conversation went:

Me:  "Dad, I found this book at the bookstore and thought you would like it! It's about the Berlin Airlift and I thought since you ....."

Hank: interrupting me "I saw it...all about the damn Air Force. Ohh! I am in the Air Force! I dropped candy to the little German kids! Look at me! Who do you think loaded the damn planes for the Air Force? That's right- THE ARMY.  There we are working our asses off 24 on 24 off to make that airlift happen and the book is about the damn Air Force...Well Whoop-de-damn-do." 

Me: "Wow! It's sure warm out today, isn't it?" 

Hank occasionally goes shopping and brings back treasures.  On a recent trip he located this "Hunter's pack of meat" for us...
It included:

2 lbs of summer sausage
2 lbs of ring bologna
2 packages of bacon
2 lbs of braunschweiger

Do you hear your arteries hardening? 

 Came home the other day and Hank had counted all his pills and made a spreadsheet on how many he has on hand and how long they will last. 

Old IBM habits die slow....

I recently drug Hank into the current century and got him a cell phone.  I worry about him, well, falling, and not being able to get up....So I thought the cell phone would be a handy feature for him.  Just yesterday we had this conversation:

Hank:  "This phone doesn't work."

Me: "What's wrong?"

Hank: (flipping phone open)  "There is no dial tone"

Me:  "It's not like a regular phone, you won't hear a dial tone, you just dial and it will connect you."

Hank: "That's crazy."

Last night's conversation!

Hank: "What day do you do your mending?"

Me: (trying to remember what the word "mending" means) "Um, it depends."

Hank: "I have a couple of things that need mending"

Me: "I will be happy to mend anything for you!  My mending kit is right in the cabinet" (where I keep my 3x3 plastic travel sewing kit containing 4 tiny spools of thread, 5 needles, tiny scissors and plastic thimble)

Hank: "You don't have to do it now, you can wait until your mending day." 

Me:  "Oh, I don't mind, besides, I might be really busy on mending day so now is great."  ( while I envision "Mending day" as January 20th 2179" )

I love having you here at my house Dad- I hope I can take care of you like you took care of me when I was little. I hope you have fun while you are here and we don't drive you too crazy.  You are the greatest.  Thank you for making a difference, one random man at a time. 

For those of us in the sandwich generation, if you haven't seen this- click and watch this youTube... thought provoking and soooo true!!!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

OK Friends, I need to get on my soapbox.  

Please indulge me (or don't read this- ahh!! the beauty of living in America!!)  

Pastor Robert Jeffress of Dallas chose the Values Voter Summit to loudly proclaim that Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is not a Christian because he is a Mormon, and Mormonism is a cult.   First of all, to be clear,  I don't care if you vote for Mitt, Obama, or a little green man from Mars. I do take offense with my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints being called a cult.  

I know my beliefs are "out there" to some of you.  I know you don't believe what I do, and you really can't understand why I go to church for three hours every week,  donate a portion of my income, wear the clothing I wear and spend the amount of time doing church-related things that I do.  You and I may differ on what Jesus looks like, what he wants us to do, and how to do it.  Does that mean we can't get along?  Really?  I think our differences make us awesome. I think our differences make us better.

But please, can we stop with the "cult" crap? 

 There are 14 million Mormons on six continents. We spend our time helping others, mostly not of our own faith. Since my church started keeping track of charitable donations in 1985 we have donated over 1 Billion dollars.  We are often first in line after a natural disaster to offer relief.  We have a program to assist training care givers in underdeveloped countries neonatal resuscitation.  We partner with the the Red Cross and UNICEF to help stop measles, and donate 1 million dollars a year to that cause.  Since 2002 we have helped 5 million people have access to clean water in 4500 communities.  We have provided vision treatment to over 180,000 people around the globe.  We have donated over 300,000 wheelchairs in 101 countries.  This is just the big stuff.  I am not counting the hours or dollars we happily donate to help our neighbors, our friends and our communities.   Jesus said, ( yea, the same Jesus you say I don't believe in) "By their fruits ye shall know them."  Sorry, but I think we have some pretty great fruit....if I do say so myself....  

Is my church perfect?  Nope.  Full of a lot of strange people.  But it is also full of amazing, talented, kind, thoughtful followers of Christ who just want to make a difference in their community,  and live a good life.  The leaders of my church are amazing men and women donating their time and energy to make our world a better place.  I don't follow a Charles Manson that wants me to climb around the Hollywood hills and murder people.

  I am not part of a cult.  I think, I choose, and I act.  All by myself.  

I follow Jesus Christ. Even if you don't like how I do it, or think I am not "really" a Christian.  

How about we stop all this nonsense of name calling and look to find what we have in common?  How about we work together as Americans to solve the problems that our great country is facing.  How about we learn to listen to each other- we might be surprised to hear a suggestion or a thought that actually might work.  Let's make our country a wonderful place  for our kids, our grandkids and all those who follow after them.  Let's stop pointing fingers at each other like snotty nosed kids on the playground who blame each other for everything that is wrong with little thought as to how we have contributed to the problem.  Let's dig out the ancient art of compromise to look for ways to solve the really hard problems.   Let's go out there and roll up our sleeves, shut our mouths, and get to work.... because I believe we really all can make a difference.... one random woman at a time!!! 

For more info on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints- go to www.mormon.org

Here is the link to Pastor Jeffress' comments: http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2011/10/07/values_voter_summit_perry_s_anti_mormon_endorser.html

And this is a link to one of my leaders talking of Christ.... You choose! 


Saturday, October 1, 2011

It's General Conference time again!

When I was younger I looked forward to General Conference weekend because it was a weekend I did not have to go to church. 

I missed the entire point!  Now, I look forward to General Conference weekend, and look forward to the talks arriving next month in my Ensign magazine for me to read and re-read.  What is General Conference? 

 This amazing meeting draws all of my church together.  The conference is seen in over 102 countries, and translated into 92 languages from Albanian to Yapese.  My church has held these conferences every 6 months since 1830.  We hear from our leaders on all topics to help us live better lives and become better people.  We are reminded on ways to be better followers of Christ. 

So while I love not getting up on Sunday morning and putting on my pantyhose every six months- I love even more hearing great messages about my purpose here on earth.  Why families matter.  Why I need to focus on the important things in life.  Most of all, I am reminded that Jesus lives.  He is my Savior, and yours.  He loves me and knows me, and he died for me. 

And when I have spend the weekend getting my cup filled up- I am ready to try to make a difference, again, one random woman at time.