Sunday, March 21, 2010

Going Political

One of the interesting parts of retiring, especially retiring at 50, is that you really have to think of another half of a life of things to do with yourself. Also knowing that you are on the short end of life, you try to think of things that have meaning, importance, durability, significance to others, and on and on. I had some ideas of what that might be before I retired. I knew that I wanted my tasks on this side of retirement to involved more creativity. I also knew that I wanted to be my own boss. I also wanted to make contributions to the things that matter most to me. I do believe that I am an educator at heart and my mission is education. Even with the Boulder Heritage Foundation and the Festival, I want to learn more and I want others to learn as well. That's why I'm in charge of the educational components of the festival and have added birding and creative writing as additional projects. But I also believe in the importance of public education. All children must have the opportunity for a free, relevant, rigorous education. It is the most important thing that we should spend our tax dollars on. So one other goal in retirement was to find ways to be involved in strengthening public education. I was always interested in the Garfield educational system and conducted inservices in Garfield County every chance I got. Well I'm taking my next step as a resident and have recently filed to run for school board for Garfield County School District. The area this position serves is Boulder, Antimony, Ticaboo, and Hatch, an interesting collection of the smallest of the small. Garfield Co. has struggled recently with some major financial problems and lawsuits. I hope these issues will not get in the way of providing the best possible education for these students. I look forward to this run and getting the chance to hear from parents, students, teachers, and other residents in this area. It will be interesting since I think the last family member that ventured to the political was Aunt Nethella and she served in a democratically dominated house right here in the State of Utah. So it's been a while. But venturing to this new arena should definitely shape my retirement and the goals I have for this new place in the second half of my life.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Girl Friends

Had a wonderful evening Saturday night at Dianne's house where she taught us about making sauces and gave us the opportunity to eat all of the amazing food she was instructing. It was an evening of girlfriends. I am feeling very lucky to be included in a group of amazing girlfriends so soon after moving here. They truly are incredible women. Another added advantage was getting to take my daughter with me as well (Steve may not have seen it as such an advantage since Taylee cried most of the time she was gone). It was great to let her see how important girlfriends can be and also the interesting and creative ways in which you can gather. She left talking about how she should do this - invite her friends over and do something as unusual as cooking great food together and serving it beautifully. I hope it will inspire her connections with other women as much as it has inspired me. When you go to this much trouble in the connecting, it is such a valuing of those friends in your life and a message about how special they are to you. I was also inspired to be more adventurous and bold in the kitchen. I have always felt like a terrible cook but I now have the recipe for Orange Beurre Blanc Sauce. This evening could change my perception of my own adequacy in the kitchen and therefore change my life in small kitchen kind of ways. I'm getting my shopping list together so I can have all necessary ingredients to make Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Balsamic Syrup. I may even venture to Hollandaise Sauce so I will be ready when those asparagus heads start peeking out of the grass along the creek. (I have plenty of time to practice since there is about two feet of snow down there now.) Once again thanks to Dianne for allowing me to be a part of creative and delicious cooking, beautiful table settings and stemware, and most of all interesting and intelligent women of Boulder.

Friday, March 5, 2010

History Keepers

Why is it that some of us are so fascinated with the past and not just our own past but with the stories and the events of dead great grandmothers and their grandfathers. Women and men that we have never known. Yet we search those black and white photos looking for eyes that resemble our own or the lips of our children. We tell their stories over and over as if we were there or maybe we believe there is a secret message that if we listen closely and often to the story, we will know the answer. What is so interesting about looking through genealogy pages to see how families grew and connected? Like the most amazing jigsaw puzzle we have ever worked.

I am the keeper of the history of my family. A family that includes little diversity with most all family members being brought to Mormonism from Wales, Scotland, or New York. Coming to this new church early as a grandfather Hyrum supporting brother Joseph in this quest or other grandfathers and grandmothers called to travel with Joseph to each new place that would be called Zion for a time. Faith never waivering with moves further and further west until Shadrach helped deliver Brigham and the first group of settlers to Utah. Creating a lineage from Shadrach to Lorenzo to Napoleon to Bert to Otto to Vernon to me, seven generations in this place. Consumed with the stories of Lorenzo's drowning or Napoleon's shooting match.

Now I seek understanding of two friends coming from Millard County to run cows in Boulder. John Black and John King bringing cows here, first someone elses and then their own. Clearing the land of sagebrush, pinon, and juniper to make green fields in the center of a sandstone circle of cliffs. How one man's granddaughter and the other man's grandson found each other for just a moment to make me, the history keeper. The one who will spend retirement looking back and celebrating this incredible history through the Boulder Heritage Foundation. Legitimizing the role of the history keeper. Giving more and more ways to explore and share the past. There must be some reason for it all.