Saturday, March 1, 2008

I'm still flying from Wednesday's practice.

Good thing, too, cuz I had to skip Thursday's lesson to attend a RS meeting at the Stake level, and my lip is still swollen and sore, although not as bad as it was that first Sheep Dog Trials ('06) when I played for 3 days straight with a poor grip on the blowpipe.

Small Son has been tootling his PC after lights-out, which is bad for sleep but good for practice.

At the Stake RS meeting Thursday, when I introduced myself, one of the Stake Presidency asked, "Are you the one whose daughter is . . . um . . . . brilliant?" I admitted I was, thinking in my head how Daughter #1 would chuckle when I told her. Then they all joined together to tell me about a letter Daughter #1 E wrote to a soldier in Iraq to accompany some fleece blankets and pj's we were making to send to injured US soldiers so they didn't have to deal with those rather revealing hospital gowns, or the army-issue wool blankets. They were all tearing up in the telling. I got them to send me a copy. It is brilliant. Well. Here's some stationery if ever I saw some.

"We must have fifty sewing machines going in this building. We'd have more but we ran out of power strips. We have everyone, from four-year-olds to great-grandmothers, sewing and cutting and pinning and tying and ironing and writing.
"It's a silvery-gray day here in Salt Lake City, Utah. It's the first rain we've seen since fall. There's silver light coming in through the clouded-glass windows and pale gold light coming from the florescent light fixtures in the ceiling of the gym. The sewing machines are whirring in fits and starts, making the thread spools rattle on their spindles. And everywhere there's a murmur of women's voices. They're talking about their jobs, their kids, the seams they're sewing, this funny thing that happened one time, this delicious jam that so-and-so made from her cousin-in-law's peach trees. It's a little cold in this big room; we're all still in long-sleeved sweaters, knowing that winter isn't quite over yet. It's five minutes to two.
"So why am I telling you all this? It's partly because I want to fix the image in my memory, to refer back to if ever I need to smile. It's partly because someone put a piece of paper in front of me, and the only thing I know how to do with a piece of paper is to cover it in description, however pointless. But it's partly because I wish you were here, whoever you are and wherever you come from. You could pull up a chair, and watch the little kids run screaming by, and have a slice of that pineapple-coconut bread with so-and-so's raspberry jam. (Delicious) You're a long way away from Salt Lake City on a rainy Saturday afternoon, and I wish you didn't have to be. You probably wish it too. But here's a little piece of us, along with our thoughts and our love, though these things are feeble thanks for all you've done and suffered. So be warm, be safe, and come home soon to the people who love you. Which now includes all of us.
God bless and keep you.
Rose Park North Stake
and Rose E. Hadden
23rd February 2008, 2:00 p.m.
Salt Lake City, UT"

It has been a joy and an honor to be her mum. Stay tuned for bragging about Daughters 2 and 3, and Small Son in later entries.

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