Little purple pansies, touched with yellow gold,
Growing in one corner of the garden old
We are very tiny but must try, try, try
Just one spot to gladden, you and I.

In whatever corner we may chance to grow,
Whether cold or warm the wind may ever blow,
Dark the day or sunny, we must try, try, try
Just one spot to gladden, you and I.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Garden Hose!

Today is a great day to remember Grandpa- the other half of Grandma. Today he would be 83 years old. Happy Birthday! I love the story about Grandma introducing Grandpa to her grandfather. She introduced him as Gordon Cowles. Her grandfather, pretending to be harder of hearing than he actually was, responded, "What, Garden Hose?" Probably a very appropriate name for Grandpa!

Grandpa always wanted to help Grandma relax more, sit back and enjoy life. Grandma likes to keep busy, serve others, and do new and interesting things, all which helps Grandma enjoy life! I can remember him singing with his deep bass voice around the house while Grandma was rushing around trying to get ready for this or that. It did not relax Grandma! But what a kind attempt.

A couple of Sundays ago, we were looking at pictures Andrea scanned of our family when we were kids and we were reminded of his camelia corsages he made for us to wear to church on Sundays. Some were pretty huge! And the netting was so itchy. But we knew they were made with love to help us enjoy the beauty of nature and his hand as the gardener. I hope Grandpa is sprucing up some spot in heaven with some beautiful plants and flowers, singing in a deep bass, "Oh What a Beautiful Morning," as he works! Happy Birthday, Grandpa!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wanna Play a Game?

I have fond memories of spending time up at Grandma's house as a kid. We would often find ourselves playing a game. We played games from Othello to Boggle to "Mormon Bridge". Grandma used to point out that she was a Game Grandma, not a boring cookies and milk grandma. (That doesn't mean we never had yummy desserts. It just means that Grandma would rather spend her time playing a game with us than messing around in the kitchen.)

Now I play games whenever I get a chance. Often Jack and I will play a round of Yahtzee as a reward for getting a certain amount of studying done. : )

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tell Me Another Story

This afternoon Mother was reminded of when she was a child sitting after dinner in the breakfast nook with Elizabeth Ann and GA (her brother and sister) asking their mother to tell stories about when she was a girl. They loved hearing the stories and sometimes her mother would say, "Oh, you've heard that one," but they would ask for her to tell it again! Mother said, "She didn't tell all the stories about her childhood!" I guess she was saving those other stories for their aunts and uncles to tell them during their summer visits to Logan!

Do we have a picture of that breakfast nook on Selby? I loved eating off of Grandma's red patterned dishes in that little room with all the windows overlooking the backyard. And I loved opening the old door in the kitchen that used to be the icebox! I always tried to picture mother growing up in that house.

Mother said that after her father left, she was always hoping for dessert after dinner. But desserts were expensive and not had very often after that. She never even thought about calories then! (and still doesn't need to!)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Grandma never gets mad, except when...

Since I did not live close to Grandma growing up I never had the opportunity to see her mad or upset with me, until...

It was the summer I was 11 and came to spend a month with Grandma and Grandpa in California. I had just finished my breakfast and Grandma was on the phone, no doubt planning or confirming something great for me to do that day. At the back door by the kitchen there was the cutest little cat, not much older than a kitten, just mewing and mewing.

So I went the cupboard and got a bowl and poured some milk in it and set it outside for the cat.


Lol...true to the patience and grace that embodies Grandma she did not yell or scream but it was very clear that was not appropriate behavior. Many good memories from that summer that I will never forget - also the lesson of how to be gracefully angry. Thanks Grandma!

Monday, March 2, 2009

In Whose Service Are We?

Several years ago, Grandma offered to bring dinner into a family in our ward whose mother was sick. She drove to the house and knocked on the door holding her box lid full of hot dinner items. A family member she didn't recognize, opened the door and invited her in. She was directed to the kitchen and she set down the box. As she started to tell them about the dinner, she was startled to see that she didn't know this family! She excused herself, taking dinner with her and saying that she was sorry, she had the wrong house! How disappointed the "wrong" family must have been to have missed out on a home cooked, home delivered, free meal!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Grandma always tells great stories about when she was a child, in college, a newly wed... and so on. She always says "If I've already told you this story, just stop me," and I always respond that even if I’ve head it before, I want to hear it again. There are always parts of the story that I have forgotten no matter how many times I’ve heard it.

I interviewed Grandma for my history class last year about growing up during the Great Depression and about life during the World War. She told me so many great stories that there is no way that I can remember them all.

I walked by the class Grandma was teaching today at church, and I said that she loves being with those little kids, and I can’t remember which sister said it (I think it was Sister Keller), but she said that the kids all love being with Grandma. We continued talking about it and I realized that is one great thing I have from my grandma; we both love being with little kids, and the little kids love being with us.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

An Afternoon Nap

After dinner together with Mother last Saturday night, we sat around the table telling stories. Mother shared several and we all had a good laugh. Later that night, Jocelyn suggested we start collecting "Grandma" stories and start a blog for all to enjoy. Great idea and so here is one for me to start with.

Last month, Grandma stretched out for an afternoon nap. When she woke up it was dark outside. Grandma doesn't sleep very well at nights and often will wake up in the wee hours and get to work. It still wasn't light out yet (generally it isn't at 5 during the winter) so she didn't go out to work in the yard. She dressed in her workout clothes and rode her stationary bike. She showered, did her hair, and practiced the piano (or maybe the organ). She sat down to her breakfast when the phone rang. She was surprised to get such an early call from Eileen. But she had a good chat with her telling Eileen about all things she had done yesterday, on Friday. Eileen listened for awhile and then explained to Grandma that it was STILL Friday! Not 5 AM Saturday but 5PM Friday! Grandma got a good laugh out of that but it still took awhile to convince her brain that it was evening and not early morning! Haven't we all felt discombobulated after a long afternoon nap? Now if I didn't tell this story right, I hope Grandma will add to it!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Jocelyn the elder

My parents chose to honor my grandmother when they named me after her. Perhaps they hoped that I would grow to emulate her strength and persistence.

As a teenager I thought it was great to distinguish between the two of us as Alma and his father did in the Book of Mormon with the subtitle: younger and elder. I signed my correspondences as Jocelyn the younger and addressed my grandma as Jocelyn the elder.

At that time, I thought the parallel between the prophets of old and my relationship with my grandmother was only in the difference in age and the similarity in names. Little did I know that how much my life would parallel Alma the younger's journey while my grandmother would remain as an anchor like Alma the elder.

I left the faith of my mothers and went about with my own version of the son's of Mosiah. I know that Jocelyn the elder cried on her knees, much like Alma the elder did, for her granddaughter to have a change of heart and return to the fold.

I'm grateful that her prayers were answered. While an angel of the Lord didn't appear to me, I had my own Alma the younger experience as
"I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my" grandmother teach unto the children "concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.

Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.

And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.

And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!"
(Alma 36:17-20).
I'm grateful for the faithfulness of my elder, who as Alma the elder, taught her children in righteousness and labored in prayer for their sake. I'm grateful for her example that will stay with me all the days of my life.

This blog is dedicated to telling and sharing her stories of laughter and love. It isn't a family dinner without Grandma starting a story by saying, "That reminds me..."