Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My All Time Favorite Grandma Story's Story!

I have never been able to save the best for last. So here we go, my all time favorite Grandma Story's Story! I remember Grandma telling me this story as a little girl. I heard it so often, I could see it in my head. I loved her spunk and determination. My dream is to one day make a children's book out of this story, illustrated and all. Grandma's dream was to be a published writer and I want to fulfill it for her. But until then, I just have to share it!

A HIT PARADE by Leah Story

When I was a little past three years old, I was sitting at our big old oil-cloth covered kitchen table eating a bowl of Germade cereal. My father came in from out-doors and began talking to my mother. "Old Whitey has eight new little pigs, all white ones but one. He is rust colored, and Old Whitey won't let him nurse." Mother spoke in a troubled tone of voice, "Oh, dear, the poor little thing. We must feed him with a bottle." Father sighed and told mother, "I've tried that, but that stubborn little rascal won't drink a drop from the bottle." Mother got tears in her eyes and said, "O dear, then he will die, won't he?" "I'm afraid so," Father said as he sat down at the table to eat his breakfast of ham and eggs. I looked at my bowl of Germade and quietly picked it up and went out-side to where Father had the little pig resting in a box lined with a piece of old blanket. I looked down at the tiny rust colored pig. Then I set my bowl of cereal down on the ground and went over to the nearby cotton-wood tree. I broke off a small branch, and pulled all the leaves off of it and went back to the box. I picked up Little Pig and stood him on his feet in front of my bowl of cereal. I let him smell the cereal, and then I pushed his nose down into it for a second, but Little Pig wouldn't eat any of the cereal. "Little Pig, you gotta' eat!" I told him, and picked up my willow. I pushed his nose into the cereal again, but still Little Pig wouldn't eat. I whacked him across the nose and said more firmly "Eat!" I pushed his nose into the cereal and held it there. Well, believe it or not, that little pig decided he better mind me, and so he ate some of the cereal from my bowl. Father and Mother stood near by, trying not to interfere, but they couldn't help laughing. Little Pig became my constant companion, following me everywhere except into the house. Mother would not allow a pig, not even Little Pig in the house. 

After such miraculous results with my first willow experience, it is not surprising that I took a willow with me almost everywhere I went. So when I was given the chore of taking the cows to and from the pasture I always had a willow in my hand. The time I turned sixteen, I had been very ill with phenomena and had been cooped up in the house for several weeks, and at last was allowed to take on my chore of taking the cows to the pasture. It seemed so good to be out in Nature's beautiful living room. I opened the big pole gate for the cows to walk through on their way to the pasture. While I waited, I stood behind the gate to our neighbor's alfalfa field, which had a barbed wire fence all around it. I was looking at the picture the mountains some distance away made, when all of a sudden I felt myself and the gate being pushed against the barb-wire fence. I quickly looked to see what was happening, and there, was a bull with sharp long horns pushing against the gate, his horns bruising and pinching my legs. I looked angrily at him and said, "You stop that!" and hit him a whack across the nose. Well, that bull let out a screeching bellow and ran up the hill as fast as he could go! Father was running towards me with an axe in his hand. When he looked at the bull running up the hill, he laughed and laughed, and said, "Girl, what you do with a willow, no one would believe!" 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Tribute to Mom by Don Thorpe

Mom always believed in the good in people; and never gave up on them; even a rebellious son, who finally went on mission at 25 years old. One of her neighbors said they used to talk over the fence and Mom told him lots of stories, but she never told him anything bad about people. When others gossiped about someone and Mom came into the room, they'd say, don't say anything bad about anybody because Leah will say something nice. Stephen Spielberg said in the movie, Always, “The only thing you regret when you die is the love you didn't give” -- Truly, Mom has no regrets, because she loved everyone.

Mom was close to the spirit, and she would always ask us to pray over her home before we went anywhere. I took Catherine (my wife to be) to meet my mother on our second date. Catherine walked into the room to meet Mom, and heard a voice in her mind tell her, "she will be your mother-in-law."  Catherine didn’t know what to think of that and was quite for rest of the visit. She didn’t tell me about it until after we were married.

Like Oscar Wilde's Canterville Ghost, Mom has helped us to see what life and death is, and that love is stronger than both. Just before I took her to the hospital, Mom told me she didn't want to die, and I told her she would be around for a long time. But that wasn’t to be. Just before Mom died she looked at me and asked with her eyes, why is this happening?  I felt guilty for taking her there and signing the permission papers for her operation. And at the Viewing after everyone else had gone, I told her I was sorry. Then I felt her positive warm presence, and I said, see you tomorrow, Mom -- and I felt her answer, see you tomorrow, son; in the Celestial Kingdom.

Letter from Grandma

I truly believe that death cannot separate us from those we love. I'll be honest, I had a hard week and was feeling pretty low, when I came across a birthday card from my Grandma Story, twenty nine years ago. I hope you don't mind me sharing.

Dear sweet Mary
My best wishes and my prayers for your happiness today and always...
Try to learn something good from everything that happens to you, even the bad or sad things. This is very hard to do, but you can do it if you try and remember to ask Heavenly Father to help and guide you. May you live after the manner of happiness so that the beautiful potential in you may come out and bless you and everyone your life touches.
Love always, Grandma Story

Growing up, whenever I felt down, I'd find myself calling my Grandma. I rarely told her how I felt, but she always cheered me up. She had a way of making you feel loved and that no matter what, things would work out. I knew after talking to her that I'd find my way out of whatever dark tunnel I found myself in. So today, I was missing my Grandma, wanting to call her up and have one of our talks, when I found this old birthday card. Thank you Grandma, you knew just what to say. I love you!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

HOW BIG by Leah R Story

"Mama, is it my turn to go to Grandma's?"
"We'll see, Shane, we'll have to call Grandma to find out if she can have you this week-end."
Shane ran to get his little suitcase, "What shall I take?" Mama laughed, "wait until I call Grandma before you pack your suitcase."
Grandma was glad to have her grandson for a visit, so Shane hurried to pack his suitcase. He called to his mother, "What shall I take?"
"Well, let me see, you better take your nice shirt and pants, your pajamas, an extra pair of socks and underwear. Maybe you better take an extra pair of jeans, too."
After Shane packed his suitcase, Mother checked it to make sure he had everything. Father came in just then, and said, "I think I'll fix the fence at Grandma's today. Will it be all right if I stay at Grandma's, too, for a while this morning, Shane?"
"Oh sure, Daddy, you're lots of fun, too."
Daddy laughed, then added, "When you get ready we'll go." Shane picked up his suitcase. "I'm ready now!" Daddy got in the car and they waved goodbye to Mama, who had come to the door to see them off. "Remember to help Grandma and do what she tells you, won't you Shane?" Mama called as they started to leave."
"I will, " Shane shouted as the car started moving.
After they got to Grandma's, Daddy and Grandma were so busy fixing the fence that they didn't pay much attention to Shane. He noticed how pleased Grnadma was to have Daddy helping her. He wondered how he could help. too, and make her happy like that. Then Shane had an idea. Grandma's front lawn was getting pretty long. It was longer than anyone else's in the whole block. "Grandma, could I mow your front lawn?" Grandma and Daddy looked at Shane. Daddy said, "You have never cut a lawn before. I'm afraid you're not big enough." Shane burst out, "But I am big. He ran over to the pickle barrell standing by the back door. I'm almost as big as this old barrell, aren't I, Grandma?"
Daddy said, "Why don't you pull the weeds and the dandelions in the front lawn?"
"If I pull the weeds, then can I cut the lawn? Please Daddy... let me try."
Grandma turned to Daddy, "Why don't you let him try?"
"Okay." Daddy decided. Shane ran over to the old pickle barrell and let out an Indian war yell. Daddy and Grandma laughed, then Grandma went to get her old-fashioned lawn mower that had to be pushed by hand. Grandma showed Shane how to push the mower up one path and down the next, so there wouldn't be any scraggly spots. "Shane, you can stop whenever you get tired. If you get too tired, you can finish mowing tomorrow."
Shane started out with great enthusiam. Daddy chuckled, "That won't last long."
Once again Daddy and Grandma got so busy fixing the fence that they forgot all about Shane, until he came up to them and announced. "I'm all done, Grandma. Do you want me to mow the back lawn?" Daddy and Grandma looked at each other. Grandma said, well, my goodness, you haven't finished already have you. Let's just see if you got all the scraggly edges." They all walked around the front lawn. There weren't any scraggly edges! Grandma was surprised. "The neighbor boy I have do the lawns sometimes, doesn't do any better, and he's lots older than Shane, " she told Daddy.
Shane and Grandma were looking at Daddy. Daddy was looking very thoughtful.
Shane exclaimed, "See, Daddy, I am big, aren't I?"
Daddy smiled as he patted Shane on the head, "yes, you are big... you're bigger than I thought you were." As Shane walked away, he felt sure he was bigger than Grandma's pickle barrell.

(There was a handwritten note on the bottom of the page. This story that Grandma wrote was "sold to the Friends' magazine the same day Scott Anderson was born.")

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Don Meets Leah by Leah R. Story

A farmer by the name of Oren Puffer lived on a ranch at a little place called North Creek. North creek was about ten miles from a little town called Beaver, in southern Utah. He was married to a lady named Eliza Ellen, but no one called her that. Everyone called her Nell.

They had six living children. Their first child, Carl, only lived about three months. Their two oldest ones, both girls, then they had another boy. The girls names were Stella and Rose. The boy they named Oren Teasdale, but everyone called him Ornie or Oren T.

The next child was a girl that they named Jeannette, but called Jenny. Then they had another girl, the first blue-eyed child in the family. Her name was Hazel. She had golden curls and everyone adored her, but when she was three years old, she got sick and went to live with her Heavenly Father and her brother Carl.

But before she left them, another baby boy was born. They named him Frederick Joseph, but they called him Ted or Teddy. About three years later another boy was born, they named him Donald, but they called him Don or Donny.

When Don was about three years old, Stella got married. When he was about four years old Rose (his favorite playmate) got married. Then when he was six years old he went to the little yellow school house and started in the first grade. He liked school and learned to read and write and to do arithmatic very quickly.

When Don was seven years old his sister Jenny went over through the Crosby field to get him to come see his new baby sister, born February 17, 1914.

Jenny told him that she had big blue eyes and was a doll! Well Don was anxious to see her, so he ran ahead of his sister. He clutched his school reader under his arm and ran so fast his coat tail floated straight out behind him.

He ran into the house where Mama was and climbed up on the bed to get a good look at his new baby sister. He was so excited! He teeterted up and down and said, "Shall I jump on her?" Mama was a very understanding mother so she knew he didn't really intend to jump on her, but was just all so excited. So she said to him, "Why don't you go sit in Mama's rocking chair, so Rose can put her in your lap and you can rock and love her.

Well that is just what Don did, and he loved her ever after!

Just the beginning...

I have been wanting to put together a blog in honor of Grandma Story for a long time. A place where we can share memories of her and publish her stories and poems. A place where we can come together more as a family, which I think would make her very happy. Please pass this blog along to fellow family members, since I only have a few emails.

I'll begin with just a simple memory and then I hope you will all pitch in and share yours. I remember very vividly our walks. It didn't matter how old I was, Grandma would still introduce me to Mr. Spruce and Mr. Quaky (she'd reach out and grab a branch for me to shake) and she'd point out all of the other beautiful flowers and plants along the way.  She knew every tree, every flower by name and noticed every subtle change. She heard and recognized every song bird along the way, stopping to listen to each song. She saw beauty in everything, even the dandilions in her yard,  she didn't have the heart to mow down because "they are just too pretty". She saw beauty and goodness in everyone.  She had some neighbors that were rough around the edges, yet she knew them all by name, knew their stories and loved them all. And seeing her, their harsh exteriors would melt away, they knew she loved them, despite of their struggles and weaknesses. I know that she wasn't always this way, but the storms of her life brought her closer to her Savior and she became more and more like Him in her later years. 

Being a busy mom of 4, I draw on this example. It is so easy to be distracted, disconnected and ungrateful. I have to conciously choose to take walks, to notice, truly notice God's many beautiful creations. To get to know and love all my neighbors and recognize the subtle changes in their lives so that I can be there to listen, to help. To see the beauty around me even though I may be surrounded with the opposite. Grandma didn't live in a beautiful house, or in a very pretty neighborhood. Infact, she lived on the west side in a run down neighborhood. None of the yards were really landscaped, her own backyard was honestly more than a bit shabby. But that is not what I saw when I went on these walks with my Grandma, I saw her little world through her eyes which made everything beautiful.