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President David O. McKay

Did any of you catch the 90 minute special about President McKay's life on the BYU channel this month?  I finally saw it yesterday and it was outstanding.  Loved it.  But then I love President McKay.  He served as President and Prophet of our church most all my growing up years from 1951 (at the age of 77) until his death in 1970. 

 On the program I got to actually see him make his famous quote, that I heard often while growing up:

"...No other success can compensate for failure in the home.  The poorest shack in which love prevails over a united family is of far greater value to God and future humanity that any other rich.  In such a home God can work miracles, and will work miracles." 

Yes, I did name my son McKay after him.  When he was 9 years old, his father and I took McKay to San Francisco to get his heart fixed.  I had made 2 trips to SF prior to his surgery date to talk to his surgeon and to MAKE SURE I could stay with McKay in his hospital recovery room.  I was assured, YES, they would arrange this and make it possible.  Accommodations are made more for parents these days, but this was 1994, and NOT separating parent and child was a fairly new concept. 

Imagine my disappointment (and anger) when we arrived the scheduled day and told, NO, I would need to sleep down the hall, but not in his room.  I was told the one extra bed in McKay's room was occupied by his heart-patient-roommate's mother.

This roommate's mother overheard me talking to the hospital staff.  She came up to me and said something like,  "I have been here for 2 months.  I can sleep down the hall tonight and you are more than welcome to have my bed so you can sleep by your son."

Of course I was not about to take this mom away from her son.  Then she said to me,  "Are you LDS?"  I asked her how she knew.  She had heard McKay's name, and she said McKay was her maiden name.  She explained that her Great Grandpa Thomas McKay was President McKay's brother.

Somehow, I feel we were suppose to meet.  We ended up both spending the night in our sons' room...she in the extra bed, and me with McKay (hope this does not embarrass McKay...after all, he was only 9.)  Somehow with all the monitor wires hooked up to McKay, I was able to find a small little spot so I could be near him. 

McKay was released the next day.  Skyler, his roommate and only 7 years old, was released 2 months later to go back to his heavenly home. 

I will never forget Skyler's mom who was so willing to help me out, a stranger,  even when her own heart was breaking.  I still look forward to her Christmas card every December, complete with family updates.

The new and improved McKay with Tyler at the Sound of Music play, a few weeks after his "surgery."
 Dec. 1994

Some mystery pictures

Trying to figure these out...

Was it just luck that while someone was taking my niece Sam's picture inside, 
her cousins outside just happened to jump their peak at the same millisecond? 
 (not sure the year...about 1996?)

 Is that Richard?  And who are those pile of children?
Not sure of the year (early 1960s) but many many moons ago.

Sept 12, 1957
My brother John on his first birthday.  
I remember this being a rather shocking picture growing up, that Mom let his hair get that long.  
Really, we would find this picture and say in horror, "Look at how long Johnny's hair is!" 
Look, he had the same massive shoulders he has now.
Notice Richard's antique trike in the background?  
The question is...this was could he have a personal name plate back then?  
It's not like there was another kid who went by that name.  

I recognize my child hood friend JoAlice Weeks on the far left, but who were all those other kids?  Don't worry, I'm sure no one knows. 
I do remember those cardboard blocks. 
btw, this was 1960.

June 1958, Roeding Park in Fresno
What was so important about what Richard had in his hand, that my dad took a pictures of it?
And why am I looking suspicious at the camera?

Jumping a few decades to 1988
Den and I were both struck by how much my niece Carly (to the left of McKay) looks like her daughter Rivy. 
(no mystery here)

Why don't they sell these baby cages any more?
I would love to find one to send up to Family Camp next month for the twins.
Sorry about the poor labeling.
I'm still learning how to use this online pen. 

Looking back

My sons' Grandpa is not feeling the best these days.  
He just had his 87th birthday and while he was able to come to California for the Open House for McKay and McKenna, he had to go back to his home in Arizona. 

A few days ago he thanked me for the picture I put on my blog of him and his 4 grandsons back in 1987.  
He loved that picture, so I went looking more for him to enjoy. 

Here is what I found so far. 

Brock and Grandpa back in April of 1979.

Christmas back in the days when we had to keep the tree inside a fence, thanks to baby Tyler.  
I think this was 1987.

I remembering catching Grandpa sleeping with baby Tyler. 
I've always loved this picture.

The day Grandpa went to school with Logan so he could read a story about his cat.

With Logan and Brock
Disneyland, I think.

Here he is video taping Brock's arrival home from his 2 year mission, in 1998.

My boys at their Dad's grave in 1998, with their grandparents.

Some more recent ones, taken about a year ago.  With his great grandchildren.

Update on Amy throwing diapers on her porch

This is what our youngest granddaughter does now every time her diaper is changed. 
If they forget and do it for her, she cries.  

Like mother like daughter. 
If you go to the link above, just scroll down to the bottom of that post.

The Help

Anyone else read this book?
I recently finished reading this book.
I purposely found myself taking my time, trying to make it last, savoring all the moments.

I loved it.  When I finished it a few nights ago, I was sad, like I was saying good bye to my new friends.

The storyline is through the eyes of black maids serving white families in Mississippi back in 1963.  My most favorite maid is named Aibileen.  I love her!  I found myself going back and re-reading her southern black dialect.  I couldn't get enough of it.  While it broke many English rules, it had a beauty all it's own.  

I was not too impressed with the white families.  Of course this is a novel and who knows how much is accurate but it was written by a white woman who was raised until she was 16 by the family's black maid. 

This book was captivating, very funny in parts, and I just loved the people.  Well most of them.  I want my friends back.  The ending left me wanting more, so I suspect a sequel is in the making.  I hope so!

Did you read this book?  What did you like about it?  

Any suggestions on what I should read next?   

PS:  Over dinner tonight with my Dad, I was mentioning how the characters in this book freely used the word 'pregnant'.  I'm not sure that was correct for the times...I was in 3rd grade in 1963 and I remember hearing 'expecting.'  I don't think people used the word 'pregnant' much.  Am I remembering wrong?    Just as we used the word 'nursing' but not 'breastfeeding' back in the 1960s.  

My Dad brought up this random fact, "The Moon is Blue" was the first movie ever to use the word 'pregnant' in it.  I googled and found it was made in 1953. Apparently it was quite the controversy. How did my Dad know this?? 

A fabulous summer idea for young Moms!

I love this theme idea I found on my friend Natalie's blog today.  
She learned it at a Relief Society meeting recently.

The speaker's main idea is to have themes for each day of the week. 
Natalie said it went something like this: 

Monday: Work Day. Chores, things you'd do on Sat, Teach kids to clean. Then have 
chips at the end and thank them for "chipping in and helping you get things in order."
Tuesday: Water Day. Explore a different pool in the area each week or have water games at home.
Wednesday: Movie Day. Watch old movies. Teach kid's to appreciate musicals. Spread out blankets and have fun vegging. Pop popcorn.
Thursday: Park Day. Explore different parks each week. Invite other kids to go with as long as you can still spend quality time with your own.
Friday: Science Day. Explore museums, plan science experiments. Plant something and track progress.
Saturday: Family Fun Day. Do things as whole family. Chores are out of the way on Monday so you can play. Hike, go to zoo, spend time with dad. 

I wish I had thought of this when my sons were growing up. 
This would help to organize a summer, and give everyone activities to look forward to.   
Otherwise, the days quickly pass and summer is over!

Summer of 1987
My sons with their grandparents!

Our morning at Kaiser

The best solution for me when I am worried about something, 
is to bring distraction along.  
So she arrived the night before. 

After her book, she decided her tummy hurt and she needed to fall asleep on the couch.

The next morning she didn't even remember Grandpa Dennis carrying her back to bed.

While waiting for Grandpa Dennis to get admitted, 
Elora announced that she was SO HUNGRY 
and could not wait any longer for breakfast. 

Elora explained while eating,  
"The reason I was so hungry is because once when we were at Sam's Club,
I had to wait til 2:53 to eat lunch.  
So now that I know what hunger is, I get more hungry....
When you hear me complaining, I'm not ever kidding." 

Glad she cleared that up for me.
After she ate nearly ALL of this food,  she said,  "That was the best breakfast I have had in years!"
So does that put her back to about age 4?  

So with all the new energy....

Our girl needed to run some laps! 

Worked out great because as you can see there was not a soul in the cafeteria patio, but us.
And the weather was PERFECT. And GORGEOUS.

Well, until she slipped and fell a few times. 

Then we went looking through the hospital for a band aid. 

While asking the pharmacy for one, Elora pointed out the 2 women with head coverings. 
She got real close and whispered in my ear,  
"See those women?  
They are widows who don't have husbands.  
They wear scarves on their heads to attract men."  

This project brought me back about 50 years when I use to make these with my Grandma.

Elora became a little impatient with the loom, and would rather write about it instead. 
 The call finally came in.  Dennis was fine, and ready to go home!
So Elora led the way.
Her sense of direction is better than mine.

"Remember Grandma Honey, we're suppose to pick him up 
at the circular driveway by the flagpole." 

"I can see Grandpa Dennis!  Get ready for him to be grouchy!"
(he wasn't....I had told her earlier that sometimes people are grouchy in hospitals.)

"Grandma Honey, Do you think we could sell these hotpads someday outside a grocery store?"

All is well with Grandpa Dennis.  No worries. 

Going back 54 years

 I solved a mystery in my life yesterday. 
 3209 E. Hammond in Fresno
This looks like just an older house, right? 
We only lived here a short time in my childhood.  
Just 1 1/2 years from 1954-1956.  
I was 2 years old when we left so I don't remember this place at all.  
(btw, this picture was taken yesterday)

So why did my Mom talk about it so often?  

Yesterday I found out.

Here is the driveway of this same house in 1954, 
the year I was born.
My Dad this past week ran into Carline Bock who use to live right across from us there.  
So he suggested I go visit her. 
More on that in a sec.

Back in 1956, I'm standing on our front lawn.
I know, my pathetic hair cut, but my Mom must have liked it.

And this is the house Carlene Bock lived it looks today. 

Again, here's the one we lived in, as it is today, showing more of the neighborhood.

Of course after all these years, this neighborhood is not the best.  
Yet, look at this house (below) just a few houses down from the one we use to live in. 
It looks totally different than all the others on the block!

Right on the corner, not even 1/2 block away, is this lovely store.

And right across the street from that is Angels Hair Salon.  
Can you imagine the view looking through the bars on the windows??

And this use to be Safeway.

1955 was definitely a kinder, gentler time, as my Mom use to say. 
My Dad with Richard and me. (before our 6 other siblings were born)

Yesterday Den and I went to visit my long ago neighbor, Carline Bock.  
She now lives with a caretaker in North Fresno.  
We got to spend over an hour with her looking over old pictures and sharing memories.  
HER memories I should say, since I was just a baby.  

Mom talked often about our home on Hammond.  

I found out why when I turned over the first picture on this post.  
Look what she had written on the back, 56 years ago:

There it is.  The very last line,  "Missionaries found us here."

They knocked at our door that hot July day in 1955, and changed our lives forever.  
Not only our lives, but the lives of all my parents' children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. 
And for generations to come.

Now I get it. 

No wonder now, our short stay at 3209 E. Hammond, meant so much to my Mom.

A side note:  Yesterday as soon as Den and I walked in and saw Carline Bock, we knew she looked SO familiar.  Den soon remembered that Carline went to the Alzheimer's support group with us about 6 years ago. We were going for my Mom and Carline was going for her husband.  A few weeks after the group was over we saw Carline again at Carrows and went up to talk to her.  I remember saying to Dennis at the time that I wished I could think of a way to keep in touch with Carline and be friends with her because I said "there is just something about her that I like."  We had no idea at the time that she had been my neighbor back in the 1950s, and a good friend of my Mom's! 

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