Thursday, October 30, 2008

Memories ...

I was just reading over some of my older posts. There are so many things missing from my childhood. I haven’t been very good at keeping a consistent journal, so there are many gaps!

Here are a few entries for sparking:

- Young Women’s Summer Camp, June 1989. It the summer just after Mom passed away, we were camped just outside Waterton National Park, about 20 minutes away from Cardston. We hiked up the mountain. It was so beautiful up there, looking over the landscape of the Rocky Mountains. What I remember most was finding out I was afraid of heights and looking over the edge of the trail we were descending back down. It was a cliff face, straight and straight down with a path of about 6-7 feet wide. I was so sacred; I literally shook from head to toe, through and through. My emotions were not easily controllable, Mom had just died 2 months previously, and I froze and cried hysterically. The group stayed and said a prayer that I would be able to move and GET OFF that mountain. I remember feeling a calm come over me and opening my eyes and knowing I could move. I started to walk, slowly, and I went down the hill. There was the most amazing stream and little waterfall cascading over the rocks. It was so beautiful, like a little reward for believing. That picture is so clear in my mind as I remember this. GOD is so wonderful!

- Especially For Youth, Calgary July 1989 – Kristen Sorenson was our Leader and theme that year was “Forever My Friend”. Kenneth Cope spoke at our Testimony meeting and I still have the tape of that talk, it on the tape Mom left for me. I don’t remember tons of it. I remember being in the elevator with one of the counselors, he told us to jump while the elevator was moving and it gives you quite the jolt when it actually stops. I also remember talking to Kristen Sorenson, our floor leader, about Mom and everything that went along with that. The troubles I was having with Dad and not being able to understand my feelings of relief when Mom finally passed. I struggled with the relief feeling for many years. I missed her so much but I was so happy she wasn’t suffering anymore and that she was finally in Heaven and free. I remember Kristen making me feel alright for those feelings. I came away from EFY knowing I was going to be OK.

- Pioneer Trek, in the wilds between Cardston and Magrath, August 1987. Trek was HARD!!! Here is how Trek works -- over a Friday morning through a Monday afternoon – you dress up as pioneers in long dresses with aprons and bonnets, sturdy shoes, no make-up, no deodorant, you can’t bring anything that smells to keep the animals/bears away. You get ONE ‘bath’ – you wash your hair with Sunlight in the cold river water.

** On the first day, you are divided into families of a Ma and Pa and several children, we had 10 kids. Then, you travel until you get to your base camp, about 5miles, pushing a ‘Handcart’ in the Wilderness, which your family has just built. Now, a Handcart is a cart which consists of a four walled box on two spindled wheels with a cart wide 'handle' for pulling, it holds ALL of your family’s belongings. We were allowed to bring sleeping blankets (not a bag and no pillow), a Sunday Dressing outfit with shoes, a brush, tooth brush (without paste), Meal utensils, water canteen, scriptures, journal and pen, feminine products if needed, (heaven help you!), a roll of T.P., a camera and great attitude! On the first night, we slept under the stars at around midnight in the forest, wherever you could find a smooth spot to lay your very tired self down after downing some beef broth soup!

** When we woke up with the Sun on Saturday morning around 6:00am, we promptly discovered we had been sleeping on tree branches and very near cow pies. At this point we really couldn’t have cared any less; we still weren’t at our base camp! So we get up and have a measly breakfast and get back on Trek! The second day was harder, we were tired and sore and hungry. About half way through the morning, it started raining, Bless God for giving us a True experience! Then the worst happened, one by one the guys were picked off the handcart to symbolize them going off to war. This was aptly called “The Women’s Pull”, only the girls were allowed to push the carts, no matter how tired we were or strong we weren’t. This, of course, brought everyone to tears. And then there was the hill, a very steep hill, which the ‘women’ had to get the full Handcart up! This was the hardest thing I had ever done in my 14 years of life. It had just rained so the dirt was now clay mud, very thick and slippery, we were already dirty but now we were caked in muck! We pushed and yelled and cried and Thanked God when we made it to the top. He blessed us with a sunlit view of the mountains, including a rainbow. I think I finally understood a bit of what the pioneers went through, I knew I really didn’t know because they traveled from Missouri to Utah through snow and rain storms, they lost loved ones to sickness and mobs. I had a greater love for their sacrifice! Even now as I write this, my eyes are tearing, remembering. We finally made it to base camp around 11:00 am and set up camp, had lunch, played some games, washed our hair in the river, caught and killed a turkey for Sunday dinner, had supper and went to bed tired as logs!

** Sunday morning was awesome, we prepared the Turkey dinner, then we got ready in our Sunday dress and went to sacrament meeting in the afternoon, where we sang hymns and had an object lesson about being lost spiritually. In the lesson, all the kids were blind-folded and told to find their families. It was pretty awesome and then we were allowed to go off and find a quiet place to think, read, journal, anything centered on pondering. I remember Dad was there, but in another family, as a priesthood holder. He came and found me and we talked for a little while. I don’t remember about what though. After a few hours, our Ma’s and Pa’s came round to find us and bring us back for a testimony meeting. It was the most spiritual meeting I had been to in my 14 years and I cried the Whole time! After, we went back to our family camps and had dinner together and went to sleep.

** On Monday, the last day, we were allowed a little leisure time, I remember going back to my quiet place and journaling more. I have no idea where that journal is. Dad came to find again and said it was time to go and I didn’t want to leave this and go home, but I eventually did. When I got home, I remember sitting to the kitchen counter at our farm house and telling Mom all about it. Wow, that memory is so clear - I can see her face right Now! ♥ and I’m tearing again!

That needs to be it for now or I'm going to be crying at work!


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