From my mother’s journal….for anyone interested. Any of you who are in this remember it?
Jan 2 1981-
Left Blaine- returned to Lillian’s- Gary Linda and girls came back. Everyone went to see floats on Jan 2md except Lillian kept the babies and Daryl and I couldn’t find a parking place so we went on to Huntington library and gradients. We spent a couple of hours looking at the collection of old books and then we walked around the gradients. Daryl took me to The Friend Ship specialty shop for cross stitching- I bought 2 books. Then we went back to Lillians for dinner.
Jan 1- We were at Lillians and she had birthday dinner for Gary- pork chop and spaghetti- everything is always delicious.
Jan 3- We left about 9:30 for Salt Lake- Heather took long naps. Megan slept some but had to be entertained most of the time. I was able to read less than one chapter of The Rainbow to Daryl. We stopped for cheeseburgers in a little town (can’t remember the name) then drove on to Salt Lake- good weather all the way. Arrived in Salt Lake at 10:30 PM. Cheryl was home and very glad to see Megan. Aleida got home about midnight and woke up Megan. Megan didn’t remember Aleida right then and so wouldn’t stop crying so she had to sleep with us.
Jan 4- Went to church- fast Sunday we were late- got there late! I did primary activity on encouraging children to write in their journals.
Heather is back to normal practice schedule with piano lesson at Paul’s at 5 PM. Megan’s cold worse than last week. I cleaned house. First day of Daryl’s new job at Hercules (orientation) Cheryl’s first day at “U”. She had first night class.
Jan 6th- Megan went to play group at Tyler’s. I cleaned house and had several phone calls. Heather went to ballet.
Wed Jan 7th. Cooked baked snickerdoodles. Primary children came over to work on class presentation. Aleida worked at Naturalizer Shoes.
January 8th Thursday. Typed script for Primary presentation. It took my all morning. Utah and other parts of west had power outage- ours was out for only a short while- enough to cause our house to get really cold. Skyline dismissed school so Aleida was in and out.
January 9th Friday– prepared Chicken Pot Pie for our dinner and for our home teacher’s family. Jan Woodbury came home from hospital with new baby. Daryl went with Heather to primary Daddy Daughter date. Spaghetti dinner with many other good things. THere was Raggedy Anne theme so Heather took all of the Annie’s to the party Heather has to go decorate for the party immediately after school then she had a ballet lesson before party. Daryl went (after party) to Tracy Wigwam and slept out on the snow with boy scouts.
1/10- Saturday– cleaned house- went shopping with Heather. We bought her 2 pairs of China doll shoes then I went down to Spoons and Spice and got expand feed tube for my Cuisinart- clay dish for chicken and clay pan for bread (gifts for my birthday).
1/11- Sun. Megan still has cold- I stayed home from sacrament meeting to tend Megan. Mother called about 12 noon. The Trogdons are finally dividing the property and she and Daddy are not well so Megan and I will leave at 11:15 from S.L. – fly to Denver then to Atlanta then change flight to go to Greensboro. We got to Greensboro at 7:38 AM Monday morning. We had a really good flight! Megan was really good. She was so excited to know she was going on plane. She said “Oh, I’m going in submarine and see starfish and feed the fish” (This was what she did at Disneyland.)
1/12 Cold in N.C. 6 and 20 in various places. IT was good to see everyone. Gary, Julia and Andrea met us at the airport. Mother was glad to see us. Daddy got home at 4 PM- Megan was shy with everyone. Samuel, Sylvia and family came over- Gary and Julia were up here. Everyone had fun visiting. Sonny called.
1/13- My birthday. Mother fixed good breakfast- I went to town w/Julia to get medicine for Megan’s cold. Julia got me a cake and ice cream. Susan called about 6PM and then Don called about 9:20 after we were all in bed.
1/14- Wednesday visited with Mother- Mother made two lemon pies. Megan still has cold. I looked at Mother’s needlework books.
1/15 Thursday– cold weather still but warmer than beginning of week. Megan and I went down to feed deer and to see calf. Megan played on swing set.
1/16 Friday- Megan and I went down to Julia’s and Andrea. Julia was babysitting many children. The children were having a good time. Andrea loaned Megan a doll and baby bottle. She played with it all afternoon and night. She played with Grandaddy He would pretend he was taking her bottle and she would run. Mother and I talked until about 11 PM.
1/17 Saturday- Mother prepared her delicious pancakes for breakfast. Then Ann and Ralph Shaw came down she brought two books to show me 1. History of Randolph 2. McKay Family history. Megan and I had lunch. Gary, Julia, Mom, Dad, two girls and I went to Little Texas fish camp. Daddy got sick on way home and really scared us. He was sick all night long.
1/18- No one got much sleep last night. I called Daryl 12:30 Salt Lake time and he and girls called again about 9AM Salt Lake Time. It was good to talk to the girls. Daddy was sick all day but did go to the farm with Gary in afternoon. Sonny and Beth came down and then Samuel and his family came over. Gary and Julia came up and after everyone else left we had hamburgers and Julia made a banana split pie. Daddy ate some but didn’t feel too well. Megan didn’t take a nap so I’m trying to get her to bed early. Don called and talked to us.
1/19 Monday- up early to take Daddy to the doctor. Daddy had a complete physical and Dr. Kinlaw said he was generally in good health. He had to get his prescriptions and then we came home. He still didn’t feel good. Gary went with to the farm to feed up. Julia washed some clothes for Megan and me. Ralph Shaw and Harvey came over for a visit. Hostage Crisis in Iran seems almost over, hopefully by morning.
1/20- Left for Charlotte about 8:30- We visited with Grandaddy, Grandmother Martin and Mary. Joe came while we were there. Ronald Reagan’s inauguration American’s held hostage by Iran released- left Charlotte about 2:45- Grandaddy Martin not well- Mary took him to Dr. while we were there.
Daddy still doesn’t feel like working- has pain in his up right chest- soreness in lung area. We watched TV Coverage of the hostage release. Daryl called from Nashville. I changed my reservations fm. 31st to Feb 2nd.
1-21 Awoke to news on “Good Morning America” T.V. show about released hostages. Megan seems some better of her cold. She let mother bathe and dress her.. Daddy was home today. Megan played finger puppets with him. She would ask him to hold out his hand and she would put puppets on his fingers and he would move his finger and she would talk for them. Mother fixed a very delicious dinner- veg. rice, liver, biscuits. Daddy went to farm and I worked on cross-stitching- we all watched T.V. for about an hour after dinner.
1-22 Watched T.V. early ab. hostages- worked on cross stitching- Mother washed clothes and worked on doll clothes. Samuel and family came over for a visit. Daddy went to farm. Aleida and Heather called. Aleida was excited about being on Teen board at ZCMI. We all watched T.V. and retired for the night. Daddy went to work and is feeling some better.
1-23 Megan’s cold worse- now she has a cough. Frank & Mary Trogdon came to visit for about an hour. I worked on cross-stitching. Mother worked on “Laura” doll clothes. Andrea and Gary came to visit.
1-24- Helped Mother clean house- worked on alphabet cross stitch name for Robin. Samuel and family brought barbecue for dinner. Tanya stayed to play with Megan. Samuel, Gary, and Daddy went to farm to do up work and to cut wood. I throughout we’d hear from SL but aye tomorrow.
2-26- It will be hard to go back and document all the things that have happened this past month- I just have not felt like recording events even though much has happened.
3-18- Working on quilt (pieced from scraps-velour) 17 strips 73″ long 4″ wide. This is just an experiment to use of scraps. I need to figure out how much batting I need and how much lining. (sketch of quilt with calculations).
I got a letter from Aunt Mary today.
4-6 Renewed effort to start consistent entries in my journal. Yesterday was General Conference and Hartman Rector spoke about keeping our journals.
Today was a beautiful spring day. At 6, the alarm sounded and soon after I got up- dressed and then called Dee Gonter to give her directions to get to Carolyn Jensens. At 6:30 I went with Jill and Dorthea and we walked our regular route. Then I did a little house work and took bath with Megan- got ready to go to Luncheon at Carolyn Jensens. Marilyn Olsen met me here and then we went to get Julie Anderson. Megan went with me. Norma Sturgeon and her daughter Shannon were already at Carolyn’s. We had a nice visit and planned to meet again on June 6th at Sunnyside Park with families. Megan was very tired after not having a nap yesterday and today. She went to the post office with me and then we went to Skaggs. Karen Spencer came by with recipes form my assignment for Ward Banquet (carrots) Daryl announced that his out of town trip will begin this Thursday rather than Sunday . He will be in In.(??) several days.
Megan was so quiet this morning – I went to check on her, her little head was flat down on the table in the kitchen. She had a tantrum during dinner- she was so tired. We didn’t do very much her work today- But we did Church presidents and inventors once I put her alphabet cards up around her ceiling.
Tomorrow I plan to do more with the “bit” cards:
- Church presidents
- U.S. Presidents
- Words (2 sets)
- Review shapes, birds,
- Also- I have to wash clothes- clean my bathroom and bedroom
Goals for April-
- finish Emma
- read Deirdre book for book club
- organize and make materials for Mother’s group
- work with Megan every day
- eliminate desserts for the remainder of April
- make Heathers jumper
- Spring clean 3 rooms
4/7- Up at 6:00 walk with Jill at 6:30- Megan was still tired this morning. She was slow to get ready for playgroup. Jill came by to get Megan to take her to Reisers. I cleaned house the entire time Megan was gone. Jan came by with Scotty and I tended him while she went to dentist. Megan and Scotty shared a lunch. Megan took a long nap and I mended cookbooks and story books, I used mother’s recipe and make 2 lemon meringue pies. They were really good. I washed and folded clothes- Aleida was home because of P/T Conference. Heather had ballet after school. Daryl went by to get dresser from woodhouse- we had lentil soup for dinner- homemade bread and pie.
Daryl went to Order of Arrow meeting.
I only did inventors and Church Pres. w/Megan today. Tomorrow I’ll do more. We did work on letter H today.
- Inventors – Letter “A”
- Ch. Pres
- Salt box
- scales on piano
- 2 set of words
4/9 I didn’t write last night so I will this morning. Megan didn’t want to do “bit” cards- We did work on lowercase “r” “h” uppercase “I” “H” – She watched Sesame Street- I finished Heather’s dresser that we got from Woodhouse with antique oak. The piano tuner came and tuned our piano to the tune of $375. Wednesday is food exchange day w/ Spencers My turn I fixed chicken in cream sauce and bran muffins- also I sent lemon pie that I made last night. Daryl went to scouts- Then called Diane for her birthday and then called Lillian at Gary’s to thank her for the $.
From the General Conference talk that my mom referred to above:
I am sure you will never turn your own children’s hearts more to you than you will by keeping a journal and writing your personal history. They will ultimately love to find out about your successes and your failures and your peculiarities. It will tell them a lot about themselves, too. They will get a great desire to raise a family of their own when they see what a great blessing they were to you.Elder Harman Rector, Jr.
I can tell that journal writing was important to my mother even though it wasn’t always easy for her to write. She couldn’t have known how true Elder Rector’s words are for me, though. Today, I happened to come across the transcript above I typed up a couple years ago. It is especially meaningful to me given that she talks about going to North Carolina and all the family she mentions there….reading this about a week after my grandmother’s funeral and after having visited with those same relatives.
I find the juxtaposition of a major historical event such as the Iranian Hostage Crisis and the day to day events my mother’s life somewhat fascinating. Yes I love to read about my mother’s successes: working on her hobbies, exercising, supporting her parents, interaction with her husband & children, friends…her efforts with me. Her failures? I’d guess she didn’t meet all of her goals all the time….but she set them! Her peculiarities? Not eating dessert in April! Well, the remainder of April.
It does tell me a lot about myself. Literally…I had tantrums just like Fiona does. But also reading her journals draws me in and brings me to a lot of self-reflection. I relate to this time period in my mom’s life. There is a lot of mundane activities, folding clothes, making food, naps. Did she ever wonder whether it was even worth writing down? I’m glad she did though. I love the little flash of wit at the end when she writes, “The piano tuner came and tuned our piano to the tune of $375.”
At the funeral, Steffan and I talked about whether we really know/knew our parents. It was an interesting discussion. I can’t quote him directly, but Steffan made some very introspective comments about his memories of mom and how it influences him. He was only 13 when she passed away. He talked about how his thoughts of mom are emotion based….that her influence is felt in who he is as a person, his motivations and work ethic. He put it much better, but I got a sense that her influence on him is strong and very positive, even though his actual memories may be fleeting.
I’ll continue to try to follow her example of keeping a family history the best I can. I feel that she is gone, but then she isn’t. I happen to read a few pages of her journal and am inspired and encouraged to do more. Maybe I’ll do some flash cards with Fiona tomorrow. I still have those flags. Happy Birthday, mom.
* The photos were the only ones I had on hand. I’ll have to look for more pertinent ones later*