Recently our ward Relief Society (organization for Mormon women) celebrated its birthday. Don’t ask me how many years; I was just there for the food and the company. This year our party was actually catered by a Logan restaurant-- I don’t know if the food was better than if we’d done the usual assigned fare of casseroles and salads, but it sure was nice not to have to bring anything except for a paper sack. In the paper sack we were supposed to put three things that represent two unique things about us and a hurrah moment.
Then we took turns showing our items and telling why they were included. It’s a lot like a grown-up show and tell and something I enjoyed even more than I did in Kindergarten. Last year we did it as well and I was amazed at the things I learned about people I thought I already knew. For instance one woman in our ward brought a funny looking tool that she uses to turn the ears right on animals she is stuffing! We’re not talking about stuffing you eat, like good sausage dressing you put in turkeys, but taxidermy stuffing. Not only does she stuff the animals, this sweet woman also kills the animals first. She wasn’t the only killer in our ward either. There are a few of them who love to traipse the mountains looking for trophy animals,an activity they enjoy with or without their husbands.
The hurrah moments sometimes brought tears, but none more than Lori’s hurrah moment. Lori has been battling stage three breast cancer , and through two long courses, months each course, of chemotherapy, radiation, and also surgery—she announced she is cancer-free, and is through with her treatments. Now, reconstructive surgery is next, but through all her suffering Lori has retained such a great sense of humor and optimistic spirit that she manages to lift everyone around her. For instance, I was at a wedding recently where she went up to a balding young man (she knew him well enough to be able to say this) and said—looks like we’re sporting the same hair do. Her hair at that point was coming out in handfuls.
Now the moment you all have been waiting for—what was in my sack. My sack had a pair of socks. In my opinion, socks are the absolutely only essential clothing. And it can’t be just any old pair of socks. For me they have to be comfortable, wick-away, cushy and warm in the winter, cool and comfortable in the summer. The seams must not poke or feel bulky and they need to stay up on the leg, but not squeeze off the circulation or leave those itchy ridges on my calves. I like socks even with sandals. I wear socks to bed and have done my whole life. I distinctly remember my mother tucking me into bed at night when I was very young, maybe 6 years of age, and saying ‘only little piggies wear socks to bed.’ My husband usually gives me about ten pair for Christmas. He buys them with great care from a sporting good store, because the kinds of socks I want, won’t be found anywhere else.
Growing up, all summer long I would run through the streets and dirt trails around our Orem home, but when I went to bed at night, I would wash my dirty feet in the tub and then put on a pair of socks for bed. Once I tried sleeping without socks during a hot July summer, but I didn’t make it through the night—waking up panicky—and uncomfortable until I got up to put socks on.
Another thing I put in my sack was a picture of me and some friends on my annual birthday hike. Every year for the last eleven years I’ve gone on a hike in our beautiful Cache valley mountains for my birthday. I started doing this the year I was turning 38. I was depressed that year, something that knocked me out of my normally even keel world. The hike still brought the sense of joy that I’d been missing for a while. It became a tradition—the group I invite has changed somewhat, but lately has consisted of my beloved Paradise writing group, Anne, Julie, Jeannie, Kathy and me.
Okay well this blog is getting pretty long and since I don’t know if anyone will even bother reading it I’ll finish with my last item—the hurrah moment—a newborn photo of my first grandchild, Isaiah, born August 12th.
There are so many other things I could’ve put in my sack. My life is full and I have so much to be grateful for. What would you put in your sack? I’d love to hear from you.