Saturday, April 20, 2013

Our Anniversary Trip to Paris.

I couldn't think of a better adventure than heading to Paris.....Idaho for our anniversary adventure. We loved it. Even though it was a drizzly cold day, the sun was shining in the Bear Lake Valley. When we got into town we turned south to check out a couple of places to eat that we'd heard about. They looked ok, but I had my heart set on Paris. So we turned around and drove around the beautiful ocean blue lake. Across the street from the imposing Paris Tabernacle we found what we were looking for.

 We were waited on my a young woman with a faux-hawk. She was new there and didn't know what the Maui burger was, but I decided on the regular hamburger with Idaho Fries. I noticed they weren't called French Fries even though we were in Paris. Hmmm. Mick ordered the Chicken Alfredo. Niether of us were disappointed. My hamburger was exactly the way a hamburger should be cooked with lots of lettuce, pickles, tomato and onions. And the Idaho fries were great.

 I snapped these before heading across the street to get a closer look at the tabernacle. I've noticed the beautiful tabernacle before but never walked around it. Someday I'll get a chance to see inside.

 I love the color of the stone, quarried miles away and loaded on wagons for the pioneer structure. The building was designed by "one of Brigham Young's sons." I wondered if they don't know who--I mean there may well be 100's of sons, but he should get a mention on the sign because this building is a masterpiece.

 Then we walked over and saw this interesting hotel. We met the owner, Diane, and she said it is, and always has been used as a hotel. She told us to take a look at the sign on the back. She didn't know why it said what it did. It is indeed interesting.
 "Hotel Paris, English Spoken, Eat & Rest, Price is Right, Try It, That's All"  Ok why English Spoken. Were the owners spoofing the name of the town and making a joke that they don't speak French--possibly.

 Then we found this building. My favorite I think. It would be a great place to take family pictures.
 I loved the old signs, the faded paint, the windows, and the structure.

 We took a look inside the Antique store, that is absolutely loaded with treasures and was freezing cold. No heat. We looked for a long time and never saw a clerk. There was a stack of Relief Society Magazines I found really interesting. They dated clear back to 1920. I couldn't find a price, but was especially interested in an issue on Women's Rights--since Utah granted the right to vote early on in the movement, I thought it would shed light on that.. I wanted to ask how much it was, but will do that another day. On the way out we saw a small sign with a phone number to call if you needed help. The number was for a Diane again. She may own the town. On the way out the valley, we stopped for shakes, actually really thick ice cream and then drove back through the ever spectacular Logan Canyon.

 When we got home we went for a walk up South Canyon.

We enjoyed our trip to Paris so much, we will head back another day when it's a bit warmer. Then though, we probably won't have the place to ourselves. Life in a small town--nothing better. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

34 years ago Today...

Happy Anniversary to my husband. Thirty-four years ago, I placed my wedding dress and all that I needed to go with it in the back seat of the car. My mother and I traveled together from Orem to Logan. Of course I was a little nervous, but mostly excited. For some reason, we were late though I don't remember why. When we stepped into the LDS Logan temple, my soon to be husband was standing in the foyer, waiting for me. The look on his face when he saw me was total relief. He later told me he was really afraid I wouldn't show up. After I got ready in a special room reserved for brides, I climbed the stairs and entered a sealing room. All of my brothers and their wives were there. Both of our parents were there. I don't remember everyone who was in the room. I don't remember anything that the officiator said. I just remember feeling completely confident that the man kneeling across the alter was the best person I'd ever known. And I was confident that for some reason, he believed that about me. I was told that everyone behind me was giggling because my feet were jiggling the whole time. They thought I was scared, but they didn't know that my legs always jitter during occasions both big and small. It's not intentional. My dad once quipped that sitting between me and a sister-in-law was like being on a teeter-totter. It's a prominent genetic thing in the family too. Once at a farewell sacrament meeting for a niece, I looked down the row and all the Thayne cousins legs were pumping in unison, but that may be another story.

I was crazy in love with my husband then  and even more crazy in love with him today. I feel so blessed and so lucky that I can say that. It seems impossible that 34 years have passed since that day. We were blessed to welcome a darling boy a year later and four years later a beautiful girl. We are pleased to have three grand children too. Mick has calmed my life. I have energized his. Together we make a pretty good team.

April 19th and days in and around it have become a day for terrible things.
 April 19, 1993 – Waco conflict
April 19, 1995 – Oklahoma City Bombing
April 20, 1999 – Columbine High School Shootings
April 16, 2007 – Virginia Tech Shootings
April 20, 2010 – BP’s Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and now Boston. 
Had I known perhaps I  we would have chose another day. Each year, it seems like we breathe a sigh of relief if the month is uneventful. But through it all, my husband is the calm in the storms and struggles of life. But he's been there for the moments of triumph too. Thanks Mick for thirty-four years.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Did You Hear It?

Yesterday, Saturday April 7th, a couple of minutes before noon something happened that has never happened before--NEVER! Did it matter? Did you hear it? I was in my studio doing pottery and I made a point to have the LDS General Conference on. I'd heard that there was a strong possibility that a woman would be giving a prayer. Then just as I squeezed the water from my sponge after cleaning clay off my tables, I heard the announcement--a woman's name. Then Jean Stevens' voice, calm and beautiful. I didn't hear what she said. I took a breath and let the emotion wash over me. You know that feeling that comes when your heart swells and you are filled with something we Mormons call the spirit? That's what I felt.

1,500 or 15,000, or perhaps even 150,000 or more prayers answered. I wish my mother-in-law was still alive. I can hear her now. "Tokenism." A decade of more ago, my mother-in-law was asked to pray in stake conference. She called it tokenism then, but she gladly offered the prayer, even though she was always less than fully-engaged in the gospel. Today she would have said, "Tokenism," and she would have chuckled, but then she would have added, "It's about time."

Television offers us a glimpse of social consciousness. Despite the trashy programs, there are great things that have happened. I've watched the changes. We all have. I was a TV junkie growing up: Andy of Mayberry, Petticoat Junction, Gilligan's Island and on and on, a sea of white faces and stereotyped roles for men and women. Then we a saw a sprinkling of black characters, but usually in the background or sometimes as a servent, or a jolly maid. When "All in the Family" came along and we saw the ugliness and even ridiculousness of racism and sexism through the bigotry of Archie Bunker. The show broke down the barriers and finally we saw more and more minorities portrayed on television. Mary Tyler Moore became one of the first females who was career orientated. She won the respect of her TV colleagues. Did it matter? Did the tokenism of the first minorities with strong roles on TV matter? Did young females watching Mary Tyler Moore feel their world opening up by seeing her take on the world? I remember a disturbing moment at my mother's house years ago. I was still a teen, not quite twenty. A woman near my mother's age (a relative) was visiting. She made a comment about how she can hardly stand to "see so many of them' on TV. You can hardly watch anything anymore without seeing blacks. Do they have to be on every show? she'd said. I was shocked. I hadn't grown up hearing these types of sentiments in our home. I'm sure it bothered my mother as well, but she simply said, "I haven't noticed." We notice when someone gives us hope for a better tomorrow. It may sound cliche, but all of these moments, big and small, matter. They matter to someone. This conference mattered. It mattered to me.

This afternoon while watching conference with some family members at my mom's, another day, another session and another woman offered now the opening prayer in a session. I mentioned that the day before had been the first time a woman had offered a prayer. My brother said, really? My mother said, she wouldn't have noticed if the papers hadn't made such a big deal about it. The truth is, it's a big deal. It shouldn't be, but it is. Young Mormon girls and women need to see women offering prayers in conference, sitting in leadership positions, making decisions, being strong, being courageous and yes, speaking up when women are being neglected, sidelined, and ignored.