Sunday, November 30, 2008

I seek dead people...

All I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a detective. I was a voracious reader of Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden, and had my own detective agency at age 10 with my best friend, Sara Churchville. When I joined the Church at age 15 and learned about genealogy and family history, I knew that my childhood vocation would be fulfilled in this, my new pursuit of my ancestors. Solving my "history mystery" has been an amazing journey, containing some incredible experiences where I know the "dead people" were actually seeking and guiding me...
* In the National Archives, 2 days before we were to move to California from Virginia, I found Clarrie "Grant" in a census, only I knew she couldn't be a Grant. She hounded me for months until I was able to find out who her parents were and get her sealed to them. Then she left me alone...
* In Belgium, I corresponded with some genealogists in Canada who helped me to find a "step" family that really wanted to be found. When the two Canadian sisters who read the microfilms for me began to view the film that contained this Bacquet line, they felt like the room suddenly filled with people. They turned to look, but they were alone...

I've been especially moved by statements from 2 General Authorities on this subject:
* Elder Ballard said that missionaries were sent to many of us who are converts as a result of the prayers of our ancestors who needed someone to do their work for them. That thought has always humbled and motivated me. 
* Elder Burton, back in 1930 (think of what "computer" meant back then...) said, "the emerging computer technology has been given to man for family history." That prophetic statement came to astonishing fruition with the recent unveiling of the new site, http://new.familysearch.org
 for temple work. 
The veil is very thin when it comes to genealogy. With detectives on both sides working a case, it's no wonder that miracles occur!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Life is not fair


A friend's blog (http://cinjoella.blogspot.com/) posed the question, "Has life ever been unfair but in a good way for you?" and the first thought that came to me was when I was in high school my mom worked for the candy shop, Ye House of John L. Bailey, whose owners had the philosophy that employees (and their daughters?) could eat all the chocolates they wanted --they'd soon get sick of them. I would go up to the attic where the chocolates were all lined up in rows...I quickly learned the meaning behind the differentiated swirls that told what fillings were inside. I certainly felt privileged then and on the receiving end of the positive "unfair" side of things. And I don't remember getting sick of them...

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Glad Game


I consider myself a pretty positive person, so here I am, home another day from work recovering from my fall off the mountain, and am trying to look on the bright side: 
*  Whenever I set goals, one of them invariably is to cultivate my friendships, which I tend to neglect as life gets too busy. Well, today I called and invited two of my long-neglected friends to visit and have spent a wonderful hour with each getting caught up and sharing time. 
* As part of my head trauma, I've developed edema around my right eye, which has puffed my lid and under-eye with fluids. I can't be sure, but I think it is flushing out the cholesterol deposits that were in that area, as they seem less noticeable. That would be an unforeseen benefit of the accident!
* With Rich's help, I've made Christmas gifts for all 22 of my co-workers while I've been "lounging around." 
* I get to play the piano without feeling like I am assaulting my husband's eardrums (I really should take some lessons...)
* I can start on said husband's Christmas present without him seeing what I am making...
* I get to enjoy a delicious pomegranate that Bess brought to me today--not a fruit I tend to buy for myself, but should more often.
* Get time to blog!
When Life gives you lemons, eat a pomegranate!

Love, from Pollyanna

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

6-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon


It was several months after Vanessa had become good friends with Jacob that she learned he had been roommates with her 2nd cousin, Ben Beus, at BYUI. Now this week she learned that a friend whom she met through the Wellness Center at BYUI is also good friends with another 2nd cousin--Zina Card (daughter of Orson Scott Card) in Greensboro, NC. I know it's a small world and eventually we can discover we are connected with everyone else, but it's really fun when they hit you out of the blue and it's such a close connection.

33 revisited

We were driving to Colorado to spend a few days with family --it was Golden's 33rd birthday. Rich was driving and noticed he missed a call so he listened to the voicemail message from Nephi (age 6). He called him back, and it was Golden who answered, exactly at 3:33 p.m. on his 33rd birthday. Rich hadn't been aware of the time until he saw the readout on the phone as it was on speaker when Golden answered. 

Monday, November 17, 2008

Heavenly Promptings


I will be teaching the Relief Society lesson the first Sunday in December on how the temple blesses our lives. I went through old journal entries and found this for my lesson that also has a synchronicity about it. 
5 April 1992: Tuesday last week was the Relief Society temple trip to Frankfurt. I wanted to go, but was worried about being so far away with Rich in the states [we were in Heidelberg and he was stateside looking for a house to buy in Texas] in case the kids had any trouble at school. Vanessa wasn't happy about having to stay at kindergarten all day either. I decided to make the preparations needed to go, as I had felt impressed to put Mom and Rich's names on the prayer roll. I left it that if Vanessa was ok about going to school in the morning, I'd go. She woke up all smiles and picked out a stuffy for nap-time at school, so off I went. I had a great visit with Beth Jepson, Juel Hann and Geneva Sanders, who also went, and enjoyed the session. That night, Rich called to say he'd had a terribly discouraging day on Monday. The Summit, where we'd wanted to build a home, was rocky and had drainage problems. The houses we'd picked out weren't as nice as we had thought. Then Tuesday (while I was in the temple) he went to a new area and found exactly what we wanted. He got a nice lot with trees near the elementary and middle schools and another house plan that would work well for us. The lots were going fast, and he got the best lot just ahead of someone else who wanted it. 
Then Wednesday afternoon, my mom called to say she just had to tell me how marvelous she felt today after having a miserable last few days. I am so grateful for the promptings of the Spirit and the blessings of the temple.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I. Can. Do. Hard. Things.

Rich and I climbed Mt. St. Helens yesterday. On the way up, my "watcher" (see "Dedoublement" blog) thought up the title for this posting. It was a beautiful day--clear blue skies, perfect temperature. It was an 8-hour climb round trip. They say climbing down a mountain is much harder than climbing up...on the way back, we were almost out of the bouldering section, with just the forest ahead of us, when I took a tumble...I must have fallen 20 feet over gravel and rock before coming to land with my head against a boulder. I put my hand to my head and saw blood streaming through my fingers and dripping on the ground. I knew it was bad, but Rich vocalized it when he got to me, took my hand away and said, "This is really bad...I can see your skull...we have to get you to a hospital." He put a bandage on it, put my hat on me (I had earlier thought I should leave my hat on in case I fell, for protection, but again, missed opportunity for synchronicity, the weather was so warm I left it off...) with the head lamp over it to keep my skin together over my skull, and we walked the hour and a half out through the now dark forest. Then a 2-hour drive to the hospital where my daughter, Rachel and the grands, Renee and Paige, met us with food and insurance cards. Three hours and 16 + stitches later, I've been put back together by the talented resident, Dr. Brian Cashin .

Friday, November 14, 2008

Lottery Winners


Some of the most fascinating synchronicity stories are those of how two people, out of the 6 billion + on the planet, find each other and fall in love. Synchronistic elements to Rich and my story:

* If Rich's draft lottery number in 1969 hadn't been #1, he wouldn't have joined ROTC and been in the military.
* Out of his whole class, he was the only person to be sent to Ft. Devens, Massachusetts, where I lived. (His home was California, so we weren't going to be meeting at the corner grocery store! He didn't even know where Ft. Devens was. He though MA meant Maine...)
* His first Sunday at Church was supposed to be my last, as I was on my way back to BYU after taking a semester off to work.
* He almost didn't attend Church that morning, as he had just arrived and was tired. He sat in front of me in Sacrament meeting, and my mom asked me to invite him to the house with the other servicemen, as was our custom.
* And the rest, is our history!
So, what's your story?

Operation Crack-Down

We've been having trouble with unruly teens in the library, talking in groups with their cell phones on "speaker" mode, and ignoring or being disrespectful to staff asking them to turn off their phones or take them to the lobby. Our circulation supervisor had another run-in with them and was debating about coming to me and asking that we crack-down and be more unified in enforcing the "no cell-phone" rule, when this Unshelved strip came through her email. She took that as a sign that she should follow through, so starting today, we begin "Operation Crack-Down" at the library!

Missed opportunity


I went swimming with my daughter, Rachel, last night. I was meeting her at the pool, and as I was about to leave, Rich said, "You should bring a towel for Rachel in case she forgets hers." I told him she was so organized, having to bring stuff for herself and the 2 girls wherever she went, that of course she would have a towel! It's not like this was the first time I'd taken her to the pool!" So I arrived first and was waiting by the door when Rachel called me enroute to say she forgot her towel and should she go back for it, or could she share mine...? I assured her I had a big enough towel to share, but I had to laugh at the lost opportunity to have a synchronicity moment!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Love Notes


In Relief Society today the instructor told of getting "love notes" from her Heavenly Father. She has a short-hand phrase she uses: PNF, which stands for Patience and Faith. The other day she was having a bad time, and was driving in the car, "venting" to God about her trials. Another car zoomed past her and pulled in front of her, cutting her off. She began to say, "See, God, one more thing --I almost had an accident!" When she noticed the car's license plate: PNF. She laughed and knew that was a love note from God, telling her at that very moment that He was aware of her and she'd be ok. 

Friday, November 7, 2008

Dream on


I keep a Dream Journal. I don't write in it faithfully, but I write often enough to get a feel for the Important Dreams when they come along. I'm not into Freudian dream analysis, but I do know that some dreams mean something. I've only had, maybe 4 or 5 of those, but I can definitely tell the difference! So I try to pay attention and keep track.

The most amazing one I had was about my son. We had bought him a purple Neon to take to college, and I dreamed I was driving with him in his car, but it wasn't his car... (the Neon): it was a silver, off-road-type vehicle, like a Jeep. He drove me to the ocean shore, and was driving along the water, when suddenly he veered out into the water. I was frantic, and was yelling at him to get back to the shore, we were going to drowned, but he just looked over at me and smiled. I scooted over to see as he saw, through his side of the windshield, and realized that there was a large sandbar, just under the surface of the water, and we were quite safe, driving on that. The dream ended, and at the first opportunity, I told my son about this dream. He was silent for a moment, then said, "Um...mom? I don't have the Neon anymore...I just traded it in on a new vehicle. I think you saw my new silver Jeep..."

Parents never stop worrying or being concerned about their children, no matter how old they are, but this dream brought tremendous comfort to me. I immediately recognized the significance: I may not understand or "see" the road my son is on as he sees it, but I was assured that he was ok, he knew what he was doing and he was quite "safe."

Part Two of this dream is a dream I had about a year later. I dreamed I was walking in a meadow with my youngest daughter. She saw in the grass, bunnies all together in a pile. She went over to them saying, "Mom! Look at all the cute bunnies!" As we got closer to them, I realized there were hundreds of them, all dead and dying, heaped on top of each other. I quickly hurried her away from the sight. Odd dream. The next morning (August 9, 2006) when I got to work, I read in the paper (USAToday) about a woman in Nevada who had 1700 rabbits in her house. Quoting the article: "The stench. The feces. The dead bunnies. It was just terrible." They called it the Great Bunny Rescue of 2006. So...another example of my prophetic dreaming, but to what purpose? Why would I be shown that particular event? I knew immediately. I had begun worrying about my son again, and this was a reminder that dreams can be messages. That I had been given a message about my son with the Jeep, and it was still valid. So I don't worry anymore. I don't want to see any more dead bunnies...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dedoublement


I just finished reading "The Thirteenth Tale" by Diane Setterfield. Ms. Setterfield did her PhD. on Andre Gide and uses a lot of his ideas in her writing. One is dedoublement, which is the ability to split oneself in two--one "self" that interacts and feels the world they live in, the other to stand back and observe. The observer-self can analyze in a detached way what is happening around them. It reminded me of a technique advocated in Sarah Susanka's book, "The not so big life," of developing a "watcher." Susanka says, "The watcher is your partner in seeing through the obstacles to the calmer, more contented you that you've always known was there." I have found this much easier to do lately because of this blog. Everything I do now, I find myself taking a step back and thinking, "Could I blog this? What would I say about it?" It's an interesting concept that helps one be more in control of emotions and situations and make more rational, positive decisions.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What's your number?

There are favorite numbers and then there are "special" numbers. I know someone for whom the number 33 has significance. It pops up periodically as a "God wink" to let him know the Universe is aware of him. For a long time, he thought it was only happening to him. Then it started happening to me as well. Not as often, but often enough. One day he googled "33" and found that not only are there groups of people who are similarly affected by the number 33, but also groups who have a similar association with other numbers. What do you think it means? Do you have a special number?
Check out "33 Mysteries" Weblog: at http://home.earthlink.net/~ktd_33/index.html
(Flickr photo of Orion Nebula by DJMcCrady)

For example...


Here's a serendipitous event that happened to me today...I had a program to do at the library at 1:00 (actually was a co-facilitator with another librarian). It was a PageTurners Book Discussion Group. About noon I got a phone call that caused me to be distracted and I then got involved in another project to calm my mind. At 1:05, I decided to go for a lunch walk, completely forgetting the discussion group assignment. As I walked out the front door of the library, I spotted a late-comer to the discussion group and, after a few seconds hesitation, it clicked and I remembered where I was supposed to be. I walked in a few minutes late, but not the half-hour late I would have been if I hadn't had the "fortunate accident" of leaving at the right time to run into the group member. 
Now, compare that to the synchronicious event that occurred a few months ago...
As Relief Society President of my ward (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), I needed to select a new counselor. I had narrowed it down to a couple names, and went out for a walk to await inspiration. I was focusing on a particular person at one point, whose last name was that of a large, bird...I "counseled" with God to let me know in some concrete way if she was the right person for this calling. I looked up, and far above I saw an eagle fly by. I got a little thrill and thought, "That could be my answer..." but, I reasoned, "her last name is plural, so if He showed me one, He could easily show me another..."About 2o minutes later, as I was heading back home, a huge eagle soared up from behind the houses, circled my head so low I could see the coloration on the bottom of his wings, and gracefully flew off over the trees. In the 3 years I've lived here and walked this particular area, I have never seen an eagle before, though I knew they must be around. Coincidence? Not based on the thrill that filled me at the sight and the deep sense of gratitude I felt for the answer received.  That's synchronicity. 
(Bald Eagle by Flickr-vidterry)

I Believe

It can go by several different names, but I believe in Synchronicity as an active force in my life, at least. Sometimes I call it a "God wink," or "divine intervention," to include ministering angels, sometimes it's closer to serendipity, which is the less potent "happy accident" or "fortunate coincidence." Actually, the movie Serendipity contained more instances of Synchronicity than serendipity...
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