Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Check back later (next week) for further news and updates . . . .
Monday, May 19, 2008
--L. Lionel Kendrick, "Strength During Struggles,", Ensign, Oct 2001, 24
My kids think I'm nuts, too . . . but they know me WAY better than Woo does!!!
So, I got up on Monday planning to spend most, if not all, day slogging through the piles and PILES of DAR materials, figuring out just WHAT it is I've gotten myself into . . .
And, as usual, I went to turn on the CD player. . .
But, I hesitated for a moment, because sometimes, instead of soothing my agitated soul, the music can be an irritant or a distraction, and that was the *last* thing I needed!
I weighed the alternatives . . .
Music . . . . . soothing
Noise . . . . . distracting
And I turned on the CDs
And what should start playing but
THE MORMON TABERNACLE CHOIR
THIS IS MY COUNTRY!!!
And I sat back, and thought about all the effectual doors that have been opened (nay, say, rather, the skids that have been GREASED!!!) to put me where I am today, and I have to admit, there is no doubt that the Lord's Hand is clearly discernable in all this.
Was it just a coincidence that Woo had just returned to the position of Registrar with the DAR shortly before I sent my initial query in on the website? Others before her had dropped the ball on people who were earnestly seeking to join the organization - - - I was just curious. But, her active interest and tireless efforts to help me really greased the skids right from the start.
Was it a coincidence that Derrin found a newly-created Porter Family website, where I was able to obtain several books of information about my Pioneer/Patriot line?
The day those books came in was rather amazing, too. . .
We were about to leave for an extended trip, so I brought the box into my office and jotted a quick note to Woo to tell her I had gotten this GREAT source . . . and then I realized I couldn't just leave it there. I *had* to open the boxes and say *something* about their contents. So, I quickly popped off the strapping tape, grabbed a book at random, and let it fall open somewhere in the middle - - - where I saw " . . . and this is the lineage, just as I used it for my application for membership into DAR and the Mayflower Society. And if any of my relatives wish to join, they may use my membership numbers, which are . . . ."
After I picked up my eyeballs and teeth and put them back in my head, I spent another moment scanning those pages and emailing them to Woo, and left for that trip in HIGH spirits!!! And by the time I got back, she had tracked down, not just one, but THREE colateral relatives I could link to to ease the application process.
It was serendipity when Steve and Emilee decided to get married in Salt Lake, and I asked Derrin for ONE afternoon to spend in the Genealogy Library to see what we could get to fill in the last gaps. Which Guardian Angel do I have to thank for having"Batgirl" on duty at the desk when we wandered in with my pedigree chart and half a dozen families circled? (That was her nickname - - - and her log-on ID. And she was wearing a watch with a bat on the face.) She took my annotated pedigree chart, called up and printed out several cemetery records, pointed us in the direction of a couple of Pioneer History books, gave us the name of the person we needed to see in "the basement" to get a copy of my great grandparents' marriage certificate from the Endowment House, and by the time we left a few hours later, I even had a photocopy of a handwritten list of my Patriot ancestor's children!
I wrote exactly ONE LETTER requesting information from a state archive, and even *that* came back with butter and jam. Not only did I get the death certificate I was looking for, but the kind archivist also included copies of newspaper writeups about the fire my great-grandmother had died in, and an obituary.
And, when I was about to give up on my last missing document, and say, "Can we get away with them being listed as her parents on that birth certificate?" I just *happened* to glance through another Book of Remembrance I had been given 20 years ago and never had time to open, and there was a photocopy of the marriage certificate in question!!!
I swear, I didn't do anything but show up. Everything has been handed to me on a silver platter.
It's been great fun attending the lunches these last couple of years, and I *loved* being in the 4th of July parade last year. I feel like I've found a whole new group of fascinating friends. And I've been looking forward to assisting several church members who have started the application process to get into the "club." I never imagined a person could go from "new convert" to "bishop" in just one year!!! That certainly was never part of MY plans!!! I figured I'd become webmaster, and find out how things ran that way - - - behind the scenes, like I always do . . .
Apparently, God had other ideas.
But, as I stood there taking the Oath of Office with my new Board, I took comfort that each part of the oath ended "as God is my Helper." Because, I knew, however inept I might be, with God as my Helper, and a few good friends to back me up, we WILL be able to pull it off!
And, as if as a sign, in the not-quite-a-week I've been Regent, my "telephone allergy" has not been in evidence - - - I've been able to make the phone calls I've had to make, without the old trauma getting in my way - - - my mind has been clearer than usual so I can think and, more importantly, LEARN (or, at least, BEGIN to learn) some of the stuff I need to know.
I recognized that "feeling of comfort and confidence" that Bro. Kendrick spoke of, and when I read that quote, I knew I had to record these thoughts, and testify to the Hand of God moving to direct my life in MOST unexpected ways.
Our Favorite Memories of Bree:
Under the circumstances, we chose to have her put to sleep. The vet agreed it was the wisest decision.
But, even though I have cleaned the office, and it now smells of Orange Glo, and there's no water fountain running, I still find myself looking for her when I come in . . . .
Sunday, May 18, 2008
I have found the most incredible group of women in the DAR. As might be expected, most of them are older at this point. But each one I have had a chance to talk to has had the most fascinating stories to tell; each has achieved the most spectacular things - - - it is an honor to associate with them. And during the past year I have enjoyed participating in very small ways --- as befits my brand-spanking-new status ---in their meetings, reading various reports by assignment from time to time, etc. So, when the opportunity came up several months ago to serve the Chapter as Webmaster for our fledgeling website, I thought that would be just about perfect. I've been Assistant Webmaster for the ward website for several years now -- this would give me a chance to get involved, find out and keep up on what was going on and where, and really get my feet wet.
And *then* I went to New York to help with Hyrum, and my *dear* friend, Woo, phoned me in the middle of the night while I was watching him and, on behalf of the nominating committee, asked me to be REGENT!!!!!!!!
I was *sure* she was joking - - - how can someone only a year old be Regent?!
But she said, "No! We seriously want you and ONLY you to be Regent for the next 2 years. It's a lot of fun, and I'll help!"
Well, I read the job description, and I can conduct meetings and turn in reports. . . . So, I agreed.
I arrived at the luncheon a Lame Duck Insginia Chairman and Prospective Webmaster, and left with a gavel and a van full of boxes and treasures and the Regent's Insignia that had been worn by our Chapter FOUNDER, Miss Jameson!!!!
(. . . and the start of a migraine, brought on by too many hours in a room with no ventilation and the temperature well over 90 . . .)
I was still stunned by it all the next morning at 9 AM when my phone began to ring, and I discovered that I was not going to have a couple of months to figure things out, as I had hoped, before we began our regular meetings again . . . but I would first need to get Good Citizen Awards ready to present to half a dozen local schools in about 2 weeks, none of which I was aware of before that moment.
Plus, I find out I don't have the software to run the webpage; can't buy it because it's not being made anymore; don't want the "upgrade" they *are* selling because it's WAY too expensive for what I want to use it for. . . . . Derrin *could* translate everything into the software he uses for HIS webpages, but it, too, is old and no longer supported; and if he bought an upgrade he could only install it on HIS computer, which wouldn't do ME any good . . . . . So, we're up a creek with no oars and a leaky boat!! Fortunately, the designer of our website (whose wife is on my new board) has kindly consented to upload everything so we can get going, and somehow we'll work this out between us.
Of course, I knew when I took the gavel that the out-going Regent hadn't made any preparations for our Chapter to take part in this year's 4th of July parade, and my new Board had decided we needed to correct that ASAP, so I had *thought* THAT would be my first order of business . . . along with finding a new, cooler, roomier place to hold our meetings.
So, as I'm unloading boxes and BOXES of materials from the car and trying to find a safe place to store them, and beginning to sort through the Regent's Book and divine all the appointments and expectations that are already set up for "me," I suddenly realize, I'M IN *WAY* OVER MY HEAD!!!
Thank GOODNESS I'm not planning to go anywhere for awhile, and (if I can just figure out who they are!) I had so many kind offers of help as our meeting last Thursday adjourned!
Friday, May 2, 2008
I have a WHOLE BOOKCASE of Scriptures;
a WHOLE BOOKCASE of Commentaries, Concordances, & Reference Works;
a WHOLE BOOKCASE of books by or about our Modern Prophets;
a WHOLE BOOKCASE full of the writings of Apostles and other G. A. s;
a WHOLE BOOKCASE of the works of "Wise Guys" (like Nibley and Stephen R. Covey);
a WHOLE BOOKCASE + for Church History/General World/US History;
a WHOLE BOOKCASE devoted to Speakers' References/Resources --
"How To" books, Inspirational material, Poetry, Jokes, etc. --
and finally a bookcase filled with MUSIC.
This exquisite "wall of books" replaces the old "half wall" you see pictured here on the right of our former "No Room" . . .
QUITE an improvement, wouldn't you say?