Monday, August 29, 2011

We Are The Ward's Welfare Project And We Were Blessed

He's Our Bishop

Some time ago, I don't know when, we were chosen to have our porch fixed. I suspected that something was going to happen up here at Danger Ranch, but I thought it would be a Ward Bar-B-Que. I had to go to Ward Council one Sunday morning and it was unexpected, to them. I wanted to tell the ward leaders in this meeting about the upcoming changes in our new calendars on the Church-wide, would-wide) I had given my brief report and I left for home to prepare for Sacrament Meeting that morning. I glanced at the agenda that was passed-out to the members of the council and there ... to my surprise our name was listed as service project for our Ward. I immediately started crying. I know that we aren't that bad off, or were we?  I had fallen through our porch about a year ago and ended-up in the hospital several times. My family had done a repair job, but the scope of the real project wasn't addressed and even my front porch became completely impassable, except for cats, light dogs, and an occasional varmint.

Not A Natural Disaster...A Personal One
Dustin, my strongest son. : ) I only have one, did the pre-demolition. He told us he'd love to tear-it-up. All his nieces and nephews don't call him "Butt-kicker" for nothin'. Dustin can weld a sledge hammer like no other. He is one strong man.

Oh The Weeds!
I talked to the Bishop's wife and cried. No matter how I pleaded with her, she insisted that we needed this for our own safety and I should be relying on the Bishop's inspiration. What could I say to that? I started with the argument ...  that I felt others in our ward need this more than we do, we can't do this. It wasn't pride, really. I thought eventually we would have enough money saved to fix our house. I needed to listen and I finally did. I couldn't get past that this was inspiration from the Bishop. I didn't realize that in the next few days our lives changed. The fire department took a huge cut in my husband's pay. The trash haulers are  receiving more than the fire fighters and they don't need to stay-up all night, or get burned, or fall-out of engines. My husband was a long-time trash hauler, we owned an operated Sespe Enterprises. We know first hand that fire fighting is a lot harder. (collecting on the statements our customers owed us wasn't easy and that was the hardest) I felt the true counsel that I had given my grand daughter just two weeks before. It was that part of my quote for our county fair, "life isn't fair" and our little savings have completely dried-up.

The Priesthood and Families Arrived Before Dawn

This Is So Hard For Me To Share
I've Neglected My Yard and House
For Too Long.
Oh, The Elders Quorum President Wouldn't Quit
It Was Too Hot To Work

The Tall Weeds From My Garden
All The Priesthood Members
Are Amazing Workers.

Great Progress
It's Too Hot

Jeremy LaPointe Is Everywhere and So Is Steve Jenkins!
They All Are Super Heroes

Beyond Power-man Is My Clean Garden
Oh, How Sweet Tony and Bill

Brother Cook, Jane LaPointe, Bishop, and Jeremy.
This Picture Brings Tears

All Need To Hurry To The Baptism

Aug. 27, 2011

We made it by only thirty seconds before the baptismal service started. All who worked at our house today looked shiny clean, with ties and all reverently awaiting Guy Mansfield's baptism. Our bishop, Bishop LaPointe, stood first and began to talk to our crowded room full of members of our ward attending this moment when Guy is going to be baptized after over a year of studying the Church.

Bishop LaPointe paused and looked-out over the filled chapel and said, "Today was a primer as a service we give to each other." I could see the weariness in the blood-shot eyes of the many men that worked so hard today at our home. There were also women and children that helped ... and all had been up at the ranch since before 6:00 am.

I reflected about how earlier this afternoon just less than 45 minutes before his baptism, Guy walked past me, so tired. I heard kidding between all the Priesthood members about how hard Guy had to work to be able to enter the waters of baptism. It was all you had to do. The Gospel, and build a whole porch in one day, and provide service and so on, and so on.

This isn't a normal day... this is Aug. 27, 2011. It is the hottest, most humid day of the year. It rained a little yesterday and and it didn't take long for the temperature to rise again to over 100 degrees. Many of the members had to leave because their hard work had led them to walk (work) harder than they had strenght. They were all striving to "lenghten their stride" as The Prophet, President Kimball, had admonished us to do and really go the extra mile in all things that are good. I think so many here today went more than the extra mile. We have some Scriptures that provide relief to those that work so hard. "It is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. … He should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize." (Mosiah 4:27) and also again in the Doctrine and Covenants, "Do not run faster or labor more than you have (Doctrine and Covenants 10:4) ....The prizes?

I still am in "awe" of this service project, one that was beyond words. Awe ... this one word, the reverence and admiration of that which is grand, is my true definition of the feeling I have felt inside of me for those that provided so much help to us. The work was happy and even though the heat literally hurt them, those that helped smiled as they worked.

It was a beautiful baptism service. How do I show my gratefulness of this day? I cry, but don't want to because no one can understand me when I'm crying and trying to talk. I am grateful beyond words and only tears can reflect how I feel. I saw gratefulness in Steve's teary-eyes as the Priesthood left our home. I may never have enough words to express my appreciation for all that we were blessed with today. The temporal blessings, the spiritual blessings, and there's the Bar-B-Que following the baptism. Oh, what food and so many non-members and visitors. It was Guy's day, but the members all learned about what had happened earlier. It was a sacrifice of a precious Saturday for the families of the men who worked, and a sacrifice for the men that were so weary and sore this evening and probably worse tomorrow for Sunday.
The Wedding
My Marnie and Steve's Marriage
My Steve Walking Her To Her Steve

When Our Porches Were Beautiful
I have found-out due to little spies that it was my Marnie that started all this. She was the instigator on the porch-project. I love her so much and for knowing our needs. While everyone was at our anniversary party, she asked all her siblings if they would go in on a new porch for us? We didn't go with it, we all can't ... because we are all trying so hard to save. She explained that it needed to be put back to it's original way and not just a stairway in the house. I have to let it be said that this hope of a porch was  never, ever spoken to the Bishop or anyone else in the Ward about this project, just my adult children knew. All didn't say a word.  But, the Lord spoke to the Bishop, it was completely inspiration.

I know that Marnie really, really loves the porch because of her wedding here, fourteen years ago.
I still see in my mind, how Marnie walked-out on that very front porch and then to the archway in our garden be married by my husband, to her own Steve. He was a new convert and had been studying the Church for a long time. He joined and it was love. They were sealed in the San Diego Temple exactly one year later.

My vision of her on that day will always be the loveliest decoration I've ever had on my porch! The music started she walked out and paused radiantly. The song was by Kenny Chesney and it starts out slow and she stood for the moments of the song .... and as the song started to change she started down the staircase. "Me and You".

How things change with all the rain and my neglect to my yard. My priorities changed so much. I love my gardens, but first my baby daughter's wedding in Utah and the receptions, and then just six months later my mother had her stroke. I have put all my energy into what I've felt were needed most. Especially, my mother. I water her lawn and mine dries-up. I didn't even noticed until now, I see our old pictures of the way things were.
The Weeds So High
My Garden Needing Work. Brother Bill Ennis came to our
house and offered the expensive wood that the porch needed.
A wood that lasts a lifetime. He also was touched by the Spirit.
What wonderful "men of God" truly knowing need, by their inspiration.

Ready For Me Once Again
My Garden I Love, Then

A Chance For Renewal
We are so grateful and humbled by this all.
 I appreciate all their work, sacrifice and fellowship.
I know we have our Heavenly Father watching over us.

Aug. 29th, 2011

No one knew that I would be hurt again. I fell fixing the puppy pen. I was doing it again, carrying a big pan of puppy chow, that blocked my view of my feet. Whoever taught us in 3rd or 4th grade to carry everything in front of us, as in chairs, were sure wrong! I've fallen so many times that way. Please remember to always carry anything to the side and balance it with something on the other side. I'm stuck for a few days with my feet-up and mending my pelvis, toes, and a huge bruise on the side and back of my leg. I missed falling between on a welder and a sharp, broken wagon. My blessing of being chubby is that I have very strong bones. The ONLY blessing.

Last night, Steve cracked his head while on duty, hurrying to a call. It was a car accident with a family that had a seven week-old baby with them. A speed bump was hit too hard and not only his head was hurt, but also his neck, shoulders, back, and legs. He said after a forever exam, it sure could have been worse. He has a great mind no bump will change.

I've never felt so loved and there are angels around us.
 Living Angels and some that are of Spirit.

Sept. 1, 2011

The porch is still coming along and is looking great! We love the Redwood and may decide that when we can paint we're going to paint the redwood color the same as it is and the trim. The windows  redwood too, but only with the very inside white to match our corrals. The rest of the large portion of the house clay color and maybe even the metal roof. A long ways off, but we love it!

1 comment:

Our Aitken Love said...

Wow that is SO different! I can't wait to see it.