A collection of distilled sarcastic wisdom, numerous photographs, discussions of books and stuff to learn and more stuff to think about from a retired economics professor turned blogger and photographer.
These girls are the daughters of grandson Daniel and wife Carly. Top, Elise. Next, Sadie. Bottom, Camille. You can tell they are not used to posing. I thought these photos were too good to let languish on my hard drive.
Whenever my wife starts a new puzzle, she usually says something like "I don't know how I can put this one together. Too many pieces of the same color. How can I do it?" She then proceeds to put it together a piece at a time, one after the other, usually discovering a few impossible pieces near the very end of the puzzle. Is there some kind of a lesson here?
When my wife was a bit more than half finished with this jigsaw puzzle, I took her pill over to her. As I handed her the pill, I knocked over her glass of water which spilled all over the puzzle, all over the puzzle pieces. I actually shed a few tears because I knew how much effort she puts into completing the puzzles. Many of the pieces remaining to be put in the puzzle were soaked and the backings came off, leaving only a thin paper printing of the piece. The puzzle itself swelled up all across the middle from water damage. I had done such a careless thing that damaged so much effort on completing a beautiful puzzle. I was depressed for hours. I told my wife I would replace the puzzle or she could start one of the others I had just bought for her. She calmly told me everything was all right, and that she was sorry I felt so bad about what I had done. And then over the next few days she set to work. She dried out the wet pieces, removed the soggy backs from hundreds of wet and soaked pieces, let the puzzle dry out, and began to finish putting it together. I learned one more time that I should never underestimate my wife's persistence. I watched her patient progress and then, one day, she told me across the room, "It's finished!" I would never have believed it possible that she could have taken that soggy mass and completed the puzzle. Seven pieces out of all of the one thousand pieces ended up missing, and many pieces in the finished puzzle are mere tiny pieces of paper without backing. But she stayed with it and finished it. I wish that I could have the same calm feeling of self assurance that would help me over some of my difficult challenges that my wife demonstrates consistently despite the health challenges that she faces without complaint. Was I ever smart and inspired when I took her on our first blind date in early January of 1950.
All I had to offer Velna was the fact I had four years' experience as a janitor in working my way through the University of Wyoming, plus I knew how to hoe sugar beets, haul hay, raise pigs, and I had been Wyoming state president of the Future Farmers of America. Apparently that was enough.
This year I managed to get the date right. And I managed to sneak into Albertson's to get a nice red and white azalea that will bloom longer than three or four days and a nice carrot cake which the pastry lady kindly and expertly labeled with anniversary greetings for me.
So 62 years ago yesterday my mother and sister came 400 plus miles from northwestern Wyoming to Laramie in the south where I was in my senior year at the University of Wyoming. We drove 400 more miles on icy and snowy roads to Salt Lake where we would be married in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. But we almost didn't make it. The roads were so bad between Laramie and Salt Lake that we didn't arrive at the City-County building in Salt Lake to get our wedding license until about ten minutes until five o'clock, when they were closing. Worse yet, the Salt Lake Temple was closing the next day for several days for the holidays. So we managed to get our license in the nick of time and got to the temple for our wedding ceremony after checking in at the Hotel Utah. Since we had to go through the entire temple ceremony before our marriage ceremony, we didn't get out until ll:00 p.m. We had our wedding dinner at Walgreen's drug store across the street, the only thing open at that hour to get something to eat. After three days in Salt Lake, we carried our suitcases to the Greyhound bus depot for our ride back to Laramie. Upon arriving in Laramie, I changed my clothes, walked ten blocks downtown to my janitor job at the Roach Building, Laramie's tallest building at 5 stories, and thus concluded our honeymoon week and began our 62 years together. Four more years of college, several moves around the country, five kids, a passel of grandkids and great grandkids, some bumps and bruises, but here we are. And I owe my blind date who was 16 when I first rang her doorbell in Laramie when I was 17 for all of the good things of my life. Now we have 2 TV remotes, a 55 inch HD TV, an iPad, a Kindle, and a microwave, and two nice reclining chairs. We still speak to each other and I have tried to repent of all my egregious faults and characteristics. And there is nothing I wouldn't do for the little blonde girl who has stayed with me all these years. I couldn't have been more blessed.
Caleb. I know, I posted this photo the other day, but I wanted to show both brothers in the same post. Caleb and his wife Michelle are living in LA where he is working as a film music composer, I think. He graduated from BYU earlier this year.
Nat is a freshman at BYU majoring in physics. He tells us there are not a lot of females majoring in physics.
I thought I was doing a nice thing to get my wife another beautiful jigsaw puzzle. However, this one turned out to have countless pieces of the same colors and shapes. But my wife, as usual, threatens to give up and then perseveres, a quality that has served her well in her life. I know she will finish it.
When Louise went off to school in September of 1937, that left me home with my younger sister Elizabeth. We appropriated Liz's doll buggy to haul our big white cat around in. The time must be September or maybe October because the leaves are all over the ground.
Today we are reminiscing about earlier Septembers. This photo is one of my all-time favorites of my sister Louise, born a year before me, on her way to ride the school bus a bumpy hour's trip into town at Powell Wyoming. She taught me how to read since I wouldn't start school until a year later, so I was the only first grader when I started school that had a library card.
Top photo is a picture of Dwight and Velna Blood in the spring of 2003 when their family celebrated their golden wedding anniversary of December 18 1952 sitting on a bench on the north side of the Jordan River UT LDS Temple. Yesterday I asked my wife to drive me through the temple grounds to see the flowers since I have been immobile and unable to walk around and take flower photos for several months now while recovering from vertigo. When my wife saw the bench where we posed eleven years ago, she asked me to take a picture of it, so I did. So much has happened, so many health issues, so many changes in eleven years. But at least we are still here and we remember with love and fondness when we sat for our Golden Wedding photos on that bright and wonderful day eleven years ago as well as that wondrous day in 1952 when we were married in the Salt Lake LDS Temple when I was 20 and Velna was 19. So many years, yet the wondrous moments always seem like they happened yesterday and remain forever imprinted on our minds and on our consciousness. And we remain forever thankful and touched by those special moments.