Wednesday, February 23, 2011

One foot in the past...and one in the future.

When I was a young girl we lived in Provo, UT while my Dad attended BYU. We were originally from Alberta, Canada. So my parents were a long way from home. I remember the grin on my Moms face when she'd check the mail and find a letter there from her own Mother. I loved listening to my mother as she read my sister, Cindy, and I what Grandma wrote. I became familiar with her penmanship, and I'd look at the letter and even smell the pages to see if it smelled like Grandma's house (it did). Grandma Mertz would nearly always clip interesting articles, obituaries, wedding announcements, etc. from the hometown newspaper. This newspaper was so small that ANY news became newsworthy. Example: Mr. and Mrs. Johnson went on holiday to Bozeman to see their children and grandchildren. A fun time was had by all. -or- The Constable was called over to Mr. Zauggs home for reportedly the fifth time. A complaint was lodged against Mr Zaugg's neightbor to the south (Mr. Harper) for letting his pigs get out and damage Mr Zaugg's vegetable garden. Mr Zaugg was reported to have said that if those (bleep) pigs got loose and into his garden one more time...they'd be stocked well with bacon, sausage, and ham for the coming winter months. When Mom would read these little clips from the paper she'd laugh and laugh, and I couldn't wait for Dad to come home so I could hear her laugh and giggle while telling the story to him.

Well, my point is obvious, times have indeed changed. Those letters have been nearly completely replaced by email, texting, Skyping, and nationwide cell phone calling plans. The internet has thankfully made many hours of scouring library shelves for specific information (albeit outdated) moot in many respects. Although I could spend hours and hours in the Library, I find that since my children have grown, and with the simple availability to touch and click information... the call to do it has decreased significantly.

With the thrust of the future upon us I find myself in a bit of a quandary. At 50 years old (soon to be 51) this year I have felt more than ever before that I have one foot stuck in the past and one foot eagerly strutting forward into the future. I love all things old, relics and antiques of all kinds. This love of the past has made me the natural historian, scribe, geanologist, and basic pain in butt, of the family. My childhood inquisative nature has currently made me a perpetual question asker, story teller, and jokester. Sometimes, I am met with eager anticipation, and sometimes with a roll of the eyes, and a stiffening of the neck.

But I was born to be right here, right now. I FEEL it. Let me explain:

Once several years ago I was asked by a very wise Bishop to speak in church, the subject he gave me to speak on was (drumroll please) The Meridian of Time. At first I puked a little in my mouth (I stole that grotesque visual from my teenagers), and I probably whined a little (in private), stomped my foot once or twice...and then true to my nature...I pulled up my big-girl panties and got to work. In my research of this incredible subject I soon discovered how fascinating and timely this subject was. I delved in and soon was awash with information. With each new discovery I felt my love for my Heavenly Father and Savior increase. Let me share in a VERY concise manner what I learned. Jesus Christ came into this world at the precise millisecond that He was supposed to. The governments were in place (wicked king), the people were called to be taxed so that He could be born in the city of his fathers (the city of David), the stars were aligned perfectly, the shepherds, the wise men, the rejection, EVERYTHING was in place in the universe (and beyond) for this event to take place precisely when it was supposed to. Can we presume to be so bold as to ask ourselves the seemingly audacious question were WE? Were we actually born into this world at the precise millisecond we were supposed to as was Christ? The answer is simply....yes.

Jered & Me (2009)
Our kids are born when they are supposed to be too.
How. When. & Where.

As much as I LOVE and embrace the past like a long lost friend, I find myself being giddy with anticipation with every new announcement or release of the LATEST gadget, phone, tv, computer, laptop, software, or i-anything. I cannot take complete credit for this intriguing quality/$fault$ of mine...I do have kids. LOL. But even my 73 year old father is a wonderful example of willingness to not only adapt and embrace change but to find JOY in it. He worked in the medical/sales field for most of his career and then zip zip....went to work for Word Perfect Magazine several years ago. Helllllllo! He was right in there emailing, and managing schedules and working on his laptop with the best and brightest. I LOVED his tenacity and his...If I'm alive...I can LEARN, mentality. Which he still has today. He is the proud owner, and toter of an iPad. Unless you've been out of touch or living under a rock he has just married his sweetheart Marilyn May on February 5th. Go Dad! I see a trend here.

Ahhhh...back to me. (Hey- it's my blog) I have not only loved the technological gadgets themselves but everything fun they bring to the table. I have an 18 year old daughter, Cassi, who is going to college in a State 1,700 miles away from home. I don't know how our parents dealt with such separations. Because when I was younger, (MUCH), kids went off to college and everything involving a telephone was expensive. Calling a town 10 miles up the road was considered long distance and the additional charges were outrageous. So calling home was once a month for college students. With technology I get to call, txt, or Skype with her. The only limitations are the ones I place on myself to not be obnoxiously intrusive into her much anticipated personal space. LOL. (How am I doing sis?)

Me and Cassi at Grandpa Beaujeu's wedding 05 Feb, 2011

I also have my first-born, Kristi, who is serving the Lord, and our Church on a full-time Mission in the Raleigh, North Carolina Mission. We do have more limitations than that of my little collegiate, but there still are major differences. We found out that some of the Missions at Christmas-time allowed their Missionaries to Skype their calls home. Wow! In the MTC Kristi was part of a pilot program where they had the use of the latest in technology including ipods, big screens, closed circuit televisions, and the latest in cell phone capabilities. They are even allowed to txt each other on their Missions now. I love the fact that I am able to email her instead of taking the time to write her long-hand. I write her much more with a keyboard (OK, truth-be-told, I just typed 'typewriter' and then deleted it to write 'keyboard'- LOL) than I would if I had to write it out long-hand. And- if we are on email at the same time...we can get those emails going back and forth PDQ (pretty darned quick). So even though I am here in Texas, I feel so connected to my kids. I LOVE that!

Me & Kristi- dropping her off at the MTC 26th May, 2010

This brings me to the whole blog thing. I was NOT a blogger. Until my daughter accepted her call and left on her Mission. She has always been a social butterfly. But hers is not a popularity born by todays standards...Kristi has an infectious quality of genuinely loving people. And, in return, people gravitate to Kristi. She is an amazing individual. She has wanted to serve a Mission her whole life..and everyone who knows Kristi knows she was meant to do just that. When we went into the Stake President's office to have her set-apart as a Missionary he counseled her to write to her immediate family first and just what she could to others. The time is very limited for writing on a Mission. So I felt a sense of sadness from my daughter, even an anxiousness because she was leaving behind so many dear friends. I knew I had to DO something to help her. I immediately knew that I had to learn to blog. I started her blog not too long after she entered the MTC (Mission Training Center) in Provo. It was trial and error, let me tell ya. I had a great sideline coach (thanks Cynthia) and encouragement wasn't the issue, I got that by the number of emails I recieved from the recipients of her blog update notices saying "I LOVE the blog!" I am happy for the input because that let me know that blogging really was a phenominal idea. I also have learned that when she comes home from her Mission I can send her blog to a blog publisher to be put into a book for her. :) Come on....that's awesome!

Funny story: In writing Kristi's blog I discovered a few things- 1) people thought that Kristi was on the computer on her Mission writing her own blog. 2) that the Church had somehow provided these blogs for all Missionaries. 3) they wanted to know how they could find their own Missionary's blogs. To clarify: 1- Kristi does not wirte her blog, I do. I use her emails, letters, and sd cards to cherry-pick information that I feel she would want shared with everyone. Then, I write her blog. She doesn't even have the password. She asked me last week if I could add a 'Button' to her blog that would take the person from her blog to her profile on That is something I am working on. 2) The Church does not provide blogs. That is something left up to parents. I know some parents who are great at forwarding their Missionary's emails. 3) already answered.

My discovery didn't stop with the above. I also found that I had a lot to say, and share myself. So for a while I batted around the idea that I should start my own blog. Voile, my blog was born. Several people have asked me where the Title for my blog came from. I did mention it in an early blog post. I will re-post that information:

Answer: Because Grandma Mertz said so. LOL

I would like to introduce you to a couple of folks.
This is my Grandma Rosina (Nelson) and My Grandpa William John (Bill) Mertz
This picture was taken on their wedding day, the 23rd of March, 1927. They were
married in the Cardston, Alberta, Canada Temple.

As long as I can remember few people could compete with my Grandmother's cooking. When we'd come visit (they lived in Stirling, Alberta, Canada...we lived most my life in the States) she would say all she had to feed us was 'bread & coulee water'. Then she'd procede to feed a bunch of us a beautiful, delicious, meal that smelled like heaven. At mealtime I can still hear her say, "Ya hungry? I bet I can find you some bread and coulee water." That came to mean, 'OH BOY!' :)

I named my blog after her light-hearted catch-phrase in her honor. No-one left her house hungry or unloved. I hope to write more about Rosina Mertz in the future. She was an amazing woman and raised a family of 9 children on a farm during the depression so there is lots to tell.

In 1995 I was asked to put together a family cookbook for our reunion. I titled it 'Bread & Coulee Water' what else?

Keeping up with the demands in my life (no... I'll not make the proverbial list) is sometimes a bit of a challenge. Then my Missionary wrote me yesterday and said, "MOM, when are you ever going to write a personal profile for You must!" I wrote back; "I'll get right on that." {{{rolls eyes}}} .....No really, I will get right on it.

Discovery: What I have learned about having one foot in the past, and one stretched forward to the future is that it has provided me with a sort-of equilibrium that I am happy with. It grounds me and gives me appreciation for the past, help with today, and great hope and anticipation for tomorrow. Heavenly Father is so great. I'm thankful.

Stay tuned!


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