Monday, May 31, 2010

Nancy's Notes: The Month of May

May 31, 2010 - Today is Memorial Day, the day we remember and give tribute to those who have passed on, and in particular, those who have lost their lives serving our country. We could not do this without the preservation of their lives through written stories and pictures. This is history. Sometimes we get so busy with our lives, that we forget that today’s events are tomorrow’s memories, and next year’s history of the year that came before. All lives have significance. We have purpose in life. To figure out what that purpose is and fulfill it is an important part of my life and should be something that everyone gives a considerable amount of thought to. There are so many distractions around us, that if one is not careful, one can find himself spinning around on a merry-go-round of busy activities that seem compelling at the moment, but have no purpose, therefore, no joy. Or often, they are activities that ARE good, but not the most appropriate use of our precious time. And so we hop back up on that carrousel only to find out later that it wasn’t what we thought it would be. Back to Memorial Day. I am grateful for those who serve our country today, and are willing to take that risk, knowing that their life may be sacrificed for freedom. I am grateful to those who have died for the cause of freedom, whether on the battlefield, or engaged in the “other” war. The war I speak of started before we were even born, in another place we can’t remember but only read about in the scriptures, a “war” in heaven. We know what side we were on because we are here on earth. If we would have chosen the other side (which 1/3 of all the host of Heaven did choose!) we would never have the privilege of being born and progressing any further. I want to win that war. And I want to be remembered when I am no longer here for the life I lived and the things I stood for. And my life can only be remembered if I leave a trail…stories, pictures.

May was such a busy month. Here are some highlights:

• A visit with Lisa, Dave, Newell, Corbyn, Paige, and Dakota – We spent a couple of days visiting, and had a wonderful time. It rained so we couldn’t go to the endearing nearby park, so Gayle took us girls shopping at the mall instead! I am grateful that they allow me to practice my photography on them!

• A lot of concerts. There were 10 of them, 7 of which I had responsibility for. The second week of May we had Arlo Guthrie and his family (3 generations) in the Fox for a performance. Arlo signed my “Weaver Songbook” I’ve had since my days at Thomas Jefferson High School, at the top of my music of “This Land is Your Land,” written by his father, Woodie Guthrie. They put on a good show, all the Guthries were good musicians.

• A few days after the Guthrie concert, I had the privilege of photographing Natalie Cole at the INB Performing Arts Center with some donors after her performance with The Spokane Symphony! The pictures turned out very well, and I have not shared any of them digitally for security reasons. Natalie Cole has beautiful skin and looks incredibly young. Someone told me she is 70 but I can’t believe it. She was very gracious during the photo op, and gave an outstanding performance.

• Every Saturday we worked very hard on our yard. We have the miserable task of removing rock from our garden beds every spring, and considerable amount of time was spent shoveling dirt and rocks onto a screen sitting on top of the wheelbarrow, then sifting the dirt which falls below, and the rocks are discarded into a wagon, then hauled off to our “rock pile.” We had 5 yards of composted dirt delivered, and replace the rocks with several inches of good rockless dirt. We also created a new dahlia garden in the front yard and planted one of the vegetable gardens.

• Both of the ladies I visit teach were hit with unexpected grief this month. One’s 2 ½ year old granddaughter grabbed her father’s handgun when he turned away for a moment. It discharged, and she did not survive. The other sister’s brother passed away suddenly while sleeping from a massive heart attack. They were camping in the Grand Canyon at the time. So I spent some of my free time serving them in very small ways. Some things are just not meant to be born alone. The burden of a grief like that must be shared with those who are able and willing to carry it also. I was able to relate well what they were going through, having experienced loss of a child when Matthew passed on.

• Mother’s Day was May 10th, and I am grateful to be a mom to seven wonderful children. I got to talk to all of them that day (Ok, Matt didn’t talk to me but I DID talk to him – not sure if he was listening) which is really important to me on THAT day and Gayle treated me with gifts, dinner out, and a heartfelt card. I am grateful to MY MOTHER for so many things. I know that she sacrificed a lot personally for her seven children when we were young. She sewed practically all our clothes, taught us to pray and read our scriptures, and taught us how to work. I am grateful for the love that she and Dad shared then and continues to share now. I am amazed at her endurance and patience. Yesterday I was reminded in Church that Paul taught that our trials refine us, that we will never be given more than we can handle, and it is our task to endure it well, learning lessons in the process. I thought of mom, who has been very patient with her suffering illnesses for many years. I know this is NOT the life she thought she would have in her older years. In May she had more setbacks, finding herself in the hospital again with fluid in her lung. And yet she tells ME to keep smiling. She tries to be positive and endures well her illnesses. She is grateful for the little things that lighten her day…a phone call from her children, a caring nurse, for tender mercies from the Lord. I am grateful that she recently received approval for some extremely expensive medication that may help her Crones disease. She is a great example to me of humility and enduring well.

• On May 11th, I went to the temple to just take pictures at sunset. Our prophets have encouraged us though the years to keep the temple in our hearts and displayed in our homes. I have wanted to take a series of pictures of temples that we’ve visited that I can have and share. I love the temple for covenants that I have made to my Heavenly Father to live the life here He wants me to live. I gain strength when I go to the temple because of the peace that I feel there and the love that our Heavenly Father and Jesus have for all their children.

• On May 15, Jared dropped in to Spokane, on a training mission with the Air Force. When he left New Mexico, he had been assigned to a different plane instead of his own, which thought unusual. The pilot chose to fly to Portland on Friday, then fly over to Spokane briefly on Saturday! Jared called us, and we enjoyed a brief visit and lunch. I looked to Jared as my mentor in physical fitness. He runs every morning…that morning he ran 6 miles. I have a goal to be physically fit, and I have learned that it takes more than just eating right. Exercise is very important. We joined a Fitness Club in January after considerable thinking “should we or shouldn’t we?” but it is a challenge to get into the gym as often as I feel I need to. Ah…balance in life is something that I strive for. And so when I am feeling the need to exercise, I think of Jared running and it motivates me to try harder.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Images of the Fox Notecards

 "Before the Curtain Rises" showcases the original fire curtain viewed from the balcony
of Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox.

When Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox opened in November 2007 many people asked if we had Fox image notecards for sale. It peaked my interest because I have a soft spot for cards, love photography, and the theater has many wonderful details to photograph, which I had permission to shoot. If I could create a card for people to purchase that would help them remember their experience at The Fox it would be meaningful to the concert-goer and help promote the theater. Unfortunately, it was decided not to add a kiosk with merchandise at that time. In January 2010, with the national release of the Spokane Symphony's Letters from Lincoln CD (performance recorded live with Thomas Hampson in 2009 to commemorate the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln - a commisioned piece by the Spokane Symphony, written by Michael Daugherty; see a 5 minute video about this on you tube - just google Letters from Lincoln) the CD's would be on sale at the theater and I got permission to see what I could come up with. The result was not one card but two 5x7 cards made from two of my images I took in Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. The cards are being sold during Spokane Symphony and Fox Presents performances with other merchandise like Symphony mugs, t-shirts, CD holders, and Letters of Lincoln CD's. The first night 17 of my cards sold, and have consistently continued to sell since. It is satisfying to have accomplished this goal in February!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Feb. Happenings

Last week a dear lady at Church, Lois Concannon, had her 95th birthday! When I asked her if I could stop by on her birthday and visit she happily agreed and let me take her picture. Lois led the music in Sacrament Meetings for many years (someone said 42 years!) and only stopped a few years ago. She still plays the organ in her home, and paints beautifully. To honor her, members of our ward put on "An Evening of Music" in Lois' honor. After each participant performed, they presented a yellow rose to Lois. At the conclusion Lois had a basket of three dozen roses. I organized a small group of women and we sang an arrangement of "As Sisters in Zion." I also matted and framed Lois' picture, had it on display on a table as people entered, and then gave it to her to take home with her.

Gayle and I have been thinking for a VERY long time about joining a fitness club, and on the last day of January, we signed up. We were ready to commit and chose the Liberty Lake Fitness Club, a 10 minute drive from home. Consulting with a trainer has helped us to develop a routine to follow understand the equipment that will help us achieve results. In the past three weeks we both suffered horrible colds that stopped our progress temporarily, but now that we have recovered and are getting our strength back, we are ready to start exercizing again. We went both Friday and Saturday, and boy am I sore...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Catching Up

Kayla with Heather and Keith, and in her Blessing Dress.

Rejoice! - A New Day