My love affair with kats began when I was barely able to walk. When I moved to Utah (I had been born in Germany and then lived in Lacey, Washington) I was barely a toddler. In Salt Lake we have the Hogle Zoo. A great place for a toddler. The animals were all lovely, but the moment I walked in and saw Shasta, my little heart was set a twitter. Shasta was a liger. Not the liger from Napoleon Dynamite fame, but a real live daughter of a tiger and a lion. She was beautiful and I was hooked. Shasta died when I was 16 years old and I cried to think my good friend was gone. She now resides at the Bean Museum at BYU. It's free. You should go. You should blow kisses at her for me!
This isn't Shasta, but I would have loved to give her a hug!
As I have said before, I come from a pretty amazing family. My Dad has six sisters who are the best in the world. My Mom only has a brother. My Step Father has more brothers and sisters than I can count. But more importantly, I have 5 sisters and 6 brothers. I would like to tell you that we have a wonderful perfect family, but I really can't. What I can tell you is my family has come through some pretty tough times and most of us are pretty functional. I have some wonderful sisters and have been blessed with a great sister in law! I have a little brother who really is my favorite. Nieces and Nephews who are the best.
I have some family members that are now ex, and it broke my heart to lose them. But I get to see them all in three weeks. A Neice is getting married!
Two years ago I married into another huge family. Now, like many of my friends and my oldest sister, I have Grandchildren. And I really do need that sticker that says, "My Grandkids are cuter than yours!" Because, now, that is completly true!
And lastly, I do have two Sons and a Daughter. There was a time when I wanted 12 children. I know now that someone up above, knows us a whole lot better than we know ourselves and blessed me with the 3 I should have. The best thing about my children is I know they love me. And hopefully they know I love them. Somewhere along the way I do hope I did something right and taught something good and important.
This is my side of the family on my wedding day. In this picture is my mother, step father, step mother, three sisters, two aunts one uncle, a cousin and neices and nephews. Also, my three kids! Check out Alex. He is fourth from the left. He looks so young!
I have one friend who has been my friend since we were in 4th grade. She has been my rock during times when I didn't think I could cope. She has been my cheerleader through so many of my adventures. She has been my inspiration during difficult times. Hers and mine! She is an angel sent from Heaven to help me here on earth. I owe her more than I could ever return to her. And I haven't seen her for much too long. She lives in Idaho and I am here in Utah. Pretty close huh? We stay in contact and have through most of our lives. She is a sweetheart and I am lucky to have such a friend. Sidlet, I love you!
When I was young, friends were my life. They were a way to escape the world I lived in and enjoy some time as a real child or teenager. Most of my memories are of the friends, who like Calgon, took me away from it all. Lucky for me, my friends were good kids.
As I got older, married, had children and settled into life, I have made new friends. Some come and go, move on and pass away. My friend, Carla, has been here for me through all those rough roads you travel as an adult. I owe her so much for being a listening ear and having a loving heart. She is the most compassionate and kind hearted person ever. She gave me the courage to make hard decisions and is always supportive of my choices. Love you Carla! Let's go get a shake!
Homebody should be another of my middle names. I prefer to stay at home close to the people and things I get comfort from. Not to say I don't love to travel, it's just so nice to be home. During my early years of life I moved 6 times, went to 6 different elementary schools and made dozens of friends. But, I lived in my past home for almost 30 years. That is where home is to me. There with the people who were 20 somethings, newly married, having babies, building careers and trying their hands at yardwork.
My new home is across the valley from my former one. It was a hard transition leaving behind the familiar and the comfortable.
I have discovered that no matter where you are, if you have a sence of community and well being, you are where you belong.
Last weekend it was Pioneer Day here in Utah. We had already been to one celebration on the 18th (The Grass Roots were there, my friends! Well, at least Rob Grill was. It Rocked!) so we made the decision to just stay home. We have a darling family who lives across the street with three little boys. The youngest of these boys loves my hubby. He will stand and yell at him until he acknowledges him. So very cute! This family was doing a little Firwork display. We dragged the lawn chairs out to watch the show. These cute little boys ran over to us, crawled on our laps and spent the evening entertaining us with the tales of their lives. This is what a community is. Feeling a part and sharing your love with those who are around you.
As you may or may not know, I won the book, The Opposite of Fate, from Melissa during the SITS Spring Fling. Reading is the only real hobby I have and this book is so very good.
If you have read other Amy Tan books, and enjoyed them, this book will be a delight for you. She tells stories of her life and has such a positive spin on how things work out by either Faith or Fate.
Her father was a Christian and her mother a Buddist. Her life was built on her fathers faith and her mothers crazy antics. As I read I thought for sure she would be a completely disfunctional adult. Her mother would rant and beat her and tell her she was going to kill herself. Not the best enrivonrment to be raised in. But Amy Tan has a wonderful outlook on life. She has taken the bad and changed it into good. She has serious health problems that she deals with and moves on.
I found this book to be so uplifting. Amy Tan, and her family, has overcome the worst life can hand you and turned things into blessings. Thank you Melissa for sharing this with me and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good summer read!
Thanks to Melissa for giving me something to write about and for letting me do some real thinking about important things in my life!