- Cut the grass.
- Took my medicine.
- Fixed some computers: One with bad memory. One with defective recharge connection.
- The grandkids came by to visit .. all summer! Sweet.
- Fired up the temporary brick firepit .. still stumped. ie The tree stump gets burnt but is still there ..
On cutting the grass: First thing on Saturday morning, shortly after lunch, I got the lawn mower and the long electric cords all out and tackled the task of keeping up with the Jones's .. the lawn really does look much better neatly trimmed, but if it were up to me, grass would naturally grow to a preset length and then cut itself. It would stay green and lush and water itself and need no weekly care and attention. Come to think about it, left alone, nature sometimes does a decent job of grass fields .. but on further reflection; that is simply the result of divine providence, planning and work done for us in the past – the masterful result of the work of the creation. Perhaps part of the plan was the need to teach Roger how to mow the lawn.
On taking my medicine: After cutting the grass I realized I had neglected to take my morning medicine. Dr Jon had prescribed a course of antibiotics to me this week to address a chronic sinus infection. It seems that you have to actually take the pills at the prescribed times for the medicine to work. If the pills are left sitting in the bottle, they do me little good, but if I follow the directions, and remember, to take them once three times daily, they will be able to do their job. So, I repented and took my morning pill a little bit late, and got back on schedule. Would my condition would likely improve if, once I messed up my pill popping schedule, I had simply given up? No. Can't I just take one super magic pill to address the condition? Not in the real world. Solutions exist, but require consistent effort on our part - to follow directions that are known to work so that the prescription can take effect.
On fixing computers: This weekend I was asked to fix two different laptop computers. The first one ended up having defective memory. It would sometimes start up and seem to be working properly, for a while, and then go crazy and crash and burn at random times and places. The second laptop would not even start up .. the power connection pin had been broken off, so despite being plugged into a power source, the battery would not charge and no work could be done on it at all. Interestingly, for each I was asked to retrieve the files from the old computer to be saved and put onto a new computer. It struck me that in a similar manner, our old tired physical bodies are not as important in the long run to us as the memories and knowledge we have accumulated in the past. We are told that we will be issued new perfect bodies, so the part of us that is us, our past memories and relationships with our families is what is really important to find, remember and to save.
On Grandkids: We have been blessed with grandchildren and at the moment have 17 .. many currently visiting from the US for the summer and all the rest close enough to come for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The oldest wave is under 12 years old and the youngest is not 1 month old quite yet. In the middle we have bunches: 5 five year olds and 4 three year olds and a few others filling in the gaps. Fortunately we have cousins by the dozens here in Magrath .. and several 'grandma's houses' all around our block .. Grandma Davies, Great-Grandma Olsen, and Great-Grandma Harrison, with a few extra Uncles and Aunts homes interspersed. I remember with great fondness my own summer vacations in Magrath when we travelled down from Calgary with my four siblings .. for the entire summer at my Grandma and Grandpa Spencer's home – the home where we currently reside. The summer lasted for about a year back then, with long lazy summer days filled with swimming at the old Magrath Lions Pool and shopping at the Trading Company with a quarter in my fist. The phone book and newspaper were ridiculously thin compared to the ones we were used to in Calgary. Great times! I now get to see it from the Grandpa side. There are a lot of meals to prepare and clean up, the occasional inadvertent placement of Nitro with Glycerin and more cleaning up. We are preparing for another round of family reunions at the end of this month .. The Harrison Clan is meeting at Lava Hot Springs in southern Idaho and The Spencer's are meeting back up here a week later. More fun and games! These are the kind of memories you will want to retain, even if your hardware starts to fail. These are the important things in this world. “It is crucial for us to understand that Heavenly Father has provided a way for all of His sons and His daughters to have access to the blessings of and be strengthened by the power of the priesthood. Central to God’s plan for His spirit children is His own declaration: “This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).” We continue this work in our own families and by expanding our circle of influence.
And finally, on my firepit: I feel to apologize for the noise and smell emanating from my front yard over the past few weeks. The noise is a happy one and the smell is mostly smoke from the burning wood. You see, I had tree. An Mountain Ash. Well less of a tree and more like a huge overgrown bush. It had to go. For one thing, the branches were starting to rot and were threatening to topple off onto someone's grandchild. Also, the roots had found their way into our sewer pipe and now require an annual routing. So I chopped it down. Cut and stacked much of the wood back by my garage for future use. The tree was all gone except for the large stump and buried root system and all the suckers that keep wanting to start a new tree. The quote to have it dug up or ground down turned out to be a bit more than I was willing to pay, so I had another thought. It happens. Well, first I tried chopping it out by myself. Hmmm. A little more work than I was willing to invest. That is when I had my next great inspiration. I decided I would simply burn it out. I happened to have access to a pile of old bricks, stacked in my back yard from a prior inspiration, and decided to put them to use in creating a temporary firepit. My first attempt at stacking the bricks in a large circle about 4 layers high around the old tree looked fine but tended to fall over when a butterfly landed on one end. My second attempt worked a little better, with an overlapping hay stack design. Then I used the wood from the branches I had cut down to start a nice fire in the new fire pit. It sounded like it should work, but after three weekends of intense burning, we have only 'scratched the surface' so to speak. On the other hand, the grandkids have had a lot of fun hanging out around the front yard, roasting hot dogs and making s'mores! It occurred to me that my object in burning out the tree stump was completely different from the grandkids view of the situation. They saw a fun family night around a burning fire. I saw a stump that refused to burn much and an evening outside of constant supervision and monitoring just what might be being thrown into the pit to burn. My ways are not their ways. And His ways are not my ways. Perhaps, His way is closer to their ways. The stump is only a short term problem in my mind. The memories we are making with all the grandkids around is a solution to a longer term situation. Am I removing stumps or building memories?
D&C 128:22 "Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing .. "
I feel this encouragement should apply to all our activities, all our 'church work'; our missionary, temple, family (FHE, scripture study, prayers), home teaching, personal studies, etc are really all the same work .. i.e. part of helping him .. Moses 1:39 .. "—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" .. by truly 'watching over' his sheep (have we mixed enough metaphors yet?).