Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Mom helped me fix the vacuum cleaner

A walk along the Jordan River Parkway in the last year of my mom's life
with Jessica & Sarah my daughters and our dog Daisy
The title of this blog entry would keep you wondering about how my mother, who passed away in July of 2004 could have helped me fix my vacuum cleaner?  I do think it deserves some background and explanation.  I came home from work and received report that when Sarah had tried to use the vacuum earlier that day, it began to spark where the cord goes into the vacuum and quit on her.  While the vacuum doesn't owe us a lot, it wasn't something high on my list to replace and I had other places where the money could go.  I decided to take a look at it, and began to see where the cord had become separated and a wire broke.  I took the back off, cut the wire, re-spliced it and placed that new connection within the protective area and shortened the cord by about 4 inches and secured it into the vacuum, just like new.  Before putting the cover back on, the thought hit me, that it was my mother who had the insight for me to learn and the patience to work with me, that gave me the confidence to fix it.  I cried a little with gratitude for having such a great mom, who taught me to have the confidence and knowledge to face life.

Growing up in home where my father had died when I was 10, I was faced numerous times with things that were broken in the house or projects that either my mom wanted done or something I wanted to tackle.  It was not uncommon when I needed something, for my mom to put me in the car, take me either to Samons Plumbing Supply located on 900 W where a grocery store now exists, or Sutherland Lumber over on Redwood Road.  She wouldn't have any idea generally what I was buying, but would let me try and figure it out and then pay for it at the cash register.  I sometimes would end back there two or three times during a project.  Mom was always willing to let us try and fix it and try more than common sense would suggest.

Seems like we were always engaged in a project.  This was a time with my
Mom, my nephew Evan and nieces Noelle and Emily as we cleaned out
my Dad's home in Richfield after my Step-Grandmother passed away.  I drove
this 1964 GMC truck during High  School (the gas gauges never worked).
Mom always liked to have a truck around
Sometimes, I would get frustrated with a plumbing or electrical project and tell my mom to call Frank Dahn, a plumber who was a retired firefighter, or my uncle, MC Laird to see if they would come fix the problem.  Half the time, they would instruct her to put me on the phone, indicating that I could fix it and try and talk me through it and then would say, "Call me back if you can't get it".  In the case of Frank, didn't he ever want to have a paid job!  Frequently I would then figure it out, and we would be on our way.  Years later, I realized both had the insight to see a widow who needed help and then training me was a way for them to succeed in doing so.

In the years that followed my father's death, Mom had three rental homes and a basement apartment.  I ended up fixing a lot of things over the years, and later would help wire a garage, greenhouse, or assist siblings, family or friends with their remodel projects.  I will on occasion see a need with some of the single women I home teach in the Mormon Church and really it's my mom helping to do the work.

For the record, the vacuum is running well and lives to see another day.  While Mom never was that mechanically inclined, she knew how to raise children to think for themselves. I just wanted to tell Mom thanks for helping me to fix the vacuum.
Mom at the demolition of the Court House on Library Square in preparation
for the construction of the new Main Library.  I'm holding Sarah as a baby.
Mom participated in the Mayor's Capitol Advisory Board that led to the
building of a bunch of facilities I ended up tearing down!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Meet the Mormons - A movie you should watch!

Attending the premier of Meet the Mormons, with Cathy and having our picture with
Jermaine Sullivan, Bishop of the Atlanta Ward
and one of the members of the LDS Church profiled in the movie.
It's no secret to friends and readers of my blog, that I love my faith.  (I guess friends could also be readers of my blog...)  In fact, I love to share my faith with others.  However even more important for me, is for others to understand who we are as a people and who we are not.  It's tough to always explain and many avenues in media often do a horrible job with that task.  Sometimes it's done in jest, a little self humor or someone having a little fun about you, usually works.  We all need to laugh at ourselves.  However there are times when people truly are insensitive toward one another both in the Church and outside.  Mormons don't have an exclusive right to be idiots and those outside of our faith, aren't always insightful in their interpretation.  The reality is that most members of the LDS Church or Mormons have many characteristics of others and what we don't always share in belief, we hold in respect for one another.  I need to do a better job understanding others and I hope they would do the same.  For those wanting a better insight into those of the LDS faith, the movie premier this weekend of Meet The Mormons allows one to do just that, within the safety of their local theater.

This movie, while originally created to be shown in the Legacy Theater of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and other visitor centers throughout the world, was found to be effective in helping others understand us for who we are or in other ways, who we want to become.  We are not a perfect people, but we aren't villains either.  Meeting tonight my friend Mitt Romney, reminded me that during the 2012 Presidential Election, how much people misunderstood our faith.  While this movie will not resolve all questions, it gives a wonderful overview of the personal challenges and lives of six wonderful members from different areas of life, who share a hope of being good people and love and respect their families.

Take a minute out of your schedule this weekend and go to the movies.  Any net proceeds from this effort go to the American Red Cross, no profits will come from the effort.  If this movie was originally created for a visitor center why show it in a theater?   Why not.  We watch a number of other movies about different aspects of life, should this be any less?  In fact, what better and more neutral venue to watch it for anyone than a move theater.  You get to choose, you can even walk out if you want, or take a friend back to watch it again.  This is a ticket work every dollar you'll spend.