The 28th was the 10 year anniversary of when I was supposed to enter the MTC. Time has certainly flown! Who would ever have thought then I would be in law school 10 years later. I wonder how many people even thought I would attend law school. Who knows what they thought I was going to end up doing. I was glad to be able to go on a mission. The first eggnog of the season found its way into our refrigerator. Boy does it bring back memories of may Christmas’ from long ago. I know, we haven’t even hit Thanksgiving yet. I guess the eggnog is just early. I had a happy tummy for a day or two, regardless of the season.
One of my school buddies is looking at the home next door. Wouldn’t that be great to have neighbors who I went to school with? We could work on our homes together, we could have parties. I could ride to school with Andrew and Amanda could sleep in for another hour. She would be happy about that. We will have to wait and see. Since they probably cannot get into the home by themselves, we are taking about signing with them. The great thing is the house is owned by a trust. Both of the parents have died and the family really just wants to sell it, even for about 2/3rds of its value. So we worked it out that in signing with them, they would share a portion of what they make on the house when they sell it in a couple of years. All the more incentive for me to help when they are fixing it up!
Last night was the last of my classes. I did not mind it was on Halloween. I never cared much for the holiday. Besides, what better way to remember the dead on Halloween than teaching a class on family history and new FamilySearch? There was wonderful attendance all 4 classes. I am relieved it is completed. On that note, the temple work continues forward at a wonderful pace. I received over 75 completed cards in the mail this week.
It has been a quick, but dragging week. I have felt somewhat oppressed in soul. Nothing I can attribute it to other than just weariness and exhaustion. A good number nights of sleep have helped me recover. However, I fear I will not completely recover from Contracts. I really like Torts and Civil Procedure. I could do with more understanding in Contracts and perhaps I would enjoy it more. I started outlining it today. We got about 1.5 chapters completed. I got a headache by that point so we called it for the day. I am not sure if it was Contracts or the salty pretzels.
We watched The Kite Runner last night. I really enjoy shows like that where I get to see some insight into other cultures. I enjoyed it. The insight into Afghanistan and Pakistan were very interesting. I would really like to learn that language and travel those nations. A whole world to learn.
I finished Deuteronomy this week. I enjoyed it. The end reminds me much of a General Conference talk.
Here are a couple more of updates on stories about the family. Here are some more stories I received about the family from two individuals. Most of them are about my Grandparents, but I also included the one about an experience with the church. I am so completely disappointed in those who did this. This is not at all what the church teaches.
“[Colleen] loved dancing. She taught me how to be a better follower. [My husband] put an extra step in his 2 step, I would stumble every time. When I watched her and [my husband] dance, it was always smooth. She taught me how to relax and follow his lead. I am sure that she had much pride watching you grow into a man. Dancing with all the “old ladies.” Can you imagine how special and young they felt to be dancing with you. That is a very special thing you gave to them.”
“Once we moved to [a small town in Idaho], [my son] was old enough and began his religious education at our small mission church in town. I was very involved with “taking care of my church.” It was during this time that I met and interacted with “practicing” mormons. People were not afraid to tell me that I was wrong. Of course, everyone knew [my husband] was LDS. The church rolls tracked every one and missionaries, relief society, and elders would stop by before I could finish unpacking. I had some disagreeable things said to me. Especially about how awful I was to cheat my son of a greater life. I felt I was treated meanly by many. At cub scout functions, no one wanted to sit near us. Sometimes, we were even told the wrong times for things so we would be very late. Every one would stop and stare, whisper. I felt so bad.
“Our ward president’s wife had no difficulty telling me I was an awful mother, but that “scouting” could be for everyone. Blah, blah, blah… In order to survive I asked for permission to attend Seminary. Which I attended at Soda Springs High School. I had my mother find me out of print books in San Francisco. I began to read everything I could. Pro and Con. I was asked to not return to seminary, it was because I asked too many questions. I was disruptive to the education of the young people I was told. My father’s youngest sister converted to Mormonism. She lives in Clearfield, I think. I don’t have much contact due to the way she treats my father. She and I had a relationship back then. She is still very active in the church and assisted in my education. She wanted me to convert.”
“Colleen had said something about being disappointed in the “church” in Preston. That Grandma and Grandpa Andra had given land to the “church.” That the trade-off (my word) was that they would be “taken care of” by the church. Some one else will have to fill in these blanks. Something to do with the church wanting the rest of their property. She spoke harshly at this time and used the term “church” in general. Not a specific Ward. Sandy was very upset about the Temple marriage to Evan because she did not like him and the “celestial kingdom.” Her family would never be together again. She would yell at Grandma about this, they both yelled. I really do not remember anyone in the family attending church at all. [My husband] always welcomed the missionaries, he would have conversations at length.
It was not really a topic of discussion between Colleen and I. She never openly criticized me or anyone regarding religion. She did express regrets about her children and Norwood. I don’t remember her expressing regrets about herself. I felt sometimes that lack of religion in the household was used as an excuse for the way things were. An excuse for the choices made. It seemed to always be in a negative reference. I did find it interesting the times that the “church’ was brought up. When a person did not want to assume responsibility for a choice made. It was blamed on the “church.”
“I know that Norwood was always pretty mean to Colleen. He scared me a lot, but I was pretty little. I did hear my parents talking about how he did hurt your grandmother and they were not impressed. I will talk to [my sister] and ask if she remembered more than me. He was awful when he had been drinking, I did see that myself when we stayed at Colleen’s for a week.”
“[Doug and Linda's wedding reception] took place in the basement of the library in Richmond. [Colleen] had made all the arraignments. She did the decorations. I remember the spiral staircase with the gifts displayed. It was very nice. I had met most of the family that was there at Norwood’s funeral. [Doug] wore the Tux that his folks had bought him in High School. I remember how handsome he looked. We stayed at Sandy’s. I think she was living on Main St in Logan. I just don’t remember the fine details. For a Jonas gathering, you might say it was uneventful.”
“The initial call from the police came to [Colleen's, about your mother's wreck]. Colleen was not there. I asked about you, the police said there was no baby. I had seen you with her prior to her drinking. Sandy was not above leaving you in the car when she would drink. So the police began the search. By the time [we] arrived at the wreck, they had found the dog, I think he was under the jeep. It was dark, I remember the field, the tumbleweeds. The shadows cast. The jeep upside down. Sandy was at the ER. The baby carrier that she used had been found, but no Paul. I remember hearing someone say, if you were out there, you were dead. The smell of the blackberry brandy all over the carrier, the inside of the jeep. (I am crying right now. This is hurting my stomach a little.) Okay… I remember [your Uncle Doug] yelling, “I’m going to kill her.” Typical of the family, he rambled about every single thing she had done wrong in the past. Making himself madder and madder. I was freezing, terrified, my stomach hurt so bad. One of the deputies radioed and we were told that Colleen was at home and that you were with her. [Doug] was so angry by the time we got to you. He fought with his mom about Sandy. All I could do was hold you and cry. Grandma was concerned about Sandy and Doug did not want her to go to the hospital. Colleen had been spared the emotion that Doug and I had just gone thru. I think Colleen had run into Sandy and had taken you so she would not leave you in the car while she drank. Probably because it was cold. I am curious about Doug’s memory of this. Your mom would probably not remember, she was drunk. I don’t remember anyone but the police and Doug and I looking for you. I believe we looked for a little over an hour before the call. Thing is, you were never missing. No one else really lived the terror, so this would not be a story connected with the rollover. There would/should be in the police report, we did search for you.”