Those Who Have Gone On Before Us

Today was my Grandmother Monson's birthday. She passed away in 1985, at the ripe old age of 93. Feisty to the end. Grandmother was smart, well-read, loving, hard-working, a perfect lady, and my hero. She always made time for me; always made me feel special. Most of my family say I am a lot like her...except for that whole ladylike thing.

My grandmother raised five kids on a small farm in the rolling hill country of Missouri, mostly by herself. Her husband died when my father, the youngest, was only 9 months old. Grandmother got a job in the post office, going in early to light the stoves and clean the office. She always had a huge garden, full of a myriad of fruit trees, a bounty of veggies and the most stunningly beautiful rose garden I have ever seen. Simply put, she could make a rock grow.

Grandmother Monson had an abundance of energy. Even while sitting down, she would always have some quilting or crocheting project in her lap, her hands working furiously. In her later years, Grandmother baked cookies for the elderly shut-ins, most of whom were at least a decade younger than she. I have it on good authority that at the age of 86, she climbed the apple tree all the way to the top, to get the best fruit for her applesauce. Oh, the intoxicating aromas that emitted from her kitchen!

No, I'm not an amazing cook, nor do I crochet, or have a green thumb, but I am strong-willed, energetic and fiercely loving. My dad always said my grandmother was like "a little French horse," beautiful and strong and stubborn! Someday, I want to grow up to be just like her.

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The Hubster and I watched "Waking Ned Devine" on Netflix last weekend. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. All 52 residents of a tiny Irish village conspire to claim a 7 million dollar lottery prize when the true winner is found dead. It's a funny, sweet film with wonderful characters.

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I made time to see "The Taming of the Shrew" at the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum last Thursday night. The play was a physical comedy, rife with pratfalls and sparring that would rival WWE Smackdown. Most memorable was the first meeting between Katherine(Connie Bucher), and Petruchio(Billy Elliot), eclipsed only by the final scene, where Katherine schools the lusty widow(Libby Hooley) and Bianca(Brianna Herndon) on the finer points of being a dutiful wife, all the while throwing them about the stage like rag dolls.

Mike Holtke’s flawless Minnesota accent provided a refreshing counterpoint to the flowery Shakespearean prose. The almost overflowing audience roared with every “Don’t cha know,” and “Oh, gosh!” Other standout performances were provided by Thomas Govert, Elliot, Kate Kearns, Bucher, Jessica Coldwell and Meghann Borum.

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Exercise Update: I did five sets of hand weight calisthenics last week, doing 15 reps on each movement. A twice-daily dose of glucosamine and chondroitin have strengthened my bum knee enough that I did four aerobic workouts, also, pain-free. Take that, middle-aged maladies!

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Notable Quote:

Psalm 103:1-5 (KJV)
A Psalm of David.
Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. [2] Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: [3] Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; [4] Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; [5] Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
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