Monthly Archives: April 2011

Changing Traditions

My mom's dishes and my aunt's stemware.

It used to be that we’d fly down to Reno to visit my mom and dad for Easter. After my dad died and she moved to Carson City, we started visiting her there. We usually lucked out in that my children’s spring break lined up well with my niece’s spring break and the kids could have some nice cousin time together.

My mom loved making dyed Easter eggs with the kids the day before and putting together baskets filled with stuffed animals and chocolates, finger nail polish and toys. The kids would spend hours taking turns hiding the eggs inside and out. One nice thing about a Nevada Easter is you can pretty much count on sunshine. Here? Not so much.

After my mom died, we continued the tradition of going down to Carson City and visiting with my brother and his girls. Last year, my daughter stayed with her cousins at his house while I stayed with my son in a hotel which got us the use of a pool for all of us. This year, we opted for staying home for a number of reasons, the chief of which is we have a family reunion scheduled for August, and I know I’ll be seeing them in Montana. And, my nephew is getting married in Atlanta in September, so we’ll see them again. Chiefly, though, my two kids are in different schools and their spring breaks aren’t the same. AND, we agreed to host one of my daughter’s best friend’s on her ten day visit from Cape Cod. Given all the upcoming family time and the logistics of breaks, I just couldn’t deal with planning another trip.

As a UU, I don’t really feel that connected to Easter in a religious sense. It’s all about eggs, bunnies, springtime and tradition for me. I grew up getting a new dress for Easter, getting to wear it to church on Easter morning and celebrating it as a family sort of thing. (And eating a lot of egg salad sandwiches.) As I set the table last night, I felt that sense of bittersweet loss that comes with the recognition that traditions morph and change over time. My mom would never have used the Desert Rose dishes for a special celebration–those were her ‘everyday’ dishes. And they’ve become one of my every day set. (I think I’ll need to do an entire blog post about my ‘thing’ for dishes.) The pink depression era glasses are from my Aunt Lou’s collection. I remember a table she set for a fancy tea once that used them and some amazingly beautiful tea cups. But for me, using the fine china would have been overkill, and it wouldn’t have spoken so clearly to my heart as those little red roses.


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Filed under Holidays, Memories, Uncategorized

A Sacred Challenge

Just as Lent ends for the Christian folks around, we hit Earth Day and the start of a forty day challenge that I’ve decided to do. It’s not a difficult challenge, but as I look at the destruction in my backyard I’m moved to make myself more aware and conscious of water use. The county has told us over and over that the salmon stream running through our property will be better off after the project is completed than it was before. Our little bit of “Stensland Creek” has been what’s known as a “spa” tributary–a place for those tired salmon to take a little break from the relentlessly difficult trip upstream. They get to rest and relax in the relatively warmer and more gently flowing waters for a while before going back into Bear Creek and their ultimate end.

We’ve seen the exhausted and worn out bodies of salmon after they’ve spawned at Farrel-McWhirter Park, not more than a mile from our house, so our little bit of water is likely their final day of rest before they spawn and die. I like that image for some reason. I would like to believe the county is right. That we give up some of our little bit of paradise and the salmon will have an even better little day trip to the spa before they do their final duty to the planet by procreating.

The Challenge by the The Unitarian Universalist Ministry For Earth comes at a good time for me personally. I’d like to think that forcing myself to use all those fancy metal water bottles I’ve purchased will help me focus on the big picture. Rather than grabbing the free water bottle from the gym, I’ll take mine with me.

The forty for forty challenge is one that tries to get forty people in each congregation to say yes to the challenge. If you’re a member of the WUUChurch, I hope you’ll join me in the challenge. And, if you’re not a UU, maybe you’ll look at a few simple things you can do anyway…just because.


Filed under Unitarian Universalism

Heya, Bobby.

Small Hot Water Heater Like This

Okay, so I don’t actually say “Heya” on the phone, but that’s the tone of my voice, when I say, “Hello, Bobby.” And while I don’t actually say, “And, I’m going to call you every single day until you finally figure this thing out…” I’m thinking and planning on it. I don’t make the threat in the phone call, though. I’m too nice a person for that.

I have called him enough times now that he no longer needs the make, model or serial number of the hot water heater in the studio. I tell him my name and where I’m from and he pauses with just a second to remember exactly who I am. He should. I have spoken to him no less than five times since December when our brand new miniature hot water heater was installed in Bill’s pottery studio. It stopped working immediately, and the fix should be simple.

The first people who came out flipped a reset button and left. The next day it wasn’t working again, so I called right away. Then no one came. So I called again when I remembered a few weeks later. And again. Then Again. I’m a pretty easy going person, and I think it takes quite a bit to get me riled up. But, it’s the middle of APRIL. The thing was installed in DECEMBER, and my husband’s poor hands deserve some warm water to get the clay off. Seriously, people, how hard is it to replace a thermostat or do whatever it is that needs doing?

I talked to Bobby again today, and he remembers me rather well at this point. He promised me that he’ll get someone out there soon. I love that word. Soon. Do you think it means soon as in today? Or tomorrow? Or is it a relative soon as in next week sometime? I’ve got Bobby’s cell number on a yellow sticky attached to my computer monitor for quick and easy reference. I told him that I really needed to see the hot water working…soon…and that I was going to remember to stay on top of it until it was done. That’s as close to a threat as I get.

And the fact it’s a hot water heater is not lost on me. Water has always been a bit of a bugaboo for us, and I’ve written about water issues more than once. I’m guessing this is a theme in our life at this particular house.

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Filed under Owning A Home, Uncategorized