Tuesday, July 23, 2013

We interrupt this mission to bring you leadership, cancer, thrifting, and another mission

Dear Uncle George:

Sorry, but today it is not all about you.

I wanna talk about me.  Like that Toby Keith song (which is one of The Boy's favorites since he is stuck home with me and The Girl so often).  I would put the video link up here but it has a dancing pimp and ladies of the night and that just isn't appropriate in a churchy-sort of blog.

But mentioning it now puts a visual in your head...I might have to rethink that paragraph.  What about I mention when Toby Keith was to perform at the BYU Freedom Festival and has a song with vulgarity.  See, you stopped thinking about the ladies and now are searching your mind as to which vulgar word he intended to use.  Here is a snide little essay to fill in the details:

The last month has been strange and distracted me from my letter-writing to you.  In the last month, I have directed a leadership academy for 130 folks.  Residential.  Which means a lot of paperwork, food and hauling people all around.  It was my last one (no, for real) and I retired the 28th of June.  It was a good, no wonderful, 10 years.  And I got a mason jar cup fulll of love from Ozarkland out of the deal so it is what The Girl calls "winning."

What is Ozarkland you ask?  Best. kitchy. shopping. EVER!  

Let me point out that it is located in the pit stop I mean sort of town of Kingdom City.  The county of Calloway had some issues during the Civil War and decided they had enough and succeeded from the US and Missouri.  They named it the Kingdom of Calloway and Kingdom City was its capital (duh).

You should read the reviews tourists give Ozarkland.  Here was my favorite.  Someone named Mike from Milwaukee wrote a poem:

Ozarkland is a tourist trap,
That's simply full of crap,
Stuff that ends up in a junk drawer,
Three minutes of looking and I was bored,
The only things not made in China,
Were the candy and the bathroom trash bag liners.

Now, Mike from Milwaukee, I don't want to sound rude, but I have been to Milwaukee.  Took The Girl on a $49 ticket.  And let me say, that we saw all there was to see in the entire state in less than 30 minutes. Including the Cheese Castle (another royal location obviously) and the Fonzie statue.  I don't think the Kingdom of Missouri will be inviting Mike back. 

Well, unfortunately for the Callowayians, succession didn't take.  If it had, we would be following the new prince born in Calloway yesterday instead of England.

By the way, do you think they will show the Lion King movie to the new prince of England?

Good thing Michael Jackson wasn't a future king because then he would have had the tough decision whether to name his child Prince Prince.  And what about his other boy, Blanket?  Fortunately for him, there are other names left in the blanket family....afghan, lap, and my personal blanket of choice, down comforter. So looking at it objectively, there were plenty of options for Michael if he had been a future king. I mean a real king, with a throne and jester, rather than just the King of Pop (pop where I come from is a Coke).

How could I snub the pioneer quilt?

After RYLA, my cute husband and I thought we had nothing better to do than maybe have cancer together at the very same time and hey!  Why not have surgery at the same time?!  So we did, two days apart.

Hot date night.  No, that isn't a bowl of popcorn.
It is my throw up bowl.  

The end of that story is that the melanoma survivor of six years (Mr. Fun) had a benign fatty mass and that I just had a benign tumor.

As fun as all that was (actually it wasn't as hard as you think it would be--thanks to Heavenly Father who carried us--no doubt) we have decided the next time we want to spend time together we might go shoe shopping at the Target or maybe pull weeds from the back yard.  Not as much recovery time involved, although for as much as I despise shopping for shoes, another surgery doesn't look so bad.

Shopping.  Which brings me to the thrifting I was doing as part of my recovery therapy.

I leave at the end of next week to go back east to follow your photo mission.  I am taking the Mini Cooper, this trip being the whole reason we bought it. Well, I didn't buy it.  It was a gift to me from Mr. Fun.  That said, have you ever seen the truck space of a Mini?  Mini car--mini trunk.

When I travel for long periods of time I take clothes I can throw out or donate/leave in the hotels.  Those clothes come from the thrift store because I don't usually have much to leave out of my own personal wardrobe.  And I use the term "wardrobe" loosely here.  Really, the Wal-Mart truck should save me the trip of going there and pull up in my driveway and throw out all the same style, different colors of my size onto the driveway.  My neighbor, Rex, would love it.  Another reason he can dislike us.

Nothing adds icing on the "you don't have cancer" cake more than some thrift store shopping.  I wrote some notes so that you could enjoy that outing too:

I got this skirt for $2.  Those are Mr. Fun's flip flops
because I don't own any
(see aversion to shoe shopping above)

I got 20 shirts (I am thinking I might be gone three weeks but I am not sure--gotta get my Richard coffee table book out).  The shirts were a heck of a deal, even at the thrift store.  They were half off!  It was a shame that not all the ones I found would fit right as it was really hard to put back that Knightrider Kit Car shirt and the "I knead Play Doh" winner.  No worries though!  I got a few that I will save for your enjoyment when I am out on the road.  I will take some amazing selfies in them, since I am going to be alone most of those three weeks...if it is three weeks.

Other observations I had at the thrift store is that one family was mad the thrift store wasn't going to wash the sleeping bag they wanted to purchase.  One worker smoked so much that I am sure with those damaged vocal cords she could moonlight as Cookie Monster's voice.  And my favorite item of the day was the candy for sale that was from HALLOWEEN!  Man, was it gooooooooood, too! 

One more piece of news from the last month.  Unable to understand how Heavenly Father keeps track of me, little lone the details in my life that mean so much, I was called and set apart as a full-fledged, missionary-tag wearing Church Service Missionary for photography.  It is a new mission for the Church (I don't know if there have been any since you).  

I cannot believe it.  So, now I am a called missionary just like you were. I can hardly wrap my mind around it. 

Reminds me of Pinocchio when he says "I'm a real boy!"  

Here is what I wrote when it became "Facebook official:"
 At least four years ago, I started climbing on my garage roof in my housecoat to photograph sunrises. I did it because I love to do it.

Since then, I have photographed thousands of flower petals, tromped on Alaskan tundra, learned how to make a coffee table book, hung out with 2,000 Boy Scouts, ate snacks with Indian nuns, chronicled a building, and spent endless days of my life deleting images. All because I love to do it.

I have been asked by the LDS Church headquarters to serve as a Church Service Photography missionary, which a brand new type of mission for our church. It will be for a minimum of two years and I can do it from home whenever I want to (not like the young missionaries who go around the world to teach about Jesus).

I can testify that God had my heart in mind when I started temple chasing with Cheryl Pomeroy Kanenwisher, took a couple free classes from photo teacher Rudy in the Weston Public library, and started photographing with the man I have learned the most about this art form from...Dave Tallant. God is good. 

A shot I took this Sunday

I took this Friday 

It is true.  They say that your great challenges are balanced with your great blessings.  This is what I have learned through all of this:

God is good and He loves me.  He has given me desire, time, met my temporal needs to do it, and devotion to follow through.

I need to learn how to cut and paste text into this blog without those white lines.

And I really can't stand shoe shopping.  :)