Monday, December 12, 2011

Alone... But Not Really

I hate being alone. Yes, I asked him for the divorce, but I still hate being alone. I have a roommate and a dog, sure... but it’s not the same.
I miss being married. Of course, I miss the physical intimacy, but there’s so much more to marriage than sex!

I miss the camaraderie and being part of a team. The two of you have a goal; you’re both working toward it, and making strides. You share victory celebrations and commiserate when there are setbacks.
I miss the domestic things- making a meal in the kitchen, folding laundry together, cleaning, yard work, or just hanging out doing your own thing (grown-up parallel play).
I miss the emotional security. He’s your best friend. He’s got your back. He’s your safe place to land at the end of the day. He loves you. He cherishes and treasures you. He craves your presence and touch like you crave his. At the same time, you're his biggest cheerleader and supporter. You're there for him when he comes home from a tear-your-hair-out day at work. You love him and cherish him, too. You’re his... and he's yours.
I ache for this. I want it so desperately. There are days I almost don't want to go home.. because I know nobody's there. There are nights I delay going to bed because I know I'm going to an empty bed. There are times I just want someone to talk to... but nobody's there.

I know a lot of people say that after a breakup you need to be happy being single before you're actually ready to move to the next real relationship.... Well, if that's true, I'm horribly screwed! I don't think I'll ever be truly happy being single. Sometimes the loneliness hurts so much! I want to do foolhardy things just to fill the hole and take way the ache.

The thing is, I know academically that I’m not really alone. There is Someone there. He always has been.

And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

He’s been there. He went there on purpose, specifically so that He could know what it feels like… and exactly what I would need. I know He's there.. but sometimes I just need arms around me.

Monday, December 5, 2011


I know this is a couple weeks late, but this is my Thanksgiving post. I wanted a list of all the things I’m grateful for. While some parts of my life rather suck (seriously, I’m very much NOT where I wanted to be at 36), I truly do have so much for which to be grateful.
Home- I’ve been house-sitting since last Christmas. Sure, I have some very serious responsibilities, but ya can’t beat rent- and utility-free!
Body- My body is healthy and it works the way it’s supposed to. I don’t have any serious chronic illnesses that dramatically affect my life and functionality. Seasonal allergies are nothing compared to so many of the difficulties I see. My senses are reliable, my mind functions, my bones and muscles move like they should, my internal organs work and do what they should.
Clothing- I may have more than some, but it’s not as much some I’ve seen. They’re not as fashionable as I’d sometimes like, but they fit, they look good, and they’re mine… and they’re clean (another addition- functioning appliances!)
Employment- This is probably the toughest/most challenging job I’ve ever had. I struggle with the learning curve. Management says it’s a year, others in my position say it’s actually a LOT longer. But it’s also the best job I’ve ever had. I love the challenge. I enjoy the mental demand. I’m glad that my coworkers are such great men and women.
Family- I may not be in much contact with my brothers, but I know that if push came to shove, they’d come through for me. I’m grateful for my parents and the values they taught me. “Put it back where you found it,” and “Leave it better than you found it,” still rings in my ears! (Love you, Mom!)
Friends- It seems in the last few years, my group of really close friends has gotten smaller, but those who have stuck with me through these last couple years have become all the more valuable. They call me on the carpet for the stupid things I do, encourage me to do the things I should… and the things I need to do to take care of myself. I love my “sisters”!
Food- Seriously, just.. pot roasted carrots, chocolate in all its glorious forms, carrot cake, cheese ravioli, grilled shrimp, chicken noodle soup (with home made noodles, of course!), milk, apples and warm caramel, ice cream, eggs (all kinds of ways.. as long as the white is cooked!), steamed broccoli, tomato with tuna, macaroni and cheese, medium rare steak, a well-made burger with all the trimmings, Parmesan cheese, lasagne, pineapple and pepperoni pizza, barbecue anything, raspberry jam, mashed potatoes and roast beef gravy, rosemary and marjoram.... (Are ya hungry yet?)

This is by no means a comprehensive list. What are you grateful for?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

The Occupiers want Uncle Sam/Big Brother to step in and level the playing field. They want the fat-cats taken down a peg or two, and things made fair.

Many others want Uncle Sam/Big Brother to get his fingers out of the pies. They feel the Occupiers should  “occupy a job.” They believe Thomas Jefferson’s laissez-faire economic policy is best. Get government out of business, and get business out of government.

Here’s an interesting article I found about a set of twins on opposite sides of this debate.

Jill- “I’d be very much more pleased if [Nicole] would be able to come up with solutions to these problems that use the tools of the country and the world like economics and things that I feel have potential really to change the way that things work and the way people behave.… I feel that’s what’s gotten us into this mess in the first place. There are always unintended consequences with government regulation.”

Nicole- “[Jill] lacks a fundamental understanding of structural oppression that is inexcusable and immature…. She just really trusts capitalism and doesn’t recognize that capitalism is kind of responsible for a lot of the injustices we have in the world.”

(I find their wording telling. Jill wants solutions where Nicole passes judgement.)
The occupiers’ actions aren't improving or fixing anything. Capitalism is a wonderfully self-regulating system. Products and services, prices and quality, pay and production are all determined by the markets within which they operate. Something that is rare and valuable- a product, a service, a quality, an employee's traits... those will command a higher price. Something that is common and/or of poor quality can be had at a much cheaper price. That's simply how it is. It works, and it works beautifully.

The horrifying thing is when someone begins to meddle with the system. Once government regulation becomes a part of the equation, these balances and checks can't operate in the organic and beautiful simplicity they should. Regulations push the system out of balance, subsidizing the sub-standard... whether it's sub-prime lending, cheap and shoddy products from China, or less-than contributing employees. These sub-standards that are forced to be part of the equation mess up the system, and we all catch the fallout.

Albert Einstein once said, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." More regulation is what got us into this mess in the first place- it's not going to fix the problem simply because it can’t. I understand where the Occupiers are coming from, but they want to fix the problem with what caused the problem in the first place.

I don’t have all the answers, but I know that the Occupiers’ offered solution isn’t it.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Years ago, my (now ex)husband came upon and began to watch the week-night half-hour sit-coms. He’d watch and laugh with the best of them, but I couldn't.. and he couldn't understand why I wouldn’t join him.
I had realized that they were all the same- same characters, same situation, same plot basics. The husbands were all overgrown children- whiny, lazy, oblivious, and sloppy. The wives were all over-worked/under-appreciated, tired, and short-tempered. Neither was flattering. I just couldn’t see the humor in it.
I pointed out all this to him, that these shows only served to demean both sexes. How is that funny?
Yes there are men who are lazy. So are some women. Some men are utterly oblivious to others’ situations, but there are some women who are just as callous. Some guys are perma-bachelors and utter slobs. Some women can’t keep a reasonably clean home to save their life. There are a lot of women out there who do both the career and the mom thing, leaving them worn out with no reserve. There are also men who run themselves ragged helping others, not taking time for themselves.
Men are the only un-protected demographic. You can’t make fun of women unless you are one. You can’t use the N-word unless you’re Black. You can’t find fault with Latinos if you aren’t one. So why is it ok to demean and diminish men?
It’s not.
As a divorced, middle-aged woman, many people assume that I hate men.
I don’t.
I love men. I cherish the men in my life. I appreciate their time. I value their knowledge. I’m grateful for their sacrifices.
Men- You’re awesome! You’re strong. You’re our knights in shining armor, our heroes! Thank you!
Ladies- tell the men in your life that they’re awesome. Thank them for the things they do for you and your family.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"You're Better Than That"

We’ve all heard the saying, “A good friend will bail you out of jail, but a really good friend will be sitting beside you.…” While that may be true, I’d like to take it a step further. A truly valuable friend will call you on your shit… and if you’re wise, you heed that call, and choose to learn and grow from it.

It’s not always pleasant getting called on the carpet for your stupid choices. “The wicked take the truth to be hard.” It’s uncomfortable at best. It’s embarrassing, awkward, and often humiliating! But it can also be a humbling and growing experience.

I called a family member on some stuff a while back, “You’re better than this,” on a rather mean-spirited FB thread. I must have offended her. I noticed that I wasn’t seeing posts from her on my wall. I checked, and she’d removed me from her friend list.

So… Should I have said nothing? Should I have allowed her to continue in her downward spiral? Am I still expected to be my “brother’s keeper”…? Maybe I should have said it differently?

Here’s the thing though, when we hear this same sentiment from leaders, we just eat it up-
“We live far beneath our privilege.”
… but when the same message comes from a friend, an equal.. or if the message comes from someone “beneath” us (younger, a subordinate at work, etc), how do we handle it? I know I don’t always handle that with the humility I should. I bristle, “Mind your own business…” or “My life isn’t your stewardship.”

What about you? How do you handle being called out?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Investment, Marriage, and Emptiness

This isn't going to be a particularly clever post. It's not funny, or sweet, or happy. It's about some very personal things. You're gonna learn a lot about me today.. If you don't already know it.

I’ve come to realize recently that the effort you put into your marriage is an investment. If you want your spouse to be there for you, you have to be there for him/her.

I struggled for a long time trying to figure out why I didn’t have that sticking power when the chips were down for my (now)ex-husband. I see so many other couples where this happens- one of them develops a serious health problem- mental, emotional, physical- and their spouse finds it within him/herself to be the rock, to be there, to stay. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t. Why was I so weak that I couldn’t stay? I knew he needed me, but I just couldn’t do it… why?

Recently I was talking with a dear friend whose husband developed debilitating emotional issues during the course of their marriage. She stayed. I asked her these same questions- what gave her the strength to stay when I couldn’t? She shared with me some things that happened when she had her own health crisis. He stayed, he learned, he cared for her. He invested in their relationship. Then, when he needed help, she had the strength within to step up and learn the patience needed to be what he needed his wife to be.

In my own marriage, his struggles weren’t the only problem. There were other issues. I am unable to bare children, and have wanted to be a mom for forever, since I was probably about two. He knew this when we married, and said that he wanted children, too. This journey toward parenthood was going to be a team effort, and we WERE gonna get there!

But then, over the course of the first 5 or 6 years of our marriage, he made choices that made things difficult financially for us. I won’t say I was perfect. I could have been wiser in some of my own choices. I could have been tougher, meaner about his choices. I could have pursued a career to support us (even though I actually wanted to be a stay-at-home mother). I could have demanded greater adherence to the budget. He chose to put his own instant gratification ahead of (what I thought were) our goals. I know now that his mindset and behavior pattern were due to circumstances in his childhood, but it still hurt. Every time evidence came before me of our divergent priorities, it cut a little deeper.

After about 7 years of marriage, I realized that I was dying inside. I began to resign myself to a fate of childlessness. I became resentful, angry, and bitter. I looked for ways to rid our home of the baby-preparations- the stroller/car seat we bought with the tax return, the clothes given to us by a friend, and the blankets I’d been given as hand-me-downs. I intentionally avoided the baby section of the grocery and department stores. I couldn’t even look down those aisles without this big gaping hole opening in my chest. I was hollow inside. My dream was dead.

Then he broke. His depression flared up because of some issues with work, and he needed me- desperately! He needed me to be strong, to be there, to love him, to show confidence and faith in him, to be his cheerleader. But I was empty. I did what I could, I tried, but it was an act. There wasn’t much depth to it, and I see that now. It didn’t even last very long- a couple months, at best. I had nothing inside to give him.

I left for a time. I came back on the condition that he get help. I knew I couldn’t do it- I couldn’t handle the unmanaged problem, and I couldn’t manage it for him. He had to take care of it or I couldn’t stay. We tried a couple options, but because of various reasons, those solutions didn’t pan out… and we were back where we started. His depression wasn’t being managed and I couldn’t hack it. I was still too weak, dead, and empty to endure.

Have you ever been at the end of your rope, had nothing left to give? How did you handle it? Were you able to dig a little deeper and find a reason to hang on? Or were you empty, with nothing left to give?

Sunday, August 21, 2011


When people complain about their lives, do they realize what others hear?

“Dang, I’m pissed at my husband- I can’t believe he did ______”
(I have a husband who comes home every night.. and I’m still not happy.)

“Can you believe what my daughter did today???? *huff”
(I have a child, an awesome daughter, but I’m teaching her stupid things.. and I don’t care.)

“It’s so awful- management put us on half-hour lunches!”
(I have a job that provides for my family, but because I don’t get a full hour for lunch, because I get an extra half hour each day on the clock, a half hour I’ll be paid for, I’m going to whine about it.)

Was dinner good? “Meh.. I don’t like _____, so no…” *moving food around the plate.
(My wife makes dinner, does a fantastic job, but I’m so dang picky I don’t like anything she makes.)

“I can’t believe my Home Teacher wants to come on Sunday..”
(I have Home Teachers who come consistently… but I’m gonna whine because they want to come when it’s inconvenient for me.)

“My house is a disaster- there’s laundry piled all over, a sink full of dishes, the kids’ toys all over the living room- and I don’t wanna take care of it…”
(I have a warm/cool (depending on the seasonal need) home, clothes to cover my body, food for my belly, kids who are healthy and growing… and I’ve chosen to be lazy rather than exercise wise stewardship over the blessings I have.)

“I can’t believe ‘my’ team lost the game last night…”
(I have nothing better to whine about than a freaking game.)

A wise man once said, "No misfortune is so bad that whining about it won’t make it worse.” So true. When we focus on the negative, that’s all we see. Another wise man said, “Seek and ye shall find…” We find what we’re looking for, what we expect to find.

What are you looking for?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Single Life

When I first became single, I was all excited about the freedom. Then it got old really fast. Sleeping single in a double bed wasn't my idea of a good time. The lonely wears on a girl! I wrote this shortly after I decided I DID NOT want to stay single.
I started treating my lack of a SO (since I actually wanted one) as a job.
Just like any other occupation or high-level career, you gotta do your homework. So I did. I invested a lot of time, thought, prayer, study, and talking with those I truly trusted in figuring out and putting into words exactly what I wanted in a SO.
A high-level career also requires a significant financial investment (education, the right clothes, finding ways to be in the right places at the right times, etc). So I did. I went out to the dance clubs, put myself in situations to find Mr. Right. I spent money and got a couple accounts on the online dating sites. I even did some exploring within the fashion industry (ok, not a lot, but I did adjust my clothing/makeup/hair styles) in order to become more appealing.
A high-level career is a lifestyle. So I made this my lifestyle. I'm out to have a good time and meet people. I know what I want. I know what I'm willing to compromise on. I know what I'm NOT willing to compromise on. And I know that anything less than the have-to's just won't do.

This is essentially how I still feel. I know what I want, and I'm willing to look for him, wait for him. There've been a couple guys in the last year and a half that I've thought were "the one".. I'm still looking, waiting. Maybe this one is the one.. dunno.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Movie Review

I enjoy watching movies. The pageantry, the story telling, the skill and talent that goes into it, both the seen on-screen talent of the actors, and the behind-the-scenes arts of the supporting crew always fascinates me. But one thing I don't like- movies where they mess with kids. There are movies I've seen that I though would be that way- The Client, Sixth Sense... But I was wrong, and that is especially true with Ink.

SPOILER ALERT!: I'll try to keep things vague, but it's hard to not over-share.

I saw this movie recently with a friend. I didn't think I'd like it, but I did! It's intense, gripping, poetic. You can't put it on and then listen from the other room. You have to watch, listen, pay attention.. and then maybe take a while afterward to digest it (I'm still thinking about this one!). There are so many levels, so many nuances. If you miss even 30 seconds, you could very easily miss something vital!

It's about a little girl and a monster. It's about a father and his own personal demons. It's about the unseen forces and conflicts around us. The little girl is stolen by the monster.... and nobody realizes the battle this brings. There's the monster's battle within himself, the battle between opposing forces, the battle her father has with his own inner demons. Even the little girl has a battle of her own, to become something so much stronger than just a little girl.

There's also the contemplating of happens in the realm of "what if?" Who is there to defend and protect you? Who is there to harm and destroy you and all you hold dear? What if you choose right? And what happens if you choose wrong?.. And ultimately, why does it matter?

I really truly loved this film. I didn't realize till I began reading the reviews that it was an independent film with a tiny little budget. The story and ideas were so big that it didn't even cross my mind that this wasn't a big-budget, big-name production.

Watch it. Love it. Think.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


So... Y'know what kind of blog post you get when my mom visits?


You get a fabulous old pic of my mom on her first Mothers' Day as a mom.. Yes, the little baldie is me!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Family History

When it comes to family history, I think I'm pretty darn lucky. My dad's cousins and aunts have collected so many records and stories! I'd like to share one of them with you.
My dad's father is named Delos. His father's name is Arden, whose father was Edgar. This is the story of Edgar's father, Alma Helaman Hale. I apologize that this is kind of long. If you don't want to read it all, I won't be offended (yes, that's how long it is!).

Autobiography of Alma Helaman Hale Sr.

I was born in Bradford, Essex Co. Massachusetts, April 24, 1836. I was only six weeks old when my parents, Jonathan Harriman Hale and Olive Boynton, who had formerly united themselves with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commenced their journey westward to make their home with the Saints who had gathered at Kirtland, Ohio. Being so young at that time it was very difficult for my parents to devise a plan by which I could travel comfortable and without injury. They conceived the idea, however, of fastening a large basket to the tops of the wagon bows. The motion of the wagon made it an excellent cradle. In this basket I traveled to Kirtland. It took us a period of nearly a month's travel to reach our destination. My parents procured a home at Kirtland in which we lived for a period of two or three years. We then moved to the state of Missouri, with the rest of the Saints, making our home with them by a remorseless and unforgiving enemy whose captain was Lucifer himself and who used his every effort to overthrow the Kingdom of God, but whose arm was powerless to affect the body of Christ which still lives.

When the Saints were driven from Missouri to Nauvoo, my parents were of their number. Immediately upon arriving at Nauvoo my father went to work in the stone quarry, cutting out stone for the Temple. He continued to work in the quarry and on the Temple building until it was completed. He was created Bishop of the ninth Ward of Nauvoo City, and also held the honored position of “Colonel of the Nauvoo Legion.”

In the year 1846 my parents, with the rest of the Saints of God, were driven from the city of Nauvoo. We arrived at Council Bluffs in the fall of that year.

We were still at Council Bluffs when the Mormon Battalion was called out to take part in the war with Mexico. Soon after the calling out of the Battalion my parents moved three miles down the Missouri River and prepared to build a home. Father had procured one load of logs and had laid one round of them in the construction of the house when a terrible calamity came upon the family in the form of sickness. My father was taken ill with the dreaded ‘Dumb Ague’. At the same time mother was taken sick in confinement. Also my sister Susan was stricken with the ‘Black Canker’. In the short period of three weeks we buried our father, mother, and two sisters, leaving three of us boys and one-sister orphans in this world. There was Aroet, the eldest, Rachel, next, then myself, and next my younger brother, Solomon.

As soon as we could after the sad event just narrated, we children moved across the river to Winter Quarters and lived there all winter until the spring of 1847 when we moved up the river six miles with others to a place knows as “Kimball’s Farm,” which we utilized for that season and raised a good crop of potatoes, buckwheat and corn.
In the spring of 1848 we commenced our journey to Utah, an epoch of my life which shall never be forgotten, and one which tested the sinews and manhood of every one of us. Young as I was, barefooted, I drove an ox-team from the Missouri River to Salt Lake City. (As a matter of fact I never owned a pair of shoes in my life until I became seventeen years of age. It was “moccasins” or nothing.)

We arrived in Salt Lake in the month of September 1848. At this time I was twelve years of age. The next day after our arrival my brothers and I commenced the making of adobe with which we constructed a house, one of the first abode houses constructed in Salt Lake City. The adobes were 4 x 12 x 18 inches in size. Our house was also one of the first to be built outside of the old fort which was built in 1847 for the protection of the first arrivals in the valley. We lived in Salt Lake City six or seven years and then removed to Grantsville, a little settlement about thirty eight miles west of Salt Lake City. When we arrived at Grantsville we found only seven families living there.
Soon after our arrival in Salt Lake, my eldest brother Aroet married a sister Olive Whittle. To them a son Lue was born. It was soon after the birth of this child that we moved to Grantsville. Brother Aroet was called on a mission to southern Utah at a place called “Losvagus” [Las Vegas] also a place called “Muddy” (Moapa). He spent two years at each place. Before leaving Aroet placed his family and farm in my hands to care for until his return from his mission, which task I performed to the best of my ability.

The next year after our arrival in Grantsville I had arrived at an age, which I thought suitable to search out a companion for life. My efforts were rewarded in winning Miss Sarah Elizabeth Walker for my wife. We were married April 14, 1856. We had three children by our marriage, namely: Alma Helaman Hale, Jr., Elizabeth Hale, and Enos Eliphalet Hale. My wife died when last named child was two weeks old, he died when between three and four months old. On December 24, 1861, I married Miss Sarah Annie Clark, who bore me ten children. Namely: Ernest Frederick Hale, Albert Henry Hale, Sarah Almanie Hale, Rachel Clarrissa Hale, Katie Eliza Hale, Gracie Emma Hale, Jonathan Harriman Hale, Solomon William Hale, Aroett Louisa Hale, and Rebecca Viola Hale.

On the day of August 19, 1865, Miss Ellen Victoria Clark and I were married. Through this marriage eight children were born to us; Edgar Daniel Hale, Aroet Clinton Hale, Arthur Willard Hale, Franklin George Hale, Rosie Ellen Hale, Arvin Wilford Hale, Eugene Clark Hale, and Zina Emeline Hale.

In the summer and fall of 1857 the United States Government sent a large army under the command of General Johnston to crush and exterminate that “immoral and law-breaking people” who resided in the heart of the Rockies. But God chose to regard the people otherwise and protected them safely against the invading army. With others of my brethren I was sent to Echo Canyon to hold the army at bay and keep them from coming through the mountain passes into the valley as long as we possibly could. This we succeeded in doing until nearly all the Saints were safe and arrangements had been made with the army for the protection of the people and their property. Then we were recalled and the Army entered the Valley and camped a short distance from the city which was almost deserted.

In the spring of 1858 the people of Grantsville moved south for safety, detailing ten of us brethren to remain behind and care for the crops and protect the homes. My wife Elizabeth went south with the Saints, driving her two yoke of steers and attending to them by way of feeding them, hitching them, and unhitching them from the wagon, also at the same time attending to her small babe, which she was compelled to carry with her. By the month of July things had quieted, matters had been settled, and the people returned to their homes again in safety.

Things remained quiet and we enjoyed the peace and tranquility of our home until April 1862, when I was called and sent as a teamster in Joseph Horn’s Co. to go to the Missouri River. There we met a number of the Latter-day Saints (who had set out for Zion) and returned with them to Salt Lake Valley. We arrived in Salt Lake City September 13, of the same year. While journeying to the Missouri I was chosen and acted as captain of the night guard and as wagon master. Returning to Salt Lake City I was placed in charge of the commissary, or supply department for the immigrants.

At the time I was called to go with this company, my wife Sarah was very sick, apparently she was sick unto death. I approached our noble Bishop, William G. Young, concerning the advisability of my going, with the conditions surrounding me at home as they were. This Bishop in reply said, “Brother Alma, if you will go and perform your duty faithfully your wife shall get well.”

At this time I had two yoke of oxen. I was compelled to sell one in order to procure the means wherewith to equip my outfit for the journey I was about to undertake. Taking the other yoke of oxen, I departed upon my mission, leaving the home devoid of a team, my wife sick in bed with the two children of my wife Elizabeth, who had died the year previous, upon her hands to care for. I never heard from my family from the time I left in April until my return the thirteenth of September. The pen is too weak to portray to you the joy I felt (after those five or six months of hard worry and suffering of mind, wondering if my wife had died or was getting better as had been promised me upon the eve of my departure) when I drove into the yards at home and found my wife well and hearty and everything in a good and prosperous condition. I felt to thank my Father in Heaven for the blessings that had been showered down upon my family through my performing my duty although surrounded with adverse circumstances and conditions. In the fall of 1871 I was again called on a mission to the Eastern States for the purpose of visiting my relatives and the getting together of a genealogical record of our family in order that the family work might be done in the Temples for our dead. I was also sent for the purpose of performing some missionary work.

In the year 1856, the year of the great reformation throughout the Church, President Brigham Young in company with several of the brethren, came to Grantsville and were baptized by George Q. Canon and also some of the leading brethren of Grantsville, myself included. At that gathering I was chosen to attend to the Baptismal Ordinance in that settlement. I fulfilled that calling until 1887 except as other duties and callings kept me from attending to it. During the period of time, however, that I was engaged in this calling, I baptized and re-baptized nearly 1500 people.

These parties of men who traveled with President Young were companies of men who were chosen to travel with him from settlement to settlement for the purpose of protecting him from attack of the savage Indians, and from whatever source danger might arise. I belonged to one of these companies. They were called the Nauvoo Legion or Salt Lake Militia, and whenever we were called out on duty it was always a pleasure to go and perform our duty for the Prophet of God.

During my life at Grantsville it might be interesting to some of my posterity to read and become acquainted with a few incidents connected therewith.

S. W. Wooley, Win. C. Rydalch, and myself laid the foundation and completed the structure of the first Sunday School ever organized in Grantsville, Utah. We three brethren also served as the Church House Building Committee until the structure was completed.

Politically I served a term of twelve years as Constable, also eight years of that time I held the position of City Marshall. I also held a commission from the year 1865, given me by Gov. Durkee, as Captain’s Adjutant of the Salt Lake Militia of Utah. While holding this commission I made several trips to a valley called “Skull Valley” to keep the Indians from stealing the people’s cattle tethered and herded there. One night, while on one of these errands, seven of us stood guard over the cattle with gun in one hand and bridle-reins in the other, expecting every minute that the Indians would make a raid on the cattle. In fact from the signs we had seen the day previous we were almost certain they would make the raid. We had made up our minds to protect the stock to the last. While standing in this position the hours of expectancy slowly flitting by, my mind reverted to my family in their comfortable home and I wondered if I should ever see them again or whether my life would be stricken out in the expected skirmish. I lifted up my heart in constant prayer for my loved ones and for protection to myself that I might be delivered again to the bosom of my family. When daylight came I thanked God for our safety, for I realized His had in our deliverance and in the non-appearance of our enemy.

During the spring of the famous move south I was called to take charge of ten men and station ourselves at the north end of the Grantsville Mountains and guard against Indian attacks and surprises and keep the Indians back from the settlements. We were compelled to keep guard night and day for a period of a month or more. We performed this duty with firm reliance on God’s aid in our hearts. Aside from a few incidents, some amusing and some approaching the serious side of life, we met with no other difficulties.

After the organization of the Grantsville Sunday School I held a teachers position in the organization for eight years. I was then chosen and set apart as one of the Stake Superintendency, which position I held for six years until I moved to Smithfield. Soon after moving to that place I was appointed a teacher in the Sunday School.

My brother Aroet and I had talked and counseled together a number of times concerning the work for our dead which needed to be done. First we talked of going to the St. George Temple to do the work but found it would be too far and as a result so expensive that we were compelled to abandon the idea. So we decided that we would remove to a place near the Logan Temple and do our work there when the structure was completed.

Accordingly, in the spring of 1887, I moved my wife Ellen and her family to “Gentile Valley, Idaho” and in April 1888 my wife Sarah and her family moved to Smithfield, Cache Co. Utah, thus placing us in close communion with the Logan Temple.

As to my priesthood, I was first a member of the twenty-fourth Quorum of Seventies. In time I was transferred to the thirty-second Quorum of which I was chosen as one of the presidents. When I removed to Smithfield I was chosen as one of the presidents of the Seventeenth Quorum of Seventies. On the fourth of August 1901 I was ordained a High Priest and chosen a member of the High Council of the Benson Stake of Zion. I hope and put my trust in the Lord that I will be able to keep and honor the Priesthood and positions of trust given me in the Church and Kingdom of God as long as I live.

Regarding my work for the dead I will say for the benefit of the readers of this biography that from the time I came to Smithfield until the present I have spent five weeks each year for a period of thirteen years working for the dead, making in all sixty-five weeks work; performing baptisms for 700, obtaining the endowments for nearly 200, and performing the Sealing and Adopting ordinances for over 300 souls of our kindred.

I am now sixty-five years of age, on the declining side of life. As I approach my goal and crown which is waiting for me, I do it with these words on my lips to call my sons and daughters and their posterity, “Keep the faith for it is worth the fight of life and every sacrifice that can be made for it. It will unite us in eternity and cause a mighty rejoicing at the glad reunions. Let not one of my children be missing from it, is my constant prayer.” More will be added as my life progresses, until I am called to lay it down and meet my Father.

Note: “This is all Grandfather wrote. He had planned to finish this account as he says above, however it seems that his death came so suddenly and unexpectedly that the story remains uncompleted." Nathan Hale Gardner

By Way of Completion
“I, Jonathan H. Hale have been asked by members of the family to finish the history of my father from the time he finished the record of this book. It was not long until he sold his farm at Smithfield and bought a home in Logan at 684 East 4th North. This was in the winter of 1902 and 1903.

“From then until his death March 30, 1908, he spent his time in the Temple, all the time it was open, and during that six years he, with our mother, accomplished a great deal of work on the Hale and Boynton records. He continued there until his death.”

“He was at the Temple Friday and at Sunday School afternoon Meeting and “Mutual” in the evening on Sunday. He retired in the best of health. At about five o’clock Monday morning he awoke with a pain under his heart and at about five thirty five a.m. he passed away; being seventy-one years eleven months and six days of age.”

Heber Q. Hale has written: “When you think of Alma Helaman Hale, as the author is able to do from his intimate acquaintance with him, you visualize a man of gentle manners, dignified yet modest and friendly. He was possessed of sterling integrity, adamant against evil in all its multifarious manifestations, yet of generous heart and kindly mind. His courageous spirit braved the perils of pioneer life unflinchingly. His peaceful disposition never sought or incited troubles; but if it came to him, he was able to take care of himself. He had an inspiring faith, and an impelling religious devotion, which motivated his life’s activities and directed his course in the channels taken by his Church and its people.”

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Double-Edged Sword

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” That’s how Jesus’ apostle, James, defined religion. Seems it’s not quite what he thought it was anymore.

See, James felt (and I rather agree with him here) that religion was meant to be about encouraging people to be kind and help each other, to help the individual be a better person, and teaching people how to build a relationship with the Divine.

So many people feel that religion is man-made, that it’s about controlling others, or about profit, or... *shrug. I don’t know, but it can make a person wonder- What happened between then and now?

My suspicion is that someone (or maybe a lot of someones?) got the bright nasty idea to take religion, this blessing to mankind… and use it to their own ends. I don’t know what that first corruptible was trying to accomplish. I don’t know if he/she achieved what they wanted to achieve. But a lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon and twisted God’s tool into something that it wasn’t meant to be… and ruined the whole idea.

But that’s ok- I still love my Father and I’m grateful for my relationship with Him and for all He’s given me... Including the religion/church I attend.

Monday, July 4, 2011

This Is My Country

I want to share some of my feelings about this country. But I’ve been struggling with how to go about it. Here are some little stories that may help.

A couple years ago, on a Tuesday morning, I had a couple things to pick up at the grocery store. As I started down the canned goods aisle, I saw something that, although I’d known it existed, I hadn’t really SEEN before. This grocery store was a 24-hr store, so they’d had all night to stock, straighten, and front the shelves. As I stood there looking at all that food, I remembered that there are places, have been times in history that this kind of abundance wasn’t available. Droughts and famine in diverse places, bread lines in so many countries. And here I stand looking at shelves and shelves of food! I realized that although my life wasn’t exactly what I wanted it to be, I was still truly blessed!

When the US pushed the Germans out of Italy at the end of WW2, shouts of “The Americans are coming! The Americans are coming!” rang through the streets. A GI picked up a hungry, dirty little Italian girl and gave her a chocolate Hershey bar. She’s now a US citizen, a grandmother (Nonna). While she says, “I’m Italian to the core, I’m an AMERICAN, and so grateful for it!”

A while back, I saw a commercial. A group of people were in a poorly lit room. As the preacher closed their services, he very solemnly asked the tiny congregation to be careful as they left for home. The members of the congregation left one or two at a time, climbing the stairs of the storm cellar. Furtive looks were cast as they emerged and went their separate ways. How lucky are we that doesn’t happen here!

Once upon a time, there was a young man in a far-off country, a scholar of scripture. He realized that there were some serious discrepancies between what was written and what was being taught. He wrote his 95 concerns down, posted them.. and a price was placed upon his head. He died an outlaw, because he asked questions.
Over a century ago, there was an American boy whose neighborhood was in an uproar. All the churches were campaigning for congregation members. Ministers and preachers were arguing about what was and was not true, how each phrase of scripture was to be interpreted, and how that interpretation should be applied to our lives. This kid was sharp though. 

He realized that if A was exactly NOT B.. then A and B couldn’t BOTH be true… one had to be wrong. He struggled with this question for.. probably months. Finally he stumbled on some really great advice- Ask God. Duh! If anyone knows the truth, He does! So the boy went to a private place, knelt and prayed. That kid came out of the woods knowing more about God and His work than the collective knowledge of all the scriptural scholars from the days of Jesus up to that time. Although he was eventually killed for it, he lived long enough to get so much done in bringing the truth about God to the people of the world… And it was able to happen because of the freedoms of this country.

I know this country isn't perfect.. it's full of human beings, for crying out loud! But it's the best place on earth- The variety in cultures, geography, religions. The opportunities, and freedoms, the fairness and equality. This country really is the best place to live.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Line of Reasoning

So NY legalized gay marriage. I know exactly how I feel about the idea of gay marriage. But I also know how I feel about superfluous laws, about restrictions on choice. There are about as many angles and opinions and perceptions on this issue as there are people in the world, maybe more.

On the one hand there’s what I have always been taught is right, what I believe is right. On the other is the reality that morality can’t be legislated… and that it’s not my place to dictate what is/isn’t allowed… and the fact that people are going to do what they’re going to do, regardless of the law.

I think the sticking point with me is the slippery slope that this law (and those like it in other states) creates. It legitimizes a lifestyle that… How do I say this gently but honestly? There’s such a high correlation between that lifestyle and other factors- character traits, activities, etc- that are so incredibly detrimental to the individual and society as a whole that I don’t know if I could ever bring myself to tolerate/condone/support it.

And I know there are those who don’t like, who disagree with my mindset. My intent is not to express hatred to anyone. In fact, my motive is love. God loves us.. He loves us so much! He wants us to be happy.. as happy as possible for as long as possible. He’s told us how to do that….. and this lifestyle is exactly 180° from those directions, which will bring exactly NOT the happiness He wants for us.

The saying is that when God commands and man obeys, that man is always right. … So what about the man who does exactly opposite of what He commands? “Wickedness never was happiness.”

Why would any Christian in their right mind tolerate, condone, support something that would only bring their fellow man sorrow and misery? Yes, this is my mindset, my opinion, my rationale for why I believe as I do.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Letter to my Dad

Dear Dad-

Do you remember a couple years ago when you were helping make a railing for a family that was building a home up north? They had a fabulous 10’ porch that wrapped all the way around the house, and they wanted you to make a metal railing for it.

You’d put a lot of effort into planning how the project would turn out. You researched the legal requirements for spacing of the balusters, figured the width of the balusters themselves, converted decimals of length into actual practical-application inches, and arranging the formulas correctly in the spreadsheet so that you knew exactly how far from the end each baluster was to be placed.

I was heading out the door, but you grabbed me, “Hey, I wanna show you this. Your mother wouldn’t appreciate the work involved, but you would…” And I did! I recognized the effort and time that went into what you’d done.

That was probably the most awesome (and when I say awesome, I mean wonderful) thing you’ve ever said to me. I know Mom isn’t the math wiz you and I are, lol, and that’s ok. But you recognized that we DO have that in common. It meant a lot to me. Not just that you wanted to share, but that you recognized that commonality. I don't know that you realize how much that meant to me... and still does.

You. Saw. Me.
Of all the people that you know- coworkers, friends, family, church leaders- that you could have shared this accomplishment with, you chose me. Thank you!

I love you, Dad!
<3 Your Daughter

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Given last week’s post, I thought I’d share some thoughts I’ve had on the meaning of beauty.
In traveling to Las Vegas, I sat in an airport with my boyfriend. Nearby was a group of young women- a bride and her friends- heading to the same city for the wedding. The girls were all pretty- tan, long straight hair, fashionable makeup, short shorts that showed lean tan legs, and matching pink tie-dyed shirts that said “____’s Bachelorette Party"

(I almost wish I would have taken a picture of them.. but then the bride's tiara may have offended ;)

As he and I were talking about these girls, I was kinda jealous, I admit it. I’ll never have an even golden tan like them, I’ll probably never wear makeup that fashionable. And then he said something that utterly made my day (week?)

“Y’know what’s weird? I don’t find any of them truly attractive.”

There are a lot of kinds of beauty- I’m going to call them “flavors,” for lack of a better word. Think of all the “beautiful” people of Hollywood. Are they all the same kind of beautiful? Matt Damon, America Ferrera, Julia Roberts, Will Smith, Julie Andrews, Nat King Cole, Jessica Tandy, Queen Latifa.
(BTW-  Wanna know the difference I see between Queen Latifa and Kirstie Alley? They’re both beautiful women, but I definitely prefer one over the other. See- as far as I can tell, Latifa likes herself and Kirstie doesn’t.)

These individuals are all beautiful in their own unique ways. They’re intelligent, funny, talented, confident, accomplished.

Then I read things like the Huffington Post article that reports that most American girls would rather win America’s Next Top Model than the Nobel Peace Prize. Now granted, some of the recent winners of the prize kinda cheapen the Prize, but still… ??!?

Beauty, attractiveness, and appeal- they don’t have to be just skin deep. It’s more than Botox, plastic surgery, flawless makeup, and having every hair in place. It’s about confidence, being comfortable in your own skin, liking yourself.

God made you as He did for a reason. Love it!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Culture Shock

First an apology- I'm sorry that I haven't posted in.. um, yeah. Life's been kinda crazy with starting a new job, being out of town....

Anyway, I spent Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas to attend a friend's wedding. The hotel I was in had a special UFC event that drew a very different crowd from what I'm accustomed to, and I saw some things I'd like to discuss, or at least get off my chest!

First- Hoof shoes. You know what I'm talking about- the stack-y, peep-toe, ultra-high heeled shoes... that look like hooves. Why? Why pinch your toes with uber-high heels? Why put yourself in a position to be so easily unbalanced that you can hardly walk?

Second- Not enough clothes. People (and when I say people, I mean mostly girls) would leave the pool, put on a thin not-entirely-covering cover-up, and then go out.. shopping, to dinner, walking down the street... Dang, girl! You know that when you're covering as much as I'm UNcovering, you KNOW we got a problem! Please leave at least something to the imagination, for the love of  modesty. And more whys- Why cheapen yourself like that? Why not just get dressed?

Yes, it was a culture shock. Yes, I was uncomfortable. No, I didn't like it.. not sure if I'd go back. The superficiality, the.. *shudder

And one more thought that I had: Why put so much effort (makeup, hair done, bikini, sheer poolside coverup, jewelry, sky-high heels... just to go to the pool) into your looks when your guy is clearly more interested in looking at other women? BTW- This would be a good time to ditch your man and find someone who likes you for you, not your fake tan, your fake attitude, your fake "girls."

Sunday, May 8, 2011

If This Man Were Not of God, He Could Do Nothing.

There was a man who was born blind, whose vocation was begging (Really, what else could you do to make a living if you were blind back in those days?), and "everybody" knew it.

One day another man and his friends were walking by. The friends asked who had sinned to cause this blind man his afliction. The leader of the group said the blindness wasn't caused by sin, but that it happened to create an opportunity for God to show His power.

He bent to the blind man and said, "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world," made a paste of mud and spit, applied it to the blind man's eyes, and told him to bathe in the river.

The blind man did so, and was made whole but having never seen the one who healed him.

And then the problems began.

See, everyone in the community had known this formerly-blind man for years... and now he wasn't blind. Things like that just don't happen!

Government officials got worried about the apparent power of this healer. They were wrapped up in their own positions within the community, their own power and authority, their own status. The healed man was brought in for questioning.

The healed man said "It was a man named Jesus..."
"He put clay on my eyes, and told me to wash. I followed his directions and I see."
"He is a prophet."

His parents were brought in for questioning. They verified that he had been born blind, that he was now able to see. But they refused to testify further, "He's an adult, ask him."

There were accusations of devil-worship and witchcraft, even criminal action!

The healed man said, "Whatever/whoever this man is, I don't know. The one thing I do know- I was blind, and now I see."

He is asked again to recount what happened, how the healing occurred. By this time, the healed man shows a little frustration, "I've told you already.. but you don't get it... or don't want to get it. Will another telling make you believe?"

More cries of heresy were thrown around.

"If this man were not of God, he could do nothing."

Ah, that was it! The leaders had absolutely heard ENOUGH, and the healed man was cast out.

I had so many thoughts through the Sunday School lesson today...
  • When faced with truths and realities that we're afraid of, that we're uncomfortable with, how do we handle them? I know I don't always handle it in an ideal fashion. I've ignored the facts, or gotten mad at the messenger, or just gotten mad! Sometimes I've decided to take offense, or feel hurt by the unpleasant news.
    Maybe some day I'll be better at accepting realities I don't like.
  • In the aftermath of his healing, this man's testimony of Jesus as Divinity grew. After he was cast out,  Jesus came to him and asked him about the healing. The man of course couldn't have pointed out his healer, but he knew the one who had healed him was of God, was good, was someone that deserved his respect, devotion, and worship. He didn't have to see this Man to come to know what He was.
  • These leaders thought that acknowledging Him as Divinity was the end of the word!.. Well, it was the end of their world, the world as they knew it. It marked an end of their authority, their power, their status as top dogs. The idea that the Messiah was among them scared them, and they didn't like it one bit! But in reality, the fact that He came, He saw, and He conquered, is a very good thing. He came to earth, He taught through words and deeds, and He conquered death and sin for us. What's NOT good about this??