Sunday, May 31, 2009

I Love Sunday in Joe City.

There are so many things that I love about Sunday in this little town I won't list them all but I'll tell you about today. When I woke up I knew it was Sunday because it was so quiet. No lawn mowers, no weed eaters, no tractors. We made our way to church & found our usual spot on the 2nd row from the front on the left side, that's our bench & everyone knows it, mostly because of the show that Seth puts on every Sunday. It's hard to miss us. The deacons take their usual spot right across from us on the front row, they are Seth's most attentive audience. Sometimes he thinks he's one of them & he'll go sit with Nic. Today he stood with his big brother & the rest of the deacons while the sacrament was being blessed. After the bread was passed to him he turned to me & said "good bread mom mom". There was the usual youth speaker & then the new couple in our ward gave talks. Brother & Sister Layden, a very fun couple , she's my new 2nd counselor. Anyway, we had our usual rest hymn after the first two speakers, only when the chorister , Aunt Sara Mae, stood & motioned for the congregation to stand & sing there was no music playing. Grandpa Gene, our ward organist, was asleep at the organ. This is not an unusual thing for our ward, Grandpa has fallen asleep many times at the organ. He has been known to nod off & hit an organ key or two during the sacrament prayer. After Sara Mae walked over to the organ & woke him up we proceeded with the song. Now, there has been a new, how should I say it, situation, issue, happening, however you want to look at it in our ward. Sitting behind us most Sundays is a certain elderly lady who shall remain nameless, but I'll tell you if you ask, who has recently aquired a cell phone. This cell phone rings almost every Sunday. One Sunday it was ringing from her purse as she walked down the aisle to her seat & after she sat down she proceeded to answer her phone. Derron & I were quite amused by the whole thing, it kept us laughing all through church. Well today was no different, her phone began to ring during Brother Layden's talk. It rang several times before the voice mail finally picked up the call. After the phone stopped ringing she got up & walked out to return the call. Derron was working today so there was no one to enjoy the humor of it with me so I laughed to myself. After the closing prayer our ward, like alot of others, has recently adopted the practice of singing one more hymn after the prayer while the sunday school & primary teachers leave to prepare their class rooms. Well to end another typical sacrament meeting "Jammin' Gene" played the wrong hymn. He played it clear through while everyone smiled & chuckled. Sara Mae eventually put her arms down & let him play. After he was finished Bro. Bushman, who was conducting, stood up & said "We'll just forget the song today".

To end another perfect Sunday in Joe City, we were expecting our hometeachers who had made an appointment for 7:00p.m. The door bell rang right on time only when I answered the door there was the usual junior companion from the teachers quorom but with him was an even junior'er companion from the teachers quorom. The usual senior companion from the elders quorom had to go out of town, so this jr. companion found himself another companion & fulfilled the assignment. I looked out to the driveway & saw a car & I asked the oldest of the two if he had driven here, I knew he wasn't old enough to drive, he said "No, my mom's in the car". So we sat down with our family & were home taught by a 14 year old boy & a 15 year old boy. We ended with a prayer, thanked them & sent them on their way with a fudgsicle. I love this town.

This Simple Life is kickin' my butt!

I love my 80 year old house, but I don't love the 80 year old plumbing. Living in this house has given me a great appreciation for the Hansen way of doing things. When a Hansen builds something they build it to last till to the millenium. As Pumpa was famous for saying "Hell for Stout" which incidently is the way Derron describes me. See what I mean, it's the Hansen way of building things & Derron has built himself a stout wife. I've explained to him that a woman doesn't really like to be described as "stout" but to a Hansen that should be a compliment, I'm learning. Now back to the old plumbing. There is a water line running from the old Hansen well down to our house. The house is no longer connected to it but we do keep a couple of outdoor fawcetts going to water the yard here & there. There really isn't much pressure but it's handy to have. In the last year it has broken in various places & Derron is worried that one day we'll wake up & part of our house will be sunken into the ground from a leaking underground pipe. Now I'm sure that when Pumpa put the old line in he was sure that old pipe would last till the second coming, but it only lasted till the second coming of another Hansen to come along & replace & re-route the entire thing & Grandpa Gene was there to make sure it was done right.

Now Grandpa isn't usually packin' heat but we needed a little motivation for this job. We were having to cut through the roots of 80 year old trees & hard packed clay. It was no easy task. We were tired, sweaty & thirsty. Many a traveler came by.
But most just looked on us with pity & fear of hard labor & hurried past. But there was a certain Special Ed teacher that passed by & had mercy on us & took up a shovel & began to labor with us.He had but little strength & skill, but was willing to give of his substance to help our cause. We were so grateful to him for his sacrifice, but we soon had to realize that it would take the mercy of one greater than us all to rescue us from the great burden which had been laid upon us.
J.D. Smith, the man with all the power came to our final rescue & redeemed us from an everlasting wo!
When Grandpa saw that the work was done he turned & walked away. Well, he was really off to shoot some crows out of his corn fields, but it made a good end to the story.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

"Jumping In The Rain"

"If you stick to Joe City when it's dry, it will stick to you when it's wet". Floyd Hansen

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The "Snaggle Toothed Haggler"

I know the title to this post just grabbed your attention. Well I am leaving my usual heartfelt & sometimes humorous posts on the side today & replacing them for a story that is mostly about me venting my disgust for those who were not raised properly & who fall under the title of idiot. I participated in a community yard sale yesterday that involved about 13 families, each holding yard sales at our homes, passing out maps to customers to lead them to all the other sales. I was ready to clean out my basement & make a little extra cash so I joined in. Having a yard sale in Joe City is kinda fun & as Paul Hatch put it, "It's really just a social thing & gives us an opportunity to cross ward boundaries". I love Paul, he's our town poet, a man with great humor & an appreciation for all things "Joe City'ish". I really enjoyed myself. I visited with a lot of people I haven't seen in a while. Some even came from the neighboring towns. I visited with my old boss from a job I had in highschool, I saw two sisters that I used to babysit, even some parents of kids I had coached on the swim team back when I used to be a lifeguard. Now if you have ever held a yard sale yourself, you have learned that when you advertise in the local paper you are inviting anyone who can read to come to your house & look over your wares & the later the hour, the lower the caliber of customer. Such was the case yesterday. After a perfectly enjoyable morning of socializing & watching all of my clutter walk out of my yard I decided to start cleaning up. When up drove my last customer. "I heard there was a yard sale here, but it doesn't look like much of one", he said. After a morning of polite pleasantries I was taken aback by his rudeness. I looked up to see a kid about 18 or 19 years of age with very bad teeth & wearing a t-shirt that read, "I put the Laughter in Slaughter". It was immediately apparent to me that a complete idiot had just walked into my yard. Now keeping to my code to "never argue with an idiot", (refer to my list of favorite quotes) I bit my tongue & I replied that it was late & that I had most everything cleaned up already but he was welcomed to look at anything that was still out. As he was looking around I realized I had seen this person before but I couldn't remember where. He made his way around all the tables. He soon came upon the pocket knife that Nic had put in the sale because it didn't work right & he wanted to get rid of it. This person picked up the pocket knife & started opening it & closing it over & over again. Clearly it didn't work properly. He looked up at me & asked me whose knife it was. I told him that it belonged to my son & I pointed to Niclaas who was standing on the porch behind me. To which he replied, "Hey Lad", speaking to Nic, "come over here for a minute". Now you have to realize that from this moment on there are two conversations going on, the one in my head & the one that I actually speak, this is what is required when keeping to the code. In my head I am saying "Who in the hell does this kid think he is calling Nic "Lad", he's all of 18 years old himself, where does he think he is, at some renaissance fair or something!" Nic walked over to him & then he asked, "Where did you get this blade?" to which Nic said "I don't remember". He then said, "Well, I'm a bladesmen & this is an unsafe blade." Now in my head I'm saying "Blades men! You can't even brush your teeth!" But what I actually said was, "Excuse me, you do not need to lecture my son. His father is an avid hunter and has taught his son what he needs to know". "Well", he said, "I wasn't lecturing him, I was just trying to tell him that this blade is unsafe". Again in my head my reply was, "Okay idiot, your at a freakin' yard sale not "Bo's Blades-R-Us", we know it's broke, that's why it's in a yard sale!" He kept trying to explain to Nic & I what was wrong with the knife, it was easy to see that he was trying to get me to go down on the price of the knife so in my total disgust I finally looked at him & said, "Listen, if you want the knife then pay the price that's on it or leave it". He mumbled something & then put the knife down & left. As he walked back to his truck the conversation in my head was now coming out of my mouth which really caught the attention of Annelie & Nic. I looked at my kids & said "There are all kinds of idiots in this world & one of them just drove off"! In that moment I remembered where I had seen him before, he's the kid that bagged my groceries last week! I can't wait to go do my weekly grocery shopping, "Hey Lad, can you please double bag the canned items, it's unsafe when the bag tears & cans go rolling everywhere"!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Seth the Mechanic

Derron believes it's never too soon to teach the children the basics of car repair. By his 4th birthday he'll be changing a tire.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Peculiar & Proud of it!

I was outside working in my yard a couple of days ago when I came upon this unusual scene. What is so unsual you ask? Well, it is rare to ever see the old feed truck across the street from my house. It is a permanent fixture at Manilla. It's usual route is the length of the corral & back while the silage rolls out the top to feed the cattle. I watched a while to see why my father in law had driven it into to town & then I realized when he grabbed the hose & raised the hood, it must be time for it's centennial flushing of the radiator.

Part of my purpose in starting this blog was to share some of the unique Joe City goings on. I say unique but we just think it's all quite normal. In fact, we don't think that there is anything unusual until an outsider points it out to us. So today I'll share a story that for an outsider will seem "peculiar" but if you are a true Joe City person, you'll find that it sounds like home. This story involves our beloved cemetery that I wrote about a few posts ago. Bill, a local resident of Joe City, had past away. He was an elderly man so it was expected, no tragedy or anything. His family went about arranging his funeral & contacted those in charge of the cemetery plots in order to purchase a spot for Bill to be laid to rest. Well, there was a woman who lived here many years ago who had purchased a plot for herself but had not been heard from in years, no one knew where she went & there was no information to contact her. So it was decided that the woman had probably passed on herself & was buried somewhere else or that having been gone for so long, probably wasn't interested in spending the rest of her earthly stay here so, Bill could have her plot. Bill's family went on with the funeral, Bill was laid to rest & all was well, until a phone call a few weeks later from the woman's family. She had just passed away & it was her wish to be laid to rest in the plot that she purchased all those years ago. Well, with a little chuckle about the irony of it, the Priests Quorom from my ward organized themselves & with shovels in hand & a tractor, went to the cemetery to dig Bill up. They re-buried him in a brand new plot just for him, with no previous owners. The woman's family came & laid her to rest in her plot & they never knew a thing.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Wind has Stopped!

And just like that, it's gone. There's the old story of the pioneers setting up camp here to wait for the wind to stop & then they would move on. And then at the end of the story we all laugh about still being here. I want to add my two cents to the story. Yes the wind blows here, I mean it really blows & every year we think it is worst than the year before. But when the wind stops we enjoy some of the best weather ever! It makes up for all the wind blowing & that's why we stay. This spring has been more windy than usual. See there I go, but it is true, ask anyone here we all agree. When it stopped it felt like summer had arrived & Seth jumped for joy!

Well, I jumped for joy too but no one was around to take the picture. When I went grocery shopping I couldn't help myself, I had to buy a watermelon to celebrate the end of the blowing wind.

So good bye wind for now. We know you'll be back & yes, we will still be here.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

"It was made by those who are dead & the children of the dead keep it"

A little nod to J.R.R.Tolkein for all you Lord of the Rings fans. Anyone know which movie it came from? I had to tweek it a touch to make it fit but I think it works. So, In the words of Uncle Doyle... Anyway...... This is our creed & we say it with pride. Now you might think our little cemetery isn't much but spend a little time here & your mind will be changed. This humble spot of ground is the final resting place for some of the Lord's choicest men, women & children. You won't find lush green lawns dotted with marbled headstones but if you visit here you'll find headstones made by pioneer hands so old the engravings are all but gone. You'll find plots personalized by family & friends of those who rest there. You'll find the names of those founding fathers of our little town. You'll find the descendants of those founders with hoe & rake in hand caring for our little cemetery & spending a little time with those that have gone home.

Derron, great grandson of Joseph Christian Hansen & Emma Swenson Hansen.
Cat, great great great granddaughter of John & Sophia McLaws. Annelie, direct descendant of four of those first pioneers. She has been playing on or cleaning Nunna & Pumpa's plot since she could walk. She knows who she is & where she came from, giving her the foundation to where she is going.