During April 2017 I will be blogging about my Courtship Memories from A to Z . These challenge posts will also be found at Creation and Compassion http://marcyhowes.blogspot.com/

Friday, February 16, 2018

I've Seen That Smile Somewhere Before . . .

Josephine and Albert 
About 1918

Have you ever met someone, and just had the feeling that you've known them before?  Or had a friend that you just know you were friends with before you actually met?  I think that just about everyone has at some point or another had some sort of a de ja vu experience, but one of my favorite stories along this line is the story of my paternal grandparent's friendship, courtship, and marriage.    I own a photocopy my grandmother Josephine's story of her life, written in her own beautiful, school teacher penmanship, complete with photographs.  This handwritten history is many pages long, but here is a bit about how she and my grandfather Al felt about their relationship:

"I have said nothing, so far, about how I met my husband and how we fell in love, and finally married, etc.  Well, I think we must have first met in the pre-existent world and decided, if God was willing, we would like to come down to this world and work out our probation together, because we were born within two weeks of each other and our parents lived less than two blocks apart and our families were old friends although his parents were younger than mine.  We grew up together, went to the same school, attended Sunday School and Primary and later M.I.A. together and both sang in the Ward Choir.  It was during this latter period we started dating, and on our Wedding Day, mother told us that before either of us was born, in fact, just shortly after Al's father who was the youngest and last of his family got married, one day Al's grandfather said to my mother that he wished he had another son to marry one of mother's daughters.  So his grandson did it instead.  And in Al's Patriarchal Blessing*  he was told that he would find the mate to be his companion through life that he had chosen in the Spirit World." 

My grandfather Al's life story shares the same sentiment about having known my grandmother Josephine even before they were born . . .

"Now I guess you who have bothered to read this are wanting to know about my courtship, as that is always interesting.  Well I believe that must have started before we came to this earth.   As I said in the beginning, we were born the same year, the same month, the same ward, the same street, our fathers had the same name and we knew each other from the time we can remember, and we were married on the same day.

"I believe the first time I knew about it was when I was a boy of about 16.  My father and I were out in the field hauling hay, and I was on the load when she came along the street on her way home.  She had her books under her arms and a feeling came over me that she was to become my wife.  Now I don't know why, because I hadn't been thinking about such a thing, and girls didn't bother me for some years after that, but I always felt that she was sacred to me.  (I have never mentioned this to a soul before.) . . Then we (grandpa and his friends) finally started getting dates, but I never thought about asking her to go, because I thought she was a serious type and wouldn't care for such foolishness . . . (about a labor day outing in 1915) . . . I didn't have a date, so I called Josephine Smith.  I thought maybe I would get turned down there on a trip of that kind and it being late too.  But I was successful . . . and from then on we saw more of each other.  We went to shows and dances and trips and buggy rides.  I found out that she liked the same kind of fun as other girls.  This went on until January 30, 1918 when she said "I do."  And she has.  She has been a true loving, helpful wife ever since."

Albert and Josephine
About 1968

Of course, as a young girl, when I first read these two life stories of my paternal grandparents, I thought that the idea of my grandparents courting each other before they were even born was very romantic, and I've never stopped thinking that.  I love the idea!  And I love knowing that my grandparents are still together, have recently celebrated their 100th wedding anniversary in their heavenly home, and have been enjoying each other's company for the past 41 years ever since my grandfather's death in 1976.   It had been sad to see him bravely carrying on alone for the four years after Josephine's death in 1972.   Maybe that's why I've always loved this song, Circle of Our Love from the musical production of Saturday's Warrior . . . I've seen that smile somewhere before . . .

It has made me stop and think many times when I meet someone new or encounter a stranger . . . "Have I met this person before?  Were we friends before we were born?"

Have you ever had an experience where you felt you knew a friend before, in your pre-earth life?


* Patriarchal Blessing:  Every worthy, baptized member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is entitled to and should receive a patriarchal blessing, which provides inspired direction from the Lord.  As a person studies his or her patriarchal blessing and follows the counsel it contains, it will provide guidance, comfort, and protection.  Read more about Patriarchal Blessings here.

Monday, January 29, 2018

End of January Wednesday Hodgepodge

Joyce, who blogs at From This Side of the Pond has posted her weekly Wednesday Hodgepodge questions:

1. Speaking of endings....at your wit's end, at loose ends, a dead end, burn the candle at both ends, all's well that end's well, or no end in sight...which 'end' phrase might best be applied to your life lately? Explain.  

The past few days I have been burning the candle at both ends. Sometimes I just don't like to go to bed, you know?  I think I've always been that way.  (Sorry Mums!)  Sometimes I have a project I want to finish, such as putting together the latest edition of our family newsletter.  Sometimes I just have to read one more chapter . . . (or ten or more like last night), and sometimes I just need a big distraction in order to calm down the mind.  I often fall asleep during a TV show or movie.   

2. What was a must have accessory when you were growing up? Did you own one? If so tell us what you remember about it.

When I was in elementary school, mood rings were all the rage.  You know, the rings that would change colors depending on how you were feeling?  I don't think I ever did get one, but I do remember stopping by the drugstore one day with my best friend when she purchased hers. 

3. Something that made you smile yesterday?

Yesterday my DH and I found out the results of our DNA tests that were his gift to us for Christmas.  I had a grand old time reviewing the ethnicity estimate suggested by the test results and sharing them with family and friends via facebook.   So what did the test say, you ask?   Western Europe  50%, Ireland/Scotland/Wales  22%, Scandinavia 17%, Great Britain 6%, Iberian Peninsula 3%, Finland/Northwest Russia 1%, Eastern Europe < 1%.  Interested?  check out Ancestry.com.

4. January 30th is National Croissant Day. Do you like croissants? Sweet or savory? We're having chicken salad for lunch...would you rather have yours served on a croissant, a wrap, a bagel, bread, or a roll of some sort?

I do love croissants, but try to chose a different type of bread these days as the doctor has recommended that I watch my intake of fat.  Sigh.  I do love nice, buttery bread, and love chicken salad on croissants, but if you give me the choice I will take the wrap or possibly the bagel.

5. Sum up your January in fifteen words or less. 

This January I have been pampering myself.  Warm blankets, good food and good reads. 

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

I believe in a loving God who is my Heavenly Father.  There is opposition in life, good and evil.  Life is the time to prepare to meet God and to prove that we can choose to do good, follow the laws of God, and love and serve others.  

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Gratitude Day 19: Voice

I'm grateful to have a voice to speak with, and especially to sing.   I am by no means a great singer, but I do like to sing.  Of course it's best when I'm alone outside with just the birds and the bees to hear, or possibly a cat or dog, but that doesn't happen very often in my life any more. 

I am grateful to have the blessing and opportunity to sing hymns at church, and with the choir at church.  I especially love practicing and preparing the music for our Christmas program, and I am grateful for the opportunity to sing!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Gratitude Day 7: Reliable Transportation

Today I'm grateful for reliable transportation, and that I am able to even sometimes give rides to friends and family.   I have had years where I either walked where I needed to go, or depended on others for rides.  Yes we do have fairly dependable public transportation here where we live, but it is not always easy to quickly get where you want to go.  Today I am grateful for a safe dependable car, and that sometimes I can even use it to bless the lives of others.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Gratitude Day 4: Parents

My father and mother, 1988
Dressed in white, they served for many years as temple workers in the Salt Lake LDS Temple.

Today I am grateful for my Angel parents.  We love them and miss them.  We wish they were still here nearby to share our holidays and activities and hopes and dreams and sorrows.  I miss their love and advice and service and prayers, but I am grateful to have been a part of their family and to have their example and teachings in my life.  I'm grateful that they have graduated from this life of happiness and sorrows, and I believe that they have gone on to greater assignments and challenges, still teaching and serving others in our heavenly family, both in heaven, and sometimes maybe even here on earth:

"I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."  D&C 84:88

Friday, November 3, 2017

Gratitude Day 3: Children and Grandchildren

Howes kids 1995

Gratitude Day 3:  I'm grateful for my (almost) perfect children
 and my (totally) perfect grandchildren!

"My greatest treasure is my family.  We may not be perfect, but I love them with all my heart."

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Gratitude Day 2: Dear Husband

Gratitude Day 2:  

I'm grateful for my loving, supportive, faithful, hard working and enthusiastic companion, partner, husband, and best friend.