Friday, May 18, 2018

Creative Expression

I always felt an urge to create. There was a sense of discontent, of searching, that was always a part of how I felt. I tried many crafts, sports, music, dance, but they were not what I was longing for.  I wrote this song when I was eight years old. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Different Paths

When we moved to Mapleton, Utah in 1976, an older couple lived across the street from us. After a while, a small trailer moved into their large, open backyard. An old man lived in it. He looked like he had lived a rough life and didn't seem very happy. Since he seemed old enough to be our neighbor's father, I thought that maybe he was a grand uncle. I was shocked to learn that this "old" man was the same age as our neighbor. In fact, he was our neighbor's identical twin brother!  I was amazed to see the difference a lifetime of living, or not living, the Gospel had made in the twins lives. The one who had turned to the light, was happy, healthy, and actively enjoying life and his family. His weathered brother who had turned away and spent his years following a rough road, now found his life empty. The path he had chosen led nowhere, and he was left a grouchy, sick, and lonely old man.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Roommates Teaching Me About Family Prayer

by Cheryl Merrick

My first experience with “family prayer” wasn’t with my family, but with college roommates. I had joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when I first started college, then for my junior and senior years I transferred from my California junior college to BYU (Brigham Young University). A couple of girls from our Institute invited me to live with them. The house turned out to be a tiny, old house, but it was only a couple of blocks from campus. There was just enough room to fit two sets of bunk beds in one bedroom and two beds in the other bedroom. In such close quarters the six of us struggled our first couple of months as we tried to live together. Basically, we just came and went, striving to ignore each other as much as possible. After a few weeks something happened which changed how we were living – we all became very ill with a flu. After spending a week helping each other survive, we all knew we had to change. We each took responsibility for keeping some part of the house clean.

The biggest change we made was much more important than mere cleaning,

Thursday, March 8, 2018

School Days

I went to Kindergarten when we lived in Alameda, California. My teacher was Mrs. White, an older woman with white hair. She was really nice. We put our crayons in order (black, brown, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red), played in the play area with the toys, played on the playground, ate graham crackers and milk, and took naps. I loved it!

I didn't like first grade, and I didn't like my teacher, Mrs. Crow. She put me in the lowest reading group. I cried. I was later put back up in a higher group. I didn't read out loud well. She also wanted me to write with my right hand. I didn't want to. I was left-handed. My dad talked to her, and I got to use my left hand to write. 


I always had a parking place there, had great classes and teachers, had a social group, a place to relax, play pingpong (I got really good at it), and eat lunch. 

Mr Utley was the director of the Institute. He taught some classes. Sister Winifred Bates was my favorite teacher. She taught me, a new member, so much about the Church. Once she gave us a dinner at her beautiful home in the Berkeley hills. 

I joined a Church Seniority, Lambda Delta Sigma. Sister Elaine Cannon, who had been a general Church leader, came and talked to us about the seniority. We helped prepare a wedding reception for one of the young men. We made crepe paper flowers for decorations.  Sister Bates was our advisor. 

I also served as a secretary and had to print up announcements using a Ditto master. You had to scrape off the purple ink if there was an error. Messy!

We had lots of activities. We had Firesides where speakers came and talked to us on Gospel topics and socials such as a breakfast and a Bar-B-Q.

The Institute was a second home for me. It was a place where I felt accepted and supported. This was a new experience for me. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Living in Alameda, California

(we didn't have fences and it was well kept, but it was a lot like this)
When I was three till I was seven (1953-1957), my family lived in Navy enlisted men's housing in Alameda, California. We had the lower corner apartment in the twelve apartment buildings. There were dozens of buildings. We had a small front and back porch, and small kitchen with room for our table, living room with a steam register, large storage closet, bathroom, and two bedrooms.

I slept on the top bunk with my stuffed animals to keep me safe. I had a baby doll called Tiny Tears that I could give bottles to and she wet.  I had a small cupboard for my dolls and dishes that my parents made from orange crates. We also had a shelf and record player. I liked to play my "All around the World" record and dance to it.

My mom loved to sew and made my brother and I lots of clothes. She used the scraps to make matching doll clothes for my Muffy dolls. 

The Stow-A-Way!

When I was very young, we lived in Alameda, California. Both my parents grew up in Pocatello, Idaho, so we traveled each year across Nevada to visit our grandparents. 

My brother and I loved to visit our grandparents Crane on "The Farm" just outside Pocatello and with our grandparents Groom where we stayed at "The Cabin" near West Yellowstone. It was so fun and so different from living in Navy housing!  We told all the kids about how wonderful it was to visit our grandparents, and they wished they could come.

One time when we were almost ready to leave for Pocatello, we got a "great idea".  We waited until after my dad packed all our things into our big cream and black Pontiac, then we slipped one of our friends into the car. We had her crouch down on the floor by the back seat and told her to be quiet. But we couldn't keep from giggling. My parents stopped the car; looked behind the seat and said, "Out!". We hadn't even left our apartment's parking area, so the girl just walked home. Our parents weren't very impressed with our "great idea"!