Sunday, January 23, 2011

Oregon Trail and the need of a social life

I love wintertime, but there are times when the cold and the darkness can be dreary. Volleyball hasn't started, so the nights are just, well....boring. This Friday I was contemplating my life as I sat on the couch and tried not to watch the Australian Open with my mom. Not that I don't like tennis, it's just that it hits me sometimes how very sad and depressing my life is. I mean, it was a Friday night. I should be out on the town doing something fun. I'm single and can be kinda fun, right? Anyway, enough being ornery about my non-existent social life.
The point of my ranting is that I discovered something fun that will help those of us with no evening time hobbies and no social life to waste time properly..."Oregon Trail". Those of you who were in Elementary school in the 80s might remember the game on the awesome old-school Apple computers. I bought an Ipod touch a couple of months ago (which I love, by the way) and I found a fun new version of the old game from my youth. I invested the 99 cents for some entertainment.
It is, of course, not exactly like the old-school version. It is extremely updated as far as the graphics. It also has some other fun extras. It gives you options to play different games to win food, fix your wagon, fish and hunt. You can pan for gold for win money and in the forts and towns, you have the option of buying supplies and also playing a "Simon Says" type game at the telegraph office. Another fun option is meeting notable characters from the Old West and learning some history (I think that was the point of the game in the first place). You can deliver packages for people and give people rides for a fee.
I didn't fare too well. I was WAY behind schedule and two of my sweet daughters were carried away by a giant bird, but it was a fun way to waste my depressing Friday night. I finished the game today with my nieces and nephew (I couldn't finish on Friday night because my battery can be a much longer version as well) and they were getting the biggest kick out of it. It shouldn't have surprised me...I was their age when I discovered "Oregon Trail" as well! It's never been more fun to have typhoid and dysentery!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Ending of an Era

For the last year and a half or so, I have had the privilege of serving in the Manti Temple as an ordinance worker. One day, my dad admitted to me that he'd submitted my name to work there. "Like I don't have anything better to do." I retorted. There was a pause as he looked me square in the eye and then replied " don't." It hit me like a slap on the face. It was true. No matter what was going on in my life and how busy I was with work and church callings and life, I still had an obligation and a desire to serve in the temple. Well, what better way that to have an assignment?
When I was called down to visit with the Temple President and was given this special calling, I chose to work on Tuesday Evening so that I could ride down with my dad. There's something about being with my dad one on one. I haven't had a lot of opportunities for that in my life unless I was doing chores with him.
But those days are now past. He announced last night that he's not going to be working on Tuesdays anymore. His farming responsibilities are too demanding and he feels like they need him more on Saturday.
Most days when we'd ride to Manti, the conversations were few and far between. But on the way home...that's when things got exciting. He'd tell me stories about growing up. He'd tell me stories about sheepherding. He'd tell stories of hunting. He'd tell me what had happened to him that day at the temple or stories that someone had told him. He'd tell about people he saw and then tell how he knew them and how he was glad to see them at the temple. He'd tell stories about whatever was on his mind. Usually it was something that had happened that sparked a memory.
Last week he told about going to Ephraim with Oliver as a deacon and going swimming. Then, they'd stop at a small cafe (he pointed out where it used to be) and buy dinner.
"You could buy a hamburger for two bits, fries for 15 cents, and a drink for 10. You were set if you had four bits." He told me.
I asked where he got his money as a teenager.
"Oh, I had my milk money", he replied.
He told about milking the cows. He told about the milk truck from Spring City that would come and pick up the milk and that he would get a check for about $3.00 every week. He told about those people that were Grade A and about his friend Gary who milked for Devon Mikkelsen. He earned a dollar a day, so he got $7.00 a week. Then he told a story about when Devon's bacteria levels in his milk went sky high. He couldn't figure out what was going on, but Gary was there one day when a lady that lived across the street came and dipped her cat's bowl into the tank. She never washed the dish, and that's what was causing the bacteria. He laughed as he remembered.
Sometimes we'd stop and get a hamburger on the way home. He'd always comment on the burger. He likes a good hamburger, you know, and is pretty particular about them.
I'm going to miss those hamburgers.
I'm going to miss his latest query when we were ready to leave, "Well, should we take your outfit?" or "Well, what are we going in? The Mitsubichi?" I always laughed on the inside not only because of the mispronunciation, but because I drive a Toyota.
My trips to Manti will be pretty boring from now on.