Cooking, Travel and just Other Stuff

You have to understand. I come from a line of very crafty people. My sister paints, one niece can knit anything out of a ball of yarn...oh and she paints and wood carves and makes jewelery. The other niece designs things and then sews them and then my great niece...well we will just call her insanely crafty. They all have blogs where they show all of their wonderful things they do. So, that brings me here. I decided I wanted a blog too, but what to write about. I'm not insanely crafty, can't paint, don't wood carve, tried knitting-didn't work....hummm, what do I do? Well, I like to cook and travel and eat, so I thought maybe we can start there. My blog will be about recipes I've made, places I go and restaurants I eat at with a few other things thrown in along the way. I've also heard that writing is good for you brain, so I figure-as I'm getting older now-this could be a good thing. So anyway, if you find my rantings worth commenting over, I'd love to hear from you. If I post a recipe you like, please let me know, other wise you can keep your opinions to yourself. This, after all, is my blog to make myself feel better, to try and compete with my family, because I don't do anything crafty.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

With Love from Beyond

This very special envelope arrived to me on Thursday. In it contained the most beautiful letter to me written on August 29, 2002. Why am I receiving it today? Because last week the amazing woman who wrote it pass away from this life to be with the God she loved. In her life here on this earth she served God and served others.

She made, I would say, in the thousands, quilts for those she loved. At one point when I worked at Ronald McDonald Hose she made quilts for the kids there. I remember her telling me once that in that year she had made over 300. She did not keep any of them.

Her cooking was very well know by those who loved her. Best chicken and dumplings ever. Cobblers, cakes, pies! It was always a treat to eat at their house.

She took care of her ailing husband for over ten years. She did it with love and perseverance. Most of the time never asking for help.

She and her husband were two of the best encouragers.  They always had a smile on their faces and a hug for everyone they saw. They loved young kids and were two of my son's greatest cheerleaders.

But the thing I remember most is her sense of humor. She laughed easily and always had a funny line. One of my favorites was when you asked her how she was she would say' "fine as frog hair and twice as fluffy."

I met Helen Gray when I was 16. When Brent and I got married and we attended church at Carmichael we became part of her family. We were so blessed. What I didn't know at the time but she was watching me. Her letter tells me of the strength she watched in me through some of my darkest hours. Strength I didn't know I had or was showing, but that encouraged her. She praised God for me! A young girl who was just trying to get through life.

What I regret is not being able to tell her what this letter has mean't to me. As was her nature she was giving and self-less even in death. I hope I can always be the person she saw in me and take her lessons into the rest of my life. One of the best things we can be is an encourager and giver to those we love and those that need it. And one lesson she has taught me through this letter is to walk as God would have you and that no matter your age others are watching and drawing strength from you.

Helen will be so very missed. She had a great impact on so many. In her last line of the wonderful letter she tells me to "keep up the good work. I love you very much." I will try Helen and I love you too.

Julie and Logan with Helen with a quilt she made for them.