Wednesday 10 October 2012

To Teach = To Learn

Yesterday, I began teaching an adult education course in my community. Though it was a small group, we had good discussion on what makes story and on creating strong characters.

I love to teach. Being able to talk about something I love, to people who are interested in learning what I know is satisfying. What I love the most is how much I learn from researching, formulating my thoughts, and sharing my excitement. Some of the things we talked about, I do without thinking, so it was great to be able to break it down for others. It is helping me to look at my own set of skills and find ways to improve them.

It has been too long since I have written anything. I keep finding excuses -- weddings, kids starting university, several trips. Really, all the excuses in the world mean nothing. What I am really suffering from is a lack of confidence. I think we all come across this in some form or another. For me, it has been rather debilitating.

I continue to wonder if my time would be better spent elsewhere, but I always come back to wanting to tell the next story. That's why this class is good for me. It is making me examine writing closely again. It is getting the ideas percolating in my brain and making my fingers itch for the keyboard.

So I hope my students benefit from the class and are glad they signed up, but in the long run, I think I will receive the greatest benefit of all.

Thursday 20 September 2012

Summer Weddings

What do you get when you send two daughters to BYU-I at the same time? That's right! Two weddings in five weeks and a crazy summer to go with it. Our house was so swamped with wedding decorations, food, dresses, and guests, that I didn't even give writing a thought for much too long.

Our first wedding took place at the end of July. My daughter wanted me to make her dress. That took countless hours as we drafted a pattern, hunted on the internet for the perfect lace, and hand pieced all that lace together. There were way too many nights when I would tuck my family into their beds and then stay up until 3:30 am, sewing lace. It was worth it to see how much she loved the dress. My daughter spent days baking cakes for the reception and my sister did an amazing job on the decorations. With help from every member of the family, we managed to get everything put together in time for the big day.

The night before the wedding, I received a phone call asking if the temple had called and cancelled. Puzzled, I asked, "Why on earth would they do that?" I found out that there had been a hailstorm in Cardston earlier that evening with tennis ball size hailstones. There had been a lot of damage at the temple. My aunt and uncle and the best man had been staying in Cardston that night. Their cars were totalled as were hundreds of other vehicles in Cardston. (If you want to watch a crazy video of the storm, follow this link.) When we arrived at the temple the next morning, there was crushed glass all over the parking lot from smashed windshields. It made for interesting wedding pictures since the lawns of the temple were covered with broken branches and leaves.
 My three children: yes, they are all taller than me and I am wearing 4" heals!
(You can see all the broken branches and leaves on the lawn.)

The wedding went off without a hitch and we were happy to welcome our new son-in-law to the family. Since he is from Arizona, they decided to hold an open house there so that all his friends and family who couldn't make it to Canada could wish them well. Of course, I wasn't going to miss that, so three days after the wedding my husband, youngest daughter, and I headed south. We spent ten days in the U.S. enjoying the crazy 116 degree weather in Arizona and spending time with family.

Once we got back, it was on to my step-daughter's wedding. We didn't do as much planning for this one, we just wrote all the cheques. I sewed two of the bridesmaid dresses and we helped get the decorations up, but for me it was a much more relaxed event.

It was fun to see the girls' personalities come out in their dresses and decorations. All in all, it was a good summer, but I'm glad that the next daughter is only fifteen!

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