Thursday, January 1, 2015

Ten Things of Thankful: Endings and Beginnings

This week began with endings, and ended with beginnings.  Not only did we see 2014 draw to a close, we welcomed in 2015.  It was a week to reflect back and look ahead.


I'm thankful for:

A life well-lived (1), friends (2), music (3), and the peace that comes through the gospel of Jesus Christ (4).  On Monday, I attended a funeral of a friend's father.  He was well-known in our area, and particularly musically-inclined.  (Just one of his many musical experiences is that he used to sing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.)  His granddaughter mentioned that he was known as the church chorister who "opened up the sealed portion of the hymnbook."  That brought chuckles of remembrance from many in the congregation, including me.  I remember that when I was the organist when he was the chorister, I frequently needed to familiarize myself ahead of time with the hymns he selected. He definitely did not stick to the oft-sung favorites, but felt that he had an obligation to introduce all the hymns to the church members.  

The funeral was a sweet tribute to a kind man.  The prelude music was performed on a saw.  As I walked in, I thought I was hearing a theremin; I didn't realize the saw could sound so similar.  Musical numbers, performed by various family members and community groups, made up the bulk of the service.  Both the music sung and words spoken brought a sweet peace into the room.  The family felt the support of friends, and though there was sadness, there was also strength.  

Attending a funeral at year's end put me in a particularly reflective mood, but so, too, did welcoming in the new year with a wedding.

I'm thankful for:

Extended family (5), traditions (6), and new beginnings (7). Though John and I live many miles from siblings, we enjoy the times we spend with our extended families.  This weekend, we get to attend a nephew's wedding.  The evening prior to the event will be spent playing board games.  That is just what is done when John's brothers and sister get together.  Whether we are gathering for a wedding, a holiday, or even a funeral (no kidding!), we meet at his parents' house and bring out the games.  Maybe we should pack Agricola. 

As we will be traveling, I'm thankful this week for:

Lower gas prices (well, at least until Jan. 1st, when new taxes cause an increase in California) (8), good friends and neighbors (9), and John and his willingness to drive (10).  Gas prices are higher in California than in most other states, but they have dropped substantially.  Not only am I enjoying the lower prices, we get to travel out-of-state, and will pay even less at the pump in Utah.  

Fellow puppy-raisers will watch Yam and Willow while we're gone, and a good friend is going to take Drexel for us.  Our police officer neighbor will keep an eye on our house in our absence. 

Drexel and Willow snoozing 

John will drive the majority of the time, on roads that are usually free and clear, though sometimes slippery and scary.  Whether on a physical road, or the metaphorical road of life, I love our journey together.  

Best wishes to our nephew and his bride as they embark on their own travels, and happy new year to one and all!




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28 comments:

  1. Happy New Year, Kristi. That picture of Drexel and Willow is just beautiful.

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    1. I thought they were so cute together!

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  2. I used to know someone who played the saw beautifully, but I've certainly never heard it played at a funeral! Sounds like it was a fitting tribute to a musical man.
    Love the name "Yam"! How long will Yam be staying with you?
    Have a safe trip to Utah!

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    1. Yam was just with us off and on for a couple of weeks. Her puppy raiser was out of town for the holidays. Guide Dog puppy names are certainly unique. We have Yam, Ecru, and Willow in our group right now.

      The trip to Utah was uneventful for us, though we did see a car fully engulfed in flames on the opposite side of the road in Nevada. Emergency crews were already there.

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  3. Am I frist here??? Could it be???
    I love this - "Whether on a physical road, or the metaphorical road of life, I love our journey together." That is a great statement of a wonderful relationship.
    I wish you safe travels and a happy and healthy new year!

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    1. Well, close. Moderated comments really should say something like, "There are x number of comments ahead of you. Please be patient and your comment will be published in the order in which it was received." :-)

      Happy New Year to you, too!

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  4. Have a great trip. Looking forward to your photos… the vicarious travel experience that is available in the blogosphere is pretty darn amazing.

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    1. Well, I sure shot a lot of photos yesterday (while John was driving) of the beautiful moon rise over the mountains. We'll see what shooting through a dirty window going 80 mph down the freeway (I love Utah speed limits!) produces as far as recognizable photos. I'm such an optimist. :-)

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  5. Happy New Year, Kristi. Yay for lower gas prices (we are traveling, too) and yay for a wedding. There's nothing like a wedding to fill your heart with joy.

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    1. May you find cheaper gas prices where you are going, too! :-)

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  6. I've heard people play saws before and I really enjoyed it. Enjoy your trip and Happy New Year.

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    1. It's amazing what can be used to produce beautiful music!

      Happy New Year to you, too. 2015 has to be better, right?

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  7. You wrote a beautiful tribute to your friend's father, Kristi. I must admit I had to look up "theremin". Fascinating! Thank you for contributing to more "Information" to stuff into this clark's already cluttered head LOL
    The dichotomy of your year end/new year events is striking. Sadness and joy. Seems they are never far from each other for too long.
    If one picture could make me love 2 dogs I've never met irl! I love Drexel and Willow! You can know instantly,looking at that picture those are 2 very, very good and loving dogs:)
    Hey, same here. About the gas tax going up except the gas where I am in VA actually went down 4 cents!
    Safe journey for you and John. Enjoy:)

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    1. I had no idea what a theremin was until a few years ago when I watched a documentary all about them.

      Drexel and Willow are very good dogs!

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  8. Happy New Year , Kristi. My Uncle Whitey used to play the saw and the spoons... you wouldnt believe it wasnt a regular instrument if your eyes were closed when he was playing. Have a great trip. Drexel seems so much bigger than willow is he really? What a great photo!

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    1. Yes, Drexel is much bigger than Willow. Willow just turned one year old, and Drexel is 2, so there is a bit of an age difference, as well as a gender difference.

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  9. Wow talk about big beginings and endings in the new year! All in the first week!.

    Love the picture of the dogs snoozing!

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    1. Definitely big beginnings and endings. The funeral was before the new year, but both events did occur in the same week.

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  10. Did you pack Agricola in the end? I hope that the wedding and the games night were wonderful, life-affirming, place-and-time-in-space affirming and just RIGHT. I hope you enjoyed yourself and that the driving was all safe :)

    I've never heard the saw played, but the funeral sounds like it was beautifully done.

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    1. We did pack it, although we haven't played it yet. We've played lots of other games, though. Agricola is going to be tomorrow.

      The wedding was beautiful, as was the funeral. The saw does not sound like you would imagine.

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  11. I understand completely how John's family plays board games when together, even if it's for a funeral. My family is the same. It's how we connect. It's part of us. Why wouldn't we do it when saying goodbye to a loved one?
    I'll pray for the family of your friend, but it sounds like they are surrounded by people who loved the deceased. Sounds like a beautiful funeral.

    Glad the trip went well for you!

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    1. It was a beautiful funeral, and a beautiful wedding. And there have been lots of games!

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  12. Happy Happy New Year, Kristi!! I so love board games. I miss playing them with my brothers so much. I recently bought a new one and got all bummed when I realized that our friends here are so parent-centric, and that we never finish dinner with a great game. Maybe one of these days, we will meet in person and play a board game together. I would like that a lot. I'm very sorry for your loss though and would love to hear the hymns played on a saw. It's like a saw, saw, right??

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    1. I don't remember which hymns were played on the saw, but they were beautiful. Yes, the saw is a saw. It's played with a bow. Search on youtube to watch one being played.

      It would be great to have you over for a board game night sometime!

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  13. I hope you had a safe and fun trip! Happy New Year to you and John!

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  14. I definitely noticed that the gas prices dropped below $2. That is certainly a nice surprise. I'm so glad that you enjoyed a great week and a reflective time. It's so nice to do that from time to time so we don't take life and people in it for granted. :)

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  15. I missed you post last week - but glad to have caught you on this round!

    I am intrigued about music on a saw. I will have to look into that.

    As for gas prices, I am enjoying the lower prices here too. Hope you are enjoying your travels and that the evening of board games was lots of fun! - Louise

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!