Why do I think of these things 18 hours later? Why on earth didn’t I take a picture of that ugly rusted patio rocker with the thread bare cushion before Carol sanded and painted it? I wish I had a ‘before’ picture. I could still take an ‘after’ picture but it would’t be the same as seeing the contrast. Hum…that could be a metaphor for repentance. But I’m straying from my purpose…back to the story of my sister saints and spray painting.
Yesterday was our regular Quilting-Birthday-Lunch morning at Mom’s. This month circumstances took our sister-in-laws to other obligations, so only Carol, Judy, Nancy and I were able to assemble to do the planned sprint spring clean (modified from the usual quilting) in recognition of Mom’s May birthday. Thanks to our thoughtful sister-in-law, Julie, our excuse to enjoy each other’s company has become a routine.
We vacuumed floors, mopped, dusted cobwebs from walls, ceiling fans, and shutters, and brought out the patio furniture from winter storage. The rusty chair that swivels and rocks on a circular base was among that furniture. I suggested it might be time to retire the chair. Yet we all knew it was preferred seating for the most comfortable view of the mountains. Carol is more visionary and hard working than her sister. I went back into the house to tackle cleaning the sliding glass door tracks upstairs. The next time I set my eyes on the chair it was transformed. It had miraculously changed from an eye sore to a very-presentable-patio chair with a fresh coat of paint.
At noon we enjoyed a bowl of Carol’s homemade tomato soup followed by marzipan cake with ‘Happy Birthday Lila and Nancy,’ written on top. It is funny how a love for marzipan can be bonding. We ate outside on the deck enjoying the perfect temperature of the spring day. Carol was crowned with dirt smudges. Visiting as we ate, Nancy reminded Mom of the completed temple cards she had delivered from Jed and Betsy. We agreed to Julie’s texts earlier in the day that red pumps for the mother of the bride would be perfect with matching red lipstick. Someone noticed my new glasses and suggested the next step into my foray with eye ware fashion would be shopping with cousin Shelly. Nancy related how her birthday had gone the day before. Kate had bought treats and stayed up late the night before making a banner. She had put much thought into making sure the “whole day” would be wonderful for her mom. (Kate is a future Nancy.) Carol shared exciting news about Taryn moving back to Utah. Sam is going to teach at BYU. Carol found the almost perfect home for them in Provo. Sam flew up a couple of weeks ago, with Taryn’s approval, to make the decision and purchase the home with an identity crisis. We have confidence Taryn will transform it as she has done with similarly promising projects. (Taryn is a future Carol.)
The happy feelings I had yesterday linger. Mixed in that pleasure is gratitude for being part of a family. My sisters are among my heroines. (Their daughter’s are becoming heroines in my eyes too – probably in part because of how they are becoming like their mother’s.) My sister’s exemplify the joy of the saints (Enos 1:3) as taught in the scriptures. It is nice to be around that joy. It is nice to take the time to show love by serving. Cool how it also creates memories for the future. When Nancy offered the blessing on our lunch she acknowledged the goodness of our Mother. It is real that I reap the eye of Heaven’s pleasure in having added a vocal ‘Amen’ to her prayer. I know God likes it when we recognize His hand in our lives. I know He likes it when we love and serve one another. Mosiah 4:15
Driving home afterwards I distinctly felt Dad’s presence. He likes it too when we do those things he would have done if he were here – spray painting a rusty chair.