Friday, July 1, 2011

Shoe Shine Time : A Reflection of my Dad

I was frustrated and angry. My younger brother who had been living nearby had decided last minute to move to a different state. He left me a note saying that everything he did not want he had put in my shed and that most of it was just a bunch of trash. I was in no mood to go through a messy shed and a bunch of boxes full of junk. I had just had my third child via C-section two weeks earlier and was still in a bit of pain, but the anger I felt out weighed the pain and I wanted a clean shed again. I grudgingly walked out to the shed and started going through the boxes. He was right it was just a bunch of trash.
As I pulled the next box that needed cleaned closer to me I noticed it was full of a bunch of plastic Wal-Mart bags and crumbled papers, but in the corner of the box there was a small Kiwi shoe polish bag sticking out. I grabbed the bag a little too eagerly. It was my Father’s shoe polish bag and I remembered it well all though I had not seen it in many years. Four years before, my father had passed away suddenly from a brain tumor, we had no idea was there until it was too late. I missed him. I had a few pictures of him, but nothing that was once his. I anxiously opened the bag and took out a polish tin. I opened the tin and sniffed the polish. It was the smell I remembered; My Father’s smell. Emotions and memories flooded my mind as I held that little shoe polish tin. I started pulling out all of the contents of the bag; another polish tin, two wooden brushes (one to apply the polish, the other to shine the shoes), a rag, and some ultra-brilliant shine spray. I remembered sitting next to my Dad watching him polish his military boots before he headed to work. I was only five or six years old at the time but I can still remember the conversations we had while sitting there on the floor of that old Air Force base kitchen.
I think the best memories I have of him are of all the times we sat and talked together. He was a good man and very wise, but he did not think so. Humility was his greatest attribute. During shoeshine time, he would tell me stories of his family who lived across the country, Stories on how his grandparents came here to the United States from Hungry. I remember his smile and laugh when he would tell me about his brothers and the goofy, boyish, pranks they would play when they were kids. However, shoeshine time was not just meant for fun conversation it was also the time my dad would lecture me on how to be nicer to my siblings. Dad was a religious man and had a scripture for everything even when it came to arguing. There was more than one occasion were he pulled out the same scripture for me to read and asked me what I thought it meant and then would discuss the consequences if I did not change my behavior towards my brother and sister. I memorized that scripture just by how often I had to read it to him. After several years, I think it finally clicked and I found my self no longer reciting it.
As I grew older, I would no longer sit and talk with my dad as he polished his shoes instead, our whole family would go out on the front porch in the evenings and just sit and talk about anything. I loved listening to the kindness in my father’s voice as he talked to us kids and I appreciated the way he intently listened to our teenage questions and ranting. He was patient in that way. I often wonder if I will have his listening quality towards my own children as they grow up. I was lucky to have that in my life; our conversations and his advice helped me deal with the struggles of everyday adolescent and teenage years. His stories kept me interested in my family, different cultures, religion and education.
Perhaps I was silly to have all of these feelings from just finding a simple, old shoe polish kit. Perhaps I was just being emotional; after all, that was perfectly normal considering my physical state. However, the fact still stands that that shoe polish kit is still very important to me. I keep it safe on the top shelf of my closet where I am able to find it easily whenever I want to remember those precious childhood memories of my father. I often think that finding that shoe polish kit was symbolic for my life. While my father polished his shoes, he was also polishing me, my life and my values. I felt sad that my brother had discarded such a sentimental item. I wondered if He had something else of my father’s that he cherished. Whatever the reason was, finding that old kit changed my mood that day, just the same way our conversations from the past would. The anger I had felt earlier disappeared into gratitude towards my father. Because of those memories I was no longer upset with my brother, which is what my father would have wanted. He was polishing me that day, just as he had done in the past.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Latest project

Why buy new furniture when you can paint your old stuff? I was pretty excited about this and loved how all my Living room furniture turned out. Maybe I should paint my kitchen cabnets! Just a thought :) I love paint!


We've had a little more time to burn lately since we've had these few weeks off school. It's been really nice. So we went to Vernal to see Eric' sister Lindsay and her cute family. We had a blast during the short time we were there. The kids loved playing with there cousins. We went swimming, sand railing, and ate the best hamburgers ever! Lindsay is one awesome cook! I'm not a big meat eater, but those hamburgers were amazing!Thank for having us out, you guys! Love your guts :)


A few weeks back I had Lasik surgery done on my eyes and they're doing great. Those first few nights I had to wear some goggles to protect my eyes. Brockie found them and thought they were pretty cool. I just had to take a picture....He's just so cute!

Abby and Eliza's luau birthday party

This birthday party was a lot of fun. The girls just love the Lilo and Stitch movie and so I wanted to do a party for them centered around that theme. So we did a luau and since their birthdays are so close to each other we combined them, which was also was a lot of fun. We had a pinata (I know, that's not Hawaiian!),played Hawaiian music, Ate pizza (also not Hawaiian),Sand Castle birthday cake and ice cream. It was a good time :)

Bear Lake and Soda spring geyser

We went camping in Idaho with Eric's family. We went to Bear lake and and then we went and saw the Soda spring geyser. We had a great time and really had a blast at Bear lake. The kids were so cute and loved every minute we were there.
We were also very excited about the geyser....until we got there and found out it was a man-made geyser (lamo) But, I guess the history behind it is acctually pretty interesting. Some pioneers were drilling for a hot water spring that they were hoping to use insted they found a cold water spring.So, It was still fun and still looked way cool.
It was really our first offical time takeing the kids camping and I think it went well...they really seemed to like it. We are looking forward to taking them camping again next summer.

Summer vacation in Idaho

For a few days in July we went and visited my parents, sister, brother in-law and got to meet my new nephew in Idaho. We had a great time Going to the cabin, playing games,4-wheeling, boating/tubing and of coarse, chasing the chickens:) Enjoy the pics! They make me laugh every time I see them!