I hope you will enjoy my 101 feelings of joy and inspiration from my life today. I was born in 1950, I will save you the math, I am 67 years old as of today.
I know people have been writing about what they are thankful for recently, but today it’s all about joy and inspiration. I was born in California and have lived a fairly simple frugal life since the day I was born.
I was 18 months old when my birth father was diagnosed with Polio. He was in an iron lung for many months. My older sister and I were farmed out to relatives since my mother had to quickly become the breadwinner.
Sometime later, my sister was diagnosed with the same disease but didn’t require an iron lung.
In case you are really young, this picture below shows what an iron lung looked like when my father was placed in one to help him breathe. Polio causes paralysis and is an infectious disease which in some cases was fatal.
Luckily, my father lived but had health issues for the rest of his life. My sister beat the odds and recovered without any ill effects from the disease.
I really do not like that word, stepdad. He raised me and life took a few curves but I learned to work, to have fun, and laugh. I love to laugh. Those who really know me, know I love to giggle. It’s how I roll.
If you started out with a rough life, you can change your destination, I promise. I did.
Listed below are many life events Mark and I have shared together as we’ve been on this adventurous journey together.
I hope you can grasp the highs and lows, the learning experiences and the challenges we as a family have survived together. It has been fun highlighting key events that have changed and added to our lives.
101 Feelings Of Joy And Inspiration
- I was born to a wonderful mother, Erma.
- I had several sisters, yes my mother specialized in girls and I did too!
- I remember my 4th-grade teacher named Mrs. Okelberry who loved me, I was a shy little girl.
- I played the accordion, after all, we are Norweigian.
- I went roller skating or ice skating at the rink with my sisters and my mom all the time.
- I learned to square dance.
- I learned to sew.
- I learned to cook from scratch.
- I learned how to preserve food.
- I learned to make bread.
- My parents took us up to the mountains every Sunday to cook breakfast and feel the fresh air.
- We got a black and white TV one year, oh my gosh, and sound came out of it.
- We had a telephone party line, we shared, you know the phone that hung on the wall. We would have to check in to see if the phone was available to use. We shared the phone line with another family down the street.
- I went to high school in Las Vegas, Nevada. We had riots my senior year. The funny thing is I learned to be humble that year. I could smile at my “friends” when no one was looking.
- I saw the “Beatles” perform, we had to stand on chairs and everyone was screaming with joy. So was I.
- I moved to Salt Lake City, Utah when I was 18 years old and rented a bedroom with my sister in a house from “Mrs. Thomas”. She always made the best dinners that made us smile every night. Looking back, this probably helped her pay her bills. I’m glad I lived there.
- I was lined up with a few blind dates. Oh my gosh, I came from Las Vegas where my high school friends smoked Marijana (I never did, I hated smoking of any kind) to this town of young men looking to marry someone ASAP. LOL!
- I said I no longer wanted to be lined up, but then I was lined up with Mark, yep it was love at first sight. He’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me in my life.
- We dated about three months, got engaged and married about six months later.
- We lived in an apartment for a few months and bought an entire house full of furniture from a couple who lived across the street from Mark’s parents. The couple died within a month of each other. Their kids came in and took all the small family treasures, leaving the rest of the furniture for sale. We sold my 1968 VW for about $800 and bought the house full of furniture for that same amount. We were able to fill our little basement apartment with all those items. We got a small kitchen set with four chairs, a dining room set with a buffet, table, and eight chairs, a living room set with couch and love seat, and a bedroom set with double bed, dresser, and two small end tables. What a find!
- One year later, we bought a house for $18,400.00 with interest at 7-3/4%.
- Six weeks before moving we had a daughter born with dark brown hair. The deal was if she was a blonde we’d name her Lynette, the name of a special high school friend. If she was dark-haired her name would be Allison, the name of one of Mark’s high school friends. She was born looking like a Native American child so Allison it was. Funny, but six weeks later she lost the dark hair and has been blonde ever since.
- We bought a used crib and painted it white. I had an old dresser I grew up with and we painted it white to match the crib.
- We bought a used car, we could only afford one car because Mark was going to the University of Utah and working part-time to support us.
- He took the bus to school and worked two jobs so I could be a stay at home mom.
- I babysat kids to help with our monthly expenses.
- Mark graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in finance.
- A few months after graduation we had our second daughter.
- Mark continued working two jobs to make it work so we could have a house and a garden.
- Mark shot a deer with his buddies and brought it home and hung it up in the garage. We cleaned it ourselves on the kitchen table. I cannot eat deer now, nope never.
- Mark started as a coin wrapping clerk at a bank, then as a teller to get through school with zero debt.
- Two years later we had a third daughter.
- Mark got a promotion at the bank and we had to sell our home and move to River Heights, Utah. We doubled our money from the first house sale and that allowed us to purchase a brand new home.
- The day we moved to River Heights we drove up Sardine Canyon in a severe snow storm and I had white knuckles on that blue station wagon steering wheel. Mark was driving the U-Haul ahead of me.
- We moved into a wonderful neighborhood with awesome loving neighbors.
- Our home was on a half acre.
- We had a huge garden.
- We grew strawberries for the neighborhood.
- We had our fourth daughter about three years later.
- We made great friends in River Heights / Logan, Utah. Joy.
- I worked at a Bernina store part time, this is where my love for a good sewing machine began.
- Mark worked two jobs in Logan, Utah. He taught people who wanted to be bank tellers how to be good at their jobs.
- Mark got a promotion and we moved back to the Salt Lake City, Utah area.
- We sold our home in River Heights, Utah about six months after moving. Scary times with two house payments.
- We bought a home in Bountiful, Utah. Joy.
- We sold that home and bought another home on 7th Avenue near downtown Salt Lake City. Joy.
- We lived there a couple years and sold that home and moved to Sandy, Utah. It was on a neat street and we made many friends. Joy.
- Then we bought a home in Farmington, Utah. Joy.
- The night we moved into this home, the floods of 1983 flooded Farmington and Bountiful, Utah. Our home was okay but we sandbagged many homes and made new friends shoveling mud out of their damaged homes.
- We made many great friends in Farmington, Utah.
- We bought our first used ski boat. It was a 1979 18 foot open bow Sea Ray. The girls and I learned to water ski. Joy.
- We sold this home and built a new home in another subdivision in Farmington, Utah. Joy.
- We boated with our friends the Matern’s and other families as well.
- I spent too much time cleaning my house, looking back, now.
- I went to work for a bank because all the girls were in school and I felt I needed something to do during the day. Guess I’m a “type A” person. Wanted a part-time job, but came home and announced to the family I’d be working fulltime.
- Our girls worked at Lagoon (an amusement park) and other fast food places.
- As they got older and needed transportation, the girls each had to pay for their cars, some of which did not have air conditioning or a radio. But they had a motor that could get them from point A to point B.
- We tried to go to Disneyland every couple years. Joy.
- I was asked to be a manager of a grocery store branch at another bank.
- Three of our girls graduated from Davis High School.
- Three of our daughters met their future husbands in Farmington, Utah.
- We had three weddings in 18 months. Expensive joy.
- I was asked to work in Salt Lake City with an office in two branches of the bank.
- We moved to Cottonwood Heights, Utah rather than have both Mark and me commute 25 miles to work.
- I started my mortgage company. Joy.
- All my daughters worked for the company over the 15 years we had the company.
- My awesome son-in-law helped me run Priority Mortgage.
- I was inspired to buy advertising by a good friend for the mortgage company.
- We took the whole extended family to California to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. OJ Simpson took his famous drive down the CA freeways while we were there.
- We sold that home and moved to Riverton, Utah. Super joy for me since I wouldn’t have to negotiate those second story stairs.
- I “adopted” several grandchildren in that neighborhood. Great friends and memories.
- We bought the home we have today in Southern Utah as a second home.
- We sold our Riverton, Utah home about five years after buying our second home. I wanted to get away from the snow.
- Mark semi-retired.
- I semi-retired.
- I had both my knees replaced within two weeks of each other. Difficult recovery, but have joy in walking without pain.
- I started teaching classes about food storage and emergency preparedness.
- I taught classes at kitchen stores on how to make bread, cinnamon rolls, tortillas and so much more.
- I started my blog.
- My first grandchild graduated from high school.
- Our third daughter graduated from Utah State University.
- I was asked to write a book. Humbling joy.
- My book was published, inspiration from coaches and friends.
- I hired a life coach, Lyn Christian of Soul Salt, Inc.
- Mark started his own company. Inspiration and lots of joy.
- Our second daughter graduated from Brigham Young University.
- We went to Tokyo, Japan to watch our granddaughter perform as Belle, Snow White, and Ariel for Disney.
- We had a semi-family reunion in Newport Beach, California for Thanksgiving. Super joy.
- We had more grandchildren graduate from high school.
- We have grandchildren traveling the world.
- We have grandchildren performing in musicals.
- We love the climate and beautiful red rock landscapes of Southern Utah.
- Mark plays golf twice a week with a group of about 20 great friends. I encourage him to stay involved with physical things he loves since his body still works.
- I really miss my Riverton friends but have made some special friends here too. I’ve found retirement to be very different than what I expected and what you see depicted on TV and in the movies. Days can get a little long with less to do to fill the time.
- I do a lot of research on the Internet as part of my time to write appropriate things for my blog.
- Mark is involved in the local Exchange Club. He loves the association, friendships, and community service projects.
- Mark stays busy in his calling in the church. He loves his stewardship over the young children and teenagers too.
- We enjoy hearing from our granddaughter who is serving a church mission in the Seattle, WA area. She returns home soon and has had a life-changing time the past 17 months.
- We enjoy traveling to visit the kids and their families. Each family is in a different stage and set of circumstances. We appreciate them wanting us around to share experiences. Having 17 grandchildren is a true blessing in our lives. Each one is different, but bring us joy in so many ways.
- We struggle to watch family and friends age, face health challenges, and succumb to ill health and accidents. Having two sisters in law make the move to assisted living quarters has been a real eye-opener and motivation to eat healthy foods and work to simplify our lives by disposing of the “stuff” we have. I don’t want my kids to have to deal with it in case something happens to Mark or to me.
- We cherish our lives together. Although we have many different interests (I don’t golf and he won’t frequent Starbucks), we have traveled to many exciting locations, loved raising four beautiful daughters, try to support the grandkids and their various teams, schools, and events. Life is so good!
May you look at the joy and inspiration in your life and look at the good you have done for others. Life is what we make it. May God bless this world, Linda