Monday, October 31, 2016

Sharon's Stateside Summer (A Trip Down Memory Lane in Provo)

The last week of my stateside summer, I had time to drive around Provo and collect a few photos of important places from my childhood.  I guess my desire with this blog has become to provide my children and grandchildren with a bit of my personal history.  They may never read all my ramblings, but perhaps, some of the photos will pique their interest enough to learn more about their ancestors.  An incomplete brief pictorial biography of my childhood is represented below - although the photos of today are very little like the images from my mind.  The first is a photo of Utah Valley Hospital, where I was born, and where the same Doctor Hammond that attended to my birth, delivered my first child, Bobby.  Our newest granddaughter, Eve was also just born at this hospital.

Our Family home on Lambert Lane no longer exists.  When it was first built back in the 60's, I imagine it was quite a stylish modern house.  The design was probably influenced by the time mom and dad spent at Berkeley University in California.  When Bob and I visited the Sausalito side of the Golden Gate Bridge many years ago (where I believe mom and dad lived), the style of homes was similar to the one they built in Provo.  My earliest childhood memory is of picking up rocks in the front yard prior to sodding.  That memory, however, may simply be triggered by the photo below of me doing just that with my mom.  When the lush landscaping was completed, the walkout patio from the lower level featured a beautiful rock waterfall and pond. And the upper backyard was comprised of a large lawn for playing croquet and other games, lined with bamboo, fruit trees, grapevines, and raspberry bushes. It's strange to see only the lawn of the Tracy Hall Legacy Home which now spreads across the land where our home once was. The landscape of Lambert Lane has changed significantly from my childhood neighborhood.  Some day I will have to write more about my memories of home and family!

Several of my neighborhood friends' homes are still in use.  I snapped pictures of those I probably spent the most time visiting as a child and teen.  These below are the homes of Catherine Jonsson, who lived across the street; Ellen Dewey, who lived next door; Becky Duke, who lived kitty-corner behind our house; and Kathleen Barnett, who lived close to the church.  I grew up with about 9 girls my age living in the Pleasant View Area.  I never really enjoyed going to my friends' homes to play, I preferred to have them come to my house, or to be outside - where we were quite often.  Catherine Jonsson was my favored friend during high school.  People often got us mixed up and said we looked alike.  She was a good friend growing up, but was not always the best influence upon me.  We did some typical teenage mischievous things together ("drag main street", etc.) which I never would have pursued on my own. Ellen's family had a large horse ranch up Provo Canyon where she used to invite me to stay with her.  She taught me to ride horses and I remember taking a summer tennis class with her.  I've never forgiven myself for the unkind way I treated her during my Sophomore year when I declined letting her share my locker.  Becky was my young backyard playmate and friend. I remember going on trips to Parawon to visit her grandmother with her and making homemade rootbeer.  She later became best friends with Susan Bullock from our ward (whom I didn't know very well) and for a while the three of us did lots of activities together.  Her mother was our Young Woman advisor our second "Beehive" year - the favorite YW Leader in our ward.  Kathleen was my inspirational spiritual friend who was always thinking of ways to serve others.  She and I would bake cookies together and take them to people anonymously with a "ding-dong ditch".  We would regularly call each other and say, "meet you at the corner", and then find something fun to do together.  Our dad's both worked in the Eyring Science Center and we liked to visit them there occasionally.  A favorite childhood memory is of planning a daddy-daughter overnight backpacking trip with her, as a surprise for our fathers.  

The Pleasant View First Ward Chapel still resembles the church I attended as a child although it has been enlarged to include another wing.  The membership of our PV1 Ward was comprised of many prominent BYU Professors and Church Leaders, along with many wonderful families who shaped my life through their examples and love.  I remember how disappointed I was when the Mission Training Center was constructed next door to our chapel, demolishing the wooded lot that had been a secret hideaway for my friends and family.  Back then, there was no worry when we would disappear into those woods for the day, building tree-houses and constructing boats to float down the little stream that meandered through our fantasy world.  But during high school, I enjoyed having the MTC so close because I could easily deliver cookies across the fence to boyfriends who were leaving on missions!  And now, I see the MTC expanding and building even bigger housing complexes there for our missionaries and once again, I don't like the changing landscape.  Oh how painful the price of progress can be!

Within walking distance is the Provo Temple, where I first entered a temple to perform baptisms by proxy as a young woman.  At the time, the spire of the temple was a golden color, to emphasize it's  originally intended symbolic design.  The circular white base of the temple was to represent "a cloud by day", and the spire was "fire by night" which lead the children of Israel across the wilderness in their exodus from Egypt.  Unfortunately, it became better known as "the birthday cake" temple and in 2003 was painted completely white.  My most vivid memory of this temple is when Bob and I were sitting in his car (a banged up - but cool - yellow 1969 Camero) in the temple parking lot one night in August of 1980.  He pulled out a small red velvet box, which when opened, revealed a carefully written message, "Will you marry me?" - and contained a simple gold ring with a solitary diamond.  That's where we officially became engaged!

Just down the street on 9th East is what was once the Sharon East Stake Center.  We began attending this building rather than the Provo Tabernacle for our stake conferences once it was built.  In our stake, all baptisms for the month were conducted on the first Saturday, and it was here, on November 1, 1969, that at 8 years old, I was baptized by my father to become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Since that time, another wing has been added to the building.

The first school I attended was known as the BYU Lab School.  I attended this school for kindergarten and first grade. With an October birthday, the public schools would not allow me to start school with all of my neighbor friends.  So my parents decided to enroll me in the lab school where I was allowed to enroll the age of 4.  I seem to remember having a teacher named Mrs. Rasmussen.  And at this age, I remember being dressed up as a little yellow chick in a play about "The Little Red Hen".  I remember wearing a "ginnie gown" (a full- long length dress) with my friends Becky and Catherine in some kind of dance performance.  Bob loves to remind me that I am the product of early childhood experimentation - a "lab rat"!  According to BYU:  "Between 1955 and 1968, the Laboratory School was organized as a service unit in the College of Education to prepare students in the college to teach as well as improve educational programs. The school created an environment for high-level instruction for observations and experiments in the Elementary and Secondary Laboratory Schools while performing research in child development, learning, social processes, and educational programs in a university setting."  The school was housed in the BYU Academy Building, which was restored and redesigned to become the Provo Library in 2001.  Coincidentally, my first "real job" at the age of 16 was to be an assistant Children's Librarian in the Provo City Library.  (That building which was on the opposite side of University Avenue no longer exists as a library.)  I loved that job, and my desire to someday write children's books probably originated there. My favorite library memory is of taking the children who had completed the summer reading challenge into the small domed planetarium erected within the library, and teaching them about the constellations.

Because I mention my first real job, I will add that for many years prior to that, our family had a newspaper route, and my brothers and I carried the Provo Daily Herald to the homes within our ward boundary.  I remember being terrified as the Harris dogs used to chase me on my bike, hating to deliver papers early on Sunday mornings before church, and dreading the winter snow which meant I had to walk instead of ride my cool purple bike with a banana seat and sissy bar!  We were careful to make sure every paper landed on the front porch and I got pretty accurate with my toss while pedaling along on my bike.  I remember Bro. Christensen always giving me stickers to decorate my paper bag with - trying to make it a little more "girlish" for me.  When I went door to door collecting dues each month, I was very often detained for long visits with several of the elderly and lonely people on my route.  The reward came in generous tips from time to time.

But I am getting ahead of myself . . . so let's go back to school.  My second, third and fourth grade classes were at Wasatch Elementary School on 9th East in Provo.  It seems crazy now, but as young children, we used to walk home from there, cutting across BYU campus, hiking down the hill where the bell tower now rises, through "crackerbox village" (as we used to call the married student housing area where the Marriott Center now sits), and up Lambert Lane.  I remember playing "kissing tag" around the playground of the school, and receiving my first kiss!  It was probably at Wasatch Elementary that we learned to do the "Maypole Dance".  I liked weaving pastel-colored long ribbons around a large pole as we performed the dance steps.  My fourth grade teacher's name was the same name as my mother's - Donna Hill; although I didn't like her nearly as much as my mom!  I recall loving my "shop" class, where I made a desk-sized wooden bookshelf and a wooden napkin holder.  I was upset when staining one of my wood projects because I had not sanded off the wood glue completely, and therefore, the stain did not take in those areas. It was at Wasatch that I learned Utah history and used a wood-burning kit to create wooden book covers for my paper projects from our studies.  My cover had a beehive design burned into it and I thought it was amazing!  Perhaps my love for woodwork and crafts had it's beginning here.  During 4th grade, I was tormented by my first "stalker", a boy I thought was quite rough and whom I did not care for.  He followed me home from school one day (which scared me) and gave me a "love" note, which at first I didn't understand and then wished that I never did:  "I like you. I want to put my hot dog in your buns."  That was a sad beginning to the end of my childhood innocence!

While in fourth grade, what would become my new elementary school - Rock Canyon - was being built.  I remember being able to vote for a new school mascot, and thinking that "Jaguars" or something fierce like that would be cool.  I thought it was kind of pathetic that we were going to be the Rock Canyon Roadrunners.  The only thing that reminded me of was Wylie Coyote and his Loony Tunes friend - "beep beep"!   I guess it is appropriate that years later when Bob and I were dating, he surprised me with a life-sized stuffed "Wylie Coyote" toy which he won playing arcade games on a visit to Las Vegas.  However, his huge Loony Tunes "Taz" (Tasmanian devil) stuffed animal became my favorite and was the object of several gifts I gave to him in subsequent years.  

Oh my ... thinking about 5th and 6th grades at Rock Canyon conjures up images of first crushes (Nathan Anderson), maturation films, girls stuffing their bras, learning surprisingly crude slang terms and definitions, wanting long hair (mom loved me to keep it a short pixie cut which made me look like a boy), and needing glasses but being way to embarrassed to ever wear them.  I recall riding a tandem bicycle with my friend, Ellen, to Springville to see her horses in a stable there, and "catching" them mating.  This led to me asking my shocked Grandma Parkinson how babies were made - and being told to "ask my mom" when she returned home from a trip with dad.  Yep, this was the age I learned about the "birds and bees"!  I was good at kickball and was one of the fastest in the mile run.  

 Farrer Junior High was razed to create Provo Peaks Elementary School in 2005, so I have no photos of my junior high school other than the historical print below.  This is where I attended seventh, eighth and ninth grades.  I remember this being a hard time with my girlfriends and finding it difficult to remain friends with all of them because they didn't all like each other  I couldn't understand why, because I got along with all of them.  I wore braces on my teeth for two years, to correct the large overbite that was a result of my thumb-sucking up until that time. (An unconscious night reflex.) I started wearing hard contact lenses and could finally see! I decided to quit taking piano lessons, a decision I, like many, later regretted. It was junior high when I had to figure out who I really was.  This was when I was first asked to try smoking a cigarette.  Due to my silent prayers, I was spared the humiliation.  The pack of cigarettes had gotten wet from rain where my friend had buried them, and somehow the offer was never repeated.  I was allowed to take snow-skiing lessons at Sundance in 7th grade, and rode a ski-school bus to and from the resort. While freezing winds whipped at our faces while riding the chairlift on a particularly cold blizzardy day of skiing, my friend starting shouting out swear words at the top of her lungs.  She urged me to do the same, saying it would make me feel much better. I thought that was the most stupid thing I could think of doing right then and kept my peace.  I never did like hearing my father cuss and swear when he was frustrated and angry. I enjoyed taking sewing and cooking classes and learning how to use a typewriter.  I was put into an advanced math program, called "Math Quest".  That ended up being a real struggle for me and one which I endured for a couple of years with lots of help from my friend Kathleen, and my caring teacher, Sister Williams from my home ward. I quit the program in high school and never gained competence or confidence in math afterward.  (Although I did really enjoy a high school accounting class.)  During these formative years, I served as my Beehive Class President in our ward, and in 9th grade was called to serve as Secretary of the Seminary Youth Committee for Farrer Junior High.  Those were responsibilities and honors that profoundly influenced and shaped my life for good.  I had sacred spiritual experiences at this age, and my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ was firmly solidified.    

For just one year, I was a Provo High School Bulldog.  The locker assigned to me was down the south wing of main hall.  I always dreaded walking down main hall, where all the "jocks" would hang out, whistle and make "cat calls" to the girls as they walked by.  I acquired several admirers that year but chose not to date until I turned sixteen - which was not until October of my junior year.  However, I was slightly "seduced" by a senior soccer player who showered me with attention and drove a cool gold Mustang Mach II muscle car.  He often offered me rides home from school.  It was from Jonathan Russell, in that car, that I received my first real kiss to the tune of "Color My World", as a sophomore at Provo High. I really liked having the option of off-campus lunch.  My friend, Catherine and I often walked across the street to Taco Bell to get a tostada and then stop into Dunkin Donuts for dessert. Catherine was beginning to make poor choices at that time in her life and sluffed (Utah slang meaning skipped) classes quite often. I remember our seminary teacher asking me if I were "my brother's keeper".  That profound question has caused me much thought and reflection over the years.  I took Driver's Ed at the high school but practiced using an automatic transmission.  Learning to drive our standard equipped Toyota Corolla was a nightmare for me and my mother!  I believe it took me two or three attempts to pass my driving test.  I remember my legs shaking violently the first time I was tested and the instructor undoubtedly noticed that I was not prepared to drive.  I am grateful now to have learned to use a clutch!  

My junior and senior years of High School were spent at the newly constructed Timpview.  I was not particularly fond of the orange and navy colors and Thunderbird mascot which we voted upon, although I grew to like it.  It was so nice to attend a new school and our class of '79 had a lot of spirit.  We created a large "T" (larger than BYU's Y) out of sheets dyed orange and had it hoisted by helicopter onto the mountain where our school pride was proudly displayed for a couple of weeks.  I served as Student-body Secretary my senior year and put together a historical scrapbook of the year (which I am hoping still exists somewhere within the Halls of Timpview).  Turning 16 was a big deal for me - I guess because I was young and had waited so long to date and drive!  I had three dates lined up on my birthday, which was being counted down in very creative ways by Keith Bradshaw, who was one of my best friends. Musically talented, Keith wrote a silly song about me titled, "Tough Competition".  I learned that I had a photo stalker at Timpview my junior year, when friends told me that pictures of me were hung all over the photo processing lab!  It was a guy who was on the yearbook staff that I had never dated, but he did drive by my home and follow me around school and snap photos. Creepy!  A former friend, David Pace from Provo High, who had served as the Seminary President (with me as Secretary) in 9th grade, won second place in a contest during our junior year, for most creatively inviting someone to the Homecoming Dance.  He had arranged with my mom to come and "kidnap", blindfold me and put me in a van which unknowingly drove to the Provo airport.  I was then guided into a small engine plane and flown to a certain place over Provo, where my blindfold was removed and I could see from the sky a message below asking me to go to Homecoming with him. For me, high school was mostly about dating and I was fortunate to do a lot of it - but I was a conscientious and good student as well.  My memorable academic achievements were to be a member of the National Honor Society and being one of two students who scored a 5 on the AP English Test.  That was my best subject and I did  (and still do) enjoy research and writing.  I had two car accidents as a teenager, and both were considered my fault.  The first was being hit in the rear passenger side when making a left turn on my way to the library for work, and the second was not being able to stop or turn on ice one winter morning while driving our carpool to Timpview, and sliding right into the car in front of me.  Fortunately, neither was serious and all that was injured was my pride and dad's wallet!  (The car damage below, however, was caused by my younger brother, David.) In church, I was called to serve as 5th Year Young Women Camp Leader and as Co-Chairman of our Sharon East Stake Youth Committee.  These were tremendous opportunities for me to sharpen my leadership skills and increase my understanding of church principles and policies.

Upon graduation from high school, (in fact that very night, following all the parties) my parents and Grandma Hill took me and my 3 youngest brothers on a road trip back east to see Church History sites.  I started summer classes at Brigham Young University when we returned. Not knowing what kind of career I wanted in life, other than being a full-time mom, I simply enrolled in general education courses.  I lived at home while I was a student there for a year, but joined a BYU student ward with my older brother, Doug for a short time.  I worked in the Administration Building as a part-time secretary in the office of Lyman Durfee, Financial Vice-President of BYU.

In February of 1980, I met Bob, a returned missionary from Calgary, Canada, where my brother, Jim, also served.  My parents were hosting a welcome home party for Jim, to which all former mission companions were invited, and when we met, there was an unusual magnetic attraction to Bob which I had never before experienced.  With a flip of a coin, I became Bob's date to a BYU fireside that evening.  Unbeknownst to me, Lee Schwab, another returned missionary was contending with Bob to ask me out.  Bob lost the coin toss, but somehow managed to sit by me in the car and make me think he was my date!  He's always been very resourceful!  We began dating and were engaged by August 1980.  At that time, I decided to quit school and work full time to help support us through Bob's final two years of schooling. Dr. Roy Hammond hired me to become a chair-side assistant in his dental office.  He was the son of my medical doctor and had been the Priesthood Leader who presided over our stake youth committee my senior year. He and his father shared a medical office building on center street in Provo, which is no longer there.  Because of my squeamish reactions to blood (nearly fainting on a couple of occasions), I was moved to the back office to be in charge of accounts payable - a much better fit for my skills!  I loved that job for the two years I was there.  But again I digress . . . Jim had become engaged to his girlfriend, Shauna Jensen (from our home ward), just a couple of weeks prior to my engagement to Bob.  Because we were both talking about having December weddings between semesters at BYU, we decided to just have a double wedding!  We were all sealed to our spouses in the Salt Lake City Temple on December 17, 1980.  My mom's former boyfriend, Elder Ed Pinegar, was asked to perform our sealings, and though he intended to marry Bob and I first, Jim (who always had to be first), spoke up and demanded his place at the altar claiming seniority! Our shared reception was held in the home of Shauna's parents.          


Both my brother and I both found apartments in "The Meadows" complex which was south of the railroad tracks in Provo.  It was the wrong side of the tracks back then, and is even more so now!  It just so happens that Michael and Kristin's current apartment backs up to our former "home" - but the complex is now called "The Boulders".  Bob and I lived in the lower left unit shown in the photo below.  We noticed that the ducks which freely roamed the complex started to disappear when we had an Asian Family move into our building a few months after we arrived there.  Why waste a good meal, right?  Jim, Shauna, Bob and I attended the same ward and enjoyed getting together frequently for game nights.  Nearly two years later in October 1982, they had their first baby, Jennifer, and we gave birth to Bobby the following January.  Bob graduated from BYU with an Engineering Degree in Computer-Aided Design in April of 1983, at which time we were recruited to the North Lauderdale area of Florida, where Bob's first job began at Motorola.

This concludes a brief overview of my life's beginnings in the beautiful Rocky Mountain Valley of Provo, Utah, surrounded by the magnificent towering peaks of Timpview, Squaw Peak, and Y Mountain.  And, as they say . . . the rest is history - an unwritten history that may yet be recorded among the posts of this blog.

Inspired by and dedicated to my wonderful parents, Max and Donna Hill, whose bodies lie at rest in the southeast corner of Provo City Cemetery.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Sharon's Stateside Summer (August 27 - September 9 in Provo)

Oh how I love to be with my children and their families - they are truly my joy in life!  However, when I grabbed my suitcase and climbed into Parker's sporty little Lexus (which I borrowed from Doug), and soared toward a comfortable empty home in Provo (which I "rented" from Thomas' parents), I was feeling as free as a bird.  It was Saturday, August 27, 2016, and I lit briefly at Thanksgiving Point to meet Michael, Kristin and Eve, at the wedding reception of our friend, Aaron Fife. Maybe the flood of emotion which flowed upon seeing some of Michael's good friends from Texas - my seminary boys - should have been expected.  Jordan Nunez, Ryan Johnson, Aaron Fife  - like my son, they were all leaving the nest and in the process of creating eternal families of their own.  My joy was overflowing!

I am grateful that our children all have wonderful in-laws!  I know that I can call upon any of them for help at any time.  Kris and Rex purchased a home in southern Provo several years ago as a place for family to use as needed while attending BYU or visiting Utah.  Because Michael and Kristin's apartment really had no place for me to stay comfortably, I turned to Thomas's parents for help.  It was such a blessing for me to have a place of my own for a couple of weeks!  And, I actually felt like a grown-up again to be able to drive a car without asking permission from someone!  Kristin only had classes and work 2-3 times a week, so those were the days I was privileged to go take care of Eve, and enjoy her all by myself.  After being with "Tanner the Tank", Eve seemed so tiny and fragile - although they are quite similar in length.  I'm hoping her dark curly hair will remain, but I believe she's destined to become a blonde.

While I was in Provo, Michael decided to sell his old green scooter and upgrade to a newer better model.  He and Kristin rely on the scooter for their daily commutes to campus.  The Toyota Rav4 is now officially the "family car".  With Michael planning to stay at BYU for a master's program in geology, he and Kristin decided they would like to purchase an apartment of their own.  Supported with financing from you know who, we began the house-hunting process.  And believe me, it's not easy in the Provo/Orem area - especially on their student budget!  But we were learning a lot while on the hunt!  James Seiman, the young realtor we were using continues to be a tremendous help and has become a good friend to Mike and Kristin.

A required geology field-trip took Michael to Yellowstone the last part of August and into September. So Kristin, Eve and I drove up to Green River for the weekend of September 2-4, and Bobby and his kids also joined us there. Tanner was going to receive a blessing by his father, Ben, in church that Sunday.  Bobby and his kids went directly to the reservoir on Friday so that he could do some spearfishing.  His awesome success was likely somewhat of a horror movie for his kids - just check out his "catch of the day" below!  That evening, Ben took his big kids out to Flaming Gorge to meet up with Bobby for a hot dog and marshmallow roast. The moms (and newborns) enjoyed a night out to dinner in Rock Springs.

Such cute kids!  Here's Tanner and Eve getting acquainted:

Hey, you're pretty cute!
May I give you a kiss?
Oh no, I think we just got caught!
 On Saturday, we met up with Ben's family and drove out to the reservoir to enjoy a picnic lunch.  Bobby took the kids "fishing" for crawdads, and the rest of us just enjoyed eating and visiting.  That evening we went to the hotel where Ben's family was staying.  The pizza and swimming pool kept the troops satisfied and entertained.

Tanner was fortunate to have so many relatives join him at church for his blessing day.  Doesn't he look handsome!  Cute little Eve was also garnering her fair share of attention!

 Returning to Provo, I ended up with plenty of free time to myself, I did some shopping (of course) and drove all around Provo on a trip down memory lane.  This hometown of my youth has changed in many ways, and yet it often felt like I had stepped back in time 40 years (wow, I am old)!  It would be difficult to return to live in this college town, but I am grateful that I still have reasons to visit.

The place I was most anxious to see was the new LDS Provo City Center Temple.  I spent a whole day there performing ordinances for our ancestors and soaking in the beauty and spirit of that remarkable edifice.  During my childhood, it was the gathering place for our Provo Sharon East Stake for conferences and cultural events, and remnants of memories came to life as I walked those sacred halls.  To learn more about this historic building, you might want to click on this link.

 Another day, I strolled around BYU campus and was impressed by the beautiful grounds and new architecture.  Some of the same excitement and anxieties filled my soul as I reflected on my own university experience there. And naturally, my thoughts turned to dad with tremendous appreciation for his devotion to his work in the Eyring Science Center where he taught upper division nuclear physics courses and did research on nuclear fission.  My friend Kathleen Barnett and I visited our fathers at work there many times during our youth.  I remember the "snake pit" of winding halls in the basement of that building, the giant Foucault pendulum, and the dinosaur bones that adorned the building's interior.  But the science center was intimidating to me at the time - a place for people much smarter than I! (That's Bobby and Stephanie with Grandpa Max Hill.)

The students at BYU now seem awfully young and exceedingly hopeful in this truly a wonderful and unique University environment.  I love our Alma mater!  I visited the Brigham Young University Museum of Art, which at the time featured a small collection of American Art as well as an exhibition titled "To Magnify the Lord".   The museum lobby featured a string art sculpture which was reminiscent of some we had seen in Vietnam.  I inherited a similar (though not so ornate) Ute buckskin jacket from my Grandma Edna Hill who did charity work for the native Americans.  How poignant the message of Norman Rockwell's painting, "Lift Up Thine Eyes"!  The stain glass window below is one of 6 acquired in 2008 from a demolished New York Presbyterian church.  I was interested in this because I was attracted to one of the others, which hangs behind the reception desk in the Provo City Center Temple.  That last photo was taken in honor of my dad, the hunter!

It had been many many years since I had visited the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum, and I was impressed with the improvements!  I would have enjoyed bringing my grand-kids here.

 I especially marveled at the Elder Boyd K. Packer collection and his amazing variety of artwork.  He was such a gifted man and church leader and his teachings have been extremely formative in my life.  Here's just one of my favorite quotes:

“True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior."  “The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. … That is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the gospel” Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. (“Little Children,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, 17).

It seems appropriate to conclude this post with the same symbolic images with which I began - Birds!  After all, my dad used to refer to us children as his little flock of birds.  I can still hear him calling to us now - "C'mon you birds!"  I believe his cry still reaches out to each of his children - he wants us all to return to the nest with him someday.  I'm grateful to know that we can, because of a loving Father in Heaven who has made it possible for families to be together FOREVER!  So for now, I'm going to leave BYU and continue with my little trip down memory lane in my next (final) post of the summer of 2016.