We drove our NEW CAR up to Smithfield, which meant that for the first time on a long drive around Utah we had AIR CONDITIONING!!!! Bless you America.
We arrived Sunday night and started the weekend with some amazing family stories. My Dad and youngest sister and her friend were also there, and my Dad read to us about his Grandma, my Great-grandma. It was an awesome experience hearing about some of the ancestors I've never really heard about! My Dad cried several times telling the stories of spending summers in Smithfield with his Grandma. I suddenly had one of those moments where it just hit me that my dad had a grandma too! You know those moments, when you suddenly see a bigger picture or see someone in a new way? That's how it happened. My dad was suddenly just a sweet little grandson telling about a grandma that he loved. The stories were so sweet and touching, of a time when summers were spent on the farm, in the garden, and exploring the attic. It warmed my heart to see that soft side of my Dad. :)
One small part of the story was how his Grandma owned chickens and sold their eggs. He told about how she would hold each egg up to the light to check for imperfections, because she knew that everyone expected the Jenson's eggs to be the best of the bunch!
It was a small and simple part of the story, but it really touched me.
Am I giving my very best to those around me? Can they trust that they are always getting the best of me?
It was a good reminder to always give the best of myself to those around me.
Next my dad read us an account about his Grandpa, who lived a life so Christ-like that two generations later my Dad's cousin was affected positively by it.
Summary of this amazing story goes like this:
My Dad's cousin worked for a cabinet company, and they got a call from a very irate woman who had a negative experience with an alternate company and wanted the cousin to come fix the awful cabinet job that had been done. She was notorious for being really mean and ornery, and nobody wanted to take her case. The cousin went into the situation very apprehensive, anticipating a lot of complications.
When he arrived the woman was very angry showing him all the mistakes from the previous job. She had a lot of expectations and it seemed that there was no chance she would ever be a satisfied customer.
They began to small talk, and the cousin asked where she was from. She said she was from Smithfield, and he said, "Oh! That is where my Grandpa is from!" She asked who his Grandpa was and when he said Charles Jenson, the woman's whole countenance changed. Her eyes softened and she immediately asked him if he would like some refreshments. As they sat she told him that many years ago she had a little baby girl who was very sick. Charles Jenson had been her bishop, and he had come straight to the hospital to give her little girl a Priesthood blessing. The next day the doctors couldn't explain how she was well again.
She said again and again "Bishop Jenson" sacrificed his time for the families of the ward, and she was sure he never had any idea what a profound influence he had been on her life. She told my dad's cousin that she now knew that the cabinet job would be a good one, and she had nothing else to worry about because Charles Jenson's grandson was working on it. :)
***I'm totally tearing up again writing about this!!***
It was an amazing story! I was moved to tears thinking about what an amazing family I come from!
It also made me think; what kind of legacy am I creating? Am I living a life so rich with integrity that two generations from now my descendants can be known from my example?
It gives you something to think about.
After Dad's stories, Grandma pulled out a special scrapbook that she had created documenting her life. It was amazing. From birth certificates, church programs, photographs and newspaper clippings, it catalogued her amazing life thus far. She even had a family tree chart with pictures going back several generations! I had never seen these before; I had no idea pictures existed for my ancestors that far back! Also, I discovered that I had a great-great-something-Grandpa with only one eye! Who knew?!?
It was such a sweet thing to hear more about Grandma's life. She had me read aloud a couple love-poems that my Grandpa had written for her. They were so adorable and sweet it was all I could do to keep from getting choked up. That's the kind of marriage I want to have. I was so grateful to know that there was someone in my family who actually had that kind of happiness. I feel like I haven't seen much of it in my family elsewhere, and it really made me regret not being closer with this set of grandparents while my grandpa was still alive.
I am so glad that we went up to Smithfield that night and got to have that wonderful experience hearing about my grandparents and my great-grandparents! I know a lot of people use memorial weekend to get out and go on vacations, but I think I got the better experience. I think my memories of this night will last much longer than memories of a hike or a trip to the pool. :)
Steven and I spent the night in my Uncle's old room, which my Grandma was calling the 5-star hotel room. It was really nice! Just like a little hotel room. The only downside was that Steven and I are used to sleeping in our huge King sized bed, so neither of us could get comfy in the queen. All night long we tossed and turned bumping into each other. haha. Don't tell my Grandma, but next time one of us will probably sleep on the floor. ;)
In the morning it was time for annual Jenson Memorial day traditions! It was a beautiful day and Grandma took us all out to breakfast at Village Inn. Tradition!!!!
After Village Inn it was time to head to the cemetery to visit the graves. Virtually ALL of the Jenson ancestors since the beginning of Utah are buried in Smithfield, and they are right across from my Grandma's ancestors, the Thornley's.
|My Grandma's beautiful house!|
|My Grandpa's grave|
|Patriotic shirt day!|
|Is it weird to take pictures of yourself next to people's graves? I've always thought so...|
|Me and my Grandma.|
After a while the rest of the extended family showed up. These are people I only see on memorial day, because they are my Grandpa's brothers and sisters families. So...my great uncles and aunt's kids. Second cousins?? I don't know. I don't really know them, but we're related. ...somehow.
The next memorial day tradition after mulling around the cemetery is for everyone to "trek" down to the nearest 7-11 and buy slurpees. I have no idea why this is a thing, but it is. Maybe next time we go I'll remember to ask why we do this. ??? Maybe it started back when my dad was a kid or something.
The "trek" is really only about 5 blocks, which I guess could seem like a trek if you were a small child. For me it seemed like a trek because I had to pee. haha. I was extremely grateful to reach 7-11 because there was a bathroom inside.
However, I'm not a slurpee fan, so I neglected to get one, even though my Dad generously said he was buying. Good thing too, because slurpees were 49 cents that day. I don't know if I could afford it. ;)
I designated myself as the picture-taker.
Despite this being a yearly tradition, this was the first year Grandma had a slurpee!
|Grandma's first slurpee!!|
|Melissa's friend Faith had also never experienced the slushiness that is a Slurpee.|
|This one cracks me up because of the way Grandma is looking at Dad. haha!|
The end of memorial day was an extended family BBQ at one of the great-uncle's ranches, but Steven and I decided instead to spend some time with his siblings. So we told Grandma we'd meet her back at her house for quick final goodbyes.
We ended up arriving back at the house long before they did, so we sat on the front porch and I tried to make Steven take pictures with me. (Trying to get better about documenting things!)
Once my Grandma and Dad finally showed up we were ready to get going to our siblings place, so we gave the hugs and headed back down to Logan.
It was great to spend some time with the married Lindsley siblings! We didn't really have a game plan, so we just did whatever we felt like, which consisted of feeding ducks and eating lunch. haha. Then Steven and I had to head back to Provo because I had to work Monday nights. Ain't no holidays at a hotel!
Here are some pics and then I'm going to bed. haha.
|Whit and Rich|
|Ry and Mi? Lol!|
|So as to not have to take two cars, I sat on the floor. :D haha.|
Yay for being small!