Thursday, February 18, 2010

Doug to Colleen on her 66th birthday

No you're not getting older, just more beautifuller in all your ravishing, curvaceous wifeyness and grandmahood, a tribute to your wild Irish smileification that radiates from all your well hidden grays and ample fingernails, as you rule and reign over your humble henshed as queen of the roost trying to keep your many chicklings under your wings with love and laughter while protecting them from whatever lurks behind every stray street sign and humongeous boulder, and all with a song in your heart! What a dame! So get all your kicks en route to "66", where we met in '69, remember yellow rose? Hope you enjoyed the Prairie Home Companion, the TGI Friday's and the peaceful drive through snowy Provo canyon to Heber Valley for some "Breadstix!"

Your Douglasness com felicidades e amor!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Another Birthday

Strange, this aging thing, when I was 15 I could barely wait until I was 16. When I was 20, 21 couldn't come fast enough. It sort of stopped there - the excitement, I mean. Now, as of Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010, I have hit 66. While that is and always will be 10 months younger than my older cousin Susan, it still stings. What great things happen to 66 year olds? Mother died at 66 and that didn't seem so great. I miss her still today. I will be getting my first Social Security check next month, that is good, but what it really represents to me is aging.

Why when I was a young thing did the days and years, especially school years, drag by so very slowly? I married my very loving husband, gave birth to 8 outstanding children and now I sit back and see them going through their lives. I ache for those who ache. I rejoice for those who have had occasion to rejoice, but the common, deep feeling is one of love for each of my family members and overwhelming concern for their happiness and peace. Grandchildren bless me. In-law spouses bless me, and even my brothers and sisters bless me with their kind thoughts and love.

Yesterday, though I was coughing and experiencing lingering laryngitis, I got to talk to each of my children. Doug made me a most delicious breakfast-in-bed (actually I was more comfortably sitting in a big leather chair), Erin and Sharon deep-cleaned the kitchen, grandchildren sang and expressed birthday wishes, the Curran-Tucker group brought flowers and a funny singing balloon, Quinn called from Arizona, Shane from Pleasant Grove, Caitilin and family from Huntersville, N.C., Conn and Sean gave me unbelievably wonderful hugs and expressions of love, Shannon called from Lehi and Doug gave me a perfect drive in the canyon followed by a fantastic late lunch. The day was perfect except that I still wasn't feeling well.

Susan sent a crazy card, fantastic hot chocolate, a funny mug and note pad; Eileen and Kathleen called. I love my sisters and my dear cousin Susan. I am one lucky lady to turn 66 and be the recipient of so much love. At least Susan will always be older...those ten months really add up when you get to our age.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thanksgiving is approaching!

I love Thanksgiving and everything it represents; family, love, security, safety and the prosperity represented by the bounty we enjoy. Daily I am thankful. I am thankful for Doug who loves me though I am not all that love able. I am thankful for our children: Quinn, Megan, Shane, Erin, Shannon, Caitilin, Sean and Conn. I am thankful for Kurt, Sharon and Ryan, our precious in-law children. I am thankful for Darlene and her Kiwi heritage. I am thankful for grandchildren: Kalin, Kai, Gavin, Ryan, Owen and Aidan. I am thankful for siblings: Jack, Tom, Kathleen and Eileen. I am thankful for in-laws: Dave, Catherine, Dick, Carol, Jerry and Peggy, Mike and Osa. I am thankful for my dearest friend, Susan who is just 10 months older than I am. I am thankful for frequent phone calls to and from each of my family. I am thankful for the "nosey, nosey, kiss" I receive in person or on the phone from my grandsons.

Each day as I leave our home to drive the 27 miles to Riverton to teach at Riverton High School, I close the front door, and as I do it, I say a prayer of thanks for the comfort of our home and the blessing of even having a home. As I drive the freeway to school in the very early dawn, I give thanks for each of my students, for my job, my health, the opportunity to teach and be influenced by the humble qualities of of my students, each of whom has a severe intellectual disability. I am blessed because I associate with these students. I am blessed to enjoy a life of freedom where I can pray and attend church and the temple.

The incredible pumpkin pie that Sharon makes (and no she won't share the recipe ), the sweet potato casserole that Shannon makes, the side dishes that Megan creates, the Kiwi dessert Darlene makes, the pecan pie Erin makes and the gathering with family to share in a feast of love...this is Thanksgiving. Caitilin, Kurt, Gavin and Ryan create and share Thanksgiving with friends and missionaries in Charlotte, N.C. We are thankful for the goodness of the Summerhays family.


Halloween has come and gone and along with it, all of our leaves have dropped to cover not only our yard, but the side yard of our neighbor's as well. We are certain our leaves cause stress to our neighbor. As soon as the leaves begin to drop into his yard, he starts up his leaf blower and send those unwanted, crispy, colorful beautiful leaves back to our property. As the days of falling leaves pass, the pile of leaves blown from his side yard becomes increasingly deep.

Our grandchildren love falling into the leaves just as I did when I was a child. I clearly remember raking the leaves into a floor plan of a home. The outer walls of the rooms would be about a foot wide and about five inches deep. My friends and I would take blankets and pillows to our newly created bedrooms. We would neatly place the blankets and pillows into a position to resemble a freshly made bed. In the "kitchen" we would arrange a little table and chairs. Imagination was fun; leaves are why are we in such a rush to clear them from our yards?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Back in School

Summer is officially over for me; school has begun. This year I have a new teaching assignment. I am teaching students with a variety of syndromes from Autism to Prader Willey, William Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy (with Intellectual Handicaps), Down Syndrome, Traumatic Brain Injury and a variety of other conditions that caused Intellectual Handicaps. I am responsible for 15 students who are at Riverton High School. I am able to use a lot of music therapy in my classroom. I feel fortunate and blessed to associate with these very special young people.

Before school started I took a quick trip to see Caitilin, Kurt, Gavin and Ryan Summerhays. Gavin and Ryan are beyond darling as are each of my grandchildren. Caitilin and Kurt amaze me. They are fantastic parents. It is hard having them so far from the rest of the family, but they are making valuable contributions in their community.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

End of another year of school

My 18th year of teaching will be completed on June 4. How well I remember my first teaching assignment which was at St. Thomas Moore in Omaha, Nebraska. I would hate the measurement of my teaching skills to be described by that first novice year. I was teaching by day and singing at the Swinging Door Saloon by night with my partner Dave Webber. We were Dave and Colleen. We had a good deal of success in that adventure and continued singing for two years.

Marrying Doug, my sweetheart, ended the Dave and Colleen era, but opened a new and wonderful phase of my life. After bearing 8 incredible children, teaching voice at BYU Hawaii and then in Orem, Utah, I entered the public education system as a teacher as a Special Education teacher working with students with very mild learning disabilities in math, reading and/or writing. I taught at Canyon View JHS in Orem for 2 years and Oak Canyon JHS in Lindon, Ut. for 15 years. Now, for the past two years, I've been teaching Sp. Ed.(Resource) at Riverton High School in Riverton, Ut..

Next year I'll embark on another phase of my teaching career. I will be teaching the Intellectually Handicapped students at Riverton HS. I look forward to this new adventure. I am so thankful for the preparation, through education, that led to this new opportunity.

Currently I am working on a teaching endorsement (through BYU) in reading, which is still another adventure. I'll finish this preparation in another year and a half. Education is very important to me. It is good to know that we take with us into the eternities those things we have learned here in mortality.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Anniversary Time

Doug and I will have been married 39 years on May 24th. Good years, good love, not much money, but a lot of joy.