The graduation season has begun! Friday my daughter-in-law graduated from the University of Utah. She has worked full time and gone to school part time for ten years. When it might have been easier to give up, she kept going and I’m so proud of her. I took some pictures of her at the graduation, but the best shot was one my son took of her.
Other graduations will soon follow. Our oldest grandson will graduate from high school in June and he has four cousins who will graduate this Spring as well---each from a different high school. Congratulations to all of them.
Graduation ceremonies have changed a lot since my big days. They were solemn occasions then with a great deal of pomp and ceremony. When our children graduated from high school, the ceremonies were nice, but the audience had to be reminded a few times to keep the noise level down. Since then we’ve attended nine college graduations, both junior college and university, for our five children and three of their spouses. They’ve all been a little noisy, two were hard to hear because of rude, noisy audiences, some were rained on, some were blistering hot, some graduates were childish show offs, some cried, some were inside, some were outside, but this most recent graduation is the first time I saw a large group of graduates prance across the stage shoeless.
We finished the day with a big party at my son’s house. Her family, our family, and friends showed up to celebrate my daughter-in-law’s accomplishment. She said she’s in no hurry to look for a job with her new degree. She’s happy working for Shriners’ Hospital and plans to stay there, at least until the job market looks a little brighter.
Saturday we went shopping. Not for clothes or groceries, but we visited a plant nursery (with a stop on the way to watch our oldest granddaughter play soccer). It’s hard for me to know when to quit when I shop at a garden center. Guess what we gave our daughters for Mothers’ Day!
Graduation wasn’t the only cause to celebrate this weekend or to open gifts. Mothers’ Day began with a few relaxing hours to read a great book, Pursuit by Lynn Gardner, followed by Church. Sacrament meeting was a lovely meeting with its combination of short talks and musical numbers. The Deacons passed out chocolate truffle bars to all of the moms. Relief Society was at full capacity. In our ward it is customary for the Elders to teach and conduct Primary and Young Womens so that all of the mothers can attend Relief Society, a great idea since it is the one time all year we are altogether.
Following church, all of our children and their families came over. The girls had arranged for a pot luck dinner with lots of pre-prepared or easy-fix salads and desserts plus they fired up the grill for their husbands to cook hamburgers, hot dogs, and brats. The younger kids mostly chased each other around on the gravel paths in the garden while the adults and teenagers ate more than we should have. It was a perfect day to sit around and talk. I received a few plants, a new hummingbird feeder, a restaurant gift card, and some fun casual clothes, but the best gift was being all together this year.
This morning’s adventure was a bit painful, but nice too. I visited a specialist who discovered a good share of my knee pain is tendonitis. Though I have some arthritis in my knees it isn’t the cause of most of my pain. I still got a shot in my knee, but I can walk without pain and I’m all for that!
In recent years our family has suffered several different bouts of cancer, three deaths, a son-in-law in combat then a military hospital, and obligations that took some of our children to other places on days that were family celebrations. These absences have given us an appreciation for those simple times when we can just be together. The biggest endeavor we all took together was a week at the May Ranch near Challis, Idaho after our son-in-law was cleared to travel following his return from Iraq, but each time we are all together, even if we just sit and talk, we all feel a greater closeness and deeper appreciation for each other.
For another entry in my book give away contest, comment on this post or write a short tribute to your family or a particular family member.