Saturday, January 23, 2010

Living Up to the Name

I really want to live up to the title of my blog today, and RAMBLE!

FUNERALS...I've been to many of these lately!
First of all, I sang "The Red Hills of Utah" today, at Quinta Beatty's funeral (see previous blog!). I was honored that Quinta wanted me to do this. I thoroughly enjoyed the funeral...I have to say right here that I love funerals, and I don't get people who hate them. It's fun to find out things about people that you would never know otherwise. It's fun to see loved ones that you don't get to see any other time. I visited for just a short time with my cousin Melodie (Quinta's oldest daughter) and her husband Vance who live in Texas. I don't think I've seen either of them since high school, so it was a real treat getting reacquainted.

When someone has lived a rich, full life, then a funeral is more of a celebration than a mourning. That's what Quinta's funeral was for me today. Randie (her daughter) and Brad (her son) both did such a good job of eulogizing their mom. Eric Nielson, her brother, also did a great job speaking. I need to say right here that Eric built Quinta's coffin just for her request...and it was a work of art. What a loving tribute to his sister!

The funeral was tender, and a good send-off for Quinta.

AND...I got to see more friends and neighbors that I love. Paula (neighbor across the street) sat by Darwin and me, and she had her little granddaughter Abby with her, who is 2 and 1/2. I am so starved for grandkids, since mine all live too far away, that I ate it up. Abby is adorable with big, brown eyes...and she entertained me highly, just watching her snoop all through Paula's purse. She daubed me with lip gloss and perfume, and tried to give me Paula's credit cards and cash. Go, Abby!

Many of my Uncle Horatio Gubler's family were there...and they brought their mom, one of my last remaining aunts...Aunt Genevieve, who is still bright-eyed and witty at 96. Wow. I love every wrinkle in this adorable face. Isn't she CUTE??? Every spring her yard is a riot of everywhere. I LOVE her!


Okay. You all know this is a staple food at LDS funerals. So my question is this: If this cheesy, artery-clogging, sour-creamy casserole comes from the same Relief Society recipe, why are some cook's versions so much tastier than others? After Quinta's funeral, we gathered for a light repast guessed it...ham, funeral potatoes, salad, and many kinds of Jello and cake. My eyes zeroed in on just the pan of taters I wanted to dish my "heart-attack-on-a-plate" from. I could see Darwin eyeing up that pan, too. Unfortunately, there was only enough left for my sister Marilyn and me, since Darwin was such a gentleman and let us go first. He glopped his potatoes glumly on his plate from a different pan. It not only looked different, it tasted different. (Yes, we traded bite for bite!) Mine was FAR better. It looked like the photo above, while Darwin's looked like this:

Which would YOU prefer????
(I must say that my daughters have perfected this recipe, in case you're wondering. But you should only eat it once a year!)

My brother Norman and his sweet, loving wife Anne were there, too. Here's Norman as a young teen growing up in LaVerkin.
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Ever since I can remember, people have called Norman "Nump." Well, today was an earth-shattering day, because I finally found out who dubbed him with this nickname. It was another LaVerkinite...Dale Wilson. He admitted it today. Here is Dale with Norman. They look like they are up to no good, don't they!

Norman is one of those kind of people who would LITERALLY give you the shirt off his back. He has taken in more needy people than I can even remember. When I was a wee young thing, we had a German lady who got stranded on the highway living with us for months..."Fergie"...because Norman stopped to help. He's a marshmallow-hearted of the most giving, caring people I know!

We never get least, it seems that way. If we do, it's usually just enough to make dust splatters on the windshield. It seems like we're always nagging the Lord for rain. So the monster storm we've been having the past week has been such a blessing. After the funeral today, Darwin and I took the long way home. The storm was finally breaking up...there were alternate dark clouds and bursts of sunshine...and the air was clean and clear. In other words, it was spectacular. Here are some shots, though my point-and-shoot camera hardly does the day justice!

We drove from Toquerville around to Leeds. This was taken on the old highway, looking back toward Hurricane.
When I looked back towards Pintura, the view was quite different! The storm was not quite finished...

Home again, home again, jiggety-jig!

Hurricane has the dubious distinction of having a mountain/hill that is famed for it's unique and highly visible topography. Growing up in the area, I didn't ever give it a second thought. When we kids talked about THAT particular mountain, we just said things like, "Have you ever been up on Molly's Nipple?"...never thinking about how that might sound to an out-of-towner. We thought we were hilarious when it snowed, and there was a light dusting of snow on top: "Molly's got a bra on today!"

Who was that hapless Molly, and who named a mountain after her, um, feminine charms?

Monday, January 18, 2010


Oh, how I love my family...and that includes my cousins...many of whom I hardly ever see. The only time we see each other is at funerals! I just re-established a connection with my cousin Kevin at Aunt Edna's funeral. He is a great photographer. Here's one of his I especially like. He calls is "the straight and narrow."

Another lovely cousin of mine, Quinta Beatty, passed away last week. Here's how she looked the last time I saw her.

Her funeral is Saturday next at 11:00 AM in Toquerville. I am singing a song she requested--Marty Robbins' "The Red Hills of Utah." I have sung this at more funerals than I can even remember...and I am honored that Quinta wanted this song sung at her funeral. I'm glad I can do one last thing for my bubbly, energetic, creative, talented cousin, Quinta...the first-born of my Gubler grandparents' grandchildren. (Did that foregoing sentence make sense? If not, too bad, because I'm too lazy to fix it!)

I remember Quinta when she was young and beautiful...and when I was, too!!! (compared to now!) I always thought she was classy...and so much fun to be around. I think she still looks beautiful in this picture. She aged well...but no more wrinkles, blindness, ill-health for her now. She is reunited with her sweetheart in the eternities. Way to go, Quinta!!! Say hi to my parents for me!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Once there was a snowman...

Poor Harold. You had such a short life. To go from this to this in less than two weeks. I wondered how long you would last in our 50 to 60 degree weather day after day. Evidently not long!

Bye, Harold. You were fun while you lasted.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Harold the Snowman

Some people are just plain crazy. My family members ALL fall into this category. Case in point:

On New Year's Eve day, Darwin, Janna, and Julianne decided they wanted to build a snowman. One problem: NO SNOW. That didn't stop them, however. They loaded up in Darwin's little tan pickup and went to find a load of snow.

If you need snow, there's no place on earth prettier mom's birthplace...Kolob!

Janna and Juje are makin' that snow FLY!!!

It was funny to watch the looks on people's faces driving by our house after they got back...there were many double-takes. Everyone slowed down to see what in the heck was going on.

Slowly, Harold began to emerge.

Paula's cute little grandson visiting from Las Vegas couldn't get enough of the snow.

As night came on, Darwin put up a spotlight and I made a sign for Harold to bring in the New Year. I am not kidding when I say that cars stopped like crazy. I mean, who has a snowman in their yard when there's absolutely no snow?

Crazy people, that's who! I married one and gave birth to a few others.

Harold the Snowman was quite a distraction for traffic on New Year's Eve. People stopped to have their pictures goggle. We felt sort of famous. He lasted until the day someone knocked him over. I don't think he would have ever gone over on his own. His base was too stable. Dang teenagers.

There is still a small heap of Harold that dwindles each day. I think we should make bets on how long he will last. Dogs have peed on him...then we've seen children come and take a handful to eat. EEEEEYEW! Harold, you've brought joy (and disease!) to many!

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Namesake

I can't believe I haven't blogged about one of the most important events in my life: the birth of a new grandchild in December. And get this...this adorable baby girl is named after her grandma. Her middle name is...hang on to your hat...Lolene! Guess who is going to be included in MY will???

Here is a picture of brand new little Grace Lolene Gifford, born December 3, 2009.

I always lament that my grandkids live far, far away. When I whined a few years ago, it used to mean New Jersey, Georgia, and Colorado. At least they're getting they're all in Colorado and Utah...but northern Utah. So there are no grandkids popping in and out like some of my friends and siblings have. Boo hoo. But boy, do I love them when I DO get to see them.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Goodbye to a Grand Lady

I just got back from my Aunt Edna’s funeral. Will it sound disrespectful to say that I had a blast? I don’t think so, because she would have wanted everyone to have a good time. It was a Gubler family reunion...and a LaVerkin town reunion. I loved seeing my cousins, aunts, (no uncles left!), nieces and nephews…and old-time friends from long ago.

Love fills my heart (and eyes!) every time I see my cousins. Isn’t it weird? We really don’t know each other when you think about it. Yet there is a strong bond that never dies. We don’t have to know the details about each other’s lives (though that would be fun!) to feel a loving relationship. We are FAMILY…and that is forever. How blessed I am to be related to such wonderful people.

How do I sum up what my beloved Aunt Edna meant to me in my life?

Edna was…well, Edna was extraordinary in every way. She was one of those people who lit up the whole room when she entered. She was witty and funny without even trying to be. She had a way of wording things that was unique…no one else used the mother tongue quite like she did. I hung on her every word. Whenever I heard her give a talk or presentation, I didn’t want it to end. She would have us laughing during one sentence and wiping a tear in the next.

I remember a program that someone put together years ago, to honor Edna. It was something like, “This is Your Life, Edna Gubler.” They surprised Edna and made her sit in a big easy chair at the front of the stage. The most vivid memory I have is that someone tied her arms behind her back so she couldn’t talk. She must have had some Italian blood lurking in there somewhere, because she DID talk with her hands, arms, and facial gestures. With her arms out of the picture, she sat quietly for the first time in the whole program…well, sort of. She still had her expressive face!

Edna seemed kind of famous to me when I was younger…like my own mother did. They were both high-profile people with extra-special talents. I always felt proud to tell people who my mother was…and I felt that same way about Aunt Edna. Everyone knew her and loved her.

When I think of Aunt Edna, I think of her laughing. She always seemed to get such a kick out of life. Whenever I would talk to her, she always gave me the feeling that she thought I was so talented and clever…and I believed her. It made me shine even more. Then I found out she gave EVERYONE that same feeling. She had that gift.

My cousins, Patricia, Claire, and James…Edna’s kids…talked in the funeral today. Just as in life, Aunt Edna had us alternately chuckling and weeping in her passing as my cousins (her children)shared her life history, and what it was like having her for a mother. They did their mom proud today! I would like a copy of each of their talks. I think Clairey (sp?) posted some of her thoughts on her blog, click here.

I will miss you, Auntie Edna. Tell my dad and mother hi for me!

Here are some snaps from the funeral...I'm too lazy to label all the people, but I would do it if someone insisted. Just know that they are my siblings, my cousins, my nieces and nephews...all people that I love.

This is a LaVerkin face that I think is awesome...Essie Lempens...who is almost 90. She still plays the accordian and various other instruments. She is awesome!