Primary, growing up with only brothers and being me

When I was little, we had an activity that met on Wednesdays after school. It was called Primary. This was where we-as girls- wore dresses to school so that we could go to church after. We would get together and play on the lawn if the weather was good and inside if the weather was not so good. We would then meet in the chapel to sing primary songs and to hear a short lesson in the gospel. Then we would separate into our classes-separated by age to learn a longer lesson about the gospel. A lot of the times, we spent some of our time creating crafts.

One day, we were going to primary class and I remember that I was next to the outside door of the car(we had a family with 5 children, so with the bench seat, we were squished in), and somehow the door opened while we were moving. I did not have a seatbelt on because we did not have to have any at that time, and so I grabbed onto the door and was skinning my knee on the pavement before my mother stopped the car and then she helped me back into it and then continued on our journey to the church.

I remember being quite scared when this happened. But fear was not one of those feelings that I had too often when I was young. I accepted all challenges. I did my best to keep up with my brothers, and was always getting into trouble.

I was what you called a Tomboy with long, straight, blonde hair.

My mother told me that I never cried when I was a little girl until I had a sliver in my leg that was really quite large. I hardly ever cried afterwards because it showed weakness in the family and we were not weak!

I had no sisters, so to be busy doing “girly” things was not encouraged. I biked, wrestled with my brothers, played games with them, and had only a few dolls-which were loved, but quickly put away as things. They never took the center of my life.  I never really cared about makeup, the latest in clothes, keeping up with the current fashions.

Because of the way I was brought up, I could never understand the personalities of women who felt fulfilled making the “Perfect Dinner”.

To me, being with people and exchanging ideas made more sense. Doing things to improve life on a large scale was and still is my perspective. What can I do to make life better for myself and everyone around me has always been my focus.

Because of this, sometimes I make people uncomfortable. They wish that I could be more gentle and instead, I am more forthright. Instead of playing mental games to soothe and confuse, I focus on the truth and the best way to make good things happen.

I have friends without number. Those who love me back are the ones who accept me for who I am and know me to be quite open. I am blessed and I am very thankful that even though my growing up may have been a little bit different, it taught me a lot of what is real.

I am here for a reason

I believe that I am on this earth for a reason. I have had a very remarkable experience when I was much younger that tells me this.

When I was a young girl, I was with my family visiting my grandparent’s dairy farm in the middle of the summer. My grandfather had electric fences to keep the cows from crossing the fields until he was ready to let them. He had the electricity running through them a little high and did not think that it would harm anyone.

My brothers were playing with cousins out in one of the fields and I wanted to join them. I could see them through the fence playing on one of the large rock piles that were created in the field so that the grass would grow. This place was known as a “Rock Farm” because there were so many of them. The kids were playing on the rocks playing games and I, as a small girl, wanted to join them. So, I did what most kids would have done and proceeded to widen the fence wires so that I could crawl between them and then be in the other field. I did not realize that this section was the electrified fence until it was too late. It would not have been a bad thing, but there was a puddle of water that I was standing in because grandfather had flooded the field recently. The electricity immediately jumped from the fence to my hands, running down my body and into the water which was sending the electricity back up and back into the fence.

I was screaming because as I pulled one hand off of the fence, the other was pulled onto it. I could not break the connection. My hands were switching back and forth, but I could not let go!

My grandparents had a small house that was in the field that they rented out to students that were going to the university nearby. There was a student there at that time.

He heard me screaming and began to run at me. I saw him coming. He pushed me down from the other side of the fence and he broke my connection.

After looking back and thinking of what he did, he saved my life with no thought of his own. He should have pushed me with a stick so that he would not have been shocked himself, but it was with his bare hands that I was pushed and I remember that it was as if he tackled me through the fence as if we were playing tackle football.

One of my uncles was on horseback and was on his way to get me because he heard my screams. He pulled me up onto the horse and took me back to the farmhouse where I was promptly put into a bathtub to remove the mud from my body. It took a couple of bathings to get it all off because it was so thick.

My grandfather was shook up because of this incident and immediately brought the electric fence charges down and I know that he had never forgiven himself for what happened. I have never blamed him for this. I loved my grandfather and have always used him as a wonderful example in my life.

From that time on, I have always heard electricity when it is on around me. I am ultra-sensitive to static and do my best to keep grounded.

I know that I am blessed. That I have much to do on this earth and that I was saved from the electrocution with only a small side-effect.

I love my Heavenly Father and am glad he has given me many opportunities to grow and to become a better person.