Garden Veggies

Garden Veggies
Made into tile for my stove backsplash

Portland Rose Garden

Portland Rose Garden
Mike and my 2 youngest sons Ian and Leif

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons
With son Beau, Grandson Luke and his mom Jennifer


I cut this out of a wedding line. I must take more pictures of her.

Thursday, March 20, 2008



Me Age 10

My Older Brother Jack, My Mother and Me 20+ years ago

In 1956 I was 10 years old living in Wellington, Utah (a small dusty town about 12 miles west of Price.) My mother was 9 years into her third and worst marriage. My stepfather’s alcoholism and domestic violence made our life full of pain and fear. My mother couldn’t leave. He often threatened to kill her. We believed him because there was a bullet hole in the bedroom window to remind us. More than 20 years later, when the children were gone, she would leave and go into hiding.

But things were looking up for me when I was 10. I walked to Primary with the other kids after school. I loved it. Today when I hear "The Light Divine" it reminds me of the sweetness I felt as I entered the church and sat in peace and hope and sang all those wonderful Primary songs. I learned about Jesus for the first time and I felt His love for me.

My mother was a good woman who paid dearly for the mistakes of her youth. She had a beautiful soprano voice. She could have sung professional opera—her voice was that good. But here she was a smoker, with 4 children in a desperate situation. Her voice would be her salvation and ours.

Someone in that little town found out about my mothers voice and started inviting her to sing with groups and solos at various church functions. Before long she quit smoking and started to attend church. I was finally baptized. My mother went to church and took the children and our life was better. Lots of things didn’t change with my father but there was a different spirit in our home. My mother became a "Bridge Builder." This was the name of a song she sang many times. As a child I eagerly memorized every word because the message was for me. And those words have remained seared on my heart and mind through the years.

An old man going a lone highway.
Came at even' tide cold and gray.
To a cavern vast and wide and steep.
With waters rolling cold and deep.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim.
The swollen stream held no fear for him.
But he turned when safe on the other side.
And build a bridge to span the tide.

"Good friend", said a fellow pilgrimed near.
"You are wasting your strength with building here.
Your journey will end at the close of day.
You never again shall pass this way.
You've crossed the ravine deep and dark and wide,
Why, why build this bridge at even' tide?"

The builder lifted his old gray head,
"Good friend, in the path I have come", he said.
"There followeth after me this day,
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
The chasm that was naught to me.
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He too must cross in the twilight dim.
Good friend I'm building this bridge for him."


Tresa said...

You are an amazing woman, Charmaine. Everytime I hear bits and pieces of your life you inspire me. I am so blessed to have you in my life. I know for a fact that so many other people feel the exact same way!! Thank you again for everything that you do for so many people. The mark you are leaving in your own families lives as well as so many others is vast, it is hard to describe.

maren said...

A big part of my testimony comes from the numerous days that the hymn Joseph Smith’s First Prayer revolved in an out of my thoughts. The song was just a distant memory from my days in primary but the melody seemed clear as it followed me throughout my day. I remember when I finally confessed this to Charmaine, Mom, she said she thought it was Grandma's way of guiding me, testifying to me that there was more to life if I would only ask for answers. It seems many in our family have been blessed, buoyed up, and influenced through music. I’m grateful to that person that invited my grandmother to church to sing just as I am grateful for my beginnings in primary. I believe what these opportunities have provided is the source of hope and the foundation of our family.

TnD said...

I read an article once that used the phrase "purify a lineage". I have always loved that and often think of my own grandmother that way and what she did in bringing the light and the life of Christ back into her family. It seems your mother did the same thing. What a wonderful gift to leave to her family.

Alicia said...

Charmaine, I can't believe that I have known you for 38 + years and still keep finding out things about you. I know it has been that long because you tended Sean when he was 4 or 5 and you took him to the doctor to get his immunizations. It is an experience I don't think you will forget. Thanks for sharing your life in writing. Alicia

Marian said...

Charmaine, how grateful we all our that you are so open about your past. You are an inspiration and a testimony to all of us as we learn of your journey to Christ. You are part of that marvelous work and a wonder. Thanks for sharing