Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Time Travel Tuesday~The Example of My Father

Way back in the mid-1970's my parents had a plan, a dream really, and a way to obtain it. My father wanted more than anything to own his own dairy, to be his own boss. My mother had worked at the Mesa Motorola plant since Dean had received his mission call. She worked to earn money for his mission and continued on through Richard's mission. She had accumulated quite a fair amount in the company's Profit Sharing savings plan during these years. If she worked for a certain number of years she could contribute more and be compensated more by the company. Mom and Dad decided to pour all of their work efforts into saving and earning the money to buy that dairy. I did not understand at the time why all of the following events occurred, but they were all calculated to achieve the goal. Our new home on North Hunt Drive was sold for a profit which purchased 5 acres in Chandler and a hay swathing machine. Dad and Richard ran a business cutting hay for farmers while Dad still worked full time for his brother's dairy. After a year, when a certain amount of money had been put away and the land had appreciated, the 5 acres were sold for $20,000. (I hate to think of what they are worth today!) My parents purchased a smaller, older home back in our old Mesa neighborhood on North Harris Drive and we moved in. Mom continued to work for Motorola and put money into Profit Sharing and Dad started looking for for a farm to buy. Land in Arizona proved to be very expensive when combined with the cost of dairy facilities and a good herd of cows, so he began to look northward...in Idaho.

It is a whole different story to tell you of my feelings about leaving my sunny Mesa home a few days after Christmas 1975 and moving to the mucky, muddy, frozen north. I will leave that for another time. The family had sacrificed, saved, moved, and moved again and finally squeezed into a 100 year old lava rock farmhouse to give Dad his dream of providing his own livelihood. It meant everything to him. All of Mom's Profit Sharing savings had gone into this venture. They did not even buy a new car or furniture or anything fun with it. They were children of the Great Depression and knew how to handle money wisely. We all worked together to make a go of the farm. Gena and I did our part to help with the babies in the calf barn and get the cows fed. I soon went off to Ricks College while Gena stayed home and learned to drive the tractor and farm equipment. Dad and Mom worked together through good times and bad, serving in the Wendell Ward and making lifelong friends there. They were happy and hopeful for what their future held. Dad bought Mom a nice house in town so we didn't have to fight the Great War of the Mice in that old house on the dairy. They were happy.

One day my father was approached by the son of a friend in Twin Falls. The son was a business man from the east and was looking for investment opportunities. This man proposed to my father that he invest money in the Ellsworth Dairy and build up the herd even more. His firm would take care of the books and take that burden off of my father. A deal was struck, the dairy expanded, things were looking up for a secure future. Then one day awhile later my mother opened a letter from their mortgage company informing them that since they were 90 days behind on their house payments, they were being foreclosed on. My parents were dumbfounded, speechless. Their credit was perfectly immaculate. It always had been! Dad called the  investor to find out what was going on.  He was told that times were getting tight and his business needed some tax breaks so a decision had been made to quit investing in the farm. No expenses had been paid for months and they were letting the dairy go "belly-up" so they could have a big tax write-off at the end of the year. It was nothing personal, mind you, just a good business decision. Nothing personal at all! He still hoped they could be great friends.

My parents had been directors of the genealogy "name extraction" program of the Church (now called Indexing) in that region for a long time. It was one of their many church callings. Not long before they had to move away, my Dad spoke with Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. Elder Packer was over the name extraction programs of the Church and wanted to know why my parents had asked to be released fro their callings. They were doing such an amazing job and he hated to see them go. Dad explained to him what had happened; how this man who was actually in a Stake Presidency in Virginia had cheated them out of all they owned or had ever worked and saved for, and they had to go to New Mexico and move in with his son. Elder Packer was upset. He wanted to know the man's name so he could investigate the matter. My father refused to "out" the guy. He simply told the apostle that he was working very hard on forgiveness and would get no satisfaction out of seeing the man punished. "He will have his judgement day," was what my father said.

Dad and Mom lived with Dean and Renda for quite awhile. They were both able to get jobs from Renda's brother who owned a Spudnut Shop in Farmington. They worked form 3:00 a.m. to just before noon five days a week making Spudnuts all night long and serving the drive-up breakfast crowd. The popular Winchell's Donuts commercial catch phrase became there own motto during those days as they would wake up early and proclaim, "time to make the donuts!" They were in their mid 60's and were tired. Their bodies ached and yet they never complained. They left Idaho with nothing but their personal belongings. They had nothing of the years of saving and dreaming they had so carefully planned out. It did no good to look backward. It did not give them their life savings back. They eventually were able to buy an extra long, single-wide mobile home and a nice piece of sandy land in West Hammond. They continued to work their fingers to the bone for years until that home and their little white truck were paid in full. Then they retired. Dad used his gifts as a farmer and made that little piece of dirt bloom like a rose. It produced fruit and vegetables and became the play place for his grandchildren on summer vacations. It was better than Disneyland to go to Grandma and Grandpa's house. They ran in the shade of the huge trees he had planted. They played hide-and-seek in the corn patch and the orchard. They ate the luscious blackberries and peaches until they were stuffed. It was a piece of heaven. My parents never sought for retribution. They took the situation handed to them and after the initial shock and hurt wore off they pressed forward with faith and courage to a bright and happy future. I am forever grateful to them for this fine example.

Today my husband received some heart-breakig news. The job he has long dreamed of was given to another. When I got the call from Dee this morning I hung up and fell to my knees, sobbing harder than I think I have cried since I said goodbye to my sister for the last time before her death. When I couldn't cry any longer I simply asked "why?" Why did he feel so good about everything? Why did we leave the Church Office Building 7 weeks ago feeling so powerfully calm? Why can my sweetheart not have his dream? As the sobbing began again I felt the most incredible warmth wrap around me from behind. It pierced me through to my very soul! I was calm immediately. I received the distinct impression that all will be well. I heard these word come into my mind:

"Before great blessings come great trials".

I have also thought of this hymn today.

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Helen & George Ellsworth
My parents, My examples of faith!

 The news was not what we hoped to hear. I hurt for my husband. I chastise myself for hoping for a greater income so we could better provide for our family. It will be alright. Not today, but later, after my swollen eyes have gone down!


Emalee said...

Dear sweet Sister Loose, thank you for sharing this. It truly is inspiring. Your parents are wonderful examples and so are you and your husband. I can only imagine how much this hurts, but in a small way I hurt for you all. But I believe that great blessings do await you.

Emalee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
URFAVE5 said...

Oh my dear sweet Aunt Marianne, how my heart is breaking for you and Uncle Dee. Please know that my prayers are with you. Please know that I love you and Uncle Dee so much. I know that this is so difficult. I too at different times have asked those same kinds of "why" questions and I too have felt that same piece and love come over me that all would be well. Many times we never know the answers to all our "why" questions however, it is true that when we put our trust and faith in the Lord all turns out well. However, this isn't always easy but try to remember it's always darkest before the light. On our door in our kitchen it says, "The Greater the Struggle the More Glorious the Triumph" This saying has become a popular saying in our home. Hang in there! You are in our thoughts and prayers! We love you so much!

Love Always,

Ellsworth Party of Four said...

Aunt Marianne, out hearts too are breaking for you and Uncle Dee. We know how much he wanted this job and that this has been a dream of his for a very long time. We never know why things happen right away...but I often find myself looking back at various times in my life thinking...AHA! That is why I had to go through that heart breaking experience. I always find that the outcome...or "need" is much better than the "want" I had in mind.
My favorite quote...that I use VERY often is "Some blessings come soon, some come late but for those who embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ THEY COME!"
We love you all so much. You are in our prayers.

Marianne said...

Thank you sweet ladies! I feel much better today now that the shock has worn off. I am getting ready to have a really great day! My mind may wander ow and then into the realms of trying to understand the idiocy of the whole thing but I will shake myself out of it!

I wanted to write down my parent's story so that their grandchildren would always remember. It truly did come to me yesterday as a reminder that life doesn't always go our way and dreams don't always come to pass, but we are never forsaken!

URFAVE5 said...

Aunt Marianne, thank you again sharing grandpa and grandma's experience with us and also for sharing yours and Uncle Dee's. You are all wonderful examples of faith. We sure love you guys!

Anonymous said...

Oh Marianne, There are so many things I could say, like "this just means there's something better in your future" or "someday you'll look back on this time and be thankful for the experience" but my guess is, that you don't want to hear all that. Since I've been in your shoes a couple of times and I really do know what your pain feels like, I will just say, I'm sad. Some things we just don't understand and this is one of them! My thoughts are with you at this challenging time.

Nancy Face said...

I am so sorry to learn of your great disappointment.

Thank you for the sweet story of your parents. I am very inspired by their Christ like example.