by Jennifer Griffith, Guest Blogger
This was a tough exercise. As I looked back over my life, it’s like a big blank, punctuated only by embarrassing moments. Darn! Nevertheless . . .
1) Disappointment Acres, my dad’s dairy farm in Idaho, is the name of my girlhood home. The brand is a backwards dollar sign. Like all farm kids, I had my chores, which mostly ranged to the unglamorous: whacking mice while I shoveled grain in the barn’s loft, and high-pressure spraying manure out of the milking parlor each morning. Still, I get nostalgic remembering the triumph of teaching a calf to drink from a bottle, or the smell of alfalfa while moving sprinkler pipe on a cool summer morning.
2) I once killed the prize houseplant of a U.S. Senator. For 10 wretched weeks I ineptly manned the front desk of Idaho Senator Larry Craig’s Washington, D.C., office. I did more things wrong than I can catalog, and my face burns red with shame at my lameness in every aspect of my employment there, but by far my worst legacy was the day I got bored and decided to dust EACH and EVERY leaf of the boss’s gigantic, blue ribbon Ficus. With Windex. All the other employees tried to gently urge me to “Let the Senator tend his own plant,” but no. I insisted I’d been the plant girl at Fred Meyer in college and I knew what I was doing. It shriveled, and I got a job in another office, and I’ll only be vaguely recalled as that chick who killed Larry’s plant.
3) At 33, I had the thrilling experience of a “version.” When my fourth baby was being born in Tucson, a last minute sonogram showed she was coming breach. They gave me the option of either trying to turn her or receiving an emergency C section. I went for the turn. A specialist came and pushed my Catherine’s head through my tummy while a nurse pushed her little bottom, and after a zillion silent prayers and a queasy-good while, she flipped. Hoorah! Thinking about it makes me want to throw up even now.
4) Despite the fact that I don’t have a risk-taking bone in my body, for one freak year, I went absolutely berserk. When I was 23 and just home from my mission to Japan, I went rock climbing in Moab, skied (and tore out my knee on the bunny slope), rappelled down a cliff (and got my hair dangerously caught in a carabiner), dug and slept in a snow cave (fighting claustrophobia for the entire miserable night), rode my mountain bike across the 13 mile causeway to Antelope Island on the Great Salt Lake—alone (and had to hitchhike home), and even bungee jumped (sort of—it was a ride at Lagoon). Who was that woman?
5) My GPA from college was .049 points too low for Summa Cum Laude at Utah State. It really, really, really irked me at the time. However, I’m now considering making myself a t-shirt with this number on the front: “3.9451,” and on the back the words: “Nobody Cares. Not Even Me.”
It’s funny how things change, and time goes by, and we forget, and things don’t matter, whether they felt mundane or exciting or important or scary or embarrassing at the moment. Time seems to dilute them all into a sea of life experiences. But now looking back, my life appears much more punctuated with moments of joy than embarrassment, and I see how good the Lord is to me.
Tag: Joyce DiPastena