Making memories one day at a time.......and then I write about it.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Why yes, I am bragging!

The e-mail was sent two nights ago after all were in bed asleep.  Yesterday the Internet was down and a busy morning with end of year school stuff.  By the time I got the e-mail, it was closer to noon of yesterday. 

With all of the rain we've been getting and the snow pack that is still yet to melt, we are flooding all over the state of UT.  As we have watched the river get higher and higher we've kept our fingers crossed that some how, a miracle would happen and it wouldn't swell it's banks. 

The e-mail.  A friend's husband is out of the country, she is leaving in two days, she's just been told by the city that the area where she keeps her horses (where The Native's take horse riding lessons) is going to be under water.  Sand bags need to be filled.  LOTS of sand bags need to be filled and put all around the hay and tack sheds.  How in the world is she going to do this herself with three young children.  Could any of us possibly come and help.

When you get an e-mail like this, you drop everything, you grab a task force (The Native's) and you run.  It was Mr. B's last day of school.  Early out.  He and his friends were going to spend the day going to the movies and what not.  I called and asked if Mr. B and his friends would be willing to come and help.  Sure!  No problem!  Filling sand bags, tromping through knee deep horse manure was exactly how they wanted to spend their day instead of playing.

We arrived out at the pasture at 1:15 PM.  Mr. T, Mr. C.  Mr. B and his four muscly teenage friends.  We worked for 45 minutes until Mr. B and his friends had to run to the movies.  They'd already bought their tickets before I'd sent the cry for help.  In that 45 minutes, they'd filled and stacked about 100 sand bags.  One time around the sheds.

I had to run to the school to see Miss K's talent for the fourth grade talent show.  I left Mr. T and Mr. C out at the pasture with Kristen and literally ran into the school all the while noticing that I had horse manure smeared on my hands and feet.  Nice.  I sat in the back of the room.  The WAY back of the room.

Talent show over I grabbed Miss K and her brothers Mr. L and Mr. M and we headed back out to the pasture where we spent the next 4 or more hours sand bagging.

Mind you, Mr. T and Mr. C had been there for several hours already. 

Here's the incredible thing.  In raising these boys, I've worried that living in town, I wouldn't be able to teach them how to work.  Really work.  And not only to work hard but to appreciate and enjoy working hard.  Yesterday, watching these boys with weariness etched all over their faces and bodies continue to laugh and joke the entire time, never complaining, I was proud.  Extremely proud. 

Mr. M who is twelve (and a small 12 at that) was shoveling bag after bag full of sand.  His arms were hurting.  I kept asking him if he wanted to switch.  Hold the bag while I filled.  Nope he said.  He wasn't going to quit until the job was done. 

Mr. C and Mr. T who hauled bag after bag.....  I kept wondering how much longer they could go on.  On they went.  These bags are 40-50 pounds of wet sand. 

Four hundred and fifty bags of sand.  That is how many bags we filled and laid down.  Geneva and her three small children were right in there.    Think about it.  Four hundred and fifty sand bags filled and stacked and here are the ages:  4,6,7,9,9,10,10,12,14,14,15    The majority of the sand bagging was done by these kids.  Mr. B who is 17 and his friends did about 100-150.  Geneva, Kristen, and I were the adults with The SM coming in to save us the last hour.  I say save us, no one stopped though.  Everyone worked until the last bag was filled and stacked.

Now THAT is worth something to brag about.  In my not so humble opinion.

Oh!  And photos..... yeah..... well.......  I didn't take any because I was too busy standing in my flip flops with horse manure up to my ankles making the teenage boys who came with Mr. B disgusted.  All I gotta say is, my feet and flip flops will clean easier and faster then their tennis shoes, socks, and jeans. 


  1. Brag away, my dear. You have every right! Good for you...all of you.

  2. yep, they do know how to work! and what a great lesson they learned (or we hope they learn) in serving someone else. Service isn't always easy

  3. Well done...what a team! Did you stop the water? Floods and over the top weather are not fun :-( I wear my crocs everywhere in that sort of weather just because they and bare feet are much easier to get clean!!


  5. That's definitely worth bragging about! I'm impressed!

  6. I think you deserve bragging rights! Way to go!

  7. That is the kind of thing which truly deserves a Shout Out. Not a new belt in karate or that sort of thing. It was Real Work Without Glory. Very worthy of a mom's pride.

    I used to get my kids volunteering with the US Forest Service tree planting projects in the canyons. We did tons of Ponderosas. Maybe not urgent like the sandbags, but the same sort of glory-less work. I wanted to do it every year, but Life got in the way.

    Anyhow, your kids showed you, through actions, that they are truly building character traits which will serve them throughout their lives.

  8. Now that is most definately something that i would brag about!!
    You should've told me about it, I would've been happy to come and help.

  9. oh. this is very very good!! i LOVE this and you and your very studly boys! ;)

    boys who bag sand are way cool. way way.

  10. I don't think there is another thing in the world that feels as good as KNOWING your kids will serve others. "Well done" to all.

  11. Sometimes a cause to rally around it all it takes to show us what we and the kids we love are made of...
    And Kristen's photos show the story you both told so well.

  12. So, I *did* read this when you posted it, but got too teary and didn't want to be all blubbery in my comment. Such an incredible story. Just beautiful. Shoot, it's still getting me all teary.

  13. I think this is all the more commendable because I know what it must have cost you. I have been lucky in that my boys (and girls!) have learned how to work hard because of Mike's job. Out here where we live now (are you still coming, girl?!), we have lots of opportunity--and no kids who can do it left at home. Sigh. I'm proud of you and love you much.

  14. Korrie, I admit..... I was gushing...

    Marseille, You're right. It isn't always easy. I wish it were but I've found when you get your heart into it and in the right place, it becomes easier.

    Jenni, I'd love to stand by your side and go slopping in the poo. :) We country girls need to stick together you know.... We've not stopped the water yet. Rivers are up again after more rain the past few days and now the weather is getting hot which means more snow melt from the mountains. When that happens, then the flood gates will be opened and water allowed to flood all of the pastures which is where we were sandbagging. So, no flood yet, but it is coming, and we are all crossing our fingers. Other areas are flooding though, and it is a mess, and quite serious.

    Kristen, Yes you did!!! And I am so grateful for you for doing it.

    Anaise, I'm a sucker for bragging on The Native's and The SM. I just can't help myself!

    Chastina, Let's just hope all of our efforts work. I won't say wasted because the experience wasn't a wasted experience but we're hoping the walls hold.

    Ginger, Mmmm. Ponderosas. Reminds me of home. Ponderosa pine trees all over our mountains. I loved pulling off the bark and smelling the deep Ponderosa smell. Nothing like it!

    Planting the Ponderosas was in a way urgent. Without their root system..... with the flooding and rains we'd have erosion. So in a sense, you were stopping way in advance what could have been mud slides had you not plated!!

    Hanna, I should have! I know you'd have come and helped. What WAS I THINKING??

    Misty, And if you still lived here, I know you'd have all been in the thick of it with us!

    Kathy, I have to agree. I've admired it in your boys and hoped mine would be the same....... makes a momma feel pretty good.

    Donna, That is what Geneva (our friend we were sand bagging for) said. She said things like this show you who your true friends are and it is true. When the stakes are down, who else but true friends who'd go slogging through horse poo for hours! :D

    Wabi, Thank you. They are good kids...... despite all of their flarps..... ;)

    Leanna, It did..... but it was worth it. I still haven't learned how to pace myself. :) You have done a bang job of teaching your kids how to work. If I were you.... I'd hire a landscaper. :D I love you too.


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