Sunday, February 28, 2010

God does not need us to love Him.
But oh, how we need to love God!

For what we love
determines what we seek.

What we seek
determines what we think and do.

What we think and do
determines who we are
—and who we will become.


Devilish disguises

Okay, since I posted a story from brandon's childhood I thought I would post a funny story from mine that my Grandpa Minson sent me a few years ago and then recently again. It explains a lot about my character (annoying!) (just kidding) Some people who know me well have described it as a fire that is burning up underneath me and makes me want to MOVE. I just wanted to be all up in people's business. It was all out of love I assure you. But I'll let you decide I guess. (Chris is my mom, Christine)

Just rediscovered this letter from 1992. It's amazing what parental skills we taught our daughters. What do you think? Love, Dad and Gpa Minson

p.s. Would like a response from Jacqueline and Daniel. How did you both turn out so well? I don't think I would share this with Brandon, Jacqueline. It is too early in your marriage.

August 30, 1992

Dear Family,

I’m recording a couple of stories for posterity. Chris and Karen and Geri and Lynette may never record these so I’m volunteering.

Steve, Julie, Kiel, Karen, Terry, Samantha, Tanner, Lynette, Cabrina and I all went to see “Oklahoma” at an outdoor theater at Occidental College a week ago Saturday. On the way home Lynette was sharing her appreciation & respect for our whole family and specifically talked about what good mothers, Geri, Karen and Chris are.

I thought I’d pass on the complements so I started by calling Chris. Chris really laughed when she heard it. She said, “I’m glad Lynette isn’t here to see me now. I just got through dragging Jacqueline down the street, yelling at her all the way cause she had been such a rotten kid. I’ve put her in her room and am going to keep her there until she turns nineteen. I also told Lachelle that she was grounded until Jacqueline became a better kid.

“Lachelle couldn’t quite understand the logic of all this and cried to me, “What are you grounding me for, you’re the Mother.

Chris’s best friend in the neighborhood came over shortly after this saying, “Chris, are you alright? Did you really ground Lachelle until Jacqueline shapes up? Would you like to borrow my book on positive discipline?

Chris’s response was, in effect, “I don’t want to hear about positive discipline. What I need is a vacation.”

I asked Chris what led up to this crisis and she told how Jacqueline had pushed, punched and pinched all the kids in the car on the way home from primary and that as a result she was sent to her room until she could be good.

She sneaked out of her room shortly after that and went to one of the neighbors where she pinched a little girl and made her cry. Lachelle came running home to tell on her. Chris said to Lachelle, “What are you telling me for? I can’t raise Jacqueline all by myself. You’ve got to help me. Go back and make her straighten up.

Before Lachelle could respond to that, Jacqueline had migrated to another house where she punched another little girl and made her cry. The little girl’s older sister came running to tell Lachelle about the latest infraction. Then Chris demonstrated that even good Mom’s have reason to yell at their kids in front of the whole neighborhood.

When I shared this with Lynette and talked about holding Lachelle responsible for the behavior of Jacqueline, she laughed and shared how they are telling Cabrina, “If Tucker starts crying or yelling, we are going to hold you responsible.”

I had to laugh at that and told her how we used to say almost the same thing to Ron about Robert and how Ron used to hate it.

Lynette said, “I’d better remind Ron of that because he is even worse than I am about using this tactic.”

Then I called Sue and added an extra dimension by telling her that on the other hand, Steve enjoyed telling the younger kids what to do and I had to occasionally remind him that he wasn’t the Father - I was the Father.

Sue has a different approach to this problem though. She tells her kids, “Look, I’m the boss, not you. I waited a long time to earn the right to be the boss and now you’ll have to wait until it’s your turn.”

I was then sharing this all with Karen who assured me that Jacqueline was really going to be a great kid and that she would grow out of it. She said “Look how sweet Tamara is now. She grew out of it."

Then she shared another Jacqueline story.

Evidently Travis, who is a little younger than Jacqueline, had a toy she wanted. So she took it away from him. Travis’s response was to kick some water on her and turn and walk away.

Karen immediately thought, “Oh no Travis, don’t turn your back on Jacqueline.” Sure enough, Jacqueline ran after him, punched him in the back and knocked him to the ground.

I’m enclosing a picture of Jacqueline for those of you who may not know her well. She looks like a little angel, and she does demonstrate the characteristics of an angel of our Father in Heaven. (On the other hand, the devil has a few angels of his own and - - - !) But like Karen, I believe that she will choose the right side,
In the meantime, we may be hearing a few more Jacqueline stories which will be good to record so that we can read them to her children at the right moment.

Don't sweat it.

Yesterday Brandon called me early in the morning to tell me a funny story.

There's a man in his company who loves himself.
[He didn't tell me who the man was, and I didn't ask]

Brandon said he catches the guy looking at himself all the time, he is always in the gym in a pair of military sweat pants that he has cut off at the knees to show his legs.

Decidedly, Brandon [who likes to look at himself sometimes too] cut his military sweats nigh to the bum and rolled them up so they were cheekies.

And went to go work out.

Was it worth losing a pair of sweats?

I'm not sure but I laughed really hard.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

picture this

I haven't seen you in five months.

Brandon, I don't have words.

Because I SCREAMED and lost them all.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

3 AM wake up call.

If we could rewrite the revalee (is that how you spell it?) it would be more triumphant, your voice sounding in my ears at three in the morning. How I long for sleep, but I long for you much much more.

You tell me about the marine in front of you who was arguing on the phone,
what a waste of time.

So we decide it would be fun to argue lovingly



People stare at you
and I laugh and laugh.

Then I sleep like a rock.

A revived rock.

Somehow, on the other side of the earth you are awake thinking about me, at the same time I am awake thinking of you.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ultimate opposite day

It's 2 AM and I've been struggling to write Brandon a letter. There is something so final in a penned note, you can't edit it or change it, or delete it altogether like these words here. My words flow so freely here, because I know I always have a second chance. An infinite amount of second chances. When it's late and I'm feeling selfish and indulgent (which is often) I go through Brandon's things, his journals, his emails to me, his letters... his thoughts.

I am hungry for him.

Here are some things I found that are special and wonderful to me. And maybe you, whoever you are, can relate just a little bit, perhaps you could miss someone you never knew was missing. Or maybe it's just really late.


What if blankets made you cold, and beds, when you lie down, instead of falling asleep you flew awake, or baths that made you dirty, and razors that grew back your hair, and water that made you thirsty, and hugs that made you feel lonely, or trumpets the blew silence, and alarm clocks that put you to sleep, planners that helped you forget, and chairs that made you stand, and stands that made you sit, and lights that glowed dark, or libraries were places where people went to be loud, or rain that emptied the rivers, maps to get lost, and snow pants to go swimming and swimming suites to go snowboarding, or fish that swam in the sky and cats that walked on the ocean, or towels that made you wet, you day might go something like this:

You'd go to bed in the morning as soon as your alarm clock stopped ringing. There you'd rub rogain on your face, rub town with some towels and then stand in the tub to dry off, throw some food away while you kick you dog, slap your wife hello before you walked in the door not on your way to work. Here you'd sell snacks to the vending machine during lunch, until it was time for the 45 minute work break. Which youd spend by turning off your computer and stading on the desk. Walking backwards from home you take some money from the homeless man giving it out. Back at the office you slap your children, wife, and dog before putting on your shoes and tie and throwing away more food. Ready for rest you stand in the corner holding your breif case as your alarm clock begings to ring, and your eyes slowly open. Out the window you see a school of cats running across the ocean as a flock of fish dives down and picks them off one by one. A lonely man surrounded by people plays rythmic silence on his horn, the best song you've never heard. As the sun sinks above the horizon for the first time that day you begin to see nothing.


I'm thinking about you. It's interesting that I feel so close to someone that is so far. I feel like you're just around the corner, in the next room reading a book, wrapped in a blanket. It's quite, and it just stopped raining. All i hear is the hum of the refrigerator. The sun is walking across to floor so slowly you'd think it's trying to get away with something. Sometimes I like to watch furniture. How can it sit so still for so long? Part of me believes that if I sit still long enough I will see the chairs and couches rise and quickly stretch, shake out their legs, and then take their form once again before anyone even notices they had moved at all.It's 50 degrees. Kayla just walked in the kitchen, stopped to sniff some left over dinner residue on the floor before coming to lick my hand while I type. It must be hard being a dog. We buy dogs for when we are alone. But as soon as friends come over they get pushed aside, or put outside in a cage, in the cold. What if instead of buying a dog we hired a human to be with us, and as soon as we hear the door bell ring we're stuffing him in the closet, or the garage, or setting up the little adjustable barrier in the hall way just big enough that he can't climb over it. And if he ever tried to says anything we'd shush him and say NO!

'NO Bradley don't speak.' 'Behave! Bradley.' 'Sit Bradley.'

How many generations away is Kayla from being a wolf.

How many generations away are we from looking a little bit like a monkey.

I wonder who the first human was to ever have their heart broken. and if that feeling had even been felt yet, and whoever felt that first if they asked themselves why does my heart feel like it's going to burst, and what does this mean. And if arranged marriages were preformed back then did the parents of the son have to use pick up lines on the parents of the daughter? I do believe they had gyms back then. A roped off field with a variety of rocks in size and shape. and the girls would watch from a distance and laugh but really inside they were filled with awe and desire.

Today i'll go to the library to read about farming.

I hope I can talk to you soon.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Patience, pay sense

I've been trying so hard to define our marriage, and I'm writing to tell you that I'm sorry. Because it simply cannot be done.

Because it grows and grows.

And I don't want predictable.

I never did,
and you never did

otherwise you wouldn't have chosen me,
and I wouldn't have chosen you.

Although now, that seems like the most predictable thing.

I can wait for our life to begin again.

I'll call it an impatient wait.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

We did it together.

remember the day that was perfectly sunny?

We went and bought a bag of frozen berries, a gallon of ice cream and mushed them all together

and ate them melting slowly
in my orange cups
reading A Good Man is Hard to Find
on the blanket outside in the sun

while you

as you read
in the heat,
you had a cold.

But even if the weather wouldn't have allowed it,
I know I would have been warm

like the day we built a fort inside
all over the living room
and read peter pan in hushed accents

as the rain poured outside

the letters poured on the page

and we tickled each other until we broke a chair.

How did we do that?

I ask myself that question way too often.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Rememories pt 2

Remember that field?
Remember how the light was an oxymoron?

How the sky was painted a perfect gray but there were holes that the rain had come through lightly after punching through? Like a big doily.

That filtered sunlight.

Remember kneeling in that pasture and praying for that weather to make up its mind?

Whether it was coming or going
and I didn't mind,
watching you running through the tall grass mooing at the cows
who must have thought you quite ridiculous.

I recall you asking me, with your tight shirt and your muscles bearing down on me
if I would bring your car into that wide space.

Sarcastically I bit back with "oh yeah, I'll just carry it right over the ditch..."

I wondered if you could though...

silly huh.

I thought you could do everything.

With the small exception of you catching a cow to ride.

We fed the sheep instead,
they were skittish but gentle

they wouldn't go near you.

Are you sure you want to be a farmer?

That's okay though because they liked my hand, and they nibbled nicely on my ring.

You laughed at me because I wore the boots

and you,
in tennis shoes
in the mud.

Remember how I turned to look at your green eyes,
the sun was shining and it was raining softly

and in the distance crowning the top of your bare head

were two rainbows


And for the first time

even though the sheep liked me better

we matched

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rules rules.

I am going to edit this letter- but I got three in the mail today and they were wrapped up in the crummy usual mash of newspaper coupon clipping items that occupies my mailbox, so at first I did not see them and then when I let the mash drop to the floor I screamed with joy and grabbed the three white envelopes.

Then I proceeded to read them, burst out in tears- became quiet and laugh and laugh and laugh and then bawl until the water rolled down my face onto my hands, arms, lips, and all the letters. c'est fin.

But here's one.

p.s. in the marine corps they have a bunch of NUTTY rules that haven't been changed (or enforced thank the Lord) because they are so old and ABSOLUDICROUS that nobody has bothered- an example of this is this:

"a marine will ONLY USE BLACK INK in any form of writing."

CRAZY IN THE COCONUT, YES? I'm not even kidding.

January 19 2010

Dear Jacqueline,

The pen is blue! This may be the only blue pen in the entire southern half of Afghanistan. This is considered contraband, considering that marines ONLY use black pens. So don't go telling everyone back home your boys got a blue pen. I'll be court martialed! JK but REALLY. I was so excited to find this, like the day I found you. I just got off the phone with you. Things sound pretty... well the opposite of HOMEo-stasis. You have my permission to move to Australia. Yesterday I was chased by a big dog. What a sight to see four marines with automatic weapons running from a pooch just trying to guard a couple ducks. Anyway, we made it out alive, mostly. Except our pride. Do you know how much I miss you? [-------] x infinity That's a lot.

I love you
you love I?

Marry me?


Sunday, February 7, 2010

If you are on your breast behavior, you can come home.

Brandon called me today, he could only talk for a brief moment and the reason for his calling (I am 95% sure) was to see if he could come home.

If any of you read my other blog (yeah, I'm selfish and have my own blog AND a married blog because I love to talk about myself that much...) you would know that I've been having pain in my left breast and found a lump there. Okay guys, freak out if it makes you feel better because I'm talking about a breast...


so I went to the doc because it hurt so bad and it was growing,
and her evaluation of it was that it was just a fibrocystic growth (tissue that grows out of control) and that it was common for women my age to see (especially if there is a history of breast cancer in the family) (which I thought was odd...) (why hasn't anybody made that connection before?) (or why didn't I know about it?) (okay sorry about so many parenthesis...) she said that she would refer me to a specialist in salt lake who took one out of her breast- she told me that my chances were really good of it just being what she primarily diagnosed it to be (since it is painful, and moves a little)
just a lump that I could decide to get removed or not.

I want that sucker out.
I have to make an appointment for my lovely lady lump to get an ultrasound, maybe be drained, and re-diagnosed- and perhaps surgically removed.

Brandon calls me today to ask me when my appointment is with the specialist.
I told him I haven't scheduled it yet
but hopefully next week or late in this week.

He tells me that if they find out I have breast cancer,
then I can contact him through the red cross, and they will send him home to me.

I laughed and asked him if he was hoping for that
he said no but he laughed like he meant yes.

Poor guy.

It must mean something when the man who willingly volunteered to go out into the service for his country has decided that coming home early to a wife with breast cancer would be better than staying where he is.

The breast case senario is no more lumps, (except for in my mash potatoes and cream of wheat please)
brandon comes home safely

and we go to the same restraunt that kirst and I went to tonight off university called Communal.


brandon, if you ever read this someday, I want you to know how much more important it is that you are concentrating on keeping yourself safe from bombs and other terrifying things that I don't want to know about- rather than worrying about what is happening here in my left breast. (even though it IS close to my heart.) (you are closer) also, I want you to know that we are going to live a LONG AND HAPPY LIFE TOGETHER- do you hear me?!? so if you think I'm going to give all of our life here up then you are CRAZY IN THE COCONUT and you can dream on. Even with you gone halfway across the universe in a forsaken and desolate desert I am the happiest woman alive because I married you.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oz never did give nothin to the tin man, that he didn't already have.

The Beautiful Brandon. (makeup by carbon chemical dust provided by your local taliban)

The skeptical quilt recievers... hahaha- brandon is handleing the quilt so daintily.

just a chimney sweep! ORBITZ clean

there is a black sheep in here somewhere... still covered in taliban dust.

zach anderson- brandon's sgt and friend on left and brandon on right

REAAAALLLL FUNNY. "I wanted to get EXACT coordinates for the IED"

the racks, the crew (brandon is hanging up his towel in the left corner ishness)


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