Sunday, June 13, 2010


Originally posted June 13, 2010

The photo is of Tyler with my brother Jason when he came down last to visit.  I sure have enjoyed the friends and family who’ve come, but I have to say one of the visits I’ve most enjoyed has been Jason, Eliza, and Eric the last time they came down. Maybe its just that they are the last to have come, maybe its something else. I can’t pinpoint exactly why, but it doesn’t matter does it?  I really enjoyed having them come.  The kids did too.  Jonnie hasn’t stopped talking about the “cycles” every time he hears something with an engine racing by. I hope they come back again soon, and I hope J is able to stop by again before he leaves for Costa Rica. 
Family is a precious thing though. I find myself in tears more often than not anytime I see a movie, hear a song, or anything else having to do with family.  Not always sad tears, more thoughtful and appreciative tears.  Sometimes they are sad though. 
Yesterday we spent time with the Kelly and Sheila Dutton and their family at their place on Kolob. Can we say beautiful?  The whole drive up was lush and green, with wildflowers and beautiful pastures mingled with red rock cliffs and layered sandstone formations. We wound in and out of Zion’s National Park on the way up to their pavilion near Kolob Reservoir, and marveled the whole way up at the beauty surrounding us. 
But the real beauty was seen once we arrived.
Sheila and Kelly had 12 children and their spouses all together to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Nannette kept everyone in line and organized the entire affair, Daphne and her girls brought in a beautiful wedding cake, a near replica of their first. Camille, Myrna, Jamie, Diana, Brenda, Kelly Sue, Shaynie, Lora worked together seamlessly with Nannette preparing 28 dutch ovens full of cobbler, chicken, and potatoes. Ted, Willie, and Cecil kept briquettes hot, fires going, heaters lit, and had the whole pavilion arranged with chairs and tables for a crowd. Tom, Elliot and Stan rocked the babies. Kevin, Terry, and Steve took care of Great Grandma Dutton and Kevin setup for the slideshow celebrating Kelly and Sheila’s life. Roxie put together salads, and in general, everything was taken care of wonderfully. 
About a million children and grandchildren milled around, going in and out of the camp trailers setup, running around in the loft area, and generally keeping things interesting.  It didn’t matter whether it was my kid needing help going potty, dishing watermelon, or getting the right piece of cake, a baby tottering down the gravel slope, someone else needing another twinkie, the mud needing to be swept off the cement, or somebody else needing a hug... everyone jumped right up to make sure everything, and everyone, was taken care of. 
There was laughing, joking, and smiles aplenty. I don’t remember a cross word being said, an angry glance, or a frustrated look.  It was family. One big, happy, pleasant family working, laughing, and playing together.
When it was time for the slideshow, I just sat with tears streaming down my face as photos of young Sheila as a bride, and young Kelly as a father flashed on the screen. Their family grew bigger and bigger with every shot til all 13 children were numbered. Then the came the grandchildren. Kelly and Sheila know every single one, their birthday, their personality.
The harmony of the family was beautiful to behold. It was a day that my Dad only dreamed about. But they took his dreams, and made them a sweet reality.  It was family, and up there on that freezing cold mountain top with the wind blowing and the smoke from the fire billowing, that sense of family, of love, felt like home.
So a shout out to all of Sheila and Kelly’s family -- job well done. 
And a shout out to all of my family.  I love you all.  Please know that you are all important and special to me, and that you each have a place in my heart. 
Love,  Rachel

PS... here are a few pics of Jason I took while he was down here.  Good looking brother!! You can see a few more on my photography website. 

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