Monday, March 24, 2014


Underground Relief Society

Many, many years ago, when women wore bonnets and ruffley petticoats and the west was mostly unexplored, there was a group of women with an idea.  The idea wasn't new or innovative.  It was an idea that many other generations of women had put into action before.  It was a simple idea. But don't let the simplicity fool you.  The idea was also powerful!

The idea sprang into action, as most ideas do, from a need.

It all began with one woman speaking to another woman.  She had noticed that her neighbors needed clothing, bedding and soap and meals and friendship.  The two women decided they could sew a few things.  The invitation spread to other women with bonnets and a sewing club was born.

But, these women in bonnets were more than a sewing club.  Throughout time, women have always been great givers. These women were no less great as they organized themselves to give charity, strengthen their community and offer relief to the poor.

They called themselves the Relief Society.
Today there are over 5.5 million members in 170 countries.
Their motto 'Charity Never Faileth'.

Sometimes the relief we need isn't as obvious as the need for a new pair of shoes.  Like when were struggling with our husbands infidelity, lying, relapsing, divorce or whatever else the wind may bring.  Not everyone can see that you are hurting and need relief.  Sometimes, even our best friends don't know.  Or, we may not want to tell anyone.  After all, it is humiliating and alienating and then we find ourselves alone and sad and unsure of ourselves.  Maybe we find ourselves {underground}.

Do you know someone like this?  A neighbor? A friend? A someone you barely know?
Can you spot the signs: empty bags of oreos littering the house, drawn shades, avoiding your phone calls, dirty sweatpants, a pile of mostly burned boxer briefs in the fire-pit?

A small group of local friends and I noticed some of these signs in our neighbors.  And so, we reached out. Flowers, dinners, notes, care packages and loafs of hot baked bread.  Giving small bits of relief.

We call ourselves the Underground Relief Society.
Today there are a handful of us in Arizona.
We agree, 'Charity Never Faileth'.

Join us.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

More Camp Scholarships


Camp Scabs Island Park
April 10-12

$100 Scholarships Available
send an email to
campscabs {at} gmail {dot} com

with "Island Park Scholarship" in the subject line

As part of the scholarship program I will be renting a van at the Salt Lake City airport and driving through Logan, Idaho Falls, Rexburg and anywhere in-between to pick you up.

Curb-side service! 


Friday, March 14, 2014

Courage and Clairty


My parents just flew out this morning after staying a week.  It is a burden lifted to have them shut their car door, wave and drive off.  That burden and the burden of Mr. Scabs being Mr. Scabs has left me with some courage and clarity of thought.  

Today, I will walk around the block with my friend and talk it out.  I will read and study and sit quietly in the backyard while the birds chirp and lady dog lays on my feet.  I will drink lemonade made with the heavy fragrant lemons from Grandma Elma's backyard.  I will fall to my knees in conversation with my Father.  And then, I might run a few miles.

I hope your friday brings you courage and clarity too.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

from a reader


A few weeks ago a reader sent me this original poem.  I asked if I could share it with you.   As we all have felt, its the endless lies that seem to do the most damage.   And, as we all have felt, it's the lie induced paranoia that leads us to doubt our own senses.


My Husband's Secret

Your deep set blue eyes look at me
they look whole, pure, true 
like you want them to
until you blink
layers of water I am hesitant to peer into
layers of water, drifting up and back
you try to look so directly, concentrated, one dimentional

I catch a glimpse of the row boat, the one with a broken oar, hole
rotted through the wood, carrying a box, or a bag or a black tarp
peeking over the top
I see it back there, floating, spinning
the water is too blue, too clear

There is no boat, you say
but I can see it
I can see that boat, old, surprisingly sturdy
like an old friend to you
a friend you won't introduce me too
its sort of beautiful, when I catch a glimpse
don't you know that?
The wood curves with weight, like someone has sat in it many times
comfortably smoothed out the surface of that little seat
you love that boat I know
all I see is the underbelly right now, riding up on a small swell
blends with the brown sky of dusk
but I can see it, wonder what is under that tarp

There is no boat, you say
But I see that boat,
until you blink
then there is no boat,
but it will come again.

-anonymous reader from somewhere in the world

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Question & a Story


Once, not too long ago there was an addict.  He had used his drugs and abused his family and friends for years.  He stole from them and lied to them, he betrayed and used them.  He had burned every bridge. A few days ago the addict found himself all alone in the bitter darkness of downtown.  He had no drugs, no friends or/family, no food not even a blanket.

As the thick cover of night washed over the street, the addict began to shiver with fear and shame and bone-chilling cold.  His arms wrapped tighter around his torso but the thin sweatshirt did little to warm him.  The lost people of night began to wander the street and he suddenly felt lonely and strange. With nothing and nowhere to go the addict reached out, dialing his Dad's phone number.

"Dad, I know I don't deserve anything from you but could you please bring me a blanket.  I'm so cold."

The Dad pulled an old quilt from the closet, picked up his older son and drove the few blocks to where the addict had hunkered down for the bitter night.  When the Dad and the older son saw the addict they both wept. Grieving for the son and brother they once knew.  The son and brother they loved.

The older son said, "Brother, I will get you a hotel for the night."

And so, they drove to the nearest hotel and purchased a room.  The addict grateful for their kindness promised he would go to rehab the next day.  He gave tear-filled sorry's and promised to get clean and change.  He begged for their belief in him, so terribly aware of the acute pain in his own heart.

"In the morning I will check myself into rehab, I promise."

A few days later the Dad and older son saw the addict.  When they asked him why he wasn't in rehab the addict replied,

"Oh, yeah.  Those guys?   No, they're losers.  I'm not like them. I'm doing better now anyway."

Question:  What do you think?  How do you think the Dad and older son feel?
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