Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Home Means Nevada

A cow's moo, a tractor in the field, and the smell of waffles cooking with sticky, sweet, homemade syrup boiling in the background while the first signs of daylight creep through the closed blinds on my balcony door are my alarm clock today and have been most of my life. I quickly think of my list of things to do today: swim in the ditch, pick mulberries from the tree out back, drive a tractor for fun, visit great-aunts and uncles and climb in their tree house, help them garden (gardening=eating their homegrown carrots), & feed, brush, and riding the horses; bake homemade bread/cinnamon rolls with grandma, ride four wheelers with grandpa, walk everywhere, swim in the river or the rez. Most of these will be done with the cousins that dominate this valley. There is never a dull moment, unless the heat is too excruciating. If it that happens, Jeremy's house to play Super Smash Bros in his cool concrete basement it is! I hope his brother found that snake down there.. If it is rains later, we should probably take full advantage of the weather and play all types of sports outside, mainly in the mud. We could always go to the sand pit and dig tunnels like we did when we were younger. The possibilities are endless!

 I have moved four times in this valley, never moving more than ten minutes away, always in Logandale. 18 years of my life were spent here. And then one day I realized that 18 years was a long time; too long. So I moved away for college. Now, a year later I am back, stuck in a waiting period for another month. People constantly ask me if I am nervous to serve my mission with it coming up so soon and my reply is always the same: I am more excited to leave than they can even comprehend. I am ready to "just go already". My voice is always so firm and serious when I say that. I thought it was because this valley holds nothing for me, except old memories.
My friends are all gone serving their own missions or getting married. Moapa Valley is one of those towns were you must make your own fun, which is and always has been fine, unless you have no one to do that with.

Then something happened yesterday.

After my morning routine, I called up my grandma to see if I could come over. I needed some help with a sewing project and I wanted to make some homemade cinnamon rolls as a thank you to my amazing photographer for doing my mission pictures. I have made homemade cinnamon rolls enough times to be able to do it with out her. In fact, I could have just stayed at home and done so, but I knew that she loves when her grandchildren visit and I thought that it would be a great way to make more memories with her that I can cherish on my mission and throughout my life. I want to leave for my mission knowing that I have done all I can to express my love to those around me just in case..
I drove the back roads to my grandma's, mainly because I was almost out of gas, but also because that was always so fun when I was younger. Opening the door to the old house on the hill, the familiar smell that will always be associated with Grandma and Grandpa Waite's house hit me. I gave my grandpa the usual hug and kiss on the cheek and then grandma and I went to work. First we worked on the dress, then we moved to the kitchen to work on the rolls. Grandma explained that it had been a long time since she had made any rolls. I think the last time she did was the last time I did. She even commented that she would like to leave me with the cookbook we always use and I gladly accepted that offer.
 We pulled out the yeast, flour, milk, sugar... then it dawned on us. We had no eggs! So we did what any normal person would do: we called up my Aunt Cindy and asked to borrow an egg. I hopped on the old ATV and drove down the hill to my aunt's house where she had dozens of fresh eggs in her fridge that her very own chickens laid. I picked up a dozen and got back on the ATV to drive two minutes back up to my grandparents.

This was the moment.

A huge smile landed on my face as the cool air blew my hair out of it's messy braid. I drove with one arm, holding the eggs like a football in my other arm. I looked around this valley I have always known and I had that feeling of being home again. I remembered what it was like to grow up here, relatives at every corner, use of transportation was either walking or riding four-wheelers. Everyone is so kind and loving; it is a safe place. Here I was, making homemade cinnamon rolls, grabbing fresh eggs on a four-wheeler, and spending the morning with my best friends. My love for where I grew up was re-kindled. It took me a while, but I remembered a very valuable lesson that I learned so many years ago, a lesson that helped me make such great memories: you make your own fun AND you make your own happiness. You can be happy no matter where you are, expect less and do more.

THIS was my childhood.  THIS is my where my family is. THIS is my home.

First Day of School with the Cousins

Making our own fun


Cookie Making

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