I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I joined back in 1964 after a long struggle with faith. I had loved the Savior ever since I could remember, but the church of my youth deserted me as it moved into the intellect movement of the 60's. Without spiritual guidance, I fell away. The Lord distinguished between the words of my mouth and the longing of my heart. He knew that I wanted to believe and so he sent a young woman who told me the story of the Restored Gospel. She bore her testimony of Jesus Christ and promised me that I could know for myself and have my own testimony.

Now forty-six years later I can only thank her from the bottom of my heart for introducing me to the church. Indeed I do have my own testimony. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, called to restore Christ's church to the earth. We have a prophet today who leads and guides us. I am so grateful for Latter-day scriptures that bear testimony of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is the Word of God. It stands as another witness of the Savior and it's truths have touched my life in very personal ways.

I hope that my poetry reflects the growth of my testimony and my love for Jesus Christ.

School Photo

We all have incidents in our lives that we never forget.  I had one such incident when I was in the 6th Grade. My school was a small one.  There was one classroom for each grade K-6 so the teachers knew us all.  It was a nice way to do school.

Even back when I was a child there was the annual school photo.  As a parent I loved those photos.  They were my annual update on how each child had grown and changed. Looking back at those photos now, I love each one.

But back in 1956 I wasn't the mom.  I was the kid and I had acne.  It was horrible.  I wanted to crawl into a hole that year.  I knew everyone was staring at me.  I was embarrassed beyond belief!  And then came the day of the school pictures.  I wasn't smart enough to be sick that day.  And so the pictures were taken as they were every year.  But I made sure that my parents understood the great humiliation associated with this particular year's photo and so we didn't purchase them.

It was my teacher who was the problem.  The photographers didn't do a group class photo back then or even a compilation.  The only way the teacher got your photo was if you gave her one.  And my teacher wanted my photo so she purchased them.  Can you believe a teacher would do that!  She said she needed this photo so she would be able to remember me. I don't know if she remembers me but I remember her and always will.  In spite of acne, I had a teacher who cared about me.  She was an amazing teacher.

The Woods Called My Name

I was nine when we moved from the city to the "country".  In actuality it was the suburbs but our neighborhood was undeveloped and we had acreage as did our neighbors.  Behind the house was the "woods" as we called it.  It became our place to play.  Each season fascinated us and found us out exploring.  For me it was as if I had found myself.  My love for the outdoors began there amongst those trees.


I had a bunch of good girl friends in the 8th grade.  And as only girls can do, we wanted to be "alike" somehow.  But we didn't really want to dress alike or have our hair the same.  Then someone came up with the idea that if our names all ended in the letter "i" - we would have our way to be alike!  So we all changed our names and took nicknames.  Since I was Loretta, my name became Lori.

I don't know how my parents never learned of this.  Maybe they just ignored it, thinking it would go away. What I didn't realize was they were very invested in that name they had christened me.  They loved it.  It was just okay by me.  I liked "Lori" much better.  It had a special meaning for me.

So the years came and went and it was graduation.  I received my diploma and then afterwards ran to give it to my folks.  They took one look at it and I could tell something was wrong.  It said "Lori" instead of Loretta. They were not happy with me.


I had been back to the neighborhood of my childhood several times.  I had watched it deteriorate and sadly I visited once to find only a vacant lot where my childhood home had been.  But recently I took Lynn to see the old neighborhood.  I was not prepared for what we found.

The memories of childhood
fill my mind with happy thoughts.
I close my eyes and
see home and school and
friends of long ago.

Yesterday we drove around
that neighborhood.
Neither house nor street remained.
Like a war zone there
was little left.
The few houses we saw
were vacant or boarded up.

Only the phantoms of my memory
remain to remind me of
a wonderful place of long ago.

The Magic Street

Childhood memories are not always accurate.  The child's eye sees beauty in the common.  The mind remembers what it felt as much as what it saw.  Bauman Street in Detroit is the magic place of my memory.  We walked it every day on the way to school.  That half mile of road was filled with so many memories.  We played "Step on a Crack, Break your mother's back" as we walked along.  The drugstore was off limits on the way to school but the grocery store wasn't.  The candy store was saved for special days.  I can see them all in my mind's eye.


At school we used to talk about teaching process to the kids.  The product was not always as important as the fact that they had learned a process.  In life we say "Enjoy the journey". Isn't that the same thing?  I feel that way about homes.  Living in a house isn't as much fun as the fixing and creating and decorating.  Lynn and I have had a wonderful time fixing up our little home here in Milford.  The before and after shots are amazing.  But the in-between was a lot of fun!


I have been a family historian since the first time a friend took me to the Genealogical Society as it was called back then.  We caught a bus from Provo to Salt Lake City one Saturday morning while we were attending BYU.  I was instantly hooked.  There in the archives of this building with row after row of microfilms I found the evidence of family members I never knew.  The adventure began and an adventure it has been.  I know them now.  I know their names, the places they lived.  I've seen photos and land plats and birth records and cemeteries. I have come to love my ancestors.

Empty Reminders

Isn't it funny how when a person dies, the whole family turns out to divide up the "things". Granted there is something wonderful about having a reminder of a person.  But I wasn't looking for something just to remind me of mom.  It was more like if I could just touch her things, and be in her house, and look through her drawers and closets and boxes, it kept me close to her.  It took a while but eventually I could just close my eyes and remember all the love and the good times that nothing can ever erase.  I didn't need her things.  I had a lifetime of her. 

Newborn Grandchild


I think phones never ring so much as those last couple of weeks before you give birth and friends and family are all so excited and want to know what is happening.  Isn't it wonderful to just think how much we all love the arrival of each new child?  But it also gets aggravating. You more than anyone wants this baby to come and you get tired of saying "Nothing, yet."
We have no control over time.  And so I wrote the poem "Anticipation".

The second poem is "The Law of Relativity" and was inspired as I watched the clock during the labor process of one of my daughters.  Time is a funny thing.  We watch a really good movie and realize that time has flown by and we hardly noticed. We sit in a dentist's chair having a tooth worked on and a few minutes  seem like a very long time.  Childbirth is also like that dentist experience.  Labor can seem like an eternity.  


My sweet husband and I just like to be together.  Whether working in the garden or making the bed, whether working in a church calling or washing the car - it's just more fun when we do things together. 

My Kids

I've been working on family history again; a favorite pastime.  This particular week I have been scanning some old slides that I found in my trunk.  I thought I had had them all transferred to digital but there were a few more.  As I scanned, edited and saved these photos it was a step back in time for me.  And I found myself missing my kids.

The Moment

I guess it's just age that does this to me but it seems as though life is flying by.  I keep taking photos trying to hold on but you can't substitute a picture for the real thing.  So I plead with all to savor each moment.  Life is so precious - especially time with our kids.  Don't miss the moments - the little things they say and do.  The funny things they say.  The laughter they bring.  Their wonder at all life affords.  It is the most incredible season of our lives.


It is nice to live in a good neighborhood, with good friends all around you.  But Milford is even more than that.  This community offers so many wonderful pluses to our lives.  We have the Huron river where we kayak.  We have Kensington Metro Park where kayaking, feeding the birds, hiking, biking and watching sunsets give us so much pleasure.  North of us is Highland Recreation area where we also kayak in the rivers and lakes.  And then there are the parades.  Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Thanksgiving find the residents all heading to the downtown where we line the streets and enjoy the show.  There is just so much to love about Milford.  We feel blessed to live here.

The Gardener

Our yard is in a constant state of flux.  We have created in some ways a monstrosity with so many flowers.  The spring flowers start in February when the Snow Drops bloom.  It isn't until the end of March or early April that the star flowers, crocuses and daffodils peek through.  And that is just the start of the annual parade.  We have a perennial garden that has so many seasonal flowers we find it hard to remember what will pop up next so we are always surprised.  And on top of that, we keep making changes.  This one spreads too quickly.  Get rid of it.  Then we add a new one we saw at the store.  I'm not sure exactly what our plan is any more.  We are addicted to flowers!

Remembering Keith

In  Isaiah 49: 15 it reads:  Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

Women understand that scripture.  Here I am - approaching my seventieth year and still I think about the baby I lost thirty-two years ago . . . 

Emptiness - Losing a Baby

We lost Keith when he was born early - at just twenty weeks.  I had been ill the whole 
pregnancy and it appeared my body just couldn't handle the pregnancy any longer 
and I went into labor. He was alive when we went into the delivery room, but the cord 
wrapped around his neck and he was stillborn.   We had the honor of burying him ourselves.  
We built a little wooden box and wrapped him in a baby blanket that had been mine.  
It was a gift of love from me to him.  He lies northeast of Topeka in a little cemetery 
called Muddy Creek.   It was a lonely time.  Nothing filled the hole.  It just took time 
and a lot of prayer to find peace.  I have learned through my life's experiences that when 
the rough times come, there is a peace that is available when we are ready.  The Lord has
promised that to each of us.  As He spoke to the seas, He also speaks to us, "Peace, be still."  
But I was not ready - not for a long while.  I just needed to feel the emptiness I think and to grieve.

The Puzzle

I am such a genealogist!  I am smitten with it.  I like every little tidbit that I learn about the people, places, and stories that have all combined to make me who I am today.  We like to think we are self-made but it is not so at all.  I am the product of all those ancestors who preceded me as well as the product of all those who settled America and made her the land she is today.  Just the fact that I had food to eat every day and a roof over my head and a school to attend were all gifts given to me.  I have so much to be grateful for.  And so I hunt around for the clues to the puzzle that is my history.  I also love puzzles: crossword, jig saw, Sudoku, you name it.  So I couldn't resist writing this little poem.

Photo Labels

After my dad died, Mom and I decided we should make sure all the old family photos were labeled.  I am so glad we did this.  But even then we were too late.  There were photos from Dad's family that had no labels and we never would know who these people were.  It was such a shame.  The particular photo in this poem picture is a favorite of mine.  I still own it because it at least helps me see what my father may have looked like as a child.  He was born in 1907 and this photo had a date: 1919.  Dad would have been close in age to these boys.  So it has some use but I feel sad each time I look at it because dad saved it so it had meaning to him.  Who are these boys?