Saturday, August 31, 2013

Oh August 31.

I’m not going to lie.  August is rough.  I can’t help but dread it just a bit every year.  August 8 marked the 8th year of my brother’s death.  That first week of the month usually brings some painful memories. I find myself reliving those days of uncertainty, as Kimball spent his last days in the ICU, hundreds of miles from home.  However, the anniversary week also brings the sweet reminder of the love our Heavenly Father has for each of us, as we each found comfort in the Atonement during those difficult days.  Plus,  I can’t remember a time feeling closer to my family.

sibling circle

(This is one of my favorite pictures of all time--At the cemetery, after Kimball’s graveside service—my brothers and sisters)

At Martin’s Cove.  This is the last photo of all 8 siblings together—Kimball, Ryan, Doug, Renae, Shauna, Marilyn, Kathryn, Rachelle

So, as per tradition, I use the month of August to think a lot about Kimball and the memories I have of him.  Every year on his birthday, (since his death) I have shared one of those memories on this blog.  I want my children to know as much as they can about their uncle, and how great he was. 

I remember the summer before I started the 7th grade, just like it was yesterday.  For whatever reason, I chose not to attend the same junior high as all of my friends in the neighborhood, ward, and from my elementary school.  Instead, I chose to go to Eagle Rock Jr. High, where I knew one single person.  My brother Kimball.

At one point, it seemed like a fabulous idea.  I was “living on the edge”, “going against the grain”…
Then, all of my friends started talking about Taylorview Junior High, and what classes they had together, and where their lockers were, and who their teachers were etc.  All of the sudden, I felt like I had made the dumbest choice ever.  Too bad it was too late to change my mind.

Because my mom is brilliant, she thought it would be a good idea to take Kimball and I over to Eagle Rock, so that he could show me around a little bit.  She thought that might calm my nerves a smidge if I were a little more familiar with my surroundings. I’ve never done well with surprises.   Kimball showed me the best route to my classes and introduced me to the combination lock on my locker.  We practiced the route (and opening the locker) a few times, before I finally felt comfortable enough to go home.

The first day of school came, and with a bit of confidence, I walked through the doors with my new backpack and fashionable outfit.  Because I was so timid, I was depending on my fashion to make me some friends.  ;)  My confidence was shot by third hour and I still hadn’t talked to a single person.  No friends to speak of. (Perhaps, the wrong shoes? ;)  Suddenly, panic took over as I realized that Kimball and I had not rehearsed a cafeteria scenario.  I fought back the tears as I drug my feet to the lunchroom, knowing, I would be eating all alone.

I should have known that my brother would not forget me!  As I walked through the double doors, there was Kimball, waiting for me.  He walked with me through the lunch line (carefully advising which foods to avoid, and which foods were worth the extra quarter…i.e. peanut butter bars) and invited me to sit with him, and all of his friends.  Most of those boys sitting at that table that day have become some of my dearest friends.  It was through them, that I met some of my best girl friends, and I survived junior high.

So in his honor, I think I’ll go enjoy a school lunch peanut butter bar.

I wish he were here to have one with me.

Happy Birthday Bro.
Graduation June 1997-Joe Fifield, Brian Crandall, Luke Erickson, Kimball Hart, Doug Stokes, Ryan Griffeth, Chris Horton
These were some of the boys sitting at that table.  They were 8th graders at the time.  This picture was taken right after they graduated from high school. (Ryan Griffeth, Luke Erickson, Brian Crandall, Kimball Hart, Weston Davis, Doug Stokes)
Old School Peanut Butter Bars
Trust me.  If you grew up begging for “hot lunch” at the school because the menu listed “peanut butter bars” as the dessert to even the most disgusting main course, this recipe is for you.  These are the real things (disgusting main course not included).  I got this recipe from 2 different school cafeteria workers.  I made some, ate them, and all of the sudden was having flashbacks of 7th grade.  Delicious.
5 1/4 c. powdered sugar
4 1/2 c. peanut butter
2 sticks butter
1 can evaporated milk
3 1/2 c. oatmeal
Cream together powder sugar, peanut butter, butter and milk.  Add oats—blend.  Spread onto a cookie sheet.  Bake @ 350 for 15-20 minutes.
1/2 c. butter (melted)
2 lbs. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 T. cocoa (or more…always more….<3 chocoloate!!)
pinch of salt
1/4 c. milk
Mix together well.  Spread on cooled bars.


Northern Nickle Clan said...

Feeling for you at this time of year! I'm sure it's not easy having your brother gone. I won't play like I know how that feels. I can't imagine. You're awesome! Love your blog posts! Also, thanks for the recipe. I love those peanut butter bars they served all the time in school. Totally gonna try that one.:)

Take care!

Oliver and Keisha said...

Have to comment on the PB Bars--my oldest just started Eagle Rock today--and Oliver and I were joking that we now can get those bars again. :)