Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Heat is ON & More Bad News

Frank took me to Mesquite today so I could have my mammogram.  I couldn't believe how hot it was for being the end of September.  On the way home our car thermometer read 109 and that is just unbelievable to me.  I don't ever remember the temperature being this hot this time of year.  So I believe in the Global Warming and wonder where it stops.  Is the earth going to burn up?  I am still waiting for the coolness of fall weather.  If I had my way, we would skip summer and just have fall and winter.

Yesterday, I had a fun afternoon with my daughter, as we went up to Moapa and visited with Jamie and her friend Kessa.  Kessa was making cupcakes and made a cream cheese frosting to go on them.  She passed around the beaters and we all had a lick.  Yummy, it was so good we didn't want to stop.  Kessa's baby even got in on the treat, but much to our surprise, she didn't seem to like it.  When we left Kessa loaded us up with some fresh peaches from Utah, and some garden tomatoes, and gave me some okra that I am going to cook tonight for dinner.  Frank will love that as he loves fried Okra.

When I got home, Frank was on the phone and then handed it to me and said it was for me.  It was my cousin Penny, and she had some bad news about her grandson BJ.  He has been having some stomach problems for quite a while now.  Penny made him an appointment with the doctor and the news didn't sound good after an X-Ray.  There are some growths like lymph nodes that are unusual in his stomach.  Monday, he will find out if it is cancer or something else.  So Penny was asking for our prayers.  So every time I think about it I shoot a prayer up to Heaven for our BJ.  He is just a kid in my eyes of maybe 22 or 23, and just met the love of his life. 

We have a friend in our church ward that was diagnosed with colon cancer and it has spread all through his body and he is terminal.  Frank took him into Vegas last Friday for a radiation treatment as they are trying to give him some more time on this earth with his family.  Then I have a younger friend that had to have both of her breast removed and is going through Chemo treatments, and then just today she blogged about a daughter in law that had a tumor removed from her neck and it has been deemed cancer.  I blogged about my Grand daughter Renee's Father in law having Stomach cancer and is living on borrowed time.  Wow! is this and epidemic or what?  Then I have another younger friend who has a very rare cancer tumor in his heart.  It is so rare that they don't even know what course of treatment to use.  He is terminal too. They are doing some radical radiation and Chemo on him and he has to be hospitalized during the treatment.  This is to try and give him some more time with his family.

Today as I was getting my mammogram, I was thinking what if they find a cancer tumor in me?  I know it is because of all of these people in my life who have cancer.  Tomorrow I go in for a CT-scan to have a hernia checked out, and I am thinking to myself this is how my son found out he had kidney cancer.  Wow! I have to stop thinking this way!  I will be glad to get the results of both x-rays.  Then I can breathe easier.  I have always said "Lord just give me a quick heart attack."  Well, I will blog the results of my x-rays when I get them.  I know I am just being paranoid.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Mom, Lenna Aileen Scoggins

My favorite picture of Mom
Mom & Dad
Mom holding me

Since Allen e-mailed me a few days ago reminding me of our Mother's death, she has been on my mind and I decided to dedicate a blog to her and my memories of her.

Mom was born in  Siler City, North Carolina.  She was the second child born to John Prichard Scoggins, and Cora Mae Smith.  Unfortunately her Mother passed away shortly after my Aunt Kay was born, leaving five children behind.  They were all shuffled around to different families and Mom being around nine years old went to live with her Grand Father Greenberry and his second wife Spicey Ann Stokes.  Spicey Ann was a very ambitious woman and expected my Mother to keep up with her, and according to Aunt Mary, was working my mother to death.  So Aunt Mary came to the rescue and took my Mother back to Salt Lake City to live with her. I think Mom had to be around eighteen or nineteen when this event happened.

I am not sure if it was when Mom lived with Aunt Mary or shortly after she married my Father, she had to have some kind of stomach surgery.  As told to me by Aunt Mary, the doctor had to take all of her insides out, and lay them on a table, so I am wondering if she had peritonitis from appendix that got infected. I know this sounds crazy having your insides taken out and laid on a table, but that is exactly what I remember Aunt Mary telling me. I don't remember Aunt Mary telling me what was wrong, or why they had to take her insides out. I am thinking it was her intestines.  She almost died, and the doctor told her to drink beer to regain her strength.  When I heard this I was so upset that a doctor would give this recommendation.

Mom met and married my Father and this is where my memories begin.  We lived in a home across from the Salt Lake City fairgrounds and I can remember Mom washing clothes in an old wringer type washer. I thought I was going to help her and got my arm caught in the wringer.  Things were good at this time, and I didn't find out what a horrible temper my Father had until I was around four.  He had always been good to me.  We used to go to the Great Salt Lake and one night on the way home after Dad had been drinking, he got into a confrontation with another driver.  He took us home and went back to fight the other man.  He came home with blood all over, and of course I was frightened and asked him if he was OK.  He smacked me and told me to get out of the bathroom where he was cleaning up. So thus began the life of being afraid of my Father.

I was an animal lover and would chase a dog or cat, and got lost a few times.  So Mom decided to tie me up to a clothes line with a rope tying it to my overall straps and  leaving a loop so that I could run up and down the length of the line.  I saw a dog, and ended up taking off my coveralls with the rope intact and took off following the dog.  Poor Mom was besides herself as they couldn't find me.  I can remember coming home in a police car.

My love for animals got me into trouble more than once.  I would practically drag a dog home and then beg to keep it.  Unfortunately for me the dog had an owner and had to be returned.  Another time when we were living in Rose Park, I was trying to save a bird that had fallen into the oil ditch across from our subdivision.  Instead of me saving the bird, I fell in to the ditch with the bird in my hand and we were both in trouble.  The bird of course died, and when I got home and Mom saw what I had done, she put me in the tub and I have never been scolded so harshly by her and scrubbed so hard in my life.  I know it must have scared her to death to think I could have drowned, or injured by the oil.

Mom was a beautiful Southern woman and had black hair and olive skin.  Later in years after being teased immensely from the kids at school about my freckles, I would look in the mirror and wonder why I couldn't have had my Mom's looks.  Family and friends loved Mom and when my cousins, would come over to our home they would head to the kitchen to see what good food Mom was cooking as she was always cooking something good. I can remember Larry, my first husband telling me I had to learn how to make gravy like my Mom's.  After many trials and failures I finally could make gravy like Mom's.

I can remember when we were living in the duplex, Mom played hop scotch, jump rope. and jacks with me, and on the nights that my Dad was at work on his two day trips with the U.P. Railroad, I would crawl in bed with her and we would listed to the radio programs like The Shadow Knows, Inter sanctum, and others.  I can remember playing outside and hearing Mom's voice calling me to come home to dinner.  I would come into a kitchen filled with wonderful aromas of her good Southern cooking. While living in the duplex, I got a new pair of roller skates, and Mom helped me learn how to skate.  When I got discouraged after falling so many times, she encouraged me to get up and try again  Soon I was skating around the Salt Lake City block we lived on.

Later when we moved to Rose Park, Mom planted a vegetable garden among her flower beds and this is when she did her best during the summer months working in her garden.  I remember taking the salt shaker out to the garden and finding the perfect tomato and eating it right there with the juice running down my chin.

I remember having talks with my Mom about this and that. When out of town family members came to visit I would sit on the stair case listening to them talk, and later as I grew into my teens, I would join in the conversation.  Unfortunately Mom had been drinking during all these years.  It started out as just social drinking with family and friends, then it escalated to full alcoholism.  When I was in Jr. high school and would walk home from the bus stop, I would never know what kind of condition I would find Mom in.  Like I said the summers were the best. A lot of times I would fine her in her rocking chair, drunk, and I always felt she was missing her North Carolina family.

Mom loved children, and especially babies.  She baby sat for a cousin, and also for my Aunt Marie.  Many times when I would get home from school, I would find her in her rocking chair rocking a baby to sleep. One of the babies she baby sat was my cousin Jimmy's daughter, and Mom would be so upset at the condition the baby would be in when she was brought back to her on Monday mornings.  The baby had diaper rash so bad it was bleeding, and Mom would get it all cleared up during the week, and have to start all over on Mondays.

Aunt Mary told me Mom had a boyfriend in North Carolina, and they were engaged. Mom lost her engagement ring in the sand at a beach.  I have often wondered if she had married that man, maybe her life would have been different?  I don't think she was happily married to my Dad, but she couldn't drive, no job, and had five children.  One time she left him because of a horrible beating. We moved in with my Aunt Mary, and I was never so happy only to come home from school one day to find Mom gone with my siblings.  Aunt Mary told me that I had to go back home.  I cried and cried and Aunt Mary had to console me.  I feel Mom was trapped and had no where to turn, so her bottle of booze became her escape from a painful life.  I loved her very much, but she became a child trapped in an adult body as the booze destroyed her brain cells.  So I lost her long before she passed away.  Mom I love you and forgive you and we will be together again some day not to far in the future.

Mom passed away from Cirrhosis of the liver when she was only 50 years old. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I received an e-mail from my brother Allen, and a flood of memories came back.  Some good, some bad.  My brothers, sister, and I had a tough life growing up in the Ed Luker family.  Our parents were alcoholics and our Dad had a very hot headed temperament with a heavy hand in beatings of my Mother, me and my siblings.  He did mellow out in his later years and quit drinking, but with our Mother it was a different story she died a horrible death of cirrhosis of the liver.  I didn't have much to do with my Mom and Dad once I was married and moved 400 miles away from them.  I really didn't want my children to be around that kind of environment. 

I took my kids to visit once in a while, and my kids did get to know their grand parents and have a few good memories of them.  I was the oldest child and was more like a mother figure to my little brothers.  In fact they cried when I got married and left home.  They were left to fend for themselves and survive any way they could.  My brother Allen and I are the only kids out of the family that didn't become alcoholics.  Thank Heavens for our religious beliefs.  Below is the e-mail that Allen sent that sparked these memories.

On 9/18/2010 8:17 PM,

From Allen Luker:

I awoke this morning to a newscast playing some Jimi Hendricks music and then a mention that this was the 40th Anniversary of his death. On this same day my mother died I was 15, I will spare you the details of her last night on this earth , but I remember it well. My sister Donna would have been about Miranda's Age. I went to school that morning and into Driver's Ed first period. Within a few minutes I was excused from class and told go to the office, where Cliff Newman our next door neighbor came to get me and take me home. That night to escape from the reality I went to a Santana Concert with my friends, the next day Donna came to town and had to have a talk with me. Blanche our other next door neighbor complained to Donna about my lack of respect for my mother.

For me I was always searching for normal, in a world of chaos and going to a Santana Concert was a way to shut a miserable world back then. I just wanted to remind my kids that they do have another Grand mother. I have to think that she has worked out what ever short comings she had in her life by now. I wish you could have known her when she was having one of her good days.

By the way my sister Donna has always been where I found normal, you guys a have great Aunt.

-------- Original Message --------

Subject: Re: Today 40 years ago

Date: Sat, 18 Sep 2010

From: Donna Merritt

To: allen.luker

Well, Allen you know how to bring tears to your sisters eyes. I really don't remember the talk we had, but I hope I didn't hurt you in any way. We all have ways of escaping the dark days of our lives, and music was always your way of escape. I remember you as a very young boy sitting by the radio with your ear close to the speaker listening to music. Music is your gift from God. This I am sure of as I am sitting here writing this to you.

I had no idea that it was the 40th anniversary of Mom's death. I just went through the 43rd anniversary of Larry's death. I devoted a post on my blog to him on the 29th of August, a day I will never forget. I don't know what my escape from this tragedy was, maybe a stupid mistake of a bad marriage to Bud. I tried to run from it, by moving to Grantsville, but there was no escape for me, only time to heal, and a lot of time it took. I still shed tears when talking about some of the very tender moments of seeing his spirit, which I did share a month or so ago in Relief Society.

I too hope and pray that Mom has made peace with her past demons. For some reason she has been on my mind lately, and maybe it was because of the anniversary of her death. I think I feel her around me sometimes, and maybe it is because she wants to know if I have forgiven her, and I have. I try and remember some of the good times with her and fortunately I have a few. Well, thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. Love you, Donna

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fun Day in Vegas

Rozlynn checking out Ozzie

Last Sunday we went in to Vegas to spend the night with Sherry as Frank had a doctor's appointment early Monday morning.  Renee and Rozlynn came over to her Mom's place Monday morning.  We had a lot of fun just watching Rozlynn play and I couldn't believe how fast she can crawl.  We played with her on the floor, watched her trying to catch Ozzie, Sherry's cat, and how they interacted together.  Much to my surprise Ozzie was very patient with Rozlynn.  When he had enough he would just run off. 

He crawled into his travel cage, and Rozlynn soon found him and tried to play with him in his cage.  As you can see Rozlynn is walking all around the couch and it won't be long before she will be walking.  I can't believe all the changes in between the times I get to see her.  I tried to get a picture of her cute little face as she is always puckering up and making a big O with her mouth and saying woo, woo.  She is so dang cute when she does this.  I could never catch her at the right moment with the camera.

Frank got her to do a high five with him, and as long as he didn't pick her up she interacted with him, and played with him.  May be next time she will remember him.  She has been afraid of him in the past and cries if he picks her up.  Later we all had lunch at the Cafe Rio, and of course it was yummy.  We had packed the car to go home after eating, so we headed home ready to kick back and relax.  For some reason I was exhausted.  I didn't take my sleep apnea appliance in with me, so I am thinking I didn't sleep very well. 

Well, that catches me up with the blog.  Not too much going on in our lives right now that is exciting.  Our next big outing will be a trip to Utah for a family reunion in October which we are looking forward too.

Catching up Again

Old buildings - Virgina City, NV
Main Street Virginia City, NV

View out of truck window
Old Church in background

Over the Labor Day weekend we were able to take my step-daughter Lani back to her home in Fallon, NV.  Frank and I had been wanting to get away and that was the perfect excuse to take a road trip.  Even though we didn't need an excuse. We had been wanting to revisit Virginia City an old mining town and this was a good opportunity to do that.

It was fun having Lani all to ourselves and we talked about everything which made the trip go by faster.  The trip to Fallon is on a long lonely road, but it is great as there is hardly any traffic on most of the highway.  When we got to Alamo we made sure we filled our tank with diesel and also had some snacks, as there is nothing in between Alamo and Tonopah, well except Rachel which has a small restaurant and is known for the Alien adventure stories. 

The famous Area 51 is over a mountain range behind Rachel.  After we turned onto the Extraterrestrial Highway as it is known (hwy 375), and traveled a few miles there was a metal building that had a huge silver man made Alien standing in front of the building.  It must have been 30 feet high.  I was going to take a picture of it on the way back, but we went by it so fast that I didn't have time and I didn't want to make Frank turn around.  Guess that will be a fun day trip to take sometime in the future. 

When we got to Lani's home in Fallon we took the tour of all the remodeling that she had done.  They bought a manufactured home that was in need of some tender loving care, and Lani was the person to do just that.  She is amazing as she completely remodeled the whole home.  I couldn't believe the things that she did with cabinets, counter tops, etc.  We were amazed at one chest that she had refinished as the top looked just like marble.  She is so talented.  I should have taken some pictures, but I was tired and hungry and we needed to get to our hotel and get checked in.  We met Lani and Terry at a Casino restaurant and had dinner then went back to our hotel for the night.

Much to our disappointment our hotel wasn't very nice, but we only stayed there one night and was able to get a room the following morning at the Holiday Inn Express which had a bunch of cancellations.  It was my first choice, but they were booked solid when I first tried to get a room.  What a difference, and we were much more comfortable that night.  

We were disappointed in our little trip to Virginia City, as it was packed solid with people.  It is like any mining town, and is built on a steep mountain side.  So the roads were steep and Frank didn't feel like he could walk up and down the streets where we would have had to park.  So we rode around and just looked at everything.  We had talked about taking a train ride, but decided with all the people there, we more than likely would not be able to get a ticket.  We decided that the reason it was so packed, was that the local people were staying closer to home for the Labor Day holiday, and there were a lot of things going on to attract people to Virginia City.  We noticed some old cars coming into town, and figured there was a car show about to happen. 

It was a fun trip even though we didn't get to get out of the car and explore the old town.  I really don't enjoy fighting a crowd.  So we continued on our road trip and decided to go down off the mountain into Reno taking a different route than the way we came.  So we made a full circle back to Fallon.  Sunday morning we got up early and hit the road to home.  We left a day early in order to miss traffic and it worked out great.