Ola Lofgreen Timmons

I'm filled with emotion which brings a tear---
With memories of home and loved ones so dear.
For a moment or two I'd like to recall
The important events which started it all.

'Twas 1901, in St. David you see---
When Rebecca was married to Edward T.
Such a happy moment, that wintry day,
As they were united by Peter A
For such a purpose were they created---
Male and Female together, the Lord had stated.
Loving the Gospel, and knowing its worth---
They set forth to live it on this good earth.

In just nine months, as you might guess,
A daughter arrived, their home to bless.
"Thora Antonetta" was the name she was given.
And they knew at first sight, she came straight from Heaven.

In 1904, when their means would afford,
This Family was sealed in the House of the Lord.
The covenants they made, should they faithful be---
Would make them a family eternally.

And Mama's two boys, though sons of another,
Were then sealed to Dad along with their Mother.
Cecil and Basil became his sons that day---
Basil by proxy, as he'd passed away.
And children, who later would come to this pair,
Would be born in the covenant, its blessings to share.

"Multiply and Replenish," they obeyed faithfully,
For in just four years, their girls numbered three.
1904 saw "Gladys" arrive, then "Agnes Rebecca" in 1905.
In 1907, just imagine their joy
The Lord gave them a sweet baby boy!
"Harold Edward," they called him, suggested by Mother---
And the girls were thrilled with their new baby brother.

By 19 and 13 three more had come to earth---
"Ione," "Vivian," "Edith," in order of birth.
And then, as at first, three girls and a boy,
A son, "Joseph Niels," came into the story.

But then they discarded the pattern, I'd Say---
For 'twas "Ola," "Glen Pehr," and then "Ouida May.
Eight girls and three boys were the children, all told---
Born to Edward and "Bess" in the Lofgreen abode.

Now just having babies wasn't all that Bess knew,
Her talents were many, and to name just a few---
Sewing, cooking, and canning, and odd jobs galore,
Being mid-wife for others, and oh, many more.
She sang and she danced, along with her man,
Knowing both work and play were a part of God's plan.

They served in the Church, both doing their part.
Asking God's guidance in prayers from the heart.
The truths of the Gospel were taught day by day---
And the old and the young took their turn to pray,
As we all knelt together, both morning and night---
To ask God, the Father, to guide us aright.
Giving thanks for His blessings, for health and for life;
And asking for strength thru the toil and strife.

The teaching profession Dad chose to pursue.
And in 30 odd years, he taught quite a few.
But no favorites he found among his own---
They were blamed for each prank and eraser thrown.

The trials were many as they raised their brood---
Providing them shelter and plenty of food.
Clothes, handed down, were remodeled or dyed.
But folks never guessed and we wore them with pride.

When illness would strike, and it often would---
Mom and Dad were both there doing all that they could.
Thru the Pow'rs of the priesthood, and their tender care---
The Lord in His goodness, their loved one would spare.

The joys that we shared would fill many a chapter---
Singing, dancing, and playing, a house full of laughter.
A lady next door, who had just moved in---
Thought all of our noise a terrible din.
"If you don't hear a horn or piano," she'd say---
"You can bet your sweet life, they've all gone away."

How pleasant the evenings, when we'd gather and sit
To listen to Dad, his stories and wit.
He'd play the harmonica and foot would pat.
Accompanied by Mama, who at organ sat.
The songs that he sang are with me yet,
As Mama would join him in lovely duet.

"4th" and "24th" picnics were so bounteous and good,
Why even the Governor partook of our food---
Which was spread on the lawn, 'til rain fell,
Then into the house, lunch, Governor and all.

Oh, how we loved Christmas! So exciting 'twould be,
A trip to the foothills to cut our own tree.
The cranberry strings we'd drape just so,
Then tinsel, bright balls, and candles aglow.

Cactus candy and goodies were made weeks before
And gifts, kept secret, seldom came from the store.
We stood with expectancy, eager to see---
Whose name Dad would call with each gift from the tree.

And the stockings all stuffed, and hanging just so,
With an orange or apple way down in the toe.
A feast, as only our Mom could prepare---
Was enjoyed by loved ones gathered there.
Then the Christmas Dance, so festive and gay,
Was attended by all at the end of the day.

On Mother's Day I wondered why---
When we'd give her gifts, she'd always cry.
She'd go to her room and close the door,
And we always knew she was crying some more.
But I no longer wonder, for I cry you see,
When those I love express their love to me.

With Mama 'twas easy to get your own way,
But Dad's hand was firmer, lest we go astray.
The counsel he gave us was wise and fine,
And often these days I repeat it to mine.
For I now see the folly in going my own way.
And regret the mistakes of yesterday.

I'm so glad for their teachings, which through the years
Have given me courage and calmed my fears.
And though I may stumble along life's way,
I can always find strength if I humbly pray.
For the Lord will hear and forgive my sin.
If I truly repent and follow him.

"Like Father, Like Son" you've heard it said.
And as Peter had served, so followed Ed.
The calling as Patriarch, he faithfully filled,
Giving counsel and blessings, as the Lord willed.

When boyfriends came calling, and Dad didn't approve,
Without even a warning, he'd make his first move.
The lights would go out, and we'd know 'twas a ruse,
'Cause as soon as they'd leave, he'd screw in the fuse.

To Tombstone one night, we went for a ball---
We'd "be home by twelve, or that would be all.
We thought we could fool him, until 1:00 we would dance---
Then turning the clock back, we took a chance.

"It's 10 until 12:00" we hastily said---
But with his reply, we wished we were dead.
"I'd say the clock's running backward, wouldn't you?
A short time ago it was 20 'til 2:00."

Amid the sweet memories are mingled the sad,
For it's all part of life, both the good and the bad.
But we'd not know the bitter had we not tasted the sweet,
There must be opposition to make the test complete.

In 1935, on the 13th of May,
After several years of illness, our Mother passed away.
And even though we missed her, and our home was not the same.
We found strength in Gospel teaching, that we'd see her again.

Her's was a life of service, and I'm sure that she will be---
In that great Celestial Kingdom, a Queen eternally.

Because of work and schooling, the family moved away.
And Dad was left with only two, just Glen and Ouida May.
He'd been so lonely, no companion by his side,
So in 1937, Dyantha Barney became his bride.

The house, once lonely, soon rang out with old familiar
As babies came to this fine pair, the first three,bouncing boys.
Soon they had two daughters and then another son---
Now for a second family, it was a job well done.

The story of this second brood, I have not been told,
And so their pleasant memories I cannot unfold.
But they I'm sure, as we, have many just as dear---
Of happy times with "Mom and Dad" and loved ones gathered here.

With the passing of our Dad in 1962---
The memories, like pictures, more often come in view.
I can't begin to list them all, 'twould many a volume fill,
And yet each one is priceless, and lingers with me still.

How I'd like to live them over, more obedient I would be.
Loving more, serving well, and heeding counsel given me.
But since I can't change them, I will profit by mistake,
Asking God's forgiveness, and amends must make.

The story has no ending---it will go on and on---
For memories will linger after we have gone.
I only pray my children, as they contemplate---
Will be as thankful as I am, for a Heritage so great.

(A few memories and thoughts written for the Lofgreen Family Reunion, 23 August 1969)