Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Targets to Shoot At by Sidney J. Ottley

Today I ran across this set of "goals" once written by my Grandfather in 1939

1.     Be myself, all that I would expect of others and be not too concerned about the opinions of others, except as they may apply to my case, and profit by them.

2.     Play no favorites.  Give the same attention to and consideration of those in lowly station as the, so called, higher ups and that do without consideration of his attitude toward me.

3.     Give my family every opportunity that is within my power without depriving them of the privilege of striving for themselves.  Try to leave each a legacy of a healthy body and mind, an independent spirit and love for the truth and virtue; to be a good father and husband in every way that the word implies.

4.     Be more attentive, in detail, in business, church and personal matters, avoiding “flock shot” methods and following through on everything that I begin.

5.     Take a more positive stand toward those who have taken my merchandise and labor and have failed to pay for it – who have betrayed confidence and friendship.  Demand and attempt to enforce payment from those who I have accommodated, being charitable toward those whose circumstances have been beyo0nd their control and doing all in my power to assist them to work out from under these obligations so acquired.

6.     Seek out the blessing behind each seeming misfortune and never allow grief from present and past misfortunes to stand in the way of future opportunities.

7.     Cherish the love of God and the love of, my fellowmen above everything of an earthly nature, placing a premium on Real values of live, here and hereafter.

8.     Stand for peace with honor in a vicious world and ever pray and work for and teach for the might that comes with right.

9.     Maintain, if possible, adequate life insurance and other assets, that my wife and other dependants may not be burdened with debt when I shall leave them.  It is my hope that when I am no longer with them that a spirit of cooperation will exist between them and that they will never neglect each other and the memory of their mother and dad, who have striven for them.   By SJO 1939

Monday, August 29, 2011

About the Man

There is definitely one less good man in the world today. Our father, Wayne, had many great attributes but the greatest was his dedication to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He seemed like a big man to me. Big in convictions, big in righteous purpose, and possessing a big heart full of love for all of God’s children. We were so blessed by his enthusiasm, by his missionary zeal, by his unconditional love for his ancestors as well as his descendants.

At 54 years old Dad and Mom served their first mission to the Wash. DC visitor’s center. They hated leaving our family when we were all just out of the nest and starting our families, but I remember talking to Dad…maybe even complaining a bit about how WE needed them both at home . . . and he wrapped his arms around me and said “Linda Lu, we are going on a mission knowing that tears will be shed but we are going to continue the legacy of missionary service in the Ottley family. I promise you that you can do it (and we did) and I promise that when your children are ready for missions that our service will have set the bar high for them (and it did). Yesterday I found where Dad wrote this: “None of us know how much time there is left to do the work that has been charged to the peoples of the restoration. All we know is that the time is short. I testify that there is no sacrifice in serving the Lord. If we had not made a covenant to serve we would not have been called. We do it with joy in our hearts that all will be blessed.”

They subsequently served as representatives of the church in the Tiberius area of Israel where Dad acted as Branch President to the little congregation of many nationalities that held services in their home overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Dad was proud that Mom brushed up on her piano and made mountains of food for after meeting dinner. Oh, how he loved to walk where Jesus walked!

Home briefly, but just long enough to get acquainted with the new grandbabies, they were called to South Carolina on a proselyting mission. I was lucky to fly back and follow them around for a whole week. I got tired and come home but the Lord blessed them with the energy to convert and baptize. They loved the southern hospitality and made friends for life. Dad was the gospel engineer and mom was the love machine and there were many lives changed including their own and ours.

Dad and Mom also served a mission on Temple Square and another on the Hosting Committee of the Church. They were always serving and always hosting whether at home or away. Over the years Dad had many callings that stretched him and many that used his musical and leadership abilities but none that he loved more than serving in the mission field.
And all through his life he wrote – learning to peck and hunt on a keyboard, he would spend many hours recording beautiful spiritual impressions or stories about his life. He kept lists of family members and knew all the stats on each of his 25 great-grandsons and 25 great-granddaughters. And all of this he did until the final week of his life.
One or Dad’s granddaughters took some beautiful picture of Dad’s hands . Her photo label says “These are the hands of service – service to God, to Country, to family, to friends. These hands scooped ice cream, tended to plants, pleated draperies, held babies, administered priesthood blessings, and built things.” Dad loved those pictures. He was always our greatest cheerleader.. I don’t think he ever attended the ballet or a Shakespearean play but he knew what he liked. He loved music …inspiring , patriotic, sentimental and barbershop.. You could say that Dad was a supporter of the arts---our arts…the visual, the performing, the literary... If his family did them – he supported them. Be it singing, dancing, fiddling, piano, sports, telling a joke or just looking cute. He would love that todays program, the video out in the foyer, the songs and music on the program were a result of his posterity using their talents. Dad loved it all….and loved us all…all of the time.

After Dad’s death I was haunted for a couple of days with the “what ifs”. In my anguish my husband Doug asked me to read a scripture of comfort in DC 42: 45-46. It says:
“Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die, and more especially for those that have not hope of a glorious resurrection. And it shall come to pass that those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them….”
I gained solice in that scripture and in this verse that I had written for Dad about ten years ago:

Born to goodly family here, To humble parents you were dear,
Engendering love and happiness within the home you came to bless.

In kindness, charity you grew, you learned in faith just what to do.
Each truth you gleaned and stored inside, in truth your talents did not hide.

Teen years were full, carefree, fun, work to do and studies done.
Your sister, Lael, and brothers four became a part of Millcreek lore.

The mountains beaconed, trails did call, your bag, your boots you packed them all.
A lake to seek, a peak to climb, a fire to build, on jerky dine.

Soon you wrote that you had seen your future wife, though just fifteen,
Was she a vision? No, for sure she was the girl moved in next door.

The years went past and war began, and you worked fast to gain her hand.
Times were hard but gave you hope that with your love you two could cope.

Serving country across the sea, you flew with honor and dignity.
Because of blessing, and much prayer health and safety found you there.

And then one day as a soldier tall, you returned to wife, new son and all,
With country pride and family love, thanks was offered up above.

Upon the hill you built a home, removing rocks and sandy loam.
Soon it was your only dwelling, with that little “garage house” selling.

A mountain home was once a dream, but though unfinished it was seen.
And work and work and working more with a growing family to adore.

You reared each one to firmly see happiness in those who thrifty be.
To purposefully seek His face and keep Christ at the center place.

You owned a business, made it grow, your perseverance made it go,
And with each child came their turn, to work the shop, to learn and earn.

And when they left and were all raised, you spent your life in serving ways,
With many missions for our God, you filled each one on different sod.

Your legacy is standing tall, your good life lived gives light to all,
For generations, and then some, will bless your name for years to come.

So we will ever honor your name, and in our days take better aim,
To focus our path more keenly now because your life has shown us how.

We love you Dad.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Wayne 1950 001 Wayne W. Ottley 1922-2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Daily Doings of Jesse Rich at 20 months

8:00 am: wakes and runs from person to person for hugs and kisses
8:03 am: takes everything out of all three drawers in his room
8:05 am: crawls all over us during family prayer and "circle of love"
8:10 am: shakes the music stands until everything falls off onto the floor
8:11 am: slides down the stairs and eats all the cheerios off the floor in the kitchen before we let the dog in to finish the clean up
8:20 am: rolls around in and tears to shreds the newspaper left out from the night before
8:21 am: run to every painted white wall in the house and indelibly leaves his imprints on each one
8:25 am: throws the half empty bowls, cereal and milk on the floor so the dog won't be disappointed shen she comes in
8:26 am: sees what's in the bottom of the trash sack before someone takes it to the barbage outside and it is lost from discovery forever
8:28 am: climbs the stairs and stands squeaking by the tub until someone comes and decides that a washrag will NOT be enough to erase the sgar coated face, the milk stained knees, the soggybottom or the oaty cherrios smashed in his hair - so he goes in the tub
8:40 am: decides he's cold after letting the water all out 30 seconds after he got in and sitting there for 15 minutes waiting for the water to come back up
8:41: stands and cries for someone to rescue him but won't get out when we do come
8:45: clean and happy now, he returns to his bedroom to tacle his drawers again, looking determined to do a better job on them this time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


What makes a really memorable grandmother? My grandmothers, Lettie Sanders and Alice Ottley and my Mom, LuRee Ottley and Mother-in-Law Ruth Rich were super grandmothers! What qualities do these great women possess that makes us love them, even now with distance and death in the mixture?

What will our grandchildren remember about us? Will they remember the house being polished and all the laundry caught up? Will they remember that we had dinner "on time" or that when we were tired of cooking we had cold cereal with bananas on top? I think NOT. What I recall is a sweet person who:

~Stopped their "work" to wipe my tears and hear my complaints.
~Listened when I asked question and always answered even when it was the tenth time I asked.
~Taught me many life skills that have brought joy to me time and again. For example, Grandma Alice taught me to crochet and Grandma Lettie taught me to sew. My Mom taught me how to insert humor into awkward situations. She also taught me how to be aware of other's needs.
~Taught me to live with faith through the challenges of life.
~Made me feel like the most important person on the earth to them.
~Sang to me. Told me stories about when they were little girls. Let me make a huge mess while doing crafts, baking cookies, or building a clubhouse with chairs and blankets in the middle of the living room. And pitched in to help me clean it up.

Actually, the most important things about the amazing Moms and Grandmoms in our lives is that they love us unconditionally and gave us their attention when it was most needed. Which in my case was ALL THE TIME!

Grand (your first name)

Any other's from your life?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Write Something Today

Since the fathers of the sons are the sons of men
And the men are the sons of others,
And the men who are brothers of other men's mothers
And uncles and children and then;

Those kids are the pals of the boys and the gals
Who will wed and be fathers and mothers
Of untold thousands of the creatures of earth
Who are somebody's cousins or brother;

Don't you think it is time to collect and record,
For your grandchild won't know this profusion
Of valuable data or manifold kin,
And will give up the quest in confusion.

Record now these names and file them away
For the sake of the worthy descendant
Who will rise up and bless you who taught to record
In this day of opportunity resplendent.

Now..write something TODAY! BY sjo 1958

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mayday, Mayday!

Well, you couldn't call me a prolific blog writer. Actually, you could call me that but you'd have to be crazy. I'm still here, wandering around my computer off and on almost daily, but haven't gotten inspired to write about another of my near-death experiences. Frankly, I've been too busy living, I guess.

Since last I wrote I have truly been through several experiences which could be considered "near death" experiences.


In 2007 I was working with a doctor as a follow up to a scare with pulmonary embolisms. While he viewed my CT Scan he mentioned that there was a little "shadow" in my right upper lobe of my lung. To make a long story short, he suggested that I visit my pulmonologist. The pulmonologist sent me to a thoracic surgeon.

I had cancer in my lung. And me with never smoking in my whole life! Okay, it was a shock to say the least. To make a very long (about 9 months of ill health) I'll just say that I had lung surgery where they removed the top lobe from my right lung. Promise me that you'll never do that! It was the worst experience of my life. I would gladly have 37 children than do that. I was on oxygen for about 6 months and spent a lot of time in bed recovering....falling down the stairs....passing out in the hallway then doing more time in bed recovering from all that.

My family thinks I'm a klutz but it is a newly acquired attribute because I remember myself as a dancer with lots of grace. I will say that I've learned to compensate for my clumbsiness...or at least I thought I was compensating. When I was finally well enough to travel my sweet husband, Doug, planned a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean to celebrate my new found health. (I never did have to do any chemo or radiation and was declared healthy by my oncologist) While on this "victory" vacation I broke my leg! This new issue kept me on crutches, in a wheelchair or on a knee scooter for another three months. 2010 was not my best year, but the outcomes were good and I feel very blessed. I will write later about just how blessed I was during this heavy burden in my life.