Saturday, September 27, 2008

Happy Birthday to me...and to Becca...and to Jared


It's not too many people who celebrate their birthday with a sibling, let alone two siblings. I am one of the lucky few whose birthday has never been about 'me', only 'us.'
Growing up we weren't individuals, we were the Platts. And when we weren't the Platts we were the triplets. "Oh...you're one of the triplets," people would say, and that lasted until we graduated from high school.
Even now on occasion someone will still say, "Now which one are you?" Funny...because we don't look anything alike.
The best question Jared and I were ever asked was this: "Are you identical?" My response: "Yes, yes we are." Their response: "Cool." If you don't understand the humor here, maybe you should do some homework on how identical twins work.
I love 'us'. I love that I have two best friends. I love that no matter where I go, or what I do in my life, I will always have Jared and Becca.
Happy to you Jared and Becca!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

27 Shirts

The other night my sister said, "Someone should write a blog about the 27 shirts I have to iron." She wasn't kidding - she really does have 27 shirts to iron. She DID have 27 shirts to iron, now I think she is down to 15 or 16.

Want to know the craziest part of all? All 27 of those shirts are work shirts. Either she gets really dirty at work and has to change shirts often, or she doesn't do enough laundry.

In honor of Becca and her 27 shirts, I want to list 27 reasons why I love her:
1. She loves me, even when I'm ornery.
2. She makes the best bread in the world!
3. Her favorite thing in the world is Splash Mountain at Disneyland.
4. Her nighttime routine: leave the light switch on, pull the fan string 2.5 times, shut the door so the clocks don't tick off beat...you probably just have to experience it.
5. She does her best to make our backyard beautiful.
6. She sprays hornets nests. (Except for the big ones, she makes me do that.)
7. Cathy's Clown (whatever Bec)
8. She watched 8 hours of Dances with Wolves with me...all at one time.
9. She is the world's best "Disney's Scene It" player
10. When we have sleepovers with the kids she lets me have the couch.
11. She knows to pull the bedspread over the sheets before she sits on my bed.
12. She keeps the freezer stocked with yummy treats.
13. She keeps me from starving.
14. She drives me home at night when I'm tired.
15. She rescued me from the mall parking lot when I thought I was going to die!
16. She's rock solid in the things that matter most.
17. She beat ovarian cancer... twice.
18. Sometimes she has to re-wash the clothes in the washer two or three times because who has time to rotate the laundry?
19. She has some really great couches!
20. She made me a really great CD.
21. She is a duck.
22. She has a duck.
23. Her duck is still wearing it's winter outfit.
24. Yes, she buys outfits for the duck.
25. She is Ohio State's football team's biggest fan....even though she's never watched a game.
26. She'll watch Crossroads with me.
27. She's the best twin sister a girl could ask for!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bubble Gum and Bird Poop

Last night I was out walking along the Provo River. I was enjoying the tranquility - listening to the river, which was flowing faster than usual, and breathing in the scents of nature. Oh...and I was chewing bubble gum.

I blew a bubble but wasn't satisfied with the results. I blew another bubble and it was nearly perfect. I had just finished forming this nearly perfect bubble when I walked right into a swarm of gnats - a BIG swarm.

It was a close call but I managed to pop the bubble before it and the gnats made contact. Note to self: keep your gum in your mouth. (Sounds like something my mom would say.)

My close encounter reminded me of another encounter: this one with more traumatic results. In what seems like another life, I was a missionary in NYC. My companion and I spent most of our meager allowance on subway tokens, but one day we decided to splurge. Instead of subway tokens we bought Subway sandwiches.

We didn't have time to eat in the restaurant and so we headed out onto a busy street in Jamaica, Queens. I had taken just one bite of my highly anticipated sandwich when out of nowhere I heard a "PLOP."

I looked down and saw that some stinkin' bird had managed to aim his 'business' right in the middle of my 6" turkey and cheese on wheat, everything but peppers and onions, EXPENSIVE $5.00 sandwich.

I'm still bitter and my companion still laughs.

Honeysuckle Anyone?

Welcome to my home. (Not my home away from home, that would be the place where I sometimes eat a meal and sleep a few hours.) During the months of March to whenever the snow falls, Linden Nursery is my home.

I joke often about retiring. Today that thought is not such a joke. Let me give you an example of just one of the many things that leaves me wishing for early retirement, or at the very least, a winning lottery ticket.

Several months ago I had a conversation with my brother Ben. This is how it went:

Ben: Noelle, I need you to find some plants for me. I can't find them from my suppliers.

Noelle: Okay, give me the list and I'll see what I can do.

The List: 200 Honeysuckle, 150 Forsythia

Noelle: Ben I found the shrubs. They aren't coming from one of our normal growers so I need to make sure the quantity is correct. Once I order them, they are ours. End of story.

Ben: The numbers are a go.

*** Fast forward a few weeks ***

Ben: Noelle, what did you say you had coming from that grower?

Noelle: The honeysuckle and the forsythia.

Ben: Okay.

*** Fast forward a few weeks ***

Ben: Noelle, remind me AGAIN what you have coming from that grower?

Noelle: (still patient) The honeysuckle and the forsythia.

*** Fast forward a few weeks ***

Ben: Noelle, I found some honeysuckle from a grower, and you have the forsythia right?

Noelle: (not so patient) I have the honeysuckle AND the forsythia.

Ben: Oh right, I forgot.

*** Fast forward a few weeks ***

Ben: We are ready for the plants to ship.

Noelle: Great, I'll get them here.

*** I make the call, I arrange the truck, I get the address for where the plants are going, I call the customer and let him know the ship date, and I tell Ben it's taken care of.

The 200 Honeysuckle will be delivered to BYU tomorrow - coming straight from Oregon. Everything is taken care of and I am feeling pretty good about life. Until.....

Today we got a shipment of plants from a regular grower, and I was checking it in when all of a sudden I realized that my guys were unloading not 10, not 20, but 200 HONEYSUCKLE!!!

I made a call to Ben (he's out of town) and said something about him being in BIG TROUBLE. "Why?" he wants to know.

Noelle: Ben, I told you over and over again that I ordered the honeysuckle.

Ben: No you didn't. You only ordered the forsythia.

I reminded him of our conversations...the many that we had concerning this dumb plant, and his comment was:

"Hmmm...I guess what you said didn't stick." Hmmm...I guess not.

As I said earlier, Honeysuckle anyone?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Happy Place

My Happy Place: The jungle villages of Guatemala. It was fairly recently, just last winter, that I discovered that my happiest place so far was in Guatemala. There were several factors that played into this becoming my happiest place.

* The jungles of Guatemala are BEAUTIFUL! And besides being beautiful, they are peaceful and serene and they leave me feeling as if I have just walked into what I imagine heaven will be.

* My trips to Guatemala have been because of humanitarian service. I am my best self when I am involved in these humanitarian projects. I find a part of myself on these trips to Latin America - a part that is absent here, a part that is left behind when I come home.

* On these humanitarian trips I meet some of the best people I will ever know, people who are working together to better someone else's life, and people who will be friends for life.

About a month ago two of my dearest friends, who have been the heart and soul of our humanitarian efforts in Guatemala, were killed in a plane crash. They were just 15 minutes away from once again rendering the service they have given their lives for.

Their death touched that part of me that was left behind in Guatemala, and recovering from that hasn't been easy.

I'm not sure now whether there will be other opportunities for me to go to my happiest of places. However, I am sure that I will be blessed with other happy places, and I am sure that my dear friends are in the very happiest place of all...doing what they lived and died to do - serving others.