Althea Marie Johnson Sorensen
Sharon Dail Sorensen
Great-Grandma Mimi~~Grammy Sharon
A sun-drenched "gathering" room scattered with MOTHERS,
from decades of child bearing; kissing tender hurts;
scheduling omnipresent activities;
car pooling; silently weeping through private trials;
protecting from slights and harm; earning wages; sheltering/protecting physically
mentally and spiritually;
laughing 'til sick-crying 'till dehydrated;
reaching for the Golden Ring to give their child.
Wrinkles like so many "worry beads" grace the prolapsed faces;
cloudy eyes covering, hiding so many memories...

..memories that drift in and out of consciousness,

years having worn the edges away.

Each woman is a single soul,

a single story,

a single history,

a rich and complex tapestry of living life.


SOLO in birth.

SOLO in birthing.

SOLO in death.

The sun-drenched gathering room, a tapestry,

is hemmed in pending fear, death, complacency;

welcomed by some, fought by others.

Underneath the worn and frayed covering

is a resilient BATTING,
a rich thickness composed by LIVING.

We spent our last afternoon at Alta Ridge

visiting Grandma Mimi and her fellow "house-mates."

A group of beautiful young women, choosing to live their lives
with care and compassion visit with the residents,
SING to them,
GRACED the afternoon with a GIFT of LOVE.
Young women from Job's Daughters
Evelyn Swain Furner Velma Howard Furner my BEAUTIFUL MOTHERS.

The Boy in the Green Shirt

The day was spring-time-cold,
the soccer field a lush apple-green,
the texture much like a soggy sponge,
the intense-mighty mountains frosted with lingering ice and snow
cradled us as though we were sitting in a gigantic glass bowl.
The air was full of energy and enthusiasm.
The Boy in the Green Shirt was playing a game of
He was full of CONCENTRATION.
He was full of ENERGY.
He was ready to play his BEST!

The Boy in the Green Shirt ran hard, played fierce,

kicked the ball with force,
kept his eye on the ball,
kept his eye on his teammates.

This is a team sport requiring



sportsmanship .

In all games there is ONE winner. But the TRUE WINNER is the

Boy in the Green Shirt

who understands FAIRNESS and SPORTSMANSHIP.

The Boy in the Green Shirt


The Girl with the Dancing Heart

There was a young freckle-faced GIRL who had a Dancing Heart,
infectious smile, and feet that twirled and whirled all the day.
Music sent her heart and feet spinning, jumping, twisting, dancing.
She knew who she was.
She knew what she wanted to do.
She went for the dream.
Her mother and father supported her all the way.
Soon she found herself enrolled in HIP HOP dance classes
at a local Community College.
And that is where the story begins.

She couldn't get enough of dance. She would dance her heart away in class.

She would dance her heart away in her living room.

She would dance her heart away on the prickly lawn.

and slippery gymnasium floors.

She would dance her heart away

in her programs at the close of dance sessions.

And everyone would watch the

Girl with the Dancing Heart,

smiling face, born-to-be dancer attitude.

She worked on her posture. She worked on her smiles and enthusiasm.

She worked on her exercises and tough dance moves.

Then one day the Girl with the Dancing Heart danced away from


danced away from her Maryland home.

She danced her way to Utah
and into a group of friends who loved to dance as she did.
She danced her way into
Ballroom Dancing.
She worked hard. She attended classes. She did her best.
She received recognition for her
Dancing Heart.

And the applause roared with spontaneity.

Everyone loved to watch her perform.

She made hearts dance!

The Girl with the Dancing Heart



Crossing Over

Some how they all knew HE loved DONUTS!!!
The prize-winning idea for the party
was a towering/tilting/tipsy-turvy
DONUT BIRTHDAY CAKE !!! crowned with sparkler candles!
All in celebration of HIS turning
oh, no, no
The BIRTHDAY BOY knew there was a family gathering,
but was a bit surprised by the extent of the
guest list.
Whoa what is the GIGANTIC 40 balloon doing here?
Hugs and Loves from Sandi, Emily and Adam.
They had pulled it off, a SURPRISE PARTY!

Family members, work associates, friends from the Past and the Present

gathered for a GRAND CELEBRATION!

It is common knowledge that PEOPLE love to go to parties to enjoy
something FABULOUS to EAT !
Certainly no one could have been disappointed
when they saw the table laden with.....

homemade SUGAR COOKIES to die for, tiered chocolate fountain

with mounds of fresh fruit for dipping

pastry ring (in homage to Santa Lucia Day tradition)

brownies, more cookies and bowls of candy.

The BIRTHDAY BOY was delighted with the dazzling, daring

Donut Birthday Cake!

Now to get those candles blown out

so the the EATING could COMMENCE!!!

HE just knew he could do IT! After all someone had miscounted

and there weren't 40 candles!

What's THIS???

Okay, who was the trickster and put

SPARKLERS on??????

Sandi, you pulled it off SISTER!!!!!!

Regretfully, our BIRTHDAY BOY didn't have HIS siblings joining in the celebration
they were scattered to the FAR winds of
Chicago, Charlotte, Baltimore and Singapore.
However these siblings are pretty SNEAKY,
if they couldn't celebrate in PERSON,
they would be present in THOUGHT and DEED.
Posing like hidden ELVES, photos of the siblings and their families were propped on
mantels, table tops~~anywhere they could "light"
and keep an eye on the frivolities of the evening.
The GUESTS between plates of SWEETS wished the BIRTHDAY BOY the best of life
in the NEXT 40 years!
Now secrets are still secreted and little did the BIRTHDAY BOY know that a
"ROAST" was on the WAY.....and not as in Roast Beef!
HIS mother started the evening by sharing a few stories
the BIRTHDAY BOY just might have forgotten on HIS climb to 40;
like the wrapped raw egg drop contest he WON when a
the very very sneaky trips behind the propane tank to eat
HOSTESS Cupcakes, Snowballs and Twinkies;
the MIRACLE of birth at 2.2 pounds;
dressing in German lederhosen and singing songs from
The Sound of Music;
yes, the MOTHER did a good job of sharing stories.
But remember those hidden ELVES?
Well, they had written MAGICAL LETTERS
sharing their fondest memories.
The "cat was let out of the bag" on a few stories...
but mostly they were
of LOVE for their BROTHER
and ADMIRATION for the way HE has LIVED HIS LIFE
It wasn't just hidden elves who spoke words of love and admiration, Sandi, Claudann, friends and other family members spoke with love for a very fine human being with a HUGE HEART.
"Crossing the Line"
isn't so difficult when
you have cheerleaders on either side of the fence.

Private Party

It just doesn't seem right
for a birthday to not start EARLY
as in "wee morning hours!"
After all it is a 365 day trek to hitch another year in one's
The sun rose on a sacrosanct FURNER TRADITION....
a delightfully, puffy, bouffant, eggy, cardamon-laced
The BIRTHDAY BOY was ready for the party to begin...
another fully laden table with S.O.P., whip cream, jam and syrup,
fruit, juice, eggs to individual taste
and lots of crispy sausage.
HMMM somehow on this morning the sausage was missing its casing!!!!
Never matter, let the FEAST begin.
Please hurry with the picture taking so we can "dig" into those piping hot
Swedish Oven Pancakes!!!
Claudann joined the early morning celebration.
She brought with her a very fun present for the BIRTHDAY BOY,
a standing cot with blow up mattress.
Don't want our favorite GUY sleeping on the ground.
~~Really Grammy will you please put down the camera? We are
After every little smidgeon of Swedish Oven Pancake was consumed,
everyone gathered in the living room for
the GRAND OPENING of special presents!
Remember those HIDDEN ELVES from the surprise party,
well they popped up again...
this time bringing a GAME of HANG MAN....
With Adam and Emily's help the BIRTHDAY BOY had to guess the words
describing HIS gift from the mischievious elves.
HE went through quite a few letters, repeating some,
wearing a perplexed expression
as he dug harder to figure out the words.
"OH, MY GOSH.....I GOT IT!" HE finally exclaimed. Elves are tricky people and these clever ELVES
knew what he had secretly been longing for.....
HIS mom painted a special canvas to remind HIM of HIS
wonderful trip to FRANCE
and the wonderful shoreline of Cassis.
Cassis a sun drenched village, cradling hundreds
of boats with multi-colored sails.
SANDI saved her GIFT for LAST.
Think of the
you can imagine.
That was on HIS face when HE opened a gift
for a weekend at an Austrian hotel
The Birthday Boy's feet left the floor with JOY!
Now isn't that what you would expect from
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