Garneta Gee. Rhymes with Juanita--her mom's name! So, there I was. Monday, April 7 with no place to sleep that night or the next. Not exactly homeless. My soon to be for sale house in Boise still had a comfortable bed waiting for me on weekends. But alas, my job in Hansen was a 2 hour commute. Okay for a weekly drive, but not daily!
I had been living in a comfortable basement bedroom in Twin Falls with an elderly woman for the school year. I thought all was well until her daughter told me it wasn't. No need for details, but I'm sure my 4 days there 3 days gone schedule was difficult for a lovely but declining in health and memory 90 year old. Her daughter told me one Thursday night I had to be gone by June 1 (the original plan) but today would be even better. (My own daughter will be equally blunt if she ever thinks someone else's needs are impinging on my well-being.) So I packed up my belongings, loaded my car and headed to Kaysville, Provo, and Salt Lake for conference, R & R with the Smith's and grandchildren holding, not necessarily in that order. Monday morning at 4 am, I left Utah wondering where I was going to sleep that night. Some wonderful co-workers at school had been scouting around and knew that Garneta had a basement bedroom. But Garneta is shy, they said, and certainly would not want a boarder. They called her anyway, and she agreed to talk to me that afternoon.
I walked up the stairs to the front door of a 100 year old house and into a living room reminiscent of my grandparents' home. Garneta's three little guard dogs barked for 3 seconds and let me in, wagging their whole bodies as they wagged their tails. They seemed to like me.
Garneta was gracious, not unfriendly, but definitely cautious. We chatted for a while. She said she didn't cook. I said neither did I. She said she had a funny sleep schedule; I promised I wouldn't interfere with it. Pretty soon, she said she didn't know why, but she was willing to let me stay there. I said I knew why. I had been praying all day that she would. She looked at me and replied that it had been some time since she had been the answer to someone's prayers.
At that point, Garneta didn't even realize I would actually pay her (not very much) for staying there. She just answered the promptings of the Spirit. We grew rather quickly to love each other. We had much in common in our viewpoints. She is a talented artist, a loving mother and one of the most naturally beautiful woman I have met. I should look as lovely as she does in 20 years when I am her age. We attended the Temple several times together, each time a sweet, sacred experience. We watched TV together, but mostly talked. We both cried a little when I left.
If I go back to my teaching job in Hansen, I will live with her again, but I don't know that I will be going back. If not, I will miss you Garneta.