As I have talked to many of my family and friends in the last few days, there is concern and stress over the country and our financial position. The situation in the US also has many implications on the world stage. I too am concerned and wonder what the future will bring.

Last week I attended the funeral of a dear aunt. She was 90 at her passing. It was interesting to sit and listen to her life story. She went though the Great Depression and survived. She then married her teenage sweetheart, Ellis Richins. They had five boys and were sailing along together working the family sheep business when her husband Ellis got an infection from the sheep, which took his life, leaving her to finish raising the youngest boy who was 11. She was also faced with what to do with the sheep business.

Aunt Metta with Uncle Ellis and kids

Aunt Metta and Uncle Ellis

I can only imagine how hard and difficult the decisions were for her to make. She decided to continue to run the sheep business. She worked with the sheep for another 30 years. In the sheep business, she had to pull herself up by the boot straps and do what she had to do, whether that was firing an employee, birthing a baby lamb, or tossing a bail of hay. Below you can see a photo of her driving her sheep camp up into the mountains to stay and lamb and herd the sheep for the summer.

Aunt Metta driving her sheep camp

Each speaker at the funeral talked about the way she met the challenges that came her way. She was an expert at looking at the bright side and meeting every challenge that came her way.

When ever anyone would come to Utah and want to go out in the country and see how people lived there, I would take them to Coalville to meet Aunt Metta. To me she was a pioneer. My favorite story was hearing her talk about the day she had to quit the sheep business when she was around 78 years old. She told me over and over that she cried like a baby to see the semi-truck pull away with her last load of sheep.

Aunt Metta was the only woman to receive the Rancher of the year Award given by the Utah State Wool Growers Association.

She was never scared of hard work or the challenges that came into her life.

At her passing she left 5 very wonderful sons and daughter-in-laws, 18 grandchildren, 41 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.

Aunt Metta and her 5 sons

The Whole Family – Children and Grand Children

I know that as I look back on my life it is the hard times that have taught me the most. I also know that each day we get up we have a new opportunity of looking for the rising suns in our life or we can be mourn the setting suns in the past.

Maybe we cannot buy everything that we want as we have tougher times this year. Or maybe Christmas will be a little different. I must say the Christmases that I love most are the ones where everyone makes a gift and the gifts are really from the hearts.

As the gas prices have shot up which cause everything to go up, I have reflected on what could happen if everyone stayed home more. I would hope that we could redirect our lives to enjoy each other and plan more family outings in the back yard. Maybe instead of eating out, we eat out in the backyard on an improvised barbeque made out of a wagon. Instead of long road vacations, the family could pitch the tents in the backyard and wash your hands with a plastic bleach bottle, or cook on a tin can stove or perhaps make biscuits in a Dutch oven and s’mores over the hot coals.

The list can go on and on, but the opportunity to create a new and different life may be better than the hustle bustle of today.

The one thing that I know we can count on is change, and I know that each of us has the ability to meet any challenges that come our way. When I think of someone who met each challenge head on with a positive attitude I think of Aunt Metta. She truly was a woman with courage.