My full given name is Mary Ellen Edmunds. I’m delighted that my parents gave me the initials MEE. I’ve used them my whole life in a variety of ways. And now I use them to start a BLOG! I am currently half past 70 and headed for the next “zero,” so I’m out of my teens and into the season of aging. Challenging and interesting.
I’m so thankful for my amazing, talented niece Wendy who created the heading to go with the blog. It’s obvious she knows me very well. I’m so thankful she put the painting of the Savior in the center of what I’m thinking about. My sister Susan is her Mother, and Wendell B. Johnson is her father. He broke his neck diving when he was 16 and spent the next 32 years paralyzed from the neck down — a quadriplegic. What a remarkable man! He was a Justice of the Peace for many years, and then Mayor of our town Mapleton for 4 years. He was wise and witty and completely remarkable. He painted several hundred oil paintings before he died. He asked me what I wanted him to paint for me. I didn’t know. But after thinking for a while, I told him I’d like him to paint the Savior. And that’s what you see in the center of my thoughts (the right place for Him). It took him close to 6 months. Once he got started he wouldn’t let me peek at it. He designed the frame and then invited me over for a “grand unveiling.” Oh, I love this painting SO much. It’s a blessing and honor to have it in my home. I’m convinced that Jesus was the ONLY One Who could say to Wendell: “I know just how you feel.” And He does and did. And now Wendell is with Him, and still with us in so many ways. Thank you, Wendy, for knowing this would be my favorite topic of thinking.
The left side – all the wheels and such-like – represents the theme of the blog: MEE Thinks. I love to think! And I have what I call a “BB Brain.” (Or I am a “BB Brain”). Busy Busy Brain. It never shuts off. It will be fun to share some of the things I think about. Not all of them will be of interest to everyone, but “oh well.”
There are rice paddies, ocean, palm trees – all representing my time living in island places and other places close to oceans: Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippine Islands, Indonesia, and Nigeria, West Africa.
My Chinese name is included. AI CHIEH MEI. (I went from MEE to I in Taiwan).
The elephant is my favorite animal. There is so much about their way of living and caring for each other that fascinates me. The melon beside him is a nickname given to me more than 50 years ago by a wonderful friend and missionary companion, MJ. She said if you say “Mary Ellen” faster and faster, it “melts” into Melon. Cool.
And the butterfly? For me it represents CHANGE. It begins as an egg, goes through many changes (including caterpillar), and eventually becomes a BUTTERLY! Our lives have lots of stages too – lots of changes. Growing, learning, improving… moving from good to better and better (eventually, hopefully: BEST!). Sometimes I feel like I slip back to being a caterpillar, but I keep trying. Life has a lot of happiness, challenges, opportunities, friendships, trials, experiences, forks in the road, mountains, JOY, questions, surprises (oh yes), ETC. Change can be a very positive part of life… becoming kinder, more content, more filled with charity (the pure love of Christ), more aware of others, more willing to help. There’s a lot “more” to say about this as the blog progresses, but hopefully I’ve shared enough so that you know what the butterfly represents. (Could I just add, though, how fun it would be if WE had 3 pair of jointed legs, looked beautiful all the time, and could fly!)
The little frog orchestra represents my love for music, especially classical music. For several years I played the violin and was in more than one orchestra in Cedar City (my “hometown”). At one point I was in Junior High, High School, College and Community orchestras at the same time. Lots of practices! One highlight was “The Messiah” each Christmas time.
And the pig? This represents Fei (pronounced like Fay, Day, and Hooray). I first met (ie, purchased) this little wooden pig in T’ai Pei,Taiwan, in 1962, so she’s been with me for many years. She can say (and has said and written) things I’d never dream of saying! (So she may help with the blog occasionally). She has been on all my missions with me and many of my trips to lots of places on the planet. She has a passport! I might share more about her later. And SHE might share a lot….
For now I’ll just say “Thanks for visiting.” Suggestions are welcome!
Thanks MEE for being so you. 😉 I will enjoy reading this blog because you always lift my spirits whenever I hear you speak or read your words. I think you’re awesome. Keep it up.
So happy to have found this! It will be so uplifting, I’m sure of it.
Thanks for making a blog. You rock! 🙂 🙂
YOU are the one who REALLY ROCKS! I love you!
I wish I were more like YOU. thank you for happy thoughts!
Thank you, Julie. This is good therapy for me as I’m “home-bound” due to very poor air quality around here. Thanks for your note.
Thank you MEE for the pen and this AMAZING blog. I love you and your sweet spirit and unfathomable knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ, his prophets – past and present – the LDS faith and life in general. And, of course, your wit and humor. I delight in every time I visit or read one of your books or thoughts (or thinks). I just finished a book and was trying to decide what to read next and now your blog has become my library.
WOW! Thanks for all the nice things you’ve said! I love (LOVE) having you and John come — you make Home Teaching like “healthy ice cream” (that wasn’t the best analogy I’ve ever come up with… but it’ll have to do for now). You DID mention ice cream in one of your notes, right? And dynamite! And floods! (I have PTFS…flood syndrome… maybe you do too). Thanks for being YOU! Carry on with your great service to missionaries! Love!! mee
This just makes me so happy! I’m here in the cornfields of Nebraska reading the blog of one of my absolute favorite people ever! Can’t wait for the daily installments of happiness!
Hi Ann! I did work in the Temple this morning for several Sisters born in Nebraska! You probably don’t know them (they were born in the 1800’s). This is just my say of saying WELCOME! Nice to have you on the Blog Boat. “Oar” whatever it’s called…. Grin
Whoops! wrote it in the wrong place. So you will have to look around for what I did write. Too much…….as you know I always do. Good to read what all your admirers write about you. It makes me feel so blessed to know that I too know this special person and all through a special missionary you took such good care of in Indonesia, my son Jeff. What a guy…he’s been so good to me. Love ya
You wrote in the right place! I even responded (before I saw this 2nd note). Hooray!
Thanks for the hug at Time Out For Women in Calgary many years ago – a time when I needed a TIME OUT more than EVER. I remember your words touching me so much! I still have the notes in my journal! Thanks for all you share with us as women and the truths that you reveal in your light hearted, special spirited way! The world is lucky to have Mary Ellen Edmunds!
Thank you so much, Sara, for your very happifying note! You’ve helped my day get off to a good start! (I’m an early riser, HA HA). Love, MEE
MEE!!!! Haha, I found you! I was one of the Welfare assignment missionaries (Hermana Line) in the MTC in 1985, on my way to Peru, when you were there (remember shot day?! AH!) Then a couple years later, I came back as a married student (Hermana Valle) and you were my supervisor as I taught Spanish Welfare classes at the MTC (1988). Just one of the hundreds, thousands of missionaries you touched with your great insight and spirit. I’ve always loved your thoughts on STUFF. So fun to find your blog. Love it!
Thank you very, very much, Kelly. I treasure the immersion I had in welfare services for all those years. Now that it’s only with senior missionaries, I feel like those of us who had the privilege of learning and loving the gospel principles emphasized in welfare had and have an extraordinary blessing. Thanks for your note!
Hi Mary Ellen ~ on my mission back in 2000, I listened to a tape recording of you telling a story about how you expected to go out on a mission and find that family that had been saving their tithing in a tin can and they’d had a dream about you, etc. and then it didn’t happen that way and you were thankful you’d kept a journal so you could see the miracles, etc. Do you remember that talk? I have googled and googled until I’ve about gone batty. Maybe you could tell me where I could find a written copy? It was a life-saver for me and now I want to share it with my nephew’s on a mission. You have a gift with expression. Thank you a million times over for helping me feel validated all those many years ago in a little apartment in Tokyo.