A Little History:
Our story begins in Pocatello, Idaho, circa 1972, when the lovely Debby Christensen agreed to a first, though fateful date with admirer, David Croshaw. Long story-short, he bade her follow him, and they went arm-in-arm to the Logan, Utah temple for establishment of an eternal family unit, Generation 1, on May 23 1973.

From their first blissful summer in Salt Lake City, educational pursuits took them to Provo/Orem, Utah, birthplace of Leslie and Rebecca, and to San Francisco/Oakland California, birthplace of Colin and Matt. Then, for establishment of livelihood, expansion of the tribe with Abby and Dana, and for raising/unifying of Generation 2, it was back to the roots in Pocatello for a rewarding sojourn.

In time, driven by a raging, but commonly shared sense of adventure and independence, one-by-one, Generation 2 escaped the homeland to distant regions of the country and the world, each ultimately developing their own tribal expansions by pairing with worthy mates and initiating Generation 3.

Now sensing fulfillment of their purpose in Pocatello, Generation 1 has also left those roots and transplanted to Cascade Idaho, from which base, they anticipate more abundant contact with The Posterity, Generations 2 and 3, in the future. That contact however, awaits fulfillment of a call to LDS missionary service in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, wherein they hope to help the state of the world by sharing the love of Jesus Christ.

So now, including Generation 0 (Grandma and Grandpa Christensen) home base includes Yuma, Arizona, Pocatello, Idaho, Cascade, Idaho, Vancouver, BC, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Spokane, Washington, Boise, Idaho, Los Angeles, California, back to Boise, Idaho, and on and on (Generation 3+) to infinity.

Our Mission Statement:
This is the blog of our eternal family unit. Initiated years ago, it served well as a journal, but even more so, as an archive of our personal interaction. It was a gathering place, a confabulation instrument, a unifying force for four generations of widely dispersed and progressively prolific posterity, and their valued associates. Though it served these purposes well for many years, it eventually took a back seat to new-kids-on-the-block, Facebook, and Instagram, and was sadly forgotten.

We now move to resurrect this blog with an added functional purpose of archiving the missionary experiences of Generation 1, of their movements and activities as they participate with The Gathering of Israel in the land northward. In so doing, we hope that via their own comments and posts, this blog will again serve to gather and unify the posterity and their friends.

As in the past, that the young and vibrant may know the old and tired, that enduring bonds may be fostered and maintained, that experience and encouragement may be openly shared, that posterity may embrace truth, and that hearts may be knit together, we must resist detachment despite our geographic divergence. We shall do so here.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Who's the Perfectionist?

Crystal put a post on her blog that made me laugh, and made me wonder. It was about a perfectionist trait she has observed in Matt, linking it to his father. Check out Crystal's post of September 9, and you'll get the idea. In commenting to the post, I came to some conclusions which I decided to share with all of you. I really liked her post because initially, it gave me insight into myself and my sons. But subsequently, I've realized that "the trait" can be found in one degree or another in my daughters as well, and it's even showing up in the in-laws.

RE: Matt's perfectionist trait - One would think maybe he learned it by watching me over the years, but I don't remember consciously teaching it to him. In fact, as you kids were growing up, I often felt guilty about not including you enough in my "projects." I'm ashamed to admit it, but I think I was a little afraid that your involvement might impede progress or hamper my desired perfect end results. Fortunately, your mother filled in to accept and compliment the simpleness of your youth, and thereby nurture your creativity. When you were each given assignments, I did require that you did them right, and perhaps I modeled "the trait,"but I don't think I pushed it. I remember substantial resistence to it from most of you, especially the girls, but for years now, I have seen each of you demonstrate "the trait" in one way or another. For instance, the fastidiousness Matt demonstrated in measuring and leveling, as highlighted by Crystal, is something I've seen Colin do for years now, even moreso since he's lived away from me. You're all showing it as you get older. Some of you are more subtle about it than others, but you all do it, and you know who you are.

Sometime, check out Leslie's taste in jewelry. There's only a certain classy style that will deserve her attention. Go deeper to observe a life of intense resolve. I've never seen anyone so firm in her intent. And, she picked and married her father - Alex is the ultimate perfectionist. Sometime ask him about his furniture styles - stuff I only dream about - and his business plans.

If you visit Becky's home, you will see the classiest color schemes, but even moreso, you will feel the spirit of a happy family. She has made compassionate mothering an art. And, what about Ray? When I was in college, I remember studying once about the "mating habits of the sea urchin." Well, if you ask Ray about bugs, he can tell you such stuff about them. He knows everything about them. He also excels in his field because he knows people.

Colin's interest in level and plumb is only a suprefiscial indicator of his perfectionist trait. He knows every sports statistic, and he has a place in his physical and mental life for everything - order is very important to him. Check out his PDA if you want to see order. Lori complements Colin with her resolve for a happy family and children. But, secondarily she retains her own interest in physical perfection. I have a blanket she made, and talk about precision...

Matt's demonstrated affinity for symmetry also reflects his well known fetish for style. One of my nicknames for him is Ote Jangey (Korean for clothes freak.) Along with his abundant vocabulary this is all indicitive of his admirable resolve to succeed. He is a finisher. And, as for Crystral, she talks like Matt is the perfectionist, but I've visited her home, and everything was in perfect order. Just look at her blog and her meticulous writing style, and her photography to observe her "trait."

Abby? The mere name connotes perfection. As a child, symmetry was of prime importance to her (concentric circles and boxes inside boxes - boxen.) She once won a mlti-high school drill-down competition by being the only one of a hundred girls to perfectly perform the drill orders - and she wasn't even an eligable contestant (she sneeked in.) Also, one word: Statistics. She's managed to convert some of her "trait" into classy abstractness, but if you follow the adventures on her blog and you will see that her apparent random persona is actually very well controlled - even orchestrated.

Look no further than Dana's efficient computer prowess to observe her propensity for perfection. Mom and I use her as a ready-resource when we're traveling. Between our cell phone and her computer, who needs a GPS? But, her "trait" is most highly reflected in her Ebay history as Colby, Eva, and Lilia are the best dressed kids in town. While Jason lived with us over the past year, I was able to observe first-hand his tenacity in practicing his "trait." He became good friends with my scroll saw as he discovered what detailed designs he could make with it. And, when you want a hole dug, Jason's your man. Beyond that, I think we've all observed the way he maginfies his calling as a Broncos fan.

And, as for your mom, who do you all look to for details, especially if they involve data and numbers, but also advise? She has become my Sudoku coach, and she has always been my phone book. She has been my moral compass. Sometimes I don't like it, but then I do. I can't imagine ever questioning her love for the Lord and her resolve for goodness and righteousness, not to mention her capacity to make it happen. Beyond that, the fastidious aspects of her "trait" are also readily observable: try loading the dishwasher outside her routine. Also, towels in our house have to be changed every 2-3 days.

So, I've taken a lot of heat over the years for being the perfectionist, but I think you've all come to share that distinction. My mother and dad were perfectionists in their own way. Maybe it's learned behavior, but I don't think so. Example from forerunners may serve a catalyst, but I think we all came with "the trait." Perhaps all the grandkids will confirm that theory. Some of them are already demonstrating "the trait." It makes life interesting. Individually speaking, I know that putting up our antics can be annoying for those whose "trait" manifests differently than ours. If we're honest, we'll each admit that our own "trait" can at times, be frustrating for us too, but the good news is this: I've observed that over time, it seasons and refines - becomes more pragmatic. As time goes on, the perfection urge starts to apply more to things that really matter, and less to the rest. I like to think of it in temple terms - "exactness and honor in all things." On that basis, hopefully it will ultimately pay off for all of us.

Dad, and proud of it.


beckyV said...

Hello, has anyone ever met Elliot?! He is like a little Abby. I think what you instilled in us all is to try our hardest at whatever we do and take pride in our work. That has worked it's way into every aspect of our lives. I think that is a pretty good thing!

abbynormal said...

I agree with Becky. It is a good thing! I'm reminded of it all over again now that I'm back in school. I really don't like turning in assignments/taking tests that I know I didn't prepare for, to a point that I can be proud to have my name on the finished product. That little "trait" is what motivates me to study.

Speaking of Elliot being me, my favorite memory is when he was throwing a tantrum during Matt's wedding, and I calmed him down by counting how many steps there were. And I think the logic that led me to it was, "What would calm me down if I were in his shoes? Counting stuff!"

Jason and Dana said...

I wonder how many times you edited this post before you finally published it on the blog.
Thanks for showing me to have a little bit more of an eye for detail. Too many times I get caught up in just wanting the project to get done, rather than stoping to review my work for errors.

notthecroshaws said...

No less than fifteen edits.

Jason and Dana said...

Wow, you have more patience than I can imagine.