Mormon Times makes me tired. :) But on the other hand, I hope that I can be like her one day. Her total embodiment of service, compassion, gratitude and Christlike attributes all year long is inspiring. After reading Ida's story, I want to redouble my efforts not only during this holiday season, but all year long.
GRANTSVILLE, Utah -- Ida Hoggan can't be bothered with the typical things that go along with being 90.
She's too busy taking care of her friends in the Senior Care Center who need rides to the doctor or the store.
She has too many Christmas gifts and slippers to crochet and to knit. There are too many places to go.
"I just don't sit and do nothing," says the lively Grantsville woman who has to do deliveries of fresh apples and banana squash before she can sit down for an interview. "I have to have my hands busy."
Hoggan is currently the Relief Society president for the Cooley Lane Branch, Grantsville Utah West Stake, which means she has 41 elderly women to look after.
She serves in the local Daughters of Utah Pioneers chapter.
She gets those who need rides to appointments in the Grantsville City Center.
(She's comfortable driving around Grantsville, but she doesn't do freeways or drives into Salt Lake City. She can, but she doesn't like it.)
She's always making a little something for a grandchild or great-grandchild or great-great-grandchild. She has four children, 15 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren with another great-grandchild due in December.
This year for Christmas she made 20 reversible, denim-lined tote bags that she stocked with games, crayons and toys for church meetings. The great-grandchildren are each getting a little hand-crocheted Christmas ornament that pops out a chocolate Hershey's kiss.
Last year she made 70 pairs of slippers from a stock of yarn her son bought her.
"I make hats all the time," Hoggan said, "every size and color. I make dish rags and potato bags." (Potato bags are 10-by-10-inch padded pockets that insulate a potato in the microwave and make it come out fluffy.)
For a granddaughter on an LDS mission in Germany and another in college, she's putting together a cookbook of simple family recipes.
"She is amazing, making (her Relief Society sisters) emergency kits with first aid supplies, doing service projects for humanitarian services and everything," said her daughter, Marla Jones. "She is an inspiration to her family."
Two years ago, Hoggan made gift calendars with pictures on the pages of herself, her family and her many trips because she's quite the traveler.
After her husband died in 1983, the opportunities just came, Hoggan said. She started traveling and visiting family and friends.
She's been to Hawaii numerous times, to Europe, Alaska, New Zealand, Mexico and the Panama Canal.
"I really have been on over 20 beautiful trips," she said, "including several church history tours. I never did get down to South America yet, but it doesn't matter. I've been plenty of places."
She realizes she's been blessed with excellent health, which makes it possible to live a busy life.
"I guess I've just got good genes," she said, which is likely since her mother lived to be 105 and Hoggan has three living siblings who are 87, 92 and 95 and going strong as well. (One plays piano in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building although he's now legally blind.)
She's also careful about her lifestyle choices.
"I'm just kind (of) careful about what I eat and I sure thank my Heavenly Father for my good health," she said.