Sunday, September 25, 2016

Dear Kids,
          John just bought a truck with an 8-foot bed, a v-8 engine, and a tow hitch. It can pull twice the weight of his pop-up trailer. Why is this big news for the rest of you? Because Dad and I paid part of the cost of the truck, so that each of you can have the privilege of borrowing it when you need it. So now there’s a "family truck," which John has been urging for a long time. He owns it and will maintain it, but feel free to borrow it whenever you need to. It will be a great boon to our family.
         Conference weekend is practically upon us! Next Saturday night I'll be hosting the soup dinner at our house at 5:00, and then all the men who want to can go to the Priesthood session with Dad at our church. The ladies and girls can hang out here. Afterwards, we’ll have ice cream here. Anybody who wants to sleep over at our house or at the cabin is welcome. Sunday, at noon, Nora and Kim will be in charge of the CafĂ© Rio dinner at the cabin. I’m sure they’ll appreciate any help you can offer. Everyone who wants to watch conference can do that at the cabin, or here at our house. There are so many of us now, I can’t keep track of everyone’s plans, but there’s plenty of room in both places, and there will be plenty of food.
         Dad and Al have officially planned their Hawaii trip! Al booked it through Columbus travel, and they got a very good deal. They’ll leave Salt Lake the morning of November 3, (a Thursday) and fly to Honolulu. They’ll be staying in a hi-rise hotel, and the tour package includes Pearl Harbor, the Polynesian Cultural Center (with a luau), and a north island tour. They’ll have lots of extra time, too, to tour on their own. They’ll fly home on Wednesday, November 9. They’re both very excited. I ordered Hawaiian shirts for both of them (from Amazon, of course) and they’ve agreed to wear them to the luau and post pictures on facebook. I’m sure they’ll have a wonderful time. If any of you have ideas of what I can do while they’re gone, let me know.
           Life is good! I love you all! Mom

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Dear Kids,
          Friday morning they took the bandages off my hand and put on a custom splint. So now I’m writing this letter using all 10 fingers, but I’m making a lot of mistakes and having to correct them. Still, it’s miraculous to be using my right hand again. In the meantime, I learned how to do lots of things with my left hand, but none of them very well. Like eating with my left hand. I felt like a toddler, trying to get the food to my mouth. I had to keep a towel at the side of my plate to wipe off the food that didn’t quite make it. What I missed most, and still can’t quite do: writing with a pencil or pen, using scissors and knives, and flossing my teeth. Thanks to Dad for tying my shoes, buttoning my buttons, and curling my bangs.
         Carson and Ellie are here overnight, because Allen is off on a jaunt to Island Park with his police buddies. It’s fun tending young teenagers. Ellie made cream puffs last night, using a recipe in her Betty Crocker cookbook. At the same time, I was making meatballs for dinner today, and at one point we were using all four burners on the stovetop at the same time. It all worked out, and the cream puffs were very good. She’s taking the leftovers to church today to share with her friends in Young Women here.
           My hand is hurting now, so I have to quite typing.
           Love to all, Mom

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Dear Kids,
         I’m typing this letter with my left hand, so it’s going to be short. My right hand is bandaged from the surgery I had on Tuesday. It went very well. It’s called carpal metacarpal arthroplasty, and it should take care of the pain I’ve had at the base of my thumb for more than three years now. Maybe I’ll be able to play ragtime again! Meanwhile, though, I can’t do much at all. Dad has been helping me shower, get dressed, and fix food. I’ve been sleeping nights in his recliner, with a big piece of plastic foam holding up my arm. I haven’t been anywhere except my piano classes, which I absolutely couldn’t miss, in spite of my pain and awkwardness. (In the Lighthouse class, one cute little kid saw my bandages and said, "Did you fall down AGAIN?") It’s funny that within a month I’ve had my worst tooth pain ever, my accident, my worst bronchitis ever, and now this, which has turned out to be way more painful than I expected. Thanks to all of you who have called me, visited me, and prayed for my recovery. I’m looking forward to a brand new life when all this is over with. Meanwhile, you’ve all gotta know how much I love you.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Dear Kids,
         The McGettigans are here visiting, and last night we went to the Frontier Days Rodeo. It’s just down the street from us, in the Francis park. It started with skydivers, and that alone was worth our ticket price. A tiny plane circled high overhead, and when the two men dropped out, it didn’t seem like they could land anywhere near the park, but they circled in closer and closer. One of them had smoke trailing, and another one the American flag, while the pa system blasted out "I’m Proud to be an American." They both landed in the arena, one of them exactly in the center. That was the best! Then there was bareback riding, breakaway, saddle bronc, steer wrestling, all the usual rodeo events. The wind blew hard and it got cold, and I left early and walked home. (There’s a lot to be said for living close enough to the rodeo grounds that you can walk home!) McGettigans are talking about moving here to Francis. That would be my dream! We already have four families of kids living nearby, and the McGettigans too?! I can’t imagine how wonderful life would be.
          Guess who’s going to Hawaii! Not Dad and me, but Dad and Allen! It sounded bizarre when Allen first brought it up, but then we thought it all through, and they could have a great time together, plus do all the things I can’t do: an all-night flight, tour busses (the fumes are deadly for me), evening luas, staying in high-rises, museums, Pearl Harbor (well, I could do that, but it wouldn’t be my first choice of sites); there are so many things they could enjoy doing together. Allen’s going to work out the details when he gets home from the Grand Canyon, where he’s off hiking now.
          We’ve been building our back deck, and it’s going really well, but I’m going to have my hand surgery on Tuesday, so I’ll be grounded from projects for three or four weeks after that. The deck won’t be finished, but it will be something fun to come back to when my hand heals. It won’t even hurt me to use a hammer! Life will be even better than now!
          I love you all! Mom

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Dear Kids,
         Great news! Tom and Kim are going to have another little Ackerson, due in March. That will be grandchild #33 for us, and a wonderful addition to their family. We’re very excited for them.
           Other news? Probably the second most interesting thing is the marathon Bevan ran yesterday morning. Originally, he had signed up for the High Uintas marathon, coming down from Mirror Lake to Kamas, but it was cancelled. Donna scrambled to find something else, since he was all prepped to run, and she came up with the Mid Mountain Marathon, on the same date. They start at Deer Valley, at the top of Deer Crest, and run up and down mountain trails, around the far side of Park City to the Canyons. Who knew that it’s, "like, the hardest marathon out there!" There were world-class runners. Bevan was 40th out of about 300 runners, with a time of 4:22. He only fell down once. Some of the runners had several falls, and crossed the finish line all skinned up. Dad and I waited with Donna and the kids at the finish line. It was a beautiful morning, and we enjoyed the gorgeous scenery. We were so proud of Bevan, finishing, and with such a good time.
          My face almost looks normal now–just a little dark on the left side, where it was bruised. I still have tooth pain and bronchitis. My right hand has been hurting me for a long time, (since we moved in 2013, and I used a tape gun non-stop) and I had a cortisone injection in January that helped for a while. But the joint (below my thumb) is so bad that the doctor can’t even get a needle in there any more. I’ve decided to have the surgery where they fuse the area. Sometimes it leaves you with a short-looking thumb, but I don’t care–I only want to get rid of the pain. Funny thing–the morning I had my appointment with the hand doctor, I woke up with my left thumb feeling the same pain. I didn’t think that could happen, since I’m right-handed, but the doctor said anything can happen. I’m having a hard time doing anything, with both my hands hurting, but things should get better down the road. Or maybe I’ll have to wait for the resurrection to get everything put back together again. Either way, life is very pleasant, especially with the wonderful family we have!
           Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Dear Kids,
          It was fun helping Paul and Stefanie move yesterday. They’ve gotten really good at packing and boxing, and everything was ready when we got to their house in Ogden. There was lots of help, too: James was there, and Donna and Bevan, and Stefanie’s brothers, and help from their ward. Donna and I loaded our vans and took off early for their new place in Woods Cross. I hadn’t even been sure where Woods Cross is! Now I know. They live just off Redwood Road, a couple of miles north of Missy’s house on Longleaf. It’s easy to get to, and closer to Paul’s work. Anyway, the move went really well. Dad drove the big moving van, and everybody else brought their separate cars, loaded with stuff. Later on, Nora fed us all at her house. It was great fun. Paul’s new address is: 1830 West 2280 South, Woods Cross, 84087.
           I’m recovering a little more each day from my accident. Last Sunday I didn’t have substitutes for any of the things I was lined up to do, so I went to Church. I had a little trouble playing the organ, because my left eye was swollen partly shut, and my right eye has a close-up lens. But I did OK. I had to accompany a musical number, but I knew the song really well. In Primary, all the kids wanted to know what had happened to me. One kid asked, "Did you get in a fight?" I couldn’t even start them singing until I had told them the whole story. Then they were fine with it. My face still looks pretty bruised. They say trouble comes in threes. Just before I had the accident, I’d had a root canal, and it wasn’t pleasant. It’s still bothering me. Three days after, I came down with probably the worst bronchitis I’ve ever had. My lungs are still full of snot. But every day is a little better. At least I’ve had my full "3's" of trouble, so things should be pretty good now.
         We were driving through Heber Monday, on our way to John’s office, and I saw the same display of metal animals that has captivated me before. I just wanted to stop and look at the deer. (The ones we put on our corner have become a landmark.) There was a doe lying down, and a fawn that went with her. I couldn’t resist. We’ll put them on the other side of our house. Then, at Home Depot, I saw the exact concrete blocks I want to use for our fire pit, and we had to buy them, while they were still there. Meanwhile, we’re starting on our deck. There’s no end to the projects, or the fun.
           Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Dear Kids,
         My motto used to be, "Look up, not down." That was when we first moved into our house here, and I was tired of all the dirt and rocks, so I looked up at the beautiful view. But my motto brought me grief last Wednesday, as most of you have heard. I was walking across the plaza by the West Valley Trax station, looking up and admiring all the great changes they’ve made, (it used to be a ghetto there!) when I tripped on a short curb and fell and hit my head on one of those round cement spheres that keep people from driving onto the Trax lines. I wouldn’t have attracted much notice, but my head was spurting blood, because I had nicked an artery. I was right by the police station, so there was lots of help nearby. They brought an ambulance, but I had Dad drive me to the hospital instead, where they put in a stitch to stop the bleeding and did a cat scan to be sure I didn’t have a fracture. Since then I’ve been hurting all over from the fall, and my face is a mess. (I uploaded a picture to facebook, so I would get lots of sympathy.) I had a ton of blood in my hair, which our new cat Tina was very interested in, when we got home. She sniffed all around my head, and licked in my ears, where the blood had dried. The next morning I washed it all out. Long story short: my new motto is, "Look down, not up."
          Speaking of our new cat, Tina, she’s been banished to the garage now. Dad and I were agonizing over how to do it, because she’s so delicate and aristocratic, but she bit Dad in the hand, deep enough to draw blood, and she was tossed into the garage immediately. She’s doing fine there, getting along OK with Xena, and we let her in sometimes at night, so she can walk on us in bed.
          Last Monday Richard and Jeannne came to visit us. Richard rode his bike, 60 miles, from Michael’s house in Draper, over the south mountain into Alpine, up American Fork canyon to the Alpine Loop, all the way over it to Provo Canyon, and then up through Midway and Highway 32 to our house. After he got cleaned up we all went to High Mountain Drug for lunch. He said it tasted very good! (He recognized the place from when he was a scout, coming home from the Uintahs.) We had a great visit!
           Now I’m sorry all the fun is over, the family reunions and parties and get-togethers. We’ll be helping Paul move next Saturday, so that at least is something to look forward to.
          I hope you’re all doin’ great and lovin’ it, like we are here. Lots of love, Mom