Sunday, June 4, 2023

 Dear Kids,

Adelaide is coming home on Thursday.  Yes, this Thursday!  Her plane lands at the Salt Lake Airport at 8 pm, coming from Atlanta.  Everybody is welcome to come to the airport.  Dad and I won’t be there, since I’ll be having a bad chemo day, but we’ll see her next Sunday.  Her homecoming will be at noon in Nora’s church, which we’re all familiar with.  The after-party will be at Nora’s, of course.  You can call her for a food assignment.  And since book club was going to be this coming Sunday, we’re pushing it back to the 18th, Fathers Day. (It’s funny, our last book club was on Mothers Day.)  As you all know, we’re reading Superfudge.  It’s hysterical.

And our gravel-raking party will be this Saturday at 9 am at the cabin.  Bring your rakes and your muscles.  Lunch will be at the Food Town Deli, paid for by Dad.  If there’s any problem getting the gravel, I’ll let you all know in time.  If you have any questions, text me.  I assume everything will go OK.

Jana McGettigan passed away on Memorial Day.  We had visited her nine days earlier, and I had no idea she was getting that close.  She seemed comfortable and alert, so things must have moved fast at the end.  I’ll have to ask Glenn about it.  The funeral is this Tuesday at their stake center in Lehi.  Jana and I had been friends for 28 years, and she knew all you kids, so this is a big loss for us.  I had been hoping she could make at least one more trip to our house, and that we could go down to the Provo River and I could watch her take pictures.  After all those years she had cancer (22) I still can’t believe it finally happened.

Dad and I had eye exams at John’s office on Wednesday.  Aaron did a scan of my eyes, and Jacob took our orders for lenses.  Heather was there, supervising the office, and John did our exams, of course.  The office is truly ACKERSON eye care.  Next thing you know Aubrey will be in there helping out, although last I heard she was happy with her job at the UPS store.

Super Sunday for June will be on the 25th, three weeks from today, and Paul will be in charge.  There will be more info when it gets closer.

Our lives are busy but good.  We love you all!  Mom

Sunday, May 28, 2023


Dear Kids,

I guess you all got the message that Super Sunday has been changed to Super Monday, because of Memorial Day.  It’s a tradition, of course–the Memorial Day barbecue at the cabin.  It’s been 22 years since our first one.  We’ll be eating at one pm, and Donna assures me that all the food has been assigned out.  So we’ll see you there!  The bridge still hasn’t washed out, thanks to the cooler weather we’ve had this week.  

But the water could still rise.  Donna is ordering the gravel for our gravel raking party on June 10; four dumptrucks full!  If the bridge gets dangerous before that time, she can always cancel it, and we’ll get the word out.  But otherwise, bring your muscles and your rakes and meet us at the cabin at 9 am on Saturday, the 10th.  Lunch will be at the Kamas Food Town deli, and you can choose whatever you want to eat.  Dad will pay the bill.  The food town deli has become my kitchen maid of choice since I’m not as robust as I used to be.  It works.

The day after our gravel party, Sunday the 11th, will be book club at our house.  We’re reading Superfudge by Judy Blume.  I read it in a couple of hours when I was trying to make myself read Siddhartha by the German author Herman Hesse.  Both books had come into the library in 2018.  Siddhartha was still pristine, but Superfudge was crinkled, bent, and worn out.  So we know who the more interesting author is!

I just finished a chemo week and it wasn’t any fun, but I’m feeling better now.  And I’m grateful that it’s lengthening my life.  I’m learning that not every moment of every day has to be devoted to something useful and constructive.  Sometimes I just sit and meditate, and my life is better for it.

Sonia is loving the warm spring weather.  She prefers going out at 3 am every morning, so if I’m not awake, she breathes on my face.  Then she tickles my face with her whiskers.  So I get up and put her out.  I got some free cans of tuna from the senior center food bank in Heber, and Dad decided to offer her some.  What a difference!  She totally gobbled it, instead of just daintily nibbling, like she does with regular canned cat food.  She licked her plate so clean that I could have put it back in the cupboard.  (But I didn’t.)  Obviously we need to feed her tuna now. 

Life is good!  I appreciate all of you so much!  Keep praying for me!

Love, Mom

Sunday, May 21, 2023

 Dear Kids,

I’m guessing I’ll see most of you at Ben’s missionary farewell today.  The sacrament meeting starts at noon in Nora’s church.  (The one you pass just before you turn up Old Haul Road.)  Lunch will probably be about 2:30.  I can see from Nora’s text thread that most of you have signed up to bring parts of the CafĂ© Rio lunch.

Next week will be Super Sunday, and Donna’s in charge.  We usually meet at 4pm, and Donna will send out a text telling us where it’ll be.  It’s always fun, and we’ve still never had a Sunday where we had all salads, or all desserts, or all of anything, for that matter.  Our next book club will be June 11, and we’re reading Superfudge.  I’m pretty sure it’s a sequel to Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, which we read several months ago.  Superfudge is our fifteenth book, since we started book club.  

Speaking of books, most of you know I’m really active on Goodreads.  For several years I’ve had the goal of hitting 1,000 book reviews, and I’m getting really close now–I’m only seven books away.  I’m trying to decide what my reward should be.  Any ideas?

I hope you’re all getting in shape for the gravel-raking party at the cabin on Saturday, June 10.  Remember that everybody who works gets treated to lunch by Dad and me.  You don’t even have to be part of our family to come.  If you’re reading this, you’re invited.  If you can round up a rake and bring it, so much the better.

The Provo River keeps rising, and it’s supposed to top out the middle of next week.  We still don’t know if the bridge to the cabin will be covered.  If so, nobody will be allowed to drive across.  It’s all very exciting.  I’m glad we don’t live over there full-time now.  Yesterday I went hiking at the Jordanelle, and the whole delta leading into the reservoir is covered with rivers and streams.  Farther up the canyon, lots of the pastures are flooded.  Poor cows!  Most of them have been moved to other places.  Even at the cabin, the ground is totally saturated.  You can’t hike up the hill without getting your feet muddy.

Monday morning I start chemo again.  I’ve had a really good break, so I’m OK with it.  Please keep praying for me!

Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, May 14, 2023

 Dear Kids, 

Happy Mothers Day to all you beautiful daughters and daughters-in-law and honorary daughters of mine!  I hope you all have a wonderful day.  I really appreciate the tremendous job you’re doing raising your families, and I can tell you there isn’t anything more satisfying you will ever do.  My greatest happiness comes from you children and grandchildren and any others I might get a chance to be a mother to.

Book club is today at 5 pm, here at our house, and we’re discussing Socks by Beverly Cleary.  I was going to make some cat-shaped cookies for dessert, but my kitty cat cookie cutter was so tiny I decided to make a BT cake instead.  I can’t even remember that last time I baked a cake.  I was inspired by Andy’s birthday this week–he said Renae made him a BT cake, and that got me going on the idea.

Next Sunday is Ben Mair’s farewell.  The meeting starts at noon at Nora’s church, and the after-party is at her house.  You can call her for a food assignment.  The Sunday after that, the 21st, is Super Sunday at Donna’s house, or wherever Donna decides to have it.  I’ll have more information in my letter next week.

The gravel-spreading cabin work party will be June 10, starting at 9am.  Bring any rakes you may have at home, because I don’t have enough.  Donna’s arranging for the gravel to be dumped (4 truckloads full!) on the driveway and parking lot, and hopefully we won’t have to be raking it too far.  Lunch will be provided by Dad and me at the Kamas Food Town deli, whatever you want to eat.  We’ll foot the bill.  If you aren’t part of the Ackerson family but you want to come and help us anyway, you’re more than welcome.  

I have one more week of feeling good before I start chemo again.  I went hiking on the Jordanelle Trail two or three times, but I was eager for a little bit more, so Dad and I drove up Highway 35 ( Wolf Creek canyon) yesterday.  We didn’t get very far.  There’s a trailhead called Nobletts at milepost 12, but beyond that the road’s still closed.  We hiked about 100 yards on the Nobletts trail until we were stopped by a snowbank and a mini lake.  Still, it was fun getting out. 

The Provo River runs alongside Highway 35, and it was fun seeing the water so high.  Hopefully our weather will stay cool so it won’t get any higher.  Our cabin neighbors who are full-time are being advised to have 3 days’ worth of food and fuel and water, in case there’s trouble with the bridge.  That rickety-looking bridge has been a worry for the last 20 years.

Luckily my life is relatively free of worry.  I love you all!  Mom

Sunday, May 7, 2023

 Dear Kids,

We had the wonderful experience of going to the temple with Ben yesterday.  It was nice seeing so many of you there!  It was the Bountiful temple, and it’s been a very long time since Dad and I had been there.  John met us in the parking lot, and I was remembering back to 1995 when he and Heather were married.  So many good memories!

And Scout never did come home.  We miss him terribly.  Sonia’s getting used to being the only cat now, and I think she likes it.  Dad and I are still very sad.

A week from today is book club, here at out house, at 5 pm.  We’re reading Socks by Beverly Cleary.  I know I mention book club every week, but it’s that important to me.  And I think it’s wonderful that so many of you are reading together at home.  More and more evidence is showing that families who read together accomplish amazing things.

Two weeks from today is Ben’s farewell in Nora’s ward at noon.  The after-party will be at her house, and you can call her for a food assignment.  Ben actually starts his mission a few days before that, but since he’s not leaving town (at least not yet) his farewell can be any time.  I’m sure it will be a great event.  And then, the week after that is Super Sunday at Donna’s.  I don’t know yet if we’ll meet at her house or in a park.  Does anybody think our family gets together too often?  I don’t.  I’m just glad that so many of you live close enough that we can see each other a lot.

On Friday afternoon Dad and I drove to Lehi to visit Jana McGettigan.  She’s been fighting off her cancer for 22 years, but now it’s settled in her brain, so her time is short.  (Weeks, they told her.)  We’ve been friends for almost 30 years, and I’m going to miss her terribly, but I know where she’s going, and it will be wonderful for her.  We’re going to try to see her again in a couple of weeks, depending on how fast things move.  Ah, mortality!  Why do we have to be separated.  (Even though it’s only temporary.)

We’re planning a cabin work party some Saturday in June to spread gravel on the driveway and parking lot.  I’ll give you more details when it gets closer.  If a lot of us work together, it probably won’t take very long.  And everybody who works gets treated to lunch by us at the Kamas Food Town deli.

Summer is coming on fast.  I love it.  Mom

Sunday, April 30, 2023

 Dear Kids,

Jacob is home again!  He injured his back in Alabama, helping somebody move a refrigerator, and they’ve tried the cheap and easy stuff already.  Now the Church has sent him home so John’s insurance can pay for the more expensive treatments.  Jacob has a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday, and he’ll be having a MRI.  John doesn’t know if he’ll need surgery or not.  I’ll keep you posted.  

And Scout has gone missing!  We’re absolutely devastated.  He was such a fine cat, even though he was an outside fellow.  We haven’t seen him since Monday morning, so we’ve pretty well given up hope.  It’s the same time of year that Oreo went missing all those years ago, the time when foxes and other predators are out stretching their legs and looking for fresh meat.  There are also great horned owls and hawks, both with 4' wingspans.  I was down at the Rock Cliff nature center yesterday, reading how those birds prey on skunks.  If they could pick up a skunk, they could grab Scout, even though he is (or was) pretty hefty.  Anyway, we still have a tiny bit of hope that he might come back, but it isn’t looking good.

Our next family event is book club on the 14th, Mothers Day.  We’re reading Socks by Beverly Cleary.  I’ll be in charge of the discussion, and I already have some good questions ready.  Here’s a preview question: “When Socks was being sold, how much did the kittens cost?”

There, now everybody will know the answer to at least one question.  

Then, the Sunday after that, May 21, will be Ben’s farewell.  I think the meeting starts at noon.  I’ll have more information when it gets closer.  The afterparty will be at Nora’s, of course.  We’ve sure been meeting there are lot lately!  What a great party house Nora has!  By the way, for those of you who missed seeing Vanessa’s pictures of Nepal, it was quite a show!  I have lots of admiration for Vanessa and her toughness, being able to hike at 17,000 feet.  I asked her if she would consider going back there, and she said she might.  Go, Vanessa!

One more event for May will be Super Sunday on May 28 at Donna’s.  (We’re skipping today because of the get-together last week.)  When it gets closer Donna can tell us where we’re going to meet.  It should be nice weather by then.  Maybe we can go back to that great park in Midway where we’ve met before.  

So many events!  So much fun!  I love you all!  Mom

Sunday, April 23, 2023

 Dear Kids,

Congratulations to Sarah for her call to the Santiago Chile North mission!  She will be leaving September 4.  We’re really excited for her and know that she will have a wonderful experience.  Sterling will definitely be coming home July 17, so their family will be together for a little while, at least.

We’re looking forward to the get-together at Nora’s this afternoon at 2:30.  It looks like it has turned into a Super Sunday, so Donna will be in charge the last Sunday of May.  Anyway, Vanessa will be showing her scenes from Tibet on Nora’s big screen downstairs, and she’ll narrate a travelogue too.  We’ll all wish we could go to Nepal!  Vanessa told me she has wanted to go ever since cousin Marla used to talk about hiking in the Himalayas with her Sherpa guides. We’ll probably see pictures of Vanessa’s Sherpa guides.  Anyway, be there or be square, today at 2:30.

Another change is that Ben’s farewell has been changed from May 14 to May 21.  That way it won’t fall on Mothers Day.  So that means we’ll be having book club on the 14th.  We’re reading Socks by Beverly Cleary, and it’s short and fun.  I’ve read it a couple of time already, but I’ll be going through it one more time to find some good questions to ask.  Naturally I’ll be throwing out some kind of candy–something connected with cats.  Our book clubs have sure been fun!  We all enjoyed Donna’s Navajo fry bread last week.  Our kitchen smelled like a hogan for a couple of days after that.

Our snow has nearly all melted.  Most days are pretty cold, and it snows now and then, but not the kind that sticks on the ground.  The cats are enjoying the taste of spring and they feel adventurous.  Scout has been out scouting for mice, and Sonia is hoping to find some small grasshoppers, but she’ll have to wait a while.  Meanwhile, she takes care of the spiders and flies that get into the house.  

I hope to see most of you this afternoon!  Lots of love, Mom