Thursday, June 2, 2005

Dear Kids,
      Xena just came to the patio door with a big dead bird in her mouth. The feet were stiff, so she might have found it dead already. Who knows? Now that Dad and I have finished our travels and adventures, the cats and birds are my main entertainment.
      Birds? Actually, it’s just “bird,” now. No, there were no deaths in the family. While Dad and I were gone to the East, I asked Barbutos to tend Peep and Scooter. When I called them from New York, they said they were really enjoying the birds, and wanted to get one for Corban. I told them they could have 2, if they wanted. I seriously meant it, and they took me up on it. Peep and Scooter never came home. But I discovered that I really missed those bird sounds, and having somebody to talk to while I do laundry. (Pathetic!) So I easily convinced Nora to give us Reggie (aka Arius/Kirby) back. So now he’s right back where he started from, shrieking up a storm. I forgot that he was so loud. Oh, well, I’m not lonesome in the laundry room.
      Our trip to the East was lots of fun. Cathy’s graduation at Darden (Univ. Of Virginia) was very impressive. Amber, Jessie, and Boyd came. We sat outside, and the sun beat down on us, but fortunately, John Frederick had convinced us to buy straw hats at Walmart, so we were fine. Afterwards there was a fabulous luncheon, distrubuted in Darden gift bags, with pasta, chicken, fruit, cheese, cake, and a roll. There was free pop in big coolers. They really know how to spend money there. Cathy’s only $50,000 in debt from her tuition. I guess some of it paid for our lunch.
      Then we went to a hillbilly barbecue somewhere on the back roads of Virginia. It was put on by some of Ginni’s relatives. She was staying there. They had a pond where they shot catfish so they could fry them. The food was great. That was Sunday. On Monday morning, we rented a car and drove to New York, where we saw all the usual things: Statue of Liberty, top of the Empire state building, Central Park, Manhattan temple, Washington Square, and the Trade Towers site. We had parked the car for the day in an underground lot, and we took the subway all over. But after one day, I’d had enough sightseeing. The next day we drove to Boston, where we hung out for 3 days with Jane and Joe. And their two big fat cats, Allen and Lillywhite, who both have big paws. One day we went to Wachusett Mountain, the highest ski resort in Massachusetts. It’s 2,006 ft. at the summit. And 1,000 feet at the base. We walked to the top, but you can also drive. Jane, Dad, and I also went to a session in the Boston temple, where we were the only patrons. Just like D.C. and San Diego. President Hinckley was right. Outside of Utah, temples don’t get used that much.
      I was glad to come home on Sunday, but I think Dad could have traveled forever. I was excited about the party we had planned for Sunday night, at the cabin. He knew nothing about his presents. Paul, you’re probably the only person in the family who wasn’t in on the secret. We got him a Yerf Dog go-kart. (Model 3206, if you look for it online.) He honestly had no clue. As we pulled into the cabin driveway, the garage door opened and Tom came out driving the go-cart. Dad was speechless. He didn’t say, “Oh, wow.” He didn’t even reach for the camera. He got in the cart and gave everybody rides. So it was lots of fun. The next day, he changed the oil and did a front-end alignment. It will keep him occupied for hours, when we go to the cabin. John also gave him DVD’s of the first season of Star Trek. That kept us all occupied the next day, when it rained. Except I went nuts from hearing that Star Trek theme song so many times.
      Some of you have said that your former roommates missed reading the Mom letter. So I’m going to turn it into a blog, on Tom’s going to set up a link, so I can upload my family letter every week. Maybe I’ll get famous.
      I love you all! Mom