Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Dear Kids,
      Some things never change. Remember how frantic I used to be, just before Halloween, sewing costumes? Well, Nora has decided that Addie needs to be Little Miss Muffett, (never mind that there are two other costumes in the closet she could wear) and Nora is hurrying to finish a little yellow gingham dress and white pinafore. Nora thinks it would be just so cute for Addie to be Miss Muffett, and Ben can be the spider. That fits perfectly, because I have a spider costume, and because Ben lives to torment Addie. When they came here yesterday, I noticed that Addie had a black eye. “Oh”, Nora said, “Ben hit her with a softball.” Of course. Other news about Nora and James: (Oh, not that news) Their plans to go on a cruise keep getting blown off. By hurricanes. The first cruise they booked, they were supposed to leave from New Orleans, and we all know what happened there. So they re-booked, for Cancun. So of course it was hit by Hurricane Wilma. It’s not exactly clear what happened to their hotel, maybe it’s OK, but probably not. So now they’re planning to re-book for February, when the hurricane season is definitely over.
      Sharon reports that Charlie has taken four steps. Of course she wasn’t looking–it was at church, and some other mothers saw him take off. That’s always how it goes. Sharon also reports that Seth has been called to work with the cub scouts. Perfect fit! I hope they’re all normal–no psycho cases. Seth ought to have a lot of fun. Dad is finishing his third year with the Webelos, and he likes it more all the time. He was buying up popsicle sticks and construction paper and other supplies, using them for craft projects, but Grandma told me to just have him look in “Oriental Trader,” where you buy the kits. Great idea! Nora says she looks in Oriental Trader to get ideas for preschool crafts, but she buys the stuff at WalMart.
      Grandpa Allen has started having a lot of pain in his hip, not the one he had “done” 8 years ago, but the other one. He has had to resign from the temple, hopefully temporarily, and he has an appointment to see the orthopedic doctor tomorrow. We’re guessing he’ll have surgery. Bonnie is planning to take a leave of absence from her teaching job to help take care of him, and Grandma, too. We need to remember them both in our prayers. Grandma has a lot of pain in the knee that she’s had “fixed” twice, and she was hoping that a bone scan would show what the problem was, but it didn’t help. Could it be that both of them are just wearing out? No, never! I’m voting for them to be translated, like the 3 Nephites, but they can just keep living in Orem and we can keep visiting them.
      I reported a few weeks ago that our church grounds had been scraped bare of grass. They dug out lots of dirt, too. Now they’ve finished a spectacular new landscaping job, that’s supposed to be a showcase of water-wise plants. I like the plants a lot, but there’s also lots of bark and rocks, and you know what kids do with both of those things. In fact, there’s a whole fake dry-stream bed across the front of the church property, made of fist-sized rocks. It’s just begging for kids to run back and forth in it, and the rocks are just the right size to throw. And the bark is already migrating into the rocks. But we’re hoping for the best. Right now, it still looks pretty good.
      Because gas is expensive, and because we’ve had such beautiful fall weather, I’ve taken out Paul’s bike and now I go somewhere every day, like the library, or the grocery store, or yesterday, I rode all the way to Valley Fair Mall. I’m discovering our town is not very bike friendly. There wasn’t a single place at the mall where I could chain up the bike! The library has a bike rack, but it’s broken. And hardly any streets have bike lanes. On 41st South, I ride on the sidewalk, when I have to go that way. Usually I look at Google Earth and plan out my route so I’m going through neighborhoods. It’s lots of fun. Dad is concerned that I don’t wear a helmet, but I’m not racing down mountain roads on asphalt! Just leisurely cruising through neighborhoods doesn’t seem very dangerous. I asked him if I needed to wear spandex, too, and he said that would be great. I can just see it, a 58-year-old grandmother in spandex, riding down the road. As far as saving gas, it wouldn’t cost much to drive to the places I bike to, but it’s all in your frame of mind. When I’m all sweaty from a bike ride, I’m not in the mood to start up the car to go anywhere!
      I hope you’re all well and happy. Paul, you’re the greatest! I hope those Victoria people appreciate you!! I hope some of your investigators will come through.
      Lots of love, Mom