Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Dear Kids,
      There’s frost on the ground this morning. Xena is fervently chomping on the cat food, bulking up for winter. Our furnace is cranking out heat. Where did the summer go?
      Well, at least it was warm for conference weekend. Saturday afternoon we were sitting outside by the swings, watching the kids play, and it was positively hot! By the way, it was great to see so many of you there, especially Vanessa and her kids, who had to come so far, and Tom’s family. We ate a lot of food and had a lot of fun. Sunday morning, Vanessa and Nora and Tom and I hiked the big loop. Tom’s gps showed that it was 5.3 miles, from the front of the cabin, back to the same spot. I’m glad to finally know. I figured it was between five and six miles, but I always wondered. Other highlights of the weekend, besides conference, of course, were campfires both nights and lots of trips on the Yerf Dog. Saturday night, I babysat six kids while the guys went to the priesthood session of conference, and the girls went shopping. It was just like doing nursery, only I didn’t have to give a lesson. I put on Bentley’s new copy of “Trucks and Big Machines,” and the boys sat fascinated for at least some of the time. After they watched the fire episode, I happened to be starting a fire out in the pit. So they kept running into the greenhouse to watch, screaming “the house is on fire!!” and then they ran back to the TV again. That was mostly Bentley, Sterling, and Jacob. Ben sort of trailed along behind them. Aaron did his own thing. Julie was pretty fed up with the whole business. She complained to me that she didn’t have anybody to play with, and I agreed that her life was difficult.
      That night, Monica called, and we happened to be at my mission reunion, but things were winding up by then. Dad, of course, was still talking to people who had stuck around, but I had a good chat with Monica. She now has two jobs, a day job in her own field (hooray!) at a food lab, where she tests gum resins, I think she said. Nights she earns more money, at Flemings, a high-end restaurant. The downside is that Ramona is now the latch-key child of a working mom, and she isn’t taking it very well. She peed on Monica, and then, while Monica was screaming at her, she pooped on the floor. Bad Ramona! Well, she was just showing her opinion of Monica’s new schedule. Good thing she couldn’t talk! Grandma Allen once said, “If cats could talk, none of us would have them.”
      Hey, Paul, I hope things are going well for you in Victoria. Have you met any Smiths? They’re all inlaws of Jim Cope, one of my old mission friends. He said to have you watch out for them. Their father was the stake patriarch, and he just recently died. I think there are about 10 brothers and sisters, probably about my age. One family lives on Mann Ave., by the Church. If you run into any of them, tell them your mom is an old friend of Jim Cope. Maybe they’ll feed you, if it doesn’t happen to be “prime time.”
      Last night we went to the wedding reception for Matt Bunkall and Jenny Anderson. Of course there were a million people in line. We were right behind Nichole Archibald and her husband. Nichole’s mom, Cheryl, who knows everybody in the world (she used to come into the dairy a lot, I remember,) was also in and out of the line. She reminded me that Nichole had once gone to a dance with Tom. I said, “Yeah, and the bride did, too.” Tom, you really got around.
      I’m on my way down to Orem to take Grandma to have a bone scan. She’s had nothing but trouble with her knee, and after two “replacements,” it hurts just as much as ever. She’s trying out a new doctor, and he had obviously decided she needs the bone scan. I remember when I was having all my neck trouble, 5 years ago, it was finally a bone scan that showed where the problem was. So I’m hoping she’s just as lucky.
      I’m doin’ great and lovin’ it. Hope you all are, too.
      Love, Mom