Thursday, November 10, 2005

Dear Kids,
     Things are quiet here. But not in Cancun, where Nora and James went after all. (It turned out not to be a cruise, just a vacation.) And not in Heber, where John’s family is tending Addie. And not in Pocatello, where Vanessa is tending Ben. I talked to Vanessa on the phone this morning, and she said it’s been going OK. They were having such nice weather, she decided to take all three kids for a walk up a little canyon, with Sterling and Ben in the stroller, and Sarah in the backpack. But Vanessa only got about 200 yards when she started to feel lightheaded. (Or maybe it was from the chlorine she’d inhaled swimming that morning.) Anyway, her walk was short. Tomorrow she’s bringing Ben here to our house, and we’ll have him until Saturday night, when Nora and James come home.
      Donna is up to her ears in school work and projects. People tell her that the first year of landscape architecture is the hardest, and then her senior year will be easy. Let’s hope so. Right now she’s frantically trying to get things done. She’s also looking for a summer job in Utah Valley, hopefully in her field, and luckily, there’s a kid in her program who’s brother-in-law is the owner of a garden shop in American Fork, which Donna had already been interested in. That would be a great internship for her. Already, I’m asking her what shrubs to plant around the cabin. Ordinary people like me always need advice like that.
      Last week I reported on Grandpa Allen’s surgery. About a day and a half after the operation, he started hallucinating like crazy–Crazy as in: the ceiling coming down to crush him, men walking down a spiral staircase into his room, with black trenchcoats and hats, with a plot to kidnap him, and lots more. People who were there say he was also swearing and flirting with the nurses and singing old army songs. He thought Charley’s cell phone was amazing. Anyway, there’s a whole description of what Mark (my brother) thinks happened on, under “other family letters.” Now he’s home, and doing OK. Bonnie has taken a break from her teaching job and comes every morning to help them, and there are other people, like physical therapists, home health nurses, and the like, who come and help, too.
      Monica reports that things are going OK at “Gum Tech,” her day job. She said it’s a lot like “Office Space.” And also her restaurant job, where she makes the real money. Her scooter has arrived, and it’s in a warehouse–she was just waiting for a break in her schedule so she could go pick it up. Go, Monica. We want pictures of you on the scooter!
      Paul, your letters are the best! I especially like the missionary cartoons on the back. I wish I could send them around to everybody!
      Sharon’s Relief Society is planning a big pre-Christmas extravaganza, and she called me to find out the recipe for my oatmeal muffins. I told her, just use jiffy mixes. They’re easy, and they taste good. She said sure, she could just see herself e-mailing the recipe to the Relief Society president: 1 box jiffy mix, 1 c. water. But I think any Relief Society that makes extra work for people needs to lighten up. Just my own opinion. Oh, by the way, Sharon, thanks for the cute pictures of Charlie! I’m enclosing them in everybody’s letters.
      Gotta go! I love you all! Mom