Thursday, June 22, 2006

Dear Kids,
      When I wrote last week, I was going to be picking up the Russians at the airport that night. And I did. I stood where the passengers come out, holding a sign that said “Ulugbek Palvanov,” just like a scene from a movie. But I knew I would recognize them, because who could overlook two Russians? Ulugbek is very Mongolian-looking, with long black curls, dark skin, and big white teeth. Stasi, his teacher, is very European, with little round glasses. While they were getting their luggage, Ulug told me that Stasi won the Van Cliburn piano competition in 2001, and I was duly impressed. Then we waited while Stasi rented a SUV and Ulug smoked out on the sidewalk. I drove Ulug to our house, while Stasi followed later on. Ulug speaks hardly any English, but he’s fluent in Russian and German, so we spoke German. Stasi speaks Russian, English, and several other languages, so he and I spoke English. And of course Ulug and Stasi spoke to each other in Russian. So it was a 3-ring circus, with somebody always left out, nodding and pretending like they understood. The two of them slept at our house that night, and Ulug practiced on our piano the next day, but then they split and went to stay with their millionaire friend in Deer Valley. I wasn’t surprised. Then the Guest Host Director of the Bachauer called me, very upset, to find out why Ulug left. She said, “He can’t just run off to Park City! We have to know where he is all the time!” I was sorry, but these guys were grownups, after all!
      From all that, we have tickets to the Bachauer finals Thursday and Friday night, the 29th and 30th, but Nora might be having her baby one of those two days. She went in to see her doctor yesterday, and they scheduled her for the 29th, but the baby hasn’t dropped yet, so it’s sort of dependant on that. I’m sure she’ll keep everybody posted.
      I called Sharon on the 21st to wish her a happy birthday, and they were in the middle of packing and moving. They painted the week before, and they were pretty excited to get their stuff moved in. Besides, they had a deadline to get out of their apartment–it was that night. I’m sure they made it. Dad and I are going to be visiting them the week of July 16-23. I’m excited to see Michigan, Charlie, the townhouse, and of course, Sharon and Seth. We’re also planning to go to Buffalo, New York, to visit Amber and Cathy, if that works out.
      Paul has settled in at the T-shirt shop at Jackson Lake Lodge. He called Friday night with a list of things he needed, and since Dave Michelson was in Ogden for the weekend, and Nora and James were going up there for Fathers Day, I was able to send everything with them. (Only problem was, I was packing a duffle bag with Paul’s stuff, but when I put in his big size 14 Rockport mission shoes, I wasn’t sure I could fit in anything else. It worked, though.)
      Monica called on Fathers Day, and said it was 107 in Tucson. They only have a swamp cooler, so Ramona was stretched out very long, trying to keep cool. Monica might have her shaved again. Monica and Neal are going to move into a house that Neal’s parents are buying there in Tucson, but it’s too old for central air, so even there, they’ll still be using a swamp cooler. But the great thing about a place like Tucson, if you can make it through the summer, the weather is so fabulous the rest of the year.
      Grandma Allen had surgery for gallstones on Tuesday, but I need to call and find out if everything went OK. I’m sure it did, or we would have heard. I was at the cabin for two days, so my brain tuned out of everything.
      I love you all! Mom