Friday, June 27, 2008

Dear Kids,
     I’m at the cabin today, and I’ve been working outside with Bentley and Emma. We’re digging a big hole for the foundation of the bunkhouse. Does anybody remember the summer of 1984, when I excavated the basement of the add-on to our house? John, you’ve gotta remember pulling the wheelbarrow up the ramp with a rope, don’t you? This is deja vu for me. Except that the hole will only be half as deep. Originally Lonnie Yeaman was going to bring his equipment and excavate for us, but last time I asked him about it he was very vague about when he might be able to come. Family vacation, and such. So, always being a digger at heart, I thought it might be fun. So far it’s going OK.
      Here’s some information about the family reunion: It will officially start Monday, the 28th of July, at the main pool at Lava Hot Springs, at 11:00 am, when the pool opens. (You can find it on google earth at 42°37'17.45" North, 112°00'53.31" West.) If anybody wants to come to Pocatello on Sunday, Vanessa will find a place for you to stay over. (Dad and I are going Friday, so we can watch the Spudman in Burley on Saturday.) We’ll be giving out food assignments, and Dad and I will provide the makings for hoagies. The pool is open until 8pm, so you can stay as long as you want. There are big grassy areas by the pool for family reunions, so we hope to stake out a good place. We’ve gotta have some fun family reunion activities, so could every family think of three “Ackerson Family” trivia questions (sample, “How did Mr. Knightly die?”) and prepare one charade from our family’s past, to act out. (Such as John trying to sell you something. You get the idea.) It should be lots of fun. I’m really excited to have our first official Ackerson family reunion.
      Monica, Lopeti Misinale said to tell you Hi. He’s a tech for the cardiologist I went to see.
      Paul is still busy and working hard in North Carolina. Last Saturday, he did 4 installs in one day.
      I’m going to start a chess club at the Harmon Home, you know, the senior citizens center at the corner of 4100 S. and 3600 West. I figure that’s more productive (community service!!) than just playing chess on the internet, and losing all the time. We’re going to start the first week in August. 1pm, on Wednesdays. (Just so it didn’t conflict with Bingo). It should be lots of fun.
      I’m looking forward to see you all soon. Love, Mom

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dear Kids,
      Dad and I are hanging out at the cabin, doing a little bit of work, mainly watching for magpies. There’s a ham hock as bait, out on the wellhead. Tom is broadcasting magpie squawks from his ipod, through speakers out the greenhouse window. The air rifle is pumped and ready to go. We’re just waiting for them to show up. I’m offering a bounty of $5.00 per magpie carcass, and I’m ready to pay. Anybody else want to come here and take a shot at them?
      It’s my second trip to the cabin this week. Wednesday I came with Grandma Allen and her sisters, and we all had a great time. On our way here, we stopped in Heber to have lunch at the Dairy Keen. Naturally I had a train burger. They all ordered shakes. Then we drove up here, and Nora and Heather were here with their kids, so I had fun going on a hike with them, while Grandma and the Aunties watched a movie. Later, the four of us grandmas went to dinner at the Gateway Grill in Kamas. Then, back here at the cabin, we sat in the greenhouse and watched birds through the binoculars. One elegant yellow fellow sat still for at least an hour, preening his feathers. We were delighted. But the next morning, when I went out to spray weeds, the same bird had three magpies after him. I think he got away, but those horrible magpies have to go. We’re ready to take them out. (Oh, there’s one out there now. He came to investigate the ham, and now he’s flying back out to the bushes on the hill.)
      Cathy was here for three days, for her friend’s wedding, but she’s flying out this evening (to another wedding.) It was fun talking to her and catching up on her life.
      Paul’s job is going really well. Last time I talked to him, he had done 15 installs for the week. But the end of June, they’re packing up their whole office and moving to Fayetteville (North Carolina.) Sort of like when the missionaries have worked over an area completely, and move on. Apex security does that, too. Go, Paul!
      I heard a rumor that John was selected as young optometrist of the year, but I googled ackerson and young and optometrist, and I didn’t find anything. Dad was the one who talked to him. I’ll have to find out more.
      I have a new church calling, as a result of our 4-ward shakeup. I’m 2nd counselor in the Relief Society, and Marie Searle is president. We’re going to have lots of fun! And I’m being released as ward organist, after four years. I’m not crying one bit. Our chapel got a new organ, and I hate it. I haven’t been able to make it sound good, no matter how many settings I’ve tried. So I’m glad to move on.
      Our family reunion is coming up next month, and I’ll write what I know next week. Lots of love, Mom

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dear Kids,
      Yesterday morning it was snowing in the mountains, but I think today it’s finally spring. I’ve been planting our garden here a little, and there a little, and I needed some more seeds for bush beans. Funny, our Walmart didn’t have any. Or the Walmart in Orem, where I took Grandma and Grandpa today. So I asked the garden guy, “Where are your seeds?” He said, “Oh, they’ve been recalled.” I said, “You mean they were bad??” and he said, “No, it’s seasonal. They’ve all been sent back.” So, planting season is over? Hey, this it Utah. Springtime in the Rockies. The pioneers planted corn on the 24th of July, when they first came into the valley. Lucky they didn’t have to get their seeds at Walmart.
      On Sunday, we met with our new ward for the first time. It was lots of fun. All those people in our neighborhood that used to be in 16th Ward . . . they all came trooping in, and there was lots of hugging and back-slapping. We were introducing each other in Relief Society, and I found a new-snowboarding friend! (Peggy Hall) She said she needs help with her heelside turns. I’m delighted. We had no Relief Society president, but two second counselors (Marie Searle is one!) and a secretary. There are lots of piano players! In young women, they had 14 new girls come in. (I think they were down to about 4, before). So overall, its’ going to be very good. I know they have at least one good organist (LaRene Carlson,) and they’ll need her, because I think my time is about up. Our chapel got a new organ, and it makes some electronic buzzing noise that drives me insane. Brian Parker said maybe it can be fixed. If not, somebody else will be playing it, not me.
      What’s this Triathalon frenzy that’s hitting our family? Nora is planning to do the “Jordanelle Triathalon” on August 23rd. Anybody heard of that one? They swim half a mile in the Jordanelle Reservior, ride bikes up the hill to Kamas and back, and then run around the Rock Creek State Park. Dad and I have seen the bicyclers in Kamas, in past years. They rope off the whole town. (Doesn’t take much rope.) I never knew it was part of a Triathalon.
      For Fathers Day, this coming Sunday, Dad and I will be mostly home, except for a couple of hours at Nora’s house for dinner. So if you want to call Dad or come by, you’ll know where to find us. With Fathers Day coming right after his birthday, it’s always a challenge, but I just bought him a new bike lock. I think there’s no end to biking gear. Richard calls it “the vortex.” It sucks you in. (But not me. I’m a bare bones cyclist. Probably bare skinned, if I hit the ground one of these days.)
      I love you all! What a family we have! Mom

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Dear Kids,
      They reorganized our 4-ward area into 3 wards, and the boundaries were exactly what we predicted. The old neighborhood (Ricketts, McGettigans, Kilburns, etc.) was sliced off and added to 8th Ward. The other side of our neighborhood, which used to be part of 16th ward, was added on to us. 16th Ward was dissolved, and everything on the other side of Bangerter is now 6th Ward. Chick Little is now bishop of 8th Ward, and Mike Higginson, who was bishop of 16th Ward, is now bishop of 6th Ward. Our bishop is Ken Wilde. 8th Ward goes to the Lighthouse church, so we won’t even see McGettigans in the hall any more. Dad and I will have to make lots of bike rides down to that neighborhood to visit our good old friends. Jana McGettgan called yesterday, and I didn’t recognize her voice right away, because the microwave was running. She said, “You forgot me already?”
      Last Saturday, Monica did the Deuces Wild Triathlon in Show Low, Arizona. It’s just a stone’s throw from Snowflake, where Grandpa Allen’s grandparents met and fell in love. In fact, lots of our ancestors lived in that area. You guys probably have lots of third and fourth cousins there. Well, anyway . . . . the Deuces Wild Triathlon advertises a swim in “beautiful Fool Hollow Lake, surrounded by fresh mountain air and Ponderosa pines.” In reality, the lake has so much algae, according to Monica, that you wouldn’t want to put your face in the water. She mostly swam the butterfly. Then there’s the bike ride: “Hop on your bike for a one-loop ride around the outskirts of Show Low.” There was so much mud, Monica says, that her tires were lugged down. Then, the website says, “Finish with a run through the pines.” Monica said she was grateful just to finish. Period. I guess there were lots of hard-core triathlon nuts there who loved the challenge. Monica loved when it was over. Go, Monica!
      I spent Tuesday and part of Wednesday at the cabin, working mostly on outside projects. Of course it rained. The place is so green, it looks like Ireland! Donna and I have about 150 pots of wildflowers to plant. So, besides being green, there could be a riot of color, too.
      I’m fixing Sunday dinner this coming Sunday, June 8th. We’ll eat at 4:30 pm, or thereabouts. Let me know if you’re coming!
      Lots of Love, Mom