Friday, April 24, 2009

Dear Kids,
      John and Heather have come up with a great plan for our Ackerson family reunion on Saturday, August 1st. It starts that morning at the Kamas Fitness Center where we’ll go swimming. Then we’ll drive over to Park City and have a picnic lunch in the park, and reminisce about the glory days of our timeshare there. Maybe we can even go on a tour of our old favorite spots. There’s a great playground at that park now, too, which will be a lot of fun for the kids. Whoever wants to can go on the Alpine Slide or play miniature golf, or spend money on anything else fun. In the evening we can probably go to a fast food place for dinner, and then anybody who is still up for it can go to a movie together. If anybody wants to stay overnight at the cabin, that will be fine. Oh, the night before, Friday night, if you want to, some of us will be camping out in the back yard of the cabin. John says his kids would love that. We can pitch our tents facing the fire pit, like the people around King Benjamin’s tower. We could make smores. There are all kinds of fun possibilities. If any of you have comments or suggestions, please contact John or Heather.
      Paul is bringing his car home this afternoon so Dad can go over everything (while Paul studies for his finals.) Then, next Wednesday, Paul will leave from Logan. He’s planning to drive two days, stay a day with Sharon and Seth, drive another day and maybe stay overnight in Boston with Jane and Joe, and then drive on to Halifax. Do you realize, if he started in Salt Lake City and headed south, the same distance, he would end up in Panama?
      Speaking of road trips, Donna and Bevan are down in Moab having fun. On Monday, when they were getting ready to leave, their car was being repaired at Nate Wade Subaru. At the end of the day, when it was supposed to be finished, they went to hopefully pick it up and saw that their engine had been taken out. Hummm. So they got a loaner car, which they’re putting lots of miles on.
      Our bad cat Oreo has moved on to big game, as in seagulls. When I walked into the shop Monday morning, the whole room was full of feathers! (But no gore–not even a beak or feet.) I filled a whole bag with them. Some of them were up to 8 inches long. If there had been lots of black, I could have hoped it was a magpie, but the feathers were mostly grey and white. Oreo and Xena were both very smug about it, but I’m pretty sure Oreo was the perpetrator.
      Yesterday I went on a 42-mile bike ride: all the way north on the Jordan River Parkway, to where it ends, and then all the way south, and back to the middle, and home again. It took me four hours. The highest gear on my bike is broken, or maybe I could have gone faster, but then again, maybe I would have been totally exhausted. As it was, I made it just fine. If anybody wants more information about the Great Utah Ride on Labor Day weekend, let me know.
      Lots of love, Mom

Friday, April 17, 2009

Dear Kids,
      I was talking to Monica on the phone Sunday, and she reminded me that we have to nail down our plans for the Ackerson family reunion this summer. We decided on August 1, didn’t we? (It’s a Saturday). John and Heather are in charge, right? The Allen family reunion is the Saturday before that, if any of you can come. Same park, same time. But of course our own 2nd annual Ackerson reunion is the most important thing. Please let us know if any of you have a serious problem with August 1.
      Paul is still getting ready for his long drive to Nova Scotia, besides finishing his school year. Go, Paul. He was looking into career plans, and he says that he either needs a masters degree or 30 more hours of classwork to get his PE (professional engineer, I think), which everybody needs now. So he’s looking at finally finishing school in 2011. Speaking of finally finishing, the Ben Allens will be in Provo next week because Charles is finishing his masters degree, also in Civil Engineering. The Jane and Joe’s will be here, too. I talked to Joe on the phone this morning, to find out if Jamie was getting a masters degree, too. Nope. Just working. But Brendan got a BA from Framingham Community College. Joe also informed me that the “Cholly” Allens will be in Boston this weekend for the Marathon. I think he said Adrien is running it. What a gang of cousins you kids have!
      We’ve had serious winter weather the last few days. Yesterday I drove to Orem to visit Grandpa and Grandma, and there were 8 inches of new snow on the ground. They had even plowed the streets! I’m sure the mountains got a couple more feet of new snow, but the ski resorts are closed, so who cares? I’m hoping for it to warm up this afternoon so I can go for a long bike ride. It’s really addictive. You just want to hop on a bike and go. Anywhere.
      I just threw out Oreo because I’m trying to eat a bowl of cereal here, next to the computer. He’s crazy about milk, and will do anything for it. Last time I was eating cereal here, he reached up a paw and pulled the bowl over. I caught it in midair, but the milk splashed onto the carpet, and Oreo got busy licking it up. Bad Kitty! Why do we put up with him? There’s a little mouse smashed flat on the floor of the shop closet–I think Dad stepped on it a few times after it was already dead. It probably didn’t get there by itself! One of these days I’ve got to go scrape it up.
      Life is great. I love you all. Mom

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dear Kids,
      I just threw out Oreo for walking on the kitchen counter with muddy paws. He left a trail of dirty prints in the sink and on both sides. He thinks he’s king of the house, and when I put him out he flips his tail at me. Xena is always trying to get in, but she’s an outside girl now. Our brownish living room carpet the color of fresh dirt is too much of a temptation for her.
      Not much else is going on here. It seems like everybody else is off having fun. Allen and Missy and their kids are in San Diego. Nora went skiing today. Tom and Kim are in Price. I just looked at our calendar to remind myself if anything had happened here that I could write about, and this whole week has been a blank.
      Oh, yeah. Bike riding. I’m having more fun all the time. Tuesday I rode south to where the Jordan River Parkway ends, on 7th west, about 8500 South. Then I rode down 7th West (an awful, dirty, trashy area) to 90th, where the trail picks up again, along the golf course. But it doesn’t go very far. Still, by the time I rode all the way back to 39th south, and home again, it was 30 miles. And no flat tires. I have Dad to thank for the anti-thorn liners.
      I just read that Dennis Nordfelt is finally almost finished being mayor of West Valley, after seven years. Has it really been that long? And guess who’s running for his seat? I bet you’ll never guess. Never in a million years. Mike Winder! There was a picture of his smiling face in the Deseret News. I’m sure we’ll all get out and vote for him!
      Life is good! I love you all! Mom

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dear Kids,
      I visited Grandma and Grandpa in Orem today. Grandma reminded me to tell all of you that the summer family reunion will be July 25th, same park, same format as before. It’s a week earlier than we usually do it. (Probably the same week as the Spudman.) I hope at least some of you can make it.
      One person who mostly likely won’t make it will be Paul. You all know his APEX assignment changed from northern Alberta to Florida, but have you heard that it’s been changed again, to Halifax, Nova Scotia? That’s right, 3,000 miles away. 1,100 miles farther than Florida. I’m sort of hoping they’ll change their minds one more time. I’m sure Nova Scotia is a great place, and we all have soft places in our hearts for Canada, but it’s so dang far. Nevertheless, he’s rounding up his passport and checking on health care. Go, Paul!
      I found a shredded bird on the shop floor a couple of days ago. Both cats were staring at me, seeing how I would react. Donna and Bevan were here, and Donna cleaned it up. You know the poem, “. . . Soon he was a heap of plumage, and a little blood and gore–only this, and nothing more.” Well, that described the unfortunate bird. You would think two cats without claws would leave birds alone, but that makes it more of a challenge, I guess. They can both climb the back fence OK.
      Winter goes on and on, and I’ve had two more wonderful snowboarding trips since I wrote last week. On Friday I went to Brighton with Becca Davis, and on Tuesday I went with Jennifer Longhurst Halling, who won my “snowboarding lesson” at our Relief Society auction last fall. This was the first time we could get our schedules together. It was absolutely fabulous snow, and Jennifer picked it up like she’d been doing it all her life. (She’s a skiier–she met Micah while she was working at Steamboat in Colorado.) So we had a great time. Normally I would hate having snow in April, but this year it’s been great.
      Last Saturday it was still spring, (before winter came back)so I went on another long bike ride. I was just going on 25 miles, when my front tire went flat. Luckily Dad was home, and he came to pick me up. By that time my back tire was flat, too, because I had started pulling thorns out of my tires. Dad put those special anti-thorn liners in, and I’m hoping it won’t happen again. I’m planning on lots of great rides on the Jordan River Parkway. If you ride from our house over to the river, and go as far south as you can, and then as far north as you can, and home again, it’s 35 miles. That ought to get me in great shape for the Big Utah Ride.
     Like me, I hope you’re all doin’ great and lovin’ it.       Mom