Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dear Kids,
      It's Thursday afternoon, and we’re just winding up Thanksgiving here at the cabin. Allen and Missy and their kids have gone home, and Tom and Kim have also left for home with their family. Sharon called a few minutes ago and reported that they had a great time in Michigan, with two new families of friends. We’re expecting Nora and James’s family any minute (they’re spending the night) and maybe John’s family. We also had Bevan’s brother’s family last night and this morning, and Bevan’s parents for dinner. Grandpa Ray (Bevan’s grandfather, Beverly’s father) was just hovering between heaven and earth these last few days, and Beverly didn’t know what to plan on for Thanksgiving, so Donna invited them to come here. It worked out really well. Grandpa Ray died this morning, and it reminded us all how Grandma Ackerson also died on Thanksgiving day, eight years ago, while we were here at the cabin. Strange.
      After we had dinner, Missy got busy and wrote up the Christmas exchange lists. She wanted me to pass on the info. The person (or couple) on the left gives to the person (or couple) on the right. First, the grownups: Tom - John; Allen - Nora; Monica - Vanessa; Donna - Tom; Sharon - Allen; Paul - Monica: John - Donna; Nora - Sharon; Vanessa - Paul.
      And now, the kids: Julie - Addie; Jacob - Ellie; Aaron - Sarah; Aubrey - Matthew; Addie - Aubrey; Ben - Julie; Paige - Ali; Stuart - Abigail; Sterling - Stuart; Sarah - Aaron; Meg - Carson; Macie - Charlie; Bentley - Macie; Emma- Meg; Ali - Ben; Abigail- Paige; Carson - Sterling; Ellie - Bentley; Charlie - Emma; Matthew - Jacob.
      I’m still really struggling with my collar bone. Or it’s struggling with me. I had decided that it would be totally fine after eight weeks, so I went off my percocet for a couple of days, to convince myself. It didn’t work. Now I’m figuring that maybe by Christmas it will stop hurting. Or sometime down the road. It can’t hurt forever!
      Most of you have heard about my new church calling. I’m going to be the Primary chorister in the Lighthouse Branch. It’s very exciting, even though I can’t sing very well, I can’t wave my arm at all right now, and I don’t speak Spanish all that well. My new scripture study is “Canciones para los Ninos,” the Primary songbook in Spanish. I figure if I’m sort of familiar with the songs, if I learn the kids’ names, and if I bring lots of cool stuff for singing time, it’ll be fine.
      I wish we could have seen all of you today, and I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Lots of love, Mom

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dear Kids,
      Nora and James flew home from Hawaii Saturday morning, and I picked them up from the airport in a snowstorm. Talk about change! I told them that we’d had nice warm weather all week, and that it just got cold for them. I was glad for the snow, but wished there had been more in the mountains. I want it to absolutely pile up so that when my shoulder feels good again, I’ll be up there enjoying it.
      Meanwhile, I’m making slow progress. I can raise my arm about half of the way to halfway up, what is that, about 45 degrees? As soon as I can hold it out straight, I can start doing the exercises I’m supposed to do. I can now brush my teeth with my right hand, play the organ, sign my name, and put on earrings, although Dad is still doing my hair for me. Maybe I’ll have him keep it up permanently! I’ve had a couple of compliments on my hairdo! He says he doesn’t mind, now that he’s learned how to use a curling iron without burning his fingers.
      Wednesday night was our annual duet recital (I do it with Robyn Noel now) and we held it at Daynes Music, on State Street, where I bought my piano. I scheduled the date months ago, so we went ahead with it! All our students did really well. Sam and Jana McGettigan and I played the Carmen Trio, with Sam playing the top part. He really tore into it. I was doing the middle, for a change–lots of fun. Most of our other numbers went really well. I hadn’t known if I could pull it off, since I only had 5 days to practice after I got my sling off, and my shoulder still hurts a lot. But I took a double dose of percocet beforehand, and it seemed like I was doing all my parts brilliantly. (I’m not sure how I really sounded, but I could tell the kids sounded good.)
      We received a wedding announcement from Joe Turcsanski this week! Not long ago, some of us were debating whether or not he had ever gotten married. That answered my question. The girl, Jessica Hurst, is cute, young, and red-headed. They’re getting married in the Oquirrh Temple the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
      Speaking of Thanksgiving, I’m really looking forward to it. If you’re coming to the cabin, and you haven’t called me, please let me know. If you want to come Thanksgiving evening and have pie with us, let me know about that, too. Dad is going to help me cook. (I’ll make him cut up all the onions and celery and bread for the dressing.) Dad and I will probably be at the cabin for most of Thanksgiving weekend.
      Life is good! Love, Mom

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Dear Kids,
      I had my collar bone x-rayed on Friday, and it’s now healed up enough that I can start using my arm again. Yay! I’m actually typing this letter with two hands, but it’s hard. Every message I send to my right hand somehow goes to my left hand. It works that way with playing the piano, too. My duet recital is coming up on Wednesday, and I have four parts to play, but my fingers aren’t cooperating with my brain very well. I’m sure that will improve. Meanwhile, I’ve started simple exercises to loosen up my arm again. I can almost get it to hang down straight, but it’s pretty painful. I haven’t even tried reaching left or right or up. So I’m still living a pretty restricted lifestyle, still wearing my sweats and velour leisure suits (pants you can pull up with one hand) and still reading a lot.
      I mentioned that I bought a season pass to Brighton (before my bike accident, of course) and last Saturday was the last day they were taking pictures at REI. So I showed up in my harness and sling for the picture. It sure looked like I wasn’t starting out the season very well. Of course the resorts are in no shape to open any time soon, unless we get some big storms. By then I’ll be ready. I showed Nora the picture on my season pass, and since it was a low-grade webcam they used, the picture is sort of grainy. It looks surprisingly like Nora. (Sharon, too.) Hummm. I’m sure she had the same idea I had.
      Right now Nora and James are in Hawaii, and their kids are on their way to Idaho. Donna has been tending them since Friday, but now she and Bevan are driving them north, to meet Vanessa, and they’ll stay in Pocatello until Saturday, I think. I had Donna and Bevan bring the kids here for Sunday dinner, on their way, but I just heated up some tater tot casserole I had in the freezer. They were charming. (The kids, not the tots.)
      I haven’t heard from anybody but Donna about Thanksgiving. Let me know if you’re planning to come to the cabin for dinner. We’ll probably eat about one in the afternoon.
      And Abby’s baby blessing is still on for December 6th. Tom and Kim will let us know the details.
      I have to quit typing. My shoulder is killing me. Lots of love, Mom