Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dear Kids,
      I hope you’ve all seen the video of Dad on Channel 2 last night. They interviewed him about his 3 million-mile safe-driving award. I thought he was incredibly funny. It’s on facebook. Thanks, Tom, for uploading that. On my home page, there are at least three links, so I’m sure all of you are getting it, too. I liked Dad’s observation about not running out of gas on the moon. There was also a small article in the West Valley Journal, featuring Dad and Lamar Udy, who received the same award. Go, West Valley bus drivers!
      Speaking of driving many miles, Paul is on his way home. When I talked to him this morning, he had just crossed into Mississippi. I imagine he’ll get to Utah early on Saturday. We’ll be hearing his stories for a long time to come. Dad is worried that his car won’t make it, but Paul had an oil change just before he left Alabama, and I’m sure the magical Sable will do just fine. It has gone 186,000+ miles, which is a lot, but compared to the Windstar, it’s just getting warmed up. And even the Windstar doesn’t come close to how far Dad has driven: It only went to the moon once, plus part way back.
      Here’s some good news: Sharon is coming to Utah for Grandpa Allen’s birthday party on September 24! I know a lot of other people are coming, but Sharon’s probably coming the farthest. (Still only a tiny fraction of the distance to the moon, however.) She’s bringing Lucy. She’s only staying for a couple of days, but it will be nice to see them both. The whole family is coming in December, so that will be pretty lively.
      I’ll be cooking my next Sunday dinner on September 12, the second Sunday. So I’ll be back on schedule. We hope to see a lot of you then, if not before.
      Lots of love, Mom

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dear Kids,
      The family reunion was so much fun that real life seems pretty boring now. It was hard to come home to this wretched hot valley, although we had a nice rainstorm today. But I keep thinking about the clear crisp air in the Tetons, and those beautiful mountains, and the fresh smell of warm pine needles. Mostly, it was fun having so much of the family together (and we really missed Sharon and her family, and Paul.) It didn’t matter much whether we were sitting around the fire or hiking or sitting by the lake, it was fun talking to everybody and watching those wonderful grandkids have fun. We truly have a wonderful family.
      My sisters are planning a birthday party for Grandpa Allen on his real birthday, September 24th. Here’s the e-mail that Bonnie sent me: "We were thinking that since we didn't have a reunion this summer that maybe we could get together for Dad's (grandpa's) Birthday on Friday September 24th. Jane will be here too, so that will be fun! I have reserved the WEST pavillion at the River View park (where we always have our reunions) for that evening. Usually we have the East pavillion, so it’s the other one. I will put balloons out so you will know. It will be at 6:30 and we will make it potluck desserts. So just bring any dessert that you like, fruit, cookies, cake etc. and we will just visit and relax. If it is cold, we will reschedule. Please invite your children and grandchildren! Dad will really enjoy seeing everyone, so hope you can make it! Thanks"
      So that’s the plan. Consider yourselves invited!! Dad and I will be there for sure.
      While Dad and I were on our way to the Tetons, we stopped by the Harpers’ house in Newdale. Their whole living room wall is covered with family pictures, and Dad asked Chris how she keeps her pictures up-to-date. She said that for Christmas, all she asks for is an updated family picture from each of her kids. I think that’s a fantastic idea. If anybody wants to make me really happy for Christmas, you could give me a 5x7 of your family for the wall by the piano, and a 5x7 of your kids for the buffet. Some of my grandkids’ pictures are drastically out of date (and of course I appreciate the news ones that you’ve given me.) You don’t even have to get professional portraits. Some of our best pictures have come from ordinary snapshots. (And of course there are Tom’s really professional ones!!)
      Paul will soon be heading home from Alabama. We’ll all be glad to see him again.
      Life is good! Lots of love, Mom

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dear Kids,
      Thanks to everybody, I had a wonderful birthday on Sunday. I’m so grateful to all of you who called me and posted Facebook greetings and sent cards and presents and came to dinner. It was my best birthday ever! On Monday, the whole Relief Society presidency of the Lighthouse Branch showed up at our door, to wish me happy birthday a day late! They gave me a flower in a pot, actually an orchid, that looks like a “Feed me Seymour” type flower–I hope I can keep it alive. And they sang “Happy Birthday” to me in Spanish. I was amazed. When I was in 5th Ward, it was great if even one of my visiting teachers remembered. (And I’m sorry to say I often forgot the birthdays of the sisters I visited.)
      Saturday night Dad and I went to my 45th year high school reunion in Provo, at the Marriott Hotel. There were lots more people than 5 years ago, when we met in the park at South Fork in Provo Canyon. Funny–I liked that one lots better. But the Marriott was OK–just a lot more expensive. The governor came. I sort of remember him–mostly that he played football. And all the talk was about football: who threw the winning pass against what team, which year. So some things never change. But one cool thing about Gary Herbert–in his bio, which he e-mailed in, like the rest of us, he put down that he worked in state government and lived in public housing near the capitol building. Just for that alone, he’ll definitely have my vote the next time around.
      Dad has been riding his bike to work practically every day since we junked the Windstar. That was the deal, so I could have a vehicle at home if I needed to go anywhere. Dad says he’s learned to ride more slowly, and enjoy the trip, rather than pumping hard to get there a few minutes earlier. I think I learned that lesson! Sadly, I’ve hardly ridden my bike at all this summer. I’ve been too busy. Maybe things will calm down in the fall, and I can have some good rides along the Jordan River.
      We’re really getting excited for the family reunion. I think everybody is. I heard that Monica bought camp chairs! I think Dad and I have a couple somewhere–I’ll have to go look. We haven’t really camped in so long, it will be a whole new adventure. (Our trip to Florida didn’t count, since it wasn’t cold, and we never had a campfire, and we never cooked.) We’re really looking forward to seeing so many of you and enjoying those glorious Tetons!
      Life is good! Love, Mom