Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dear Kids,
       So far, we’ve had three confirmations for the Memorial Day picnic at the cabin: Nora’s family, Donna’s family, and Paul. The weather should be good that day! There’s only a 20 percent chance of rain with a high of 52 degrees. Compared with what we’ve had, that sounds great. Let me know if you’re coming, so we can plan enough food. I think we’ll have hamburgers and hot dogs, since Dad just cleaned off the grill. We had to spiff it up for the High Priests’ social, which we had at the cabin last Saturday. It didn’t rain! It was the only dry day in about two weeks. Except that the ground wasn’t very dry. The fire pit was filled to the top with water. Glenn McGettigan thought it was just rain water, and he bailed it out. When he got down to wet sand, new water was already streaming in from the sides. Meanwhile, we bailed out the horseshoe pits and dumped in new sand, which was sort of dry, but after a while the sand was totally saturated, and every horseshoe landed with a splat of wet sand and water. Mr. Earl’s grandchildren got their kicks by stomping in the water in the little ditch. So it was very wet. But it didn’t rain! By the way, we had an overflow crowd–46 people! It was sunny that morning, and I think lots of people just felt like going somewhere.
       Last Friday I went to Heber for grandparents’ day at JR Smith Elementary. I was Jacob’s guest, but I also had my picture taken with Bentley. I sat with Jacob at his desk, and they gave us a work packet to do! I wasn’t expecting that. We also got to write a poem and draw pictures, and I got to eat hot lunch in the lunchroom. (Jacob had his own sack lunch, of course.) We had a great time.
       Dad and I both had fun at Chess Club yesterday. Dad played a retired teacher named Steve, and beat him both times. Steve has a tendency towards colorful language, and we heard him muttering while Dad was wiping him off the board. We usually have nine or ten people a week, now, and it keeps getting better.
       John says he talked to a hydrologist about the danger of flooding on the upper Provo River. It’s like a hundred percent. The snow still isn’t melting, like it usually does before now. So the snowpack is up to about 400 percent of normal, which only means it’s four times as deep as it usually is the end of May. But it has to melt sometime! The hydrologist thought the bridge to our cabin would definitely go. But that won’t happen till June. So, we hope to see lots of you on Memorial Day! Come to the cabin while you still can!
       Love, Mom

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dear Kids,
      My last two letters have started out with joyous declarations that spring is finally here. Well, it isn’t. We’ve had non-stop rain and snow all week, and my only bike ride was a quick jaunt to the Harmon Home yesterday, between showers. Dad and I woke up to lightening and thunder this morning, and then hail. They had two feet of new snow at Alta yesterday. The snowpack on the Provo River drainage is now 300% of normal. Does this sound like spring?
      But it’s supposed to dry out, sort of. And warm up, sort of. Dad and I are in charge of a High Priests’ party at the cabin tomorrow afternoon, and it’s supposed to be 60 degrees, with only 20% chance of rain. That sounds really good. I have to call everybody tonight and tell them the good news. We don’t want anybody scared off.
      There’s lots more going on tomorrow. Missy’s lupus walk. Nora’s triathalon. Vanessa’s family is doing a half-marathon in Ogden. It’s Monica’s baby shower in Tucson. I think we all wish we could be everywhere at the same time.
      Are any of you guys up for a Memorial Day picnic at the cabin on Monday, the 30th? It can be Dad’s birthday party, too.  And it can be a 10-year birthday party for the cabin,  since it was on Memorial Day of 2001 that we rented the truck and moved in all the cabin furniture. Anyways, if you want to come to a picnic on the 30th, let me know, and we can plan food. I’m thinking noon for a barbecue, but we can adjust that to fit peoples’ schedules.
      In a few minutes I’m leaving for Heber, because it’s grandparents’ day for the third graders at JR Smith Elementary (Jacob, Bentley). That should be fun. Once I get past Parley’s Summit, where it’s snowing.
      Life is good! I love you all! Mom

Friday, May 13, 2011

Dear Kids,
      Yay! Two days of sunshine! Yesterday I went for a long bike ride along the Jordan River, checking out the families of ducks and geese, dodging bumps on the trail, and dodging pedestrians. Mostly I can get them to dodge me if I jingle my bell, but old men never hear me! Old men with ear buds especially! Anyways, it was a beautiful ride. The river is getting high, but not as high as it’s going to be! Last time I checked on the KSL snowpack page, the Provo River drainage had 250% of normal snowpack! If we start having hot days, that water’s all going to come down!
      Last Saturday was another gorgeous day, a perfect day for Paul’s graduation. After the ceremony, I wanted to walk across campus, from the Fine Arts building to Old Main. As many times as Dad and I have been there, we’ve always been on the edges. And I figured with our last kid graduating from USU, I wanted to see what the middle of the campus looked like. So Paul and I trotted down the lane with pine trees on both sides–in fact, you nearly have to run to keep up with Paul. Nora and Donna and their strollers came along after us. We took pictures in front of Old Main, and then we walked to Paul’s apartment and had a picnic out on his lawn. It wasn’t too hot or too cold, and there’s a great view of the valley from his front yard.
      My two piano classes are still going really well, along with chess club. On Wednesday, our chess club had to meet in the lunch room of the Harman Center, because they were cleaning carpets in the game room. We had three new people, who were just wandering through, and stopped to play. I don’t know if they’ll stick, but on an average day, we sometimes have 10 or 12 people. They like it that we’re so low key, and with more people, everybody has a chance to win. Dad has been doing especially well. He’s a veteran of four or five months now.
      On Sunday, the day after tomorrow, I’m cooking Sunday dinner. We’ll eat about 4:30, or whenever people can get there. Let me know if you’re coming!
      Lots of love, Mom

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dear Kids,
      Spring is finally here! It’s been a long wait. This morning I went out to our garden to spray weeds and I found a Hoppy Taw in the dirt. Anybody know what that is? I would have died to have one back in 5th grade. Instead, I used a rubber heel from a shoe. (Waah, waah!)
      Dad and I visited Grandma and Grandpa last Saturday afternoon, and Grandma was doing a lot better than two weeks earlier. She was sitting up in her recliner knitting, but she said she was having trouble counting the stitches. Grandpa had to help her. We talked about birds. Grandma wanted to know what birds we have at the cabin now. I told her about the sandhill cranes, and we looked them up in her bird book. I wish we could take Grandma and Grandpa bird watching, like we’ve done before! So many fun things with them are behind us now!
      We’re looking forward to Paul’s graduation on Saturday. Nora and Addie and Isaac and Donna and Bevan and Anna are riding to Logan with us. Luckily our car seats eight! When we bought it, I figured that extra seat would come in handy! When we all drove to Pocatello together last summer for Sterling’s baptism, we fit into the Windstar, because Nora and Donna hadn’t had their babies yet. But back to the graduation–I’m excited. There probably won’t be many more, until the grandkids start walking. Kim’s sister McKenzie is graduating, too, so Tom and his family have two ceremonies to attend.
      Dad and I spent last Friday night at the cabin, and sure enough, it snowed. There were about four inches on the ground Saturday morning. A dejected-looking robin was wandering around in the snow, probably looking for worms. Or nesting materials. I’m sure the snow has melted for him by now. Maybe he’s the same fellow who built his nest in the play fort a couple of years ago. I’m hoping the magpies will keep their distance this year. If not, the pellet rifle is ready!
      So much going on! Gotta love it! Mom