Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dear Kids,
       If any of you have called me on our home phone or my cell, and I haven’t answered, it’s because I can’t talk. I’ve had laryngitis for the past three days. Last Sunday Sharon headed for home (with Lucy) and she reminded me that every time she leaves Utah, something bad happens to me (collar bone, gall bladder, worst root canal ever). This isn’t so bad. I was only sick in bed for two days, and then I was OK (but not able to talk) for piano class, book club, and chess club. We’re heading for Idaho Saturday morning, so I hope I can talk by then. We’re going to the Rexburg Temple with Harpers Saturday afternoon, staying over with them Saturday night, and then heading to Pocatello early Sunday morning so we can go to Church with Vanessa and Trent’s family. They’re having a barbecue for Trent’s birthday on Monday, and we want to be there. We especially want to see the improvements to their house! (and the "Heritage" front door, which Vanessa bought with her stimulus money.) Some of you have asked if we’re having the Fourth of July at the cabin this year, and sadly, we won’t be there. If any of you want to celebrate there, feel free to have the best party ever!
       Bonnie sent me an e-mail saying that they’ve decided to put off the Allen Family reunion until next year. A lot of people who traveled here for the funeral won’t be able to come back, and most of us were able to visit with each other. She will reserve the park for the same weekend (July 15, give or take) for 2012. She promised Grandma on her death bed that she would keep the reunions going, so we still plan to have them every other year, in the same park (Riverwoods.) Bonnie also says that she has extra copies of the funeral program, if anybody wants one. There’s an audio, CD, too, and I’ll be getting a copy. Let me know if you want one.
       Last night Dad and I drove around the valley checking out the new Trax stations, for the lines that open August 7. He wants to know what they look like before he drives his bus into them! We also walked along the Jordan River, which isn’t as high as last week, but is still flooded. I hope that by the time I get well enough to ride my bike again, the trails won’t have more than a foot or so of water, so I can get through.
       I’ll be cooking Sunday Dinner at the cabin on July 10. Be there or be square!
       Lots of love, Mom

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dear Kids,

        Wasn’t that a great funeral for Grandma? I really felt her presence there, and that she was very happy. Monica, we really missed you. There were a few other cousins who couldn’t make it, but mostly, everybody was there.

        Kate Allen is keeping up the blog she started before Grandma died, only now it’s about Grandpa, of course–how he’s doing, what to do when you visit him, etc. The link is Heather Colby uploaded all her pictures from the funeral to Cosco, and there’s a link on Kate’s blog to that. (It’s She set it up so anybody can order prints, and that any of you kids can upload your pictures from the funeral to the same album. This morning I went into the album and looked at all the pictures, but just now, it won’t let me in. The room code is "allenfam" but it doesn’t seem to be working now. If any of you have figured it out, please let me know.

        We’re enjoying having Sharon and Lucy here for a few days. This morning she and Nora are out and about, and tonight she’s going to Midway, but mostly it’s been very relaxed. Lucy is a wild child, but so cute!

        This morning I rode my bike over to the Jordan River to see how flooded it is. I was able to get onto the trail, but there wasn’t anybody else, biking or walking. I didn’t try to go through the underpass where I fell in last week, (the water was obviously too deep, and too swift) but I rode through other places where the water was maybe a foot deep. For the first time ever, I saw fish swimming around my bike! I rode from the UTA pond down to 35th South, and the park there is so flooded that my homeless friends have had to choose a new table, farther from the river. They said there were news cameras there last night! There were ducks swimming in the grassy areas. The water might be even higher tomorrow, but Dad and I will be at the cabin, and I won’t be able to check it out. We’ll be able to check out the high water on the Provo River, though. I’m looking for it to wash over the bridge, but not wash it out.

       A few letters ago I said I would be cooking Sunday dinner on the 26th but all that has changed now. Our next Sunday dinner will probably be July 10th , probably at the cabin. Oh, yeah, Dad and I have found the true church, at least for us. We’re going to become members of the Francis Second ward. They have a great organ, and we’re there practically every weekend anyway. I’m looking forward to new adventures!

Lots of love, Mom

Friday, June 17, 2011

A note from Aunt Nancy:
Dear Marilyn's Granddaughters,
    For those of you who can make it, we will be getting together Monday morning at 9:00 at the Sharon Park Stake Center (where the funeral will be held) for a quick run through of the songs and to practice with the accompaniment.
Because some of these songs are a little too long we've made the following changes:
White Choral Bells
Both verses sung in a two-part round
All Things Bright and Beautiful
Refrain (first two lines of the song)
Verse 1
Verse 2
Repeat refrain
Cut out "Tell Me Why"
Beautiful Savior
Verse 1 (first ending)
Verse 2 (second ending)
Verse 3

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dear Kids,
      Here's the latest from Bonnie regarding the funeral time and place, the burial, and the luncheon:   We are finalizing all of the funeral plans, writing the program etc. The obituary will come out in Friday’s papers;  Deseret News and Provo Herald.  The funeral will be Monday June 20th at 11:00 a.m.  The location will be the Sharon Stake center on 85 east 700 north in Orem. It is just south of the Gold’s gym on 8th north. There will be a private family viewing at 10:00 a.m.  in the relief society room. The burial will be at Orem cemetary, and then a luncheon at mom and dad’s ward building 200 north 200 east (near their home)  We are so grateful for everyone who is making sacrifices to be there. It is difficult when gas prices are so high and airfare is through the roof. I keep feeling a sense of how pleased mom/grandma is with all of the plans, and that so many of you are coming. She is very happy.
       This is me, now.  I have the feeling, too, that Grandma is very happy now.  I feel closer to her now than I did before she died.  She's that beautiful young woman, who was my mother when I was little.  And she doesn't have any back pain or knee pain, and she doesn't need her oxygen!  Yay!
      Dad and I will be at the cabin from Friday afternoon until Sunday morning, and we're going to Church in the Francis 2 ward from 9-12 am.  (We're still on a quest to find the right church.)  After church, we'll head directly back to Salt Lake.  Sharon is arriving about that time. 
       Sunday is Fathers Day, of course, and I hope it doesn't get lost in the shuffle.  All of you will see Dad on Monday at the funeral, but if you want to visit him Friday night or Saturday at the cabin, we'll be there.  Or Sunday afternoon, at our house.
      Lots of love, Mom

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dear Granddaughters of Marilyn,
      Grandma has requested that any of her granddaughters that can and want to, sing some camp songs for her funeral.  You know how she loved the outdoors and camping and especially girl's camp.  Here are the songs we've chosen so you can be going over them for the funeral Monday.  If you are able to sing harmony, please practice those parts too!  The songs are in this order: White Choral Bells (to be sung in a two-part round),  I Love the Mountains (also a round), Tell Me Why, Beautiful Savior.  Mark will be accompanying on his guitar. 
       Love and kisses to you all,                                                                                                          Aunt Nancy
Later:  We've decided to make one change in the music.  Instead of singing I Love the Mountains, we've chosen All Things Bright and Beautiful.   Thank you, lovely ladies.  Love you all.    Nancy
P.S.  These songs can also be found on the church website.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dear Kids,
      I received the following message after I sent my letter on June 10.  It's from Mark's wife, Kate: 
       Hi, this is Kate. Bonnie and I thought that it would be a good idea to have an update blog for Grandma and Grandpa Allen. There are many children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and other relatives who live far away, and want to be kept updated about how things are going.   I made the blog semi-private, which means that people can't find it by using a search engine. They have to have the exact address. If you have something you'd like posted, like a memory, picture, story, or update, send it to me or Mark. My email is  Here's the link:  ttp://
Love,  Kate & Mark

Friday, June 10, 2011

Dear Kids,
       I’m sitting at the computer and Oreo is asleep in the basket chair, snoring. I never knew cats could snore.
       Dad and I planned a big adventure for last Wednesday, a 50-mile bike ride north on the Jordan River Trail, the Legacy Trail, and the D&RG Trail. You can ride all the way to Roy, and then take the Frontrunner back to Salt Lake, and the Trax practically home. It was a gorgeous day, cool and sunny. We started out at the UTA parking lot, so we could avoid the worst flooding on the trail, but going north, there was flooding in places where I’ve never seen water before. We rode alongside of the ducks. When we got to North Salt Lake, we stopped at Al & Missy’s house, but just after we headed north again, Dad got a flat tire. "No problem," I thought, "he can patch it." (Amazingly, neither one of us had spare tubes.) The patching didn’t work, and after an hour, he was talking about finding a bike shop. Here we were, at the start of the Legacy Trail, where I’ve been wanting to ride for the last three years. So we parted ways. I think we both had fun. Dad found a bike shop and got a new tube. I rode north to Lagoon, Layton, Clearfield, and Roy. The trails are all interconnected now. I was sorry to be riding without Dad, but I knew we wouldn’t get such a perfect day again. I found the Frontrunner station OK, and made it back to Meadowbrook about the same time as Dad. So it all turned out OK. From now on, we’re not riding anywhere without extra tubes.
       Bonnie called me last night about Grandma Allen, and she’s going downhill pretty fast now. She’s asleep most of the time. The hospice people said it could be weeks, or just days. Bonnie’s guessing days. She suggested I might want to start writing the obituary. Dad and I are going to visit her tomorrow afternoon, and if she’s awake, I’ll ask her what I should say. Sorry for the bad news on this, but we knew this was coming.
       I’ll keep in touch with you all! Love, Mom

Friday, June 3, 2011

Dear Kids,
       I guess it won’t ever be spring. But then, we had spring last year. Monday morning, Memorial Day, we had snow at the cabin. Last night Dad and I hiked Ensign Peak, and we wore coats. Yesterday I had the coldest ride ever along the Jordan River, probably because I got so wet riding through the flooded parts. (But the duck families loved it!) When I got home from my bike ride, it was 52 degrees. It would have been great in March, but this is June, for heck’s sake! Anyways, it’s keeping the mountain snow from melting, so the flooding isn’t so bad as it might be. That might happen later.
       On my bike rides, I’ve been checking out the new Trax lines that run to Valley Fair Mall, and also to West Jordan. Every now and then you see Trax trains running up and down them, even though they’re not open yet. Last week I rode around the Trax station in Chesterfield. But are they calling it the Chesterfield Station? Not on your life. It’s the River Trail Station, which is a fantastic name, considering how many times I ride past it on the bike trail.    
       After checking out the station, I took a detour through the neighborhood. Same old funky run-down houses, with lots of animals in the yards. The old Baptist Church that used to be LDS, where Tom was blessed, is still there. Same weird sights, like a guy riding his horse down the road, talking on his cell phone. There isn’t a more interesting place in the whole Salt Lake Valley.
       Normally I would be cooking Sunday dinner on the second Sunday of the month, but since Sharon’s coming for a few days, I think I’ll fix dinner on the 26th. I’m hoping Sharon and Lucy will be here that day. In July, there’s the Allen Family Reunion, probably on July 16, at the same park as always. Then, in August, we’ll be having the Ackerson family reunion the weekend of the 18th-20th. Or maybe the 19th-21st. We’ll all know for sure long before then. Tom and Kim are in charge.
      Lotsa fun stuff coming up! I love you all!