Friday, April 20, 2012

Dear Kids,
           Dad and I are winding up our vacation here in Maryland with Sharon and Seth’s charming family. Right now I’m frying hamburger for Tater Tot Casserole, singing with Lucy, and clomping around in some very high bootie-heels I bought at TJ Maxx. (I figure I need to learn how to walk in them before I wear them in public.) TJ Maxx has another name here, Marshalls, but it’s the same funky shopping experience. I was chatting with a very friendly black woman, who was picking through sandals while I was examining these very tall shoes. I said to her, “If you were six feet tall, would you wear these?” She said, “Da thing is, Sista, how tall is yo’ man?” I said my man could handle it OK, and I bought them.
           Meanwhile, my man has been working on Sharon and Seth’s Sienna, entertaining Lucy, and watching lots of episodes of “White Collar” on Netflix. Yesterday he and Seth and Matthew went to the Air & Space Museum to see the space shuttle. It was very exciting for them, but they got stuck in traffic for an hour on the way home. Sharon and I have been to Target and Kohls and Barnes and Noble. We took Conrad to Target for a photo shoot on Wednesday, and the pictures turned out great. (Sharon put up a link on Facebook.) Dad and I have made several trips to Sams Club, the only reasonable place to buy groceries here, and we always stop at Giant (the local grocery) for snack cakes and a carton of ice cream on our way home.
           Sunday morning we attended the Rockville Ward with Seth and the kids. They meet in the stake center next to the DC temple. It’s in a park area, and very beautiful. Their ward is very interesting: lots of DC types and professionals, but since this is Maryland, after all, there are quite a few low-functioning types, not to mention people of every possible ethnic type. Charlie’s school is also an astounding ethnic mix. Dad and I went to his awards assembly on Monday, and as names were called out, we could match them with the nationalities of the kids we saw. There are kids from every part of Asia, India, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Mexico, Russia, and all over Europe. If you tried to make the most diverse possible school, say, as some kind of government project, you couldn’t do better than Candlewood Elementary. I was also surprised to find out that Candlewood is rated 10 in test scores. That’s 10, the highest, not 1, the lowest, as would apply to Hillsdale, Westlake, and Granger High. (But we all know that your school’s rating isn’t the end of the story and doesn’t necessarily determine your success in life.)
           Dad and I are flying back to Utah tomorrow, to take up our old lives again. We’ll miss the Thackers, especially Conrad, who won’t be tiny the next time we see him. We’ll miss playing with the older kids. I’ll miss shopping with Sharon. But we’ll be glad to be home again, and we hope to see most of you at the baptisms coming up.
           Lotsa’ love, Mom