Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dear Kids,
          The air here is filled with smoke from a fire in Saratoga Springs, at least 70 miles away. I thought the air here at the cabin would always be pure and clean, but I didn’t know that a wildfire in Utah county and high winds could bring us bad air and smoke. Luckily I have a nebulizer that I borrowed from Heather in April, my last period of bad breathing, and I have 64 vials of albuterol from Dr. Newbold. I quit seeing my pulmonologist, Dr. Ahmed, because he wouldn’t prescribe anything radical. His solution for all my breathing problems was for me to call his office for an appointment "in a couple of days or so." But trouble can come up really fast when your lungs are deficient, like last night, when the plume of smoke came over the mountain. I was all ready for it, hooked up the nebulizer, and puffed on it until I could breathe again.
          With all the power tools I use, who could imagine that I could have an accident with a drill? But I was using a large bit, and somehow it caught my work glove, twisted it up, and started chewing my hand. It wouldn’t stop, but I finally thought to hit the reversing button. When I untangled everything, I was missing a piece of skin on my wrist about the size of a quarter, besides other little wounds. I didn’t know how to treat missing skin. I called a couple of nurses I know, but couldn’t get anybody. Finally I soaked my wrist, scrubbed it, and bandaged it. After a couple of days it didn’t seem to be closing up, so I took off the bandaging, and now it’s infected. Donna said I should have found the piece of skin and tried to set it back on, but it was in the trash with the glove, I guess. If I’d been at home, I probably would have gone to Instacare. But here in the mountains you have to take care of yourself. I’ll probably have a big scar, but my hands are ugly anyway.
          These are the days when it’s freezing at the cabin in the morning, and 85 in the afternoon. On Thursday, the summer solstice, I had frozen water lines in the morning. And a wild hot wind in the afternoon. Gotta love the mountains.
          Allen and his kids stayed over her Friday night, because they were going fishing Saturday morning. It was fun to have company!
          We’re looking forward to Eli’s baby blessing on Sunday, July 1, a week from today. Hope to see a lot of you there!
          Love, Mom
P.S.  Does anybody have  a badminton net they're not using?  The one at the cabin is in tatters.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dear Kids,          
          First off, here are some upcoming events: Baby Eli’s baby blessing will be Sunday, July 1st, at Tom and Kim’s church. If you’re coming from Salt Lake, when you get to Heber you turn left at 500 North, and go to the second church. (The white church, Tom says.) Sacrament meeting starts at 9:00 am, and Tom says we probably ought to do the whole block, since it’s so early. If anybody doesn’t want to do it all, they can hang out at Tom and Kim’s after sacrament meeting. If you want a food assignment, call Kim. Or Tom.
          Secondly, Dad thought I should remind you all of the upcoming family reunions. The Allen family reunion, the one we always have in that park by the Provo River, is on July 14th this year. (A Saturday) I know it’s usually the first Saturday in August, but they moved it up this year.
          Then, of course, there’s our own Ackerson family reunion at Bear Lake, August 6-8. That’s a Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Allen mentioned that we could come Sunday evening, the 5th, if we wanted to get an early start on the fun. I think Dad and I will be doing that. Allen and Missy will be giving us more information when it gets closer.
          Dad and I are still working hard on the cabin remodel. It’s only six weeks until the first of the events that are scheduled there. Yesterday I laid 24 more tiles. That doesn’t sound like much, but the tiles are heavy, and it’s a good day when I can lay that many. I’ve laid 324 tiles now, so I’m well over half way. Dad started painting the ceiling yesterday, and he’s moving really fast. Dad’s always willing to paint, and he does a really good job.
          My friend, the meadowlark, still calls to me every morning. My outside project now is the area around the bunkhouse, and I’m hoping to plant grass there before the end of the summer. The meadowlark is wondering why I abandoned my territory in the front yard. He never abandons HIS territory. When a magpie comes near his nest, he dives at it with his very sharp beak. The magpies get the message. There are some very tiny birds nesting in the pine tree by the back door, where I destroyed the magpie nest. I don’t know what they are. This really makes me miss Grandma Allen, who knew every bird, and if she didn’t, she always looked it up. I have her bird books, but it isn’t the same.
         Life is good! Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dear Kids,
           Today I’m uploading my letter from our stake center in Marion. Dad’s in a stake priesthood meeting (that started at 7:00 am,) and when it’s over, we have an appointment to have our temple recommends signed. If we were at home in West Valley, Dad would have walked to the priesthood meeting, and later we would have walked back to see the stake presidency, but here, distances are so far, that we drive everywhere together, and one of us waits for the other.
          This stake center is sort of historic, by the way. You kids probably don’t remember the Singer-Swapp shootout back in 1988. It started with the shooting of John Singer, a polygamist who lived in a compound in the hills behind here. One day when he went out to the road to get his mail, policemen tried to arrest him, and he ended up dead. A couple of weeks later, his family blew up this very stake center. Then, when the lawmen arrived, there was a shootout that ended up with policeman Fred House getting killed. (The police academy at the point of the mountain is named after him.) At the time, they were talking about Marion, and I wondered where it was. Now I’m sitting in the very stake center they blew up. (Rebuilt, of course.) That proves you never know where life will take you.
          Next Sunday is Fathers Day, and if you want to visit Dad in the afternoon or evening, we’ll be down in Orem visiting Grandpa Allen from about 4:30 to maybe 6:00, and after that, we’ll be back at the cabin. Of course you can call him on his cell any time. We’re in church from 11 am until 2:00, but the rest of the day, he’ll be available.
          My cabin projects are coming along very well. I finally planted the very last section of grass in the front yard, with the supervision of my friend, the meadowlark. I still have lots to do in the back yard, however, so he can keep watching my work. Inside the cabin, I’m still laying tile and spreading grout and painting walls and patching the ceiling. It’s all fun!
          Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dear Kids,
           Today I’m uploading my letter from . . . (roll of drums) . . .the Primary room in Francis 2nd Ward! The primary president is doing sharing time and I have a few minutes. I’m sitting at the piano, which hides me from the kids, so nobody can see what I’m doing.
           Dad and celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary yesterday by driving to Idaho for Sarah’s baptism. We had Nora and some of her kids with us, so it was especially delightful, and the weather was beautiful. The sky was blue and the hills were green. We saw lots of cows. We made it to the church a little late, and they were all ready to start. The baptism was beautiful, of course, and both Sutton grandparents gave great talks. (I played the piano and Nora led the music and Dad said the closing prayer.) The most striking part of the service was right after the baptism, when Sarah came back out wearing a nice dress and Trent came out wearing a suit coat and white shirt and tie, and khaki cargo shorts. (His suit pants were at home on a hanger.) The bishop said that was OK and Trent was completely worthy to confirm Sarah. It all went very well!
           There was an after-party at Trent and Vanessa’s house: a barbecue with great food and lots of fun talking with the Sutton side of the family. They’re always entertaining!
Back here in the wonderful Kamas valley, I’m having a day off from laying tile. Thank goodness for Sunday! I’m weary in every bone! I’ve figured out exactly how many tiles I need to lay each day, and how much grout to spread, and how much work on the walls and ceiling I need to do, in order to be done by the end of July. I pray every day for strength and energy, and that I won’t hurt my back or have something else happen to me. It’s good that we have a deadline, or this project could carry on forever.
           And as if I didn’t have enough to do inside, I’m also getting ready to plant the last section of grass in the front yard. There’s a meadow lark who greets me every morning when I come out to rake dirt. He sits up on the utility wire and calls to me. I answer him back, but my meadow lark impersonation isn’t very good. He corrects me, and I try again. He bobs his head like Reggie used to do. I think he has a family down in the shrubs that he’s watching over, and he gets a little bored, so he likes to converse with me. If only my language skills were better!
          Life is good! I love you all! Mom