Sunday, August 23, 2015

Dear Kids,
          I finally have topsoil! After calling the same shiftless outfit for several days, I finally called Witt Excavating in Heber, and they brought it to me almost immediately. All my sprinklers are ready, and so is my edging. Tomorrow morning Dad is going to haul the topsoil, alternating with our two wheelbarrows, and I’ll rake it out. Planting the seed will be easy. I can’t believe it will finally be on its way. There’s lots more for me to do next year, but at least we’ll have some grass.
          My sisters were here on Thursday, and they admired my trees and shrubs. Nancy especially. It made my day. Thanks to Donna, that part of the project really looks professional. We were on our way to Hi Mountain Drug in Kamas for lunch. By the way, they still have the best burgers I’ve ever tasted! After lunch, we went to the New West store in Kamas and looked at their cowboy gear. (Katie said if she had one more life to live, she would marry a cowboy.) Then we drove down to Midway and shopped at "All the Stuff in the Barn." And then we sat in the shade in the park behind Ridleys, and talked. If any of you want to know anything about anybody, ask me now. I’ve got the goods on everybody. Later we drove by Donna’s house, so they could see her landscaping, and then we had shakes at the Dairy Keen. It was an absolutely perfect day. I’m so glad most of my sisters live nearby now, and we’re planning to get together more often.
          Dad and I were buying milk at Winco, and I noticed that whole milk costs the same as 2%. Why didn’t I notice that before? Why aren’t we drinking whole milk? Dad isn’t fat, and I’m not, either. Life is too short not to have the very best. So now we have whole milk. After all those years of powdered milk (0%) it’s amazing to me how far we’ve come. Our cats like it, too. Every morning Dad takes it out to them, and they reward him by walking around his legs. It’s a good life.
          I hope you’re all doin’ great and lovin’ it! Mom

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Dear Kids,
          We’ve never had such a dull week! The family reunion and my 50th high school reunion are long past. Our big piano class in West Valley is cancelled for two weeks because they’re re-doing the floor in the cultural hall. I’ve dropped most of my regular piano students, except for two teen-aged boys, who seem to be on vacation most of the time. I’m still raking dirt and hauling rocks in our yard. I haven’t been able to get any topsoil yet, but I’m hoping for better luck this week. Dad put a coat of stain on our new pergola, and we bought some patio furniture for it. It’s funny, the directions said "this furniture is to be used outdoors," and it also said, "protect from inclement weather." So am I supposed to run outside and cover it up whenever I see a storm approaching? As if. Instead, I’ve been sitting out there watching the storms approach. There’s a great view out over the Provo River valley. There are rows of mountains, all the way to Timpanogos. It beats the view from our front porch, where we can watch the low-income housing being built by the self-help people. Of course, they’re endlessly entertaining.
          Last weekend, when Dad and I were in Provo, we visited Jane and Joe at their new house in north Springville. It’s right against the mountains. I had heard that Joe was afraid a rock would fall on him, but when I saw how many rocks had already fallen, he’s got a point. It’s a nice house, though, and I’m sure they’ll be happy there. They had to fly here, because they brought their 18-year-old cat Lilly, and she wouldn’t have survived the drive. She barely survived the flight. But she’s a sweet cat, and deserved the special care. 
           Now that Jane’s living here, all my sisters but Katie are in Utah Valley. Katie’s coming this week, so we’re planning a get-together for Thursday. We’re going to meet at the Hub in Heber, and then go to Park City to look around, and probably go back to Midway. I’m really looking forward to it. When Grandma Allen was still alive, she always planned sisters’ get-togethers, but now we have to do it ourselves.
          I have to play a piano solo in church today, in the Spanish branch, so of course I’m doing Marvin Goldstein’s version of "How Great Thou Art." It’s so loud, nobody will notice if I make mistakes. 
           Life is good! Love, Mom

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Dear Kids,
          I’m looking at my calendar for the rest of August. It’s clear and blank. That will be an interesting change after all we’ve had going on. Memories of the family reunion are still bouncing through my mind. What a wonderful event that was! It seems like it gets better every year. In our yard, I’m still raking dirt and hauling rocks. If I can get topsoil, I’ll be planting grass this week. Thursday afternoon I was out raking when a helicopter rose up out of the canyon and circled over me, maybe only 20 feet up. Then he dove back down over the hill. I ran to the edge of the road and looked over to see "Tour of Utah" going by, racing towards Heber. They always do a stage through Kamas Valley, and it’s very impressive. The chase cars with all their extra bikes seem like they can barely keep up. 
        Friday night they were in Salt Lake, and they raced past the governor’s mansion while we were sitting in the garden eating pork sandwiches. It was my 50-year high school reunion. We had a huge turnout. Besides the event Friday night, there was a Saturday-morning walk up the Provo Canyon trail, and a dinner that night at the convention center in Provo. It was fun seeing so many old high school friends, but I felt awkward and self-conscious, just like I always felt back then. People called me "that girl who was so smart," and they asked me what I’d done with all that. I said I raised a big family. My academic rival, Susan Jacob was there (not to be confused with Kathy Jacob, who married Todd Christofferson. They were there, too. Todd is very nice and acted just like one of us.) (So did the governor, who was one of us.) Anyway, Susan Jacob, my rival, has 8 children who all served missions and all graduated from BYU. She now has 44 grandchildren, including twins who were born on her last birthday. I didn’t get a chance to brag at all.
           Fall is in the air. It comes especially early here. I hope my grass still has enough time to sprout and get a good start.
          Life is good! Love to all. Mom

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Dear Kids,
          What a family reunion that was! I knew it was going to be exciting, but I didn’t dream that Paul and Stefanie would go have their baby. On my birthday, no less. I felt Grandma Allen’s hand in that. She would be saying, "Oh, Les, look! They’re having a family reunion! And it’s Christy’s birthday! We have to send that baby!" We’re just glad everything turned out so well. I don’t even know yet how much he weighed, or if he has a middle name. I’ll put it up on facebook after we go to the hospital to see him this afternoon. It really worked out well that Paul and Stefanie were "away from home," since Stefanie had only seen her new doctor in Ogden twice. That doctor didn’t even know her yet. But in Heber, everybody said, "Oh, yes, we know your family. We know John and Tom. You’re an Ackerson! (It doesn’t hurt that Paul looks like all the rest of us.) Stefanie said they got a lot of special attention, and she liked the atmosphere of a small-town hospital. All’s well that ends well.
          Thanks to everybody who made the reunion a success! Thanks for the skits and games and food. Thanks for my birthday party! I’ve never had such a good party: presents, games, Costco cake! (Thanks, John) You can tell I’m still high as a kite.
         Let’s see, is there any other news? I can’t think of a single thing. Tomorrow we’ll be back to raking dirt and rocks in our yard. I hope we can plant grass within a week. Next Friday and Saturday it’s my 50-year high school reunion. Who thought the time could go by so fast!
          I love you all! Mom
          P.S. We just went to see the baby. Name: Joshua Paul Ackerson. Wt: 7# exactly. Length: 19.5".