Sunday, January 28, 2018

Dear Kids,
         Dad and I were walking in to the Heber Walmart the other day when a car honked at us, and it turned out to be Bevan and Dallin. We waited for them to park and come in, and they were heading for the toy department. Dallin had earned a gold star in preschool, and he was getting a $10.00 truck for it. I’m not sure what goes into earning a gold star, but it was fun seeing them. I’m always amazed to run into family when we’re in Heber. I’m still not used to it. When we lived in West Valley, we never ran into anybody.
         I’m still struggling to breathe, and Dad’s still coughing, but we’re both doing slightly better. From day to day we don’t see any difference, but from week to week I can tell we’re improving. We had a different doctor’s appointment this week, though . . . a dermatologist check up for both of us. I got scared after finding out the cancer near my eye went so deep, and I was worried about a red patch Dad has had on his neck for more than two years, so I thought we’d better get looked over. Dr. Horsley is way past his prime (he ought to be retired now!) so the referral system found us a new dermatologist, a nice woman named Dr. Panko, at the Taylorsville Clinic. She examined Dad’s neck and gave him a new cream to try, which seems to be working. She looked over the patches on my arm and sprayed them to freeze them off. She biopsied the one I was really worried about, and it turns out it’s a squamous cell carcinoma. I’m going to have it cut out a week from tomorrow. More fun and games! Besides that, one of my fingers is locking up again, so I made an appointment to see my hand doctor, Dr. Raemisch. (It’s tough to play the piano with a locked finger!) Did we ever have a life before all these doctor visits? Will we ever have a life again?
         The blonde neighbor cat dropped by again a few days ago, and I fed her our best cat food. I wish we owned her. It would be so nice to have a pleasant cat sitting on my lap and purring, when I’m not feeling well. I’m so fed up with Tina, who dives under the bed and glares at me when I’m only trying to pet her. (OK, so I torment her with the lion puppet–who cares?) I really wish we had a better cat situation, but it is what it is.
         Still, life is good, and I love you all! Mom

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Dear Kids,
          I got the following message from Bonnie, and some of you might have received it too: Hello all Lester and Marilyn descendants! Our "every other year in the park" Allen reunion is approaching, and the date we have chosen is Saturday July 28th! which is also Aunt/grandma Katie's birthday yippee! It will be held at the same park as always, in the Provo Riverview park (4620 N 300 W. Provo, UT) Please make this a priority since we only do this every other year, and for just a few hours. It is always fun to see how large and amazing this family has grown and for cousins to reconnect! Bring your own lunch and we will have a few fun games and activities planned. If anyone wants to help with activities, please let me know. Love to you all! Bonnie
         Our own Ackerson family reunion will be August 2-4 at Pineview, I’m pretty sure. I meant to check with Nora, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I do know it will be a fabulous event, as all our reunions have been. I’m so proud of you kids for organizing them every year!
         We really enjoyed visiting with Sharon on Tuesday, while she was still here. She told us about the ski adventure on Monday at Deer Valley: There were four moms and eight kids, and everybody had a great time. You girls are so ambitious!
         We’re still thinking back on Tommy’s baby blessing last Sunday, and what a wonderful event that was! Thanks to John and Heather for hosting the after-party at their house, and to Donna and Bevan for producing the baby, so we have yet one more excuse to get together. These are my favorite times!
         Dad and I are still coughing. On Thursday we went to see Dr. Newbold, who could barely squeeze us in among all his sick patients. Evidently we have the same virus as everybody else. My lungs are full of mucous, but it isn’t pneumonia, because I don’t have fluid. Still, I’m always gasping for breath. I use my nebulizer day and night, but I’m not getting better. Dad has bronchitis. Dr. Newbold gave us antibiotics to prevent secondary infections, and he gave me a prescription for prednisone, but it isn’t doing me any good–it only keeps me awake at night. John says this is the worst virus he’s ever seen. People get it in their eyes, and it causes havoc. Thank goodness I’ve only got it in my lungs. Still, I wish we could get over it.
         Otherwise, life is great! I love you all! Mom

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Dear Kids,
         If you’re checking here for the address of Tommy’s baby blessing this morning, it’s 250 East 200 South in Midway. Sacrament meeting starts at 11:00 am, and baby blessings are always at the very beginning. Lunch will be at John’s house after the block, which ends at 2:00. I’m really looking forward to seeing so many of you, but I’m not going to get too close to anybody, because I’ve caught this horrible virus that’s going around. Dad is into his fifth week of it, but he said he doesn’t really feel sick; he just coughs all the time. I’m sick AND I cough all the time. Friday morning, we were climbing into the car to do a couple of errands, and I said,
         "First to the bank
         and then to the store.
         Then we’ll come home
         and cough some more."
OK, it sounded pretty funny at the time. But the illness isn’t funny. Sometimes Dad and I are both up at the same time at night, coughing. I’ve been puffing on my nebulizer several times a day to try and keep my lungs clear, but it doesn’t work 100%.  I’m really bummed about this, because Thanksgiving was wiped out for me by my first surgery, and Christmas by the second, but I was really counting on celebrating this baby blessing with everybody. I’m probably not contagious now, but still, I’m only coming to the first part of sacrament meeting, and then I’ll hang out at John’s house until everybody else shows up. But I won’t cough on any of you.
         Friday night a nice reddish-blonde cat showed up in our front yard. I hoped it was Solar Eclipse, come back to us, but it was a girl cat, and her color was a little too light. I gave her some cat food, which she gobbled down, and then I picked her up and carried her around. She was so nice, not snarling and scratching like Tina! I wish she would have stayed here, but we haven’t seen her since.
          I can’t think of anything great coming up, but I hope you’re all well and happy.
          Love, Mom

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Dear Kids,
         We’re all looking forward to Tommy’s baby blessing next Sunday. It will be at Donna’s church, 250 East 200 South (by the elementary school, Donna says) in Midway, at 11 am. Lunch will be at John’s house, after the block ends at 2:00. I’m really looking forward to seeing so many of you! Sharon will be here! I’m not sure exactly when she’s coming, or what her plans are, but it will be fun visiting with her, and all the rest of you. I’m making pumpkin and chocolate pies, for everybody who missed out on Thanksgiving. And everybody else, who didn’t.
         We finally had a winter storm yesterday, sort of. I guess it was mostly rain. Dad and I were gone when it hit. We had set out to visit McGettigans in Lehi, and so we headed down through Heber and Provo Canyon. Going around Deer Creek, all the traffic suddenly came to a stop, and we sat for about 20 minutes. I pulled up the UDOT site on my phone and saw that there was an accident down by the dam, stopping all the traffic in both directions. They didn’t expect to clear it for another 45 minutes. We didn’t like sitting there, and we really wanted to see the McGettigans, so we drove all the way around the other way, back through Heber, down Parley’s Canyon, through Salt Lake, and down to Lehi. We’d been on the road more than two hours when we finally got there, but it was totally worth it. We went to lunch at a Chinese restaurant, where the food was unusually good, and we had a great time talking. Jana’s doing really well new. Medications are keeping her cancer at bay.
         I’m still recovering from my surgeries, and it’s going really well now. I use a hot, wet rice pack on my forehead twice a day, to help the swelling go down. I was supposed to use a hot wash rag, for 20 minutes at a time, but I couldn’t make myself sit at the sink that long. But with the rice bag, I can sit at the microwave instead and reheat my little rice bag about every 5 minutes, and read books on Kindle. I love the 21st century!
         We had such nice days last week, before the storm, that I went for short walks at the Jordanelle almost every day. I’m so glad we live in the most beautiful spot in the world.
         Love to everybody, Mom