Sunday, June 24, 2018

Dear Kids,
         Yay, it’s Sunday, a day of rest!  I’ve probably been overdoing it, and I’m always exhausted, so I’m glad that the Lord commands us to slow down and take it easy once a week.  Then I’ll be back out into the yard again.  I can’t help it.  I’m not digging dirt or hauling rocks, just pruning and rearranging sprinkler tubing and watering the dry spots on the lawn.  But it’s glorious, being outside in this wonderful June sunshine. Every day is like no other.
         Last week I went back to church for the first time in many weeks.  In the interim, I’ve either gone to Elk Meadows up in Oakley, where the entire service is only half an hour long, or I’ve asked for the young men to bring me the sacrament.  But last week I finally felt good enough to attend sacrament meeting. Today I’ll add in Sunday school.  I can’t believe how nice people are!  Members I barely know have told me they’ve been praying for me.  In fact, all four of the ward invalids were in sacrament meeting last Sunday: Eric Willis, who had a kidney transplant, Marc Hermansen, who had esophageal cancer, Devlin Tychson, who broke his leg in two places, and me.  I won’t say we all looked in the peak of health, but we were all there.
         Andy and Renae are finishing their mission already!  They’ve been serving in northern Virginia, Dad’s old stomping grounds.  They’ll be leaving this week and driving home over three days.  Renae said their mission itself has been lots of fun, and their only hardships have been other things like their grandson Lennox’s cancer, and Andy’s back trouble, when they first arrived.  They’ve been teaching the self-reliance program, and I’m sure they’ve helped a lot of people.  But it will be nice to have them home again.
         My new piano students at the Heber senior center are doing really well.  I have three one-hour classes in a row, which is exhausting now, but it will get easier as I get my energy back again.  It’s so rewarding to teach good students, that I’ve probably jumped back in a little too fast, but it energizes my spirit.
        Don’t forget the upcoming events: The Allen Family reunion and Lucy’s baptism on July 28th, and our own Ackerson reunion at Pine View August 2-5.  So much fun! I can’t wait.
         Hope you’re all doin’ great and lovin’ it! Love, Mom

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Dear Kids,
         Yay! I have no medical news this week! I’m doing better and better, and Dad’s neck has completely healed up.  I’m feeling so good that we went on a walk down Hilltop Road yesterday afternoon.  It was glorious.  Just being outside in the beautiful clean air, with the fabulous view down onto the Provo River, gave my spirits a big boost. We walked too far, and I was too tired to walk back, so I sat down to rest and sent Dad back to get the car.  A nice guy who was pulling his boat into his back yard said he was glad to see me up and around, and asked me if I wanted a drink of water.  People are so good!
         It’s less than six weeks till July 28, that wonderful day for the Allen family reunion and Lucy’s baptism.  The reunion will be at Riverwoods Park, where we always have it, probably about 9 am.  I’ll send you more info when Bonnie gets it out.  And then, at 5 pm, Lucy will be baptized in the Provo River!  What a courageous little girl!  I’d thought we might have the afterparty there at the river, but Sharon pointed out that Lucy will be cold and wet.  (Seth, too.)  So we’ll come back here to our house for the dinner, probably hamburgers and hot dogs.  Sharon is in charge.  It will be a wonderful evening. Then, August 2-5 will be our Ackerson family reunion at Pineview.  We’ll be camping over for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.  Nora will be sending out more information when it gets closer.  We’re really excited about that!  So much fun coming up.  I’m so glad to be getting well again!
         I’ve got a regular hair-coloring studio going here! Last Sunday morning, when Nora was here with her kids, Paige added some more pink to her ends.  Then, Sunday night, when the rest of our visitors were here, I put a streak of purple in Anna’s hair.  Then Kim did purple streaks in Abi and Ali’s hair.  These little girls were very excited about it.  We tried to get Julie to color her hair, and she said she wanted to, but she works in John’s office and Heather’s dress code is very specific about that.  My own hair color varies from week to week, from purple to pink and back again.
         Thursday mornings, when Dad and I go to the Heber senior center, we often see crews from state corrections working on the library grounds.  Last Thursday morning Kristen Danielson was in the group.  She was sweeping the sidewalk, and it looked like she was having fun.  The crew were all girls, with matching pink t-shirts.  Kristen said she wasn’t allowed to talk to us–she could only say hi. 
         Life is good. I love you all!  Mom

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Dear Kids,
         My medical troubles go on and on.  Last week I wrote that I was feeling better and better (and Dad, too) but I spoke too soon.  Just a couple of hours after I posted my letter, something really weird happened–my stoma prolapsed.  (If you google it, you can see how icky it is, but I don’t recommend it.)  I called my doctor’s answering service, and got his partner, Dr. Dean, who told me it wasn’t a big deal.  He said that I could easily wait another day (since it was a Sunday morning) and make an appointment to see my regular surgeon, Dr. Bossart.  So I spent the day mostly lying down, trying not to aggravate it.  By evening it was swollen and bleeding and looking awful.  I called in again, and Dr. Dean told me to go to the emergency room.  The weird thing is, Donna and Bevan were here fixing us dinner, (bless their souls) exactly like the Sunday night six weeks ago when I had to go to the emergency room.  So we left in the middle of dinner (again) and Dad drove me down to the ER at LDS Hospital.  After they checked me in, they called Dr. Dean and he came and looked at my stoma.  He got a packet of sugar from the break room and sprinkled some on, because he said he’d seen on the internet that it might make the stoma shrink and go back inside.  Funny–I’d just read that same article.  Is that how our doctors know what to do, they just google it?  Well, of course it didn’t work.  They called in Dr. Bossart, and he started fiddling with it, and was eventually able to push it back inside.  (I’m really sorry this is so gross.) But of course it wasn’t going to stay, so they put me on the surgical schedule for the next day.  And they moved me up to the sixth floor, my old haunt from my last two visits.  I even had the same room I had the first time!
         The operation was really simple, and Dr. Bossart said some people don’t feel any pain from it.  But of course I’m not “some people,” and I’ve had a lot of pain.  But luckily the pain from my incision in the back has practically gone away, so I only have my front side to worry about now.  And I think it will heal lots faster than the back.
         I have to get better quickly because I’m taking on new piano students this week–adults, of course.  Tomorrow Claren Palmer is coming from West Valley, to have a lesson here at our house.  I used to teach him in our Lighthouse piano class, and then he took over the class when Dad and I had to bail out.  He said he wants to come here for lessons, and to fish in the Provo River while he’s at it.  He’s going to pay me with this fabulous fruit cake that he bakes.  Then, on Thursday, I’m starting a new session of my senior piano class in Heber.  So now I’ll be teaching there from nine to twelve every Thursday morning.  It isn’t work, though, because my students are so wonderful. 
         Since my letter is totally about me this week, I’ll add one more thing. I changed my hair color again, from pink to purple, and this isn’t the discreet purple highlights I’ve had before.  It’s bright!  It turned out way brighter and more purple than I imagined.  Maybe I’ll post a picture.
         Meanwhile, I love you all and hope your lives are going well.   Mom

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Dear Kids,
        This beautiful spring weather goes on and on, and Dad and I are feeling better and better.  Dad’s neck hardly bleeds at all now, and his wound is closing up.  He can cover it with a bandaid and not get blood on his clothes now.  I think I’ll build a fire in the firepit this morning and burn up all his old bloodied garment tops.  Nora’s family is coming for a visit, and maybe they can help me with that.  They’re on the late Sunday schedule now, and this will be their second Sunday morning visit in two weeks.  It’s been lots of fun.
         My life is getting lots more normal, too.  Yesterday Dad and I worked in the yard.  He mowed and trimmed, and I planted a new potentilla bush.  I sprayed some Roundup on our weeds and re-buried some of my sprinkler tubing that has popped up.  It just felt wonderful to be outside.  I’ve already missed out on most of this beautiful spring, but I don’t plan to miss out on any more of it.
        It was great having so many of you here Sunday night for Dad’s and Dallin’s party.  Thanks for Donna for preparing so much of the food, and thanks to the rest of you for the things you brought.  Thanks to all of you who went in on the snow blower.  Dad is absolutely thrilled with it.  It doesn’t bother him that there’s no snow now.  He can tinker with its parts.  It’s really a beautiful machine. 
        I mentioned a while ago about the ads that show up on your phones, and how they reflect what you’ve googled and what you’ve bought.  A couple of months ago I was getting ads for brown sandals, and then for cheap colonoscopies, and then for lawyers doing wills and estates (creepy!).  But what’s this: now I’m getting ads for criminal defense lawyers!  Maybe I did something terrible while I was high on pain pills.  Who knows?
        Here’s a thought for the day: The scriptures say “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Proverbs 30:5)  Why doesn’t it say “joy in the night and weeping in the morning?” Just wondering.
        I hope you’re all doing great!  Have fun with all your summer plans!
        Love, Mom