Sunday, August 26, 2018

Dear Kids,
         I’ve been over to the cabin a few times since Al moved out, sorting and rearranging things.  The front closet is stuffed with jackets and coats, so obviously some of them will have to go to the DI, to make room for real visitors’ coats.  Each of you ought to look through them, if you get the chance, and see if any of your long-lost favorites are there.  There are lots of stray single socks, from under the beds and inside the bedding.   Should I just throw them away, or should I start a lost and found bucket?  So many decisions!  Al did an amazing job of keeping things tidy while he was there, but he didn’t throw any of your stuff away.  I don’t want to either.  Oh, by the way, there’s an Epson projector in a black bag sitting by the high chairs. Anybody? Anybody? 
         Dad and I visited Al at his new place in Centerville. It’s surprisingly roomy!  There are three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a comfortable living space.  His rent is very reasonable, too, for the area.  He seems to be settling in very well.  Best of all, he’s close to work.  No more hour-long commutes at all hours of the night.  I’m very glad about that.
         I had fun helping Abi, Ali, and Anna do new streaks in their hair last Sunday night.  (I have tubes of red and blue now, besides pink and purple.)  When they first asked me, I said I was very tired, and it was my bedtime.  (It was.)  They said it wasn’t their bedtime, and they weren’t tired at all.  So we did it.  I combed in the color and rolled up the strips, and pinned them with clips.  But I haven’t seen how any of the colors turned out yet.  I’ll be interested to see how well the color took.  There’s a big difference in girls’ hair–some of it sucks up color, and some resists it totally.
         Yesterday afternoon Dad and I drove 10 miles up the Mirror Lake Highway to the Shingle Creek trail, and we started up it.  But it’s way too long to do in a short afternoon, especially if you’re already tired from working in the yard.  We’re planning to go back when we have a whole day, and take a lunch.  It’s 12.5 miles round trip.  Now that I feel good, there’s no stopping the adventure!  Dad’s cool with it.
         Speaking of Dad, he’s having a routine colonoscopy on Wednesday.  That’s because it’s been 10 years since he had one before, not because he has any danger signs.  I’m totally confident he won’t have the awful experience I had after mine.  And I’m not even done yet.   My colon doctor still wants to see me every three months, and my oncologist, too.  So much fun!  Besides that, we both have to see our dermatologist again, and Dr. Condie (our kind dentist), and I have to see a podiatrist because one of my toenails is full of fungus.  Oh, yeah, and I’m having cataract surgery on September 5th. No stoppin’ the fun.
         Love, Mom

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Dear Kids,
         The fun is mostly over, and Sharon and her kids have gone home.  The house seems terribly empty, with just Dad, myself, and Tina.  But I’m looking back fondly over everything that happened in the last three weeks: the Allen reunion, Lucy’s baptism, the party at Paul’s, the family reunion, Tour of Utah . . . it was all great.  So it’s been hard getting back to everyday life.  Yesterday afternoon I was feeling so let down and starved for adventure that Dad and I drove up to Mirror Lake.  The whole world is up there!  Literally.  We walked around the lake, and we passed people of every possible color and nationality.  And the scenery was so beautiful, we kept stopping just to look around at where we were.  Life can never be boring, when you live so close to the mountains.
         I know how well I’m doing physically since I could walk all the way around that lake (2.8 miles) after a morning of working in the yard.  Just two weeks ago I wasn’t able to hike to the top of the mountain at Snowbasin, with all you kids, but I bet I could do it now!  Some Saturday afternoon this fall I want to drive back there with Dad, ride the gondola again, and then climb to the top.  Anybody want to come along?
         I’ve gradually transitioned back to going to church in our own ward, but I still miss the Spanish branch terribly.  There’s a big hole in my heart.  Still, I’m getting with the program again.  I play the organ once or twice a month, and last week I taught Gospel Doctrine again.  Dad, who is still Sunday School president, wants me to switch to teaching Gospel Essentials, so I’ll start that next week.  There are such wonderful people in our ward, and they’re so kind to me!  So many people have told me how glad they are that I’ve recovered from my cancer, and that I’m back in church.  So many of them fasted and prayed for me, and for the others who were sick at the same time.  It feels really good to be there again.
         I guess all your lives are settling down, too.  I know most of the grandkids will be back in school this week.  Julie is all settled in a new apartment, and I think her classes have already started.  Fall is coming on, and more adventure will come our way!
         Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Dear Kids,
         Who can keep track of all the fun we’ve had the last couple of weeks: the Allen family reunion, and Lucy’s baptism, and Josh’s birthday party, and then the marvelous Ackerson family reunion at Pine View.  Tom commented that it was the most fun we’ve ever had, and I agree.  Until next year.  Tom said the fun keeps escalating because the kids are getting bigger and more adventurous.  Probably true. 
         This afternoon we had Tour of Utah come right past our house, twice.  Usually they go down Highway 32, on their way to Heber or Midway, but this is the first time they’ve actually come past our house along Hilltop Road. They came the back way, from Democrat Alley to Lambert Lane and Hallam Road, and I didn’t see how they could keep from crashing on those 90 degree turns. (Or running over cats.  Or chickens.  Or cows.) I was talking to the marshal assigned to stand out on our corner, before the cyclists came by, and I asked him how they were going to do those turns.  He said most of these guys have cycled all over Europe, and they’re used to narrow roads and hairpin turns.  He was really nice,  and he knew almost exactly when they’d come by.  Tom’s family was here–barely.  As they were driving up the hill to Francis, just before they came to the hairpin turn, a truck pulled out in front of them and stopped all the traffic.  So they did a U-turn and went down to Lower River Road, went around and up the dugway, and through Francis, and around to our house.  I was glad they made it. Sharon and her kids were here too, and Mandy and her kids.  It was pretty exciting when the pack of cyclists finally came by.  Lots of cops on motorcycles, flashing their lights and blaring their sirens, and lots of police and highway patrol cars.  Then the bikes, all in a group.  Then the chase cars with all the extra bikes on their roofs.  Then two ambulances.  When the whole pack had gone by, we went inside for lunch, and just half an hour later, they were back again, going the other way.  By then they had split into groups.  It was still exciting.  You could tell how fast the cyclists were going because the chase cars were speeding to keep up, way faster than we ever drive along Hilltop.  Then they were gone.  It was lots of fun.  I hope they come by here again next year.
          Sharon has been using our house as her base of adventure the last couple of weeks, but we haven’t even tried to keep up with all her doings.  She says she has to pack in all the fun she can while they’re in Utah, to make it worth the trip.  Last night she and her friends Holly and Tim and all their kids went to the cabin for an overnighter. So it’s been spookily quiet here.  Tina came out of hiding and graced us with her company.  She wants us to have a normal schedule agian, but it’s going to be dang boring.
         Love to everybody, Mom