Sunday, May 31, 2020

Dear Kids,
        The fun continues!  We’re delighted to have Sharon here for a couple of days.  She collected enough points from Southwest lowering their prices (after tickets are purchased) to fly here for free.  If you haven’t seen her yet, it’s because her schedule has been crazy.  She’ll be at the party at Nora’s this afternoon, so you can talk to her then, if you haven’t so far.   The party starts at 4:00, and it’s to honor this year’s high school graduates: Adelaide, Carson, Jacob, and Bentley. 
        Next Sunday is the baby blessing for Chloe in Paul’s back yard at 4:00. It’s potluck, so the food selection should be good.  Remember, if you want to hold the baby, or if you plan to be in the circle, you’ll need to wear a mask. Last Monday, just before the Memorial Day barbecue, Dad and I drove to Daniels Summit to pick up Matthew, since the Thackers were bringing him from the other side of the mountain.  He seemed like he’d had a good time at the farm.  He helped water, and  he drove the tractor to “drag” the pasture (spread the cows’ manure).  He got to drive the 4-wheeler and the Thackers’ RTV, too.  Farm kids know how to drive everything!  And we can consider Matthew a farm kid now. 
        Later in the week, I think it was Thursday, Nora called to see if Adelaide could bring some of the kids to hang out at our house for a while.  Of course we said yes.  Our house is very quiet most of the time, and it was fun having a lot of extra people, at least for a little while.  Our house doesn’t have any really exciting things to do, but at least they’re different than the things the Mairs have: puzzles, games, movies–they’re all different here.  Adelaide had a tote full of school lunches, too, which they’d picked up on the way.  Interesting stuff!
        I finally planted the lawn I’ve been working on for so long.  I didn’t turn on the watering system, though, since the wind has been blowing like crazy for the last two days.  But I’m going to flip the switch today, and wind or not, my seeds will get watered. In a couple of weeks, it will start looking green.  I know everybody else uses sod, but I love planting grass.  And it’s cheaper.
        Life is wonderful!  I love you all!  Mom

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Dear Kids,
        So many fun events are on the docket!  Today is Sarah’s birthday, and there will be a party with cake and ice cream here at our house at 6 pm tonight.  Be there or be square!  Tomorrow there’s a Memorial Day barbecue and birthday party for Dad and Dallin at the cabin.  I think we’ll be eating in the early afternoon, but for an exact time, you’ll need to call Nora.  Eli’s baptism is coming up, but I don’t know any of the details yet. I’m sure Tom and Kim will get the information out to you.  If the baptism is done in a church, then the number of attendees is severely limited, so I told them they should use somebody’s hot tub or a  swimming pool.  The Provo River isn’t even a possibility, since the water is too high and too fast and too cold.
        Baby Chloe’s blessing is two weeks from today, June 7, at 4 pm, in Paul and Stefanie’s back yard.  I’m sure you saw the text notice.  It’s only for grownups, and if you plan to be in the blessing circle or hold the baby, you’ll need to wear a mask.  There’s a potluck dinner afterward.
        I’m sure you’ve all heard the good news about my latest CT scan.  I’m on cloud nine.  My tumors haven’t even grown back to the size they were when I started chemo, so the cancer is growing very, very slowly.  As I wrote in my text, Dr. Lewis says he thinks I can live for several more years if he can keep it out of my liver, and so far my liver looks really good.  There are two different tracks my cancer cells might have followed from my colon to my lungs: one track goes past my liver, and the other one doesn’t.  So my cancer probably took the better track.  Anyway, please pray for my liver, OK?
        I’ve been working diligently in the yard, and I hope to plant lawn in the front within a week or so.  I only let myself shovel dirt for an hour every morning, so I don’t stress my hip too badly.  Since I’m at least two months away from more chemo, I can have the hip worked on to stabilize it, and I have an appointment to see my orthopedic doctor in a week and a half.  Meanwhile, I’m trying to get as much done as possible, but I’m like the lady who knitted faster so she could finish her project before she ran out of yarn.
        Love to all, Mom

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Dear Kids,
        Andy posted a note last night that their grandson Lennox had just passed away.  What a sad time this has to be for Gary and Carly.  I’m sure they would all appreciate your prayers.
        Is anybody besides me eager to go back to church? Our Sundays are way too slow now!  At least the morning drags on forever.  Last week I put on a video about the Handcart companies, and that held our interest for a while.  Sunday afternoons are great, when people show up and we have the sacrament, but I’m not going to mind when church starts up again.  And when the temple opens up to ordinary patrons like Dad and me, that will be wonderful too. 
        As far as the virus goes, most of Utah has been changed from orange to yellow alert, except for Summit and Wasatch counties.  (And West Valley City, and downtown Salt Lake.)  I haven’t noticed that we’re a hotbed of infection, however.  I don’t know a single person who’s tested positive for the virus, let alone gotten sick.  So I’m brave enough to suggest that we might have a Memorial Day barbecue at the cabin a week from tomorrow, May 25.  It can be a birthday party for Dad and Dallin, too.  If you remember, it was Memorial Day of 2001 that we moved into the cabin, and we had a barbecue that day, too.  That was 19 years ago!  Where did the time go?  Anyway, let’s plan on a party on the 25th, and Tom has already agreed to make his famous dutch oven potatoes.
        Other events are coming up, but you’ll get notices.  Paul’s been talking of a baby blessing for Chloe, probably at his house, probably for adults only, but you’ll hear more about that.  Kim was talking about Eli’s baptism, but their plans are uncertain.  Conrad is probably going to be baptized in a swimming pool!  Too bad we can’t all be there for that.  But Maryland is still really locked down, even if we all could be magically transported there.  Well, the important thing is that these ordinances are done, not how or where. 
        Matthew showed up last Monday, surprising Nora’s family, especially Paige.  Nora had picked him up at the airport, but she told her family she was “running errands.”  He spent a day at Nora’s, and then on Tuesday they all came here.  Dad and I had agreed to drive him to the top of Daniels Summit to meet the Thackers, and Matthew will be spending most of his time at their farm.  At Daniels Summit, we waited at the lodge, where we walked around and looked in windows.  Everything’s still closed up.  Matthew found a snowbank and made snowballs and threw them. 
        Life is good!  I love you all!  Mom

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Dear Kids,
        If I thought gas was cheap last week, I was flabbergasted when we filled up at Sams Club on Tuesday. $1.46.9!  I couldn’t believe the receipt, but it was true.  Well, we’d all better enjoy driving all we can now, because it’s bound to go up again as people get out and about.
        I hope all you daughters and daughters-in-law of mine are having a great Mothers Day.  I’m so proud of the way you’re raising your families.  I know that all the hard work and time you put in will pay off wonderfully down the road.  There isn’t anything more satisfying that raising a family.  I’m so glad the Lord blessed Dad and me with so many children.
        Our yard is coming along!  It’s been hard, because my hip hurts where I have the stress fracture.  I try to limit myself to two hours each morning, and I try to favor the bad hip.  But things are working out!  Dad turned on our watering system Friday morning, and I can finally put in sprinkler heads on the line I didn’t get finished last fall.  And I have to fill in some uneven places with topsoil, and do some more edging, and then I can plant.  I’m just going to spread the seed over our old dead grass that I killed off last fall.  For our front yard, this will be the third time.  Our bishop, whose yard is always perfectly manicured, has been horrified both times I’ve killed our grass.  (He notices everything, because he’s a realtor for high-end homes.)  I hope we’ll have a gorgeous yard from now on.
        Now that daylight comes so early, our cats think they have to go out at 5:30 am.  Scout yowls and head-butts me, and if I ignore him, he tries the same thing on Dad.  So we just let them out, even though it’s still prime time for predators.  Luckily the cats usually head for the pasture, where it’s just horses, not coyotes or foxes.  Once in a while Scout crosses Hilltop and goes down the hill, and I worry until he comes back.  We can’t forget how Oreo disappeared without a trace.
        Donna and Bevan spent Friday night at the cabin, and we found them working busily when we went over there Saturday.  Donna was getting all the emitters working on the watering system, and Bevan was cleaning the shelves in the pantry.  We really appreciate any help we get!   Dad installed blinds in all the rooms that needed them, and I’m still unpacking boxes, mostly filled with wall decor.  It’s hard to remember where everything used to go.
        I hope you’re all doin’ great and lovin’ it!  Mom

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Dear Kids,
        Is gas cheap or what?  I thought it was cheap enough in Pocatello at $1.89, until we filled up in Salt Lake at Walmart for $1.85, and then we drove by the Rainbow Sinclair where, with the discount, it was $1.81.  What a great time to go joyriding!  Friday afternoon Dad was off at the cabin in his truck, so I took the Sienna for a drive up towards Wolf Creek Pass.  I knew the road would be closed off about 13 miles up, so I went that far and then turned around and came back home.  Too bad we already went to Pocatello, or maybe I would have taken off for Idaho, and who knows when I would have come back?
        Yep, we’re plenty buggy with the virus quarantine, but thank goodness things are starting to open up.  I’ll be glad when I can go back to the library and the D.I.  I’m even looking forward to going back to church, although I really enjoy doing the sacrament with our family each week.  I’ll enjoy going back to the temple, but it might take lots longer.  Yesterday afternoon we were visiting at Paul and Stefanie’s, where we went to admire baby Chloe. Stefanie’s parents were there, too.  (Practically everybody had masks on.)  I asked Paul about a possible baby blessing for Chloe, and they’re still not sure.  Back in the 80's, people were being encouraged to have their baby blessings at home, and I mentioned that to Paul. But he said they’d just wait and see.
        Here’s another sign of the times: we got a text invitation to a wedding reception for Jeff Fulton, but we would have had to drive through.  We were told we could visit a minute with the bride and groom, and that refreshments would be handed to us, but I couldn’t summon up the enthusiasm for us to go.  When Adam Fulton got married, we really enjoyed visiting with all our old friends from 5th ward who showed up, but at a drive thru, we wouldn’t have been able to see anybody!  We’re really happy Jeff is married, though, and I’ll send them a card and some $$$. 
        I was able to work in our yard practically every morning last week, and I’ll be planting  new grass in another week or two.  Right now everything looks terrible, with dead grass and drab-looking bushes and trees, but there will be a very dramatic transformation when the new grass comes up, and the trees get their leaves.  I’m just grateful to have enough energy right now to even be outside.  I’m enjoying it while I can.
        I hope you’re all enjoying life, too!  Lots of love, Mom