Sunday, April 25, 2021

 Dear Kids,

I’m looking forward to Super Sunday at John’s house this afternoon.  The fun starts at 4:00pm.  It sounds like John’s fridge is broken, but I’m sure we’ll still have a good time.  There’s no stopping the fun with this crowd.

I just read a great news update on there’s going to be a spring storm starting tonight that will bring up to an inch of rain into northern Utah and a foot of snow in the mountains.  I know it’s been a long winter, and we’ve had a lot of storms, but they’ve been puny.  The farmers are worried about water, and at Dad’s coffee club (held in the deli of Food Town every morning) they were saying they might not even get one crop of hay this year.  So it looks like some of them have been doing some praying.  Let’s hope the storm hits hard, and then we’ll really be ready for spring after that.  Dad and I have been going to the cabin once or twice a week to work on projects, but it’s all inside stuff.  Still too cold outside.

Speaking of which, we’ve decided to demolish the play structure in back of the cabin.  The wood is all decroded and the shingles are mostly off and the whole thing leans.  Trying to repair it would cost more than it’s worth, so it’s coming down, and we’re going to put up the same tower-slide-swingset combo we have in our back yard here at the house.  It’s Lifetime brand, and it will definitely last longer than that thin wood.  So there’s going to be a combination birthday party for Dad and Dallin, along with a demolition party at the cabin on Saturday, May 29.  Oh, yes, and it will be the 20-year anniversary of when we moved our stuff into the cabin.  We have a lot to celebrate.  So, put May 29 on your calendars.  It’s Memorial Day weekend, but Saturday’s going to work out better than Monday.

Scout is not getting used to being an outside cat.  He sits at the back door and meows until we give in to his sorry face.  We have to set the timer and babysit him while he’s in, so he can’t misbehave. Dad and I take turns watching him, and after 20 minutes we toss him out again.  I know we haven’t been very diligent babysitters, (speaking of grandchildren) so we’re making up for it now.

I have red splotches on my face because Dr. Engen burned off some pre-cancerous places.  Hey, cancer loves me!  These aren’t the kind of cancers that kill you, though.  They’re just carcinomas. Dr. Engen says it’s better to burn them off now than cut them off later, and he knows what he’s talking about. 

Life is great, isn’t it?  I love you all!  Mom 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

 Dear Kids,

We had a heck of a snowstorm on Wednesday, a total blizzard.  It was the afternoon of our DUP (Daughters of the Utah Pioneers) meeting, and I wondered if it might be cancelled.  You know, old ladies don’t like to drive in snowstorms.  But I guess I was thinking of old ladies in Salt Lake.  Kamas Valley is totally different, I realized when I got there.  The room was full of ladies, and they had all driven to the meeting, or carpooled.  The oldest lady is 93, and some of the others are pushing that age.  I’m constantly amazed by this place.  And now I know how totally gutsy the old ladies are.

Scout has been banished to the outside, and he can only come in for a few minutes at a time, if Dad or I are supervising him.  That’s because he started doing bad things in one corner of the basement.  (Not to mention the basement bathroom.  I mentioned that one before.) Well, he had gotten too big for the enclosed litter box, so we got rid of it and let kitties out whenever they wanted to go.  But Scout found a better place, he thought, down in the big TV room.  I had wondered why it smelled so bad there.  I found evidence of his carelessness on the wall and the molding, and of course it was down in the carpet.  I cleaned up as best I could, but you can never really get rid of the smell, even though I spray the area almost every day with Febreze.  And now Scout is an outside fellow.  I know it’s dangerous for him, and I’ve always believed that cats have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but now, for Scout,  it’s pursuit by predators.  Sorry, boy.

Don’t forget that next Sunday, the 25th, is Super Sunday at John’s house.  4 pm, be there or be square.  Bring whatever pot luck item you like.

Friday afternoon Dad helped Bevan, Donna, and John cut down the dead aspens in front of John’s house.  It helps, having a professional lumberjack in the family!  Dad said Bevan got the trees to fall exactly where he wanted them.  The neighbors probably wondered where John found his crew.  Dad had a great time helping out.  By Friday night all the limbs were in 2 pickup trucks ready for the dump.

Yesterday Dad and I had a great hike along the Jordanelle Perimeter Trail.  We only went out about a mile, to the first lookout, and back, and it was pretty brisk. (OK, it was cold!) But I wanted to test how my hip is doing, and it did fine.  Of course I used my trekking poles.  Next time we’ll go to the 2-mile mark.  I need to work up to 5 miles each way so Al and I can hike out to the point, like we did a few years ago.  Maybe some of you will want to come with us?

Everything is possible in this family!  I love you all!  Mom

Sunday, April 11, 2021

 Dear Kids,

Hooray! Sterling’s mission papers are in!  We’re excited to see where he’ll be called.  Adelaide is working on hers already, I think, and I even heard that Jacob is doing his papers.  I’m so excited for our grandchildren to have that wonderful (and sometimes aggravating) mission experience.  I wouldn’t trade my mission for anything else I could have done, but I’d never want to go through it again, either.  If you want to get Bentley’s weekly letters on email, contact Kim.  They’re always interesting.

In two weeks (April 25) we’ll have another super Sunday event, at John’s house. (Not super spreader, probably, because even Vanessa has been vaccinated now.) Because of John’s meeting schedule, we’ll be getting together at 4 pm instead of 3.  So mark your calendars for the new time. It’ll be great fun!

Utah’s mask mandate ended at midnight Friday night, and  Summit county cancelled theirs too.  I hear most of Utah is out of bondage now.  But, ever downbeat, had a long article about all the places that might still mandate masks.  I’ll probably burn mine, though.  I haven’t worn it much, but it needs to go.  Nobody ever proved that masks helped.  It was like trying to stop mosquitos with a chain link fence.  

We haven’t had any snow since last Monday night, and our cats are enjoying the warmer weather.  They’re rolling in dirt again.  Even Sonia, who acts so delicate, comes in covered with dirt and grasses and little twigs.  Dad bought himself a new vacuum cleaner, and he fills it up every week with cat debris.  They want to keep him busy.

My pen pal Chandra Graham Garcia, who’s John’s age, sent me some school pictures of her two kids.  They’re our honorary grandchildren.  She says they complained to her that you kids had better toys than they do, based on the pictures in The Ackerson Kids Grow Up.  What a surprise! Maybe kids always think someone else’s toys are better, but I never though you had all that much.  Anyway, now you’re being envied.  Thought I’d pass that along.

What a family!  I’m so grateful for all of you!  Mom

Sunday, April 4, 2021

 Dear Kids,

I hope you’re all having a wonderful Easter Sunday.  I love this time of year, and I love Easter.  I’m so grateful for the resurrection of our Savior, and knowing that we will all be resurrected and live again after this earth life.  I think a lot about death, and it makes me all the more grateful.

I was glad so many of you could make it to the Easter picnic at Nora’s house yesterday.  It was especially nice to have Paul and Stefanie and Josh and Chloe there.  I can hardly believe Chloe is only 13 months old.  She acts like a little girl, not a baby.  She’s growing up way too fast!  Thanks to Nora for providing the ham dinner, and for all the good things the rest of you brought.  And thanks to Nora’s family for filling the Easter eggs and hiding them in the park.  It has definitely become our Easter park, and when we were leaving to go home, Nora said, “Same place, same time next year.”  It doesn’t seem that long ago that all of you were cute little kids and we went to the Easter park that Grandma Allen chose.  Time marches on.  

While we were sitting around at Nora’s house, we made plans for the next three Super Sunday spreader events.  We’ll be at John’s house on April 25, at Allen’s house on May 23, and at Donna’s on June 27.  That’s three wonderful Sunday afternoons coming up in three months!  I’m so glad we’ve started this, and for the opportunity to go to so many of your homes.  On all the other Sunday nights you’re all welcome to come to our house, of course.  

I went to lunch with my sisters last Thursday, and we chatted for a couple of hours.  I can’t even remember all the news.  Eliza has a boyfriend, and Morgan has a girlfriend.  I was happy to report to them that Julie is engaged.  Chad and his wife (dang, what’s her name!) Are having a baby boy and they’re naming him Kenobi because they’re Star Wars fans.  Austen has an online girlfriend named Madelina in Romania and they’re going to meet each other in Turkey.  Andy and Renae have moved into their new house in Orem. Ben and Monica have sold their castle house and bought some horse property so Monica can have horses.  Nancy is still suffering the effects of covid and has ongoing asthma.  By the way, I hope all of you are having the opportunity to be vaccinated.  I admit I was pretty nonchalant about it all, but I feel really free now that Dad and I have had our shots.  Utah’s mask mandate expires on Saturday (the 10th) and I plan to be mask free 4eva!

I love you all, and I’m glad to be matriarch of such a wonderful family.  Mom