Sunday, October 31, 2021

 Dear Kids,

Happy real Halloween, everybody.  I know that the trick-or-treating and trunk-or-treating are over, but it’s still Oct. 31, and supposedly the spookiest day of the year.  Dad and I celebrated yesterday by burying a cat.

Yep, it was the airport cat.  John found out that it was definitely the cat that an older guy, Tom, had been feeding.  But it got very sick, so the man had it put to sleep.  Then, that same day, the man was suddenly taken to a care center, where he’s been ever since.  And the cat was left in the freezer at the airport.  John asked if we would give it a proper burial, and of course we said yes.  I have a special place out in our meadow area where Xena and another unknown cat are buried.  We dug the hole while Scout, Sonia, and Harley (the neighbors’ Alaskan husky) watched.  I took the cat out of its coffin and wrapped it in cloth, so we wouldn’t have to dig such a big hole.  We hummed “Taps” while we shoveled the dirt back in, and we put the clumps of grass back on top.  One cat well buried. 

Thanks again to John and Heather for that wonderful Super Sunday last week.  The food was great and the hot tub was a hit.  Our next Super Sunday won’t be until January, because Thanksgiving and Christmas both fall near the fourth Sunday, and besides, there’s always a lot going on.  We’ll all see each other at the cousins’ gift exchange, and probably other times, too.  

For Thanksgiving, Dad and I will be hosting at the cabin.  I’ll do the turkey, along with pumpkin and chocolate pies, and I’ll call around to see who will be joining us, and what you can bring.  So far Tom’s family has said they’ll be there.  It’s Vanessa’s family’s turn to go to the Suttons, but they’ll be at the cabin on Monday and Tuesday of that week, and I think Nora’s family (or most of them) will be there at the same time.   At any rate we’re set up to have lots of fun for both holidays.  I’ll probably be starting chemo again around the last week in November, but I’m going to try to time it so my worst days will miss Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Messiah practice starts next week, November 7, and continues every Sunday night until we put it on December 11 and 12.  That means Dad and I will be gone for six consecutive Sunday nights, so we won’t be able to have our usual wild sprees.  (Cry, cry.)  Hopefully lots of you can come to the sing-in on the 12th, and maybe we can talk Tom and Kim into hosting an after-party, like they’ve done before.  I love the Messiah for putting me in the Christmas spirit every year.  (Except last year, when it was cancelled because of covid.)

My toe amputation is next Friday.  I’m looking forward to it so I can wear ordinary shoes again.  Mostly I’ve been wearing slippers or my moon boots.  And now my feet will match each other.

Life’s good.  Love to all of you.  Mom

Sunday, October 24, 2021

 Dear Kids,

We’re looking forward to our Super Sunday get-together at John’s house this afternoon at 4 pm.  John has a new hot tub that’s filled up and warmed up and ready-to-go, and he says sitting in the hot tub isn’t breaking the Sabbath, because it’s relaxing.  Whatever.  He says any of you who want to can bring your swimsuits and try it out.  Otherwise, it will be a lot of good food and good fun, like always.  I really enjoy these Sundays at you kids’ houses.  Actually, I enjoy every Sunday, when it comes to that. 

Friday afternoon I went to the Heber airport with Dad to watch John launch his glider.  It was fun like always.  I learned how to drive a golf cart, which is pretty easy.  John didn’t have a very long flight because a cold front came through and totally killed the updrafts, so he came down after about an hour.  One thing was kind of a downer–there’s a little office with a refrigerator in the hanger where we hang out.  I just always have the habit of looking in refrigerators and freezers–you know, there might be a box of frozen ding dongs or something.  I saw there was a box in the freezer, and it looked like a bakery box, like maybe somebody’s birthday cake was in it.  So I lifted the lid, and there was a dead cat inside.  Poor kitty.  Nobody knew anything about it, but they said that Tom, the man in charge of the hanger, had been feeding a stray cat there.  Looks like it came to an untimely end.  I hope it enjoys a good burial, whenever that happens.  Hopefully sooner rather than later, so nobody else is freaked out like I was.

Our cabin projects have almost come to a halt, but I’m still hoping to finish re-doing the fire pit.  We needed one more load of road base, so we decided to try out the Francis Pit, which is close by, on the way to the cabin.  We drove in the entrance, and nobody was around.  Finally we came across one guy driving a caterpillar.   He was moving sand from one spot to another, and the scoop on his cat was bigger than our truck.  Dad stopped him and told him we wanted a yard of road base, so he dumped it in, and the truck sank way down on its axles.  But we knew the truck could handle it.   Dad asked where we should pay for it, and he just waved us away.  So we took it to the cabin and shoveled it in around the pit.  Now we’re ready to compact it, if we can borrow the compactor from Donna’s office. 

I’m going to have the pinkie on my right foot amputated, just like on my left foot.  It has exactly the same problem.  If they leave me a stub, my feet will match.  And then I can wear my ordinary shoes again, and not just my big clompers.

Life is good!  Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, October 17, 2021

 Dear Kids,

Dad had a great time on his short trip to San Diego.  He flew down there last Tuesday afternoon, and then he and John drove John’s car back on Wednesday.  It’s a long drive, from San Diego to here, and they started later in the morning, but they sped along pretty well, and Dad was home about 11 pm.  Both our cats really missed him, because he gives Sonia treats and he brushes Scout–things I don’t do.  They were at loose ends while he was gone, and glad to have him back.  I was glad to have him back, too.  This house is awfully quiet when you rattle around in it alone.

Tom did some detective work to find out where the new Heber temple is going to be.  He studied the tax records for Heber valley and discovered that the church’s holding company owns a 20-acre property at Mill Road (1200 East) and 1500 South.  He even showed it to us on Google Earth.  It’s agricultural now.  He says there’s enough room for a temple and a stake center, and they can share the parking lot.  Tom said that in elders’ quorum somebody asked where they thought the new temple would be, and he told them, and everybody laughed.  I think Tom’s going to have the last laugh, but we’ll wait and see.

Church is definitely different in this part of the world, although the Gospel is always true.  I especially notice that in the stories people tell in their testimonies, like one man saying the friendships in our ward are as strong as baling wire.  (You know, the wire they use to bale hay.)  Last Sunday one of our counselors was talking about bringing his cows down from the mountain, getting them ready to go to their winter pasture. He said they have a path they can follow, or they can follow the fence, but they tend to stray away.  He said we’re like the cows, not always wanting to stay on the path.  Good analogy–but this isn’t something we ever would have heard back in West Valley.

Sharon’s doing really well in her nursing program.  I talked to her about it a couple of weeks ago, and I asked her about a test I knew she was going to take.  She came out near the top of the class.  Go, Sharon!  I’m proud that she’s doing so well.

Next Sunday afternoon is super Sunday at John’s house.  We’ll meet at 4 pm instead of our usual 3 pm time, and as always, you can bring whatever you like.  I’m really looking forward to it.

What a terrific family we have!  Love, Mom

Sunday, October 10, 2021

 Dear Kids,

It’s getting colder and colder.  The nighttime low is forecasted to be down to 18 in a couple of days, and it’s supposed to snow on Tuesday.  We turned off our sprinklers last week, and Dad blew out the lines with John’s compressor.  He and Donna did her yard, too.  So we’re all ready for winter.  Scout is getting ready, too, by eating all the time.  I’ll soon need a forklift to carry him.  Sonia plans to stay petite, and keep inside.  Scout doesn’t have that choice, of course, because he’s an outside fellow.  So he needs to get fat.  We haven’t seen anything of our old friend the raccoon, or any of his fellow creatures.  Just the neighbor cat, who comes in at night and eats anything left in the cat bowl.  She’s gearing up for winter, too.

John’s family drove to San Diego for fall break, and Heather and the kids are going to fly back on Wednesday.  John’s going to drive their car home, and since he needed company, and a fellow driver, he invited Dad to come and drive home with him.  Of course Dad is up for that!  He’s flying down there Tuesday afternoon and staying over just one night.  I’m sure they’ll have a good time driving and talking.  And me–I’ll be home alone for a day and a half.  That’s OK.  I have my memories of Arizona to console me.  I’m not surprised our ancestors left freezing-cold Idaho and drove their wagons to beautiful Arizona.  Most of the year it’s just like heaven there, and they can forget the 115-degree days they had during the summer.

This Wednesday it’s my turn to give an ancestor story at DUP.  I think I’ll talk about Willis Coplan.  He’s the one who was involved in the “black beans of death” incident.  He and a bunch of others were taken captive by the Mexicans, and instead of shooting them all, the Mexicans decided on one out of ten.  So they filled a jar with 10 percent black beans and the rest white, and each prisoner had to draw one out.  All the men who drew black beans were shot, and the rest of them were let go.  Naturally our guy wasn’t shot, or we wouldn’t be exactly who we are (since he wasn’t married yet.  At least not to our ancestor lady.)  This story ought to make my fellow DUP’ers sit up and listen.  

Two weeks from today is Super Sunday at John’s, at 4 pm this time.  Make sure it’s on your calendar!

Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, October 3, 2021

 Dear Kids,

My sisters and I had a wonderful time at Bonnie’s Arizona house.  We flew down there Thursday afternoon and came back yesterday.  It was fun to leave from the dinky Provo airport and fly into the Mesa airport, which is only slightly bigger.  Bonnie’s house is only about 10 minutes away from there, and needless to say, it’s gorgeous.  There’s a pool and a guest house and an outdoor kitchen and a putting green and a sports court and so much more!  We felt very glamorous, just staying there.  Oh, yes, and Ty Detmer lives around the corner.  He and his family aren’t there during the hottest part of the summer, but they had come back–I saw their garbage cans were out.  Bonnie says they’re really nice, and Ty will let you take a picture with him.  I walked past their house on both my early morning walks, but I didn’t see anybody.  No matter; my sisters and I had a great time talking and eating and driving around.  I hope we can do it again.

Dad and I finally caught the raccoon!  It was our fifth night trying.  We kept both our cats in for the night and set the trap with dry cat food.  About two in the morning I went down to check, and there was the neighbors’ cat, yowling to be let out.  So we released her and reset the trap.  About six am we checked again, and there was the raccoon in the trap, looking angry and confused.  We loaded the trap in the back of the truck and drove him about 15 miles up the canyon.  It’s supposed to be illegal to transport a raccoon, but I don’t care.  We weren’t about to shoot him. When we found the right spot we  took out the trap and put it down and released him.  He took off like a shot!  I didn’t know raccoons could run so fast!  I hope we’re done with the raccoon problem, and Dad returned the trap to his cowboy friend, but we know what to do now, if we need it again.

Sterling flew off to Honduras Monday night, but I haven’t heard anything about his arrival.  I’m sure he’s doing fine, and he’ll be a great missionary.  Adelaide’s farewell is December 26, the day after Christmas.

Thanks to Paul and Stefanie for hosting Super Sunday last week.  It was lots of fun!  Next time we’ll meet at John’s house, on October 24.   Mark the date!

Lots of love, Mom