Sunday, November 28, 2021


Dear Kids,

Thanksgiving was fantastic.   Thanks to all of you who came to the cabin, and to those of you who were elsewhere–we missed you!  Thanks for the wonderful food you all fixed.  I was glad I could make my usual pumpkin and chocolate pies, and I had enough energy to get through the day.  I brought home the turkey carcass for the magpies, and within a few minutes there were about 20 gathered around, flapping and squawking.  An hour later, the turkey bones were picked clean.  The next morning a crowd of about 80 showed up at the same spot, but there was nothing left.  A neighbor dog had chewed up the bones by then, and there wasn’t even a scrap of gristle left.  Thanks, Donna, for cooking it so well.  Even the magpies couldn’t get enough.

Paul and Stefanie and their kids stayed over at our house Thursday night, and we had a lot of fun with them.  Paul had me get out our old lego collection, and he found the directions for a creature that was his.  He managed to put it together by sorting all the legos into colors and then finding the parts he needed.  Josh helped by building an airplane sort of thing.  Chloe just played with pieces. 

The next main event is probably the Messiah sing-in at Tom’s church on December 12 at 7 pm.  The after-party will be at Tom’s house, and if you want to bring something, contact Kim.  I’ve really enjoyed the Messiah practices, especially now that I know the songs better.  Handel didn’t write music for wimps.

And the cousins’ Christmas party at Nora’s will be coming up soon.  I’ll find out the date and put it in my next letter.  It’s always a wild riot, although sometime it ought to get tamer, since the little kids are growing up. 

Adelaide’s mission farewell will be the day after Christmas, December 26, at Nora’s church.  I’ll find out the exact time and put it in one of my next letters.  Jacob’s farewell will probably be on January 9.

Dad is writing out Christmas checks as I type this.   We’ll probably mail them.  Since we’re old-fashioned enough to use checks, we can also be old-fashioned enough to use the US postal system.  No venmo for us on something as sentimental as Christmas money.

Lots of love to everybody, Mom

Sunday, November 21, 2021

 Dear Kids,

I’m gearing up for Thanksgiving at the cabin.  It looks like we’ll have Tom’s family, Donna’s, Paul’s, and Allen later on.  Hopefully he’ll bring his kids and/or Jenn and/or her kids.  The more the merrier.   If you can’t make it to our dinner (1:00 or so) we’ll be having pie around 5.  I’m going to be making pumpkin and chocolate pie, and anybody who wants more variety can bring another kind.  I’m bringing ice cream and whipping cream, too.  I think I have almost everything assigned.  It isn’t Vanessa’s year to have dinner with us, but she and some of her family will be at the cabin Monday and Tuesday night, along with Nora and some of her family.  Donna’s family will be there Wednesday night, and I think she’ll be cooking the turkey there.  So if you want a whiff of what makes Thanksgiving great (besides being grateful for all our blessings,) the cabin will be the place to be. 

Dad and I went to the Jordan River temple with Addie (and Nora and James) yesterday, and it was a wonderful session.  Addie was really limited in who she could invite, since there were six young people being endowed, and there are still covid restrictions.  So I was very happy Dad and I could be there.  Addie is going to be a wonderful missionary.  Jacob’s endowment is coming up, too, probably with the same restrictions.  Dad and I feel like these wonderful experiences are our “payday” for working hard to raise you kids.  You’re our greatest blessings.

I saw Dr. Lewis, my oncologist, on Thursday, and together we decided that I’ll start chemo on November 30.   That way, the timing will be really good: besides having the first infusion just after Thanksgiving, I’ll be having one just after the Messiah and another one just after Christmas.  There will be one more in January, and then I’ll expect to feel good for two or three more months.  I’m actually looking forward to the chemo, since I figure it will help me breathe better, like it did last time.

I got John to take out the stitches from my toe surgery, but I still have stitches in my ear,  from a biopsy I had on Monday.  There’s some weird kind of scratchiness in there.  Luckily, the biopsy was negative, meaning there’s no malignancy, so I can just wait it out.  The stitches are really bugging me though.  They’re supposed to dissolve, but I keep tugging at them.

Sorry I’ve written so much about my health.  My difficulties seem to take over my life, sometimes.  But there are so many good things happening, I can’t complain.  

Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, November 14, 2021


Dear Kids,

Yesterday was such a gorgeous day, Dad and I took a short hike along the Jordanelle Trail.  We can’t hope to come up to the level of you super Grand-Canyon hikers, but we went about a mile and a half in each direction.  We’ve never seen the reservoir so low–lots of it is a gigantic mud flat.  In fact, a couple of vehicles were stuck in the mud down there, and we had fun watching people try to pull them out.  In spite of the mud, though, it’s still one of the most beautiful places on earth.  My poor toe did OK on the hike, but my hip reminded me that it had been replaced just a year ago.  I guess, when you’re old, things take a really long time to heal.

I had a CT scan on Friday, because I’m going to see Dr. Lewis this Thursday.  I’m sure he’ll have me go back on chemo, because my lung tumors are making it hard for me to breathe again. The chemo worked so well last time, I’m sure it will work again.  Thanks for all your prayers in my behalf.

Sharon has registered for her very last semester in nursing.  It seems like it’s gone by fast, but then I’m not Sharon.  Right now she’s doing a round of labor and delivery, and she’s really enjoying it.  “Especially the babies,” she says.  I wouldn’t be surprised if she went to work in that area when her schooling is over.  You should always do what you love, if you can.

Sometime in the next couple of weeks, Dad will be giving each of you a check for Christmas.  I know checks are terribly antiquated, and he wanted to just do Venmo, but it seems to me that Christmas money should be special.  Venmo just automatically goes into your account, and I don’t want it to be so automatic.  If we could give you handfuls of money, I’d like that best of all.  I miss the days when we bought presents for all of you, but it just isn’t possible any more, as you know.

Tonight is the second Messiah practice.  Last week hardly anybody was there, except for Tom and myself and a handful of others.  One really loud soprano turned out to be one of Tom and Kim’s hiking friends from the Grand Canyon, and they had fun talking things over.  I really love the Messiah, and I wish I could sing really loud too, and on key, and with perfect timing.  I’ve improved a lot but I still have a long way to go.

Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, November 7, 2021

 Dear Kids,

My fingers are shaking and it’s hard to type, because I’m high on oxycontin from  my toe surgery on Friday.  But it all went very well.  My foot is still bandaged, so I don’t know if it matches my other foot now.  On Thursday I get to unwrap it and see, and have the stitches taken out.  

Tom and Kim hiked the Grand Canyon on Friday, north rim to south, and they did just fine.  Tom said the last four miles were really hard for him, but he said Kim was good all the way.  They had beautiful weather, probably in the 80's down at the bottom.  I’m glad they were all right.  I was worried because it’s so late in the year, and so dark now, and it could even have snowed on them . . . you know how moms worry about things.  Actually, I’m a little bit jealous that I couldn’t do the hike, too.  But with a chopped-off toe, it never would have worked out.

Back in September people were giving us peaches, and we got fruit flies along with them. It’s hard to get rid of those buggers!  They always seemed to hang around our sinks, so I tried spraying them with insect repellant, but it didn’t do any good at all.  When I saw a batch crawling around the drain, I figured they might be breeding down there, so I poured bleach down every drain.  That seemed to do it, except for one pesky fly, who still seemed to be hanging around.  He always kept just to the side of my vision.  Finally I realized it was just a floatie in my eye.  (If you haven’t had one yet, you aren’t old enough.)  So now I know how to get rid of fruit flies, and for the floatie, John said to just give it time.

Messiah practice starts tonight, so we won’t be having our usual Sunday night get-togethers until after December 12, which is the performance date.  Our house will be dreadfully quiet.  If you want to come over in the afternoon, we’ll be here until 5:30 each Sunday.

And yikes, Thanksgiving is in 2 1/2 weeks!  We’ll be celebrating at the cabin.  So far Tom’s and Donna’s families are on board, and I’ll probably be calling some more of you.  Nora will be hosting the Mairs, but maybe her family can make it for pie, which we’ll have about 5 pm.  The turkey dinner will be about 1 pm.  I’m excited already.

And Christmas will be coming up before we know it.  There’s no end to the excitement.

Love, Mom