Sunday, August 30, 2009

A dozen years

Happy Anniversary Eric and Susan! Twelve years and counting . . . four lovely children, two college degrees, both so good at what you love to do, three apartments and three houses, constant faith in the Lord and a desire to do His work, and most important - an enduring love for each other!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Our last summer adventure

Mirror Lake in High Unitas

Our annual August trip to Utah was delightful, educational and productive. We left on a Friday morning and took the Las Vegas route so that Glen could meet with a client in Kingman. Since we were going that way, we hoped for a refreshing break watching the water show and viewing the flower display at the Bellagio as we passed through Vegas. Big mistake! Clogged, ever under construction freeways and our Friday afternoon arrival time made for snail paced travel. We actually made it to the NW corner of the Bellagio before we decided we were done and traveled west until we could find a somewhat major quiet street to take us north and back to the interstate. We did stop in Washington and have a short visit with Phil and Lynette. We arrived in Provo way after dark and in the midst of a lightening laced thunder storm. It was refreshing! We fell asleep with open windows and the sound of rain.

Next morning the cool air and misty clouds enticed us to head for Thanksgiving Point for a good long walk. It was lovely as the cloudy sky brought out all the texture of the many different plants not always noticeable on a bright sunny day. As the clouds parted, we also saw that the storm had left snow capped mountains.

On the way back we stopped and cruised the Provo Farmers Market at Pioneer Park. After showers, we went shopping for groceries for the week and supplies to fix a few things at the townhouse. We also treated ourselves to a meal at the Brick Oven. YUM!

We were early to bed after watching the Nie ascent to the "Y". We had decided on early morning church followed by a Sunday drive to the High Unitas and Mirror Lake for a picnic. It was a beautiful drive with awe inspiring views. We also found ourselves in mid-forty temperatures at 11,500 feet, so our picnic was pretty short lived what with burning fingertips and all. It's amazing what high altitude can do to one's body! We decided to continue on to Evanston, Wyoming and take the freeway back rather than follow the camping trailers back down the mountain. Thank goodness it was Sunday so that Glen could not in good conscience buy any fireworks!

These are the falls on the upper Provo River. The Unitas birth five rivers in all including the Bear and Weber.

On the way home, we took the back road into Midway and I found my dream house! It sits about a mile NW as a bird flies from my old dream house and just a bit north of Memorial Hill. Love it, love it! I made Glen turn around and go back so that I could take a picture. Now that is what a "grandpa/grandma" house should look like!

We loved Education Week. This is the best description I have read of why I enjoy it so much. We walk and walk and sit and sit and listen and listen and can't stop because we don't want to miss anything! It's a bit hard on the body but oh, so good for the mind, soul, and heart! I wish C Jane would put Brent L. Top's description on her Provo web site instead of a rant about how we all inconvenience her so.

Mid-week, Nate and Nichelle finished their drive across the country from Philadelphia pulling their new/old 1974 Shasta camping trailer. Pretty smart, those two! Why use U-Haul when you can buy a trailer which you can sleep in AND use to haul all your stuff. They spent Thursday collecting all their things left behind in the townhouse, visiting with friends, and preparing for their departure on Friday morning.

Believe it or not, they were so excited to be back to hot dry desert air! Aunt Lynette spoiled them silly on the night they stayed with her in Leavenworth, Kansas. She gave them the use of her bed AND made them hedgehogs!

We followed them home a day later after topping off a perfect week on Friday night with Glen's brother, Grant, as the Cowardly Lion. The Draper Historical Theatre was presenting "The Wizard of Oz." Wylene and ALL of her family joined us for a night of dining at Neil's and then laughing ourselves silly at Grant's masterful portrayal. The whole show was so entertaining and professional, even if Toto kept running off after knocking over the props! If you ever get a chance to see Grant (known as Ray in Draper) perform, don't miss it. The Wizard of OZ lasts one more week.

We had an easy ride home. We stopped at the Red Barn for peaches and treats before making our way to Kanab and Trail's End for lunch without one stop. Glen was very proud of me! I finally ordered their house speciality, chicken fried steak with country gravy. It was pretty darn delicious. But we were good and split the apple pie a la mode.

We had a whole new experience coming down from Jacob's Lake. There was a rolling dust storm, just like we sometimes see here in the valley, out across the Paria Plateau heading west in front of the Vermillion Cliffs. It was pinkish in color. After we crossed the Colorado River, we could tell that the cold air was just racing down the cliffs you climb going to Page and picking up all that dust. The wind was so strong that the RVers were having a hard time. We soon had rain across the Navajo Reservation instead.

Thanks to Dave for keeping the watering going at the home place. We had a fantastic week. In fact, we have enjoyed a summer full of wonderful weeks and weekends. Now it's time to get back into our regular routine!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My view of Nie Nie

We're home! Utah was amazing but home is home. I'm doing that important under garment load of laundry before going to bed. While the washer spinned I checked my favorite blogs (there are lots to check when computerless for over a week, but I missed Janae!)

I was anxious to read Nie's blog. Our first morning in Provo we picked up the local newspaper and I found this. I, like many of you, have been following her story the last year. So, I took the opportunity to join in on her climb (from the balcony of the Provo townhouse:) Glen and I often watch the hikers wind their way to the "Y" but this was definitely the most special. Here is my view of Nie Nie and her supporters with my camera on full zoom. Yeah for Nie Nie!!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Soarin' over California

The first stop on our long weekend in California was the rotating tram ride up the mountain near Palm Springs.

It was an amazing ride on a beautiful clear day and we could see forever.

The wonderful thing about rising altitude is the dropping temperature. Once on top of the mountain, we were enjoying mid-sixty degree air.

Emilia was our partner in crime on this trip and she took this picture of we two.

We loved her company! (And I borrowed a few of her pictures :)

We enjoyed interesting travel companions on the tram, a group of monks in saffron colored robes.

They matched this butterfly which I photographed while taking a short walk behind the tram's mountain station.

Remember, this is just above hot, desert Palm Springs. There were beautiful meadows, enormous pines and Sequoias, and darting birds.

The low pressure that had blown through created beautiful, clear blue skies.

Believe it or not, it was this California boy's first time on the tram which began operating in 1963.

We were on our way to see these missing grandchildren and their parents. They welcomed us with a wonderful lasagna dinner and scrumptious cheesecake made by Janae's other Brazilian sister-in-law, Geisa. The next day they joined Emelia, Glen and I on a day trip to Disneyland and California Adventure (We loved Soarin' over California.) It was Andrew and Janae's sixth anniversary and Henry and Raymond's first trip to Disneyland. Janae thought that a picture in front of the the "R" was most appropriate on this day signifying their little family's beginnings. Congratulations on six years and two boys!

(Thank you for letting me borrow this picture Janae. I left my camera in the locker ALL day. Good thing! I don't know if I would have managed to catch both my camera and glasses on California Screamin' :0
For more of Janae's pictures, go here.

After our marathon day at Disneyland, Glen and I rested Saturday morning before adventuring our way through LA and to the land of Glen's youth, Hawthorne, California. Finding this sign let us know that we had found the street of dreams for little boy Glen. There had been many changes.

And his boyhood home had not been spared!

We drove up and around the corner and found his kindergarten classroom. Later in the day, I would meet many of the people who had shared that classroom with him.

We also checked out the digs of the Class of 69', location of good times for Glen.

Once again I heard of the blood, sweat, and tears left behind on this field. He was pretty impressed that they had installed a rubberized track.

Once an Olympian, always an Olympian.

For some reason, I had failed to realize just how close their chapel was to the high school. It is just one block directly south. Glen would go to early morning seminary at the church and then walk to school. Not far at all!

Glen remembers when this building was constructed and he told me about the quilt his mother helped make which included an appliqued representation of the building which was given away at its opening. This is where we attended meetings the first summer of our marriage.

And this is where we lived, an apartment complex on Doty Avenue, not far from his parents.

We then made our way to El Segundo Boulevard and Chevron Park (a lovely park next to the massive Chevron refinery and company owned) for Glen's 40 year high school reunion. Here he is getting reacquainted with the other Laurel otherwise known as Laurie Hendrix.

Ken Kawamura and Glen were in the same class many times K-12. Ken ran a dental lab for 30 years.

Lee Morrow worked for the same lab doing deliveries as did Glen during their late teens. It led to his career as a medical lab technician. Jeff Buchhalter is a pediatric neurosurgeon who left Mayo in Minnesota to join with Phoenix Children's Hospital.

Glen shakes hands with Mike Dugas who became a dentist.

More former friends. I enjoyed hearing their stories.

It looks like they are being interviewed for the nightly news. Instead, you will have to pay $29.95 plus postage if you want to hear what everyone had to say for posterity.

These two were co-captains of the football team their senior year. The famous Walt Cracknell was strong then and continues to lift. He weight lifted competitively until just a couple of years ago and now handles the weight training for his son's high school football team.

These good Mormon boys also played football together but more importantly they attended morning seminary and then went on to Spanish speaking missions and wife hunting at BYU . Paul Atwood is now a high school Spanish teacher in Boise, Idaho. He beat us in number of children and grandchildren, 7 & 9. I spent a good part of the evening visiting with his beautiful wife, Janis.

Mark Wittenberg and Mike Dugas both worked at International House of Pancakes as busboys. Glen, the cook, helped them get the job.

And last but least, the beautiful Jane Higuchi, the smart one who is Dean of Students at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. She and Glen were also classmates K-12.

Glen had a great time and enjoyed himself much more than he imagined he might. I realized what a wonderful, stable childhood he experienced as I heard school stories and neighborhood stories and teenage adventure stories and even football and baseball game stories. Many inquired about Elma and Jordan and were saddened to hear of their early deaths. One man commented on how amazed he was at the red Cardinal jackets Elma had made for the entire Little League team when they were 12. Several also asked about Glen's siblings, especially Grant. Glen was very glad that he had made the effort to attend his 40th. This is how we looked at the last reunion he attended, the 10th on the Queen Mary.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Special delivery

Even though the temperature was 114 degrees today, it was time to make some special deliveries. I finally finished Ruby's birthday dress. She was kind enough to go fetch her doll so that they could be photographed together in their matching dresses.

Don't they look lovely with their yellow dresses and beautiful blond locks? They are very patient waiting several weeks past the big birthday.

I like the way the piping detail makes its way around back as well. I made the piping from contrasting fabric. I attempted to demonstrate a bit of sash tying 101 to Sally before I left. The magazine included a photo tutorial which was very helpful.

As my eyes age, it is becoming a tad more challenging to make all those little stitches, but is still worth it. I have always delighted in a hand-smocked garment. . .

And a batch of home-made cookies. This batch was delivered to the church where it eventually made its way to the the men's homeless shelter. Our stake is providing them dinner each night this week. Fun deliveries!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Anniversary to you, anniversary to you. . .

Sally and David exit the San Diego Temple

Happy Anniversary wishes to Sally and Dave! Let me share a couple of things related to me lately about you two.

"I still think that my favorite reception ever was David and Sally's! Magical!"

"You know, Dave and Sally are really a class act! I love their thoughtfulness and kindness and the way they relate to others."

"Grandma, I just love my mom and dad so much. I love my family!"

Enjoy your day, what with your church responsibilities and all. Oh, and thanks for hosting all of us for family dinner tonight. We owe you a date night free of two lovely little girls!