Monday, February 20, 2012

Catching Up

I have not posted a journal entry for 18 months.  Maybe my life is just too boring, but there really has been a lot take place since July, 2010.  I'll try to remember what I can, but I am getting on and the memory is shot.
  •  Mom was diagnosed with stomache cancer in August, 2010 and died on October 15th.  That was a really hard two months but also very rewarding spending those precious last days with her.  She was such an integral part of our lives that it is still hard to realize that she is gone. Nikki, Judy and Ann brought a flannel and minky quilt that they had made for her.  The owner of the Quilted Hen quilted it for free because it was for Mom.  I still have that quilt and have spend many hours enjoying its warmth while I watch TV.   I starting spending nights at her house to help her around the first of September.  Steve, Verona, Cheya and Myke were there every day and Susan Rasmussen came out from Virginia to help the last two weeks.  Greg and Wayne made a special trip on Labor Day and so many of the grandkids also came to visit.  Mark and Susan Merrell came out almost every weekend.  That last night was almost unbearable but also filled with some really incredible spiritual moments.  I will always remember Katie singing "Be Still My Soul" as Mom took her last breaths.   I was so touched by all the friends and family who came to bid her farewell.  She really was a blessing to so many.  All of her grandkids were there for the viewing and only one missed the funeral.  That will probably never happen again.  Sbe is buried in the Vernal Memorial Cemetery next to my dad on a hill that overlooks the entire Asbhley Valley.  Simply beautiful.  Even though I dreaded going through her things and worried that my siblings and I would have hard feelings, it actually turned out to be a fun occasion to share memories and celebrate her and Daddy's life.  I hope everyone felt okay about how things were divided.
  • We celebrated our first Thanksgiving without Mom, but still held it at her house.  I think it turned out okay.  Kristie had really cleaned the place so it sparkled and everyone came with the intention of having a good time.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find her Italian sutffing recipe.  (more on this mystery later)
  • On December 19th, Jordan and Lincoln came from Cedar City and Cassie from SL and helped me move from my house to Mom's  It just seemed easier to have me there so I can go through what's left (way too much) and try to make sense of things.  With the help of members of my church, we were moved in about an hour.  I took the next week off to get ready for Christmas.  Stacey came up from Cedar City and we had a great if extremely cold Christmas.  Mom's house is really cold and it snowed so much.  We had the usual Christmas Eve party with dinner, a program and gifts.  Stacey taught us how to make music with triangles?? (can't remember what we were using but triangles seem right)  We were pretty bad but it was still fun.  Then Myke and Cheya's family played the bells.  Instead of watchng Mom open all her gifts, we did a game with white elephant gifts that was really fun.  All in all, a great Christmas.
  • On February 4, I turned 55 and a friend from work took me to dinner the night before.  When I got home, I found that my water was frozen.  I had to run over to my old house and bring back buckets of water so I could flush the toilet, drank water that I luckily had in the fridge and washed with bottled water that Mom had in her store room.  So I got to spend my birthday getting the water meter unfrozen, but felt blessed that it was such an easy fix.
  • Even though I had the big stuff moved, I still had to go over to my old place numerous times to move myriad small things.  Took forever and let remind you that it was soooo cold and there was soooo much snow.  In February, I hired Tobin Roberts to remodel the big bathroom to get the house ready to rent.  Jordan and Stacey had done the little one on August but the big one was awful.  It seem to take forever to finish but finally it was done.
  • The middle of March, I finally rented out my house to Janelle Summers from the bank.  What a relief to have someone living in the house that I trusted to take good care of it.  She began stopping by Mom's house on Sunday afternoons to take me for rides around the valley since her husband worked non-stop.  I can't believe how many places I've never seen that are so close to home.  We always had such good conversations and I've missed her since she moved to Texas in November. 
  • Summer in Mom's house is almost as wonderful as winter is bad.  Her yard is beautiful even though I'm not great at yardwork.  I just really enjoy that shady walk on the north side of the house even when the apricots are falling all over the place.  I can walk out in the back yard and find deer crossing by the back fence.  One day I drove in and there was a huge buck standing under the apple trees in front.  Clyde Ruppe put cows in the pasture for a while but soon replaced them with horses.  Maybe it was the two calves getting out on the highway which caused some excitement for me on a pleasant summer evening.  Some mornings I would wake up to the horses galloping up and down just outside my window.  The house stays pretty cool downstairs but the upstairs is terribly hot.  Even so, I had visitors for the family reunion and the 4th of July.  It's nice to have room for everyone which I certainly didn't in the other house.  The autumn is amazing when all the leaves start changing.  Can't say I enjoyed raking those leaves but the leaf blower helped.
  • In August, Kevin Merrell moved back to Vernal and stayed in his old room upstairs.  He helped mow the lawn and it was nice having someone else in the house even if I didn't see much of him.  
  • Another change in August was that my boss at Wells Fargo was given an early retirement.  So my branch was moved into another district with a different boss.  Trevor is easier for me to get along with.  He is more complimentary when I do things well and really has some great ideas.  
  • In September, Cassie and I flew to Virginia to attend Kevin Rasmussen's wedding.  It was so fun to see where all the Virginia cousins live and visit Washington DC.  We got to see where Ben makes his chocolate and had a wonderful dinner at Debbie and Kevin Roderick' beautiful home.  They have the most amazing yard.  Wayne and Susan are fantastic hosts and we really enjoyed our short time there except for th humirity.  I had been there before but had never visited the Library of Congress and really liked that. 
  • For UEA this year, Susan, Mark and I flew to Colorado Springs.  We visited Pike's Peak, the Olympic Training Center, The Garden of the Gods, the Royal Gorge Bridge, and lots of other places.  I really love the city.  In the beautiful homes built on the mountainside, you can see deer stopped at the stop signs and laying in the yards.  They are almost domesticated.  I think the Air Force Academy was one of my favorite places.  After going through the Crystal Cathedral, we were able to watch the cadets turn out of the parade ground to honor the  Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  Pretty impressive.
  • In November, Janelle's husband took a job in Texas so I needed to find another renter.  Luckily, Kevin was ready to be on his own.  At least he was on his own for a short time, because he got married to Jenny and moved her and her two kids, Jordan and Brook, into the house.  I am being really lucky to keep that house occupied.
  • I spent Thanksgiving in Cedar City in 2011.  It is Jordan and Stacey's last year there so it was a great time to stay with them and spent the holiday with Susan and her family.  I finally found the recipe for Italian Stuffing.  Stacey had it!!  It was so good as was her cranbery salsa.  In fact, the entire meal was fantastic and we had so much fun with the Merrells. 
  • The end of November, I was transferred to the Roosevelt branch.  I was not too happy with that change as it is a long way to drive to work every day.  However, the people I work with are great and I have enjoyed getting to know them as well as the customers.  I travel almost every morning with Nick who is one of my bankers.  He is hilariousand keeps me entertained.  We have almost listened to the entire book of Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett together. Very funny. 
  • Stacey, Jordan and Lincoln came up the week before Christmas so we got to celebrate a little early.  Now that Lincoln is four, his tastes in presents are getting a little more specific.  He is really into super heroes and it is so fun watching him name them all off.  He is so cute with his glasses on.  They are moving to Las Vegas next summer and I will miss visiting them in Cedar City. 
  • Cassie joined me again for Christmas and we got her to plan the Christmas Eve program.  She did a fantastic job.  I think it is one of the best programs we have ever had and I kept all her music and lists to use again.  We had Jenny plan the dinner which was also wonderful.  Why did it take us so long to figure out that it was time to pass these tasks off to the next generation?
  • It has been an extremely mild winter this year which is nice since the furnace has been so tempermental.  Just got it fixed this morning and it was a pretty simple fix.  He showed me what to do it ever happens again but I doubt if I will remember.  Not too much snow which made traveling to Roosevelt almost pleasant. 
Well, folks, this is all I remember about the last year and a half.  I will probably remember more and add things as I go.  I should probably go back to a monthly journal entry but somehow doubt that is going to happen. 


  1. Wow, that was nice recalling those memories. I can't believe you remembered all that. I need to post again on my blog. I will soon.

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