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Friday, March 25, 2011


So many thoughts are tumbling around in my head that it is causing severe distraction.  I wish I had Dumbledore's Pensive; I would use it for thoughts instead of memories.  As a substitute Pensive, I will empty some of those many swirling feelings into my blog.

First, I want to announce that my oldest son, Kevin, is getting married!  Hooray!  We are so happy about this terrific news!  He is engaged to Lindsey Turner of Declo, Idaho and they are planning a June 28 Logan Temple Sealing.  That is my Mom’s birthday so it will be a doubly celebrated day.

Second, I want to tell Rob happy birthday tomorrow.  I'm sorry I won't be here to properly celebrate your special day.  You are such a great husband and father and I love you so much!  I hope your day is happy.

Next, I wish Kevin a happy 27th birthday on March 30.  It is so hard to believe that many years have passed since he was born.  Perhaps because of the vivid memories I have of that day—the weather (damp), what I was wearing (horrible hospital gown), where I was (Utah Valley Medical Center), how I felt (frantic), etc., it just doesn’t seem possible that it was that long ago.  Kevin is busy studying and working in Logan.  He is working on his Master’s degree in Instructional Technology at USU and works for the Alumni Association on campus.  Kevin is a tremendous young man and his Dad and I feel so blessed to have him as our son and we know he will be a fabulous husband to Lindsey.

I am sending these birthday wishes early because I’m heading off to Arizona in the morning to see my Mom and  brothers, Jim and Mark.  Mom lives out in the desert and doesn’t have wireless internet, so I’m thinking I’ll be off the grid for awhile.  I will miss reading blogs, Indexing, and checking my email and Facebook accounts, I’ll have to catch up when I get back.

That leads to another thing I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about—My brother, Mark and his family who have left their home in Japan and are living in a furnished apartment in Burbank, California.  Mark and Nana wanted to get their three boys as far away from the radiation and mayhem as they could, but are feeling very displaced.  Mark said he wouldn’t have believed he could miss the ‘routine’ so much.  I’m sure these have been difficult weeks for his family.  He goes to work at his company’s California office and leaves Nana with three boys to entertain.  I’ve worried and wondered about them.  I’ve offered to bring them back to Utah with me when I come home from Arizona, but their future is uncertain right now.  It will be so good to see them, look them in the eyes to assess how they are doing after all they’ve been through with earthquakes, aftershocks, tsunami, nuclear disasters, and a-no-end-in-sight evacuation.

Finally, I've been flashing back a year ago when Rob, Cami and I flew out to Baltimore, MD and spent the most amazing week with Dani and Kelly. I wish we were doing that again this month, but they will be out here in June for the wedding so we'll look forward to that visit.

Thank you for allowing me to unburden my twirling, shifting thoughts.  Perhaps looking at a few of them written down will allow me to focus on the important issues at getting packed...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Federal Offences

I believe the statue of limitations is now past so I can divulge details of a Federal Offence which occurred some years ago.

The entire time my family lived in Hinckley, our address was P.O. Box 119.  Box  number 119 was the very highest numbered box in the Hinckley Post Office.  The boxes were brass with combination locks with letters instead of numbers on the dials.  The old Hinckley Post Office was a tiny, wooden building painted red, white and blue which sat on the east side of Main Street.  Sometime since then, Hinckley has built a new, modern, brick building that now sits three blocks south and on the other side of the street from the old site.

During my childhood my Mother rarely went to the Post Office, she usually sent me or my brothers to collect our mail.  One summer day, probably right after Mark was born, Jim and I were sent on this errand and found ourselves at the Post Office during the lunch hour when the post master’s window was pulled down and no one was around.  We opened our box and then, I’m not sure why, we started trying to open some of the other 118 boxes.  We found out very quickly that if you turned the dial while pushing against the little release knob, you could feel when the combination ‘clicked’.  Within about 20 minutes, Jim and I had every single mailbox opened.  We had the rows of all 119 little, brass doors standing straight out and had just stepped back to admire our work when Mr. Hardy, the Post Master, returned from his lunch break.

I don’t think we realized that we had done something really bad, but it certainly was a big issue to Mr. Hardy (normally a very congenial and kind man).  He began to berate us mercilessly.  He yelled at us that no one except a certified mail carrier is allowed to handle the US mail and that it was a FEDERAL CRIME for anyone else to mess with it.  We pointed out we hadn’t touched a single letter; we had just opened the boxes.  He continued to rebuke and reprimand us while we stood silently and took his verbal abuse.

He made us close all the boxes, turn each dial, and then promise to never try that again.  Jim and I took our own mail and returned home with our heads hanging down.  You never saw such a pair of contrite federal offenders. 

After that, whenever I had to get the mail, I grabbed it quickly and dashed out of the post office.  My fingers itched to turn those other dials and open those boxes to show how easy it was, but I showed restraint and kept my promise and never opened another person’s mailbox again.

Perhaps next time you are in a post office, you can look at those wanted posters and if you flip back some years, you’ll come across an outdated page with 10- and 7-year-old faces of the federal mail criminals who broke into over a hundred mailboxes in their scandalous career one summer day in 1972.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Prom--Past and Present

WHS Prom 3-13-2011
Cami went to Prom last week.  Prom equals DRAMA in my mind.  For weeks it was a tangle of asking/answering, going/not going, tears/dry eyes, and dress shopping the weeks prior to Prom, but in the end she had a good time, went with a nice boy, has photographic evidence that she attended, and is still friends with the guy.  What more could you ask for?
DHS Junior Prom 1979
Going to Prom was a dramatic thing for me in 1979 at good ol' Delta High School.  Robin Lyman asked me to the dance early one morning by phone before I caught the bus to school.  It was awkward and I couldn't even look the poor guy in the eyes the weeks prior to the dance.  Somehow,  Robin and I are still friends.  We even ate at the same table at our 20th and 30th class reunions.
LGHS Junior Prom 1974

I don't know much about Rob's Los Gatos High School Junior Prom, but it must have been dramatic because he won't talk about it.  I know the first name of the girl is Annetta and that he hasn't seen or talked to her since shortly after he got back from his mission.

Thank goodness all these proms are now in the past.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Feeling Just a Little Blue

One year ago today--Wednesday March 10, 2010--Rob, Camille and I dropped Bryan at the curb of the Missionary Training Center to spend the next 13 weeks learning Hungarian before heading to Budapest.

Bryan worked HARD to learn this difficult language and had the additional responsibility of being a Zone Leader with his companion, Elder Smith.  They worked together to serve their zone and made many friends over those months.  Finally the big day came for the Hungarian Elders and Sisters who'd served their time to fly to Budapest and get this show on the road.

Elder Crouch loved and appreciated his trainer, Elder Cheney, almost from the first moment the met.  They worked well together and Bryan sent home such upbeat emails.

Needless to say, it was a complete shock to receive a phone call from Sister Baughman, the Mission President's wife, telling us that Bryan had been to an orthopedic in Budapest and was in terrible pain from bad knees.  They hoped to be able to send Bryan to Germany to do surgery and allow him to recover in the Mission Home.  After an MRI was performed; however, the physician said the recovery would be so long that they would have to send Bryan home and give him a Medical Release.

The ensuing months have been tough on our family as Bryan's knees continue to swell and ache.  He has followed all the instructions of the surgeon and physical therapist, but we are all anxious for a full and complete healing.  Unfortunately, with osteoarthritis the healing may never be full or complete.

So at this one-year-mark, what should be Bryan's "Hump Day", we are all feeling a bit blue.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

For those of you who have sons and those of you who are happy that you don't...

This was emailed to me quite a few years ago and I liked it so much, I copied and saved it as a word document.  Tonight I was going through my computer files and deleting old and useless documents, but laughed so hard when I opened this and read it again.  My sons are grown up now, so I guess these days are over, well unless I have grandsons someday...

You find out interesting things when you have sons, like:

1.) A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft. house 4 inches deep.
2.) If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.
3.) A 3-year old Boy's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.
4.) If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound Boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20x20 ft. room.
5.) You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.
6.) The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.
7.) When you hear the toilet flush and the words "uh oh", it's already too late.
8.) Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.
9.) A six-year old Boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old Man says they can only do it in the movies.
10.) Certain Lego's will pass through the digestive tract of a 4-year old Boy.
11.) Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.
12.) Super glue is forever.
13.) No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.
14.) Pool filters do not like Jell-O.
15.) VCR's do not eject "PB & J" sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.
16.) Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.
17.) Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.
18.) You probably DO NOT want to know what that odor is.
19.) Always look in the oven before you turn it on; plastic toys do not like ovens.
20.) The fire department in our hometown has a 5-minute response time.
21.) The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.
22.) It will, however, make cats dizzy.
23.) Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.
24.) 80% of Women will pass this on to almost all of their friends, with or without kids.
25.) 80% of Men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and brake fluid.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Raising Rabbits

The Easter I was seven years old, we went to Arizona to visit my Grandparents.  They had a gift for my brother, Jim and me: a pair of white rabbits.  They looked like the rabbits a magician would pull out of a hat; with long ears, pink eyes, and enormous hind feet. 

Jim and I always rode in the camper shell of Dad’s pickup on long trips.  The ride home was much more entertaining with those rabbits in their wire cage.  We had carrots, apples and lettuce leaves we were constantly poking through the bars.

My dad was forced to make a rabbit pen within a day or two of arriving home.  Once the bunnies were installed in their new home we thought we were set and all we had to do was feed and water them.  As it turned out, we had a male and female rabbit and the perception of rabbits breeding, well, like rabbits, turned out to be true.  It wasn’t long before the female had pulled out tufts of her own fur and lined a corner of the hutch and had a little, writhing batch of bunnies.  Newborn rabbits are not cute, but it doesn’t take them too long to become adorable.  My Mom made us take a bottle of vanilla extract out to the hutch and dab a little on the mama’s nose before we could hold her babies.  Jim, Mom and I all loved cuddling the baby bunnies.  Within weeks, the rabbit hutch was completely overflowing with fluffy, white rabbits and my dad started construction on more pens.

Dad made three more wooden boxes with chicken wire windows and floors, and then he made several more.  Each hutch he crafted became more sophisticated and more adapted to the needs of the animals and their keepers.  His creations had separate nesting sections that were completely enclosed with a piece of plywood with a round hole cute in it separating it from living area with the food and water containers. He had us fill the nesting boxes with clean straw.  Our buns loved their new homes and went right to work making more bunnies.

We sold quite a few of our rabbits advertising them at the IFA store in Delta.  My dad also slaughtered many of the young adults each spring, but I could never eat a bite of that meat.  I practically became a vegan while I lived in Hinckley with us raising and slaughtering our own meat.  I just couldn’t eat someone I had loved and named.

I remember Jim and I having to clean rabbit manure out of the hutches with a short-handled hoe.  We would have to nearly climb into the cage and pull the piles of poop pellets off of the wooden sections to fall through the wire flooring.  We would hold our breath while we were doing it because it was such a strong ammonia-smelling stuff.  It made our eyes water and was truly a miserable chore.

Another vibrant memory of the rabbits was when our cousin, Tammy Basham, came to live with us when she was five.  We gave her a beautiful tan and white rabbit of her own which she named Bunbun.  She would pick the tops of weeds and grass to feed Bunbun and Tammy would sit and hold her rabbit for hours.  One morning before school, Tammy went outside to check on her bunny while we were eating breakfast.  I still remember her crashing through the door shrieking, “Jojo ate Bunbun!”

A large black lab dog (named Jojo) was in the process of chewing up her bunny and spitting fur all over the place when Tammy came around the fence where the rabbit hutches sat.  It was extremely traumatizing for her to see her baby murdered like that.  Dad thought she must have left the cage door unlatched and Bunbun had pushed it open and allowed the dog to get to her.

Raising rabbits is not for the faint hearted.  It is smelly, physical and emotional work.  Occasionally I’ve thought I’d like to have rabbits again, but then I think about it some more and decide, “No, I really don’t”, but I wouldn't mind holding a baby bunny if anyone has one...