May 17, 2012 - Welcome to Betsyville
- where nothing is simple!!!!
For the past couple of months my life has been overwhelmed with trying to get Grace and Aaron and Scarlett moved out
to Idaho. I also got my June book edited and turned back in and I’m close to finishing another one that will come out
next spring. We’re inventorying all the books in the library at work and so literally every minute is invested in something
– occasionally even sleep!!
So the last weekend in
April Grace had a yard sale. They made about $700 which we were very pleased about. That same weekend Tommy told me that he
was thinking about driving out to Idaho the first weekend in May. He’s been dating a student at BYU-I and he wanted
to see her. Besides he had time on his hands and thought we could use an extra driver. His part time job (until his real one
with EFY starts in June) is only Weds thru Friday. So he bought himself a one-way ticket back from Salt Lake on the same flight
with Aaron’s mom, Pam, and me. Then on Monday he realized he had poison ivy. He didn’t want to get into the car
and drive across the country with poison ivy so he went to the doctor on Tuesday and got a steroid shot and some steroid pills.
On Wednesday Grace and Aaron got their moving truck. Clay
helped them load some of the heavy pieces after football practice. Then I kept Scarlett while Aaron took an exam and Grace
continued loading. Tommy came home from work and said he was having an allergic reaction to the steroid pills. I told him
to start taking a lower dose and try to ease off them quicker – but he eventually had to stop taking them altogether.
On Thursday we helped Grace and Aaron finish loading the truck.
Tommy was still struggling to get over the allergy to the steroids. The Avengers was coming out that night and even though
we were leaving for Idaho the next morning – the boys were determined to go to the premiere at midnight. So they bought
tickets and went out to eat at 9:30 and were planning to wait for the movie to start. But Tommy called me and said he had
thrown up in the bathroom at the restaurant and was going to have to come home. Thank goodness Aaron was able to take Clay
to the midnight movie or I think he would have died. He said it was amazing - it blew his mind and changed his life.
Tommy came home and threw up
for a couple of hours. I meant to go to bed early but I hadn’t packed for myself at all and still had laundry. And once
Tommy was home and sick I wanted to wait up with him. So basically I didn’t go to bed at all that night. I thought Tommy
wasn’t going to be able to go to Idaho. He hadn’t told his girlfriend he was coming – he wanted to surprise
her. And his ticket was on Southwest airlines and they won’t give you a refund but they will let you use the credit
toward another ticket. So I thought he could just go out another time.
Tommy started feeling a little better and he really wanted to go, so he got up and took a shower and said he thought
he could make it. So we left about 4:00 am. Grace was driving the truck with Tommy riding in the passenger seat. I was driving
their car with Pam beside me and Aaron and Scarlett in the backseat. We made pretty good time – considering that the
truck can’t go very fast (70 max). We had hotel reservations in Lincoln, Nebraska and arrived there at 8:30 that night.
Tommy was feeling good and got some McDonalds for dinner (big mistake). We slept until 5:30 the next morning and left at 6:00.
Aaron was driving the truck with Pam riding with him. I was driving the car with Tommy in the seat beside me and Grace and
Scarlett in the backseat. Butch called and said Clay had thrown up that morning so we knew we were dealing with a stomach
virus of some kind and were afraid that we would all catch it! Tommy wasn’t feeling well by mid-morning – having
over eaten the night before on a delicate stomach. I gave him some Benadryl – in case it was still the allergy to the
steroids – and an anti-nausea pill.
we switched drivers. Pam was driving the car and Grace the truck with me in the passenger seat with her. Our plan was for
me and Aaron to get a little rest and take back over driving the last leg into Rexburg. I had been asleep for about 45 minutes
when Grace pulled the car over. I asked her what was wrong (afraid it was car or truck trouble). She said she didn’t
know – but the car had pulled over. I was trying to get my shoes on to go see what was the matter when Pam came running
up to the car and said Tommy had a seizure and needed to go to the hospital (she’s a nurse). Well, that was scary. I
went back and determined that he didn't have a seizure, he passed out for a few seconds because his stomach was hurting so
bad (he passes out easily and gets stiff like a seizure for a few seconds - it's a weird family trait). So we got off at the
next exit (Kimball, Nebraska). Pam pulled into a convenience store and Tommy went into their only bathroom to be sick. A whole
motorcycle gang pulled up there while we were waiting and lined up outside the bathroom door. Then two vans full of soldiers
came and were waiting for the bathroom too. So we moved Tommy to the Pizza Hut across the street where he stayed in their
bathroom. Pam ordered a pizza while we waited and they ate. I was afraid to eat anything because I was sure I was about to
have the same stomach virus Tommy had. Finally we left Kimball an hour and a half later.
made it about an hour and had to pull over again at an exit. This time Grace was smart and sent Aaron and Pam on in the truck.
We were there for at least an hour and a half. The had the cleanest restrooms on I-80 according to their signs, which was
very important since Tommy was lying on the floor part of the time. I kept going and checking on him from the door and he
always said he was all right but didn’t come out. Grace bought him some Pepto Bismal and some Imodium but he wouldn’t
come out long enough to take any. I didn't know what to do. Should I get a hotel room in that little town and try to find
a doctor that would take our insurance or what? While we were waiting a truck driver walked past us wearing a kilt –
it was just that kind of day.
Finally Tommy was able to leave the bathroom and we gave him some medicine and proceeded on. We had
to stop a couple more times but we didn’t have another long stop. We were an hour behind Aaron and Pam so we decided
to go the mountain way through northern Wyoming and into Idaho that is supposed to save 40 minutes. The road was winding and
it was dark and the mountains were scary and we went through a 100 little towns where the speed limit dropped down as low
as 20 mph. I was used to driving 75 on the interstate and we were trying to catch up with Aaron, so I was going a little too
fast and I got pulled over by a policeman. He not only gave me a ticket for speeding but also gave me one for wearing my seatbelt
wrong - I had the shoulder strap tucked under my left arm. So that was bad. Aaron and Pam stopped at Little America (which
Aaron highly recommends) so they lost their lead on us and were now 30 minutes behind us.
Just as we arrived in Rexburg
– about 10:30 it started raining. And it rarely rains in Rexburg. We had planned to unload the truck that night but
obviously we couldn’t do it in the dark AND the rain. So we went to Laura’s and Pam got a hotel room for her and
Grace and Aaron. Tommy slept in Laura’s ‘toy’ room and I slept on the floor in Harrison and Atticus’s
room. Then on Sunday after church we unloaded the truck. It was so nice because as other people who live in their apartment
complex would get home from church they would come over and help. So we got their stuff moved in pretty quick. We had bbq
sandwiches for lunch at Laura’s. Tommy’s girlfriend came over to eat with us (although she is tiny and doesn’t
eat enough to keep a bird alive). Then we went to work at Grace’s apartment. Pam worked on the kitchen, Laura did the
bathroom (scrubbed it down and then ironed the shower curtain, etc.). Scarlett fell asleep while I was holding her and I didn’t
have anywhere to put her down so I sat on the couch and held her. People probably thought I was lazy but I didn’t care.
Grace and Emily worked on Scarlett’s room while Tommy took out trash and empty boxes, etc. Aaron got his television
set up and all his DVDs organized in their shelves but didn’t get to the bed so they had to sleep on the mattress on
the floor that night. We went back to Laura’s for dinner and we played a board game. I felt like everyone needed a little
relaxation after the long drive but finally Pam said she didn’t know why we were sitting around playing a game when
that apartment looked like it did. So we ended for the night.
On Monday Aaron got the bed together and Grace got Scarlett’s room
finished – it looks so cute. The girls all went shopping together for groceries while I babysat. Then we went to a nature
park near Laura’s house that was very nice. We fixed hot dogs at Laura’s for dinner. Pam had a headache so she
didn’t come and Tommy and Brittany were going out to dinner and to see the Avengers movie he missed in Alabama –
so they didn’t eat with us. At the end of the evening I said goodbye to Grace and Scarlett since we were leaving early
the next morning. It was pretty sad. Fortunately I’m going back at the end of July for a week to babysit Laura’s
kids while they chaperone a Pioneer Trek so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
The next morning I got everyone
up an hour early because my phone was still on Alabama time. Tommy told me his poison ivy was back – worse than it was
at the beginning I guess because he stopped taking the steroids. And that the brakes on Emily’s car were acting funny.
We had just gotten the pads and rotors replaced before she came back to school – but she took it in after we left and
it’s now fixed for $140.
Anyway, we took the car back to Emily and she drove us to Grace’s. I thought they were running
late but when I realized I was an hour ahead – I apologized to everyone and told them to take their time. We didn’t
go in – just waited in the car so we didn’t interrupt Pam saying her goodbyes. Then Aaron drove us to the Salt
Lake Airport. Tommy left some papers relating to his summer job in his Provo apartment so one of his roommates was bringing
them up to him. The roommate came but forgot to bring the papers – so he’s supposed to mail them. Then Pam realized
she didn’t have her driver’s license (it was on her dresser at home – she had cashed a check right before
she left and the license was in the envelope her cash had been in). I didn’t know if they would let her on the plane
but she had a Cosco card with her picture on it so they accepted that and several credit cards with her name on them. We went
to our gate and waited for our plane to board.
We flew from Salt Lake to Albuquerque where we stopped but didn’t
get off. Then we flew to Love Field in Dallas. Our plane was supposed to leave at 6:10 but they informed us it had been delayed
and would now leave at 8:35. We were not happy. So we sat around the airport for over two hours. While we were there Grace
called to say she thought someone had stolen her identity! She got an email from Travelocity saying the plane ticket she bought
was confirmed – but she didn’t buy a plane ticket. She had called and canceled the ticket and was making some
other calls to her bank, etc. and I told her to call the police and ask them what she should do (they had her come in today
and fill out an Identity Theft Kit – so hopefully that’s all okay now). But it was very stressful. So finally
we left Dallas. The flight was very bumpy but we made it to Birmingham about 9:45 – just as it started to pour down
rain. We took Pam home and finally I was back in my own home for a few hours.
Then I had to get up and go to work today. Every
year the librarian rewards the children who read the most books with a trip to a Barons’ baseball game. That was today
and I had to go to help her with the kids. It was still pouring rain and cold. We sat in the rain for a couple of hours until
the weather finally cleared and they were able to play baseball. We had to leave after a couple of innings so we could get
back to school before the buses came.
So I'm tired and missing Grace and Aaron and SCARLETT!!!! But I'm so thankful that with al our problems we didn’t
have any major ones. The cars did fine and not a single one of us got sick during the drive besides Tommy. Now I wonder what
January 23, 2012 - Time Keeps FLYING!!!!
I don't know what happened to 2011 - it seemed
to just disappear. And 2012 is off to a quick start too! We welcomed in the new year at Smith Lake. We rented a nice house
with plenty of room so all of us could be togther for a few days. The grandchildren loved playing with each other. Banx was
hugging Harrison and his mother told him to let go. He said, "But I LOVE him!" Harrison was running around the island
in the kitchen and his mother told him to stop. He said, "But I'm really SUPER fast!" Andie brought her tricycle
and was very nice to share it with her cousins. As she would take off down the driveway with either Banx or Harrison riding
on the back she'd say, "I'm going to college like Emily!" I told Abbie that I was so happy to have everyone together
but hated that we weren't in Nauvoo (where we've gathered for the past two years). She said, "Let's pretend like we're
there!" Atticus and Scarlett and Thad don't say much but they give lots of sweet kisses. I enjoyed every minute of their
My children and their spouses had a good time together too. They flew
kites and watched ballgames and played charades and set off fireworks and made gingerbread houses and ATE. My father came
and visited with us for awhile on Sunday and brought lots of University of Alabama memorobila. It was wonderful - but like
Harrison - it went by SUPER fast. Laura and Harrison and Emily and I went down to see my grandmother at Extendicare one day
while they were here. Then they went home and Tommy went back to BYU and school started here. I'm sorry it's over but so thankful
we had the chance to be together for a little while. I am related to some really great folks!!!
December 19, 2011 - Miracle!!!
Last week Jamie and Paris took the boys and went out to
eat. Banx is doing great with potty-training so while they were there Jamie had to take him to the bathroom. On the way back
to their table from the bathroom Banx fell, hit a corner of the wall, and split his forehead open. They picked him up and
ran out intending to go to the hospital. But then Jamie saw what we call a Doc-in-the-Box facility right across the street
from the restaurant. He'd been there years before when he cut his hand working construction - so he knew they did stitches.
And he knew that the co-pay for a visit there would be $40 instead of the $300 they were going to have to pay at the emergency
room. And it would probably take much less time. So they decided to try it. They were afraid it might be closed, but were
thrilled to see a lot of cars parked around it. Jamie dropped Paris and Banx off at the front door and went to park. The front
door was locked - but Paris could see people in the far back. She knocked and got no response. So she rattled the door until
someone came. They were closed and having their Christmas party (hence all the cars). But instead of sending them down to
the hospital (which no one could have blamed them if they had) they let them in. Then some of the nurses played with Thad
while Jamie and Paris supported Banx through the process of having 3 staples put in his forhead. Everyone was so nice to them
and after the cut was treated - offered them cake and ice cream from their party! Now that's what I call Christmas spirit!!!
December 10, 2011 - Human Nature versus Miracles
I like to get a good deal as well as the next person.Coupons and discounts and bargains are
fun. But I think we have to be careful because sometimes a 'deal' for us comes at a price for someone else. I'll use two
personal experiences as examples.
A couple of years ago - right
at Christmas time - Grace and Aaron were living in an apartment and they had to pay their rent with a money order. Aaron
went to Walmart and paid cash for a money order. He was in a hurry to get to the rent office before they closed so he didn't
take the time to write the name of the apartment complex on the money order while still in Walmart. And he put the receipt
in the envelope with the money order. It was cold and raining, so he rushed out to his car and drove home. He stopped at
the office to pay the rent and when he got out of the car he had the envelope in his pants pocket. But somewhere between
his car and the office, it fell out. By the time he got into the office - realized he didn't have the envelope and went back
out to look for it - the envelope and the money order were gone. He said another guy was getting out of his car at the same
time and he figures the guy saw him drop the envelope and picked it up. Then instead of giving it to Aaron - he kept it.
And since the receipt was in the envelope - there was no way to cancel it. Of course we were all sick about it. They had
to pay a late fee since they didn't get the rent there on time. Aaron's mother loaned him the money to pay the rent and
then they paid her back with Grace's Christmas bonus. Grace said for weeks after that when driving through the apartment
complex she would look at each door and wonder if the person who stole the money lived there. Even though it was a bad experience,
it's in the past. It was just money and we have all moved on. But I wonder sometimes what the guy who took their money did
with it. And I wonder how different things would have been if he would have given the money order back to Aaron. If he could
have been a part of a Christmas miracle instead of a little Christmas tragedy.
Another story. Emily is leaving Rexburg after the Fall term and she won't be going back until the Spring term. Almost two
years ago she bought a 1988 Honda Accord with a lot of miles on it. The car is nothing to look at and it's a stick shift
- but overall it has been a good dependable car for her. Since Andy has a newer, somewhat nicer car that she will inherit
while he's on his mission, she decided to sell her car. She's been living on about $50 a week since September so the prospect
of having a lot of money all at once was wonderful. She has been dreaming of all the things she would do with the money
- rent a storage room to store her stuff until Spring, buy a few new clothes including a heavy coat, and buy lots of Christmas
presents. She was asking $650 - which was below the blue book value - and hoping for a quick sale. Yesterday a man came
to see it. He test drove it and then proceeded to tell her what an awful car it was. Finally he said he would not pay one
penny more than $500 for it. She needed the money and so she took the $500. Maybe the car wasn't worth any more than that
or maybe the man couldn't afford more than that. If he couldn't afford more, I wish he had said that so she could have gone
away from the experience feeling like she helped someone. If the car wasn't worth more, I wish he had just said that - in
a nice way. But I'm afraid that he saw an opportunity to take advantage and probably drove away proud of himself for getting
such a good deal. Emily still has enough money to accomplish most of the things on her dream list, but it could have been
such a different experience for her if the 'buyer' had used a different approach. Emily could have concentrated on the miracle
of having $500 instead of feeling like she'd been cheated.
miracles will overcome human nature in your life this Christmas season!!!!