Sunday, January 20, 2013


Thursday afternoon shortly before heading over to the temple Lisa got a phone call from Alex. Apparently him and two of his friends, Parker and Ryan, decided that it was way too cold in Salt Lake so they piled in a car and headed for San Diego. It was a four day weekend so they were able to squeeze an extra day in. At first I was a bit worried for them because it has been uncommonly cold around here. Most mornings when I head out to my car it is in the low 40's or some morning in the 30's. I finally had to drag my coat out. I would feel really bad for Alex if he came down here looking for some relief from the cold I we weren't able to give him anything better than that. Well, lucky for him (and for me) Friday morning dawned in the 50's and was in the high 70's throughout most of the day. It has been a beautiful weekend for the three of them and they've spent most of their time at the beach. The day may be warm but that water is still very cold. The ocean current brings the water from Japan, up to Alaska and then down to San Diego. It is not warm in the summer and even worst during the winter. That is OK though because we have wet suits.

Friday I was in my office on the phone and in walks Alex and his two buddies. What a nice surprise. I gave the three of them the grand tour of Hi-Z and then they headed off to La Jolla Shores. They thought they were going to get some surfing in but the waves were about one foot high. Very unusual. Saturday they got some good waves in but they thought it was going to be another "no wave" day and they left the surf board home.

Unfortunately all good things must come to a close and tomorrow they head back home. It has been a fun weekend enjoying seeing Alex again.

BYU is the most applied for university in the world.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Family Reunion

Friday morning (12/28/12) Alycia, Trevor, Sarah and Sam drove up from Provo and we all piled into our van and pulled out. I had rested up pretty good Thursday and had a decent sleep so even though I was definitely getting sick I felt pretty good. It was already snowing pretty hard and I was getting worried. Sure I grew up driving in blizzards but it has been over twenty years since I've had to. Luckily it quit snowing by the time we got a few miles out of Salt Lake and we had good weather all the way up to Island Park. Even though it never snowed the roads did get progressively worse right up to the cabin. We pulled into the driveway of the property where our cabins were and as luck would have it the cabins were at the top of this little hill. While my tires weren't really bad they could have been a lot better for the snow we were in and I was only a few dozen feet from the top of the hill when my car could go now further. It was just too slippery. After several try's I finally backed down and tried to approach the cabin from another direction.

Our timing was perfect because as I was struggling to get up the first hill Kira and Justin arrived from Calgary. We got there at the exact same time. When I pulled around to get to the cabin from the other direction Kira and Justin were already stuck so I had to wait for them to get pulled out. I knew I had to have good speed to make it up the hill but it is a careful balance between picking up speed and not letting your tires spin too much. When your tires spin you have no control and that is what happened to me. I slid off the road and got stuck real proper. They had to pull me out of the ditch as well. 

I didn't feel too sick as we were driving but as soon as I got out of the car to unpack the chill immediately affected me and I started shivering uncontrollably. Luckily Jackie noticed and when I walked into the cabin she had a nice hot bowl of hot chicken soup waiting for me. It tasted soooooo good. 

It took a long time for the chills to calm down and I kept my coat on long after they had. I felt really sick but I was so happy to see my family and I wanted to visit. I picked out a comfortable chair by the fire place and that is pretty much where I stayed the entire time. I slept a lot but gratefully many people came by to visit with me and I was content. 

The kids all went out side playing on the hill with sleds and tire tubes. I was much too sick to do that and was content to sit by the fire and visit. The plan was to rent snowmobiles Saturday and Monday. I decided that I wasn't going to go out on Saturday and that I would rest up Saturday and Sunday and be ready to play on Monday. I stayed home and asked Justin to go with Ross and get the snowmobiles and from what I can tell the kids had a blast playing all day.

The meals were especially cool. Jackie had planned all of the meals around meals that Mom would cook. Before each meal she would explain how Mom would do it and it brought back so many cool memories. The problem was that I had no appetite. I would take very small portions and only eat half of it. For the most part I could taste it and enjoy it but being sick and all I know it tasted much better than what I was getting out of it. How sad.

I did take advantage of the hot tub before I went to bed. It is a strange experience to sit in a tub of hot water and watch snowflakes falling on your head. You have to dip your head underwater once in a while to keep your head from freezing but it is very nice.

Everyone played games late into the night and normally I would have been right there with them but sadly I went to bed and listened to everyone else having fun.

Sleep was very strange for me. I remember dreaming very bizarre dreams. I remember that I had a new way of looking at the human consciousness. When I woke up I have no idea what it was but in my sleep it was quite revolutionary. I was up several times during the night drinking and blowing my nose but generally I had a good sleep.

Sunday morning I felt much better. Church was early so I didn't get to sleep in as long as I might have but we ate and headed out for church. I was really concerned driving my car out because I wasn't sure I would get it back again but I didn't need to worry. I drove right up the hill.

When we drove into the church parking lot and saw no parking I figure there would be a crowd but imagine my surprise when we found that the chapel was over flowing, the gymn was over flowing, every single classroom (most with TV's) were over flowing, the kitchen was full, the bishops offices were full and every foot of the hallways and foyers were standing room only. There must have been two thousand people at church that day. It took 45 minutes for them to pass the sacrament. They obviously cancelled classes. The talk was a missionary reporting home. He gave a good talk. 

Sunday night I did stay up late and played games with my family. I actually played my Star Trek Catan game. It is just as fun as the original game. Justin also had a Catan game based on settling the United States. It had trains and is kind of a cross between Catan and Ticket to Ride. Very fun.

Monday I was ready to go play. This time I went with Ross and with encouragement I decided to rent the snowmobiles for two days.

I haven't been on a snow mobile since I was a teenager. It is basically just what it looks like but there are three things you need to be aware of that you might not think of at first.

1) In deep snow a snowmobile can easily settle down in the snow and get hopelessly stuck.

2) Going fast over loose snow prevents you from sinking in and getting stuck but you do have to perform a bit of a balancing act because the snow mobile tends to act like you're riding on the ridge of a hill and you don't want to tip over.

3) The  little bumps in the fresh snow can be a bush which is easily ran over and flattened or it can be a tree stump or big rock which is definitely not something you want to hit.

Keeping those things in mind, snowmobiling is a lot of fun.

So that was our reunion. It was so much fun getting to know my nieces and nephews better and also to get to know the grandkids.

Alycia had to be to work on Jan 2 so we had to pull out late on New Years day. It would have been fun to stay longer but alas, it all had to come to an end.

Thank you so much Jackie for planning a wonderful reunion. I had a lot of fun.

The flu this season (2013) is already three times as bad as what it was last season at this time and much worse than the flu pandemic predicted in 2009/2010. 17% of all deaths in the US right now are from complications related to the flu.

Because of my weakened state during the reunion I didn't take any pictures. Alycia and Dixie took most of the pictures and while I have most of Dixie's pictures I don't have any of Alycia's. Many of these pictures are stolen from Alycia's blog. You should check her two blog posts out. They give a very good summary of the reunion. She divided her posts up into two. See them here and here

Alycia also put together a short video clip which gives a good feel of how much fun we were having. Her video is below.

Me and my Grandson (Landon)

We put my Dad's descendants on the wall and it was at least ten feet tall.

This is a picture of Dixie's Family. There are pictures of the entire group (at least those who would cooperate). As soon as I get it I will post it.

Me and the Mama

We exchanged gifts while we were there. Kira and Justin gave me a Star Trek game (not Catan). Sadly I never got to play it while there and now I really want to play it. I can't wait until we all get together again.

Sarah and Sam gave me a Star Ship Enterprise Pizza Cutter. It is very cool. Now I want to have pizza but I'm scared to use it. I don't want to get it dirty. 

The meals were very good, full of memories and always interesting.

They were also very well organized. 

I got to see my grandson Cameron for the first time. He is a darling child.

Getting ready to head out.

Taking Landon for a spin.

The things you do when you get bored.

This little girls name is Emma. She is Kristen's daughter and she is adorable. Somehow she fell in love with me and I think she built this puzzle on my lap at least twenty times. A very intelligent girl.

We're all here except for Brandon, Serene and family and Ben and Sharley.

It was very beautiful country

All of the photographs that I have can be seen by clicking on the slide show near the top of my blog or by going here.