Iíve held this up a little longer than I intended but these are hectic times here right now Ė Dale just got discharged from the Marines Ė LuJane just adopted a new born baby Ė Jeanne and Larry are re-locating from Montana to Oregon for next years teaching and she is 9 months pregnant Ė I just became a college proffessor (sic) and am trying to overhaul the engine on my welder and try to keep ahead of my students at the same time and Russ just bought a pair of parakeets!! Now how is that for openers Ė Iím sitting right in the middle of all this Ė in fact, those parakeets are flying all over the place right now and I think they are in love with each other. They are interesting to watch but I try to sit in a spot where they canít get directly over me!! They are cute tho Ė first she chases he, then he chases she Ė canít figure why they donít just co-operate.
Perhaps I should elaborate a bit on the opening statement Ė on second thot, I donít feel like writing 10 or 15 pages tonite and besides, postage rates are too high to send that kind of explanation. I guess first Iíll try to explain the college professor bit. It seems like the welding instructor at Lewis & Clark State College got unhappy and quit in the middle of a quarter so they got desperate and hired me to finish out the term Ė the only problem is, these kids have all been this class for one to two years and know more about this sophisticated equipment than I do Ė I feel quite inadequate in the position and wonít go into it further because I know that no one likes to see a grown man cry. I only have two more weeks to go so I guess Iíll just continue to steal the collegeís money and let the students teach themselves and retire with dignity.
(later!!) Sorry but this letter got interupted! Things have gotten QUITE hectic up here Ė I did retire with dignity (I think) from my proffessorship (sic) Ė seems like the college and the guy that quit kissed and made up. I AM the proud owner of an official Idaho State teachers certificate, however. I donít really know what to do with it Ė maybe frame it to show the grandkids when they get smart with me. I have heard tho, that you can take that certificate to any beer joint in Idaho and with that and 50Ę you can get a beer!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Jeanne and two children moved in with us for the summer until they get things arranged in Oregon (Larry has a summer job in Montana) and Jeanne immediately presented us with #3 child Ė a beautiful little ? (9 lb. 5 oz.) girl! She is our biggest problem right now Ė she has yellow jaundice. It seems to be a waste elimination problem but the doctors are not sure if it is a gland (live etc) that is causing it or if it is a block of the intestines Ė which will require surgery. We are hoping for the best Ė the baby seems perfectly well except for the yellow cast and a blood count that wonít stabilize. She is nearly two weeks old and still in the hospital. I feel so sorry for Jeanne and Larry and I also feel so helpless!! Thatís what makes me mad Ė nothing I can do to help.
On these cheerful notes, Iíd better close this letter Ė things are real good up here (except for the baby), hope everyone is doing as well. Our grandchildren are driving us insane but itís kind of a nice kind of insanity Ė keeps you from getting too deep in a rut Ė I just wonder where they get all their ambition from!!
Leap year 1980
Hi all, I have a little problem this time around. We got the family letter and then a couple of days later a bunch more stuff came from Aunt Sarah via Madge and Orph and Lavell and I got the impression it was to be sent along Ė so Iím sending it along with the extra letters from Madge and Aunt Sarah. The letter might weigh about 15 pounds but Iíll let someone else take the stuff out that doesnít belong.
If no one else wants those newspaper items, I wouldnít mind having them back. I guess that flooding down there was something else. I only remember anything like that once when I was just a little ďfellerĒóI donít remember what year it was, but I remember wading in water up to my knees to get to Lunds Store. Maybe some of you ďolderĒ kids can remember when that was. It hasnít been quite that bad up here but it was wet enough that the ground got completely saturated and one of my septic tank drain fields in the court became a bog. So being quite resoursful (sic) I rented a backhoe and dug a hole at the lower end of the drainfieldÖ got the excess water out as much as possible (I dug the hole about 14 feet deep Ė we hit course river gravel down there) I then dumped 12 yards of rock in the hole for drainage and covered it back up. Brilliant huh? Not really? I immediately ran afoul of the county sanitation engineer! He wrote me a letter to the effect that it looked to him ďas I was driving byĒ that I had done some work on my sewer system and I hadnít gotten his blessing before I did this work and please explain why. I thought I might be in trouble so I called the clown and explained that I had a swamp in my trailer court and did what I knew had to be done. As it turned out, all the guy wanted was to have me sign a request for a permit to dig on my own property and give him $20.00 bucks for the permitÖ donít you just love the society we are living in these days? You donít dare tell the man what you really think of him and his rules and regulations because Iíve finally decided itís pretty hard to whip city hall Ė twenty years ago --- wup!
Wait a minute Ė Iím older than I like to remember Ė so Ė thirty years ago, I would have told him what I thot about him, his office, his regulations and what I would do if he didnít get off my back! I would also have caused myself a whole bunch of trouble in the process, but it sure used to be fun!!! Ainít this awful to hear your little brother starting to admit heís getting old? Iím not giving up yet tho Ė Iím re-building a little economy car so we can kinda offset the gas prices and still do a little traveling Ė hope it turns out good.
This has been a kind of rambling letter but up here its kind of a rambling time with children with problems and Thell with problems. There are no personal problems, but Iím sure you will all agree the problems you canít do anything about Ė like some one elses health or your childrens personal problems are the ones that worry you the most.
Things are reasonably well under control right now, so had better get this letter on itís way. Things arenít that much under control either but Iím out of money and out of ambition and out of patience so Iíll just ignore things for a while.
I just got done hooking the trailer court up to the new sewer and as usual after that much dealing with the government troops and their stupid rules and people that enforce them, my respect for morons increases considerably. They tell me what I can and canít do on my own property and dictate the type of materials I must use which doubled what it would have cost if they had let me alone. Then they assess me a flat $10,000 for my share of building the main sewer system which I didnít even want. Then they FORCE me to hook up to the thing and charge me $150 per month to use it, then just to grind it in a little deeper, they charge you $25 for a permit to do all this stuff they are forcing you to doÖ that is when I lost my sense of humor. It didnít do a bit of good because I also lost the battle. Well, itís all done now except waiting for the ground to settle and getting it smoothed up and re-graveled. I had to dig a 200 foot trench up the middle of one driveway the full length of the court so we had quite a mess. I finally built me a grader blade and mounted in underneath my old 4-wheel drive pickup so I can keep it smoothed as it settles.
This winter has sure been nice up here. We had about a week of weather that got below 20 degrees above. The rest of the time it has hardly frozen and most of the time the low has been in the 30s and 40s. We might not have any water next summer but Iím sure enjoying it now.
Dennis and family came from Xmas holidays and we managed to squeeze in a trip to the new Seattle Temple and had he and Russ sealed to us. We saw Leland and Wanda Huntsman there. They are there on a two year mission as you in Enterprise probably know. Got to talk to Wanda for a few minutes but not Leland Ė Iím not too sure he would have wanted to see me anyway. It was a nice trip and not nearly as far as I thot it would be Ė its less than 300 miles.
Iím still president of our Sunday school class (Gospel Doctrine) which, as far as I can figure, consists of finding someone who will open and close the meeting with prayer. Iím still not too well acquainted in the ward yet so the people whose names I know get an awful lot of practice praying. I keep hoping they will get tired of it and fire me but nothing so far.
Little Kelli seems to be about back to normal again Ė I guess she will always be a question mark. Better stop for this time Ė mainly because I canít think of anymore to say.
Hunting season is over for another year so Iíd better settle down and get this letter on itís way. As usual I donít have any good deer or elk stories to tell. I even outsmarted my stiff knees and took a potty chair camping this year.
I sure canít figure the deer population in this country. You would naturally think if there are does around there would be a few bucks but no so up here. Iím sure I saw at least 150 does this year and one buck and he was just a kid. I did take a shot at him Ė not that I expected to hit him at that range but just to say I got a shot. I still think these does have figured out artificial insemination or else they have one old buck hid out in the hills that will die with a smile on his face. I may have made that statement before but the thot keeps crossing my mind.
I do have a comfortable little camp outfit now. I bought it for almost nothing from the kid that built it a couple of years ago. Unfortunately the guy wasnít very tall so he only built it 5-1/2 feet wide and put the bed crossways. I suppose he could sleep on it okay but when I tried it last year it took me 30 minutes each morning to get my chin off my chest and a half day to stop feeling like a pretzel. I widened it out and insulated it good and put in a propane stove and ice box and a ďking sizeĒ foam rubber mattress. I think I overdid it a little on the mattress. Its fine when its rolled up in the morning but when we make it out at nite we have two choices Ė go to bed or go outside. I suppose I could crawl under it but itís so dark under there.
Ralph, I didnít forget your Walla Walla onions. I just couldnít talk myself into paying twice as much for shipping as the onions cost so I kept putting it off thinking we would get down this fall until it was too late. Maybe thatís a worse excuse than just forgetting them but I thot it sounded better.
Havenít had much winter up here yet. It froze enough to kill the tomatoes and start the leaves to falling a couple of weeks ago but since then has been staying up in the 40s. It hasnít stopped me from playing golf yet but I can usually play all winter long except for a few days for the snow to melt once in a while when we have any. We donít get much snow ordinarily. If it storms in the winter (and it does) itís usually rain or real wet snow that melts right off. If we just didnít have that week or two of extreme cold every January it would be a pretty good climate.
They put me in as first counselor in the Sunday School Presidency now. Iím scairt to death they are going to want me to run for Bishop next election. They were supposed to get someone else to take charge of the Gospel Doctrine class but havenít done it yet so I still have that. I donít mind it except getting someone to open and close with prayer. I only know the names of about 10 people in the ward so consequently those 10 get an awful lot of practice opening and closing meetings.
Guess Iíve prattled on long enough Ė anyway, itís coming daylight and its warm enough to play golf this morning so I MUST be going.