Friday, April 7, 2006

The Old Folks At Home

One year of newsletters! It is our family newsletter anniversary, since we started in May. Is that something worth celebrating? One year of Mom nagging, cajoling and pleading. Oh, well, you are all used to that anyway, right?

It has been a good month. The daffodils are blooming and the tulips are nearly ready, so summer must be just around the corner. Here in Utah we can’t decide if it is spring or winter. One day it is one thing and the next day it is the other.

Robert Frost said it best.
“Two Tramps in Mud Time”
The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March.

We have been enjoying the fireplace. However, on the Sunday of Conference, Dad got the T.V. room so warm we could hardly stand it. Just ask Melanie. She was sitting closest to the fire. When we went upstairs to eat, it became apparent that we were enjoying a warm day. We ended up throwing the windowsopen just to catch a breath of cool spring air. Just an aside, Melanie still owes Julie a dance. Julie and AnnMarie made pies just so Melanie would keep her promise to dance for pie, and then she didn’t do it.

We had a great time bowling. Those moms and kids who could be there (it was too far for Todd and David and families) went to BYU and bowled while the men went to Priesthood. Then we all went to Brick Oven for pizza (men included). Thanks to Eric getting there a little ahead of us, we got a ROOM to ourselves. There are no reservations during conference weekend.

We also enjoyed a weekend visit from Erin and Donovin a couple of weeks ago. We all had fun and hope they did. Mary misses them and, the day after they left, asked where they had gone. We also had the Howard kids with us (and AJ) overnight during their spring break.

We are looking forward to a camping trip to St. George to spend Erin’s birthday with her. She wrote us a letter inviting us to, please, take her camping for her birthday.

I have one bit of great news. You all remember that dark brown age-spot I had at the corner of my left eye? It is gone. I went to a dermatologist to have a skin cancer burned (they actually freeze them) off and he also burned that off. I am happy to be rid of it. Now, if he
could just burn off wrinkles.

Dad is still Dad. He works so hard all of the time that I can’t even dream of keeping up with him. He and Jim tilled our garden the day before it snowed again. So we are ready to plant. All of the electric work in the on-going bathroom project is done. The shower fan works and now we need to put up the rest of the drywall and paint and my dream will be complete. Nevertheless, I am enjoying it just the way it is.

As you read through the items from family members, please note how many great students and how many talented grandchildren we (Grammy and Gramps) have! Is that due to good genes (I know you are going to say from the other side of the families.), good parenting or just lots of love and care? Whatever it is, we are thankful that we have so many wonderfully talented and highly intelligent people in our family.

In June, we should have two more and that will add even more to our happiness. Thanks for sharing these wonderful people with us! We are grateful. I want you all to know that, now that I am a grandma, I could be a better mother. I just had no idea what I was doing, most of the time and had to fly by the seat of my pants, so to speak. I no longer cringe when you bring up my mothering shortcomings; however, because I have learned the women I work with at the temple (who are angels in my estimation) all have regrets as well. So I am now acknowledging that I am human and, as such, have made and will continue to make mistakes. So forgive me my past and I will try to
continue to grow up. I may even make it someday. I do want my kids to know, however, that I don’t remember everything you say I did or didn’t do. I do remember that I loved you and that I still love you. It was a great privilege being part of your lives and watching you grow and become the wonderful people you all are. I still LIKE all of you as well as love you. Thanks, also, for marrying such wonderful people.

All of you know that Grandpa Pitts was good at playing the harmonica. He also had a beautiful baritone voice and he and Mother Elaine sang together for funerals, dances and other occasions in the Carbon and Emery County areas. Did you know that Aunt Renee was also quite musical? She played the trumpet in the school band. The talent I most admired, however, was her whistling. I always loved to wake up at her house and hear her whistling. She could sound like a great variety of birds plus she was good at whistling tunes.

Grandma Smith always woke me up by singing: “Lazy Myrna, won’t you get up, won’t you get up, won’t you get up? Lazy Myrna won’t you get up so early in the morning?” Dad says his mother used to sing that to him with the exception of exchanging Tim for Myrna. Grandma Smith was also musically inclined, though she did not have much of a singing voice. She played the accompaniment while her sister, Jessie, sang all over at all sorts of events. She also made needed cash by playing for the silent movies. She would watch the movie before the theatre attendees so that she would know when the music should be happy or sad, loud or soft, romantic or dangerous. In those days, each piano player came up with his or her own mix for the movie so that it varied from town to town.

Great-Grandpa Pritchett, Vivian’s father, played the violin and would fiddle for dances in Sanpete County, Utah County and later in Emery and Carbon Counties. Of course, when he played for dances, it was called “fiddling” and Grandma Smith said her favorite of all the tunes he knew by heart was “Turkey in the Straw.”

Grandpa Ray and all of his brothers sang together in a popular group. Later some of those brothers sang with the Tabernacle Choir. Grandpa Tom Pitts also had a wonderful singing voice. So there you have the music abilities of the family that I know about.

I think Dad, LHT, has a good voice and many of you also have good voices. You know that Auntie Helen is a good pianist. So I suppose you get your talent from ancestors on both sides of the family.