We grew up close to each other and married in 1973. We live and work in the White Mountains of Arizona: Kent is a CPA and Finance director of the Town of Pinetop-Lakeside, and Jan is a Registered Nurse working at the hospital. We love our family of 24 and we get together as often as we can.
I just had to share an experience in Greenville, Mississippi on Saturday February 25. Two robins had flown into Emily and Geoff's screen porch, and even though the door was open, they could not find their way out. We tried shooing them out, but to no avail - they would just fly from one side of the room to the other and hang onto the screens. The kids went out and left bread crumbs on the floor, leading to the door, but the birds were not interested in bread crumbs.
Finally, Jackson picked up a short stick and walked over to where the birds were. He held the stick in front of one robin. The bird stepped onto the stick, and Jackson carried stick and bird out the door!
Natalie wanted to get the other bird to safety, so she went out and stood perhaps two feet from the bird and proceeded to whistle a bird imitation, dancing and pointing at the door. She carried on that way for about five minutes, with the bird just sitting there watching her. The robin never moved.
I went out again and tried to shoo the bird toward the door, with the same result. I tried doing Jackson's stick trick, but the bird would have nothing to do with me.
Exasperated, I came back in the house announcing that we were just going to have to wait and hope the robin would find its way out. Whereupon, Jackson picked up his stick, walked out to the remaining robin, and held out the stick. As we watched in wonder, the robin stepped onto the stick, and Jackson carried stick and bird out the door again!
When he came back in, Jackson said, "I guess you can call me 'The Bird Whisperer.'"
I agree. I think he has a future working with wild animals in a zoo. What a gift!
Well, I guess I left that one hanging in the air. Following my visit with Dr. Knippers late at night, it appears that some of my eye fluid has pulled away from the back of my right eye. I went the following week to see another eye doctor in Mesa, who told me the same thing. Now it has been over two months since I noticed the big "floaty" in my eye and the flashing lights, and nothing has changed. Not better; no worse. It is kind of irritating, when I am comparing numbers on sheets or screens all the time, and as I move my eye back and forth, the big floaty scrolls across my field of vision. Back and forth, back and forth. I have not yet learned to ignore it, as the doctor suggested.
I think I am getting to that age when, if I notice something wrong with my body, I think, "Well, I guess I had better get used to that." Getting old is a strange phenomenon, but it beats the alternative.
Well, it has been almost a year since my last posting - and that was a lame one about my tree. The uninformed might conclude that I live a rather boring life. However, those who know me well know that my life is one of almost constant excitement! Accountant by day, ukulele player by night. Mix in Scouting and grandfathering, and you have a pretty exciting existence.
Right now, I am waiting for my eye doctor to call me back. I noticed while driving home from Casa Grande today that I was not seeing very clearly out of my right eye, and that there were flashes of light like lightning when I blinked. Dr. Knippers (my former assistant Scoutmaster and an opthalmologist) is going to look into my eye tonight. It could be the beginning of a detached retina, which I would just as soon not have, thank you very much. I'll try to repost in less than a year to report on the exam.
Wow, this has been an exciting week! Tuesday morning I went to get a shirt from the laundry room and discovered the water heater had sprung a leak overnight, and was spraying water everywhere. We were leaving that night, so it had to be fixed immediately. I turned off the water (I thought), called the plumber and asked them to bring a water heater and install it. He came pretty quickly, turned off the water to the house, and replace the water heater. When he turned the water back on, our kitchen faucet blew up! I spent the afternoon replacing the faucet. I'm sure glad this happened before we left town!
We came down to Mesa Wednesday morning to watch Emily's kids while Emily and Geoff went to Utah for Geoff's brother's wedding. We had a great time taking care of Jackson, Natalie, and Staci Wednesday through Sunday. What great kids! Staci turned 4on Tuesday, and Jackson turned 9 on Thursday, so there was a lot of partying going on. Jan and I hit the bed hard every night, exhausted. There is clearly a reason why we have children while we are still young.
Saturday night we all went over to Andrea and Tyler's apartment for a taste treat - bacon cheeseburgers with grilled Krispy Kreme donuts for the bun! We had heard of these treats before, but had never eaten one. The secret is in splitting the donuts in half, putting the unglazed side over the grill, then putting the glazed side next to the meat. It wasn't too bad (Jackson said it wasn't any weirder than putting ketchup on graham crackers), but I have never finished a hamburger before with sticky fingers. Thanks, you two!
Tomorrow is Labor Day, and we get to go home. Amazing - you spend a week with your family and you can't wait to "go home." If home isn't where your family is, where is it?
What a glorious week last week. The wedding was lovely; the couple were sealed by uncle Bud Whipple. It was hotter than, well, it was hot, but nobody melted. The reception was absolutely beautiful. We saw a lot of old friends and made some new ones. We must say that Tyler's family were really wonderful about the whole thing, in spite of the fact that they were not able to be in the temple. What great people. We look forward to many years of association with them.