20 Oct 2014

Fall 2014

Posted by Sam

October 16, 2014

Dear friends,

Summer was okay, the best of the year is here! We stay indoors in the summer just like most of the nation stays indoors in winter. Sporting events are held in the evening. Surprisingly, though, the grass stays green and we don’t use a lot of water.

We read the Fort Worth Star Telegram. A very healthy newspaper, full of ads for knee surgery and neuropathy (training hospitals here, I guess), and three crosswords, including the NY Times, PLUS two jumbles! The headlines are often really big. The Dallas Cowboys rate a much bigger headline than Ebola; when they beat Seattle it was the full front page above the fold. I couldn’t get dressed that day. On page 3 of the Sports section today was a news item that said one of their star players was arrested for lifting a package of underwear and a test bottle of Gucci’s “Guilty Black” fragrance … I’m not making this up. He said he just didn’t have time to pay. What do you want to bet he doesn’t get a suspension …..

Ebola in Texas is doubly tragic. A woman I worked with last week was afraid to go to the hospital to visit one of our students because she might get Ebola, “in the elevator, or something.” It wasn’t even the same hospital. It wasn’t even the same county! Hopefully she won’t be out anywhere she might be interviewed.

Fall means football, of course, and we’re in it for real. Xander’s team is actually learning how to play the game. They have come close to a touchdown and they get real sweaty. He got hurt early in the season and I asked him how his groin was feeling. “It’s not my groin, Gramma, I’ve got a torqued testicle.” Well! This 9-year-old has manned up!

In our area the high schools don’t have a Homecoming dance. They have a football game and they date up and make “corsages” for one another. These “corsages” are the traditional “Mums” which have morphed into Texas size statements of affection. They are sometimes so large they have to be held to the chest with strapping; LED lights help them stand out. The boys wear arm garters the girls have made. They all go to the game but hang out a lot, looking at one another, rather than watch the game. It is a sight, and the game has to be good to hold one’s attention. Becca and her date showed reasonably good taste:








while the couple shown full length are much admired for their tackiness and willingness to spent hundreds of bucks on each other. (Probably no more than a prom dress, I guess.)

Bib Mums






Speaking of tackiness, I am the current hot chili champion of the church chili cookoff! I much prefer Queen over champion, but …. Last year I got second place, so I was really happy to come through this year. I use a 20 year old, 2-day Craig Clairborne recipe with two cans of Rotel. Serve with sour cream and a squeeze of lime. (You know how I love to accessorize!) My trophy is a little cooking pot over a fire; think cannibal pot. But it is nicely engraved:








The State Fair is in Dallas, and as you can imagine, it is huge. Dave and the kids went last week and checked out Big Tex. This symbol of everything  non-Texans hate about Texas burned up two years ago and was the source of much discussion until they got him rebuilt, up and shouting “Howdy!” His boots are size 32.:

Big Tex







Dave is still riding his bike, and doing all my chores when I work. I have had to back off a little from one class. I no longer work when the teacher is out. She is the only one who can maintain control and when she’s gone, I don’t feel safe. She’s out now with a knee injury (a very deliberate aim by a stocky 10-year-old); last year it was a broken foot (same girl). I had to tell the school that a kick in the knee has put the teacher out for a week, but if I’m kicked in the knee it will change my life!  Still, I’m busy, working an average of three days a week. I still take a class at the LDS Institute in Arlington on Tuesdays; the class numbers about a dozen and I love these sisters. We have really bonded.

Son Kevin is flying us to Phoenix for Thanksgiving. We miss them and look forward to a few days of family, food and football. Jason and his family are trying to go to her folks in Utah for Christmas so will have to forego Phoenix. Susie is thriving at Utah State in Logan. I miss her a lot but feel so happy and proud when I think of her. Becca is into theatre, Katie is in Honors Choir (8th grade), and Xander is a 4th grader into building stuff. Jamie works full time at an elementary school and Jason is still with LINK. He was recently promoted to head of instructional design in a new commercial department of LINK. This new dept. is working with designing and building simulators for ambulances, fire trucks, 18-wheelers, etc. Jason kind of misses the association he had with the military, but is happy.

Well, that’s all the news from Lake Woebegone, where all the men are strong, the women good looking and all the children are above average. we send our love and warm wishes.
Sam and Dave



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