If you didn’t know about the blog already, now you do, and here you are. No matter where you go, there you are, as they used to say. As always, the red text is what was sent in the letter with the card that came in the mail. The green is more or less what it was intended to communicate.
Richard and Rochelle tried to defrost their GE refrigerator after seeing someone else do it on a YouTube video. It was a major pain, but even more interesting was that in the process, Richard put a hole in the refrigerant line. In case you are curious, modern refrigerants are colorless and odorless. So now we have a newer new refrigerator. Isn’t that fun. If you want him to come to your house to cut down a tree, just give him a call; I'm sure it would make for great video.
Rochelle said, “Find a place to rent in Midway around Fam Reunion When tuition.” Yes, indeed, that’s what she said. But she didn’t find it after all. She also spent quite a few days in various places, doing various things, including teaching children to play the bongos and to speak her language. Some of them even remembered. Richard wouldn’t know if she met J. Willard because he didn’t go along. Was he invited? Jonah went, and so did MK’s sister and nephew. Too bad for Cousin Eli. (Yes, we said that once already.) He didn’t make it to camp. Maybe if he had, he would still be number 1. With a zero. There were some aluminum clad guys in the park. It got dark. Pretty cool, but not exactly cold. She had never been to Ashton before. Why do they call it Island Park when there really isn’t either one there, but lots of traffic at least on one day. How far is it from the old apartment to the new one? Everyone had a birthday this year. Bake a cake, hire a band, sing a song. Go to Pocatello and see the trees; and a movie. New Mexico and Oklahoma will have to get in line with Louisiana. Five is still the number. She doesn’t think we use enough ink.
Rochelle makes notes on pieces of paper telling her what to do. Sometimes Richard finds them. Sometimes not. She went out west looking for places we might build a summer home, or some other type of future abode, but came up empty. Just too much uncertainty about where, when and if. Virginia’s not so bad, actually. She taught in local schools quite a bit this year, spending about half the year teaching English as a Second Language. Who knew she was a linguist? She also took various musical instruments to schools with her. She amazes one and all with her talents. After summer break, some kids saw her again and asked where her toys were. They like her. She spent a lot of time being Grandma too. She went with Arrin’s family and a friends to Kauai and didn’t let Richard come along. Mostly she just lounged around a Marriott resort, however, so he would probably have been bored. Too bad for Eli, again. Peyton was better though…Omaha and all. Rochelle also put on a cousins camp for the grandchildren at Rachel’s house, going to L.A. and flying to Montana with him for the week. Richard joined for some of the days. It was fun and interesting, driving into the mountains to a secluded lake, swinging from trees, fishing without bait. Catching nothing, thank goodness. (Oops, that for the next part.) Part of the week included a drive to Ashton Idaho to see the total eclipse. Pretty cool. You have to see it to understand. Arrin moved into a new apartment – so why’s that in Rochelle’s section? Rochelle went and played grandma again at the new place. We did TG at Rochelle’s mom’s house in Pocatello. We didn’t finish her bucket list of states. Maybe next year. No new grandchildren this year. We get too much ink from HP – or at least we don’t use all we have before they send us a new cartridge. Isn’t that special? Did we go sailing? Did everyone come home?
Richard is always the same. Perhaps that is because he was named after Simon Bolivar, but before Michael Jordan. Some things never get too old. He still shares the Cottage with Rochelle, when one or the other, or both, aren’t somewhere else. Did you get that? Once again in Pocatello, twice again somewhere else. Were the lights out in Montana? What lake was it that was ten minutes up the road? Why didn’t anyone let him go on a real vacation? Because you don’t have a motorcycle, but there was that once in a lifetime phenomenon. Pretty cool. Amazing how black it was with that white ring thing. Do you remember Aunt Ernestine, or Amelia Earhart? There was that kid that asked for help fixing his car. I see me low, or high, or sideways. Rochelle’s favorite song, so he said. Working on the railroad, working all day long. It’s still mostly fun, so why not. He also looked for a kind of summer place, but it didn’t look as good up close, so they both didn’t jump. Pretty much everyone has a birthday.
Richard IS pretty much always the same, except that he officially entered his late 50s this year. That’s a trip. Though he didn’t really go on a true vacation. Everyone was too busy so he just sat at home and at work and did what he does. He still thinks the same old jokes are funny and he tells them as often as he wants to. You do know that his mother really wasn’t Amelia Earhart in hiding. It isn’t clear that he does. Doing the eclipse thing was really cool. It’s something he’s wanted to do since he was 14 and he saw a partial eclipse in his back yard. Most of the other stuff is already explained in Rochelle’s section. Nothing else is either real or interesting, or real interesting.
As for the offspring, Rachel and Shiloh still seem happy about it. The basement is actually habitable, finished and not entirely pink. Landlords too. How’s that going? She hosted the camp. She didn’t host the turkey this year, but Bob and Linda came by. That was fun. She was there for the Ashton show. So were Harper, Sam, Gus and Coen. Harp is a viola star; Sam is a KG star; Gus and Coen are stars at most things. Everyone walks. Hopefully Gus doesn’t fly any more.
Rachel’s family is a lot of fun to visit. The funniest story I recall is when Sam saw Gus (2 at the time) running in the house with a box or bin or something over his head. He runs faster than he thinks sometimes because as Sam saw him running toward the stairway down to the basement (carpeted, fortunately, and only half a flight before a 180 degree turn) he ran to try to stop him, but in Sam’s words, “he just flew!” Fortunately no injuries, but lots of relieved laughs. Life is never boring there, I’m sure. Harper is learning to play the viola and is doing well in school. Sam is knocking Kindergarten out of the park and is a star reader. Gus and Coen are running all the time, being great sprogs. The dog is still the dog. Shiloh and Rachel rent out their former house and live in their current one, just finishing the basement this year with an assist from the family labor pool.
Arrin, Marcus, Jonah. Juno. Is that a planet? We’ll see, but not before the end of the letter; but almost certainly much less Disney in the future. Does it mean we can’t use Amex any more? Stand by. The smog has almost cleared in Southern Cal. Has Amelia Earhart made an appearance at the Coffee Bean yet? What about the tea leaves? Jonah, are there any comments or questions? He’s quite a guy; maybe someday he’ll write a Christmas Letter.
Arrin’s family is still in LA as Marcus finishes up his MBA from UCLA. When that’s done, we’ll see where they end up. Lots of decisions to make. Arrin is managing what Richard thinks sounds like market analytics, or business operations for a LA based international beverage company. Jonah is a lot of laughs. He has tons of energy and some of the things he does remind Richard of his own boyhood. Richard remembers, for example, arising in the middle of the night to demand food from his parents who were still in bed. He doesn’t recall taking no for an answer. He would just stand there and say, “I want food!” Jonah’s not quite got that same terminology, but definitely has the same determination. He’s a fun kid with lots of imagination. Marcus likes Steph and the Warriors. Of course.
Ben and BYU don’t quite rhyme, but almost. Will he still be able to drive a Japanese car? We’ll see. Where will it be? The Windy City, the toxic garden, or IAD? Maybe somewhere else? I suppose we’ll find out soon enough. Golf and tennis in the winter are easier than ice skating. But O Canada; nice photos. No bears or goats; but a beard.
Ben will graduate from BYU either this December or next April. He spent the summer interning at a marketing consulting firm in Utah and has had interviews with several companies around the country and hopes to wrap up that process soon, after which it looks like he’ll be leaving the west. He is taking up tennis. Rich, he and Roch went golfing, sort of a few times this year. Lots of fun. He’s also taken up climbing and hiking, and he maintains his artistry with a camera, all of which simply illustrate that he doesn’t have all of his father’s genes.
We love Christopher. We joined as a family to take his name through the Bountiful Temple in April. It was sweet.
That’s where the photo was taken.
Peace and Good Cheer to all.