Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Busy Last Few Months

It has been a busy last few months.  And interesting.

Sharon and I took the month of May off for holidays.  It was the first time in a long time that we took the time to go places. 

It started out with and 26 hour almost non-stop drive to Thatcher, Arizona to visit with Dian, David and the boys.  We went down to participate in Ruston's baby blessing.  We left Lethbridge at 18:00 on Thursday, April 25th.  We were both just about bagged when we gassed up in Dillon, MT about 02:00.  Just as I finished filling the Jeep up the town police and county sheriff stopped into the gas bar.  After explaining where we were headed, I asked them if there was some place we could crash for a couple of hours.  I was told that I could park in the Safeway parking lot and that they would make sure we weren't bothered.  After a quick nap we carried on and arrived in Thatcher about 20:00 Friday, April 26th.  We stayed the weekend and did our Grandparently duty.  Monday morning Dina put on a flight to Wichita, Kansas where Chrissy picked us up to drive us to their place just out side of Elgin, OK. 

While we were there we helped them pack up their household into a semi trailer for their move to Georgia.  We got the last of it in Saturday afternoon.  On Wednesday Jacob, his father Fred, and I went boar hunting.  They gave me a replica Springfield trapdoor single shot cavalry rifle to shoot.  It was a 45-70 caliber.  We didn't get a boar but we did bag 2 elm and an oak.  They told me it had a kick and to make sure I had it pulled in tight.  I thought I had a firm grip but the recoil was something else.  The next day my arm from shoulder to elbow was blue. 

On Thursday we went to El Reno, OK to visit the world famous Sid's Burgers and Fort Reno.  The food was good, the atmosphere incredible, and servers were great.  When we finally arrived at the fort after getting lost with Jacobs GPS, we checked in at the site office.  When we walked in the door, I noticed hanging on the wall behind the counter an original of the rifle I used the day before.

We then participated in Daniel's baptism on Saturday..  Sunday after church we hit.the road for Georgia via Memphis, TN.  Chrissy and Sharon wanted to show Jacob and me some to the sights that the Hovan girls had visited a couple of years earlier on their girls' adventure.  We arrived Sunday night and on Monday headed for Graceland and Beale Street.  As we were finishing Graceland Rainey did a face plant on the sidewalk and did a number on his forehead.  While Chrissy was with him at the hospital we managed to get a lunch in.  We dropped Mikey and Sharon off at the ER and headed to Beale.  We met up with them a little later.  Jacob, Eliza, and I did a tour of the Gibson Guitar factory.  It was fascinating.  The only computer controlled machinery used were 2 routers.  One that did the final trim to size on the top and back and one to cut the fret groves.  every thing else is hand done. 

Tuesday we headed out to Georgia.  About an hour into the trip into Mississippi, we passed a sign that said "Tupelo next exit".  You can't go to Graceland and drive by Tupelo - the birth place of Elvis.  We took the side trip and spent an hour at the museum.  He was born in a house that was smaller than out living room.  That night we arrived at High Meadows Drive just outside Grovetown, GA.  Got into the house they were renting and did a quick inspection c/w pictures.  Set up the air mattresses and tried to get the kids to bed. 

Between unloading the trailer after it arrived Wednesday, we got acquainted with the area.  It reminded me a lot like Germany with little communities every few miles along the road.  The country was mostly wooded and there were a lot of "gated" communities.  The house was not far from anything.  Lowes, Walmart, and several other big box stores were all around the area with in minutes of a drive.  There was a cineplex a few minutes away.  (Jacob and I went to the Ironman movie and the Star Trek movie.)  The ward they were attending was in Harlem, few minutes away.  Jacob realized that he was there several years ago when he first enlisted and was at Fort Gordon for training. 

Their old ward/stake in Oklahoma was having a father/son camp out the weekend after we left.  We found out the the stake in Georgia was having theirs the week after we arrived.  So we made it a Grandfather/father/son camp out.  The stake had a huge campsite called Camp Helaman.  We had a blast.  Arrived Friday night and had a camp fire cookout.  The kids played games until after dark.  Saturday morning was a pancake breakfast.  Home by noon Saturday.

We explored Augusta several time over the 3 weeks we spent with the Roeckers.  One trip to The River Walk ( a park the runs down the south side of the river in the middle of Augusta) the kids asked about the levy and why there were notches in it.  Rather than answer them I asked if they thought is was easier to build a dyke of sand bags every time the river flooded or fill the gaps in the levy?  They gave the answer to their question.  When we walked through one of the access point we noticed that the levels of the various floods of the past were marked on the wall.  When we were through and looking a the flood plain on the other side I was amazed to see million dollar homes along the shore.  I guess if you have enough money the water flows around you.  Another trip we went to the August museum.  Along with the history of the area (and golf of course) there was the James Brown exhibit.  The man was almost as large a philanthropist as Elvis and a lot for the area.

When our time there was ended, on Monday, May 20th, Chrissy and the kids drove Sharon and me to Atlanta for the flight back to Arizona.  We were going to go to the Coca Cola museum at Cokes's corporate HQ.  When we found it was going to cost us $175 for 3 adults and 4 children we changed our plans and spent the afternoon at the Martin Luther King Jr memorial.  For free.  It was very educational and we all learned a lot.  In one room his Top of the Mountain speech was played.  I had a feeling that he knew his time on earth was not much longer.  He was assassinated very shortly after.  You could not leave the exhibits and area without a feeling of awe and respect.

When we checked into the hotel later that afternoon, the Moore/Oklahoma City tornado was all over the TV.  That was the area we were in just a few weeks earlier.  It brought this disaster home in a big way.  That even discussing the event, Chrissy mentioned that in the Elgin area they had not had a major twister in decades.  All three of the schools had safe rooms and the high school renovations were upgrading its safe room to be able to accommodate the entire student body.  Moore had major storms in 1999, 2003, 2006, 2009, and this one.  The town's schools were hit in them all and they still don't have safe rooms.  Go figure.

The next morning we took the shuttle to the airport and used the curbside check in.  Our luggage was checked in and we were through security and waiting at the gate in 20 minutes.  Next we travel, if our airline offers this service, I am going to take advantage of it.  No 2 hour ahead of time line ups for me.  Our flight was to Dallas and then on to Phoenix.  We arrived in Dallas a little ahead of schedule to find out our connecting flight was delayed about an hour because of a severe storm in the area and it was having to fly around it.  We boarded about 90 minutes late.  After we taxied out to the run way, the storm decided it was going to give us a visit and had us sitting in the take off cue for over an hour.  The wind was blowing so bad the plane was actually shaking.  Sharon could 30 planes waiting at one point.  Once things got moving again the pilot came on the intercom and told us he didn't know what had happened but we had moved up from 22nd in line to 5th.

From being on time to arriving in Phoenix almost 4 hours late put us leaving the airport in the middle of go home rush hour traffic.  Dian and the boys were waiting for us.  After repacking the Jeep to fit the luggage into what space was left, we headed for southern Utah to visit with David's family.  We got about 3/4 of the way there and were detoured because of a road wash out.  This added another hour to our time.  So instead of arriving around 23:00 we got in about 06:00.  We did a quick crash and run.  We stopped in Springville/Provo  for breakfast and drop Dian off to visit a sister-in-law.  Sharon and I did some shopping for travel snacks and supplies.  Then on to Logan for a little shopping, an late lunch and a quick visit with Chrissy's in-laws.  As we left the restaurant Sharon couldn't find her meds.  She realized she had left them at the restaurant in Provo.  We phoned and they had them.  2 1/2 hours there and 2 1/2 back put us getting into Great Falls where we were going to spend the night very late.  We were all bagged and decided to stop in Idaho Falls instead.  We called and cancelled the reservation in Montana and made one in Idaho.  The people at the Fairfield Inn were fantastic.  They made the stay an absolute pleasure. 

We got off to an early start and spent an enjoyable afternoon and early evening with another of Dian's sister-in-laws.  The rest of the trip was uneventful and we arrived home in the evening ready for bed. 

Dian and the boys spent most of June with us.  Dian attended her BFF's wedding and just hung out until we returned her to Great Falls for her flight home.

The rest of the summer was uneventful.  Sharon got her patio garden planted just in time to get hailed out.  We were lucky.  We only lost a pepper plant and a cucumber plant.  The flowers along the front walk got hammered but did survive.  We have had cukes and zucchini already.  Tomatoes and peppers are growing and ripening.

August was an "interesting" month.  The first weekend I was violently ill but seemed to recover quickly.  Wednesday, August 7th, at about 10:00 the staff sergeant sent me to the hospital.  I spent the next 5 hours on a gravol and morphine drip with a suspected gall bladder attack.  They did an ultra sound and xrays but could find not stones.  They sent me home and said to come back if things acted up again.  Thursday I got in to see my doctor and he ordered a gall bladder function test for Monday, August 19.  Friday night was uncomfortable but not as bad.  Saturday night I ended back in ER.  Again they got things settled with the same instructions. Monday night/ Tuesday morning I was back in the ER.  They booked me in and took me back almost immediately.  The ER doctor told me he was passing me off to the on call surgeon.  In the morning they did the function test.  The surgeon told me that the gall bladder usually operates at a 50% to 60% efficiency.  Mine was working a whopping 6%.  It and I were about to part ways.  I was admitted with surgery booked for Thursday afternoon.  Thursday afternoon, he informed me it was now going to be about 6pm.  At 6 he came in to say some time before 9pm.  At 10:30 they wheeled me to the OR.  I was back in the room Friday morning about 1:30.  Outside of the after surgery pain.  I don't remember much until later in the morning.  I was told as soon as I was "peeing, farting, and pooping" I could go home.  When Kimmie and the girls came up, Oryn wanted to know if she could say a prayer for PaPa.  It was basically "Heavenly Father, please help PaPa pee, fart, and poop. Amen".  I worked because late Friday night or early Saturday morning I was doing a 3.  I was sent home about 11:00. 

The pain of the gas bubbles in my should joint and stomach was almost unbearable.  By Monday it was almost gone and I was back at work on Thursday.

When I was first diagnosed I was told no greasy foods.  This included bacon.  I cried as I had just cured 25 pounds.  After the surgery I was told I could return to a full diet but to take it slow and if something bothered me to be careful.  So far no real problems.  Only trouble I am having is the no lifting, pushing, shoving , pulling, or shoveling anything over 10 pounds for the next 6 weeks. 

The next adventure is scheduled for early October.  Chrissy and Jacob are going back to Germany and are going to be in Utah for a week before they leave.  We are trying to get all the girls together for a bit of a reunion.

Until then.

Friday, November 2, 2012


This past weekend I celebrated the 39th anniversary of my marriage to my best friend.  I didn't think it was possible, but over the years I have grown to love her even more than the day I proposed.  As time has gone on I have gotten to know her for the person she is.

She is a loving caring mother who is there for our girls and seems to know what they need, not so much as what they want.  Which is quite often not the same thing.  She has a relationship with them that I envy.  She loves and knows each and everyone of our grandchildren, their personalities, and their individual traits.  When they call it is usually her they ask for, but they will talk to PaPa if she isn't there.  Our sons-in-law when they first met her were fearful of her (scared spit less as one put it) until they realized that she was only looking out for our daughters' best interests and soon began to realize that she loved them just as much.

She is a good friend to those who truly know her.  She would share all she has if asked and not expect it back.  Many of our daughters' friends call her "Mom".  Many of her friends are the young girls she has worked with.  She always has an ear to bend and occasionally a shoulder to cry on.  She treats them as if they are her own children and is honestly interested in them and what they are doing.  She doesn't judge them and doesn't berate or belittle them.  She is not afraid to give them advice nor to council and console.

As one of our young friends put it she should be awarded a medal for putting up with me as long as she has.  I often make decisions without thinking them through.  I often don't think about her wants or needs.  To put it quite bluntly that I am a typical man.

She often lets me do things and get involved in things not on her list of favourite things.  When we got married, I had a moustache and I don't think she had ever know me without one.  After about 10 years, I found out she didn't like it and shaved it off.  My beard is like barbed wire and I often get reminded of it  when I don't shave for a day or two.  This month, November, I decided to get involved with the Movember movement.  Because I had a good reason and it was important to me, she agreed.  I do know that I would be strongly advised and probably prompted to remove the result of a month's growth as soon as possible.

Shortly after we were married, I wanted to join the masonic organization because of its importance to my father.  She knew that it would mean time away from home and our family.  But because of what it did mean to me there was no complaint nor has there been over the last 35 plus years.

I made a very unwise questionable decision not many years later and bought a motor bike to replace the one I had owned up until just after me got married.  I thought her comment that she missed riding was a suggestion.  I learned in no uncertain terms that it sure wasn't.  Funny thing is we still own that bike.

I have dragged her and our children over most of the province as I went from job to job.  When I had an opportunity to move back to Lethbridge, it did not take much discussion to reach the decision to move home.  Family has always been important to her and it was a decision that was easily made.  We have been here now for 25 years.  As our children have grown and left and our parents have eventually passed on has the desire to stay become less of a need.  A couple of years ago she flabbergasted me but saying out of the blue: "With the kids all gone and Chrissy and Dian living in the States, why don't we fix the house up and sell once we are ready, buy a good sized 5th wheel rig and become gypsies?  We could spend the winters down there and the summers up here."  We are actively working towards that goal.

Our faith has always been a big part of our life.  Although neither of us were active when we got married we still got married by an LDS bishop in the LDS church.  We never really kept in touch with the church but never turned away the missionaries, home teachers, or visiting teachers when they found us.  Just after we moved to the Red Deer area and Kimmie was born, we were discussing the fact that raising our children with a religious/moral foundation was very important to us.  The topic of where and when came up.  Did we go back to our church or attend one of the little community churches in Penhold where we lived.  If we did go back to the LDS church where did we go and who did we contact.  No decision was made and Sharon suggested we leave it and think about it for a while.  "The Lord will let us know."  With in minutes of that the phone rang.  It was the Elder's Quorum president from the Red Deer branch asking if this was the Hovan household and if we were members because a set records had shown up earlier that week.  I said that was us and he asked if he could come by and bring our home teacher with him to introduce us.  That was the start to friendships that exist to this day and was the first step on our road to activity and eventually being seal in the temple for all time and eternity.  I will admit that I am not the spiritually strong one in the family.  Sharon has always been the leader. 

Married life has not always been easy.  There were times of great sadness (the loss of our son, the passing of our parents, the loss of my brother).  There were times of great joy (each addition to our family starting with the arrival of our girls, the addition of our sons-in-laws and grandchildren).  There was the time we almost lost Sharon to a medical emergency.  If it had not been for the faith of our eldest two I don't think I could have made it through that crisis. 

She has taught me so much with her caring ways and her wisdom.  She has given me so much with her unconditional love.  I have someone that I can talk to.  Someone I can laugh with.  Someone who I cry with.  Someone I can do things with.  Someone I can read with or read to.  Someone I just sit with and enjoy her company knowing she is sitting on the other side of the room.

She has spent the better part of her life helping me become the man, the husband, and the father that I am.  I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams and desires that she had chosen me to be her eternal companion by marrying me for all time and eternity.

In retrospect, I don't think I knew what love was when I proposed all those many years ago.  Thank you for showing me the true meaning of the word. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Time for reflection

It has been over a year since last post.  And it has been a busy one.  Another grand daughter has arrived.  Sharon "retired" and has discovered that that is boring and since gone back to work.  Family invaded Lethbridge for 6 weeks.

In January, Kimmy and Scott had a little girl, Keltye Margel, their third.  And like all of our grand children she is a cutie and has Gama and Papa firmly under her control.  Not so much Mom and Dad but Gama and PaPa definitely.

At the end of January, Sharon was told that her employer had had a couple of complaints about her being rude to the customers and after 7 1/2 years 5 of which were as the asst. front end manager, her position was no longer available.  She enjoyed her time off and got a lot of things done that were being neglected.  With the girls and their families coming up for a family reunion this summer, she took full advantage of it.  About 4 or 5 weeks ago, I could tell she was getting kind of restless.  3 weeks ago we were driving down 13 Street by London Road Market.  She noticed that there was a "We are looking for..." on their main reader board and said I think I should apply.  The next day she did and started last week.

In June, Chrissy and her 4 and Dian and her little guy arrived for a summer with Gama and PaPa.  Jacob is in the "Sand Box" for his third tour and couldn't be with us and David was unable to get time off until late July.  We saw and did a whole lot of the sights in Southern Alberta.  We took the grand kids to Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump, Frank Slide, Fort Whoop Up, and Remington Carriage Centre.  While in the Crowsnest Pass at the Slide we also did a cemetery tour and did a few head stone rubbings.  Most of my family is buried in the Pass.

It was an interesting time.  For the better part of 2 months we had 8 grand children running around the house from 6 months to 10 years old.  5 of them were staying with us and the other 3 were there from the time they could get their mother to drop them off until she took them home kicking and screaming in the evening.  My youngest daughter also informed us, or rather her 18 month old son, informed us that there is a little brother on the way, on or near his birthday.

Last week one of my dear friends passed away.  He was a mentor and my master.  He literally saved my life 15 years ago.  For most of those 15 years I have spent 3  hours a day, 6 days a week with him.  At the time I started training martial arts with him I was over weight (much more so than I am now), with extremely high blood pressure, a boarder line type 2 diabetic, and had a temper that flared at little or no provocation.  I lost over 30 pounds, have my blood pressure under control, and have mellowed out to where my temper is of little or no consequence.  It goes to show that a fat, old man can take on a "extreme" sport and survive.  I now hold a black belt in karate, a black belt in self defense weapons, and a brown belt in ninjutsu and am a practitioner of iaido and ianuki (2 styles of sword).  I have studied in Germany and Columbia, and I have hosted and trained with people from all over Canada, the US, Europe, Central America, Columbia, Brazil, and Argentina.  He was a father figure after the loss of my father.  His family became a part of my extended family and I grew to love them as my brothers and sisters.

This week we had another major grass fire west of town.  Unlike the one in November, there were several large areas that were evacuated.  The town of Coalhurst just north of Lethbridge, Mountain Meadows and Sunset Acres west of town, a large part of the reserve and the county.  In the city the west side trailer court and River View Campground were evacuated and a big portion of the west side was put on notice.

I saw the smoke early in the afternoon and had just come in from taking pictures of the smoke as it was drifting over the west side when the phone rang. It was my boss  telling me he was about to ruin a day off.  I was to "Grab a uniform. Get down to the office and grab a traffic vest.  Get your backside to the Fritz Sick centre and report to Phil from the city.  You are now on duty as security at the evac centre.  I should have a replacement for you at 8pm.  Maybe."

I spent the next 5 hours telling people, and the press, where to go and how to get there.  At times the smoke in the downtown area was so thick visibility was less than 3 blocks.  Today going into the station for work, you could still smell the smoke in the air outside and in the building.  The fire burned over 4800 hectares or about 18.5 square miles.  Several houses and a lot of crops were destroyed.  There was also a large fire south of town around Milk River that resulted in the town being evacuated and with similar results.

I promised Sharon I would have her book shelves finished by the end of September and this set of days off got a good chunk done.  Basically it is final assembly and finishing that is left.  Pocket hole joinery has become my new favorite method of assembly.  I also am starting my Christmas projects.  I have one done and 3 more to do for non-family.  The next installment in construction toys are set for building for the grand kids.  RB (Roast Beef) the bearded dragon has put in a request for a larger terrarium.  I still have some room on the planner for other requests if any one is interested.  Hint.  Hint.

Enough of the ramble.  Till next time.

Monday, February 28, 2011

And Life Goes On

Things have been busy over the last two months. Travel in February and changes as well.

Valentines weekend we headed to Arizona for Tek's blessing. When Sharon got of work on Thursday afternoon we drove to Great Falls. As soon as we hit town we hit Sonic for Sharon's "Five Days of Sonic". We spent the night there and did some shopping both for the trip and for home. Friday evening we boarded the plane for Phoenix/Mesa. Everything was prebooked and confirmed. Or so we thought. When we arrived, we went looking for our rental car. After 15 or 20 minutes I finally found it. At the other airport in downtown Phoenix. I phoned to ask how I was expected to get my car. I was told to take a taxi. I asked if I was going to be reimbursed because I had requested the car for this airport. I was told I would have to arrange that with customer service and was given the phone number and promptly told that they were open 7 to 7 Monday to Friday. I told them that I no longer wanted the car if I was to pay $60+ dollars for a 45+ minute cab ride and pay a similar pick up fee if I did not return it to the airport downtown. I went to the first rental kiosk that was empty and rented one.

Two hours later, just after midnight, we were in Thatcher and at Dian's and David's. We crashed there until the morning when we went to check in to the hotel. Tek came to wake us up way too early. It has been a while since I was woken by a little squirmy bundle of love. But it is still enjoyable. We got up and got ready for the day. We met with Jacob, Chrissy, and family and then checked in the hotel. The weekend was spent with family and friends. We missed Kimmie, Scott, and the girls. Sunday was Tek's blessing. Monday we headed home. And me to a new old job.

The week before I got a phone call from a previous employer, Bob Moors with the Commissionaires. He wanted to know if I would consider coming back to work for him as front desk at the police station. More money and hours that are a better fit into our life style. I told him that I would like to think about it for the weekend. I went in on Monday morning to talk to him. As I walked into his office, he told me he had most of the package filled out and that I needed to sign it. He wanted me to start the next day but realized that my current employer would need some time. He asked if I could start the following Tuesday or Wednesday for training. I asked the few questions I had and agreed. I went for retraining on the following Wednesday and Thursday and was on my own Friday, Saturday. I started into my schedule on Tuesday. I work four 12's: two days, two nights, and four off.

It was like going home. I was welcomed back the older staff I had worked with before and greeted by the newer ones. I only had to learn the few new things on the computer and re-familiarize myself with the rest.

Now to work hard at getting my woodworking up and running on the web and the house renovations finished. Getting ready for gypsyhood.

That is the update. More as it develops.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010 in Retrospect

2010 was an interesting year. It was a year of setbacks and blessings, which usually followed the setbacks.

It started with a change in the compensation package at the company I was working for that was not positive. It was followed 1 March with a restructuring of the leasing department. They did away with it completely and tried to hire us back as independent contractors. The contract they offered was so vague and unfavourable that it was not even worth the paper it was printed on. The severance package on the other hand was not too bad. When I finally heard from The Employment Insurance people they were willing to give me a year to find something that would give me a similar income.

In the mean time I retired to my wood working shop. After about 3 months Sharon calmly told me to get out of the house and find a job or she would kill me. I guess I was bring all kinds of sawdust into the house. About the same time as we were shopping at Costco the young fellow that was managing the cellular booth stopped me. He said he heard I was looking for a job and offered me one. I started early July at the new booth in Park Place Mall. The first of September I was transfered to Costco. I am having a good time and making some money too. I think Sharon intuitively realized I needed to be in front of people.

In May, Mom passed away. Except for the china cabinet that she left to Sharon, everything else was left to my uncle and her cat Boxer. It hurt to be left out of the will but what really bothered me was that there was not even a mention of any of the grand children and great grand children that she said she was so proud of. Over the last 6 months, we were not allowed to take anything out of the house, were expected to look after Boxer. Kimmie paid for the food and I paid for the litter. When a tenant was found in late November that would look after Boxer, we given 2 weeks to go through 60 years of clutter. A new carpet was being put in and we were also told that we had to take the old carpet out. The instructions were: "I don't want anything out of the house except the 2 pictures the Al brought back from Holland. Throw out, donate, or sell everything else." I know we threw out papers and other documents that were of historical and personal value because we didn't have the time to go through everything properly. The blessing was that we were able to save a lot of the things that meant something to us and Boxer now has a couple of roommates that are taking care of him. He was so lonely before.

The end of November I came down with a nasty body flew just as we were finishing taking out the carpet. I also developed a rash on my stomach that I thought was an allergic reaction to the under lay and I also thought that the body pain and head ache might be too. The doc said that I was wrong on both accounts. I did have the flu and I also has a dandy case of shingles. He figured that the 2 viruses were feed off each other so he put me on a mega dose of anti-viral drugs. I was also "quarantined" for 10 days. I got 2 weeks of rest and relaxation that were sorely needed. I didn't lose any wages either. I found out that I qualified for sick days.

The year has ended in great form. I have had the best month at work yet, even considering I did not work the first week. On the 23rd, I became a grandfather for the 7th time. Dian and David had a little boy: Voitek Konrad Kalani Stewart.

A year of ups and downs. Heartache and happiness and it ended with Sharon's Christmas cactus blooming most of December with a display of blossoms that was truly amazing.

Happy New Year one and all. May it be a time of growth and happiness.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Bitter Sweet Find.

Going though the last of the old pictures from my Mother's house we came across a picture of three young people in a small picture of the type you get from a photo booth. It was in a old style cardboard frame. Sharon asked "I wonder who they are? I suppose we will never know. What is written on the back?"

I dug out the magnifying glass and read;

"Bonde hair
Blue eyes
Sweetheart lips"

I said "It doesn't help. Another one for the unknown pile. Its a shame for she is so pretty." As I tossed it in the pile I noticed some printing on the back of the picture proper underneath the frame. Some had written:

girl in
Buddy Hovan


Was killed in
an auto accident
5 others in acc-
ident. All 6 dead

2.45 pm pretty

I cried. Angela (aka Buddy) Hovan!! I had just met my Father's baby sister. I could see why she was his favourite. She, her fiance, and some friends were coming from/going to Hillcrest when the brakes on the car failed. They were unable to stop or leave the road. They were hit by a train at the bottom of the hill. My Dad's family lived in the river bottom about a half mile from the crossing. It almost destroyed Dad. He filled his back pack with a few things, took his rifle, and headed into the mountains. He wandered the forests around the Pass for several weeks. When he returned he would not talk about it for years. I think I was in my teens when I first heard about her story.

Some where in the files we have a picture of the car. When I find it again I will add it to the album.

Some times family shows up in the strangest places and in the strangest ways.

Friday, October 15, 2010

It has been just about a month since the last post.

The first October we went to Cache Valley in Utah to visit Chrissy's in-laws. Sharon and I had hopes of arriving around noonish but that didn't happen. We got out of town a little later than we wanted to and then ran into some road construction in several places. We got into town about 4pm. Just in time to empty the Jeep and head to a USU/BYU football game. I gather it was an history match. USU beat BYU for the first time in years. They drubbed hem so soundly that BYU fired their defencive coach the next morning.

Saturday, Fred and Susan had tickets for conference and headed out early. Sharon and I got up early as well and headed out for a bit of shopping before the conference broadcast started on TV. Between sessions we headed out to do some research. We are thinking ahead to retirement and are planning to become gypsies. We headed out to a RV dealer and spent about an hour looking a 5th wheel trailers. The salesman who we found out was also the owner gave us some good ideas and information. The rest of the day was spent watching the afternoon session. Fred and I went to the Priesthood broadcast at their Stake Centre in the evening and afterwards the 4 of us just visited and enjoyed each others company.

Sunday was spent in front of the TV watching the last 2 sessions and visiting. Monday we all headed out. Fred and Susan are "sight seeing" in the area once a month. This month they headed out to Moab and area for a couple of days. Sharon and I headed down to the Salt Lake area to continue our research. The RV dealer we stopped into did not really impress us. A couple of times he gave us a price we could have the unit for while we were inside the trailer and walking to the next one I saw a sales poster on the nose that said the unit was on special and the price was 10 to 15,000 lower than the "best he could offer". (This week I stopped into a dealer here in town and the prices he gave we lower still on the same units.)

All in all we had 4 very relaxing days of friendship and Sonic. Sonic is Sharon's favourite drive-in just because of their lemon/lime milkshakes. They make their milkshakes with real fruit. If you have never been to one, it is an old school drive-in with a menu board, call button to order, and car hops that deliver, usually on roller skates.

The new job and the new location are going well. I like being at the booth at Costco. I know most of the customers and staff at Costco. It is just like old home week and the booth staff are great. We lost one last week. She left rather suddenly. We should have a new co-worker today. Sales are what I am supposed to be doing right now even though I would prefer to be in my wood shop making saw dust. I am going to have to get back in there on the evenings and days off. I still several things to finish off and Christmas presents to start.

It is election time in the States too. On the way down just north of Hellena we saw a set of "Burma Shave" style signs that read:

When you drive through school zones...

Drive really...


Really slow...

Let those young voters grow up...

So the can vote...

The last sign had a name and "for School Commissioner"

That man was thinking.

On a different slant just outside of Salt Lake there was a billboard for a large jewellery store advertising engagement rings followed immediately by another billboard advertising a medical centre and the "Best OB/GYN facilities in the Valley".

Till next time.