On Labor Day Randy and I took a long walk around the lake at a housing development and community near here called Daybreak. There are a lot of areas that still need to be developed (I think the problems with the economy really slowed things down there), but it is still very peaceful and lovely.The Oquirrh Mountain Temple that we attend is near there.
We celebrated Dylan’s 19th birthday one night early so that Heidi and Tyler could both join us. It’s hard to believe that my youngest child is that old. One more year and I won’t have any more kids in their teens! He got to go with some friends down to Lake Powell for 5 days and stayed on a houseboat. He had a lot of fun waterskiing, surfing behind the boat, and cliff jumping. The weather was perfect and so was the water temperature. He especially liked the fact that he had 3 meals a day prepared for him – plus snacks! (back to the real world now of Mom making only dinner!) He came back really tan. He got a full-time job setting up displays of floor products (carpeting, linoleum, wood, etc) all over the state and into Idaho and Colorado. He says it’s the best job he has ever had!
Randy’s band played at a park again – this time the audience was only half as big as last time, but he said they did well and he still had fun.
Heidi moved out of her apartment and into the upper level of a house (another woman lives in the basement). It is only 5 minutes from the campus where she works, so already she has really enjoyed that. She said it is so much nicer to get off work at 2am and NOT have to drive for a half hour just to get home. It has 2 bedrooms and a lot of cupboard space.
My mother turned 92 on the 15th. We celebrated her birthday on the following Sunday evening so that more people could come, and that’s typically a better day for me to host something like that. We had over 30 people here for it. I had taken her to get her temple recommend renewed earlier in the afternoon and we had noticed there was a fire on the far side of the hill behind us. Someone said it was just a brush fire. We found out later that it had been started by a machine-gun training exercise of the Utah National Guard and they tried, but couldn’t put it out. They should never have been doing that when conditions were so dry and it was so windy, and they have since apologized for it and are taking full responsibility. By the time we were having my mother’s birthday party it was obvious the fire was getting bigger, and before long the flames were coming over the top of the hill. By that evening there were over 1,400 houses that were being evacuated. The evacuation area ended only a few blocks from us. The fire continued to burn all that night and fire crews concentrated on keeping houses safe. There was an article in the local newspaper about a man that used his bulldozer to plow a fire line that was directly responsible for saving 32 homes. By the next morning we discovered that only 3 houses had burned down and 1 was partially burnt – it was a miracle that no other homes were damaged. They hoped to have the last of the fire and hot spots put out by Tuesday morning, but the wind kicked up again. (photo by Mike Day) On Wednesday morning I rode my bike on my usual route and I could still see smoke rising from the ashes. We had rain, hail, and thunder storms that day, and the rain helped put out the fire – but then they were worried about mudslides! (The city has already started planting seedlings to help prevent that next year.) The last of the people that had been evacuated were finally let back into their homes by Wednesday night. My heart really goes out to those that lost their homes, but this awful situation showed that miracles DO happen and caused a lot of people to focus on what is really important.
Speaking of bike riding – My left hip had been hurting, with pain going down my leg sometimes. So, I went a week without any treadmill or biking. When I got back on the treadmill I was OK, but I only went 6.5 miles (instead of 10.5) on the bike and it was hurting again. I guess I’ll have to work at strengthening that joint muscle with weights this fall and winter. I hate getting old….
One Saturday late in the month, Randy and I went to the Hogle Zoo. Heidi works there sometimes as a security guard, so she was able to get us in for free. We were able to see just about everything in 2 ½ hours – just about the right amount of time for us and it felt good to be in the sun all afternoon. We didn’t quite time it right to see the bird show, but we caught the end of the elephant show. They have a big area that they are working on that will have all kinds of water exhibits – large mammals, otters, sea lions, etc – that will open in 1 ½ years.
I have finished everything for my class on Organizations and just have to wait for my grade. I am SO glad to be done with it! From reading comments from the other students in class, it sounds like most of them have also had negative feelings about it. I know I will have more research papers to write in other classes, but I’m glad to be done for now.