January, 1991

I was in California for the holidays and returned on about the 6th of January with Doug who was down interviewing for jobs after getting his MBA. January was rather cold and dull until the advent of the Desert Storm War, and during that time we had our eyes glued on CNN news and watched the progress of our troops. It was a frightening thing to know that we were into a war and thousands of body bags were shipped to Saudi Arabia, along with thousands of troops and tons of materials. We really didn’t know what to expect, but didn’t dream that the war would unfold as it did. Kuwait had been overrun by Iran and had asked for help from the U.S. Since much of our oil comes from there the U.S. agreed. Our troops and materials were so far superior to that of Iran that we began to understand from the first that it was a very one-sided war. Our patriot missiles that hadn’t really been tried out in a war up until that time, bit a wonderful job of finding and blowing up the Iraq Scud missiles. A few of them reached Israel, and a few other places, but most of them were blown up over the desert in flight and didn’t harm anyone or anything.

Everyone, however, was in doubt about when we began a ground offensive and were afraid that we would lose thousands of our troops. Finally the ground war began and we lost almost no troops and soon had freed Kuwait, which had been our objective from the first. We still have many troops there and much materials. The only disappointment of the war was that they didn’t reach and do away with Sadam. But, close watch and many restraints are still on him and the world is watching him closely. Two top generals came to the fore during the war. One was General Colin Powell and the other General Norman Schwartskof, both of whom were magnificent and have become heroes everywhere, except with Sadam, I guess.

The war ended and CNN was replaced by our local stations for the usual programs. The actual ground war only lasted a day or two and Sadam’s troops were dropping their guns and running towards our troops to surrender.

Meantime, sometime in February, Steve called me and asked if I could come down and help take care of the boy babies while he and Cheryl returned to Romania. I immediately asked him if they were going to get more babies, but he said they were going over to baptize. So I flew down, eager for the chance to take care o the darling babies, and they left for Romania. There one of the men who had been their guide and interpreter and whom they had helped to teach the Gospel was baptized by one of the missionaries and then Steve baptized the woman who had been their landlady while they were there getting the babies. She is now the first president of the Relief Society in that country. Another fellow was baptized and since that time the Church has been recognized in Romania, and they have a place to meet and I’m sure are doing a great job of converting the people to the Gospel. The man mentioned above was baptized first, was the first baptized in Romania ever.

Several months after Steve and Cheryl were there and returned, Alvin and Barbara Price, who were on a service mission there returned home and Steve and Cheryl and the boys came up for their welcome home in Provo. I went to the services and at one point Dr. Price asked everyone in the audience who had been there for babies to stand up and almost half the congregation stood up. It was very interesting to hear them tell about their stay there.

So, the saga of the Romanian babies goes on and on. However, just a few days after Cheryl and Steve returned with their babies, the Romanian government stopped the adopting because they said that people were ’buying the babies’ and that was against the law. They will soon let people in to get babies because it is said there are still thousands in the orphanages, but it will be much more difficult to get them.

Our babies continue to grow and develop and are very much loved and cared for. I often think of Steven Chance and where he would be if they had not adopted him. He would be living in a one room house with dirt floors, no water inside (a tap outside) and outdoor toilet and not enough to eat or heat enough to keep warm. Here the two of them are in Steve and Cheryl’s beautiful home with everything they could possibly want or need and loving people around them continually.

I can’t remember the month, but about May or June, I believe, I flew to California got go to the L.A. Temple where the babies were sealed to them. This is the first time I had been to a sealing and I was happy when I found that when babies are sealed (or children of any age) that they are the same now as if they were born under the covenant.

Cameron is now a year and a half old and he and Chance have finally found each other. Both are walking and not Chance is beginning to hold his own with Cameron. At first Cameron ignored him completely, but now they are starting to play together and while Cameron still reaches out and pushes Chance over or sits on him when he is on the floor, we see each day that they are reacting to each other more and beginning to play together. Cheryl told recently of waking up and hearing them in the hall laughing and laughing together and she went out and there they sat in front of one of the cupboards pulling everything out and having a great time.

About this time began the story of my back yard and the trauma this was for a few months. About the first of January 1991, the city officials announced that all of 7th North from the power plant on 2nd West to 9th East just past my home, would be painted red on both sides so there would be no more parking on the street.

Steve immediately said he would come up and make me parking places in the back. Ever since I bought the house he had mentioned that he wanted to come up and put a three car garage with one bedroom apartment over it at the back of my lot which is very large. So, he decided that this was the time to do it. Provo City said that he could do anything he wanted there. The garage doesn’t have a permanent roof on and the doors aren’t on the garage and no lights but Steve will come up in the Spring and get this done.

One wonderful thing we did the end of August and the first of September was going to Lake Powell again on a houseboat. We’d gone the year before with Donna and Marilyn and Chris. We had such a good time that we persuaded Steve that he should get one the next summer and go with us. So the houseboats were rented and I rode down with Kathy and Mike and family and we got to the docks and they were all waiting for us. Meantime they had gone to Hall’s Landing and got the houseboats and came over to meet us. All of Steve’s family were on the boat and as soon as we had transferred all the Adams stuff and mine into Marilyn and Chris’ boat, we were on our way. We wanted to find the great place we had last year, and kept telling them I knew where it was and how to get there. And we did find it, but by now it had been quite a drive and Steve in his boat was getting a little upset at the distance. We drove into where we had been, but found that the Lake had gone down so much that it was no longer the great place we had last year. So we turned around and started back. Steve was having a great time driving his houseboat, but I knew he was anxious to and a place. We looked at several more and turned them down and went into a semi-hidden bay off the lake and there was a wonderful spot. It was much, much better than the one we had the last year. Steve drove his boat up on one side of a little hillock and Chris went to the other. We could jump off the boats right onto land and go up over a little incline and be by the other boat. It was wonderful. We ate some of our meals up on the hillock and we took walk of discovery around the shore, but mostly the older kids water skied and rode the water weenie, and sometimes the kids fished and got big fish that they put back. The smaller children loved playing and making villages in the wet sand by the water. They had a special spot and spent hours there building mud houses, roads, etc. Cameron and Chance were just toddlers at the time and had fun with their floaty bathing suits playing in the mud. Kathy’s littler girls wore the floaty suits also and none of them were the least bit afraid of the water.

Steve had brought some fireworks which are illegal in California and we lit them off the last night. The funniest thing was when we were all sitting on the hill, some of the fireworks went awry and everyone scattered to keep from getting bombed by the shooting fireworks. It was hilarious after the fact, but actually rather dangerous at the time. We had a wonderful time for three or four days, but finally it was time to leave and sadly we put everything on our individual boats and took off for Bullfrog.

Family Update

Linda was working for Macmillan-McGraw Publishing Company in New York. She was editor of the music-tape department; a very good but demanding job. She flew all over the United States taping Children’s choruses, Indian singers, interviewing celebrities, etc. She came to Utah at one point and found tons of talent, a recording studio that only charged a portion of what it cost in New York, that had all the latest recording equipment they needed, and wonderful people to work it. Jim, her sound man thought that the talent in Utah County was outstanding. He tried to learn to ski, but I think went into a tree on his first attempt down the slopes, and swore he would never again get on skis. On the other hand his wife and children loved it so quite often they come with him to Utah and ski while he helps Linda record.

Linda has a small apartment in New York, although recently moved from a one room domicile to one with somewhat more room and an ex-girlfriend of Sean is living with her and working at her office and Linda says she is doing a fine job. Her name is Bryn and I’m glad that she is there with Linda. For at least a couple of years now Linda’s right hip has been giving her trouble and it continues to get worse. Some time ago, she was in Iowa City and saw a specialist there who took many x-rays, and said that it wasn’t to the point of being operated on, but she would pretty much have to live with the pain. I could tell each time she was here or I was in California at the same time she was that the pain was getting worse.

Second China Trip

(Marilyn: Mother comments that since the trip to China was such a good price, she and Donna decided to go again. What you’ll read are excerpts because she commented that they went to the same places. They left November 18th. The cities they visited were Shanghai, Beijing, Zian, Great Wall, Guilin, Canton, Hong Kong. She also commented that it was cold on some of the tour.)

….We decided to go with the Crandalls who had been out tour guides on one of our trips to the Holy Land and I decided that it was something I should do before I got too old to go traipsing around, and Donna is always ready to travel.

….However, on this trip we did see many things that we hadn’t seen before. ….that night we saw a big show by the famous acrobats and also several delightful bits by animals, one a huge panda bear and another with about 20 tiny white fluffy dogs, etc. It was delightful.

(Mother’s comment in Hong Kong.) We stayed in the new Conrad Hilton Hotel. It was the most luxurious place I had ever been in and we reveled in the two nights stay there. The first night we had our closing party, which the Crandalls had asked me to take charge of, so, as for our last party….I wrote lines for each one of our group of about 20 and gave out the awards with something humorous that Donna and I had found in some event or characteristic of the person we were honoring. Then two of our cousins who were with us (Betty Lou and Janette) and Donna and I sang a crazy song which was supposed to be something like Janie Thompson’s song, ‘I’ve Been Everywhere Man.’ We had verses about a lot of places we had been, with ‘gorgeous’ (?) choreography and ended with taking out scarves and sashaying around with them a-la-the Chinese dancers. It was all fun.

The next morning three of us took the plane for home and so ended another exciting overseas tour for Donna and I, and it may be my last although I would like to go to Europe again.

We arrived from China in L.A. in the morning of the 27th and Marilyn met us. Steve and family were already in my house in Provo and Marilyn and family were going up but they didn’t have room for everyone, so Marilyn asked if we wanted to take off as soon as Donna got her mail and went to the bank, etc. She said she would drive, so we said okay and about 3:00 p.m., we started out. Donna and I slept all the way. By the time we got to St. George, we decided we had better get a motel and stay the night, which we did, getting into Provo about noon the day before Thanksgiving.

Jet lag was just something we forgot about as we made the preparations for Thanksgiving at my house with all Steve family including the two married daughters. We had 27 for Thanksgiving dinner, but everyone pitched in and helped and it was great fun, but tiring.

Friday morning was an all day rehearsal plus finishing up the decorating of the Tabernacle which was well under way since Tuesday by my faithful Committee and helpers. That night was the program and this year we did it twice, once after the parade and then again at 7:30. Many things went wrong this year which we intend to have corrected next year. Two of Kathy and Mike’s children, Kelly and Cory, sang in the Children’s Heavenly Choir, as did Steve’s Elizabeth and Melissa, who had the tape and words in California and had learned them.

After everyone had departed, I began pulling myself together to get ready for Christmas. In fact, started decorating on December 1st. Finally left for California on the 20th and spent another wonderful Christmas with the family. Linda and Ian were even there from the East, but Marilyn, Chris, Mark and Julie went to Provo to spend Christmas with Kathy and Mike and children and I surely missed them until they returned on Sunday after Christmas.

Marilyn and Chris had a wonderful dinner party for all the family on Thursday. After dinner we all played ‘Win, Lose or Draw’ and it was fun. Then four of us played Rook until 1:00 a.m. I forgot to mention that Donna was on jury duty all while I was there, so that left me to my own meanderings during the day, but I walked and visited, etc. She was still on for several days after I left, and then finished. I flew home on January 3, 1992 and said I was going to go home and pull myself and my house together. And I’ve been trying, but my history is in such a mess of bits and pieces that it is going to take time to get it done. But I’m determined.