I can’t even remember what I did last winter. I know I didn’t do all the things I should have done, like finishing my history, going through the tons of junk in the attic, sorting through my snapshots and other pictures and so this Winter I am trying to do at least two of the above and I am going to attack the attic as soon as the weather warms up….like in April.

I was very healthy and made several trips to Arcadia to visit with the families there and most of them came up occasionally which I always look forward to.

Summer came and I just seemed to work from morning until noon when it got too hot to work out in the yard. I planted a small garden, as much as the new garage and parking area allowed, and spent a lot of time on my raspberries. Usually the raspberries were beginning to ripen pretty well by July 4th, but last Spring came upon us much earlier than usual and by the time summer was here, everything was at least three weeks ahead of usual schedule. So much before July 4th I was picking raspberries in earnest. And by the time I got through the three places they were planted, I was done for the day, but the raspberries were wonderful. I had enough for Donna to make jam a couple of times when she was here, ready to give dozens of half pints away to friends at Christmas.

Sometime in August, Steve, Cheryl and the children were here and one evening Jennifer asked if she could borrow my car for about five minutes to return a blanket she had borrowed from someone. I gave her the keys and later I was in the living room going through snapshots with Cheryl who was trying to help me get the dozens of them into some sort of order. An hour or so went by and all of a sudden I wondered where Jennifer was with my car and just then the phone rang and it was she, saying that she had totaled my darling red Escort that I just loved. Cheryl and I dashed to the scene and fortunately neither she nor her Startup Cousin, who was with her, were hurt.

But one look at the car and I knew it was ready for Escort Heaven. She and the cousin had bought some food and she leaned over to take something from one of the sack or something and I guess was going too fast and didn’t notice a curve in the road and ran into where a bridge or whatever they are called to let cars go over the curb and it swung the car around and completely demolished the underside of the front, wheels and all.

Jennifer felt terrible about it and I told her that accidents could happen to anyone and I wanted her to know I didn’t hold hard feelings toward her about it.

So the process of finding a new car I could afford began. I pretty much searched Provo for a good used car and hoped I could find another Escort, to no avail. Finally, one morning David, my grandson, said he was going to take me to Salt Lake because they had such a large selection there. We started out just before we got to American Fork off-ramp I said, “Let’s get off her and go to Tri-City Ford where I bought my red Escort.” We did and as he drove up and parked in front of the line of cars, he said, “Gram, there’s your car.” We were parked by a white 91 Escort and I went in. We test drove it and I liked it very much so I told them my ‘deal.’ They accepted it. I gave them a check and we drove it home. I’m beginning to like it as much as the red one.

Except for a week later, I was driving out of my driveway going front first. There were cars parked all around and across the street in spite of the red curbs because there was a yard sale going on to the West of me. I looked very good each way and thought there were no cars, but somehow a pickup came along and I hit the front of it. It did little damage to the truck and the two young fellows in it were very nice because I felt so terrible because I had done a lot of damage to my car. I kept moaning “Oh, my new car. Oh my nice new car.” Well, they had the same insurance company I did and I never did hear a word from them, and I drove my car for a couple of weeks while the insurance work was going on and finally it was all fixed good as new.

So, with this happening and my operation at Christmas in California, 1992 w3asn’t the best year I had ever had. But, I survived both and am thankful for my continuing good health and all I am able to do

December 18, 1992, we loaded up all our gifts, my suitcase, etc., and got into one of Steve’s catering vans to go to California for Christmas. He had been here to do a fancy catering job for a reception of a good friend’s daughter…more about this later. I sat on a garden chair because there was no seat next to the driver’s, but it has a 100% wool blanket on it and it was fastened to the floor somewhat. I could either put my legs straight down or stretch them out on the slanting motor of the van and it was very comfortable. It was cold weather, so I wore long johns, two sweaters, my heaviest coat and gloves and then wrapped myself in one of my warmest blankets and I was cozy.

We didn’t leave until afternoon as Steve had to deliver back materials he had rented for the reception, and then pack the van, so we just drove to Mesquite and got a motel room and slept. Then on into Arcadia. When Donna greeted me, she said we were going to have ‘fun, fun, fun’ during the Holidays. Hah!!! Little did she know.

I was fine for three days, but on Wednesday morning the 23rd I awoke at 3:00 a.m. with a terrible pain in my stomach. It didn’t go away so that afternoon Donna took me to the Emergency Room of the Methodist Hospital in Arcadia. They began giving me an IV with a pain killer in it and I was soon feeling better and they said I could go home, but if I had one more pain I was to return to the Hospital immediately. After a few hours the pain started again, so off we went back to the Hospital immediately and they kept me overnight and the next morning (my birthday) I begged them to let me go home because Donna had invited all the family for dinner in my honor and I also wanted to be out o there for Christmas. The doctor finally said I could go home if I didn’t throw up anymore. Well, I did but hid it and didn’t say anything so they let me go home.

I couldn’t eat a bit at dinner and was in awful pain which continued all through Christmas. We got up Christmas morning and went to Steve and Cheryl’s and went through the usual picture taking on the stairs in the front entrance, and began opening gifts. It was fun because the little boys, Cameron and Chance were really into Christmas this year. I had bought little trains for them and one for Austin and they loved them. After opening things there, we got in Donna’s car and went to Glendora to Joan and Dick’s and there opened more gifts and had a fun time with them pain and all. Then back to Steve and Cheryl’s for a turkey, which I only about three bites and the pain was awful all day.

In the mean time Marilyn and Chris had come home from having Christmas in Utah. But were upset that I had left the hospital without them finding out what was really wrong. They insisted that I the pin persisted, I had to go back to the hospital and find out what was wrong.

The next morning Donna took me back to the hospital and there began more and more x-rays, even an ultra sound. It was found that there was an obstruction in my intestines and a likely mass behind that, so I decided I probably had stomach cancer. All one day they tried to do various things to see if they could remove the obstruction without surgery, but finally decided that they couldn’t, so Dr. Peters came in and said they were going to have to operate. I was appalled. I had bragged all my life that I had never even had my tonsils out and here I was facing major surgery. Steve had said earlier that if I had to be operated on, he would contact Dr. Ballard, a fine LDS doctor and ask him to find a good surgeon. But, Dr. Ballard had seen me in the hospital and already asked Dr. Peters to take care of me. He was a wonderful doctor and I was thankful for him.

At first I was moaning about being sick there and wondered why it hadn’t happened in Provo, but all the family said that they were glad I was there because otherwise they would all have had to troop through the terrible snows in Utah to be with me there. Meantime it was raining like crazy all the time in California and there were awful floods which we watched on TV. And they also showed pictures of Salt Lake where they were having the worst snows since they first started keeping records.

Well, I was scared to death of the anesthetic. The anesthesiologist came in to talk to me and I told her how frightened I was after having ether when my children were born and how awful it was and she assured me that everything would go well and they had different medications now. I asked her if she could put me out before I left my room and she said she could do that but if she did, I would have three days of craziness afterwards and would I please trust her. There would be not trauma connected with it and I would be fine. So, I told her I would Finally the time came and they put me on a gurney and took me to the operating room. Before this, all the family was there and Steve gave me a wonderful blessing. I left the family and was wheeled to the operating room and left outside. It seemed that I was there for hours, but it was probably only twenty minutes or half an hour, but I had all kinds of anxiety attacks and thought I would die before they even got me in there.

The finally came and the anesthesiologist at my head finally asked me how I felt. I had not felt a shot or prick or anything, I opened my eyes and looked at the ceiling and said, “I feel wonderful. Do anything you want.” I was gone and it seemed only a few seconds later that I was coming out o the whole mess and they were getting me ready to go to the recovery room. The doctor said everything went fine and I was the most relieved person in the hospital, I know. I remember being in the recovery room, but would sleep and wake, and at two remembered being the ICU room.

Then as they began to take me to my room, I thought that someone said to me that they taking me to a little white house way out in the country for three days I thought this was where I was until I finally mentioned it to one of the family that was visiting and she laughed and said I was right in the hospital and she drew the draperies so I could see where I was.

I began recovering fast and didn’t mind the stay in the hospital except I hadn’t had any food for about a week before the operation and all they brought me, of course, was clear soup, etc. Finally on about the fifth day there I got scrambled eggs, and did they ever taste wonderful. About a week in the hospital the doctor said I could go home, so Donna took me to her place and she was a wonderful nurse, giving me great food—whatever was on my sheet of diet from the doctor which was quite stringent but still had good solid food on it. She waited on me hand and food and reminded me every so often to get up and walk, which was what the doctor ordered. I finally got dressed and we would take little jaunts to see the relatives, and I would play with the little Worsley boys. All the family went out to dinner one evening and then we went to Marilyn and Chris’ and played a little Rook.

We kept hearing about the awful snows in Utah and when it go time that Donna and I could go back to Provo, Kathy would call from Orem and say for us not to come because the roads were so terrible.

However, finally on Monday the 11th she called and said for us to come right that day because the roads would be clear and another storm was coming in. Donna was gone visiting teaching when Kathy called, but I hurried and began packing my bag. Donna had already loaded most of my stuff in the car and when she arrived home we hurried and finished packing and took off. I felt bad because Joan and Dick were coming in to take us to dinner that night (we had already decided to leave on Tuesday, but all morning Donna kept saying she felt we should leave that day and she was right. We drove to Mesquite and stayed at the motel there. We heard all kinds of terrible news about the roads and how they had been closed the day before. We were afraid there was snow in the Virgin River cutoff and in St. George, but Donna said she wasn’t afraid of the icy roads, but I was. Well, we left Mesquite a little after 7:00 a.m.

There was no snow in the Virgin River Gorge, no snow in St. George, but we felt we would meet bad roads half way to Cedar City, but the roads were DRY all the way. We kept saying, “I can’t believe this.” because they were so good. I forgot to mention that when I went to Dr. Peters for my last examination and permission to drive home, he said I must exercise my legs in the car all the time and we had to stop every hour and let me walk for 3 to 5 minutes. Which we pretty much did, but went 70 miles per hour all the way and we didn’t meet anything but dry roads until we got nearly to Nephi and they were just wet from there on in.

I was so relieved to get home safely. And, Donna stayed and continued to baby me. She helped me box all my Christmas decorations and David came over and carried them to the attic. Wednesday, January 19th, she took off alone for home. I was really worried and sort of followed her in my mind every hour all day. She called me at 5:30 Provo time and said she was home.

Well, so much for my BIG TRAUMA. Christmas was quite a bust for me, but I’m recovering very well, although still quite weak and I know I must rest.

Then began my usual day to day activities and meetings, etc., all of which within a few weeks I was wading into as if I had never heard of my stomach being cut from ’stem to gudgeon’ for an operation. My return to full health was phenomenal, but very welcome.