Sunday, April 20, 2008

Accident at 629 3rd

When I was a really little kid, I remember seeing red scars all over my Dad's hands. My Mom and Dad told me the scars were from a fire in the basement. After my Dad died I found the above newspaper article among a collection of articles my Grandmother had cut out of the newspaper.
My Mom told the story of visiting my Dad at the hospital the day he was burned. She was understandably distraught. To add insult to injury, she slid in the snow backwards down a little ways down the hill at Rodney and Broadway. (She was coming from the old St. Johns Hospital.) A cop (I won't give him the dignity of being called a police officer) gave her a ticket. When she appeared before the Judge and explained the circumstances, the judge said, "Did so and so write you that ticket? (the name was Andersen or something like that) ." Well the judge's guess was right. When he learned the cop's name he threw the ticket out. The cop had a reputation with that judge. Mom and Dad were strapped for cash, so the dismissal of the ticket meant a lot to them.

Harbinger of Spring

Yesterday a storm moved in bringing 5 inches of snow. The temperature dipped in 8 degrees when we woke up this morning. Ahhhh. Springtime in the Rockies.

To warm things up, last night we went to a play the youth put on at church called "Lehi's Dream or Coming to Christ." There was singing, props, and five scenes. Ruth Marie Reid wrote it. It was excellent. Briggs Alsbury was Lehi.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Invisible Fence: Solution to the Deer Problem

Last week I whined numerous times about the deer eating all my tulips before they had a chance to grow more than an inch above ground level. Suffering in silence has never been one of my besetting sins. Saturday morning Wilbur awoke with the solution to our deer problem: the invisible fence.

You know the invisible fence. You string a wire around your yard. Put a shock collar on your dog. Turn some switch and your dog gets zapped if he crosses the wire and leaves your yard.

Well, Wilbur's idea is that we put the zapper wire all around our yard, put shock collars on all the deer, and they get zapped if they come INTO our yard. I am still trying to regain my composure after my giggling fit. In my imagination, I can see us roping deer, wrestling them to the ground and fitting them with shock collars. Although, I can't help but feel some satisfaction at the mental picture of a deer getting zapped as it makes a beeline for my tulip bed. Revenge is sweet, even if it is only in my imagination.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


Since I am supposedly related to Thomas S. Monson and he referred to a Miller ancestor on the that line I am supposed to be related, today I began thinking about my grandfather and boats. My grandfather left Scotland and crossed the Atlantic Ocean when he was six to come to Utah. That boat trip changed life for generations of people. I am so glad he made it. I will post an account of it today also.

But the boat trips I enjoy thinking about the most took place mostly on Hauser Lake in the 1980s and early 1990’s. As a young family, there was never much money for vacations, even if we could have tolerated the stress of one with five children close in age. In 1988 or so, Preston and I somehow scraped together about 3000 to get a 1968 Starcraft inboard/outboard. Purpose: family fun. And it was fun!

The maiden voyage for our boat was to Cemetery Island to visit our ancestor’s graves on Memorial Day. It was COLD. I remember looking enviously at other boaters who had tops on their boats. We picked wild flowers and used them as Memorial Day decorations for the graves of Emelyn Owens Byrd, Rose Robertson, Clara Bompart, and Joseph Byrd. I’ve always thought they must have been pleased to be remembered with silky crazy weed and the other flowers we left.

The fun didn’t end there, though. We invested in a boogie board and water skis and headed to Hauser Lake later in the summer. We would launch the boat and head to a rope swing in a little cove. We walked around the cove and climbed a short ways up the rough, shaley mountainside. We grabbed the swing, pushed off and swung over the lake and dropped eight feet into the water. Whew! Adrelalin rushed as we fell deep into the water.

Before long, the kids were trying out the boogie board. Maren caught on very quickly. Julie was younger, so she spent a lot of time tipping over while taking off. Before long, both girls were skimming down the lake behind the boat, pony tails flying horizontally behind them. I wish I had a picture of that!
Lisa, Kristy, and Evan were too young for water skis or boogie boards, but they loved riding and driving the boat. Evan maintained he was captain of that boat.

Before the boat, I habitually felt exhausted by evening in the summer. After we bought the boat, I realized I was too hot in the summer in my Levis. After cooling off during an evening out on the lake, I would feel refreshed, even though we came home at 10:00 p.m.

I suppose we should feel guilty for having lake nights quite often on Monday. Spiritual lessons were not included, or even though of. Frankly I can’t think of any FHEs I enjoyed more. We would wait for Preston to get home from work, 10 gallon water cooler ready and often a chicken dinner and paper plates in a brown paper sack. Bathing suits under our shorts, we were off!

Some hot summer days, I long for a boat again, especially when the kids and grandkids visit. I better hurry and write my best seller, so we can buy one. I suppose a financial analyst would say that we were not responsible and the 3000 smackeroos would have been more beneficially used by investing in an IRA. You will never convince me of that, though.

John W, MIller, Part I

[John W. Miller front row, center]

My husband, John W. Miller as told by Annie Margaret Hansen Robertson
John W. Miller was born in Scotland September 25, 1864. He was his mother’s eleventh child. He had two brothers and nine sisters. His father, John Miller was a coal miner by trade. His mother did sewing to help out. They left Scotland and came to America when he was six years old. He spent his sixth birthday on the ocean. He said all he could remember about the voyage was the whale spouts.
Then landed in Salt Lake City in October, went to Spanish Fork where his mother’s sister and brother lived. Later went to live in Salt Lake City. They lived in what was called Rock Row. It was a row of houses all made of rock. While there, his father died of hemorrhage of the lungs. After he died, his [John W.’s] mother and one sister moved him to Lakeview, Tooele County, where his sister Agnes and family lived. They lived there until they got a home of their own.
His mother being a widow, she used to go out nursing the sick. Then, she was set apart to do obstetrics work or mid-wife they used to call it. She did that for twenty years and never lost one case of either mother or child.
There was an epidemic of diphtheria. She took care of all the children in all the ward, some of them died. But John did not take it. He was blessed with good health and helped her all he could.
When only eleven years old, he carried adobe to make brick and earned his first five dollar greenback. Held it in his hand in his pocket and ran six miles to his mother to give it to her. When he gave it to her, it was wrinkled and wet with perspiration and looked a mess all wrinkled up, but he was so proud he had earned it the hard way.
When he was only twelve he worked for a man by the name of Henry Harris. Did all kinds of farm work and worked up in the hills. Helped get logs out for the first railroad. They cut them in lengths and hued them until they were square to lay the rails on and helped get out logs for the saw mill. He earned enough lumber to help build his mother a home. All the men in the ward helped him to build it. They lined it will adobe…two rooms and a lean-to for a kitchen.