A Connecticut Puritan in Happy Valley

I went to the temple on Friday just to go, with no specific question or need on my mind. However, as I walked out, it was obvious to me that I needed to end Victory Pizza for the time being, focus on graduation, and look for a job. I headed to the golf course to putt around a little, and made some phone calls. Spring has arrived, and Friday was my first day this year in shorts. Brian, in Boise, had some good leads, and sent me the info for Clearwater Analytics. I texted the guy, named JP, and we set up a phone interview for Saturday. The call went good, and he sold me on the company. I don’t know yet what will happen, but that shot into the running, and I should know pretty quick if I got the job. Besides looking at Idaho, I’ve also thrown some feelers out into Texas and Massachusetts. I’m not so set on staying in Utah past April anymore.

Its easy to think of the United States always as one country, instead of recognizing the wide disparity between states. Here’s one stat that made me think. The average person in Mississippi lives just as long as the average person in Bangladesh. And the average person in West Virginia lives just a little less than the average person in Libya.

My history capstone rough draft was due on Thursday. I wrote five pages on Tuesday in just over an hour, thought it was going way easier than expected, and put it on the back-burner again. Wednesday, I worked for another hour, and on Thursday I worked on it all day, finishing it before 5 pm, and turning in 20 pages. I remembered people like my mission president, President Young, who did not have the opportunity to graduate college, but would have loved to. Remembering those who would love to have the experience of college helped me continue and work hard, but I have to admit that at this point, I don’t appreciate it intrinsically, and am glad to be so close to the end.

Amanda invited me to the devotional on Tuesday and we listened to Elder Carlos Godoy of the 70. I put off any other dates because of my paper, but on Friday we had planned to go ice-skating. Then, as this was our day of spring-break, she went hiking that morning and slipped on a waterfall and broke her hand. Knowing that a fall ice-skating could cause a lot more damage, I brought some pizza and we watched BYU’s baseball team beat Gonzaga. We joked that she had taken “spring break” too literally. Alas, beware the ides of March. Saturday we went and played tennis, and despite being one-handed, Amanda played really well. Those were two of my favorite dates ever, and provided good opportunities to get to know each other. After playing tennis for an hour, her hand started hurting, and we just sat on the court in the sunshine and talked for another hour. Having played golf with Kimball in the morning, I ended up slightly sunburned which is a noteworthy accomplishment in March. Tonight, I’m going over to her place for dinner.

On Tuesday, when I decided to leave my paper for later, I ended up again at the golf course. As a single player, I ended up joining Adam for nine holes. There are times when I want to play alone, and others like on Tuesday where company is nice, and thus my invite to Adam. He was traveling from Minnesota to Arizona. His family was going on vacation there, and he was recently let-go from work, and was driving their bikes and other equipment down, having wanted to see this part of the country. He had driven from Jackson Hole that morning and was planning to continue on for a few more hours later at night. Adam works in insurance on the back-end and his company had massive, but expected layoffs. However, it came with a year’s worth of severance due to his past 28 years at the company, and he’ll start in April at a new one. This was his first time in Utah and we enjoyed talking about everything from life insurance premiums to Amy Klobuchar’s bid for president.

Tuesday I also went to a much needed therapy session with Tanmarie and Nora. It helps to have loved ones to talk and counsel with about concerns. I left uplifted, and especially loved spending some time with Nora and her unbridled enthusiasm for the small things.

Saturday night, after tennis, I returned home and cut my hair. Then I ate dinner, made some homemade ice cream, and read in my robe still feeling soaked in sunshine. Makes you wonder, can life get better?

“Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy.” 2 Nephi 2:25.


One thought on “A Connecticut Puritan in Happy Valley”

  1. Hi Hunter,

    I was just about to hop in the shower and check my computer before I did that. Read your nice letter, I’m sure you are glad that your paper is done and turned in. Another project finished.

    Sorry about your friend Amanda’s wrist–I’ve been there and done that. I never had a broken bone all through childhood. Then I retired–I fell at the health club and fractured my right wrist in August 2000. Almost five months later to the day–January 20, 2001, I decided to clean the ice off of my windshield. I walked between my car and my tenant’s car when the hem of my coat caught his license plate and down I went, breaking the left wrist and off to the hospital again. My godson’s brother told me I should go back to work because retirement was killing me. On the latter fall, I had just finished a pair of mittens for one of you children–can’t remember who at the moment. At least I got them finished. Since then, I had managed to stay on my feet until 2006 when I tripped on an uneven sidewalk and fell, smashing my face into the ground and fracturing the roots of my front teeth which had to be extracted. After two years of dental work, I had implants and that was the best ever–it wasn’t easy going through the process, but I did it.

    I went to the flower show at the Seaport Trade Center in Boston on Thursday. You can go on my FB page and see the pictures. There were many displays but not a lot of places to buy cut flowers or plants. I did buy a small gardenia which has one flower that just opened. It dries out very quickly, so I have to water it every couple of days. I don’t know what type of medium it is planted in, but after the buds have all bloomed, I will transplant it into a larger pot and different soil that will keep the moisture longer. Following that, we went to the Tavern at Granite Links in Quincy for lunch. Lunch was good and the view of Boston was awesome.

    We celebrated St.Patrick’s Day here on Saturday evening with bagpipers and snare drummers. Boy were they loud but very good. I colored the top of my hair green with food coloring–picture is on FB as well. It was a fun time. Today being St. Patrick’s Day, there was nothing other than a cellist and pianist and they played all classical–no Irish music. That might have been difficult, but it would have been nice to hear some Irish music. I could even find any on the radio on my way to church or on the way home today. We did have corned beef and cabbage at dinner tonight which was very good. Yesterday, I made four Irish soda breads–two to take to Bingo and two to social hour. It was gone in no time. I saved a piece for myself and just ate that, toasted, with butter. Mmmmm good! I needed a little something before I went to bed.

    I’m going to end so I can take my shower and go to bed. Good luck with the job, too.

    Love, Aunt Shirley

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