Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Zach Update

At the risk of alienating Zach, but in the interest of keeping you informed, I'll give you a quick update on Zach's health issues, which is good news. No pictures, though.

After almost a three month wait, we finally got Zach back in with his doctor at the infamous HarborView Medical Center. The doctor apologized (!) for not getting back to us sooner, and also apologized that one of the residents that saw Zach while he was in for his tests didn't call us. I think he also apologized for two or three other things, plus just general apologies as well. That's more apologies from one doctor in one visit than I've heard from all doctorrs in the entire rest of my life, I believe.

Bottom line, he said that Zach was not having epileptic seizures, and the episodes of dizziness, partial loss of sight, etc, probably were related to some anxieties exacerbated by his depression, and that he was often holding his breath, which brought on the heart rate increases. Kate had observed a little of this, but it was a revelation for Zach. Good news, since that day, he has been aware of the breath holding issue, and has controlled it himself, and has not had any episodes for 5 or 6 days now. Needless to say, we are thrilled, and he is too. Driving is going to come back into his immediate future, but he is more excited about that than Kate and I are. He still is in some counseling for the anxieties, but he is happier than he has been for a year, I think.

Thanks for everyone's thoughts and prayers over this last year. He is through with school for the summer, and working at the family business, Sears, in their lawn and garden to earn money for school in the fall. We'll keep you posted.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Aunt Retta & Ethelyn

Grandma Doris gave me a book of greeting cards she and Grandpa received the first 7 years or so of their marriage. (I think it's an old greeting card sample book from King's that she pasted their cards in.) I love to look through the old cards, and it's fun to see the little notes Grandma and Grandpa wrote to each other. I recognize some of the names, but most of the people who sent the cards are unknown to me.

After reading Dad's post, I knew I had seen Aunt Retta & Ethelyn's names somewhere. So I got the book out and found this little Christmas card. Thought you'd like to see it. If we get together for a family reunion, I'll bring the book so everyone can enjoy looking through the cards.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Busy Summer Time

Apparently we are all pretty busy these days, as the Blog posts have been few and far between. But I enjoy seeing everything that gets put up. Thanks Linda and Kevin for your recent posts. Today (Friday June 13 -- oops, I hadn't noticed!) I'll be flying to Seattle where I will meet Iantha. She has been in Denver herding 150 Cub Scouts with Mary Anne (and Ian, as well, I hear). Iantha and I will show up at Tom's wedding on Saturday, but we have to return home to Brigham City on Saturday evening.

By the way, Kevin, where did you find that old picture of Dad and us on the Blogsite? I don't remember having ever seen it before you posted it. Would you please send me a scan of it?

Here's a blurry old photo I found recently in a box with a lot of Mom and Dad's letters and birthday and Christmas cards in it. If anyone has time to read through the letters looking for anything of interest, speak up.

This photo shows our great-grandmother, Charlotte Emma Senior King, the elderly lady in the front, and standing behind her over her left shoulder is her daughter, Grandma Kate King Folkman. Next to her, in the hat, is Grandpa Heber Folkman, though you can't see much of his face. Most of the girls in the picture would be various Great Aunts to Kevin, David and I. The youngest girl at the back of the photo is probably Aunt Merlyn, who lived in Sparks, NV, at the same time that Mom and Dad lived in Reno. The big guy on the left is Wilmer Rigby, who married one of Grandma Folkman's sisters, and settled in Idaho where they have a lot of family under the Rigby name.

When I was young, I wasn't very interested in all this, but as time goes on and no one remembers these people any more, I have become more interested in these things. On the Saturday before Memorial Day we put flowers, as we always do, on Grandpa and Grandma Hunter's graves in Logan Cemetery. Next to them is a family that I thought no one would still remember, as they have no descendents, but we knew the mother of the family as Aunt Rhetta. I wonder if David recalls visiting her in Logan when we were very young. Her only child, a son, was killed in WWII, shot down over Holland, and his body not recovered, as far as I know. She gave me a really "neat" hand-tooled leather belt that had belonged to him, during a visit when I was probably about 10 years old. Anyway, while we were there cleaning up the grave sites, an elderly woman came over to us and asked who we were, and I was very surprised to learn that she was a niece of Retta from another side of the family, a different wife of Grandma Mae Smeath Hunter's father, I believe, and we visited for awhile about things. She mentioned names I had long forgotten, such as Aunt Ethelyn, with whom Retta lived in her last years. The woman's married name is Jensen, but we were both surprised to find someone who still remembered those ancient days.

We also took some flowers down to Mom and Dad's graves, as we hadn't been there for quite awhile.

-- Robert

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Valentine Family Vacation

Hello, family! Just wanted to say hello, since I haven't for a while. Our family just got back from a trip to California and we had a great time. We drove through Reno on the way west so the kids could see the apartments where Grandma and Grandpa lived, the Federal Building where Grandpa worked, and the famous downtown Reno lights. Then we visited Martinez/Pleasant Hill to show the kids where their mom grew up in California, did all the touristy stuff in San Fransisco, headed south to Disneyland, hung out at the beach, and visited Sea World in San Diego. We decided to go all out and do everything we could in 10 days because this may be the last vacation we take with all seven of us together before kids are in college, starting careers, getting married or going on missions. That thought is very hard to grasp, but is a reality nontheless. Amanda will be a senior in highschool this year, so next summer her schedule may not permit a big family vacation with us if she starts college right away. Anyhow, it was great fun. Love to you all!

P.S. If anyone would like a photo of the building where Grandpa worked in Reno for family history purposes, I have one.