Dear Elder Schenewark, and missionary friends,
This week ended on a somber note, as early this morning there was a mass shooting in Orlando, at a nightclub. It appears to be a hate crime, by a lone gun man, as well as possibly considered a terroristic incident, as he pledged himself to ISIS, via 911, from the club. Over fifty were killed, and over fifty are hospitalized. The Book of Mormon, in 4 Nephi 1:39 mentions, "And they were taught to hate." Unfortunately, that is the culture of today. Your message of peace and love, and the gift of the atonement, is such a contradictory message, and so needed in this world. I'm grateful for your efforts. I need to ramp up my contributions. And they were taught to love, and be tolerant, to not judge, to have compassion and understanding, is my message today, as well as my responsibility.
This incident surely caused us all at work to think "What if" scenarios, here in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolis. Gun incidents or other crimes that are violent, are increasing, I had to deal with a few this week myself. But a mass shooting incident, which appears to be increasing in frequency - not yet.
The homeowners association asked homeowners this year to not mow, so the Monarch butterfly migration route can be strengthened and the declining population protected. Milkweed grows frequently here in Bentwater, and the longer it can grow the better the butterfly survival. So our grass is long. We registered our address. Because of this long grass, and all the rain we received, your brothers and I dealt with suicide bombers of the mosquito variety. You would have been miserable. Five o'clock in the afternoon, a very sunny 90 degrees, and they chased me all over the yard. With the growling lawn mower running, I could hear them. They looked like black horseflies. Gigantic! I tried to keep moving, almost running, but they still found me. I slapped down twenty two. Surely that qualifies me for ACE status. And this wasn't in the boggy, low land, more wet area of the yard. This was on a slope that's very rocky with sparse growth. Sawyer tried helping me the next day, and Porter the day after. He probably was hit hardest, as he had no shirt, and found out the hard way since we forgot to mention the intimidating death squad. He had over thirty welts. Not good news with Zika viruses confirmed here in Texas, as well as West Nile Virus.
Other newsworthy items? There have been two California earthquakes this week, one in San Diego, and one two hours away, inland. This does NOT make me happy! If and when California rumbles, shakes and splits, I don't want your brother there. He mentioned he could feel the quake in San Diego on line, but we haven't spoken with him yet.
Sawyer and Miller entered a youth golf tournament at the country club course this week. I came home from work to Miller's enthusiastic, "I got first place!" And, he was the only entrant in his age division. Sawyer placed second, missing first by one stroke, and there were a total of four. There are two more tournaments this summer they're excited to enter. Sawyer edged into classic mode using your grandfather's wooden putter.
Cooper has one weekly confirmed mow job, one sporadic weed job, and a miscellaneous "we'll-find-something-for-you-to-do-when-you-call" job. His mowing customer lives right across the lake from us, and told Cooper instead of driving all the way down and around to get to his house, just call, and he'll pick him up at the marina in his boat. Fun! Maybe I'll go help him mow for a ride on the lake. He had extra bucks after his scout camp bill was paid, and begged to go to Academy wherein he purchased his own cot and camping fan.
Dad had us do a practice run with the large tent for scout camp. The boys leave in the morning, and Porter's in charge of Miller and Sawyer. My living room has been full of backpacks, sleeping bags, fishing poles, camping chairs, etc. all in preparation for the next six days. They'll have a ball together. They're expert fishermen, compared to years past, and will, I'm sure, have many stories to share upon their return.
Today is my 25th wedding anniversary. Wow. Your father has now been married to me longer than not. I have yet to reach that plateau. I hope his last quarter of a century has been bliss.
Love from Loveland,