My Forty Crisis

The 18 May 1980 was my fortieth birthday. On the same day Mount Saint Helens erupted. Thus, I can say that my fortieth was a seismic, volcanic event. As my 40th birthday was approaching, the news was filled with rumblings about a possible volcanic event. A Mr. Truman would not leave his home on the mountain.  Everyone was warning that the changes in the mountain indicated an eruption was very likely. In a similar fashion, changes were taking place in my life.  Carla was graduating from high school and had been accepted by BYU. Cindy and Scott had scheduled a wedding in the DC Temple which I would not be able to attend. This was troubling because she would have to resign from the Naval Academy without a degree. I was trying to get time off for a sabbatical leave for half a year starting in January. I thought that it would be good to go back to the University of Utah, partly because I could get some support from family.  This was one of the times in my life when I felt that I was not controlling my destiny.  Things turned out better for me than for Mr. Truman; I was only buried figuratively not literally. 

This stay in Utah was  good for all except possibly Boyd.  He was not happy in school and told me I could never move him again (I guess Gabby could). This connection with family was very important for two reasons. First, we got to spend time with our extended family. We went skiing almost every  weekend, often  with my brother Scott. Ben and Ann adopted April.  We were able to take Naomi to the Grand Canyon, thus we went with her both the first and the last time she worked at Grand. We spent weekends in Goshen and Payson with our respective families.

Second, we spent time with our ancestors by going to the Genealogical Library. We used the bus system, and Kathryn often went in the morning, came home for lunch with Boyd, and returned for the afternoon. The three of us would go in the evenings after supper. Kathryn ended up with a very thorough compilation of our ancestors. We were able to cap this family time on Memorial Day by placing flowers on many of the graves of our ancestors. During this ritual we also met many of our living relatives doing the same thing.