Spanish Fork has funded a number of social spaces since we moved away. They built a beautiful new library, for example, as well as this beautiful splash pad. I think they got an all-abilities playground and there's talk of building a recreation center as well. Not everyone is happy about these plans, finding public spaces to be superfluous to society (I'm friends with many of these people on Facebook), but I personally love to see my tax dollars at work in this way! Public spaces are so important to communities!
I'm sad that they didn't have anything like this while we were there, but we survived without them...and got to enjoy them when we visited!
Grandpa suggested that we spend the day at the splash pad with our cousins on Tuesday the 13th, so that's what we did! Emily had driven down from Idaho with her kids; they stayed at Uncle Jacob's house. We didn't expect Uncle Jacob to come to the splash pad (because we were under the impression that he had to work), so we were surprised when not only Emily but also Jacob showed up! It was fun to have them both there. Andrew, Emily, and Jacob had a nice little visit together while the kids played.
Carter and Dean were with Aunt Shayla this particular day. Aunt Shayla had taken the boys to go stay at her mom's house...because Jacob just recently asked her for a divorce. But Jacob hadn't yet told any of us this (silly guy), so there was some obvious tension in the air surrounding things unsaid. I believe their split is public knowledge at this point (like, I think they've signed papers and everything). Jacob is living in a friend's basement up in the SLC area and Shayla is in the house with the boys for the time being. So, yeah...that was a bit of a...tension...throughout the day. But it seems like things are going better now.
Anyway, Carter and Dean missed out on the fun, and we missed seeing Shayla. But the rest of the cousins present had fun together.
Below are some pictures of them playing (I'll try—but will probably fail—to limit the commentary):
|Phoebe and Benjamin|
|Benjamin and Gavin|
|Emily with her kiddos (and Miriam with Phoebe)|
|Alexander, Arwyn, Zoë, Maren, Logan|
|Same kids, same order, with Gavin added in on the far right|
I did have one moment of panic in the evening where I needed to ask John a question (I think just about trash location) and I used his name to get his attention. But then later when I was replaying the conversation in my mind (not that I ever fall prey to anxiety spirals or anything), I was worried that I'd actually said, "Hey, Jim! Where shall I put these plates?" instead of, "Hey, John! Where shall I put these plates?"
It's all Dawna's fault!
Hear me out:
Andrew's grandpa's name is Frank and all the grandkids call him Grandpa Frank. That's what I call him, too...except when I slip up and call him Uncle Frank. And then everyone is like, "Uncle Frank?!"
But my Grandma's sister Celia was married to a man named Frank. And I grew up calling him Uncle Frank. I don't really have many memories of Celia though I know that I saw her at a family reunion or two before she passed away in 1994. My family moved to Alberta the very next year and started spending time in Raymond, where my grandparents lived...and where Uncle Frank lived. He didn't pass away until 2003, so he was around the entire time I lived in Alberta and I saw him a lot.
He'd ride his bike over to my grandparents' house to drop off his wonderful homemade bread and would stay to visit and tell stories. My grandma was worried for a time (after my grandfather passed away in 2000) that Uncle Frank was trying to court her (and she was not interested in getting remarried, especially not to her sister's husband).
Anyway...Uncle Frank...those words are paired deep in my memory, so even though I have known Grandpa Frank longer than Uncle Frank, those childhood memories have a strong pull on my tongue.
The same is true with John/Jim and Donna/Dawna.
Growing up in High River, there was a set of four brothers whose ages closely aligned with kids in my family: Grant, Mark, Luke, and Scott. You might remember Grant from...my friend who died in a paragliding incident in 2019.
Anyway, I spent a lot of time with the Thompson boys. Their mom was my piano teacher for a while. They did gymnastics with us. And swim team at times, too. Went to school with us, seminary with us. We went to stake dances together, hung out together.
Their parents' names? Jim and Donna.
Jim and Donna—it just rolls off the tongue. It's like one name in my mind.
For a long time the Gillespies were Dorothy and John and the thought of confusing John for Jim never crossed my mind. But then Dorothy passed away and John married a lovely woman named Dawna and the two became John and Dawna in my mind. So now you're seeing how this could be a problem, right?
John and Dawna.
Jim and Donna.
Anyway, I'm like 90% sure I called John John, but that 10% of my mind sure had me wondering whether I accidentally called him Jim. So, John, if you're reading this and if I called you Jim, it's only because I have your named coupled with Dawna's in my mind...and the name Donna simply happens to also be coupled to Jim...and I had a long day of chasing ever so many children through a splash pad and may have roasted my brains a bit.
But thank you for the ice cream and for a wonderful visit!
And not to confuse anyone regarding names, but did you know that Suzy's two oldest boys are named Logan and Gavin? It's true! She had to come up with her own name for her third little boy (who was just a week or two old when we visited and I got to hold him in all his newborn glory and he was beautiful and wonderful and Suzy was a champion for driving all that way with three little boys). It was so nice to see you all!