I had some great and interesting times this last week at least in part because of the aging major appliance department here at the Burningham house.
After replacing the decrepit freezer whose door had come apart and needed defrosting almost every other week earlier in the month, our fridge and dishwasher died on virtually the same day.
Our discussion over priorities and finances didn’t take any time at all, we needed a fridge and the dishwasher could wait for later. And since I had an Electronic High School faculty meeting up in SLC on Friday, at least I could avail upon the Good State of Utah pay for my mileage in picking up the precious thing.
After the EHS meeting, I found a fair sufficient fridge at Sears in Salt Lake after much deliberation and calculation. Much to my dismay, while waiting at the delivery door and fastening the crate to the back of the 4Runner, the wind picked up. It didn't slacken at all before 3:30, when I made like mad down the freeway toward home.
In fact, the gusts picked up quite a bit enroute. I had a heck of a time keeping the rig headed straight at much more than 50mph, so I began looking forward much more impatiently to meeting with a friend of mine whom I hadn't seen since coming home from my LDS mission in Colombia. I got off of the freeway near Thanksgiving Point and called his work number, wondering where and when he'd like to get together.
He said, "Have you ever spent time at Thanksgiving Point? It's a nice place to poke around for a while." So, quite happily, I turned into the parking lot and shut down the machine, ducking with relief out of the wind to await Dan's arrival.
Dan Mortenson graduated from Bountiful High two years before I did, but before he left the joint for the big world, I had a few opportunities to get to know him a little bit and develop a long-standing admiration for his demeanor and intellect. He has a brother, Dave, who is my age and followed closely his brother's outstanding footsteps, so I was able to stay in contact with the most excellent family.
Dan went to Colombia on his LDS mission, so there was another commonality. The last time I saw heard from him was around the time of my return home to Bountiful, and time did its worst to separate much that was associated with my youth from there on out.
I saw one of Dan and Dave's brothers, Craig, and his wife briefly in Logan back in '98. They were heading for Oregon after finishing some school; that was a brief but very welcome reminder of the great Mortenson clan and their ways.
Somehow, Dave or Dan found this collection of digi-tripe in a search engine last year, and Dan sent a missive to verify whether or not the writer of said trip was, in fact, the Adam B. of yore. We have since been writing back and forth from time to time, trying to arrange some sort of meeting between the two neighboring counties of Utah and Sanpete.
Dan's sister-in-law, Jennifer, teaches at the Electronic High School with me (another fortunate circumstance). She re-introduced herself at the faculty meeting I mentioned earlier and we enjoyed a few minutes talking. 'Twas great to see her, and I took the opportunity to put two and two together and ask of her Dan's phone number to arrange some sort of meeting later in the afternoon. After all, I was in the general area with a snatch of extra time...
I was not in the least bit disappointed with my decision. Dan and I had a great discussion over chips and a smoked turkey sandwich, catching up on the times and exchanging philosophical and family currencies. We talked of fishing, old houses, Divinity Schools, James and Kathleen Flake, family news, more fishing, and a generally upbeat and insightful collection of delightful ephemera.
We parted all too early so that I might be able to return home the hero with our new fridge before too late in the evening. I had an exceptional time. I was even able to extract a promise from Dan that he would at least come down to Sanpete and check on things generally, acting as a point-man for Dave and Craig with the end of drawing the Morten-brothers out to our wee boondocks and into the wilderness and beauty beyond.