March 23, 2020

Jones/Janis Reunion #4 - A Smashing Success

Getting together in a time of isolation and social distancing :)

Jones/Janis Reunion #4 - A Smashing Success

In October last year we were talking about how fun it would be to do a reunion snow skiing. We kind of kicked the can down the road, but after thinking about it we realized, "If we want to do it, then let's do it now. Why wait?"

That's pretty much our motto in life now. The fact that life will come to an end, and we don't know when, is too real for us widows.

So rather than wait for the best time, we try our best to just go with it. We stay conservative, live within our means, and use moderation – but why hold back?

So we created a wonderful plan that would work for all family members. Renting a large cabin at Brian Head, renting ski equipment for everyone, and planning a wonderful time.

We were resting easy, the whole family looking forward to a great time. Then a couple weeks ago the government starting limiting businesses that had physical gatherings of people.

Brian Head Resort said they were staying open. Yay!

Then on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, just 3 days before we were to start our reunion, they suddenly announced the resort was closing for the rest of the season. Mitzi, keeping her wits about her, thought snowmobiling would be the best alternative.

She called and made a reservation for Saturday, March 21, at Thunder Mountain Motorsports. They agreed to take the reservation. We ended up being the last customers and they closed for the season after our tour.

When you are reading this the whole Coronavirus may be a distant memory, or not even something you've heard of. Trust me when I say that it's a very strange time when the government is shutting down business and commerce and making everyone stay at home for a virus that, as of today per the CDC published numbers, the mortality rate is a mere 1.19%. But shut it all down they have. The population on the whole is in great fear, the government officials are responding as if the threat is massive, and very few people feel comfortable using common sense.

It reminds me of how Southerner's in the 1800's believed that people of color didn't care about their families and didn't experience feelings like full human beings. A huge segment of the population believed these falsehoods. That belief caused them to justify slavery. How does a population come to believe something is true which is actually false? It's an interesting study. Human history is full of examples. This virus scare is one of them.

A 1.19% mortality rate is something to feel grateful about, not fearful. Many pandemics in human history have been devastating with death rates from 10% to 80%. I'm grateful this pandemic is only 1.19%.

If Tiffany and I were told, when she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, that she had a 1.19% chance of dying, we would have been jumping up and down with excitement!

Anyway I didn't mean to go on about this, but hopefully it helps explain why going snowmobiling last Saturday was a such a big deal. And a huge accomplishment.

We were acting rationally in a state of popular irrationality. This is very hard to do! It takes tremendous courage and risks the judgement and ridicule and ostracizing by many people who disapprove.

Getting our group of more than 10 people together was basically breaking the law. It was socially unacceptable. (The cashier at Linn's grocery let us know we were breaking the rules and disapproved!) We did it anyway.

The reunion started a little before the reunion actually started . Maddy and Preston came down from Salt Lake City on Monday. Then Sydney and Logan flew out from Missouri to join us on Tuesday.

Our favorite restaurant Benja's was still open for dine-in (barely), and we headed straight over there for dinner. It was the last night they were allowing guests in the dining room and we thoroughly enjoyed it!

On Friday Spencer & Laura arrived with Taylor & Baylie. After flights to Las Vegas got cancelled that morning, S&L purchased new tickets from Chicago to Phoenix. T&B picked them up and they drove all night arriving in St. George at 3:30a. Spencer had his professional camera and a professional rental lens and flash. I took a couple pictures and was impressed with the quality.

Thursday night I prepared an 18 pound brisket. This is becoming a tradition at our reunions. Friday morning I made the cut and we definitely tried it out thoroughly to make sure it was yummy. And it was.

Maddy has become super talented at baking and made some delicious Neapolitans. Amazing texture, flavor, and presentation!

As we were preparing to head to the cabin I gifted the drone to Spencer. He was so excited we had to capture the moment.

Emily and Q arrived on Friday, then in the afternoon we all drove up to the cabin 1.5 hours away. Here's Emily and Q hitting the road.

When we arrived at the cabin there was some snow blocking the entrance to the garage. Mitzi cleared the path.

The cabin was large and nice and very functional for our group. Heather arrived in the evening. As we gathered and settled we enjoyed visiting. What a fun bunch to spend time with.

Then we watched a demonstration of Taylor's love for snow and a yummy dinner thanks to Mitzi and lots of helping hands.

After dinner we enjoyed visiting, playing games (including the irreverent and funny Cards Against Humanity), and laughing at me reading cards from the horrible and funny game.

After a good night's rest we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast planned and made by Mitzi, shoulder massages, along with crafts and relax time as we waited for the big event.

At 12:30p we headed over to Thunder Mountain Motorsports for our much anticipated, and for most a first-time snowmobile experience. You can see the anticipation and excitement on everyone in this car!

It was amazing. We did a small ride to get used to the machines and ended up in this meadow where everyone cruised around. Here's Sydney going solo looking like a pro, and a picture of the meadow where the little black dots are some of our snowmobilers cruising around.

The snow was lightly falling and our guides took us up to around 11,000 feet in elevation where we got some beautiful pictures.

At one point on the trail we had to lean far to the side to keep the snowmobile from tipping over. "Stick your butt out further" they yelled at me :)

The two love birds... definitely not socially distancing (it's a thing right now with the coronavirus, look it up if it sounds strange 30 years later haha).

After three hours of snowmobiling some members of our family just needed a rest.

Logan makes wonderfully delightful Navajo Tacos. He made it for the group and we all enjoyed it, feeling revived and happy.

Thanks to everyone for coming and joining in living!!!