Grandma Shirts

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Dear Paul, Melanie, Bridget, Rob, Ben and Sarah, Sara, Heather and Nate Pace, Audrey, Rachel, and Matt,

cc: file, Grandma Hafen via Tony Hafen, Pauline Nelson via mail, Sara and Des Penny, Claude and Katherine Warner, Lloyd and Luana Warner. and Diane Cluff.

Welcome to "Thoughtlets." This is a weekly review of an idea, belief, thought, or words that will hopefully be of some benefit to you, my children, with an electronic copy to on-line extended family members. Any of you can ask me not to clutter your mail box at any time.

"For those who don't know, I do realize how egotistical it is of me to take up your valuable time with a 3-7 page litany of each of my weeks. I know when I got my MBA, and several times since then, I have been told, and completely agree, that if something can't be said on one page it isn't worth saying. Several of you have told me you don't read all of the words, just skim them for the intersting stuff. Paul `hasn't even had time to do that' and just has everything I've sent since last summer sitting out on his computer disk to read when there is time. Sort of like all of the magazines I intend to go through `someday.' There have been a few who have asked to be removed from the Thoughtlet mailing list, some who have then come back on, and a few who have not asked for a continuation when I have asked folks to `renew.' And yet all in all I feel very good about the last 3+ years (163 weeks) of Thoughtlets.

Why? From my perspective, and I believe the following is a nugget of wisdom: there is a significant difference between a proposal or a business letter, and a piece of the mind, or personal history, or experiences, of a family member. One is transitory, and the other affects us across the eternal framework of our existence. One is a response or a request, the other is an example or a story, both of successes and of failures, which we can learn from, if we so choose to do so. Oh how I wish I had something like these Thoughtlets from my Dad, Mom prior to her stroke, Grandpa Nelson, Grandpa Hafen, etc. Grandma Hafen wrote out her wonderful history for us, and someday, I expect you will all appreciate it as much as I do. Aunt Mary Mae recently wrote out Uncle Bud's history, which I refererenced (9937.html). And last week we were privliged to have Grandma Shirts come and visit us for a few days, as a living, breathing, caring, sharing, concerned, loving, curious, happy, and helpful quilt show attendee.

Because of all that is going on this weekend, and this week, this is going to be a one-page Thoughtlet. It doesn't mean I couldn't write 7-11 pages about Maxine Shirts and the influence she has had on my life, particularly through her son Randy when I was a youth, and now, through the joy I find with her daughter and grandchildren. I mentioned our dinner at Laundry's last week. When we went to church Sunday everyone I talked to was pleased to meet my new mother-in-law. Monday Grandma Shirts came by the office and saw a little bit of the stuff we are working with, and then Andrea took her to the airport. Andrea called and so we know she made it home safe.

Tuesday we had an important meeting with about 8 folks from Geco-Prakla processing. They all work with Lars Sonneland, who was Landmark's early competitor with the Chirisma system. Geco-Prakla is now part of Schlumberger. John Gibson came by after work to see Dietrich Welte and company's (IES's) basin modeling software. I left early because of an appointment to go out with the missionaries. John gave us some positive suggestions about how to go forward with Landmark. Elder Munson and I visited 7 families, including Buddy Laird's wife. Buddy was the Landscaping Man who did our yard after the pool was put in. We had a great conversation with Mrs. Laird. Wednesday Andrea came down to the office and got started on helping me clean out my office. In the evening we had a Priest Laurel bicycle progressive dinner. It was a lot of fun, and everyone who participated had a good time. All day Thursday was spent at HARC (Houston Area Research Center) in The Woodlands at a one-day conference `Geophysics 2000: The Road Ahead.' I gave my paper: `The Impending Obsolescense of Maps.' It was a very elite group, and I could talk for hours about stuff I have done with the various professors and Ph.D.'s in attendance. For instance, Dr. Berkhout was the man who took me to The Savoy Hotel in The Hague (The Netherlands) for dinner, where I first heard a South American harpist, and which resulted in Sara and Marti taking harp lessons. The paper must have been received ok, because it is being reprinted in a flyer for the SEG this next week.

Friday I met with Kjell Finstad (Chairman of the Board of Continuum), Jeff Hume, and Pal Rulstad (finance) most of the morning. We had a pep rally for the SEG in the afternoon. The four of us went to dinner in the evening. We ran into John Gibson, who introduced me to his wife and son in a very nice way. I didn't get home until about 9:30 and went right to bed with a cold. Saturday morning we had a CES conference call from 8-9:00. The board meeting continued at the office from 9:30-11:30. I was at the booth from 12:00 until 6:00, and was really tired by the time I got home at 7:00. Andrea and Matt and Nathan Ostvig went to AstroWorld and got back about 10:45. Rachel got in about midnight. I was getting ready for today, and reading a new Tom Clancy novel I bought: NetForce, Hidden Agendas. Today I didn't go to church. The Board Meeting started back up at 7:00 MST. I went to the SEG Interpretation Committee Meeting a couple of hours late at 11:00. There was a lunch for the SEG Council at 11:30, and as a delegate from Houston to the SEG Counsil, I stayed and went to my first meeting as a legislative officer for my society. I got back home about 3:30 PM, wrote this, and Andrea and I go down to the Ice Breaker in a few minutes. Isn't life fun. Especially when we have good solid roots to lean on and look to when the times are hard. Roots like Grandma Shirts.

Grandma Shirts thanks for visiting, and please come again and again and again, as often as you can spare the time. We can always find a way to afford the visits, and they are important to Matt, Rachel, Andrea, me, and the dynamics of relations with everyone else in our family."

P.S. Hey all of you. Roice turns 50 this week. 3 Nov. Rob's Birthday is 2 Nov. and he will be 17. I have invited a few of our friends to the house on Saturday 6 Nov. from 7:00-9:00 for a celebration. If any of you can come, that's ggreat. Rob, tell me what kind of cake you like and I will have one for you too. Of course, those of you who can't come we understand, I just wanted to let you know what was going on. We'll plan to celebrate all of the birthday's somehow at Thanksgiving. That's Roice III birthday too. So it's a big month for birthday's here. Looking forward to seeing all of you. Love, Andrea

I'm interested in sharing weekly a "thoughtlet" (little statements of big thoughts which mean a lot to me) with you because I know how important the written word can be. I am concerned about how easy it is to drift and forget our roots and our potential among all of distractions of daily life. To download any of these thoughtlets go to or e-mail me at

With all my love,
(H. Roice Nelson, Jr.)

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Copyright © 1999 H. Roice Nelson, Jr.