Sunday, May 4, 2014

Update from Mom and Dad (lots of pictures to follow)...

Monday and Tuesday (28th and 29th)
We ended up staying with Ada another night. Sunday was a bad night of storms, lots of rain and lightning. We slept right through it, but when we awoke the next morning (Tuesday), bad storms were the name of the game for that day also. Ada was so gracious as to invite us to spend the day again that we felt grateful to take her up on the offer. I really felt bad that we were causing her to have to put up with us. I had already stripped the beds and given her our towels to clean. Now, we were going to mess them up again.  I have to admit that we had so much fun. I told Ada that my favorite line from her that day was “I didn’t know you could be so fun.”  Hahahaha  We must stay in contact more often.

It was a great day to stay with her. Tara took her girls to school and came over. We went to breakfast and were overwhelmed at the amount of food we received. After we had eaten, a man who had been sitting by himself at a table behind us came over to talk to us. He had heard Craig say something about China, and he had a lot of say about it. He is retired, but his wife wants to keep working (and I think she is already at retirement age). He can’t understand it. He was military, but he also had traveled over much of the world. He had a few good stories to tell, and we enjoyed talking with him.

After we went back home, Ada, Tara, and I got the computer out and began to work on genealogy. I was able to get them signed into Ancestry, and they began to work on the Pasdiora side of their family. Before we were done, they had found four generations for a couple of the lines. It was exciting. They plan to do more, and I got excited about it for them.

That evening we just lounged around, watched a little TV, and Tara got several of our “how did you meet” stories. It sounds so funny when we relate how we met in the bowling alley. If it wasn’t for the Church, our lives would have been so much harder. I would not recommend a marriage that got started like ours, but if you have the Gospel, it helps you see the big picture. When you make a covenant to be true and faithful to the one you marry, it makes you work a lot harder to keep that covenant.

On Tuesday, we started out. While the weather still looked threatening, we knew we had to get on the road or we wouldn’t be in Milwaukee on time. We headed for Nauvoo, Illinois, to visit the Temple and to see the town. It took almost 2.5 hours to get there. Again, we were met with farm after farm. The great majority looked like they were well maintained, and there was much pride in keeping up with appearances. We also saw hundreds of red-winged black birds. They were everywhere. They sit on fences and tall stalks of grass (which we could not understand why the grass did not bend over with their weight), and on the tips of tree branches. While the trees hadn’t really begun to bloom with new growth, the birds really stood out. I could hardly look anywhere but what I didn’t see them. It has been a long time since I had seen one of these birds.

When we got to the Mississippi, it was magnificent. Unlike the last time we saw it, this time it was high water and moved as if the world was in its way and it was not stopping for anything or anyone. It has such a show of power. It looked cold and uninviting, but it was awe-inspiring to see. I can remember Mark Twain talking about the river and at the time I was reading what he said, I could not even begin to imagine what it was in reality. When I saw it, I was struck by how that much water could freeze the winter the Saints left Nauvoo to escape persecution. Heavenly Father truly blessed those people. I took a couple of pictures.

We got to Nauvoo around 2:15 and drove to the Temple first. The clouds were dark, but the rain hadn’t started quite yet. We walked in and found that we could make the 3:00 session. What a Temple! The historical significance was overwhelming. The woodwork was so beautiful; it wasn’t overdone and looked very different from so many temples. We had to go to the second floor to get dressed, and then to the third to go to the Chapel. There were only about 20-25 people in the session. We changed rooms three times during the session. The first new film that came out this past year was the one being shown, but changes had been made to it. The session seemed to go really quickly, and before we knew it we were in the Celestial Room. It was very simple, but elegant at the same time. When we left to get dressed, I went on down and waited for Craig in the foyer. There I met the Mission President’s wife for the Des Moines mission. They live right around the corner from Ada. They were teasing us about asking for a transfer to their mission. We regrettably had to tell them we were already assigned to Wisconsin and looking forward to it there. Plus, I know you can’t ask for a transfer.  Hahahaha

I also peeked into the room I’ve seen it in several pictures of the Temple before. Honestly, I cannot tell you what the room is called, but it looks like a Sacrament room. I asked one sister if they ever met there for Sacrament or other meetings. She said they could only meet there if they got special permission from Salt Lake City. Wouldn’t that be exciting to be involved in a meeting there?

We left the Temple and went downtown to see what we could see. We went to a fudge shop Adam had told us to visit and got some wonderful fudge (like we needed it), but we have been very frugal with it. After the fudge shop, we went across the road to a general merchandise store.  I could have stayed and looked at stuff a lot longer, but we were getting hungry. We bought a thimble (didn’t have the Illinois name on it so still have to get one of those). Then we went to an art gallery next door and talked with the people there. They were just recovering from a flood caused by burst pipes from the winter. Everyone talked about how hard the winter had been. Finally, we went to the Hotel Nauvoo for dinner. It was a buffet. The building itself just seemed to add rooms as we wandered about. I have no idea how they could have had so much room inside because it certainly did not look that big from the outside. They had a lot of “old” items laying around reminiscent of the past. It was a wonderful place to eat, and the food was very good.

We got back on the road and decided we wouldn’t drive too far because we wanted to put a little distance between us and Nauvoo so that on Wednesday we wouldn’t have to drive all day to get to Wisconsin. It seemed that on this trip, we spent a good amount of time backtracking and rerouting. As our GPS let us know, it was constantly “recalculating.” I remember a story Amy wrote once that was so funny about the “recalculating” of her GPS. You just want to say, “I know you are recalculating” so do it and be quiet.

We stopped at a place called Sterling, Illinois, to find a hotel, but there were no vacancies. After visiting four and getting no room, the last one had a clerk that was nice enough to call ahead and found there were places just up the road. We started out again and stopped at a Super 8 in Dixon, Illinois. I don’t usually think about the Super 8 as a place to lay my head, but this time, we were just so tired, we decided it wasn’t a time to be picky.  We found it had a comfortable bed, and we fell asleep immediately. 

to be continued......

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