Friday, September 25, 2015

067 Tuesday to Tuesday (July 29-August 4, 2015)

Without a doubt, one of the bestest weeks ever!  Katie, Anden, and McKay came into the Midland Airport in Chicago on the 29th – my birthday – what a great present. We just wanted to hug and kiss them over and over, but Anden didn’t want any part of it, and I noticed that while McKay would let me love him, he is beginning to squirm to get away. I have to keep explaining that mother and grandmother kisses, once given, never go away. They stay on the skin forever and forever to come to mind every now and then to remind us of how much we are loved and love. To say that we had plenty of things planned would be a slight understatement. We wanted the boys to go home and have happy memories that they would never forget. I think we did a pretty good job. Even Anden smiled every now and then like he was having fun. McKay just smiles all the time. Katie was in the palm of our hands and appropriately commented on how beautiful this state is and so much more than she had anticipated.
Today was transfers. We were sorry that we missed saying goodbye to some of our favorites. Sister King (who lived in our apartment complex) came to see us a lot, and we really loved her. I hope we can get in contact on Face. Elder Candall left and at least one other, Elder Lee. However, we were so happy to have Katie and the boys coming that we felt sorry but joy at the same time.

We met them at the airport around 1:00. It was further than we had expected it to be. We actually went downtown Chicago. I believe Ada Jo may have met her husband (now divorced) at this airport. We had to drive around the airport several times before they came out. When you see someone you love after having been away from them, you feel the sunshine come out. It is so fulfilling in the soul.

After we got the babies in the car, we came home and showed off our little apartment. We grabbed our stuff and headed out. We decided to go to the beach to start our time together. After finding a place to park (a little ways from the beach) we walked back and watched the boys head for the cold, cold water. One thing about Lake Michigan, it will never be the Florida water. The wind was blowing, and it was cool. It was actually the first time Craig and I had been on the beach also, so it was fun to share it with our family. We left the beach and went to the Pfister Hotel that Katie had booked and invited us to stay with them. It is quite an historic place, lots of dark wood in the entrance. The building has tall ceilings, and we had a room facing the center courtyard. Rooms looked on other windows. It was very upscale and so out of our (not Katie’s) station in life. We enjoyed staying there. When we checked in that night, we went looking for food. We thought we could go down the street and find something easily, but at 9:00 it was a little late. We found a Marriott that we had eaten at before. We all ordered something different, and it was fun to watch the boys decide what to have. We ended the day late and knew that we had an early day on Thursday. 
Heading to the beach.

Anden testing the water.

Katie and McKay

Lots of boats on other side of harbor.

Eating at Marriotts
4th Floor of Pfister Hotel

Grandma and McKay entering room

Fancy door to room


Katie looks so little in the hallway!
We got out early and went to an original Pancake House. Love that place, especially the bacon. It was good enough to get us started as we went to Old World Wisconsin. It is a place where they brought some of the oldest buildings in Wisconsin together to form a set of villages by culture. There was a German area, a Norwegian/Scandinavian area, old bicycle area, and a Polish area. It was spread out over lots of acres. We were able to meet in a store that had lots of stuff to buy. We waited to get a tram to take us to the first area or German area. There we saw a blacksmith work and share his craft. It was interesting to watch him make the tools. He told us that sometimes the horses’ owners would bring their horses back many times to be shod, so they would make a template for each horse. They hung them from the rafters so they could be easily found when the horse was brought to the shop. It was a beautiful day, but it got a little warm inside and soon I was ready to head out. I guess the industrial revolution replaced the need for blacksmiths because the tools they used to make – anything from pots and pans, to horseshoes, nails, buckets, you name it could then be mass produced.

Front of Blacksmith Shop
Blacksmith at work

Hundreds of horseshoes ready for customers.
 We left there and wandered around the German area. There was a house (and each house had person showing what they did at this time. Every house had a wood stove of some kind, an oven in the wall, built in cabinets for what dishes they had, and handmade rugs, etc. There was a general store that had lots of interesting items for sale at the time. As I looked at all the scales used to weigh out the merchandise, I had flashbacks of these items in the stores in Mountain City, Tennessee, where my mom grew up. 
Anden and McKay in Store
Katie peering over barrels

Barrels in store

Pots and pans sold in store

Jute rolls

Goods sold in store

Water barrel

When I was younger, I’m guessing I was anywhere from 8-12 years of age, we (James and I were the most likely ones) would be taken to Granddaddy Dowell’s house to help him for a week each summer. I hated to go because I would get so homesick. Even though it was summer, we had to get up really early, and it was always cold when we got out of bed. We would sleep under these really deep covers, usually a feathertick (like a feather pillow that covered the entire bed), and it was so warm that just putting your feet out from under them helped us realize we really did not want to get up. Grandma Dowell would usually come and tell us to get up. We had to go outside to the bathroom. They used catalogs for toilet paper. 
Never had more than a one-seater at Granddaddy Dowell's House.

Grandma cooked on a wood stove, on the side away from the fire area was a water well that warmed the water to clean the dishes. She would have a big breakfast each morning because Granddaddy and anyone who was helping him that day got fed. Years before a man by the name of Jake had shown up at their house and asked if he could get work there. He never left. In fact, they had no idea who he really was until close to the time that Granddaddy died in 1975. He and Uncle Max found his information so that Jake could get Social Security in his last years. He had no front teeth and he couldn’t talk clearly, but we cared about him. He was always smiling and making funning comments. He worked hard on the farm, and if he finished with Granddaddy’s work, he would go up Fall Branch Road and help Aunt Iva (Granddaddy’s sister) and Mammie Dowell (Granddaddy’s mother). When both Aunt Iva and Mammie died, they gave Jake their house to live in until his death. It is now owned by an Arnold, my cousin, who owns much of the land there on the Road. His father and mother were Fayette and Margie Arnold. I digress!

There was a really nice Catholic Church in this area. I believe we were told that the building was the first Catholic Church in Wisconsin. It was small, and not too elaborately decorated. There was no Priest, but a Sister who told of the history. A few minutes after we showed up, another Sister came in who was the organist. We didn’t stay long as they were about to start singing, and we were ready to hightail it to another area. 

Nice German Catholic Church
Inside of the Church

Docent talked about Church and its beginnings.

After we finished with the German area, we hopped on the Tram and started out for the Scandinavian/Norway section. There we found women tending their garden. It was back further in the woods, but I remember that in one house they had a pen where they kept the baby pigs in the cold. I’m not sure about the smell in that house during that time. There were plenty of barnlike buildings that housed the chickens, pigs, cows, etc. One woman who was overseeing a house told Craig that her real desire was to become a blacksmith. It appeared that there were women blacksmiths, but to become one was a real challenge. Even men had to be apprenticed some number of years before they could go out on their own. She was checking to the possibilities that should could be a blacksmith for the settlement there. I guess I’m not that dedicated to the lost arts of taking care of the needs of a settlement.
Nice black pig!

Women in their garden.

Kitchen and homemade brownies.

McKay on the tram.
Adam testing irons on wood stove.

Woman wanting to be a blacksmith.

Children's room

Kitchen with water pump for sink.
McKay in front of pigpen.

There was a house in this area that contained an entire room for a bakery. It was huge and could be closed off. Both side of the wall had ovens, and there was a firepit inbetween. Man, I can’t even begin to imagine how hot it got when they were baking.
See oven in wall behind stove, there was another oven on the other side of the stove.

Full room that acts as an oven and cooking area.

There were some interesting buildings in this area. The log constructions had lots of plaster or whatever it was they put between the logs to keep out the cold. It made the buildings look very nice and distinctive. There was only one Norwegian house. The sister there had just made a pie, but we weren’t invited to partake. I thought that was rude – hahaha. There some interesting wheelbarrows and other implements that were used for the time. These people were not without resources. Not far from this house was the only cow we saw that day. We went to the house in front of this barn, and the lady there showed Anden and McKay how to break the kindling for a fire. They were such good sports.
Anden and McKay helping with kindling.

House with white "mortar" between logs - this is a Nowegian home.

Notice the honey pot under the bed (for nighttime rituals)

Great coal bucket and water pot on stove.

Butter churn

One room Polish house.

McKay, Katie, ad Anden in front of a house int he Norwegian section.

When we left this area, we went to an area that had old-fashion bikes. Both Anden and McKay rode them like champs. I wanted to get on one, but I figured I’d humiliate myself by falling off.
I can't believe I didn't get pictures of the kids riding the bikes.
As all good things do, it was getting late, and we wanted to get back to Milwaukee because we were planning on taking a river cruise. We snacked on the way home, between Katie and I we must have had plenty of nonsense because we didn’t need to stop for food. We made up for it later.

We got back to town and headed down to the river. We were so afraid we wouldn’t make the schedule, but we were perfect. We did call ahead, and it took a couple of detours to find parking, but with a flourish we got to that boat and hiked up to the top. At first, we were sitting on the side, all the good seats had been taken, but there were no complaints. It was a little awkward turning around to see everything on both sides, but eventually, the ladies who had the forward-facing seats decided they needed to move inside. Katie, McKay, and I grabbed the seats as quick as a wink (I did ask if they were coming back), and I was happy, happy. The sky was blue, the wind was blowing, and the water was beautiful. We heard all about the buildings on each side of the river as we headed out to enter Lake Michigan. One thing I learned was that as we got to the bridges, some of them were raised straight up, like a table top just rising from the ground. It wasn’t that they split in the middle and each side went its way, they just went straight up. I had never seen a bridge do that before. 
Water Depth
Starting the cruise

High-rise apartments on side of river toward Lake Michigan

Apartments on other side of river.

Swing bridge that connects the sides of the waterway.

Lighthouse from Lake Michigan

From the boat back to the shore.

City from Lake Michigan

Prize to the first one who can find the foxes!!!!
We went out into the lake and got some good views of the city. There was a red lighthouse that I’d never seen before. Two foxes sunned themselves on the rocks beside the river. There were lots of people around, and I wondered how those foxes felt safe so close to civilization and out in the open.

We ended the day by heading to Benehanas (sp?). Lots of food and always fun to be entertained by the chefs. There must be a chef school that trains them all the same way with the same jokes, the same methods of cooking and enthralling the children with the choo-choo out of the onions.  Always love getting the food there.

It had been a long, exhausting, fun day. We had the next day to look forward to so sleep came quickly.

On Friday, we had breakfast at Bakers Square. They make the best pies in town, and I can say that because we have eaten many of them.  Hahaha  They had a good breakfast, and we figured we better get tanked up because we had a busy day ahead of us. So much to do and so little time. In my mind I was already envisioning their leaving, and I wanted as many memories as possible.

McKay and Katie on ride to caverns.
We headed out for Cave of the Mounds. It takes its name from the Blue Mounds, two large hills which have long been Wisconsin landmark features. The West Mound, at 1716 feet, is the highest point in Southern Wisconsin; the East Mound reaches 1489 feet. Cave of the Mounds lies under the southern slope of the East Mound. (I actually copied that from their site in case you couldn’t tell.) It is a beautiful cave, with the usual requisite rules – don’t touch anything (but one little rock found at the bottom of the stairs as you enter the cave – Anden and McKay did the requisite touch, and I forgot to do it. Katie could see every germ that had been deposited on this particular rock since time began and refused to touch it.  Haha We had a good time. It was hard for me to hear the guide so I’m sure I missed a lot of really, really important stuff, but I was just along to enjoy the company. The beauty of the cave was icing on the cake. 
Our professional picture that we copied!
Touching the only rock that you can touch

McKay and Anden listening to guide.

In the dark of the cavern

One big room

River as far as the eye can see!

On the way back to Milwaukee, we stopped at a Culver’s (hamburger joint) and ate our food. I had hoped that the Watchman’s would be more enthralled with their food, but I have to admit the chicken was too done, and it just didn’t live up to the praise we had given it. It wasn’t the worst place we’ve ever been, and the boys were suitably hungry. It was just fun to have them with us.

When we returned to town, we decided to find a Whole Foods store which just happened to be close to the Pfister Hotel. We went there and stocked up on goodies and went back to eat in the apartment that night. While Craig stayed in the room, Katie and I took the boys on a tour of the hotel. It is quite a place. We stayed in the historic part, and it was built when extravagance was prevalent in the decorations. I believe they had several weddings or receptions there that day, and it is obvious why. Lots of dark paneling, high ceilings, luxurious furnishings. A microcosm of an era gone by. Milwaukee is a place of historic significance in the building of this nation. Too bad they are now being known as one of the most violent cities in the U.S. Thank goodness we haven’t had any instances to see the violence.
I think it's called "getting their moves on"

Perfect background for a "beach" picture!

Still a beautiful woman after all these years!  haha

Downtown Milwaukee in background

I took 5 of these pictures and in every one of them Anden does something to mess them up. Crazy boy!

 Anyway, we went to the very top floor of the hotel and found the pool. There were windows on two sides and on one side the wall was painted with a sea motif. So we took some cute pictures as we marveled at the size and complexity of the city. It was fun sharing the city with them. Someone came in and began to move all the furniture around like something was going to be happening, so we returned to our room.
Dining in!

Deciding what to eat!
Too full!

On Saturday morning (August 1), we still had so much we wanted to show our family, and yet, we knew we had to get them to the airport that evening. We headed out to Manitowac to see the Naval History Museum and tour the submarine docked there. It is a WWII sub, and I think the boys enjoyed the tour. Katie and the boys had spent some time in the souvenir shop buying some goodies for her babies. I know they were missing her. The first night she was hear, Raegan called with the little ones crying and wanting mom to come home. By Friday, they were happy and glad she was coming home the next day. 
I think this one was on way to Old Wisconsin, maybe?

Taking pictures in museum.

Funny picture, I'm sure Katie could identify time by clothes.

We toured this sub!

Top of sub

Anyway, we didn’t get to spend much time in the museum. It would take lots of time to view all the model ships that are found there. We felt we needed to get home and get packed. It would take a couple of hours to get to the airport in Chicago, and yet, we wanted to show them so much more. We did take them to our favorite custard shop. I think they agreed that the custard was great. I believe they also got hotdogs or something to eat so that we figured that we could also take them to the great St. Joseph’s Basilica. What a trip that was! While touring, I asked Anden why he thought they had so many crosses in their Church. I’m not quite sure of the full conversation now, but Anden wasn’t quite sure. At one point he asked if Jesus was a God. My thought was that he was being presented with information from a different perspective than he had ever encountered before. When I mentioned it to Katie, she was a little shocked because they have obviously taught him correct doctrine, but he was not making sense of it at that time. It made me think back to the time Craig and I spent a FHE teaching Amy about the Easter Bunny. After it was all said and done, we asked if she had any questions. She only had one: Does he come in the door or the window? So much for what we had just taught. I still laugh at that.

We admired the Basilica for its beautiful windows and the ornate carvings and works throughout the building. It is the type of place that I would not be able to pay attention to a service because I would be looking for something new each week that I hadn’t notice the week before.

Main Chapel

Beautiful windows

Ceiling in main chapel

We were on our way to travel out of town when Katie got a notice that the flight had been delayed. We knew we were going to be early getting there anyway, so we figured Heavenly Father had given us a little more time. So we headed to the City Branch Building. Katie agreed that it was a unique building unlike any other in the Church. From there we headed for the North Point Lighthouse. We got there about 10 minutes before closing, and while I kept the lady busy discussing why we hadn’t received our cards to return again and again after paying for them and asking several times, Katie and the boys went to the top to look out. It was like we were packing everything in that was possible, and yet, there is still much that we would love to have shown them. 
See my shadow as I take the picture of Anden, Katie, and McKay. Beautiful Northpoint Lighthouse in background.

 We headed to Chicago, and we still had some extra time so we took a turn and went to drive through the Northwestern University area which is unreal, and then we followed the shoreline and went through Loyola University. Good grief, there is some money in them there schools. The shoreline and lake were fantastic. We actually got a peek at the Navy Pier that everyone talks about when they come to Chicago. It was too bad we didn’t have enough time to go out on the Pier. They actually filmed some of one of the Transformer movies on the pier as well as some here in Milwaukee at a museum that opens up each morning like wings of a bird lifting up to the sky.

Needless to say, when we got to the airport they didn’t have too long to wait then. I wanted to hug Katie and beg her to stay or let us go home with her. I could do neither. I keep thinking it will get easier as you part from your babies over and over from visits. It never gets easier. Someday, we will glory in the knowledge that we will never have to part (we will live close enough to wave most days, but far enough away that you will feel free from your parents – hahaha).

Sunday was a quiet day. In some respects it brought much introspection about the value of families. It was a blessing for us to have the kids here. Now we are on the downhill of our mission. Time has flown, and we will be home before we know it. We have much yet to do, and the busier we are the faster time will fly.

Monday found us at the Salvation Army making sandwiches. We made about 1600. Last year they made around 3000 a day. Now, it is so dangerous in the neighborhoods where the children live that their mothers are afraid to allow them to walk to the truck to pick up the lunches. This is so tragic. Children that live in fear of their lives everyday grow up to join in that which will bring fear to others. We wonder why these children join gangs, what do they have going for them?

Tuesday we had to go to visit Pat and her husband Bill. They are the ones that I did the genealogy work for so she would have it all online. They have their house up for sale, but so far, nothing. No one wants the condominiums. It is right on a busy road, and I wouldn’t want it. It is nice inside, has a basement and upstairs. Stairs are narrow and rooms are small.  The size is great for two people, but maybe not old people due to the stairs. We ended up staying way longer than we had expected. I had to help her with some of the information, transfer her pictures onto her computer, etc.

That afternoon we had our district meeting. We were back with the first District Leader we had when we got here. Elder Crandall. He leaves at the next transfer in a few weeks. We feel grateful that we got to work with him. He is a good young man and a fine Elder. He totaled a car early in his mission, so he was never able to drive again. He laughs when it is brought up, but I know he has missed having the blessing of driving. I guess he is lucky that he and his companion were not hurt.

Already we are into August. This is just the second month of summer, and we feel like we haven’t really had summer. It has been cool most days, the wind off the lake helps with that. We seem to have rain when we need it, but I understand we are in a drought. Like most states, we need snow.
When we get to travel throughout the state, we see field after field of the most beautiful crops. It looks like corn and soybeans are the two major crops here. So beautiful in neat rows, well taken care of, and plenty of it.

Our scripture for August is D&C 42:6:

          And ye shall go forth in the power of my Spirit, preaching my gospel, two by 
          two, in my name, lifting up your voices as with the sound of a trump, 
          declaring my word like unto angles of God.

We have a goal of 75 baptisms by the end of September. We are praying for that goal to be reached every day. It sounds like a lot, and yet, we know we can do it. It is important. We have to share the Gospel.

1 comment:

  1. Reading this made my day...definitely a wonderful and happy trip for all of us and I'm SO glad we were able to make it happen. :)