Wednesday’s are becoming our FHE night with the Armstrongs. We so enjoy going to their house. We can’t stay past 9:00 because she gets up to go to work at 4 in the morning. She has to walk to the bus stop, and they do not live in a good area. I asked her if she felt safe, and she says she is – she just has to go down the corner and a block to the right. If it isn’t a safe area, I think that is too long, but they have lived there forever. They can’t leave anything in their yard. They have had several grills stolen, a car stolen, and anything they forget to put up, they can kiss goodbye. Anyway, we have been going over and watching some Church movies with them. Then we try to leave with a Gospel message if possible.
Someday, she will accept the Gospel. If we are around, we will try to get back here to watch the baptism.
We have had several things happening with Pathway. Last week when in our first class and I got that call from the Sister over in Madison, I couldn’t answer because we were in the middle of class. Actually, I had gotten a text earlier in the day that said she couldn’t find her keys and may not be able to make it. So I didn’t really worry when she didn’t come. After class, she had left me a message that I listened to which said, something to the effect that she was really glad to be able to get in touch with me. Then she explained again about not being able to find the keys, like she hadn’t already told me. The first time I talked with her, I explained how every student in the class could and probably will have a different instructor, and she will have to listen to her instructor on what to do about her work. Later, she had called me back to explain it to me because I didn’t know how it worked. We may have a problem!
We are down to 18 in the class now. This sister is one of them. I have to try to help her understand that if she has a disability she needs to talk with Pathway Support. She tells me that she has called them, and they don’t know what they are doing. On Thursday when I come into class, she is telling everyone who will listen that school should be free, didn’t they know how hard it is to live in Milwaukee with its cost of living and still pay for this class. BYUI is doing it wrong, and they need to ………. and when I came in I figured I needed to get her out of the room with her negativity. So I asked her to come on a walk with me. We found a couch to sit on, and I asked what was going on. Evidently, she is having trouble with babysitters, her husband, money, etc. etc. When she and I first talked, I has asked her to make sure she got a blessing (from her Bishop if need be because I wasn’t sure her husband was a member) before starting this class so she could handle what it entailed. I asked if she had gotten that blessing, and her husband had given her one. We talked a bit more, and I encouraged her to hang in there. I asked if she had gotten her paperwork submitted to document her disability that she says she has, but she gave me a reason as to why she hadn’t done it. We then went into the meeting, and she seemed pretty good then. Afterwards though, she was chewing some else’s ear venting her complaints. This lady called me the next day, worried about the complainer and what to do. I told her we are aware of the problem, and we are working to help her.
On Friday I began proctoring some tests for two former students of Pathway who have matriculated into BYUI’s program. They can use Pathway missionaries to proctor, but if they have to hire one at one of the universities here, it costs $25. So, for an hour or so, we go to the genealogy library in the South Stake and the student has to take the test and I send in a report right afterwards.
We are getting excited about General Conference coming up. Saturday saw us with our off day, so we decided out of the blue to go to a place called Mineral Point and visit a State Historical Site called Pendarvis. When we called to see if it was still open, they told us that this was a good day to come because it was the Cornish Celebration Day. The Cornish came from England over here because in England they are miners. We were told that anywhere there is any mining, the Cornish are usually involved because they are the experts in it. Evidently, they came to Wisconsin because of the zinc and lead there. It was about an hour and a half away, we headed to the southwest part of the state if I’m not mistaken, but I’ve never been one to know much about the direction in which I’m heading. When we got there, they were just about to start a tour, and we almost went on our own instead. We are very glad we did not do that. We had the sweetest Docent who told us the stories of the past, and she was very good about keeping our interest.
|Our docent in action!|
In the 1700s, there was some mining that was pretty superficial and once the minerals that were easy to extract played out, the heavy mining came to stay. The area became a place of refuse with the smelting and environmental destruction due to the deforestation that took place by the cutting of any tree within distance to keep the smelting fires going. This area had not been affected by the glaciers many hundreds of years ago so it was mainly forests and prairie with stream erosion the cause for ridges and valleys seen today. It took a long time to clean up the mess made by the mining in the region, which closed out at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The Cornish miners were brought in to build the underground mining operation. They were responsible for the nickname of the state, Badgers. The miners evidently would dig a hole in every place they found that would supply the minerals they sought.
We didn’t get to travel the entire route of the usual tour. However, we found the gift shop and were directed to the next small building which was a model of a miner’s cabin. From there, we were taken to a much larger home that was converted at one time into a restaurant that was listed as one of the top on the state. The buildings have not been changed much, but there was plenty to see in them. We were especially entertained with the beds they showed us. Ever hear the phrase, sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite. It comes from the way the beds were made. There would be a stuffed mattress on a board. It would be covered with a covering that would be tied down. When you went to bed, the covering was tight over you, and if you got fingers caught in the places they tied them (called bugs), the thing could truly hurt you (thus getting bit by the bed bugs).
|Not sure if you can see, but the covers on the side look kind of wavy, it's where they have been hooked to the bugs to keep them tight on the bed.|
We were taken to the row houses above the restaurant and gift shop area to the tavern. The row houses were literally made by adding one onto another as needed. The Cornish were quite the drinkers, so liquor was a necessity. They also ate the pastie which looks like a cooked apple pie, a circle with stuffing folded in half and the edges crimped. They didn’t have much meat, so they were filled with vegetables. The miners would take them down into the mines stuffed in their shirts to try to keep them as clean as possible. I can’t imagine it would be clean in a lead mine, and we were told their life span was short. Probably due to lead poisoning.
|Back of Gift Shop to beginning of tour|
|Our Docent beginning the tour|
|Picture showing shaft where they lowered the bucket|
|Inside a typical miner's home|
|Iron ore mold|
|Wheelbarrow used to transport ore|
|Narrow steps to second floor|
|Fireplace in home|
|Bucket and scale|
|Leaving house from 2nd floor|
|Back of the restaurant|
|Picture of original restaurant|
|Original tables in restaurant|
|Alley between restaurant and kitchen|
|Steps up to the pub|
|Craig on the path|
|Craig on way to Pub|
|Shield on wall of Pub|
|Young woman whose mother worked at Walker House making pasties.|
|Our menu for the evening|
On the way home that evening, we knew I was going to be too late for the Women’s Conference, so Craig got it on the phone and we listened to it that way. Gotta love technology.
|A beautiful moon lit our way home.|
On Sunday, we had a great meeting as usual. We are enjoying finally feeling like we are making some friends in the Ward. These people aren’t like southerners, but we just have to try a little harder.
Monday found us going to the gym, doing laundry (which I hate), and making plans for the Mexican celebration coming up on Friday. We have to get the tickets to the Elders who will be attending, so we had to make arrangements to deliver them on Tuesday.
Tuesday, we only got to stay in our District Meeting for part of it, and then we were off to meet the Spanish Elders, give them their tickets, and then off to the Mission Office to give tickets to the Jepsons and Barleys. The Jepsons are also going to be involved in the festivals next year, I can’t even begin to imagine how with all they have to do already in the office. I wonder if President Cutler thinks all we do can be reduced to next to nothing so one couple can do it with a full load of office stuff also. I hope they get help, they are going to need it.