Thursday, April 15, 2021

Visiting Family

On the recent trip out west we took, the main event was the sealing of Heidelbeere and her new husband.  But, of course, it was also an excellent opportunity to visit other members of our families.  And visit family is exactly what we did.

Our first stop was on the way out, to visit my sister and her husband.  We haven't seen them for a few years. Sometimes they are able to go to the intermountain west when we go, other times their schedule does not allow it.  This time, our route out west took us right by their place so we stopped and spent the night with them.  It was  nice to visit and catch up.
The next stop was Brombeere's sister and her husband.  We actually spent a couple of days with them.  That was nice.  We haven't been able to get to see them the last few visits out either.  They live a ways away from our own kids that live out there and time hasn't permitted us to go see them the last few times we were out so it was nice to go see them and have a little time with them.
One of Brombeere's brothers and his wife lives near by so we were also able to stop by their place and spend an afternoon with them.  That was very nice, they're fun to visit.
Another of the things we did while in the area was go up to the local cemetery, where a lot of family is buried.  In my own family, they are buried in several different cemeteries, scattered around the intermountain west.  Most of Brombeere's family, however, is in this one county.  Only a few are elsewhere.  We've been trying to identify where they are and stop when we can but some of them are in out of the way places that we don't get to very often.
After a couple of days it was time to head out so we said our goodbyes and took off for Heidelbeere's home.  On the way, however, was another of Brombeere's brothers and his wife.  So we stopped and spent an afternoon with them.  This was one of the best visits we've ever had with them; we got them talking about family history.  Specifically, among other things, the story of how they met.  They were high school sweethearts, something I hadn't known before.  It was interesting.  Actually, with my sister and each of Brombeere's brothers and sister, we got them talking about family history stuff and memories, and they each let us record it all.  So we came away from these visits with several hours of recordings that we now need to go through and preserve.
After meandering into Heidelbeere's neck of the woods, we spent a few days with her, as well.  We also got to see my brother and other sister briefly while there.  One evening Heidelbeere took us to a place we'd never been before, which was actually quite nice.  It was to a place that has locations all over the western United States (we'd never heard of them out in the Midwest where we live) that was almost an ice cream place; cold and creamy with a variety of toppings - so how could we go wrong, right?  It was another "build-your-own" place so you could put it together however you wanted it.  And it was pretty good; I'd go back.
As mentioned, the main event was Heidlebeere's sealing, which was real nice.  That was a real nice afternoon.  

A couple of days later it was Easter weekend so, of course, there was an Easter egg hunt for the kids.  Heidelbeere and her husband hid a bunch of plastic Easter eggs around outside their place, each filled with goodies, and then the kids got to find them.
There was a minute of instructions, mostly letting the kids know the area where the eggs were hidden, and then they turned them loose to hunt.
The kids had fun.  Each egg had one of their names on it, they were only allowed to gather those with their own name on them.  Several of the eggs where easy to find, didn't take them long at all.  Others were a little better hidden and took a while to find.  As they found them, they brought them over to add to their piles.
During the several minutes it took them to find them all, the family pooch kept guard over the piles of eggs that had been found.  He had to be restrained; it was like leaving the fox to guard the hens.  They needed some hints to find the last couple but eventually they found them all.  It was a fun time.
Moosbeere and his family live several miles away from Heidelbeere and they are still somewhat in isolation so we weren't able to visit them in their home yet, but we did spend an afternoon and evening with them "off-site," outdoors (for the most part).  There is a small wildlife preserve in the area that we met at.  It has a walk way out through a marsh habitat that the birds really like so we met out there for a visit, a walk, and to see (we hoped) a few birds.
They have a pavilion and a tower there, with a boardwalk between the two which had information kiosks along the way, that made for an interesting hike.
Even though no machinery was involved in either of them, they reminded me of old fashion mechanical equipment.  They were entirely made of wood but had very interesting looks about them.
It was a good time, spending time with them, letting the kids run off all their energy.  
While we were there, a storm was moving in.  It got pretty windy and began to get pretty cool so we ended up cutting the hike short.  The original plan had been to hike the entire loop, but the weather deteriorated to the point that we decided to cut it short.
At one point, Moosebeere's hat blew away, out into the marsh.  His oldest boy was only too happy to get off the boardwalk and retrieve it.  He got a little muddy when the ground turned out to be a little softer than it looked.  In fact, that was why he got to go, he was smaller and lighter than his Dad.  In the end, he got it, and enjoyed the added adventure.
And we did see a few birds, too.  There were plenty of ducks, some alone...
others in pairs.
There were other kinds of birds as well.  They were usually flying and not getting too close, which made getting pictures a bit of a challenge.  We didn't get the big crane that flew through, but we got this little falcon.  Afterwards we all went to an ice cream place to get out of the wind and have a treat.  We ended up there quite a while, just talking and having fun.  It was a good visit.  We're really hoping that by the next time we make it out things will have improved enough that we can visit in their home and spend a few days with them, like old times.  It's been a while since we've been able to do that.
The rest of the time we spent with Heidelbeere and her family.  That was fun.
We did some sightseeing, which is another story for another time, and just generally had a good time.
It was a really good visit, with lots of family, which is the main reason we go each time.  We love seeing the kids and grandkids.  But eventually it was time to head back home.
We had one more stop to make before heading home.  As mentioned, my side of the family was a little more scattered out in where they are buried so our last stop was on the south end of the state, the area where my grandmother grew up. We wanted to see the old family home, visit the cemetery and graves of a few ancestors, see a monument to the area's earliest settlers (which lists a couple of my ancestors), and see the old summer homestead.  Unfortunately, we never found the old homestead; I suspect it is no longer standing, that and the roads in the area having been changed significantly.  But we saw some real pretty country looking for it.  It was a real fun visit, interesting to see an area I haven't been to since I was a teenager.  
Alas, we were only able to stay in the area a day.  So, when the time came, we turned the car east and headed back toward our house.  It's a long drive each time we go but well worth it to be able to see these places and members of our family that we don't get to see all that often.  If we could just find a way to live close enough to everyone to be able to see them all whenever we wanted.  That would be perfect.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The Main Event

Recently Heidelbeere was married.  We were able to go to that and it was a good time. That wedding was a civil ceremony because of some technicalities that hadn't been ironed out quite in time.  But just a few months later, all that had been accomplished and they were able go to the temple to be sealed.

They picked the Payson, Utah Temple to be sealed at.  Even though it's a bit of a drive from where they live, it's a beautiful temple.  It's a fairly new one, too.  And much bigger than our own.  
After the service, most everyone else was out before the happy couple.  It was funny: one of the temple workers kept coming to the door to tell everyone they were almost done and coming out.  But finally they came out and did the victory dance!  It was a happy day, like finishing their wedding.
Then there were photos all around, first the new family.
Then everyone who had been in attendance, family members on both sides.  The kids hadn't been allowed inside so Heidelbeere had arranged for someone to come with and stay out side with them during the ceremony.  Because of the pandemic, the number of family members allowed inside was pretty small.  They could have had more than were there but not many, not enough for all the family that would liked to have been there.  
We were glad we were able to go.  Not only because it was Heidelbeere's sealing, but also because it was the first time we'd been able to go to the temple as patrons since the pandemic began over a year ago.  That was very nice, a bonus blessing.
Afterwards we did something very appropriate, we went out for ice cream.  We drove up the road several miles (just across the street from the Provo City Center Temple) to a place where the big draw was how they prepare it.  You pick your flavor and ingredients and they put it in a big bowl, as a liquid.  Then they mix it all together and quick freeze it with liquid nitrogen, a very interesting process.  It was fun to watch
They had a "loft" area with seating so we all went up there to enjoy the ice cream and celebrate the occasion.  A fun place to celebrate.

It was a good trip, a good reason to go back out for a visit.  We did a lot more than the sealing but that's another story.  Such occasions make my heart warm and happy; "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." (3 John 3:4)

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Commonplace Book


"When we are keeping the commandments, we are living in revelation."
(Elder David A Bednar, RootsTech Leadership Training, 2/25/2021) 

"Only those who have the courage to make mistakes ever learn worthwhile lessons and truths.”
(Karl Maeser, as quoted in Saints, vol two, page 334)
"The Lord taught us the Gospel not with rule books or treatises on theology but by giving us scriptures full of life stories of real people - disciples' lives that show us by example how to live."
(Bruce C Hafen, A Disciple's Life, the Biography of Neal A Maxwell, Deseret Book 2002, 520)

"Every thought or word or act we direct at this sacred work is pleasing to the Lord. Every hour spent on genealogical research, however unproductive it appears, is worthwhile. It is pleasing to the Lord. It is our testimony to Him that we accept the doctrine of the resurrection and the plan of salvation. It draws us close to those who have gone before. It welds eternal links of family associations and draws us closer to Him who is our Lord and stands in the presence of Him who is our Eternal Father."
(Boyd K Packer, The Holy Temple, Bookcraft 1980, pg 255)

“Man can serve man by the spirit of man, but in order to be a servant of God we must have the spirit of God.”
(Rudger Clawson, October Conference 1899) 

"It should not surprise us that this glorious gospel message is more perfect than any of its messengers, save Jesus only. Nor should it surprise us that the gospel message is more comprehensive than the comprehension of any of its bearers or hearers, save Jesus only."
(Neal A Maxwell, The Book of Mormon: A Great Answer to "The Great Question", Symposium at BYU, October 10, 1986) 

"There is only one explanation for the war that is now concluding, and that is that the people of this world refused to honor God and keep His commandments … So we may know that war is the result of unrighteousness, not righteousness. All war that has ever occurred has happened because of unrighteousness."
(George Albert Smith, "Conference Address", Improvement Era, XLIX, Nov 1946, 762-763) 

"Today as I stand here, I realize that in this city, in the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Methodist, the Baptist, the Episcopalian, and the other churches, I have brothers and sisters that I love. They are all my Father's children. …
"Let us not complain at our friends and our neighbors, because they do not do what we want them to do. Rather let us love them into doing the things that our Heavenly Father would have them do. We can do that"
(George Albert Smith, Closing Address, October Conference 1945) 

"The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."
(Numbers 6:24-26) 

"I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear. And that ye might escape the power of the enemy, and be gathered unto me a righteous people, without spot and blameless"
(D&C 38:30-31) 

"Some people wonder, “How do I know if a thought is from the Holy Ghost, or if it’s just me?” I don’t worry so much about that now. I’d suggest that it’s okay if it’s you, because your voice matters."
(Ben Fryar, Institutional Research & Assessment Managing Director, BYU-Idaho, The Power of Listening, BYU-I Devotional, 10 March 2020)

"Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous."
(Albert Einstein) 

"We can even give thanks for our trials; from which we learn the things we would not know otherwise."
(Russell M Nelson, The Healing Power of Gratitude, 20 November 2020) 

"People who love to give need people willing to receive. It's a beautiful dance."

"Be the kind of friend who makes it easier for others to obey the commandments when they are with you."
(Robert D Hales, If Thou Wilt Enter into Life, Keep the Commandments, April Conference 1996)

Monday, March 8, 2021

A Story to Tell

Recently we were visiting Blaubeere and I had the opportunity to ask her youngest, a marvelous young lady, about the book she was reading.  I like that she was willing to sit down and tell her Grandpa about it.  This young lady can be quite expressive and she does love to tell a story, so she settled in and launched into it.  We had plenty of time so she talked and talked, while I listened and listened.  It was a good time.

I got quite a detailed recounting of her book but that was perfectly okay, I enjoy listening to her.  And she does tell a good story.  So while everyone else was busy in the other room, I took the opportunity to listen to this sweet young child.  It was fun, I enjoyed it.

Little Boys and Haircuts

The other day, Schwarzbeere and his family came for a visit.  That's always nice, we like when that happens.  Anyway, we were sitting around and it was decided that his middle child needed a haircut.  Since he expressed his willingness to let his Grandma do it, it was decided that right then was as good a time as any.  You know, "Why not now?", to quote someone else we know and admire.  

So Grandma perched him on a tall stool, wrapped him up in a towel to catch the hair and try to keep him mostly clean, and got to work.

You know how little boys are, they have trouble holding still.  That can make giving them a haircut a challenge.  But this wasn't the first little boy Grandma had ever given a haircut so she knew all the tricks.  She persevered and kept at it, despite all the wiggles, giggles, and squirms.  Pretty soon, the deed was done.
In the end, it looked pretty good.  Of course, it helped that under all that long hair was a cute little kid.  And he was pretty happy with the results.  But most of all, he was happy to be off the stool.