Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Heart Attack and A Trip Down Memory Lane - What an Adventure

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

I'm late with the tales of our adventures this past week....but the past week was memorable in many ways so wanted to share the adventure even if it is a little late.

As summer continues to move along, the "dry heat" can seem almost unbearable at times.   Such was the case last week - really hot!!!   Even the dessert plants are having a hard time with all this heat.   I found that this plant has almost completed it's short summer cycle, but has not quite given up yet.

The salmon colored buds are opening up to flowers with a yellow center but have not quite given up the flowers to the heat yet.

As I drove home from the office on Tuesday at lunch time, I noticed this pretty jacaranda tree with some purple blossoms left.   Wish I had caught it when it was in full bloom.

On Monday and Wednesday morning we arrived at the office a little early in an effort to complete the book we were putting together for President and Sister Nattress and to complete the baptismal records for his tenure as Mission President.   The new President and his wife, President and Sister Wheeler, were scheduled to arrive at the mission office on Wednesday about 10:00 a.m.   President and Sister Nattress would also be there for the "passing of the torch".

When we arrived at the office on Wednesday morning, we found that we had been "heart attacked" by the missionaries and a member of the outgoing Mission Presidency on Tuesday night.  All the missionaries cut out a heart and wrote words of advice, a favorite scripture or quote, or just a few words of welcome to the new President and his wife.   There were hearts everywhere!!

More hearts :)

Elder Partridge, the other senior Elder in the office says he is 5'18" and he was bopping around the office like a grade school boy before his birthday party ----  I just had to capture that!

The outgoing Mission President and wife (President/Elder Nattress and his wife on the left) and the new Mission President (President Wheeler and his wife on the right).  President and Sister Wheeler are from a small town in central Utah so I feel like we share that same Mountain West background.

Outgoing and incoming Mission President and wives and the Assistants to the President, Elder Kapua from New Zealand and Elder Carratinni from Nebraska (but only two generations removed from Italy).   A group of really good people who have a positive impact on my life.

In the midst of all the changes at the mission office, we continue to deal with changes at the house.   We have a contractor who has been working a week.....he has taken up and hauled off all the old tile, painted all the ceilings and the back door (that has 20 small panes of glass).   He will probably start laying tile in a few days - says he will paint a couple of the closets tomorrow.   It is a new adventure every day to come home and see what has changed.

I came home on Wednesday to find the old tile torn up and the new tile all moved into the house from the pallets outside.

Speaking of outside, this large prickly pear cactus is at the end of our street.   I tried to capture the humming bird that was flying around this but was unable to snap a picture before it flew off.   Looking at all those prickly pears on the cactus reminds me of 40 years ago when I attempted to make prickly pear jelly (it didn't taste that good) and was plagued by tiny spines in my fingers for the next six weeks!   I can assure you I won't be picking any of these to make jelly ;-)

Still enjoying the beautiful Arizona sunrises and sunsets which I see almost every day!   Now that we are in monsoon season, they seem to be even more beautiful.

It rained for a couple of hours on Thursday night and I couldn't resist taking a picture of the small puddle in the gutter by the Mission Office just to prove to all my friends in Virginia that Arizona gets rain once in awhile :)

Early Friday afternoon we jetted off to Salt Lake City to be followed by a short 80 mile drive to Evanston, Wyoming to visit family - my Mom and brothers and my niece.   As we drove from SLC to Evanston, a feeling of familiarity came over me as I looked out the window at the snow-capped Wahsatch Mountains.   Yep, I did say snow-capped on July 1st!

Another view of those same beautiful mountains!

Saturday was a beautiful morning and we decided to take a walk at the Bear River Park - where the city has set up a riparian preserve along the river that flows through town next to ponds that we called the fish ponds when we were growing up there.   Yes, I did go fishing there with my brother in the summer and ice skating on the ponds with friends in the winter.   It does not look the same but as I talked with my mom and brother and Elder Ashton about how it was when we were kids, many pleasant memories flooded my mind.

A group of gosslings about 2 months old floating on the pond I used to fish in.

Saturday morning my brother drove from Lander Wyoming so my 92 year old mother's 3 surviving children could be together with her for a few hours.  I did tell my brother it was not fair for a 60 year old man to look as fit and young as he does.....he assured me he has a few hidden gray hairs but I sure could not see them.    We all loved the family time we had.  Sure do love my family - especially my beautiful mom!

Saturday afternoon we attended a 55 year class reunion luncheon for Elder Ashton.   He had a great time seeing old classmates from high school but did make the comment that all the rest of the people at the reunion we old.......I guess that means he doesn't feel as old as most of them looked ;-)

Sunday morning we drove to the two cemeteries where my father, sister and brother are buried.   It was a good start to Sunday morning as I contemplated what it will be like when I see them again - I love that I know I will enjoy their company once again!   We also took time to drive out to the church owned ranch, Deseret Land and Livestock, where my paternal grandfather worked as a mechanic and where he and my grandmother lived for part of the time.   Just driving around the property brought back many wonderful memories of grandparents and the exploring my siblings and I did when visiting them.

What a great time we had on Sunday afternoon as we attended church and I was able to see and talk with former Primary teachers, Seminary Car Pool drivers, etc.   After church we had a delicious lunch that my mom insisted she was going to prepare.   I thought it was strange that I and my 38 year old niece did more resting while my mom did more food preparing.   I can attest that she still knows how to cook.......really well!

As we left town on Monday morning, I couldn't help but snap a picture of this familiar building that I passed every day on my walk to school from 4th - 12th grade.   I remember going with my mother to this building a few times when she went in to pay the water bill.....and now I sit at home and pay my water bill using the computer.   My-how times have changed!

Friends and family know that I have a black thumb and can't grow anything no matter how hard I try.  However, my mother obviously has a green thumb - I loved this beautiful African Violet plant she had in her living room!

Almost home - loved the layer of fluffy clouds partially covered the Grand Canyon as we flew over.  What a great trip to visit great people and enjoy great weather!

Happy Independence Day week from Arizona!

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