Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Mission Tour.....
             .....Fuels our Fire....Refines our Focus
     Each year a General Authority is assigned to visit the various missions of the church.   It was our privilege to have W. Craig Zwick and his wife Jan instruct us.  Not only did they instruct us....they inspired us with their teaching and counsel.  Their message spoke volumes about the greatness of President and Sister Hall who have been working diligently to bring the message and the spirit of Nauvoo to those who visit and serve here.  Beginning with my search to serve a mission I was always drawn to seek and assignment to this special place.  FM issues aside I am been blessed to serve here.  Sister Gibson has also found it to be very rewarding and her spirit is a strength to me.
     My notes of the meetings are numerous....there are many clear messages.....some soul searching questions....and lots of guidance.  Our time serving in the sites is extremely limited compared to most.  Sister Zwick spoke of a greeting in another language...."How is your Heart?"  A different culture...but a strong insightful message of self introspection rather than a physical examination of an organ, I am sure. is my heart? this is full of joy, happiness, contentment, and warmth.  I am blessed and glad to be here with my beautiful companion.  I think of my family and their successes......and struggles.  I think of those friends I have left behind temporarily and of the many good times.  I do miss are special to me.  I pray that I may be a profitable servant in our Heavenly Father's vineyard.
     Our time here is short in the grand perspective things.  Yet it is our time to learn.  I am not a teenager anymore....therefore I don't know everything.  In fact, I have learned in fact that you don't need to know everything when it comes to spiritual guidance....we have the Holy Ghost who does.  What we need to do is "learn to listen".   So here is one of my many "takeaways" from Elder Zwick:

Don't let experience take the place of revelation
Create a climate for the Holy Ghost to Teach You
What am I willing to do to get to where I want to Go?

FM Progress.......


                                  ..........During the Week

     To say that things in FM heated up this week is a literal statement.  I have found that 70 degrees here feels like 85 in Utah.  So when the temperatures rocketed to 86 for most of the days it became a literal sweat box.  By early a.m. I was soaked.  Our fearless leader was gone all the week before and didn't return until Tuesday.  We were able to complete two of the three projects we worked on.  It was a banner week.  Monday found us putting in another 100 feet of rail fencing on the Trail of Hope and we had visions of making a big dent in the project during the week.  That ended when he returned and our focus was immediately shifted.......The Benches for the Community of Christ and tearing out and replacing 120 feet of sideway and curbing at the Visitors Center became the priority.  Seems two of the three paid FM employees were disabled or gone for most of the week. 
       Elder Sims and Hacking worked on forming, filling, and pouring concrete as the bench supports.
I trailed in at the end as Elder Sim's back flared up with all the shovel work.  They are trying to get him to go back to work in HVAC since it will be less stressful for his back....Hopefully he will avoid the counsel and assignment....doubtful but hopeful am I.  Elder Hacking and I were just getting ready to set the benches and Elder Sims showed up again to help.  We let him work (like who could possibly stop him) and as you can see we all enjoyed the fruits of our labor.....if only momentarily.
     The rest of the week saw us complete the concrete on the sidewalks of the Visitors Center.  The first pour resulted in 7 extra yards of concrete being delivered.  A chaotic panic ensued as we scrambled to prepare another section.  Sometimes we are blessed in our stupidity as we were able to get it prepped and poured before the concrete couldn't  be worked.  So we learned our lesson and the next pour several of us  calculated and re-calculated the required amount.  It was a perfect estimate....if one was only pouring half of prepared form.  We weren't.... so we ordered more concrete and soon all the form was filled up and we were done.  FM is a lot of fun....I am looking forward to seeing the Chiropractor soon if the good times keep rolling like this!!

The Legends Take Their Flag and Leave.........

                           .......And Sister Gibson Digs In
     Elder and Sister Hopkin, after extending a couple of months, finally headed home to Mountain Green, UT.  They are living legends here for their work ethic and diligence. If there is a job to be done....even if it could wait.....Sister Hopkin was their doing it. If we scheduled a project for 3:00 pm start it would usually be done as Sister (and/or) Brother Hopkin's would have it done (or nearly so)....good news sorta....  why did we even bother to show up??  We did give them a "hale and hearty" THANK YOU.   Elder Hopkin is our driving voice in Rendezvous!  That will definitely be missed.  They received their NRI Retirement service flag and rode off into the western sunset.
     Sister Gibson immediately stepped up......tried learning how to run the Mini-Excavator, dig  and shovel gravel, all the while tending to her other assignments including waxing the Joseph and Hyrum statue in Carthage.  After the pictures were taken.....she retired and went on with her many other important duties.  All the FM employees breathe a sigh of relief as their jobs are safe.

Why Does a Turtle Cross
                  Main Street in Nauvoo?
                         ........To Get his Picture Taken

You are Invited........

To Visit and Celebrate Summer with Us.........

     At the request of the Nauvoo and British Pageants we are attaching a link so you can see how much you will miss by not being here.  Please copy and paste the link to your browser and enjoy.
We hope to see you....We would love to buy you an  Ice Cream @ Annies

      Saturday in Hannibal....
                   .....Great Expectations Exceeded!!

     We had looked forward since our first visit to Hannibal to a sunset dinner cruise on the Mark Twain Riverboat.  Soon the word spread in the Sara Granger cast and interest rose.   Soon Sister Hacking took charge and before we knew it we had forty-four of the case enlisted.  It got even better. A Marine Squad group who had also served in Korea together were also on board.  What an awesome experience when the ship paid tribute to these fine men by playing the Marine Hymn...little did they know that we had been singing the song for months in preparation for Sunset on the Mississippi....It Rocked!!  As they stood at attention we were proud to be there celebrating our freedom.  The forecast for the day had been 70% chance of hadn't looked good but we figured it would be a good time with friends no matter what.  Well Sir, if you could have sat down and wrote a script for the weather you couldn't have done it any was perfect.  It reminded me of the day there was a 90% chance of rain in Quincy a couple of weeks ago....Yes Sir we plowed on rained and rained and rained that day and we got soaked...what was the difference?  If we hadn't plowed on we would have missed out on both experiences....go figure?  One not so good....we will remember them both.
     Prior to the cruise we toured the city on the local trolley...Cotton was the tour guide....I'm not sure he knew who Samuel Langhorn Clements was.....but he did know Mark Twain.  Several of us hiked the 244 stairs to the fake Mark Twain Lighthouse and got a great view of the river.  We could have driven to the same spot....who knew?  Not me.....everyone just followed.  We all slept pretty well that night...except for those who were in too much pain.
     We were talking with the Wayment's when the band struck up the Beer Barrell Polka and away they went.  The danced on as we cheered and clapped!!

Monday, May 15, 2017

It's Celebration Week!!!

Sunday May 14....It's Mother's Day and it's a beautiful day in Nauvoo!!

Sixteen (and a cast of thousands) call
her Grandma now....a title she wears proudly.  She has earned it!! She loves those grandkids with all her heart and would do anything for them.  And they know it!!

Five proudly call her Mom.....a title she wears and honors.  They are here greatest accomplishment.  She has done everything possible to nurture, teach, inspire, and support.  She loves them with all her heart and shares their successes and sorrows.  She would do anything for them....And they know it!!!

One calls her Sweetheart and is eternally grateful for a magic kiss that temporarily blinded and deafened her until after they were married.  She has made me a far...far...far better man than I would have been!! 
And I know it!!!

Birthday Boy Celebrates.......
       the Witches Rib!!
     So the ol' Birthday celebration rolls again....some say that's a good the alternative of not having one.  Turns out our beloved director of Sunset cancelled practice so she could work with the new missionaries  (apparently she didn't realize that the 40 "old" missionaries would forget more in three days than the  6 new ones would learn....6 steps forward....80 backward...that's Nauvoo progress). 
     Sister Hughes celebrated her birthday this week so we conjured up a trip to the soon to be infamous Witches Rib in La Harpe....thirty miles NE of Nauvoo.  Good eating places are a premium here so when one gets rumor of a new one it's time to head out.  This time it was a winner!!  One thing....don't blink or you'll miss it....While it is bigger than a Mexican taco trailer it looks more like a garage sitting on the side of the took Elder Hughes and his lightning quick reflexes a block to stop (at 60mph) after we said "You just passed it". 
     If you came for the smoked bar-b-Q you were in was great.  I had the ribs, Sister Gibson had the brisket, and we all got smoked as we sat there and ate.  The ribs were big enough that I only ate 3...took 2 home.  Since it was my birthday I celebrated with an Apple Cobbler desert that came to big a baseball size scoop of ice cream looked like a golf ball on top.  It was so good I ate the whole thing....and for the first time in many many years I developed a case of heartburn the size of the great Chicago Fire.  Good news's been three days and I think I have finally digested it as there is no longer the lingering taste of smoked ribs.  We will be taking our clothes to the dry cleaners this week also!! 
     Schenk....   After All is Said and Done.........

                .....It Does Look Like a Silk Purse!!
     We are now to the point we can call the Schenk House finished but there are still some cabinet parts (not my job) to go in....insignificant things like doors and drawers....nothing overly important.  There are places to put things...what else to you need.  It finished out like expected and looks greats.
The new occupants are our mission doctor and wife the Oldroyd's.  They are very excited to be the first residents of the newly remodeled house...I am somewhat hesitant to show them what really lies under those walls.
         It became apparent from the beginning that the beautiful cabinets contained a design flaw that could pose to be a problem.  Experience has now taught me (most of the time)  to keep my mouth shut...there are people here who are "in charge" and know best.   It seems the cabinet openings on the sink side are so small it is difficult, in not impossible, to get a  full size dinner plate on them.  FM to the rescue(?) Elder Lindeburg, upon seeing the problem, went to work on a prototype dish to solve the problem.
     His unique prototype includes stainless steel hinges applied to a plate that has been cut in half.
The unique fold up style allows for the dishes to be folded and stacked.  The initial version is not self sealing so liquids can be drained upon service....broths and  soups are not recommended.  We are expecting an order from the Oldroyds soon....perhaps a trade might be practical as he is  a Urologist.
At any rate the Oldroyds seemed grateful for the FM efforts to accommodate.

Forget The Pageant Trailer...... (For Now)
     ....It's On to The Trail of Hope Fence!!!
     It's been over  two weeks since the Pageant Trailer remodel project hit my plate.  And for two weeks I have asked "where are my materials (outside metal sheeting) ?"  ....and for two weeks I have been told "I don't know...I'll check on it and let you know.  "OK, then what are we using for materials to finish the inside..."I don't know...I'll check on it and let you know".  This has pretty much been the on going conversation with two FM employees on a daily basis......  We worked a little on the Engle house, and a bench project for the C of C before moving on to replacing the fencing along the trail of hope.  This requires tearing out and removing the old and installing new.  So most of the week we worked on it and it's going along well.  So far we have done 150 feet of what might be a 1000' project.  Down at the bottom we saw some geese and their goslings.  I'm pretty sure they will be fully grown or even Christmas dinner before we get to the end of the project (LOL).   I am sure this will be a less important project sooner or later...but then what do I know?

     Her Chariot Serves Her Well.....
                .......And Even Requires a Little Feed!!
     Now that Sister Lee Master has rode off into the sunset, Sister Gibson has now been assigned the Conservation Van and its care.  As you can see, those years of fueling the Tahoe have paid off as she
can gas the car....the pumps are another story as they require codes, switches, and coordination.  All is well....the task was mastered. 
      The van has worked out well for us as my truck blew a transmission (1st one in my life) and was
taken out of service a couple of weeks ago pending a decision as to whether it was worth repairing.  So I have been driving around using our truck as a work truck.  Looks like the powers that be have ultimately decided to replace the trans so I could get an FM truck back.  Yippppppppeeeeeeeee!!
On the Road Again........

       .....Springfield Calls....Lincoln Speaks...
                         .....And I Pontificate
     One of the things we have always planned on doing in the spring was a trip to Springfield, Ill to visit the home and museum of Abraham Lincoln. Off we went with the Lindeburg's and two and one half hours on the road through the rural farmlands of freeways here...just two lane roads and lots of corn fields yet to come.  We didn't even see a store or gas station for over 90 minutes.
     The highlight of the morning was trying to figure out how to negotiate travel across the streets that were crowded with thousands of 5K runners participating in the annual "Fat Ass" charity one seemed to be too bashful about the name and many wore the shirt proudly as their personal symbol.
What the was for a good wasn't pretty but it was entertaining.  On every corner was donated food, water, entertainment.....yes that is an overweight singing Elvis.
     Once we negotiated the racers and got to the house and museum it was worth the effort.  There was a feeling there that enlightened and portrayed his life in a way that brought into play the difficulty of preserving the union as well as granting freedom and dignity to all men regardless of their station in life or the color of their skin.  His years in Springfield were filled with his early family life and his successes as a lawyer were many as he provided for his family.  Yet he was driven by desires and causes that pulled him toward something that was even greater than himself. 
     Being on the back end of life rather than the beginning or middle certainly gives me cause to reflect and ponder those good and bad decisions I have made.  We are constantly trying to reconcile the past with the present and sometimes get caught up with the things we cannot change rather than focus on the fewer and fewer things we can effect.  This was brought to a forefront on Sunday night as we assembled for dinner with our MTC group for a Mother's Day dinner in the evening.  After dinner we sat around outside as the evening sun set and soon the conversation began to fall back to early childhood misadventures and how lucky we were to have survived them.  From there it went on to our children, their successes, misadventures, good and bad experiences  and failures, and our feelings that would range from extreme pride to suffocating guilt.  It was painfully obvious to us that one of our group carried extreme guilt for the decisions of their children even though, for the most part, they were similar in circumstance and outcome of others.  Agency is  a part of the plan we must all learn to accept....ours and those of others.  Hopefully their pain will mitigate... but it may be something they will choose to carry around the rest of their lives.....that is their agency and choice.

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Anticipation is Mounting.......

                      .....The New Troops Are Arriving!!!
     The first weeks we were in the mission we kept hearing comments from the mission presidency and fellow missionaries that we were understaffed, overworked, and we would just have to make the best of it.  Then we began to hear how we need to re-train, re-tool, and prepare for next year.  We were the "newbies" here so most of it meant very little.  Slowly things began to take a new feel and many of the previous years "challenges" (most call them problems) were worked out, corrected, and new ideas implemented.  Since we are serving FM here most of these things are foreign to us as we only serve occasionally in the sites.  As I have watched these changes take place I now know more fully what the previous year had been like.  The mission presidents are called to serve in Nauvoo for two years and their call begins in January.  It goes without saying that each president has his own skill set and style and learning to use it as directed by the brethren in Salt Lake can sometimes be difficult process....Throw in herding the cats (senior missionaries) and sometimes change can take a while and cause some a little pain.  Such, I think, has been the case here....but then that's just my opinion.
     Being one of the "cats" that occasionally need to be herded I have learned to love President and Sister Hall.  They have a difficult job sometimes and they are doing it well.  So with that being said we have been training with the idea we are going to train the new missionaries that arrive.
     "Well, Folks" the Editor says in Rendezvous..."Welcome to Nauvoo".  And with that, beginning in the middle of March, the new troops began arriving.  We have now added 80 senior missionaries, teamsters, and FM  to our numbers. Add to that 16 young single sister missionaries who are called here to serve during the summer (they go outbound during the winter), 45 Young Performing Missionaries (YPM), and 15 band members......and you have now more than doubled the size of the mission.  We showed up at Sacrament Meeting our usual 10 minutes early to find our selves relegated to the last row of chairs in the cultural hall as the chapel and overflow were completely occupied.  Can't say we weren't warned.  We look forward to the's going to be a great one!!
     We have been so blessed in our cast to have four single sisters added to our ranks.  Sister Gibson and I think the world of them......they are so full of happiness and energy.  I like them because they think I am funny....imagine that....  Sister Shumway, Sister Wright, Sister Eppic, and Sister McNeil...

The Morning After........
                                            ......I Had No Idea
          It had been a trying week at FM.  The pageant trailer is sitting there with nothing being done on it......WHY?  Because the siding that needs to be put up first wasn't here (and our fearless supply manager can't even get a date of when it will be here) Add to that any work that could be done on the inside is in limbo waiting for decisions on what and how to finish it.  So I puttered around doing any little thing I could find.  It rained heavily the first two days of the week so that left me looking around for inside work.  I did the punch list for the Schenck house part of the time.    I did go up to the
Engle house and help them fill in the floor to the basement that was exposed when the spiral staircase was removed.
     So when Thursday rolled around I was given the assignment to help Elders Bass and Jardine.  It was a beautiful day, they had done all the little jobs they were assigned to as handymen and now they were left with doing what they could no longer put off. 
     The pavers in the Women's Garden next to the Visitors Center were a mess.  The original plan was to replace them all this fall.  When that changed to the Fall of 2018 then it was decided to only do the ones that were damaged.  We are talking chips, cracks, and freeze hazard...just damage.
Somehow I ended up with the hammer chisel and I spent the day chipping away at them.  Since they are usually surrounded by good brick it required the skill and expertise of a counterfitter.  I was beat by the end of the day. 
   I have never known the pain and agony of a hangover so I had little, if any, sympathy for those who complained about their condition....after was self inflicted.  All I can say is that when I awoke
to complete and utter body pain I was certain I had finally contracted what is know as the "Nauvoo Crud".  I could barely get up and move to my favorite recliner.  I spent the day there before I could get medical help at the clinic at 3:00.  Good "crud".....bad news severe allergies.  I have never had any allergies until I came to Nauvoo......"Welcome to Nauvoo".  All of the aches and pains, with the exception of the allergy induced sore throat, were from being pounded apart by the hammer chisel.  I can hardly wait to get back to doing it next week....LOL

     I was back to my old self (be that what it is) by Saturday.  We had planned on going to Springfield to see the Lincoln Museum the others made plans to go to the Tulip Festival in Pella...which didn't appeal to me because of the crowds.  So....choosing the quieter road I though it would be a good day for us to travel over to Keosaqua, IA where my Grandfather Stallings had traveled to during the exodus from Nauvoo.  He stayed there for three years in order to help other Pioneers as they traveled west as well as prepare himself and his family for the plains crossing that would be three years later.  I reasoned it would be interesting to see the town and get a little of it's history.  What I didn't plan on was the great experiences we would have in Bonaparte and Bentonsport as we made the trip to Keosaqua.  In the end we got there at 4:00 and it was really too late to get any information since the visitors bureau had already that will be an adventure for another day.  And now the rest of the story.....

        The Des Moines River......
                                  ...not Deep...Just Wide
     The very first thing we ran into as we drove into town were six Nauvoo Temple Missionaries.  Stuck out like a sore thumb.....they did.....but then don't we all.  They gave us a quick lowdown on things to start seeing and we essentially followed their trail.  It was here that the first party of pioneers crossed as spring approached.  I did find humor in the "Brigham Young and his "band" of Mormons crossed"  sign.  It conjured up all sorts of images from the Nauvoo Brass Band playing on a wagon in the middle of the river as they crossed to a bunch of rag tag gypsies singing and dancing....
I did feel better once I found the Mormon Trail least there was some sort of acknowledgement to who the "band" was.
     We eventually hit upon Bonaparte Pottery were we luckily caught up the Temple Missionaries who were just beginning a tour from the owner.  She told a story of how she and her husband move to Bonaparte in 1993 and they had bought this old building that was once pottery business in 1846 but had be bought by a lumber yard in the late 1800's.  Before they could even start there was a flood in 1993 that  flooded the building.  As they waters receded they began to find some evidence of the old pottery business.  Her husband thought it was nonsense but she continued to pursue her meticulous cleaning.....he would say "throw them over the bank" and she would put it off.  Eventually, several historical institutions wanted to excavate...."No Way" he said.  A short time later he took a week business trip...she called them all up.....told them had a week to dig.  What they unearthed in that week was amazing and he finally caught the vision of what they had uncovered and the work continued.
    Everything from original molds to finished pieces that the lumber yard had thrown own and they had been covered.  The picture in the middle is just the tip of the iceberg.  And the construction of the building was really unique and we could actually walk into all areas and see how it was built.  There is a large open area in the basement where the horses and cows turned the clay into put to be used in the pottery. 
     Now where do you eat in Bonaparte?  Bonaparte's Retreat!  It was really a quaint place with an old antique time clock and fun stuff to look at.


                                               ......That's not Even A Museum!   

Bentonsport is noted as the last stop for steamers going up the Des Moines River in the 1840's.  You can actually see the remains of the old Lock #5.  We came across the Mason House and the signs seem to tell a story without an explanation.  The insert to the left tells of floods and their dates marking the high water mark...also of note is where a boat crashed into the building.  Considering the building is 100 yards away from the river we can assume this was done during a flood.  We couldn't get inside to find the ghost(s).  You'll have to do that on your own.


                      's Not only for Donuts!
     Of course the first thing that attracts are attention.....same six Temple Missionaries and they are coming from a small business called Iron and Lace.  You've got to get to the back...their doing a pottery demonstration.  So we did.  "Sorry" they say..."we just finished".   "But if you want we will let you glaze your own piece.  We only do this once or twice a year".  Well they didn't have to ask me twice....we were in a hurray so we'd do it another time.  And then it dawned on me.....Keosakwa  has a better chance of being there next week than me trying to come back another time.  "We're In" and with that we became pottery glazers.
       We each dipped our hand picked matching pieces in mismatching glazes.....Then we place them in the fiery kiln while they were heated to red hot in thirty minutes.  As you can see I got to take them and place them in wood shavings where they cooled until I got to and wash them and scrub off some of the residue to make them look beautiful.  As you can see they are magnificent pieces.....worthy of a collector.  My next big worry is how to distribute them in the will as their will undoubtedly be a huge fight among the heirs (LOL,LOL,LOL,LOL)
      We obviously made some new friends along the way as they carefully guided us through process.
One watcher was so impressed she gave me a standing ovation!!
     As we were saying our good-byes a resident  dropped off a three foot gear from the old lock and gave it to them to preserve.  It was pretty impressive.


Monday, May 1, 2017

The View from the Door.......

                           ...and a Wet One it Was

     Saturday rolled around and it was time to "get out of Dodge".  The weather report was for rain and colder weather so we figure attending the annual Tulip Festival in Pella, Iowa would pretty much be a bust and couple that with a 2 1/2 hour drive we opted for something a little closer.  The Lindeburg's had their neighbors Ray and Naomi visiting so shopping would be a short trip.  We headed out to Quincy in the rain....We drove to Quincy in the POURING rain.....we shopped in Quincy in the POURING rain.....and drove back to Nauvoo in the rain.  All in all it was a rainy trip that soaked us to the bone.  We did ask Sister Lindeburg (foolishly) if their was anything we might get for them while we were there.  Only a couple of things at Sam's Club.  Encouraged we hit the road knowing we had little to shop for....maybe some sweat pants for me and a shirt for Sister Gibson.  Seemed easy enough.  By the time we arrived in Quincy Sister Lindeburg's list had grown by 5 items and 2 stores.
I should have seen it coming....actually I knew before I asked.....experience is a good teacher.  We were glad to do it for them even though each exit from the truck drenched us further. 
     We did eat lunch at the Texas Roadhouse and consequently provided dinner for us on Monday...
Sunday is District Meeting where we have dinner.
     Since the rain was down to a drizzle in Nauvoo we had Sister Lindeburg take this picture of us on the back patio when we delivered their goods.  Too bad the deer weren't out running around or we could have included them.

     Moth Balls or Cedar......
            ............Not Much of a Choice Here!!!

     It's probably safe to say that Elder and Sister Lee Master are back in Orem by now.  They left on Friday to go East and visit their daughter in Pittsburg before passing back through Nauvoo to pick up their "loaded" motor home and travel back to Utah.  Sister Lee Master seemed to want to stay and hang on......Not so for Elder Lee Master.....he anxiously prodded her to get in and get going...They finally did.
     With her departure, Sister Gibson figured she could pretty well set her own schedule....the one where she was told she could be done at 1:30 each day.  It's probably no surprise but her earliest escape was 2:30....seems like the conservation people are in high demand and she is always ready to serve. She will do just fine after she figures out how to turn the computer on......LOL!
     A couple of weeks ago a moth was spotted in the buckets of spinning material at Lyon Drug and an immediate crisis arose.  Leaping into action the "Dynamic Duo" of Sister Lee Master and Gibson were instructed to put moth balls in the fabric containers to drive the nasty cloth eaters into oblivion.  "Get some moth balls in there" they were instructed.  Obediently they complied and loaded up the little cloth baggies and dropped them into the containers.  Got rid of the moths they did.......and dang near did the same things to the sisters who were called to serve in the site......they must have reasoned if a little is good a lot is much better.  The smell was overwhelming and nauseating in some cases.
     Fortunately Sister Pettit complained so loud to Elder Pettit that he acted immediately before open rebellion set in.  He  knew the solution....Cedar......that's the reason it was so important for the young women to have a cedar chest.  It keeps the moths out!!   And with that revelation  the wheels of FM turned and approval was granted to get some aromatic cedar.  As soon as it was delivered to Sister Gibson she trucked down to FM in her mini-van, pulled out the moth balls, and replaced them with blocks of cedar.  The magic bullet seems to be working and the complains had disappeared.
     As for the moth balls.....some of the sisters thought it might be appropriate to put them in the newly remodeled directors office desk over the week end....... I might have done it (but didn't).....and they are too sweet to do it!
     It's May 5th..........

               .......or Bust!! (or maybe the week after)

     The first of the week brought another meeting to discuss the priority of FM Jobs.  The Schenck house, or course, is still at the top.  When I asked Sister Hopkin a few hours later she made it clear that one way or the other the doctor was moving in on May if's....and's....or buts.....the workers, bless their hearts,  are under the impression that it will happen when it is done. Now...sooner or later almost everything in Nauvoo gets done. 
     It is pretty close......other than sidewalks, porches, cabinet drawers and doors, a little work on the exterior trim, final grading of the lot, painting the whole outside of the house, a few interior odds and end  and of course cleaning it is ready to go.  Sounds possible to me.  Let's see.....hmmm....another Nauvoo Miracle is about to happen!!
     Speaking of going........I did.....I got a new assignment.  That left Elders Sims, Hacking and Van Horn.  Elder Hacking took sick and Tuesday and was gone for the week.  The other two worked in the rain and cold to finish some of the exterior fascia.  I stopped by on Friday as it was really raining and helped them put in the garage door opener.  I also notice that they garage interior had been finished, textured, and painted.... It must have been a slight misunderstanding.....we never texture in Nauvoo....we were told "smooth" finish.  Maybe it was like Flip Wilson (1970's comic) said: "The Devil Made me do it."  One thing about sure is pretty!!

        Moving On...........
             ........To The Pageant Potty Trailer

     It had been on the "to do" list for months.  Back in February when it looked like the Schenck house had a hope of being completed  it was  explained to me that I would be going down to work on the Pageant Restroom Trailer.  It had been built by FM (at that time is was Nauvoo Restoration Inc) about fifteen years ago  and was now in need of a  serious makeover.  My vast experience with tearing out things qualified me for the work.  And so on Tuesday I was officially sent down to began the tear out prior to reconstruction.  So......for two days I fought my way through mold, mice droppings, and debris to strip the inside of the trailer.  Now it  looks like we will be tearing off the metal siding and putting new on.  Sounds like the Schenck house.....tear it down to the old studs and old roof then put it back together so it looks great.
     Now that the tear out is complete someone will now have to make a decision on who we are going to finish it......if it's anything like the decision making process on the Schenck house someone better get started digging holes for the outhouse...... and ordering canvas curtains 'cause this won't be done by pageant.....I'm confident it will......aren't I???

Now where was I????..........
     It is pretty apparent that Sunset on the Mississippi is a lot more difficult for most of us who can't walk and chew gum at the same time.  Singing, dancing, looking the part, and doing arm motions are not difficult to long as you can remember when and where you do it.  And there is the challenge.  Every three nights we have a practice.  For most of us it looks vaguely familiar....for some it's "Groundhog Day" (the movie).  For all of's an adventure that is really beginning to look like a reality as Memorial Day weekend approaches.  The stage in the Pageant Building appears to be smaller than the real stage we perform on....that is a scary thought as I am continually getting pushed over the end lines which denote the ends and front of the stage.  I guess the good news is the drop off is only 2 feet on one side but it is four feet on the other.  I am sure they keep a paramedic at the ready at all times.  The patience of our director, Sister Rober, is a marvel to behold.  Whatever prescription she has for her eyewear needs to be cloned and patented....they give her such a rosy positive attitude it is amazing. 

Sometimes a Picture Says it all......
              ......May God's Love and Peace
                                       Abound in Your Lives!