Thursday, July 24, 2014

July 23, 2014

July 23, 2014

Well, another week has zoomed by. We're right in the middle of summer, when we have two different pageants running: the British Pageant and the regular Nauvoo Pageant. Things are really hopping around here. During the pageant season, there is also a "country fair"--of sorts--for the visitors who come to view the Pageant. The fair begins at about 7:00 p.m. and continues until just before the pageant begins at 8:30. To give you an idea of what the fair looks like, I'm including a few random--or not so random--shots of some of its happenin's.

Come on in and celebrate!

This is what the fair looks like from a distance.

"Little Nauvoo" is set up for the little kids to become familiar with the various sites of Old Nauvoo.

There are lots of little competitions/games for members of our guest families . . .

. . . sack races . . . 

. . . handcart races . . . 

. . . climbing bears . . . 

. . . and log sawing competitions.

There's also a good ol' country fair dance, complete with its own country orchestra.

And what would a fair be without the bag pipers?!

And certainly no fair would be complete without Coca Cola! Right, Jeff!?

Nothin' like a handcart when it's time to move things.

Lots of little pioneers roam through the fair.

And there's even a few "junior" bag pipers.

These "pipers" march for the opening ceremony of the Pageant.

Aside from the Pageant activities, I noticed there was a little horsin' around on the Band Wagon while  I was driving it around Old Nauvoo last Monday.

A fairly common occurrence is the sighting of huge barge-tows that go up and down the Mississippi. These barge-tows are actually three barges wide and five barges long, all connected together and pushed by a tugboat. (It seems to me they should call these boats "push" boats rather than "tug" boats!) The barge-tows hold the amount of cargo that would fill about 870 semi trailers.

A barge-tow passing in front of Nauvoo.

I'm truly amazed at how fast the week goes by. I hardly have enough time to take a few pictures to put in our blog! But we truly feel blessed to be serving here in Nauvoo. There is a special spirit here because of the kinds of faithful people who settled and then were forced to leave this area. Although they left in a hurry and took with them only a few treasured possessions, they left a special feeling here for others to enjoy. I hope some of you get a chance to come here and enjoy it with us.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

June 16, 2014

July 16, 2014 

This week the British and Nauvoo Pageants began. Since we didn't have to perform in either of our two plays on Tuesday night, we went to the British Pageant. Just as we expected, it was very well done. There are over a hundred volunteers who participate, as well as a number of professional actors. The picture below is of the finale, the Nauvoo Temple lit up in the background. It truly was spectacular.

On our Prep Day, we went to a quaint little town in Iowa called Bentonsport. We had been told that there was a shop there called Iron and Lace, where you could see iron and pottery items that were handmade by the owners of the shop. Unfortunately, the owners were not there the day we went, so we didn't get to meet them nor see the blacksmith shop where the iron works are made. But we did look around the shop a bit.

Jan in front of the Iron & Lace shop

A sample of the handmade pottery. If you look closely at the design on the pottery, you'll see that the design used on all the pieces is the Queen Anne's Lace, which is actually a plant that grows wild in this area. It is also known as a "Wild Carrot" and is a common plant/weed that grown in dry fields, ditches, and other open areas. (See picture below.)

Queen Anne's Lace plants growing outside the Iron & Lace shop

Greef General Store, the local "general store," a.k.a. tourist trap

Inside of the Greef General Store

We just had to go into this quaint little homemade fudge and ice cream shop. And, yes, the fudge is delicious!

Just thought you might like to see the propane tank next to the "Forever Sweet Creations" shop.

As you may be able to tell, we didn't have a lot to report on this week; we are kept pretty busy. But we're enjoying what we're doing and are grateful for the opportunity to serve here in Nauvoo. We hope this finds you all well and enjoying your blessings as well. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

July 9, 2014

July 9, 2014

Some of you might have read in the news that we have had a little flooding around here because of the rain storms that have pounded the area the past couple of weeks. The water from the Mississippi (or more accurately, Lake Cooper) has crept up Parley and Water Streets and blocked off the end of them where the Saints lined up their wagons to cross the river back in 1846. 

The end of Parley Street.

This wagon barge is normally on dry ground.

After having Jill and Jodi and their families with us last week, this week was kind of boring. It was pretty much back to the routine of sites and wagon/carriage tours during the day and performances in the evenings. Since today was our prep day, we did take the time earlier this afternoon to visit the sites of the Community of Christ Church. We were able to go into Joseph and Emma's original log cabin, the Mansion House, and the Prophet's Red Brick Store, which has a meeting room upstairs where the Relief Society was originally organized. That same room was used for political meetings and many Church leadership meetings. Unfortunately, the Community of Christ does not allow pictures inside their venues, so we don't have any shots of the inside of these places to share with you.

However, on one of Jan's walking/exercise jaunts around Old Nauvoo, she took pictures of many of the interesting and historic sites that guests come here to see. I'm including some of those pictures below; hopefully, they will give those of you who haven't been here before an idea of the kinds of things we hope you'll come and enjoy first-hand.

Joseph and Emma's first house (originally the log portion on the right)

Lucy Mack Smith's home (during the final years of her life)

Mansion House/Hotel

Grave site of Joseph, Emma, and Hyrum

Brigham Young's home

Blacksmith and Wainwright shop

Joseph's Red Brick Store

Pendleton Home and School

Printing Office, John Taylor Home, and Post Office

Seventies Hall

Statue of Brigham and Joseph looking to the West

Looking down Water Street

Looking across the Mississippi/Lake Cooper

We feel so blessed to be here in Nauvoo to learn about the saints who sacrificed so much so that the gospel and Church could continue to grow and fill the earth. Without their sacrifice and devotion, the wonderful blessings we now enjoy could not have been possible.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July 2, 2014

Sorry we didn't get anything posted last week. We simply ran out of time to get everything done that we wanted to do on our Prep-day. So you'll just have to put up with a couple of weeks' activities together in this posting.

The past few days Jill and Jodi and their families have been here in Nauvoo, and we had fun being with them in some of the sites and on a carriage ride. We were sad to see them leave today, but hope they and others will be able to come next year. Below are a few shots of our time together. 

Sunday evening we all went to the outdoor performance of "Our Story Goes On."

On Monday (Jan's and my prep day), we visited several sites, such as this Tinsmith shop . . .
. . . where you learn about this ingenious mousetrap . . .

. . . and the Browning Gun Shop . . . 

. . . and the Blacksmith and Wainwright shop . . .

. . . and the Log School House, where Grandma gave the tour, and . . . 

. . . and Pioneer Pasttimes where you can dress in pioneer clothing . . .

. . . and more clothing . . .

. . . and more clothing . . .

. . . and even more clothing!

Or you can learn to walk on stilts.

And, of course, no gathering is complete without lots of food!

Look at this spread that Grandma provided!

Nothin' like a good ol' home-cooked dinner!

Even the kids agree.

Jeff and Jodi and their gang at the Brickyard

Jodi, Jill and their families with Ben and Mick, the two four-legged missionaries that took them on a carriage ride out in the countryside north of Old Nauvoo

Last week we heard about a Horse and Buggy Museum in a little town called Biggsville, Illinois, which is located 11 miles outside of Burlington, Iowa. We had to go Burlington to do some shopping so we decided to go over to Biggsville to check out the museum. Well, to make a long story short, I thoroughly enjoyed the visit, but Jan not so much! She said it was comparable to my having to go to quilting exhibition in a perfumed store. Anyhow, in this museum there were about 50 different antique horse-drawn farming implements. And, in addition, there were about 10 different touch-screen video screens around the walls of the museum where you could choose to see any of the these horse-powered machines in action. I found it very fascinating and could easily have spent another couple of hours there. The following two pictures give you an idea of the kinds of equipment they had in the museum. If you would like to see a movie snippet of the museum owner driving various teams of horses (4-horse, 6- horse, and 9-horse hitches) while plowing, go to the following URL:

The week before Jill and Jodi and their families came to Nauvoo, we had a terrible wind and rain storm that blew through town. It up-rooted a few trees, but fortunately it didn't cause any personal injuries.

The past couple of weeks, we have been keeping our horses in a pasture down the the road from the barn. It's fun to see all 22 of them parade down the road at 7:00 in the morning, coming into barn to be harnessed for their day's work with the carriages and wagons.

It was so much fun having Jill and Jodi and their families with us--if only for a few short days. It reminded me how much our family means to us. We have been blessed with wonderful kids, in-laws, and grandkids. Sometimes I find it hard to believe how blessed we are. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father loves us enough to provide for family relationships. They are truly what life--and eternity--are all about.