26 October 2007
23 October 2007
I pulled the quote book out of the good old nostalgia box this week and I have loved leafing through it. I am shamelessly sentimental these days. Roommates! When are you coming to visit me?!
19 October 2007
15 October 2007
The first thing I have to say is that our camera functions on a hit-and-miss basis. This is how I end up with three pictures of Shay pretending to undress in a 70s-decor Community of Christ meeting-hall-that-doubles-as-a-camp-lodge... ...but zero pictures of some of my favorite sights in Missouri and Illinois. You'll have to take what you get, I guess.
First off, here is some prime real estate in Adam-Ondi-Ahman , where we stopped Thursday to eat lunch and walk aroud a bit before making the trek across Missouri. I think I expected the place to sparkle or something. It did not. It is a pretty valley, at least.... These are our deluxe accommodations at Camp Nauvoo. For $10 a night, you too can stay here and discover just how deluxe they were. The cabins were picturesque in the morning, but a bit scary at night.
Thus, we set up camp on the floor of the the main lodge instead of in the spooky cabins. As I mentioned, the lodge once was a religious meeting place, so it was an interesting place to sleep. Great place to play indoor soccer. Many games of Apples to Apples were also played here. And there were some magnificent early-morning walks.
A major highlight of the trip: the spectacular Nauvoo temple!
We did baptisms on Friday morning. Was this an act of selfless service and religious devotion? or a way to upgrade from a primitive shower house to luxury shower facilities? No one else may ever know. But we also did endowments and sealings on Saturday afternoon, so we saw quite a bit of the temple. It is a gorgeous place. Inside and out, the attention to detail is amazing (and I'm digging the lime green/bright yellow color scheme going on in some of the ordinance rooms). Being caught up in the work of the temple and enjoying the peace that comes from being there was a perfect way to spend a chunk of the vacation.
On to "Old Nauvoo". I am probably going to be struck by lightning for saying this, but Old Nauvoo has a bit of a "Mormon Disneyland" feel. It weirded me out at first, but I got over it and ultimately enjoyed getting my free gingerbread cookie at Scovil Bakery just as much as the next person. In fact, I learned how to make bread in a "bustle oven"...
in addition to other useful domestic skills, and rode in a covered wagon pulled by a couple of oxen named Gabe and Gary.
Jane and I enjoyed a lively sermon (by Shay) in the room where the Relief Society was first organized, above the Red Brick Store.
We also made a side trip to Carthage Jail on Saturday, which was one of my favorite visits of the trip.
It is great (overused word of the day?) to visit these sites and have some kind of real-world context for the stories and experiences I have heard about all my life. Somehow it gives me an increased appreciation for the sacrifices people made in the early days of the church, and maybe even a better understanding of why they did so.
10 October 2007
03 October 2007
I love the idea of book clubs. I was hoping to join one when we moved to Lawrence, and a couple of weeks after we settled in, the wife of one of Shay's professors invited me to join her group. Score. I joined. I read. I said about ten words the first time we met. Maybe eleven if you count the "thanks" I uttered to the host when she handed me my dessert. I am so funny sometimes, in new situations and around unfamiliar people. But I think I'll get a little more comfortable and participative as time goes on. I had better pipe up soon, I suppose, or they are going to catch on about my being there for the food.
So far we've read and discussed "Their Eyes" and "Life Studies," and this month we're reading "Nightfall." None of these are books I would have picked myself, and I guess that's the beauty of a book club, isn't it?
A bunch of my good friends from the homeland are also starting a long-distance book club, which I am excited about. We're starting out with "The Great Divorce" and we'll see where it goes from there. I think it'll be a fun way to keep in touch.
So, I've got a bunch of reading to do. If you have must-read recommendations for future book club selections, post them here!
02 October 2007
It has been a full two months since I last saw a Cafe Rio, a Costa Vida, a Bajio, or any decent tex-mex establishment, and apparently the withdrawl symptoms are setting in. Is there a cure for this? Does anyone know?