Friday, June 27, 2014

More Beautiful Things

Continuing the theme of the previous post, here are more photos. Last winter was so cold, for so long, that spring was sweeter than usual, with lots of images to savor in old age.

I love the color of willows in the spring

Our house (May 7)

Beautiful sky, beautiful tree

Jess and I took Bonnie for a walk at Asylum Lake on a splendid May day:

Asylum Lake

Bonnie, enjoying her stroll

A happy dog, in the car going home

Closer to home:

North end of Frays Park

A round dandelion, like a fuzzy ball

Mom told me that the dogwood blossom was reminiscent of Christ's crucifixion - the four petals shaped like a cross; the tips colored with blood from his hands and feet.

I always think of Mom when I see a dogwood.

Dogwoods in Friendship Village

Our house again (May 18);
the leaves have made remarkable progress

Woods by Friendship Village, in the evening light

Invasive, but pretty, and very much a sign of spring

Also pretty - no idea what this is
"The world is so full of a number of things,
I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings."
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Beautiful Things (The Animal Version)

Our friend Glade has been writing poetry during his retirement, and we came away from Nauvoo with a copy of his book, Through the Eye of the Needle.

One poem, On Aging, reflects on the inevitability of aging, on "pains and graying hair." I like the last stanza:
"Yet I am content, grateful for a life filled
with beautiful flowers and waterfalls."
I try to fill my mind with beautiful things - plants and animals and people and skies. Walking with Bonnie helps on that score. Here are some of the beautiful (and amusing) things we've seen. Actually, it turns out that I've had a lot of animals in my viewfinder lately:

Squirrel #1

Squirrel #2

Squirrel #3

One of the first robins of spring

Ducks, hanging out in someone's front yard
(I love ducks)

This dog managed to bark at us
without dropping that ball in his mouth

Bonnie & Tonks in the synchronized sleeping competition

Our sweet Bonnie

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Loveliest Place and the Best People

In May April (where has the time gone?), we made a quick trip to Nauvoo, via Chicago and St Louis.  Sometimes I wonder why we make these crazy drives, but at least we enjoy ourselves! We started with a drive to Chicago, in what was the most amazing traffic we've ever not encountered: there was none. It was a straight shot, zipping along all the way, even when we hit downtown. Shocking!

We met up with Glade and Carolyn Myler, friends of Jim's from his law school days. (In their BYU law class, Glade was the oldest student, and Jim the youngest, and they somehow became good friends.) We spent the night in their timeshare, in the old Hotel 71 where Jim & I have stayed before. (We slept on a pullout bed that may have seen better days - but that night was definitely not one of them!)

The next day, Mylers turned in their rental car, and the four of us piled into our car, and drove to the St Louis airport, so that Mylers could pick up another rental (this convoluted maneuver apparently saved them beaucoup bucks). En route, we lunched at a Cracker Barrel restaurant, which gave us the chance to browse and be amazed.

We did NOT buy this beauty

We left St Louis in two cars, and drove to our hotel in Fort Madison, Iowa (a Comfort Inn - very pleasant, comfortable, great staff; I'd go there again in a minute). We ate in the restaurant next to the hotel - no idea what it was called, but Jim & I enjoyed dinner, and Glade & Carolyn enjoyed dessert.

The next morning, we drove into Nauvoo. We spent some time in the Visitors Center, and then took a wagon tour. It was cold, so we happily accepted the blankets they offered.

Glade - but we all looked like this

The wagon took us throughout Nauvoo, and the guide gave us lots of interesting info. Most of my photos from that tour are "meh," but here are a couple by the river:

This view reminded me of all the work that was required, to drain the swamp that became Nauvoo.

One of the horses pulling our wagon was named Nephi (which reminds me, for some reason, of my brother's pet mice, named Lehi and Nephi...)

Watching westerns on TV, I always imagined that covered wagons were huge. But, as this picture shows, this was not the case. They were only 3-4 feet wide, and 11-12 feet long. Once loaded with food and other supplies, I doubt there was much room at all for passengers.


We walked along Parley St, to the river. This was the path the saints took as they crossed the river and fled Nauvoo. The street is lined with markers that share writings from their journals, poignant, and expressing both hope and loss.

Here are some of the entries that were shared:
How well I remember what a hard time (father) had breaking in the animals to draw the wagon. There were six cows and two oxen. The oxen were well broken and quite sedate. But the cows were wild and unruly...while Father was breaking the cattle, Mother was praying...many nights when we were in bed asleep...she would go out into the orchard...and there pour out her soul in prayer, asking the Lord to open the way for us to go with the Saints.
~ Margaret Judd Clawson

Last evening the ladies met to organize...Several resolutions were adopted...If the men wish to hold control over the women, let them be on the alert. We believe in equal rights.
~ Louisa Barnes Pratt (this entry made me smile!)

My last act in that precious spot was to tidy the rooms, sweep up the floor, and set the broom in its accustomed place behind the door. Then with emotions in my heart...I gently closed the door and faced an unknown future, faced it with faith in God and with no less assurance of the ultimate establishment of the Gospel in the West and of its true, enduring principles, than I had felt in those trying scenes in Missouri.
~ Bathsheba W Smith
The temple today is a reproduction of the original, which was destroyed by arson in 1848. It is beautiful, and I can barely imagine how the saints felt as they left it behind.
I was in Nauvoo on the 26th day of May, 1846, for the last time, and left the city of the Saints feeling that most likely I was taking a final farewell of Nauvoo for this life. I looked upon the temple and City as they receded from view and asked the Lord to remember the sacrifices of his Saints.
~ Wilford Woodruff

The saints took their wagons, animals, families across the Mississippi on ferries like this one - neither very large nor stable! No wonder they were so relieved when the river froze over.

We lunched at Grandpa Johns' Cafe:

Took one more picture:

And we took a look at the statue of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, which stands opposite the temple, and above the river. The plaque on the statue reads:

"On the morning of June 24, 1844, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum
left their families, homes, and fellow Saints for the last time. Traveling
on horseback, they paused on this bluff. Joseph looked admiringly
at the unfinished temple and the city of Nauvoo and declared:

"This is the loveliest place and the best people under the heavens;
little do they know the trials that await them

"Joseph and Hyrum then continued on to carthage, Illinois, where
they faced legal charges and eventual death at the hands of a mob."

The Prophet's Last Ride
Stan Watts and Kim Corpany

Monday, June 23, 2014

Family Tour 2014 (Chicago Again)

Last Sunday (the 15th), we attended church in Chicago, at the Blue Island Ward - Spanish speaking! That was an interesting experience. I remembered enough Spanish to get the gist of the talks, but that was about it - I am clearly in need of practice. And poor Jim was totally lost (he knows several languages, none of them Spanish).

However - the real purpose of our visit was to see young David and Cassie (they were in town for a wedding), and their girls N and S, and we succeeded on that point. We enjoyed lunch together, and N and I made beaded necklaces, and we admired young S, and talked. It was a lovely afternoon.


David & N


N, David, Cassie, and S

Family Tour 2014 (Wolcottsville)

On the 14th, just a few days home from our trip to Washington, D.C., we went down to Howe, to visit with family and bury Vic's ashes. We met at the Howe Restaurant, for breakfast.

This was our first opportunity to spend time with J and C - delightful young boys!

Angela, A, J, Doug


Rich & Jim

Karen, Angela, A, and J
We finished breakfast with time to spare, and so went to the town square, to wander through the market there, and let the kids play a bit.

A and Meghan


J (such a nice-looking young man!)

John and Angela, Meghan and Doug
Karen, C, A, and J

Amish horses hanging out

We were pretty informal at the cemetery. Karen had John read a verse from a Valentine card that Vic had given her, and we had a moment of silence, and recited the Lord's Prayer.

From there, we went to Karen's new house in Wolcottville. It's very pleasant, on the water. We sat and talked, and Karen and I played badminton with J and C (I was really really bad). We didn't stay too long, and headed back home.

At the Supreme Court

Just as attorney is admitted to a state bar, an attorney can also be admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court. The former allows an attorney to practice law in that state; the latter allows the attorney to practice before the Supreme Court. The latter is also extremely cool.

On June 9, Jim, and other BYU (J Reuben Clark) law school graduates, were admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court. This was quite an experience. We met our group (BYU) outside the Supreme Court building. Together, we went in, and eventually made our way to a room set up with a buffet breakfast.

The guests in our group were then taken to the Court Chamber, and seated. The process was very orderly and dignified. As more guests were seated, there was a bit of chatter; periodically, one of the officers would ask for quiet, which amused me a bit (although I did manage to hold my tongue).

The group of BYU attorneys was one of the last admitted to the room, and Jim sat just a couple rows in front of me. With his position and height, of course, he had a better view than I. I could see most of the justices when they entered, and a court room artist; Jim could see all the justices, and Nina Totenberg.

Associate Justices Elena Kagan, Clarence Thomas, and Anthony Kennedy each read a court decision (I found Kagan's case to be the most interesting, and was discussed on All Things Considered by Ms Totenberg) (Yes, we do have our heroes, however nerdy they may be).

James Rasband, Dean of the BYU Law School, introduced the group from BYU, and read the individual names. Chief Justice John Roberts approved the requests for admission to the bar.

The court was then adjourned, and we headed back to our room for photos and congratulations. Chief Justice Roberts stopped by and spoke briefly, and then Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg came in and spoke for a good bit with the new members of the bar.

It was all very heady.☺

The Authority of Law

The Contemplation of Justice

The Main Entrance, on the west side

Chief Justice John Marshall

Robin and Jim

Jim & Robin, and Janice and Richard Winder
We were the Michigan Contingent
(the Winders are from Lansing)

Chief Justice John Roberts

Jim, and Craig Lundell, representing the class of '81

BYU Law School Group
Dean Rasband is in the front row, 4th from the right

With Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

My favorite attorney

The Court Chamber (after the session)

The Great Hall

Chief Justice John Marshall

The turtle symbolizes longevity, and
the slow, yet deliberate, pace of justice

The Capitol, viewed from the west entrance of the court