Sunday in the Walton home has always been a day of rest. By that I mean, we go to church, come home and read or do quiet activites; we don’t go shopping, or to restaurants. However, in a Latter-day Saint family, it may also include other church meetings or family activities.
Since Ben & Ilene & family were with us, they came to church with us. After church, I took them to see the temple and walk its grounds.
It was a perfect day for such a walk. Not too hot and not too cold. I took them around back of the temple where there is a small patio that over looks the Sacred Grove.
From there, we continued down the street (on foot, while Ben went and fetched their motor home) to the Smith Family Farm. The Smith Farm is where the Sacred Grove is located, as well as the log home (an accurate recreation of the original log home on the original foundation), the frame home (built by Alvin Smith prior to his death in 1823), Joseph Smith, Senior’s cooper shop and their farm. The Smith’s had some 1500 sugar maples in the grove as well as elms, ironwood, oaks, poplar and other trees. We walked through the grove, walking about half the trails. (If you come visit the grove, allow for at least two hours to walk it. If you plan to stop and meditate in the grove, you might plan for more time.)
I always enjoy bringing people to the grove. There is a notable change in their behavior once you actually enter the grove. I’ve seen it in young and old. Once they enter the grove, a sense of reverence comes over them. You cannot walk through the grove without catching that feeling.
Quite often, I have been walking the grove, and found people sitting quietly reading their scriptures, writing in their diary, or just pondering. Going early in the morning, or on a cold day is often enjoyable to me as I can have the grove all to myself. It is at those times I understand why Joseph Smith Junior decided that the grove would be where he would go the first time he prayed vocally. I have often sat at my personal favorite spot and wondered what it would have been like to be there in the spring of 1820 to witness that event.
After we completed our hike through the grove, we toured the log home and from there the frame home. There is a lot of history in those two homes and it is always facinating to think that 11 people lived in that tiny log home. And, by today’s standards, even the (larger) frame home would have been small for a family of eleven.
Just between the frame and the log home is a wonderful view of the temple.
After our walk and tours, we returned to the Beckwith Mansion for some brats and macaroni salad that Elizabethe had prepared for us. We had plenty of food, and the company was great.
From there, most everyone decided it was a good time for a long Sunday afternoon nap.
I started working on the wall. I got some wiring done for the 3-way switch and the hall light. I got the door frame all set and attached. Put the top plate on the short side of the wall, and a lot more.
Around 10:30 am I decided to take a break and go see what Independence Day was like in Palmyra. I am sure glad I did. About a block from the house is the Village Park where the festivities were taking place. The first person I ran into was our mayor, Vicky Daly.
The park was full of people gathering to hear the Village Choir and hear some patriotic addresses. Mayor Daly talked. A re-enactor recited the Declaration of Independence (the audience cheered.) The VFW presented the Nation’s colors.
A young elementary school boy led us in the pledge. (Everyone placed their hands on their hearts and participated. The patriotism is so strong in this village, I choked up as we said the pledge.) The choir sang the National Anthem (and nobody yelled, “Play ball,” afterwards.)
All sorts of people were coming to the park. They were selling brats and burgers. Les was selling his famous fudge, popcorn and slush puppies. People were dressed in red, white and blue. It was a real feeling of patriotism. Oh, and when I went up to people and said, “Happy Independence Day”, nearly every single person put on a big smile and said, “Why, thank you!”
Well, I figured I better go home and go back to working on the wall. With Elizabethe’s and Elder Kent Pulsipher’s help, I hung 4 sheets of sheet rock. I tested my wiring (and it worked the 1st time !!!) And I got the mortise done for the door latch.
About that time Ben and Ilene drove up in their motor home.
So, I quit working and came and greeted them. After they all had a chance to tour the house and use the bathroom, I took them for a short walking tour of the village.
The kids when wild when we got the the Village Park.
I commented, “Who would have thought the highlight would be the Village Park?”
“Uncle Brent, we don’t have parks like this in California!” my niece responded.
Yeah, there is something to be said about living in a small town where bleeding-heart-liberalism hasn’t outlawed seesaws, or the little spinning merry-go-rounds, where peole take off their baseball cap when the flag passes by, where people decorate their houses with red-white-and-blue bunting and put flags out on every patriotic day, and some all year long. This is a town where you walk down the street and you actually talk to the people sitting on their front porch, and they may even invite you to come sit and talk for a while.
So, today is not July 4th, but it is the day companies are giving their employees off since Independence Day falls on Saturday. (Oh, and let’s stop calling it “The Forth of July”. Why? Because it is Independence Day – the day the 13 Colonies declared their independence from England.)
Jonathan Chapman and I started on the wall today. Stephanie Chapman helped Elizabethe unpack and organize the kitchen. Between the 4 of us we got a LOT of work done. (I’m really beat. I’ve been working like this solid since June 1st.)
A special thanks to Stephanie for taking the photo. Stephanie has an interest in photography and just got a Nikon D40. This was taken, however, with Brent’s Canon G10 — go CANON!!!
We got the longest section framed, as you can see. In the photo, we were working on pre-hanging the door that was the entrance door to the bedroom. It will now be on this wall and still the entrance to this bedroom, however, the old doorway is now the entrance into the hall way. (Got it?)
This is the best pre-hung door there ever was. First, the door weighs a TON. Second, we used T-nuts for the hinges on the frame. This puppy is SOLID.
Around 6:30pm I took Jonathan and Stephanie home. I came home, picked up around the yard, and then made brownies. (Chocolate chips & walnuts in them too.) After I got them in the oven, I made dinner for Elizabethe and me.
So, here I stand now, on a Friday night, typing my blog. (I’d sit, but I have no butt. It has been worked off.) It is time now to go have a chocolate chip & walnut brownie topped with cookies and cream ice cream topped with hot fudge and carmel sauce. (I’m sure, a couple of these and I will get my butt back.)
We didn’t get everything unpacked last night so tonight they are coming back to help some more.
Work was steady today which made the time go quickly.
At lunch time, I walked to the post office to mail postcards to many of my friends back in California. (Let me know when you receive them.) On the way there, I stopped by the Chinese Take-Out (Happiness Garden) and Family First Chiropractic to say, “Hello.”
Here’s why I love a small town. While in the post office, I run in to my doctor’s husband/receptionist/office manager. Plus, the people at the post office were friendly and informative. (And, they speak ENGLISH!!!)
On the way home, I stopped to take a picture of another one of the 4 churches on the corner.
I also stopped by Village Hall to ask about sewer to the dry house and to say, “Hi”, to Mayor Vicky. (She was at lunch.)
From there I went to Mackenzie’s and ordered a sign for the studio.
The afternoon just flew by. Again, a steady stream of questions from co-workers. Before I knew it, 5pm was here and so was Elder Murphy. Elder Murphy and I started unloading and about 30 minutes later a crew from the Lewis family, Aaron Zsembary, Alisa Day, Zack Huber and others. We got it done quick quickly.
Taking a day off to work all day is kind of an oxymoron, but that’s what I did today. I hired Jonathan again to help out. He got the clay pipes out of the basement, removed some more walls from the dry house, and did some general pickup and clean up.
Around 3pm, it just started to pour. The ran was coming down so hard there was a good inch of standing water on my drive way. I quickly rushed to the basement to see if water was coming in. Sure enough, through the window by the bar it was coming in because the rain gutters were clogged.
I ran to the back yard where Jonathan was putting the plywood removed from the dryhouse walls and we placed them as lean-tos over the window wells. That helped a little.
I then went out and inspected the rain gutters. It was Bridal Veil Falls coming off the lowest rain gutter on the east side of the house, and it was splashing down right next to that window well where the water was coming in.
Looks like I need to clean the rain gutters.
At 5pm, people started arriving to help unload the truck. We worked on that and got all but the last 4-5 feet cleared out. We still have the piano and a bunch of boxes to unload — not to mention the 8′ long shelf.
We had Brandon Lewis and two of his sons, the missionaries and Elder Murphy, Tricia Cox and Alisa Day, Aaron (and I can’t remember his last name), and Chris Loren. They were all a huge help. Brandon is going to try to get some more men for tonight so we have enough to get the piano up the front stairs. It should go a lot quicker Thursday night.
Yesterday was great, but Tuesday turned into a typical Monday. I had meetings and messages and interruptions and things went haywire.
First, I worked from home so I could sign for the delivery of the trailer. It came, but they lost (or so we thought) the key to my lock. My only key.
So, at lunch time, I took my sawsall to the lock. 45 minutes and I made it about 1/4 of the way through. I then remembered that heat removes the temper from steel. So, I spent my last 15 minutes of my lunch hour torching the lock.
When 5pm rolled around, I had Jonathan grab the lock with some pliers and I took the sawsall and cut through the remaining 75% in about 45 seconds. We opened the trailer and there was the key. HOW MORONIC !!!
Then I called about my car that was supposed to arrive on June 23rd. They gave me a song and dance about the truck breaking down. Heck, my car didn’t even leave San Lorenzo until June 21st. It sat in San Lorenzo for two whole weeks. I guess Dependable Auto Shippers (DAS) isn’t very reliable. They are now estimating my car will arrive on July 6th because of Independence Day. (I’m starting to call it Independence Day instead of the 4th of July because I think our law makers have forgotten why we declared independence from England — taxation without representation.)
But, the day ended nicely. I went to the temple with Elizabethe after she got home. It was really nice. It was really nice to sit there and think, I’m here. I made it.
I picked up some General Tsao Chicken from Happiness Garden for dinner. Best Chinese food around. (They are at 212 E Main Street — right across the street from the Grandin Press Building.)
My walk this morning started at 5:30am (that’s 2:30am for you California folks). I walked down Main Street.
Liberty House B&B
Past the Liberty House Bed & Breakfast (Irene Unterborn, owner)…
Baptist Church, Palmyra, NY
Past the corner of the four churches. Here are pictures of two of the four.
Then down the Erie Canal Trail. It was wonderful! There was a light fog which made the woods seem mysterious.
I had to stop and check out my building. There’s a lot I’d like to do to the front, but right now, no cash to do it.
Back home in my garden the flowers were covered with dew from the morning fog.
I hope you are beginning to see why Elizabethe and I left California for this quiet, peaceful and beautiful village. If time were to permit, I think I’d spend my days wondering and exploring every trail I could find.
Well, today wasn’t my first Sunday at Palmyra, but it was my first Sunday as a permanent resident.
One of the first faces I saw at church this morning was that of Aaron Brown. Aaron was there with his wife and daughters. Now, the irony of this is that they are from Antioch, California. They did not know I had moved here and were quite surprised to see me here, as I was to see them.
After church I stayed for choir practice. It’s nice having it right after church. The songs we practiced are for sacrament meeting the two weeks during Hill Cumorah Pageant.
When we got home, the Pulsiphers had some visitors — Bishop Jacoway and his family. Sister Pulsipher had fixed dinner for everyone and had dinner waiting for Elizabethe and me. After dinner I enjoyed giving the Jacoways a tour of the yard.
After a very long nap, I woke and it was time to go to stake priesthood meeting. (Latter-day Saint men attend priesthood meeting every Sunday, but once a quarter, we attend a priesthood meeting where men from many congregations meet. Tonight was the Palmyra Stake’s quarterly stake priesthood meeting.) It was different because we did not meet at the chapel as we normally would. Instead, we gathered in a pavilion on the side of the Hill Cumorah.
It was raining lightly, and as we gathered and sang, I thought the rain would dampen the sound of our singing a capella. It did not. In fact, the sound was wonderful as several hundred men joined together in song. What a delight it was to be gathered there, where some 1600 years ago, Moroni buried the sacred record knowing only that it was for a wise and glorious purpose.
Our closing hymn was “Praise to the Man.” Again, it was a wonderful experience to sing that hymn as it was only yesterday that marked the asassination of Joseph Smith, Jr., and his brother Hyrum.
I also ran into my old friend and former missionary companion, Paul O’Donnell. Paul gave me a reprimand for not telling him I had moved here. I truly look forward to doing more things with Paul. Of all the missionaries I served with, Paul was my favorite. I learned so much while serving with him. He is truly an example to me.
Saturday and no moving van yet, although I had plenty to do. I think my Saturdays will be quite busy for the next while.
I framed a few art prints today. We need to have them ready for Pageant visitors. They are about the only souvenir you can get of Palmyra.
At 10 a.m. I headed over to the neighbor’s grand opening of their store – Mulberry Hollow. (They are 4 doors to the west of the Beckwith Mansion.) I took my camera with me and got some shots of her new digs…
Came back from Mulberry Hollow and changed my clothes. I donned some work clothes and went out to the dry house to tackle some demolition work. It was time to remove that groady ceiling.
Office Before I Started
The only hammer I could find was this dinky thing Elizabethe uses. Try pulling 2″ nails from a 2×4 with a tiny hammer. Elizabethe finally remembered where she put my hammer. Once it was in my hands, the work went quickly.
Talk about dirty. 60+ year old particle board just crumbles when you whack it with a hammer. I took an old t-shirt and covered my head and neck with it. The last thing I want is that stuff down my back — ew!
Went to Lowe’s to pickup a saws-all. Got all of the between the rafter 2×4 pieces out. That DeWalt saws-all cuts through nails like a hot knife through butter.
Now I have a floor full of nails, broken particle board and other debris.
Office after ceiling removed
Speaking of other debris, there were lots of kennel ribbons. The oldest dates back to 1950. They were between the floor of the attic and the ceiling. They must have slipped through some cracks. But, that wasn’t the only thing I found. Some old AA batteries in a box that read, “Good for Transistor Radios”. (Most people under 30 don’t even know what a transistor is.) And there’s more… 2 pages from a Playboy Magazine. (Sorry, no pictures. This guy must have saved them for the articles.) One page had an ad for a car. From the looks of the car, I’d say 1961 or 1962.
I finally pulled it in to shower and get all that sawdust off me. So, here I sit updating the blog. I think I’ll have some dinner after this, go for a walk, and call it a day.
Things got quite busy at work yesterday. After getting notified that my office in Rochester was ready, I started getting calls with other questions and requests. But 5 o’clock rolled around soon enough.
We got some rain in the afternoon. The cloud cover kept it warm at night. (It usually cools off quite a bit at night.) Then, in the middle of the night it poured.