This has been a very interesting week. Susan’s been off due to Spring Break so we’ve done a couple of things out of the ordinary. It started last Saturday with breakfast with the Salisburys. On Monday, we went to a movie – “A Wrinkle In Time”. Bro. Winebrenner had suggested we take the grandkids to it, but the grandkids weren’t available and Susan said had read the book in her youth and really liked it. It turned out we really should have taken the grandkids. It was fun and with a good message, but not really very interesting for either of us.
On Tuesday and Thursday I took Susan to acupuncture appointments, which seem to really be helping her back and her digestive system (although I think it’s actually the pills that Dr. Lu has given her that have helped the constipation problem).
But the fun didn’t really start until Friday. In the morning, we attended the Temple (see another post about that) and sealed my parents to each other, and me to them. Then we visited with Brother Winebrenner and helped him pack a few things. He’s in no hurry to move, but hopes to within the next couple of months. It’s a big project because they had so much stuff, much of which belonged to his wife and is giving away. We’re becoming pretty good friends with him. He remarked that Susan and I make a good team. We had to agree that was true!
After that, Craig and Lavella Rich picked us up and we drove to the Church Street Cafe in Old Town. It’s the 3rd time I’ve been there (the 4th for Susan), but this time we met up with a good-sized group from the ward – 6 couples – all empty-nesters, including Paul and Bronwin Zaugg, Joe and Becky Jimenez, Ken and Joyce Williams, Larry White, and Cynthia Billie (they are getting married in mid April).
I kind of instigated the event when I suggested to Brother Zaugg that Susan and I have dinner with him and his wife, but he felt it would be more fun to include other couples. I guess I could have been insulted, but they are new to the ward and really hadn’t gotten to know too many people on a personal level so wanted to do as much socializing as possible before his wife had to return to Canada. I can understand that.
Brother Zaugg coordinated everything, asking Joe to pick a restaurant and me to invite some couples. He even prepared some “get acquainted” activities. It turned out to be a lot of fun, and we learned some interesting facts about each other.
As we were leaving, Joe Jimenez told me he selected the restaurant because their food wasn’t too spicy, and he knew I wasn’t particularly fond of hot, spicy food (something I hadn’t really ever realized myself until I came here). That was thoughtful of him. Later, Susan commented that we really have some good friends here.
After that we did some shopping, and then began preparing food for Brother Mora’s funeral, something we hadn’t planned for the week, but came up when he passed away early Wednesday. I also baked oatmeal cookies to take to the church for a meal that was planned before the Priesthood Session of General Conference the following day.
So Friday was a very busy day, but Saturday was even busier. We had promised to clean the church in the morning. We also wanted to watch General Conference, and Susan had also planned to squeeze in a baby shower for a Sister in our ward. Brother Mora’s funeral made things quite a bit more complicated, however.
We showed up at 9 AM to clean the building and didn’t find anyone else there. The bishop and his wife showed a few minutes later planning to set up televisions for General Conference. When they saw we were working alone, they helped us with cleaning as well. Later the Elders also showed up and helped. The building was pretty dirty and we did what we could before the 10 AM start time for Conference. I think we pretty much did everything except vacuum the smaller classrooms.
At 10, we sat down in the Primary room to watch the first few minutes of Conference. More about that in another post.
Then we went back home and finished preparing food for the funeral while we watched the remainder of the Saturday morning session. Then it was back to the church for the funeral at 1 PM. The chapel was completely filled and the service lasted over an hour. Brother Mora was very well known and loved.
The meal afterwards was at the home of one of his daughters so we had to deliver food there. Our plan was to simply drop it off, but they invited us to stay. We ended up being the only representatives from our ward and felt a bit out of place, knowing no one except Sister Mora – and that was a new relationship. We had visited with her and Arturo in their home a few weeks ago. That was the most I had ever spoken to either one of them.
But Sister Mora really made us feel welcome and ended up spending quite a bit of time talking to us (mostly Susan). We had a big meal and ended up staying there until 4:30. I had planned to attend the meal at the church before Priesthood session, but having just over-eaten, I didn’t need anything else. I could have still gone to the church to watch the session, but since I could also watch at home, I felt that would be better than leaving Susan home alone.
Susan failed to make it to the baby shower, but was able to communicate with Joeli at least and we’ll probably deliver the gift today (it’s very early Sunday morning).
So it was a very full day, and a fulfilling one.
It’s now Sunday evening. My sister Mary sent us an Easter greeting this morning. That was very thoughtful of her.
Yes, today is Easter, a day that brings back pleasant memories of my childhood – of attending Easter morning service at St. Joseph Church, dressed in our very best (and oftentimes new) clothes and shined shoes — the women in pretty dresses and hats — sunshine, beautiful flowers, and all that Spring brings in Ohio. It was always a stark contrast to the days preceding, during which we commemorated the Savior’s last supper and his suffering and death on the cross.
Those are some vivid memories that I wish I could have passed to my children, but we do things a little differently in the Mormon Church. We celebrate Easter, to be sure, but our approach is different. Rather than an intense focus on Christ’s death and resurrection during the Easter season, we speak of it (and particularly the atonement) throughout the year.
Immediately after the last session of Conference, we had a very nice video chat with Andrew and Tina. Their baby is due in early September, and expect to know whether it’s a boy or girl by the end of the month. We’re planning to visit them around Thanksgiving or Christmas.
I would have liked to have contact with all of my children today, but they don’t seem to interested at the moment.
We spent the entire day at home except for a walk to Sister Viscaino’s home (after talking to Andrew and Tina) to drop off the baby shower gift that we didn’t deliver yesterday. She’s about a mile away and it was a very pleasant walk.
After that, we still found time to watch a movie – “The Ultimate Life” – a wholesome show with a good message.
Sadly, General Conference is over now and so is Spring Break for Susan. But we have pleasant memories of the week past and will find new things to look forward to.