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Archive for August, 2008

What a special night.  I got to organize, Val got to see her daughter, Mark was an usher, CJ was in a nest, Kathy practiced Photography (by the way Kathy, the sewing was beautiful), Larry cracked a few jokes to make Lois laugh, and Riley is an Eagle.  We are very proud of him.  Riley has been active in community service, he received the LDS Duty to God award, received seminary’s Disciple of Christ award, and graduated with honors in the top eight of his class at his High School.  I can not say he is an over achiever, but he seems to have a pretty good grip on the real meaning of and the importance of life.  Kindness, tolerance, and compassion are his strong natural attributes.  Coincidentally, these are the virtues I lack the most of.  He has taught me as much as I have ever taught him.  He is attending a university this year with music as his major.  For his Eagle Project, Riley installed a wood burning stove, stove pipe, and a stone heat shield in the Old Pinery Lodge for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I believe he stands worthy to have received this Boy Scout Eagle Award.  Riley, look what you have done.

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Etching a Memory

I was standing in the dark and far to the side of a quiet freeway swatting at tens of mosquitoes that were trying to get their dinner.  The weather was calm which made me a sitting duck for a hungry bug.  The half moon illuminated the landscape just enough to see were I was standing.  Val was in the car with her headlights on high beam.  I tried to find a setting on the Kodak to get the best shot of the reflective “Welcome to Indiana” sign I could get.  I was not having much luck, but the mosquitos were having a free buffet.  Tiny lights drew my attention away from the Kodak, Indiana, the blasted mosquitoes, and even Val who was trying to get her headlights in a better position for me to take a picture.  There, twenty feet away, were tiny green lights that were etching a memory I would not soon forget.  In an amazed state, I wandered up to the hedge were the fireflies did not seem to care that I was even there.  I glanced over the hedge, and the row of trees that lined the field, which I now stood by, was engulfed with thousands of fireflies.  I am sure I would have looked like a buffoon to an Indianaite, but that was not going to stop someone living on the other side of the Rocky Mountains to enjoy such a beautiful site.  Val and I were able to take some long looks at other fireflies during our stay in Illinois.  Some were green, some blue, and some yellow.   I sustained a few wilts for the experience, but it was truly the fireflies that etched the memory.

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So, we got this great idea I needed to save a few bucks on fuel for commuting.  After many months of swearing never to pay somebody in Utah an over-inflated price for a Compressed Natural Gas car, we found one.  The only problem was that it was in BelAir Maryland.  Of course, this was an opportunity we had been hoping for, and so the adventure began.  The only plan we made was to take an eleven day Mormon tour and let everything else fall in place as we traveled.   We journeyed to Palmyra and the Hill Cumorah Pageant, Kirtland, Nauvoo and the Nauvoo Pageant, Martins Cove, and finished the trip at the “This is the Place Monument” in Salt Lake City.  I will not bore you with the little details like going to Niagara Falls or Mount Rushmore.  If you would like to take a trip back to a Mormon site, please contact us so we can chat, for it was awesome.  Even though our vacation put a perma-grin on our face, nothing will make a person smile more than filling a tank full of .85 cent fuel—so, I like to brag.

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