Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Farewell Nauvoo

The time has come for us to leave Nauvoo and head home.  It is bittersweet.  We are excited to once again be home and especially to see our family and friends.  But we are sad to leave Nauvoo and our mission and the wonderful people we've met here.  Our kids tell me that it's always hard to leave a mission so I guess we're normal.

I haven't been blogging so much lately except when our kids have come.  We have both had lots of responsibility and there hasn't been much time for blogging.

I wanted to do one last post and tell you all what we've been doing for the last while.

Mark has been site leader for the teamsters/horse program.  He was in charge of the horses and the rides--carriage, wagon, and oxen.  He was responsible for the care of the horses and for assigning teamsters to the rides and horses to the rides.  He has loved every minute of it.  He loves these horses.

There are 20 horses--10 teams.  They are Belgians and Percherons.
Every morning the horses come in from wherever they are pastured for the night.

Horses coming in

There have been 9 carriage rides a day and 9 wagon rides a day for the summer months.  Each team does 3 rides.  If the heat index gets too high they close the rides.  That only happened one day this year.  We have had a much cooler summer than last year.  So 6 teams work per day on rides and 1 team on the band wagon.  They rotate them so they can rest some.  They don't work on Sunday.  Our sites are open Sundays, but not the horse rides.

Bill and Bob

Chad and Champ
One of the things Mark has done is train the horses to come to their own spot to eat grain in the morning.  Some of them go right into the barn to their spot there and some go to their spot in the corral.  They know where to go and they run right into place every morning.  It is great to watch.

Horses going in the barn

Morning grain
Ten of the horses go in the barn and ten of them eat outside.

There are two barns here. The one on the left stores hay and has a room where the teamsters meet in the mornings. The barn on the right is where they are harnessed and eat their grain.
The above pasture wasn't fenced until recently.  The teamsters have fenced it, and now they can use the pasture.


Besides the 6 teams that pull the rides, one team pulls the Nauvoo Brass Band around town during the summer.  One day in June, they decided to take a picture of their seven wagons/carriages and the horses.  They have enjoyed hitching up four horses to one wagon on occasion so of course they hooked up four to the band wagon.

Here they are lining up by the river for a photo

Here is the photo.  It was taken from an elevated spot.  You can see our driveway near the top left.--across from our bench.

The flatter-roofed vehicles are considered carriages.  They take people out into the countryside.  The more rounded vehicles are considered wagons.  They take people around old Nauvoo and by the river.

Nauvoo Brass Band
The Nauvoo Brass Band is wonderful.  They are here from the first of May until the middle of August.  They are missionaries and live mission rules for a four-month period.  They are aged 18 to 26 or so.  They work very hard all day long and into the night.

We had some muddy time this spring and it was hard for the horses to pull the carriage on the muddy roads.  So they hitched up four horses to do the job.  I wonder if the horses really had trouble or if Mark just wanted to hitch up four horses.  He loves that.

Winter carriage ride with Bill and Bob & Dan and Doc

Sometimes they hitched up Tim and Tom and Mike and Ned.  The carriage rides in Nauvoo are free.  In fact everything is.  I always tell people you can't spend money in Nauvoo unless you want to eat and there's hardly any place to eat.

Carriage ride with Tim & Tom and Mike & Ned
The teamsters got together with the horses one day for a photo.  There were 26 teamsters for most of the summer. 

Teamsters and horses
Here is a closer photo of the teamsters with not all of the horses.  Notice the fence in the background.  That is the fence that they built this spring. 


Saturday was Elder Call and Elder Dahl's last wagon ride.  After the ride, they pull up here so that people can pet the horses and take pictures if they want.  Thanks to Elder Jardine's thoughtfulness, I was able to be the narrator on their last day.

The last carriage ride that Elder Dahl did was Friday.  He narrated this ride.  He does a wonderful job.

Inspiration point--a beautiful spot on the river and part of the carriage ride.

Us with Tim and Tom after the last carriage ride

The horses

The horses

So that is what Mark has been doing the last while.  He has worked with the horses the whole mission but has been in charge the last part.

I began our mission being site leader at the log school.  Then I was assistant site leader at Lands and Records.  Then about the middle of March I was asked to be Rendezvous director.  Rendezvous is a musical play that we senior missionaries present every night except Sunday.  From May till September there are two shows each night.  In the winter there is just one show per night. 

I had absolutely no skills for this job but I was called to do it anyway.  I didn't want to do it at first but  I ended up enjoying it.

Cultural Hall where Rendezvous is performed 6 nights a week
This is the Cultural Hall.  It was started in 1842 and completed in April 1844.  It was used for many things including dramatic productions.  When they had to leave for the west they took the benches out and built wagon boxes inside.  It has been renovated but much of it is original.  Our play is presented on the main level.  It holds app. 100 people.  During the time I was director, we had app. 14,500 people attend the show.  The show is free of course. 

One of the perks of the job is that I had a reserved parking place by the Cultural Hall.
I had a small office in the Visitor's Center.  That is where I worked when not doing practices, etc.

Nauvoo Visitor's Center


Me in my office at the Visitor's Center

 Being Rendezvous director turned out to be a great blessing in my life.  What a privilege it was to work with all of these good people.  I got to know and love them so well.  They worked so hard and always did their best.  It was a wonderful time.
Now a few Rendezvous shots.

During the opening number 4 senior missionaries kick.  The audience isn't expecting that and they love it.

The kickers during the opening number--Welcome
Our mission president and his wife have learned some of the parts and perform them for us on occasion. 

President & Sister Gilliland playing Peter & Abigail
Our own Elder Brough as the doctor--with Agatha on the pole
Elder Dahl and I played Jed and Annie in our cast.  We enjoyed it.  Elder Dahl has a lot of dramatic talent.  Who knew?

Jed & Annie

Jed & Annie

Jed: "We need to stay and fight!'

The other men trying to convince Jed to go west.

This privilege is ours--to share the spirit of Nauvoo--with you.
In the finale, we are all going west.  We sing a beautiful ballad about Nauvoo.

The Calls and us after our Rendezvous finale

Us at the Cultural Hall
I am no longer the Rendezvous director and Elder Dahl is no longer the Teamster's site leader.  We are packing to leave for home on September 5.  We have had a wonderful time and are both so thankful we could serve this mission.  We have learned so much and gained such an appreciation for the early Saints who lived here in Nauvoo.  What a beautiful place it is. 

We will miss the river.

Full moon early one morning from our yard

Full moon through the trees

Heather by the Mississippi

We will miss all of these good people.

This is one of the three current Rendezvous casts.

But we will go home to our mountains which we've missed.  I stole the photos from Thelma's blog.  Thank you, Thelma.
The Mountains behind our house.
No sunsets on the river, but beautiful sunsets
Sunset on the mountains
And we are going home to our dear family and friends.  We can't wait to see you all.

The family we go home to.  They are great.

Thanks for reading about our mission.  Hope to see you soon. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Last Ones to Visit--The Tabor Dahls

Now all of our children have visited us here in Nauvoo.  We were so happy to have Tabor and Katie and family visit us.  They arrived on Tabor's 33rd birthday.  His favorite cake is yellow cake and chocolate frosting.

Happy Birthday--Tabor & his girls, Charlotte, Olivia, and Ruby

The girls received a bonnet from Grandma and Grandpa.  They were so cute in them.
Tabor's girls with bonnets.  Charlotte will have to grow into hers.
The first day we took a wagon ride.  Elder Dahl drove Chad and Champ and I narrated.

Ruby, Olivia, Grandpa & Chad & Champ

Mark & Tabor & Charlotte at the Wagon Depot
Tabor was up at the barn one morning helping with the horses.  President Gilliland was there with some company.  He said he explained to the company that missionary standards hadn't changed.  Tabor wasn't a missionary, but a guest.

Tabor & Katie & family--ready for the wagon ride.
Like our other grandchildren, the kids liked Pioneer Pastimes the best.  We tried to go every day.

Ruby riding a horse at Pioneer Pastimes
Charlotte played with a wooden toy.
Katie & Charlotte at Pioneer Pastimes
The kids can dress in pioneer clothes.

Olivia at Pioneer Pastimes

Olivia as Nauvoo's first running water and friend
The water buckets were empty but I think Olivia was acting as if they were full.  The girls made friends easily at Pioneer Pastimes.  I don't know the friend's name, but I'm sure Olivia would.

Olivia at right and her friend--dressed as pioneers

Ruby getting dressed up.

Ruby and Olivia riding sheep
The girls had a tea party with their new friend in the little log house.

Olivia & Ruby having a tea party with a friend

Ruby riding a sheep

Ruby carrying Nauvoo's first running water

We visited the post office and there is a bigger running water apparatus.

Olivia in the post office with running water
We also visited the Family Living Center.  We learned about preparing flax to become linen and cleaning wool to become wool thread.
Ruby riding a sheep at the Family Living Center
At the John Taylor home, the girls heard the story about John Taylor coming back to Nauvoo to get his children's horse that he'd made.  This is the same horse.  It went to Utah and then was donated back to the Church.

Olivia & Ruby at the John Taylor home

After attending Rendezvous, the girls tried on fancy Rendezvous hats and capes.
Ruby and Olivia in Rendezvous clothes
When we visited the Cultural Hall, Tabor and Katie took a turn around the room on the original dance floor that Joseph and Emma danced on.  Ruby wanted to join in.
Tabor & Katie dancing with Ruby
Grandma and Charlotte took a turn also.
Charlotte & I dancing
Grandpa's favorite spot in the Family Living Center is sitting somewhere.  But he is willing to hold sleeping babies.

Mark & Charlotte
The family had the chance to make a rope together.
Olivia making rope
Ruby making rope
Tabor helping with the rope.  I think it was going too slow for him.
Katie making rope
Olivia with the finished rope.  Look at the pride in her eyes.
We visited Carthage Jail one day.  

Charlotte, Katie, Ruby, Olivia, and Tabor with Joseph and Hyrum's statues.
 We visited Joseph's Red Brick Store and took a women's photo upstairs where Relief Society was organized.
Charlotte, Ruby, Katie, Olivia, and Grandma at the Red Brick Store
Tabor & Katie, Olivia & Ruby in the Women's Garden
We also visited the Women's Garden.  What a lovely place!
At the Seventies Hall, Olivia signed the descendancy book as a 5th great granddaughter of Thomas Bateman and a 4th great granddaughter of Simpson David Huffaker.
Olivia signing the Descendancy book at the Seventies Hall

Tabor signing the descendancy book at the Seventies Hall
Tabor signed as 4th great grandson of Thomas Bateman and 3rd great grandson of Simpson David Huffaker.

All of us at the Hyrum & Joseph statues
These statues depict Hyrum and Joseph as they were leaving for Carthage in June, 1844.  They paused and Joseph looked over the city and said, "This is the loveliest place and the best people under the heavens.  Little do they know the trials that await them."

Ruby & Olivia smelling the flowers around the temple

Don't you love the way the girls smell flowers?

Ruby riding Champ
We visited the barn early one morning so the girls could watch the horses come in for the day.

Olivia riding Champ
This photo looks incomplete, but Charlotte is in Katie's backpack.
Tabor & Katie & family by the temple