Thursday, November 27, 2014

happy thanksgiving

We hope everyone has a great day of family, friends and lots of pumpkin pie.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

150 years ago

On Saturday, November 15th, the town of Franklin, TN sponsored a re-enactment of the Battle of Franklin.  This is a bit of the history:
"After failing to destroy John Schofield’s Federal army near Spring Hill the previous morning, Gen. John Bell Hood led his 30,000 Confederates to the outskirts of Franklin, Tennessee on November 30, 1864. Determined not to let Schofield reach the safety of Nashville, Hood unleashed a precipitous frontal assault against the entrenched Federal defenders. Despite nearly breaking through the center of the Union line, Hood’s forces were driven back with heavy losses. The bloody assault cost Hood more than 6,000 casualties, including six dead Confederate generals."  
So, on the coldest day that we have seen so far we wrapped up in our snuggies and headed out to the town of Franklin (less than 10 miles).  It is
held at the Carlton Plantation, which is very big and nice.  There were many true-blood southerners there to cheer their side on......some dressed in period costumes (kinda like when a new Batman or Star Wars movie comes out and all the enthusiasts come dressed up in costume).  You can tell this lady is not part of the the cell phone in her hand.
There were many, many spectators who brought their lawn chairs and placed them along the side of the battlefield.  We even had our own lawn chairs.  After securing a good spot to view the war we had a good time visiting the soldiers' camp.  I have included some pictures.

This young man is getting into the spirit of things at a very young age.  These costumes are not cheap, but to a southerner they are priceless. (I guess)

This was a group of slaves who were singing spirituals.  They were really good. I tried to record some of their music on my phone, but they were just too far away.

Even Abraham Lincoln was there.  He looks like he is holding his nose, but I don't think that was a commentary on the whole affair.

This is the Doctor's wife.  Poor lady.  In order to see her husband she had to go out to the
battlefield.  He just was so over-worked and she comes to give him comfort and a good meal.

These ladies are the cooks for the camp.  They took a few minutes and give me a lesson on how to make these meat pies.  She said to use Pillsbury Grands (heaven forbid if you use Walmart....they just don't work as well).  You roll each biscuit out into a circle, then place some meat or other filling at one side.  You then pull the other side up over the meat and seal around the edges.  These are then dropped into a hot vat of grease.  This is the southern delight.....deep fried pie.

I would love to say this was the
prayer meeting before the battle.....but that wouldn't be true.  They are passing out books, rations, and whiskey.

So the battle begins.....after much practice beforehand.  This is the cannon brigade. They were loud!  They were selling ear plugs, but we were too cheap to spend the dollar.

This is what they were shooting at.  Notice that they are running the wrong way!  They did that a lot.  It was surprising to me that sometimes they got to within 20 feet of the berm and yet the cannons and guns couldn't kill them.  No one was dropping.  I heard later that they did not have as many actors as they wanted so they told them not to die too quickly.  But in the end they did have to least until the bugle sounded and they all got up and walked away.

After we won the war we were ready for another week of Missionary work.  Things were busy at the office with 17 new missionaries coming in on Monday, and 10 leaving on Tuesday.  On Thursday it became necessary for Darryl and I to take a run down to Baxter, TN (about 100 miles east of Nashville).  We had to go because we were setting up a new apartment for Elders there and the Water Company and the Electric Company would not sign us up for service without the Lessee (me) coming in person to sign on the dotted line.  That is a small town thing.  But we
did find a town that is actually smaller than Pikeville.  This is a picture of the only store in the town.  We met with Mert (the landlord) who didn't mind if I called him Bert (of Bert and Ernie).  He was a delightful man.
On Saturday we were able to drive up to Bowling Green, KY, to deliver a washing machine, bike and bike rack to some sisters up there.  The best part was that Elder Dunn got to drive this pickup truck.  It seemed like old times.  He really enjoyed that.  After Bowling Green KY we went to White House TN, which is just north of Nashville by about 30 minutes.  There we delivered this box spring mattress and a bike.  These lovely ladies are Sisters Traughber and Squire.
They have the cutest little house that is behind the home of some really nice people.  They are the landlords. He had just come home from deer hunting where they had bagged their second deer of the season.

Here is a selfie we took this morning so that you will know that we are still alive and well.  We have aged some while trying to keep up with all these 18-21 year-old missionaries.  Today is our 46th anniversary and we look forward to the eternities together.Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  We miss every one of you and think of you all often.  Sometimes when we are doing certain things I remember doing them with one of you.....and then I smile.  Love you all!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Paducah Kentucky

A couple of weeks ago (yes, it has been a while since I posted) we took about a 2-1/2 hour drive to Paducah Kentucky.  It was our Saturday activity.....not suggested by Elder Dunn.  We went to the National Quilt Museum.....well, I went to the National Quilt Museum.  One of us opted to not go in.  But he was sorry later because it was absolutely inspiring and awesome.  I could
have spent hours there, but actually only got about 45 minutes as they close early on Saturday.  What I learned is that I need a lot of practice to make my quilting stitches
smaller and straight.  This is my favorite quilt.  I had to load this pic from the internet as they do not allow you to take pictures, so I will describe it so you can get a better idea of how awesome it is.  It is actually purple with gold metallic thread.  It was done with a long-arm quilting machine.....but I don't know how because it is spectacular.  I wish you could see how great the hair on the bride is stitched.  The guide told me that local math teachers like to bring their students in so they can appreciate how math is used in unexpected ways.  I just stood there remembering how over my head I was when I was using the baby-sized quilt pattern to make my king-sized quilt. I think I re-figured that about 100 times,  Anyway, if you ever find yourself in Paducah Kentucky, be sure to attend the National Quilt Museum because the $10 it costs is cheap compared to what you will find.
Also in Paducah we saw the long wall
that protects the city from flooding of the Ohio River.  This wall runs about 2 blocks long and on  each section a very talented  artist, Robert Dafford, painted portraits of Paducah's past.  There are small plaques explaining what is depicted in front of each picture.  Each picture is a piece of history of Paduch Kentucky.  Here is a link that has more information and photos:
The trip to Paducah also gave us the opportunity to have lunch in Paducah with two of our favorite sister missionaries,
Sister Hochstrasser (who was in our District while in Pikeville) and Sister Cotton (who we made German Chocolate Cupcakes with while living under the mission home). It was such fun and the lunch from Panera was terrific.
On our way home to Nashville we were able to connect to three other sister missionaries, Sister McDonald (also known as Happy Meal) and her two companions Sister Rokowitz and Oldroyd.  Sorry, no picture of them.  We had a fun time at Fazoli.  This is a threesome because Sister Happy Meal's companion went home early.  It was a sad time for Happy Meal, so I hope we cheered her up a little.  This threesome serves in Clarksville Tennessee.  It was such a fun day.
Since that  time we have not done much travelling. Last Saturday was the Stake Roadshow.  Each unit (Ward) has prepared a 20-25 minute show using the youth and ward members.  They write and perform a story.  The performances here in Nashville were way above average, which is not surprising because of the ample supply of talent residing in this city.  One of the wards pre-recorded. the sound for their show so that you could hear every line and musical number.  The costumes were out of this
world....some mothers spent a lot of time at the sewing machine, and some were obviously rented costumes.  The judges were pretty professional too.  Several of them were employed by well-known bands or performers as technical assistants etc.  The mission office had it's own representation in one of the shows.  Elder Huntzinger (Mr. Finkel) played a small part (very small.....without a line) in one of the roadshows.  We did give him a big ovation for his performance.  One of the Branches (smaller than a ward unit) who only has 80 members had 40 people in their roadshow.  I happened to be sitting next to their Branch President and he was over-the-top proud of his group.
Well, not long ago I had flash-back moment.  about 30 years ago (not long after we had moved to Tucson), I was in charge of delivering baked potatoes for a Seminary Graduation.  I loaded them and the kids in the car to take them to the Stake Center......only to find out the meeting was not there.  I drove all over town trying to find this place, only to arrive in time to serve the potatoes for dessert.  ....... Well, Sister Godfrey, Sister Crawford (in the picture) and I were delivering the lunch (Subway Sandwich box lunches) for about 40.  The building we were going to is the building I go to church in.....but we were going from the office (a completely different direction).  We had two phones with GPS guiding us......and we got so lost.  We knew we were in trouble when we saw the street sign where the office is.  But we re-couped; but not before the President called to see if we were alive.  We actually were only about 10 minutes late.  I think that was the last time they will trust me to drive.

This is Elder Dunn trying to explain to Elder Shiner what was wrong with his gas receipts and mileage log.

 Yes.....Missionaries do take selfies.  

 is now getting cold!  Thursday when we drove into the office it was about 25 degrees.  This Tucson girl is not fond of COLD.  I am now dressing with 3 layers and a heater at my feet in the office.  Some people in the office insist on the thermostat being at 70 degrees.  I am only agreeable at 75-80 degrees.  I do have my own office, so it is the warmest room in the Tenn. Nashville Mission Office.

This is all the news I have for now.  Today we went to the 150th anniversary of the Civil War battle in Franklin Tennessee.  I will post about that next week after I thaw out from sitting in the outside cold weather for 3 hours.  I was thankful for the handwarmers my children gave me for Christmas.