Thursday, November 14, 2013

"Take the Mini"

Written by Uncle George:  May 2, 1907
Visited the most interesting points--old homes of the Saints, the Prophet's home, temple ground.  In the afternoon, made views of the most prominent places.  Rowed...across the river to Bluff Park, Iowa side and got a beautiful view of Nauvoo.  Enjoyed the ride very much; and sight, which we wanted, was grand.  We can now understand why Nauvoo is said to be located on the most beautiful spot on the river.  Made views of the graves...Nauvoo Mansion, Nauvoo House, and many things that brought to mind the condition of our people sixty years ago.

Val:  May 2, 2013
His name could have been Schneider and he could have come into my room.

Since a girl can't get any internet in the great village of Nauvoo, I figured I might as well get clean. I mean, I had the time.  The good news is that besides that there are really only two overpriced places to eat within a 25 miles (hello, three sunnyside up eggs and toast everyday because I am already spending all of Mr. Fun's money I have to exercise restraint somewhere--however the good news is they had a newspaper to read...which was only two days old), they have running water there.  Even hot water!  Jackpot!

Even though it was hard to tear myself away from the only tv station that I found to be in working order that showed all the reruns of  "Golden Girls," I did get that hot shower.  Imagine my surprise, however, when it came with an additional unexpected feature:  the fire alarm in my room going off for the whole time I was was bathing.

Now, I am not the kind of chick that worries about things that are irrelevant in my world like burning up in a freak fire in a 100+ year old electrically wired hotel because I know I put out my cigarette out before heading to the shower (lighten up I am just kidding!).

I tend to worry more about the folks who might stumble into a cart left in the entrance to the grocery store or picking trash along the side of the road when I go for my morning walk.

And a warning device going off for an endless amount of time.  Not in my house.

I was worried about some large man named Schneider with a clanging tool belt and a 1970's mustache busting into my room, while I was, let's say, "unavailable."


The sort of guy who dressed like Han Solo before Han Solo dressed like Han Solo.

The sort of guy who carried a hammer around all at all times because you just never know when you might have to hit something really hard.

And a guy who is not to be confused with a kid named Schroeder.

 Peanuts characters inspire happy dancing

Schroeder is a kid who doesn't have a mustache or a hammer on his hip.  I recently learned that Schroeder was Charlie Brown's closet friend.  He is also a catcher on their baseball team.  I was a catcher on my softball teams for years.   Even in college.  As Bruce Springsteen says, those were my "glory days."  Here is some photographic evidence of my early catcher years:


Obviously my team must have been rolling in the dough because I had cleats and our hats had our name on them, which were probably ordered out of the Sears catalog three months in advance.

What strikes me about this photograph (besides all the technical flaws of it--hello, snobby Photo Val--not to be confused with a snobby Plaza Rotarian) is that it is summer time.  Look at the color of the grass....if it can be called grass.

So, neither Schneider or Schroeder, showed up in my room that morning.  Which is disconcerting in its own way.  I mean, what kind of hotel has a fire alarm go off for 15 minutes and not send someone to check it out.  What if there really was a fire?  It seems to me, now, that either way is a loss for me.  A furry, hammer-carrying super or a piano-playing kid busting into my room.  Neither of which came to check out the ruckus.
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Before all this excitement surrounding the fire alarm, I went out early to see what kind of sunrise presented itself.  Here is what it looked like my first morning in Nauvoo:


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As much fun as I was having traveling back in time with news that I had already heard about two days earlier, it was time to go to work.

Montrose was as small and boring today as it was the day before.  The weather cleared up for a bit and made for a lovely shot:




I should warn you that this is one of the only photographs the entire mission that will have some people in it.  You seem to wander in the photography world alone, as do I.  Which if you knew me, that is most unexpected.  Especially to me.


Printing Office


I don't know where you found your folks for your picture, but I found these buddies eating snacks and trying to stay warm next to a wagon and field of blooming trees.  All missionaries.  Most are called to work the grounds. Since most were women, they were not too thrilled to have their picture taken when they looked like they were working in the yard.  However, I assured them that only you, my mom and my new bishopy friend, Chris S, from Overland Park will probably even see it.  :)  I loved the guy with the pitchfork.


Since it was off-tourist season, there was literally no one in these next places I photographed.  All alone.  Sort of uneasy....a woman does not want to be alone, in a woody place, in the rain, by a river.  I see Law and Order and it never ends well for those ladies.


Smith Family Cemetery






Mansion House




Nauvoo House


Dude, I think it is time to keep it real.  Since there is only three of you reading this, I want to record what happened when I was standing at this very spot next to the Mississippi River.  But, since it involves you, I think you already know what I am going to say.

Deep breath...at the risk of sounding nuts (More nuts than people think I am.  More nuts than eating only eggs and toast for four days.  More nuts than being more than happy to read news I have already known two days)  I believe I saw you.

You were behind me, following me.  Wearing black pants and a black vest.  You had a on a light colored shirt, with a kind of bowler hat.  When I saw you, I seemed to already know it was you.  As you "ran" faster to the river, I was not afraid.  We were connected by our eyes for that moment and I know you felt honored to have your work mimicked/recreated.  Thank you for letting me know you are happy.  That makes me happy.

There are so many images from today that I am feeling a little overwhelmed on how to share them all.  I think I will add a day to each of your days....the burden of digital availability.

Here is one that I cracked myself up with, purely by accident.  I was at the crossing site of the pioneers when they left Nauvoo.  There is a huge statue of Joseph Smith pointing towards the west to Brigham Young, invoking the feeling that Joseph, who was killed before the Saints left Nauvoo, is saying to Brigham, "Yes, you should go."

As I was tromping around to take various angles of the statue, this one showed up.  It instantly looked like to me that Joseph was saying to Brigham, "Take the Mini."  :)


One more thing.  I guess I need out fill out one of those on-line travel review sites about the lack of concern regarding my morning's fire alarm incident.

Oh wait.  No internet.

Sneaky, Nauvoo, sneaky.  :)

Love, Valsy