Ancestors 1, Progeny 0

There was precisely one week this summer that would work to go to visit G's parents before they return from their mission this fall so we packed our bags and headed to Nauvoo last week.

Lauren, now gainfully employed as a full-time camp counselor, stayed home with Louie.  (This is why I didn't mention the trip before now, because you know how you never know with the internet?) We missed her. I think she missed us a little but mostly really loved the taste of independence and solo living, judging from all the cereal bowls scattered throughout the house.

I'm pretty sure we'll never ever have the chance to see G's parents in a show again. Every missionary there participates, no exceptions. This is about 639 miles outside of his dad's comfort zone. I don't think raised-on-an-Idaho-ranch civil engineers have "perform in a musical" on their bucket lists. They've been hiding their lights under a bushel, though! They've got comic timing and great projection. Nevertheless, I think Grandpa is counting down the days to his theatrical retirement.

This is where G's parents live. Don't you love the lettering along the roofline? We tried to guess the translation but failed miserably. A party city is very good? 

Maddy in the room where the Relief Society was organized, the upper room of the Red Brick Store.

I feel like I need to confess something. The last day there it was SWELTERING. I've always kind of rolled my eyes a bit about midwest heat and humidity. I mean, I live in Boston; we know humidity (I thought). Let me apologize to all of you midwesterners: Illinois/Missouri heat and humidity is a completely different beast. The final day the heat index was 106 degrees.  We had saved this special family time right before we left to walk down Parley Street where, in 1846, the wagons were all lined up for departure across the Mississippi and into the west. We planned to read the personal accounts on each marker and ponder about our ancestors doing really hard things. Everyone says this is very moving and spiritual. 

But it was so hhhhhhhot. So instead we made Sam get out of the air-conditioned car and yell/read the quotes at us through the window of the car. Believe me, the irony was not lost on us. Sorry, ancestors. We're wimps. We can do hard things but not at 106 degrees. 

Speaking of ancestors, this is the land owned and occupied by my great great grandparents, Richard Bentley and Elizabeth Price, back in the 1840s. (G's mom helped me look up my family's names in the land records and--lo and behold!--he had a nice little parcel of land.)  I wonder what they felt about leaving this beautiful field behind. I wonder if they were in the line at Parley Street. For me, this was the more sacred and personal space, standing where they stood. If things went differently, would this have been my hometown? 

After Nauvoo, we headed north to see some of our favorite friends ever (we are still recovering from their move away years ago) for the 4th of July weekend. Fabulous food, happy & content kids, comfy beds, swimming, movies, and talks late into the night--it was the perfect weekend, so perfect that I only managed to get out my camera once, at the fireworks.

Under Christie's photography tutelage, I took my 387 photos of fireworks:

It was a great trip.

{The only possible downside to the trip (besides the heat or our wimpiness) was that my wallet got lost/stolen on the trip there. Boo for cancelling credit cards and losing my favorite red clutch, yay for having my drivers license in my pocket so I still had id for the plane ride back.}

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Trip miscellany

Read: The Forgotten Garden (Kate Morton), The Summer of the Bear (Bella Pollen) -- recommend both

Heard: Radio Lab podcasts, Vocal Point cd (they performed in Nauvoo), The Civil Wars (my new band obsession)

Ate: Way too much.

Quote: Sam~ (on seeing a photo of himself) "This camera just doesn't understand me" (I completely know how that feels)

Especially memorable: Carthage Jail, Vocal Point, walking through old Nauvoo early every morning with Maddy, adjusting to being a (temporary) family of four, lots of laughs