The Journal of Leonard M Hawkes

Pikes Peak
07/03/2009 09:49 p.m.
I feel like I'm on the brink of an American ritual: I'm taking the cog railway up Pikes Peak. Somewhere in the back of my Lincoln School mind, I remember a teacher describing this--probably Mrs. Kay--she was well traveled for that time. I've ridden on a cog train up Mt. Pilatus twice; I've climbed a nearly 13,000 foot Teton twice. I've been through the Colorado Rockies by automobile a couple of times too, and yet the e xpectation of this ascent up Pikes Peak seems to hold a special "O, Beautiful for Spacious Skys" anticipation--as I said before--"an American ritual." I do it for me, and partly for those who did it before me, and certainly for those whom I will tell about afterward . . . .

Comments (0)

Morgan's Wedding 14 April 2009
04/19/2009 09:33 p.m.
Here's a little account of the wedding day that I wrote up:

Yesterday was Morgan and RoseAnne's wedding: I got up regular time but went to school instead of walking. I met the substitute and made sure he knew what to do, then came back home. We had everything set up down to the Church and much of the food prepared already (I did a nice raspberry cobbler--large, double size--and a big Dutch oven of cheesy potatoes with peppers, onions, and ham.)--it was nice to have yesterday, Monday, free to do all of the cooking and the decorating at the Church. We left for the Temple at 10:30, so we were there early (as they like you to be). We got oriented by Morgan's escort, and then had about 15 minutes just to sit and quietly enjoy just being in the Temple. As "the witnesses," I and Rose Anne's older brother (her father passed away some years ago--a liver condition) went up to the sealing office to sign the papers (before the ceremony), and then met the mothers and went to the sealing room. When all guests were assembled, they brought in the bride and groom and performed the sealing ceremony--we were done in less than half-an-hour--rings and everything. Her ring (only one) has sapphires of various colors and is of an original design (they had it specially done). It was a windy rainy day, but after the ceremony, while we were waiting for them to come out, the weather was ok. When they got out, it started pouring cold (almost snow) rain again and blowing (as it often does on Temple Hill in Logan), so we didn't take many pictures. When we'd had enough of pictures, we hurried to the Church in Beaver Dam to get things opened up and ready for the "wedding breakfast." Honestly, Morgan and RoseAnne planned everything; we simply carried out their plans: we ate ham, "funeral potatoes" (cheesy with cornflakes on top, jello salad and green salad, and cakes and ice cream for dessert (as I said, I added a bit of my own choice of food to the mix--no one complained). We had about 50 people there, I would guess, so we had (still have) leftover food. Next we cleaned everything up (had plenty of help with RoseAnne's family and our family), and were ready for the reception by about 5:30 p. m.--it started at 6:00 p. m. We had people all night at the reception, not even any good long breaks in the line, and had many people stay the entire two hours chatting, eating, and listening to the music. Morgan had Bart Chadaz (a local friend [has never married] who plays the accordion and sings--I taught him one of my first years at B.R. His mother is from Slovenia [attended school in Italy] and speaks poor English and has never "mixed in" well here in America. Of course they are very traditional Catholics). She came too--a real surprise--and accompanied him very lightly with just a touch of tambourine. It was very "classy"--almost "old country" and unique. Again, we planned more food than needed, but the reception treats were very chocolate: double chocolate brownies (served like cake), little chocolate tarts with berry fillings, brownies, other little brownie-like fruit topped dainties--all home made and beautiful as well as delicious (made by two of Morgans [very fat!] friends from down at the Old Barn Theater). The decorations at the reception included Lawrence's "back drop" of brown intricate wood with lace behind, and a white metal gazebo for the gifts. There were also a couple of sections of white picket fence and a divider the we built for school dances comprised of five fancy posts each topped with a pink tulip (fake--it's been so cold ours aren't out yet) and (fake) grape vine looped between each post. The fence, gazebo and backdrop too were entwined with vines and ivy. The wedding cake was brown with white spots (The cake decorator had let it slip out of the box and it was "a bit damaged". (One of the little Hancock girls was there in a brown pocadot dress, and I accused her of "wearing cake camouflage") In true fashion of the occasion, we all chuckled about i=the damaged cake and worried more about the poor decorator feeling bad about it than about the actual damaged cake--everything else was so pretty and appropriate, a damaged cake just didn't matter. By the way, Morgan and Rose Anne did the invitations and most of the guests were either his or her friends (many from the plays at the Old Barn) or ward members or our family (we have another reception down at Eureka on the night of the 25th.) Afterward many of their friends and our family "pitched in" and we were cleaned up and had the Church locked up by just after 10:00 p.m. Really it was a pleasant, unique occasion--very much "them." Not showy at all, but reflected them and their lives. My Dad thought it was wonderful. Mom too seemed to enjoy it all without being overly critical (though she did say a couple of times, "They did this just as economical as they could, didn't they." I proudly answered, "yes!" Thinking about the last over-decorated and gaudy wedding I attended down there. And too, someone (we don't know who) "Oreoed" their car and wrapped it in toilet paper (It poured cold rain most of the day and all of the time during the reception, so the car really was a gloppy mess--I think Morgan secretly enjoyed it.) After the cutting of the cake (done civilly not "smash the cake in your face") and the tossing of the bouquet and the blue garter, they left for their honeymoon at Disneyland. We got a text from them when they got to Las Vegas and another when they got to Disneyland, and we got another telling us a phone number we needed. They should be back sometime tomorrow (Monday the 20th of April). We've moved their bed (an old one that Jan and I used that belonged to Grandma and Grandpa Hawkes before that), kitchen table (and old one of Charlene's), a couple of chairs (the "gold ones" that were in Grandma Hawkes living room and were supposed to be disposed of), and many of their gifts over to their little apartment on 1st East and Second North in Logan (through the block from Burger King) only about 12 miles east from Beaver Dam.
I am currently Content
I am listening to the hum of the computer

Comments (0)

Letter to Margriet D. 19 July 2008
07/20/2008 05:29 a.m.
Dear Margriet,

I made it home from the Reunion last night at 3:00 a.m. It was a long drive. No, it wasn't by Flaming Gorge, though Jan's brothers (Ted and Quinn) both live on the road (Lone Tree Cutoff) that goes to Flaming Gorge (Flaming Gorge is about 100 miles away to the east). We were on Blacks Fork which is the river that flows through the Fort Bridger area (the North Slope of the Uintas). Flaming Gorge is on the east side of the Uinta Mountains.

Ironically, when we got up there to go up the Blacks Fork access road, it was closed--blocked off by barricades and Uinta County Sheriffs. We were forbidden to go up--there was a forest fire. As we approached from the Northwest (a ridge now covered with power generating windmills), I told Jan, I thought I could see smoke. We ended up spending Thursday night at Ted's in Mountain View. We drove out through Robertson to the road in the morning, and it was still closed. Though they told us they had made real progress on the fire during the night (much of the forest is dead from "bug kill") when it had died down. So, we went to Fort Bridger for a few hours (it's an excellent little historical site and museum--authentic and interesting). While we were there, Jan's brother called and said that he had contacted the Sheriff's Department, and it would be ok for us to come up (only to "Aspen Springs"--where their land is located and where the reunion was being held). So, we met Therina at the junction drove on up together. It really was a pleasant "reunion" time. The little nieces and nephews are cute and fun to be around. Quinn's boy Logan especially likes me--he likes to learn about plants etc. After dinner, I drove home. I did stop and rest three times in the three hours--which made the ride longer, but not "too sleepy."

This morning I taught plants down to Camp Fife with Cathy. It was fun and successful. I talked about plants and why they're important and what they need and how we classify them (in the process sang a couple of funny songs I got off the Net that teach the same ideas). Then we went out and walked around camp to actually teach "in the field". I taught probably close to 40 plants, but talked about why they are useful or told little stories about how and why I learned them, or where I had encountered them elsewhere. Really, it was just "fun with a purpose." At the end I sent them out on a "quest" to find 10 plants that they had learned. They brought them back, and it was like both a test and a final review. I hope Cathy learned them too. I think I enjoyed it most because I was simply sharing what I really know and think--simply sharing how I see and think when I walk outdoors, anyway. Several of the leaders had been students of mine at Bear River. It's always fun to see them again, and it was fun to teach them something new in an entirely different area (they had no idea that I knew that kind of knowledge too).

This evening I have done the watering, gone through the Gospel Doctrine lesson on Korrihor, again, and I'm going to bed a bit earlier. Tomorrow I drive up to Camp Loll in the afternoon--evening.

I enjoyed your letter. It's true, Germany is so interesting. I would like to go to the Beyreuth Wagner Festival, but it is terribly expensive, and you sometimes need to get tickets years in advance. My parents will appreciate a letter. The DVD's didn't work on their machine, but I'll bring my international one from school so that they can see them.

We agree, McCain is not strong enough. I don't trust him enough (even a lot of "baggage" from the last election). But Obama really is not experienced in areas that a President should have real background (though many people would like to see him as a new "hope" for America). Also, some of his views (like abortion) are too "liberal" for me, and where there is another choice, I can't support him. Yes, we wish (again--like last election) that we had other better choices. But it is not a good world, and that is reflected in the politics and the choices made through the political process. And the economic situation here is simply "frightening."

I'm glad to hear that Hank's boys are progressing beyond their Iraq experience. Yes, it is a bad situation, but the alternative would have been much worse. Thank goodness for families and young men like the Rogers' who are willing to serve both God and Country. Yes, we know the name Geddes. One of the cousins on the Simmons side, Nordeth (her brother is President Simmons of the Seventy and Logan Temple President) is married to a Geddes from northern Cache Valley.

I guess that's all for now. I probably won't write tomorrow (I'll leave for camp after church and lunch). I hope you have a good week. I should be back on the 23rd (Wednesday). I have both school and Young Men's. Thursday morning I also have early irrigation in Brigham City (really, the garden down there is wonderful!).

Greetings to Ruud.

Until next time, as always,

I am currently Tired
I am listening to The Swamp Cooler and the Dryer

Comments (0)

Travel in Europe and Nevada/California
07/09/2008 11:54 p.m.
"From Spotted Orchids to the Mariposa Lilly"
17 June-July 3, 2008

Denver, 7:20 p. m. 17 June 2008

The flight from Salt Lake City lasted only an hour. It was cloudy much of the way, but I recognized the Uintas (probably the Bear River and Black’s Fork), but we couldn’t see Fort Bridger for the clouds. Flaming Gorge was wonderful--the size of the lake itself is awe inspiring.

The (travel) group is grouping up: Ronnie Erickson with Jeff Perry (of course), Bill and Stacie Doute with Tatem Tarbett, and I and the two boys (Kasey Marble, Tyler Neilson).

We’ll board the plane for London in a few minutes--about a 9 hour flight with a mid-morning arrival.

Denver’s airport is comfortable enough, but large.

London 5:05 p. m. 19 June 2008

We’re sitting in the Phoenix Garden, not far from Shaftsbury Street (and the supper restaurant) in downtown London. It was a pleasant and rewarding day with a driving and walking tour in the morning, and free time with a trip by tube to the Tower of London.

My memory, and maps and navigating skills have been more than adequate.

Last evening, we visited St. Giles Parish Church in South Mimms, near Potters Bar, and got a wonderful personalized tour of the Church by the assistant Vicar (even saw “the little green man” carved in the frilly woodwork at the front of the church). Kasey said that he wanted to go walking, so I asked at the motel if there was something interesting to walk to. I was told there was a Pub down the road and a cemetery, but that it was hard to spot.

We walked only a few yards across the freeway and along the highway until we found the cemetery--complete with creaking iron gate, and all overgrown and tumbled up--it was mystical and beautiful in the late dusk. We went further and found (as I thought must be) that it was beside an ancient church. On the door was a sign that said if you wanted to see the church, ask next door. Kasey encouraged me, we asked, the guy hesitated, but I think it was the cute bright boy Kasey (and perhaps because we were from the States that prompted him to give us a tour at 9:30 p. m. I know he was impressed that I knew the relationship that exists between “the Old Catholic Church” and the Church of England (this congregation leans toward the “Catholic”). Yes, and afterward we did go down to the Pub where we were accepted in a very friendly manner (not many there that time of night, but very open to strangers from America).

I’ve felt very connected to England and have savored its “European-ness.” Both mornings I’ve gotten up early and walked out into the countryside behind the motel--it’s exquisite! I think I’d be more satisfied walking here in the countryside than going on into London for the day! I’ve got to get back here and “do this country justice!”

Paris 4:50 p. m. 21 June 2008

Again, even with more time and more information, the Louvre was (I’ve thought this out!) “grand, poorly communicated, and impractical (or excessive).” That summarizes too some of my impressions of France and some of the French. But on the more positive side, Paris hasn’t seemed so large and scary. I’ve enjoyed the sights, the traveling, the company, and the adventure of the place.

I shouldn’t have done it, but I let my group split. Stacie, Jeff, Ronnie, and Tatem stayed shopping. Scott, Kasey, Tyler and I came to the Musee d’Orsay. We were to meet 10 minutes ago (on the Metro we had a challenge getting here).

Somewhere South-East of Paris 22 June 2008

I’m sitting next to a half-naked little high school (?)-aged floozie from West Valley City (S.L.C.), Utah. She’s uncomfortable and whishing she were sitting elsewhere (me too!), but she was late on the bus, and there was no where else for her to sit.

Again, I’m “more than impressed” by the luxuriant richness of France’s rural areas: the farms, the woods, just the rolling expanse of green and gold beneath the gray-blue heavens. It’s a wealth and beauty unlike anything we have in “the West.” I certainly understand why Great Grandfather Weyermann would weep at the sight of his native Switzerland in pictures (Europe is tremendously rich, historical, and beautiful). And yet I know (and I love and cherish the benefits of) why they left Europe.

I keep thinking of home and family and church and Sunday. Perhaps it’s because of yesterday’s call home (to Jan from down town Paris); perhaps the six days of life as a tourist; perhaps (I hope) it’s yearning for each other.

This old, beautiful, rich land. I sense it’s deep history (Rome and before, and of course the Middle Ages--still visible, and all of the struggles since then down to now); almost hear the whispering of the repetitive cycle of joy and rejoicing in the gifts of the Earth, and the seasonal deprivations by the sword.

Time for a break--15 minutes at a truck stop. (European truck drivers drive half-naked--gross!)

Neuschwanstein, Germany (Food Ideas) 25 June 2008

“Kaiser Schmarn” German pancake (like Jan makes almost--egg whites separated and whipped) (turned over) (perhaps with raisins in), and cut up, topped with powdered sugar and / or plum “moes” (cooked squished plums with sugar--like pie filling). (The tour guide had this for lunch.)

“Kase Spaetzle” Spaetzle layered with white cheese (Swiss?) and onions, topped with chives and with fried (food service-type) fried onions. This might be even better with a little bacon added in. (This is what I had for lunch at a restaurant below Neuschwanstein.)

“Kurry Wurst” Bratwurst served with ketchup (curry?) and curry powder sprinkled on top. This is served with French Fries on the side.

Oberamergau 3:25 p. m. 25 June 2008

I slept as we passed back through Innsbrück. The hotel in Tulfas was traditional family (farm people) but fairly large and “rich” for such an operation. We all wished we could stay another day.

Innsbrück was comfortable to visit. We wanted to visit a “panorama” but it was closed--instead we sat a while in a Biergarten beneath a horse chestnut tree (I drank a good mineral water with lemon).

This morning we (Kasey, Scott, and I) walked up the mountain behind the hotel and besides a beautiful morning view of the Inn Valley, we saw some excellent wild orchids (spotted orchids, I believe).

Yesterday morning I walked through Gronbach Village--north of Altdorf--where the hotel was located. The grave yard was moving.

The evening before, we walked up the mountain along the creek and down along the Urnersee (part of Lake Luzern).

The morning before (Monday) I walked alone up the mountain (a serious meditation--worship) along the creek (Gronbach?). Such walks are consumptive (drinking in the scenery and culture and spirit) and expressive in terms of prayer, thanks, and interaction with God and Nature. I ate wild strawberries and anointed myself with alpen creek water (perhaps the most powerful experience of the entire trip).

4: 16 p. m. 25 June 2008

We just visited the chapel at the monastery of Ettal. It is gloriously harmonious in baroque splendor.

Life is better with “Germanic” language and culture (comparing to England, and France, anyway). And I have been comfortable in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. But I wasn’t uncomfortable in Paris--I hope to get back to enjoy my level of familiarity.

We’re on the expressway now, bussing it to München. I have a head ache (my first on this trip--but it’s a real throbbing migraine).

We’ll probably spend the evening in München (the night Germany plays Turkey--a crazy football night!).

The trip home tomorrow.


Window boxes are planters inside the wooden exteriors (somewhat like I have made on the balcony of our garage).

Window boxes did consist mostly of “thriving” geraniums in excellent moist soil.

Many Swiss shutters were red--some brown--some green.

The detail, the harmony with the past and with Nature, make the “Alpine” countries so attractive and so continuously beautiful.

I’m sleepy again.

We’re near the Starnbergersee.

Supper, then München, then the hotel, then . . . .

München Airport 9: 20 a. m. 26 June 2008

We’re on the plane to London. Last evening in Munich was pleasant (though a bit rainy). They shopped; the public transport was easy; finding the hotel (my biggest concern) was the easiest: we got off the tram with an older couple who lived near it. We walked (briskly) with them most of the way.

I hope that all the planes connect on time. And of course that the luggage makes it (Heathrow Airport is a concern).

I may sleep on the way to London.

The Doutres are figuring out their spendings.

Jeff Perry remained the slowest and the most prone to being “late.”

Tyler turned out to be a good traveling companion (I knew he would be), and was so sharp in terms of the public transport systems. In spite of all of the negative experiences, students really are a great blessing--the real reason and reward for being a teacher.

The Plane to London 10: 35 a. m. 26 June 2008

Again, the shopping in Luzern was comfortable and so pleasant. I do need to record and incident: As we were walking north or east in the Fussgängerzone in Luzern, I saw two men with books and a sign that said “Biebel.” I spoke it outloud in German to dray my kids’ attention to it (I had all five of the kids with me then, and I do always “teach.”). That caught the two guys attention and we spoke to each other mostly in German. I said we were all Mormons, and asked what they were. He went off on the idea that the Mormons were “lost” because they’d added to the Bible, and in response to what religion they were, he said, “religions are of man, the gospel is of God.” I didn’t comment more than to let him know that I really knew my religion, understood his, and I translated with commentary for the kids. At one point he said, “then you’re Christian?” I answered him that we were. He said, “the Muslims are wrong,” and I agreed with him. And he said, “I can see you’re wrong too: your women have colored their hair and don’t properly cover their bodies. It’s all in the Bible, you know.” And I said, “Yes, but I’m not going to translate that.” He could see the twinkle in my eye. I asked if they were Jehova’s Witnesses, and he said they were simply “born again.” And I let him know I knew the scripture (born of water and of the spirit). As we parted, his silent (up to that point) companion said, “God bless you.” and I thanked him and said, “and you too.”

In the end, he had enjoyed me enjoying him and translating to them (I did well too). But shamefully, those girls worldliness had been the dominant expression of what should have been God’s real (LDS) truth, and I knew it. Though pleased with the encounter, I also felt somewhat heart broken (I hadn’t properly “testified.”). Actions speak so much louder than words.

I didn’t feel the need to contest, but I think I made it clear “I knew my truth” as they knew theirs. I wish I had born my testimony--but again, what haunts me really, “O sisters of Zion--when they saw your actions, they would not believe my words.”

We’re now descending into Heathrow London--with only minutes to catch the next plane.

The Plane from London to Washington ?:?? 26 June 2008

We’re somewhere over Maine now and will be landing soon. The little time capsule has brought us back to the “real world.” These bonds break, the friendships fade, the recent realities--fading memories.

I hope that I can pick up my “burdens” with finesse. With a newness generated by a view of life lived more completely--like a lens that brightens and intensifies the vision: that should be the lasting gift of travel--the enduring souvenir, and yes, and why I didn’t take many pictures (though I do have the kid’s pictures for back up).

Flickering within me is a little fear of the “let down” that has sometimes followed a trip to Europe. And this summer with the wrecked truck has been a bit of a “downer” anyway (I hate to admit I sometimes fall into real depression--at least I recognize when I’m there).

How’s Dad? How’s Veda? What duties are awaiting me? The upcoming trip to Reno will interfere with what? How’s the garden and yard at home? In Brigham City? What’s the status with Camp Loll? With the dryness and heat at home? --Soon enough--with finesse--grace and more style--greater truer focus--greater joy in my own living.


Red-brown shutters for the house--perhaps made of cedar, and eventually window boxes too with drip systems.

Kaiser Schmarn “Austrian pancakes”

Buy the spaetzle at Siegfrieds and make Kase Spaetzle.
Finish (and paint) the garage; the sheetrock on the stairs; finish up the living room; the new stove for the family room; moving the wood stove into the living room.

The new videos for German class.

Washington D. C. The Plane to Chicago 5:30 p. m. 26 June 2008

We’re delayed due to bad weather in Chicago. I was just thinking about how “cruddy” London (north) and Heathrow Airport looked. And about how we were misdirected to our gate of departure at Heathrow this morning. England seemed somewhat rundown and burdened with itself.

Paris was beautiful, but pretentious. As I said before, “grandiose, poorly communicated and impractical” --like the Louvre.

Luzern was cozy: friendly and home-like; logical and blended with Nature; old, but with a bustle of its own, a liveliness born of good health.

München was crazy with football last night (Germany played Turkey and won). People were waving German flags, honking, shouting and carrying on. After Germany won, they drove around the traffic circle in front of the hotel laying on the horn, cheering, and waving German flags--more than a reflection of the friendlier south.

Innsbrück was much like Luzern in spirit but larger and city-like. The Inn River was high and raging (snow-melt run off plus recent rain).

Finally we’re off the ground and on our way.

Poetry sketchs:


Lying between feathers
Stars visible
Listening to an alpine stream
It sings of snowfields
Of Spruces and granitic boulders
A variation of a song
I know (my heart knows) so well
And with the first light
I will go up there
To thrust in my hand,
Feel the prints of the nails
Surrendering (losing) my Faith to Knowledge
Before this, only a dream
European (fantasy) on themes of Home (West)

“Gronbach II”

I ascend from small gardens through beeches to spruces
Listening to the caroling of Alpen nymphs
Surrendering to the spirit of a rugged Alpen gorge
Reading the wild flowers
Partaking of a Eucharist of wild strawberries and spring water
The wild gods surge within me
And I stoop to anoint myself in the holy water of the Firn
Expressing for the first time
A truth I’ve always known
The blood at last in it’s ancient new-found home

“Tulfer Berg”

As fresh and common as the morning
You led us upward
Groves and meadows
Revealing your beauties
Here a little, there a little
Orchids, clover . . . .

Carson City, NV 6:30 p. m. 29 June 2008
Veda Kidman Pre-Writing

Were it just my choice, I wouldn't be speaking today, and yet, I'm also very grateful to be privileged to say a few words about Veda.

What a rich, beautiful life she has had; beautiful like our current season--no, not perfect, earth life is always flawed, but a beauty and wealth that to the sensitive eye and listening heart testifies of a loving Heavenly Father.

I don't know if I first met Veda through my association with Dan or through my wife Jan. But I soon came to know that she was a "salt-of-the-earth" lady who could do anything--and that we shared many interests: plants, folklore and history, and genealogy, and these were things we often talked about.

(add in some of the young women's memories from the other document here)

Because her background in plants was different from my Boy Scout background; she and I and Dan have often talked long and wide before coming to the conclusion that we were really talking about the same thing, just with a different name. I think that's an important concept to learn about life, that real knowing so often goes so far beyond the name. And more than once, Garth got tired of listening to us puzzle, and went out to work in the shop.

And that too is remarkable about Veda's life: like Ed and Orpha, and Lamar and Ruby, and Mike and Marrian; Veda's name was always tied to Garth's. The Tractor Patch was Garth and Veda's. You don't go visit "the Kidmans," you go visit Garth and Veda. They are that all too uncommon example of what marrige ought to be.

It was my privilege to be Veda's Bishop for several years, and we as a Ward witnessed Garth and Veda lovingly care for Curtis to the very end; and then turn around and do the same for their good friend Trigger Jim. During that time, I didn't see Garth and Veda in church as much as I'd have liked to; but I know well, that religion is a lot like those plants that Veda and I knew by different names, and more than once the scripture came to mind, "in as much as ye have done it unto the least of these my bretheren, ye have done it unto me." (add some other scripture or comments on Charity and true religion here)

And I confess that during my service as bishop, the bishop sometimes went to visit Veda, because he was weary of problems and concerns and in need of the wisdom and strength and practical Christianity that Veda could offer to the bishop.

And anybody who knew Veda knew what it meant to have the "spirit of Elijah." Just like Veda could sense the "Eternal" in the beauty and wonder of the world around her, Veda demonstrated through her countless hours of family history work, a testimony of the eternal nature of the family.

It too has been my privilege to know Veda and Garth's children and grandchildren quite well. I will always consider Dan to be one of my greatest gifts from Bear River High School. And too I've had a good association with Kelly and her kids and most recently with Ben and Andrea. Ben was the type of bright boy that Baden Powell himself would have cherished in his Scout troop, and I'm certain that Andrea Jo has more days and nights of camping than most of the Eagle Scouts in the Bear River Valley. In the cold or the rain or the bugs, I often found myself thinking, "Andrea sure is a tough un-complaining little girl"--and along with it, "but consider who her grandmother is."

(come to a conclusion--perhaps end with the words to the hymn "Each Soul that Touches Ours for Good" or with the quote from Emerson given at Henry David Thoreau's funeral, and a testimony)

It seems an injury that he should leave in the midst his broken task which none else can finish, a kind of indignity to so noble a soul that he should depart out of Nature before yet he has been really shown to his peers for what he is. But he, at least, is content. His soul was made for the noblest society; he had in a short life exhausted the capabilities of this world; wherever there is knowledge, wherever there is virtue, wherever there is beauty, he will find a home.

Each life that touches ours for good
Reflects thine own great mercy, Lord.
Thou sendest blessings from above
Through words and deeds of those who love.

What greater gift dost thou bestow,
What greater goodness can we know
Than Christ-like friends, whose gentle ways
Strengthen our faith, enrich our days.

When such a friend from us departs
We hold forever in our hearts
A sweet and hallowed memory,
Bringing us nearer, Lord, to thee.

For worthy friends whose lives proclaim
Devotion to the Savior's name,
Who bless our days with peace and love,
We praise thy goodness Lord above.

Lake Tahoe 10: 30 a. m. 30 June 2008


To maintain purity
In such a flood of love,
When humanity tends to spoil
What draws it most--
And yet, she does.

For in the cool
Of early morning
Amid the rush of cars,
The whirr of boats,
The croaking of ravens,

I sense tranquility
And even the lingering
Song of isolation
Sung in the silence
Of distant western snow.

“Tahoe II”

A wild and rocky cove.
North facing with granite boulders
Very little beach
Shadowed by old trees
I do not know.

Here I’d have
Come as a youth
Seeking seclusion and meditation,
My young fleshy heart
Desiring much more.

--He has come to fish
With a yapping dog
And a round woman
Scantily patched in black--
Perhaps we are brothers.

Walker, CA 9:45 a. m. 1 July 2008

A week ago I was in Innsbrück, Austria, today in the eastern Sierra foothills of California. Instead of the rushing churning Inn (river) in a verdant alpine valley, it’s the well-diverted Walker, the life’s blood of this desert community.

A loud, Cub Scout-sounding woman is coaching some grade-school-aged girls in “flag flipping” -- perhaps for a 4th of July celebration?

It’s not hot yet, but it will be. I’m at a playground square park: well-shaded with mostly cottonwoods (I can smell them too). I reminds me a lot of Utah or Idaho. I suppose one could call this the “Utah-part of California.” It’s also not far from an Indian Reservation, and that presence too is obvious.

No word yet on Veda. Even with the decadence of Reno, she’s been in my thoughts and prayers.

I guess this is rest enough. I’m heading South--perhaps as far as Mono Lake, though I’ll be staying at Bridgeport this evening--back to Reno tomorrow night, and then Carson City again on Thursday--HOME for a while on Friday.

Near Bridgeport, CA 4:00 p.m. 1 July 2008

I found the campground, “Old Virginia Settlement,” about 5 miles south of Bridgeport on highway 395. It’s in the Sierra foothills in a canyon along Virginia Creek. Because I couldn’t check in until 3: 00 p. m., I went the extra 20 miles down to Mono Lake--located just east of the east gate of Yosemite (Yosemite was a temptation, but I’ve “saved it” for another trip.

Mono Lake was well worth the visit. The interpretive visitor’s center was excellent. The lake is a lot like the Great Salt Lake, but with volcanic geology, tufa limestone formations, and of course, it’s on the western edge of the Great Basin. I also met some Dutch people (emigrated to CA and were vacationing--complemented my Dutch).

I was most impressed with Bridgeport, located between a huge snowy Sierra flanked, lush meadow on the west and a reservoir on the East. It’s a cute town, almost old Jackson Hole-ish (still had cows) but without the prestige or the money.

This campground offers adequate “tent cabin” quarters in what might once have been a creek side hay meadow (I can see what looks like an old irrigation ditch). The altitude is high enough that it’s not too hot, even in the heat of the afternoon.

Near Bridgeport, CA 5:52 p. m. 1 July 2008

I’ve been reading Thomas Mann’s “Death in Venice”--appropriate, somehow, at my age and in my situation. I love the way he subtly and psychologically reveals character. He reminds me of Hesse, of course, to whom I always return for some type of literary, German-cultural, and geographic nurture.

I keep having European “flashbacks;” feelings like I should be there still, or vivid memories of the life and scenes I experienced less than a week ago--as though the love and ability to live that live, now shelved, wants to jump off the shelf and become reality again.

And I’m equally comfortable with this American camping mode; after all, it’s the “real” me. This western, simplistic style, with little more than an automobile and a sleeping bag--and a good book, with crackers and cheese and apples to eat. This is comfort too; life on the edge of adventure--though I do miss my people when I’m off and alone like this.

There’s a hot spring close by, I may go find it.

Near Bridgeport, CA 9:10 p. m. 1 July 2008

I just got back from Travertine Hot Spring. The spring itself is mostly natural (where I was, anyway). I’d compare the experience to a good social night at “Stinky” (before they ruined it). Two high school graduate boys traveling cross country (from the Carolinas to California and back), an old pervert from down by L.A., an earthy collegiate couple from Michigan , and two 20-30ish men from the Bay Area with college age young women. Of course the Scenery was much better than at Stinky, and the large meadow with the sun setting behind the still snow sierras was absolutely spectacular!

The Bay Area couples didn’t stay long; the collegiates too didn’t last long (he actually fell on the wet clay and hurt his arm). The pervert left and came back (said he’d been asleep). The boys and I had a good visit--hit it off, really.

They told me the better spring is out the road west through the meadows (turn at the Shell Station in Bridgeport); then right at the campground on a dirt road and then across a bridge, then down a steep hill to the river (the hot spring is on the edge of the river so you have the hot and cold mix).

Yes, this travel suits me well too.

Reno, NV (the public library) 2:15 p. m. 2 July 2008

I just typed in my sketch of a talk for Veda into my Email--one task done and less chance of losing that “inspiration.” When I got my “pass” to use the computer, I couldn’t remember (it’s been a whole year) what you had to type in as the “name.” Because I knew she had just done it herself, I very quietly and shyly asked the lady next to me what I should type in. She very snottily pointed to it on the paper. I thought the exchange was over but about five minutes later she whispered savagely to me, “If you have any other questions, go ask the librarian!” I didn’t respond; I just kept typing. Then about five minutes later she said nastily, “You don’t type like you don’t know how to use computers!” I didn’t even stop or look at her. And then about five more minutes later, “This better not be some kind of trick!” I just kept typing . . . .

I decided to sit here in the library for a few minutes, and just happened to choose a spot by the German books. In a book about Bavaria, I found this good quote:

“Wann du in Tag glücklich sein willst--dann trinke;
Wann du eine Woche glücklich sein willst--dann schlachte ein Schwein;
Wann due in Jahre glücklich sein willst--dann heirate;
Wann due in Leben lang glücklich sein willst--dann bau dir ein Haus in den Bergen.”

aus dem alten China

(I’ll share this with Delose--I think it explains the ability and need to do “camp” so many years at Loll.)

It is hard to believe that I was at Neuschwanstein just a week ago. It was beautiful, impressive, and has surely “Paid out” as a tourist attraction--though it does bother me that anyone could spend so much on such things--when some at the time were so absolutely poor. (Yes, it happens in America too!) To have visited some of these places twice now, gives them a different level of “ownership.” Oh, yes, I would go back, but with different needs and expectations. --Ugh, I’m getting sleepy. Time to move on.

Donner Summit, CA 9:46 a. m. 3 July 2008

Poetry sketch:


Something draws me here--
Surely the mountains,
The summit, the ridge;
The story too has power,
For as one who has kept
A fire in the snow,
Slept out in the dead of Winter,
Their ordeal of suffering
Speaks to my soul.

But perhaps more powerful
Is my own first memory
Of this rugged mountain place:
At twelve, this was the portal
Of the great world beyond “the Basin:”
The abandonment of sage and juniper,
The door to a world
Beyond irrigation, beyond the Salt Lakes,
Where rain fell and all flowed to the sea,
Where moderation favored the Earth
With new plants grown in new ways--
New ideas just as vast
As the new reality of the Pacific Ocean;
Here my adolescent soul
Was on the threshold of The World.

It’s true, I returned to live my life in the Basin--
In the limits of the Salt Lakes
(Yes, I have recognized the value
And safety of mountain perimeters.),
But it is surely that memory of youth,
That early “mountain-top-experience”
That brink of expectation,
That glimmer here, yet,
And for which I make what has become
An annual pilgrimage.

Donner Summit, CA 10:59 a.m. 3 July 2008

I just made the little “glacial” walk again, but with an extension on the Pacific Rim Trail to the North under I-80. The wildflowers were exquisite (I had heard they would be at the hot spring on Tuesday evening). There was a profusion of what looked like a semi-shrubby pink penstamon along with some blue round tufted ones. There was a blue flower with a fern-like leaf, I didn’t know, some pinkish malvas we don’t have at home, buckwheats, some beautiful heather, really, too many to list. And I wasn’t disappointed, on the dry side was an extended cluster of mariposa lilies (just like the cemetery in South Mimms, Veda would have loved it).

I do enjoy it up here, even though it is very “common roadside.” That may well be part of Donner’s charm. that, and knowing what a wealth of godly beauty awaits, but a few steps from the main road, readily available, and yet how few there are that see and experience it (like Yellowstone). And what a lovely parable of life that too depicts.

I may stop at Donner State Park before returning to the heat of the valley and lunch (at the Indian Garden restaurant).

Home tomorrow.

Jackson Hole, WY, Annie’s Mission Call 5 July 2008

Beaver Dam, UT, Veda’s Funeral 11:00 a. m. 7 July 2008

I am currently Blessed
I am listening to Judy Collins

Comments (1)

Pioneer Mill on Temple Fork, Logan Canyon
07/31/2007 09:40 p.m.
I made an extraordinary hike yesterday, up Logan Canyon’s Temple Fork (about 20 miles east of my home in Beaver Dam, “as the crow flies”) to the old pioneer Temple Saw Mill. I’ve known about it for most of my life, and that my Great-great-Grandfather Wight worked there over one-hundred years ago, and that he moved to Canada shortly thereafter. I always thought that the mill was located in the narrow part of Temple Fork near where the Temple Fork Road leaves the Logan Canyon Road (Hwy 89), but in reading a book on Logan Canyon last week, I realized that the mill was located further up the canyon. Since I had yesterday free, and it was fresh on my mind, I went there.

It was surprisingly cool yesterday morning. Sometimes the 24th of July really does mark a difference in weather (cooler nights, a chance of thunderstorms). When I got up at 6:00, it was almost chilly in just a shirt and shorts. And it was even cooler up the canyon. I was surprised at how many mobile homes, trailers, and large boats were going up the canyon on an early Monday morning--I suppose they were vacationers bound for Bear Lake. When I got to Temple Fork, I stopped and read the monument and looked at the Forest Service information posted at the turn of. It said that the mill was about 4 miles up the canyon and that the trail head was about 3 miles up the canyon--I thought “easy walk!” But as I drove up the (much improved) road it forked about one mile up; about where the narrow part widens out into the broad open rolling incline that forms most of the Temple Fork area. I just followed the main road, the south fork, thinking I’d come to the trail head. I went far enough that I reached a summit and could see over toward Old Ephraim’s Grave (the Scout’s monument for last grizzly bear killed in our area back in the 1920’s), and by the odometer I’d already gone well over four miles, so I turned around and went back down, passing a cowboy on horseback as I went down. He had a whole pack of dogs running around him and his horse. I waved, but he wasn’t friendly which might have meant that he wasn’t a real cowboy, just someone up riding.

I got back to the fork in the road and took the north fork which went immediately to a well established trail head. I could see some trailers (They looked like they were from cattlemen--there were cows in the area.), and even a rough corral. Before I got to them, I saw the sign that said “Mill Trailhead,” and I thought, “Clear down here, maybe I was right about the mill before.” I parked, got my pack, and headed up the trail.

It followed the north side of the creek (Spawn Creek, Temple Fork Creek) and though it was a narrow foot trail, it looked like it ran along an old road. Like most of Utah in July it was dry and dusty. The dirt was that brownish-red color of so much of the upper plateau areas of the Northern Wasatch, and there was grass, dry grass, sagebrush, wild geraniums, a couple kinds of asters, some thistles and other dry-land plants. Just feet away, near the creek, there was moist green grass, some sparse willows and other water-loving plants (even yellow monkey flowers). It made for varied and interesting botany, anyway. Only a few yards eastward, the trail went into a rather narrow gorge-like passage, the rocky ledges to the South were obviously that same limestone that’s found in Logan Canyon. After the gorge the creek went through rather wide open, real Temple Fork looking terrain. Here in this wide open area there was a family camped in a tent and fishing. We acknowledged each other’s presence with a wave, but nothing more. There were also two rather new well-constructed bridges along this part of the trail. I actually thought that the first one was the main trail and crossed it and went up that trail for several hundred feet but changed my mind and came back down to the creek; after all, the mill had to be on the creek and near good timber--which I had seen off to the northeast as I had driven on the southern portion of the Temple Fork Road earlier.

About this point I saw that the creek had been straightened and channeled and wondered if it was the “mill race,” but no. Really, I had gone close to a couple of miles, that must make it close to 4 miles, surely it was here close, but the trail simply went on east-north-east up along the north side of the creek and upon what really did look like an old road. I had been hiking about forty-five minutes.

Again the trail passed into a canyon-like narrow area with the trail somewhat elevated on the north side, and the creek flowing in the bottom. The creek was even clearer here and only a few yards up the “canyon,” it was bordered with beautiful, healthy narrow-leaf cottonwood trees. I note “healthy,” because so often wild cottonwood trees are half-dead, broken, and in various states of decay, but these were really “picture perfect” and the creek here too was rocky, its banks green with fresh grass. “I would camp here,” was my thought. And some June I just might. This type of trail and canyon continued for several more hundred yards and I noted the thick dense stand of Douglas Fir on the north slope to my right.

Where the creek forked--one to the north, one to the south east-- there was a little raised triangle of land. It was here I found the mill monument, a few bent rusty narrow-gage rails, a couple of other rusted old parts of the mill works, the place where the mill race had run, and a wooden corner constructed of two-inch lapped boards still standing by the southern creek. It was also obvious that the dirt there had plenty of old saw dust mixed in and even old charcoal, no doubt from the burned down mill. One-hundred thirty years had passed since the mill’s establishment.

There were no ghosts. Sometimes old places have strong spirits, I certainly have felt them many times, but this was a mountain place somehow put to rest. I thought of those who had worked there. Especially about how life would have been in the cold snows of winter. I wondered about Great-great grandfather there with his teenage wife, while Grandma Mary with her crippled leg from the Willy Handcart difficulties was living no doubt much more comfortably with the family in Brigham City. Was he there on a Church calling? Was he there simply out of choice? What was he like? What was their life like? What was their polygamist marriage like--I don’t think his and Grandma Mary’s was very good. I wandered around for about a half-hour looking for some small metallic token to take back with me. I found something that looked like an old can, except that the rolled edge wasn’t like a can. I only took a fragment, and with it a piece of glass old enough to have the “rainbows” on it, a chunk of charcoal, something else melted, and a Douglas Fir cone. After all, it was the “red pine,” Douglas Fir, that had brought them here.

The hike back down was of course reciprocal, though with familiarity I watched anxiously for the beautiful Cottonwood Islands. And much sooner than I had expected, I emerged out into the open Temple Fork portion of the trail. The family was still there fishing, their truck still parked to the south up on the main road. Part way down I stopped for a drink (the stream looked much more satisfying than my water bottle) and even ate some apple sauce I had brought along. The creek there had been “improved” by adding logs to make little pools for the fish. There were a couple of beaver dams, though they didn’t look lived in. I saw two five-inch trout facing up stream; the movement of their tails was almost not perceivable.

Such clear water, such a very typical Wasatch Mountain landscape: like I’ve seen hundreds of times in my life, it was comfortable; it was a gift of my home. It was a gift of God, passed on to me by those very pioneers who had built the mill. Their blood was literally in me; I was seeing, unchanged, much of what they too had seen. Yes, one-hundred thirty years later, this was still life in the west, and I loved it.

I am currently Reflective
I am listening to The blowing of the air conditioner

Comments (1)

How I Learned to Read and Write
07/22/2007 11:38 p.m.
I could read before I went to kindergarten. I have an older sister (5 years older in school) who always read and always shared her reading. My father (at that time an elementary school principal) and my mother (from a somewhat intellectually deprived background and therefore very much aware of the influence of media on the family) believed that having books and similar learning materials around was important, so I grew up in a fairly rich environment. My mother often read to me--to us, and we didn’t have a television until about the time I was learning to read. I remember wanting so much to be able to read like my sister. I liked to look at pictures in magazines, but I felt so deprived because I couldn’t read the accompanying material. Really, I remember that burning DESIRE TO READ. And so I learned the basics at home.

I attended Lincoln Elementary (where my father had also attended and kitty-corner from Grandma Hawkes’ house) and my kindergarten and first grade teacher was Mrs. Thelma Kotter (who was old, and might have been teaching there when my father attended--I don’t remember now). Mrs. Kotter had taught my older sister, and was therefore a well known and beloved figure in our family long before I was ever in her class. I went into her class feeling loved and accepted, and along with wanting to be able to read better, I also wanted to please her.

I remember the feeling of being “dragged down” sometimes by some of the slower kids in the class, but I also remember feeling frustrated by attempting to read material that was well beyond my level, often reading of my own choice. It was about this same time that I got my first library card. The town librarian then was an “old maid” cousin of my grandmother Hawkes’ named Lapriel Wight. In my mind she was the keeper of the castle of knowledge for Brigham City, Utah, and with my library card and her guidance, that castle was mine, and we (at first my sister and I, later my brother) used the library both for school and for pleasure, always reminded every time we checked out at book, that Lapriel was our cousin.

Writing simply went along with the reading. I won a poetry contest in first grade, and from then on, I believed that I could write. I won another poetry contest in fifth grade (the “Grand Prize” for the older grades--yet I was “only a fifth grader”), and I won a third prize in sixth grade. And though perhaps only an adequate writer and student, by that time, I already felt rewarded and competent. I believed that I could write, so I wrote. By high school I was keeping a “journal” (it was important for Thoreau, so why not me) which included not only “outpourings of my soul,” but sketches, observations, and poetry. By then, I suppose, I already had the makings of a language teacher.

Add to those beginnings several years of studying French (Not really by choice, mostly by availability, but with a very conscious effort to learn to read and write all over again.), two years in the Netherlands (Again learning to read and write but with the element of “survival in a foreign country” added in.) and finally, time at Weber State (English, history, and German)--where I really did get into the “hard stuff.” And finally beyond that, with a Masters Degree from U.S.U. with a project in "Cultural Journalism," you have the essential literate me.

Note: written for a summer teachers' workshop

I am currently Nostalgic
I am listening to The Swamp Cooler

Comments (0)

Ophir Creek
06/21/2007 11:02 p.m.
It was a fairly typical "Reno day" for me. I arose at 5:15 and was on the riverside path on the west end of Idlewild Park before 6:00 a. m. The air was almost too cool. That's a nice thing about Reno: it does cool down at night. I walked my 2 1/2 to 3 miles and then went to 7:00 Mass at the cathedral on the corner of 2nd and Arlington. I went yesterday too.
Not being Catholic, I don't participate fully in the mass, but I enjoy the "spiritual food," and the time to meditate. I no longer feel "a stranger" during the service either. Though I admit there's something particularly friendly about the Reno's cathedral, the benches are exactly the same as those in the old 3rd Ward, and the architecture too is somehow similar.
But my big adventure today was a hike / walk out to Davis Creek Regional Park in Washoe Valley. I'd been there before, just to check it out. It's one of the only "campgrounds" listed in the Reno area--and it does have a mountain setting. But this morning after a light breakfast and a shower, I felt inclined to go to Washoe Valley. Though nearly surrounded by high dessert, it's green and moist there. It's no wonder that the Mormons were attracted there, and that Eilly Bowers built her mansion there. When I pulled into the park, I noticed that "Ophir Chreek Trailhead" notation and decided to give it a try.
"Try," it was. The temperature was 90 or above and the dry gritty hillside was not appealing to me. I decided I'd only go one hour--after all, I had already put in my walking time for the day. It was Ponderosa Pine, chaperall, bitterbrush, sagebrush, and another chaperall-like shrub with reddish brown stems--I knew it on Catalina--I hate getting old and forgetful. The trail was especially steep at first but moderated part way up the mountain. It flattened out onto several slide benches or glacial morains, I'm not sure which, and a time or two, it actually declined into some low, flat seasonal "lake beds." When I got warmed up, it really wasn't a bad walk.
My hour took me to where the trail finally crossed the creek--Ophir Creek, I would guess. Due to the unstable slide mountain above it, and no doubt also to the impact of the logging/mining operation a hundred-fifty years ago, the creek itself was in quite an eroded gorge. I heard the creek, saw it far below, long before I ever reached the water. And by the time I reached the water, the flora had added arbovida, fir, and other less "desolate" plants; and I had finlly reached the "out-of-hearing" point for the busy highway below (traffic between Reno and Carson City is endless).
I saw no animals with the exception of frequent lizzards. Other than boot tracks, the only other impressions on the granitic-sandy trail were horse hoof prints--obviously quite fresh (there was still a horse piss puddle). On the way back down I passed one man of about my own age coming up the trail. Oh yes, there were plenty of birds, and I saw one colorful one with a long black and white tail, but mostly I just heard them.
The trail was well-groomed, "well enough" engineered, and I would climb it again if I had the opportunity. One of the listed destinations was the Mount Rose Meadows, and ultimately it joined into the trail that approached the summit of Mt Rose from the south. That, however, would be a long hard climb. More than I would want to do--and certainly not alone without companions.
When I got down off the mountain, I went briefly to Wall-Mart (the new one on the far south end of Reno), and then went to the Indian Restaurant (just a couple of blocks north of my motel) for lunch. They have a lunch buffet that is very good and still under $10.00. I was not disappointed, though the service was different from how it has been in the past.
I'm at the downtown library now. This evening I may go to a bookstore. Tomorrow morning I need to pick up the kids at 10:30 a. m. at the leadership camp at Tahoe. No, I didn't "do Tahoe" this trip either. Somehow, Tahoe doesn't make me feel happy. It's too developed: there's too much there that doesn't belong in such a mountain setting. It feels to me like the lake has been "defiled" in a terrible "California way." It's the same defilement that's going on at Bear Lake and other beautiful places in Utah. Yes, I've missed some good things at Tahoe, but I think that there along the most wild portion of the east side, I've seen the best.
I'm out of computer time. Here at the main library it's dished out in one-hour helpings, and it's always busy--though no long line today. Now the goal is to get safely home across that 9 hours of desert between here and the eastern side of the Great Basin. It's still hard to believe that Reno-Sparks-Carson City really are the next "real" city west of eastern Box Elder County. It's a big country.
I am currently Refreshed
I am listening to Other "Free Use" Internet Users

Comments (0)

Nederland July & August 2006
08/21/2006 05:45 a.m.
“The Summer of The Potato Eaters”

Trip to Europe (Netherlands, Belgium & Germany)
July 11 2006 – August 11 2006
Leonard M. Hawkes

Since high school I have written journal entries; not always in a formal journal, but sometimes quite formally. I learned at an early age that writing helps me to focus on what’s really happening and what’s really important, and that writing can help me to pass through difficulties. As a teacher of history, I also value written accounts from real lives. Perhaps these entries will be of value to someone else, at the time they were written, they were certainly of value to me.

Calling this journal “The Summer of The Potato Eaters” is an exaggeration (Margriet and Ruud, my good, long-time friends and wonderful hosts in Lopik really made so much of this trip possible.), but the biggest share of this trip was spent in Nederweert, the gateway to De Groote Peel National Park (a memorial to peat-digging). The people I lived with and worked with here were literally descendents of those that van Gogh might have known and painted 130 years ago. When I visited the van Gogh in Amsterdam on one of the last days of my trip, I found myself especially attracted to his paintings of that period of his life and of those people.


It was here
I first knew
The Renaissance—
Red brick, moat,
And cobblestone:
An enlightening,
Winding, coziness
Singing of
Seven centuries.

L. Hawkes
13 July 06 – Amersfoort, Netherlands


“Domekerk Utrecht”

Here is the World:
Broken, restored,
A fragment
Of living history,
A testimonial husk
Of striving Spirit:
Cold stone
To draw me homeward
While my heart beats
Hot here below.

13 July 06 – Utrecht, Netherlands



Here, beyond the walls
Among the herbs, flowers,
And song of water,
I sense their spirit:

I too have been
A Brother here,
And the encoded walls
Spell out our path:

St. Martin, and
Down to me.

13 July 06 – Utrecht, Netherlands


“Hof II”

It is perhaps
This timelessness
That I have
Tried to create
In the hills of home;

Or is it their
Eternity that
I read here
In the foliage
And the stone.

13 July 06 – Utrecht, Netherlands


Saturday 15 July 2006

Brugge and Ghent are no more strangers; and Belgium is more than a few impressions and a cold gloomy day in Antwerp.

Sluis, though choked with tourists, still felt historical. Aardenburg was by Luke presented with the brightness of a native son. St. Anna . . . had the ageless charm of a country maiden; Damm seemed as fragmented and simple as the legends of Till Eulen Spiegel.

Brugge: I once had hopes for Brugge; I had read descriptions and heard accounts, but doubted. And though Brugge too was crawling with tourists, it was fascinating: so expansive, Flemish culture displayed so powerfully. Such a vision of Netherlandic glory and wealth, I’ve never seen, except, I suppose, in Amsterdam; And Amsterdam, I find tainted beyond good taste by the modern.

Yesterday we saw the monstrous Schelde of the harbor of Antwerp. Today we saw the Schelde near Ghent shriveled to a muddy ditch flanked with oozy slime. Today my former, somewhat slimy impressions of Belgium were engrandured by the day’s revelation of Vlaandren. I would share it; surely I would come again.

Luke’s Russian Salad

1 can peas
1 can corn
3 hard boiled eggs
crab meat

Sunday 16 July 2006

Today I attended church in Dordrecht. Only the Vernes’ remained from the Dordrecht that I knew—I felt a bit old.

I was asked to say a word or two in Sacrament Meeting—and I wept. I felt so full of so many feelings: thankfulness, spiritual witness (testimony), memory, intellectual adequacy; mostly, I suppose, the Holy Ghost. I spoke of Zr. Vernes, of my time in Dordt, and our work, of what I have done in the Church since then, and bore I my testimony.

Afterward the Vernes’ (Wim and Jani) took me for a walk through the “binnenstadt” of Dordrecht. Much is changed and cleaned up. I followed well through the Kil and harbor sections, but got lost about the time we got to the Nieuwe Kerk. It's that curve of the river.

Really the inner city was much improved in cleanliness and quality of living.

Afterward, we went to their home, ate bread, and visited.

They brought me by way of Kinderdijk to the veer that crosses to Schoohoven. In minutes, I was within minutes of Lopik. There, I looked around, drank a Spa water (so I could use the W. C.) and then called Margriet, who picked me up and brought me along the “scenic route” home.

Tomorrow I may go to Arnhem, Ede, Wageningen, and shop for a “camping pad” in Utrecht.

I’m sleepy. But for the first time in my life, I can boast that I have been to all provinces of Nederland—a goal accomplished. I feel 50—not 54. I’m tempted to go for an evening walk.

17 July 2006

In Germany again—Cleves. Though I don’t speak German well by any means, I was comfortable and did some shopping for school, bought some food, visited a museum and a specialty men’s shop, walked around a lot, and did it all comfortably, though, yes, with limited spoken fluency. Though I say spoken fluency, because my reading fluency is considerably higher.

I enjoyed the castle (climbed the tower), visited the large church close by (and lit a candle), ate curry wurst and a strawberry tortelette, and enjoyed the whipped cream.

In a way this trip has felt like a fulfillment of many years of preparation: I’ve maintained my Dutch; I’ve improved my German; I’ve studied history and geography; I’ve built a Scouting resume; I’ve maintained friendships and memories; and I’ve made or will make use of all of them before the trip is done. It’s like spending a wealth of jewels, and yes it is costing me, but the real wealth is being invested, not used up. (5:54 p. m. Cleves)


It began here
Amid the beeches
And the sand hills
Along the Rhine.

I was entranced
As firey tongues
Engulfed me:
I was born again

With the saints
And the students
And the brown
And the white Dutch,

We, all Sinners
(I among them),
Read the faith
And played the Light,

Our humble chords
In the woods,
On the heath,

And from out the heart,
As Nederlanders.

17 July 06—Wageningen, Netherlands



I had forgotten
This mourning
Of the smoldering
Of youth.:
This age-sight
Of recklessness.

I would spare
The new blossom
(For my own consumption?)
With an assurance
Of virtue—
Celebrate fresh dew—
Not globs of tar—
And radiant youth
Unwasted on the young.

17 July 06 – Utrecht Central, Netherlands


22 July 2006

I’m in Weert—4 days into camp and my first day out—No, I admit I have gone on substantial walks two mornings. People at camp are nice. I’m an outsider. They see me as somewhat of an oddity because I speak Dutch and am an American (I was even interviewed briefly on the local radio this afternoon).

Wouldn’t you know it, I’m in McDonalds on the Old Market/Groote Kerk’s Plein. But there’s air conditioning here (it’s been terribly hot!), a table, and a predictably nice W. C.

Food has been bread for breakfast and lunch, and macaroni (yes, every day) for the evening meal. But yes, it has been good and filling.

The group from California is from the San Gabriel Council and the lady knows David Dibble and crew—a Camp Loll connection even in Europe!

Today we had a little shower that tempered the heat a bit. Even now it became suddenly humid.

The bus arrived 10 minutes early. At least that makes the wait less mysterious—but it will leave on time.

Weert is largely a new city. Between the station and the walking-centrum there was a rotting section (though relatively new) of shopping terrain—with nothing of interest.

Tomorrow’s plan: no breakfast at camp, Mass in the Lambertus Kerk in Nederweert, then perhaps Eindhoven for brunch, and then back to Nederweert for the opening ceremony and then in the afternoon/evening to Heerlen or Maastricht. I’m getting that “I really do miss home” feeling, and yet so far, I’ve felt quite Netherlandicaly at home. There is, and no doubt will always remain, a root of my soul here in the Netherlands. How best to deal with it? I don’t know.

23 July 2006 Nederweert, Netherlands

I attended church (mass) at the St. Lambertus Kerk. It was a pleasant and practically done church interior. The service was of course in Dutch, and the echo in the chapel made it difficult to hear and understand. People were not unfriendly, but there was also no reaching out—which I suppose is a real measure of “the spirit.” And the Dominee (very Dutch, not Limburgs) seemed old and weary.

The bus I’m in is really just a van—not a bad idea—maybe something for our future in Beaver Dam. The busses go every 2 hours on Sunday. I have 2 hours until I can catch the bus back to Budscop (our bus stop in Nederweert—our part of town, actually). I just didn’t have “the heart” to stay in camp. The tents are in the sun, and I’m tired of the heat!

As I passed the city hall in Nederweert, I saw the camp van and camp people working on the opening ceremony (I suppose).

I’m somewhat tired today: I was last Sunday too, but then I’m hungry this morning too. I was even that “dreamy-almost visionary-sleepy” in mass today. I wish I had a cool, shady place to rest out the rest of the day.


Old mother, I have
Been tagged by you:
You have molded
My mouth and
Encased me in your
Lucky I am, that
You have rolled forth
And fill the earth now
Like a stone.

And yet, the snippets
And the clumps and
Pre–formed slabs, I find
Glistening here in this land
Of Germanic mishmash,
I too often mourn—

For it is not goodness,
It is not virtue that radiate,
And if not rot and foolishness,
It’s poison that streams forth
And swishes about in the air.

I have sought and
Known your treasure,
Spread it unhesitatingly
And professionally as a legacy;
Yet Satan has made of heaven’s light
The very illumination of hell.

(undated probably started 23 July 06, in Weert – a response to the things Dutch teenagers say in English—yes, often to shock me— but still very much a reflection of their usage level of what they consider to be practical English)

23 July 2006

Today was the “Opening Ceremony” for the NICES camp. We all got in uniform and paraded through the streets to the city hall where we were welcomed by a number of authority figures including the “major # 2” (The real mayor is on vacation and besides, the 2nd mayor is over clubs and organizations.)

25 July 2006

Another pleasant morning promising to be another hot day. Hot wouldn’t be such a problem, but here in this horse pasture there are no trees!

Today we go to indoor climbing in Eindhoven, I believe. Yesterday’s rafting was a bit “weak-firstdayish,” but the actual rafts and rafting was fun, and I took a picture or two.

I wanted to make note of the “real Dutch” meals we’ve had. Sunday Dinner: vegetable soup, slavinken (hamburger and pork mixed and shaped like a 3” piece of wurst and wrapped in bacon), canned peas and carrots, fake potatoes, and salad (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions mixed), fla flips for dessert.

Yesterday: mushroom soup (from a mix with extra onion and mushrooms added), Dutch bratwurst with potatoes (boiled), canned beans, and the standard 3 element salad. The shoe from the bratwurst was served over the potatoes, so everything was somewhat swimming in the greasy brownish juice.

I had to beg to use the internet last evening, but I got Jan written and Margriet answered (I had a letter yesterday-Email delivered from the “organizatie”). I hummed the “Handcart Song” yesterday morning to celebrate the 24th of July. I mentioned to someone that today was a holiday and what it meant. And the return comment was, “ya, they were the people who drove the Indians out.”

I think one of the greatest lies of our time is the confusion over what is “civilization.” We’ve fallen into an intellectual trap.


Knowing the emptiness
Or freedom and solitude
Of an evening alone
In the city:
Sticky from the heat
Hungrily alone and
Savoring the appetite:
But miserably

Linden leaves against
An almost indigo sky,
The yellow glare of
Street lamps,
Muffled voices,
The mixed smell
Of sweat and beer,
And thoughts of home.

(undated, probably 25 July 2006 – Weert, Netherlands)

“Night Fest”

Beyond the bus stop
On St. Rochus Plein,
I heard the thump of bass,
And a quarter mile away
The music is recognizably clear.

Beyond, the silent village
Stops its knowing ears
As its youth celebrate
Their sense of brotherhood
And community.

(undated, probably 25 July 2006 – Nederweert, Netherlands)

26 July 2006 Nederweert, Netherlands

It was warmer last night in the night, and there are a few clouds this morning. Also, there’s very little dew—all changes in the weather, but if it has any meaning (which it did have), I don’t know; weather has remained hot.

Today the American group is going to Amsterdam and Rotterdam—that would be fun, but a long traveling day. I have “Infodienst” and get to help pass out tickets this evening—it went quite well last evening—“Ticket Verdeeling,” that is.

It won’t be long, when I get back home, that I will miss Europe, but mornings and evenings especially, I get tired of the work and the constant cultural and linguistic “swim.” I long for the “normalcy” of home.

The “troops are out,” it’s 11:20 a. m. and “the organizatie” is fussing to repair something ( they are always busy, not lazy, with varied abilities and leadership).

It’s now 13: 20. It’s probably 92 degrees outside and I just drank my hot cup of bullion. It was ordered, in light of the extremely hot temperatures, that we all drink a hot cup of bullion as we enter the camp each afternoon after activities (between 16:00 and 17:00). Yes, it’s for the salt that bullion provides, but in my mind, I can see how people would react on hike day if we set up a table in the parking lot and made everyone drink a hot salty cup of bullion before we let them go back to their camps.

One thing that I find a bit obnoxious (and I’ve seen this before) is that the first aid people think that all camp living should rotate around their perception of our health. They are heroically saving us from ourselves—does this sound something like religion? And we follow, trusting in their vision for our sight.

Last night’s meal consisted of fried chicken (a giant McNugget type) served with hash browns (good homemade) and topped all with a large dipper full of canned mixed vegetables. For dessert we had mixed chocolate and vanilla vla.

The group from Luxembourg just arrived—leaders a 2hr drive with gear—the kids are coming on the train to be delivered here with the camp vans.

The first aide is feeding us hot soup, and yet don’t seem much concerned about the sunburns coming in from the “outdoor swimming.” It will be interesting to see if sunburn becomes now a real health issue (it didn’t).

It’s 34 degrees here in the Infokeet (that’s 96 Fahrenheit) and 40? Minutes left to go on this shift.

It’s now nearly midnight, and of course they are still carrying on in the “party tent.” “Kerioki Evening” is tonight’s program; one crew member, “Staf” is his name, has been especially participatory—not much talent, but plenty of volume and enthusiasm. I’ve thought how shocked Annie would be that this “nightclub/ bar” atmosphere is also Scouting.

We got good food tonight, a “saté salad” of sorts. I’ll call it Indonesian Salad. It was sort of like Hawaiian Haystacks: rice at the bottom; cubes of fried beef (pork would work); sate (pinda) sauce; then on top of that lettuce and tomatoes; cucumbers and onions mixed; topped with diced fried onions (food service type); and on top of that salad dressing (a ranch type).

I went “fietsing” tonight: I “felt it” again tonight, it almost made this entire trip worth while: the open fields, the green smell, the woods and marsh, biking itself, the small dorps, the evening and the setting sun: it was “transcendental.” I visited the English War Cemetery and De Groote Peel National Park, and the 24hr. Open Gas Station. Two hours, almost, on the bike.

27 July 2006 – Nederweert, Netherlands

This afternoon my activity was the molen (wind mill) just north of camp, the St. Joseph. There are 3 windmills left in Nederweert, but at one time there were 13. It was interesting to see again how it all worked—I had 3 groups of 10 (2 Austrian, 1 Welch), so I learned it well. Tonight I’m going to Maastricht. It’s just starting to sprinkle.

I just got on the train to Maastricht. What I will do there? Eat, anyway.

Roermond, Sittard now. It is so sweaty hot, I can hardly stand it. Passing through Beek now. I still find it almost mysteriously ironic that this area was my own father’s war portal into Germany. An area I know relatively well and now from multiple experiences.

The land is uneven now, hilly—I’m really in the south.


Maastricht was even better than I had remembered it. It’s a pleasant, old, elegant city. It leans toward the Belgian-French, but has a feeling of its own.

I ate Greek food on the Vrijthof, walked around the St. Servaas, visited the Onze Lieve Vrow Basilik, sauntered through the walking district of the centrum, walked along the Maas, had a shake at McDonalds (to use the W.C. again), and then went back to the station to write.

Really, the city felt like a pleasant, gentle, old friend. Was it my expectation? Was it the city? Surely it was “spirit of place.”

The land is so old here. Yes, I know some of its history, but like a rich painting, it reflects complex multiple colors and tones: blended color, not pointalistic: rich browns or greens. Sometimes, I can almost see the Druids, the Romans, Charlemagne, the Duke of Hoorne, the invading Spanish and French; and certainly the Nazi’s and Americans. Yes, a rich multi-layered painting. Where tomorrow? I had thought someplace German, but I’m not sure.

I am honestly quite tired by the end of each day. I sleep well in spite of the heat.

It didn’t rain, but it's mostly cloudy and therefore darker than usual—but still humid and warm.

28 July 2006 – Heerlen, Netherlands

What a great day! I really didn’t know where to go today, and Frank’s (live in) girlfriend (Lobke—how’s that for a name) suggested Valkenburg. I realized that I may not get a second chance, so I went with the idea of stopping off in Heerlen too.

The “Thermen Museum” was great—very well done. I also have some materials for school.

Heerlen itself seemed confusing, somewhat dirty and disorganized, and under construction—not changed in those aspects; but the downtown was remodeled, seemed larger and more crowded.

When I came out of the museum, I suddenly felt and could see where I was. It was like the whole surroundings suddenly fell into place—like having new eyes with an inner map that matched. –sounds like religion. Oh yes, and I talked to an American lady. Her husband is stationed with Nato here.

29 July 2006 – Camp at Nederweert, Netherlands

I’ve gotten lazy with my Dutch now that we have to speak English with many of the campers. I’ve also decided that my fifty-year-old deafness doesn’t make it any easier to communicate—especially since so many speak so “plaat.”

I’ve spent the day doing “terrainonderhoud.” And of course, I got dirty (greasy black barbeque grill scrubbings), but overall, today I have stayed busy with everything from picking up trash and washing out sinks and garbage cans, to fixing flat bike tires and providing a ladder to get a Frisby off the roof of the Manege.

I don’t know if I’ll go anywhere tonight. I may have to help with the “Infokeet.”

30 July 2006 – Heerlen, Netherlands

I’m at a Chinese restaurant. I just came from Church in Heerlen. It was large (both the branch and the building); It was dominated by Americans—therefore not especially friendly; I felt very much “at refuge” “plugged into a greater (or at least my) reality.” The talks were ok (Sac. Mtg talks in Dutch over talents and Priesthood Keys); S. S. lesson was in English (by a rather pompous “returned emigrant” from America type), and was about the prophet (Elijah) and the drought and the widow, and of course the defeat of the altar of the priests of Baal. Priesthood and Relief Society were combined, and it started out with Wilfrord Woodruff’s first mission, but grew into a discussion on faith—lead by a cute young American serviceman. No, I wasn’t disappointed, but wonderfully pleased that things here in Heerlen are so strong. I’m eating (the Heerlen tradition for me) Fu Jong Hai mit Rijst. But the omelet is in strips piled with chicken chunks and topped with a tomato sauce (like tomato soup) served, of course, with white rice (though I could have had fried rice).

I’ve decided that Heerlen is “Ogdenish.” Always trying to renew and improve itself, and never quite able to put it’s real rough past behind (and the teenage hooligans at the train station do look/act rough and seem gang-like).

If I can spend 3 ½ more hours here, I can ride back to Weert on my after 6:00 p. m. retour. Oddly I don’t know what to do for the next three hours (I walked directly to the public library/art museum--unvelievable!).


You are a hardened woman—
Elegance in a rough exterior—
Innocence long gone and required to stand with “the toughs.”
And yet I sense in you the spirit of the Holy Maria—
Earthy, but not unrepentant

30 July 2006 – Heerlen, Limburg, Netherlands


Limburgse Vlaai Description

1. Piece served like pie; 7” long 3” wide at the back
2. Cherry? Filling
3. Top crust (bakery) diamonds maybe ¼ inch wide and ½inch long;looks “stamped”
4. With crust, diamonds are about 1”
5. Thickness of crust about ¼” or less
6. Curved against the pan side of crust about 3/4” high
7. Sprinkled on top with coarse sugar.
8. Usually served with coffee

No, I couldn’t get on the train 3 minutes early! So I’m on the “Stoptrein” to Sittard where I’ll have to connect to Weert (probably with the train from Maastricht). At least I’m inside (it’s pouring rain) and it’s paid for. I hope things are ok back at camp.

Now station Hoensbroek (just north of Heerlen). Now station Nuth (6: 27 p. m.). Now station Schinn (6:29 p. m.) . . . Geleen Oost.

Eindhoven 9:15 p. m. (21:15)

I am amazed sometimes at both my ability (and sometimes lack of ability) to find places. On Tuesday when I was in Eindhoven, I looked briefly at a map of the centrum. Tonight I walked directly to where I had wanted to go. Call it memory, subconscious. Or some kind of spirit—I did hear it or saw it and went directly there. It was very strange.

Now back to Weert, the bus, and bed. I’m not sure what dienst I have tomorrow, I better look.

Richting Weert

I don’t think that I wrote down that I lead the music in Priesthood – Relief Society today, “Lead Me Into Life Eternal.” He asked if anyone could lead, and I could tell that he was surprised that I’d volunteer. That means that both gemeentes got some service/participation from me. I don’t know about next week.

1 August 2006 – Nederweert (Infodienst) 13:05

Yesterday I went to De Groote Peel National Park with the older Scottish leader named Pamela. She was surprised that they would send a staff member out with only one person signed up for the activity. I translated (roughly) her through the visitor’s center and then we walked 6 K’s through the park. It was “veen”: mixed heather, grassland-marsh with dark mucky pools (from the peat digging), some were good sized ponds with ducks on them. There were little frogs everywhere, and enough trees and wild flowers to keep things interesting. We spoke of our homes and families and scouting, and of course about the things we were experiencing in the park and at camp. Afterward we ate some Limburgse Vlaai (Apricot)—she had never had any—while we waited for the ride back to camp.

In the evening I had “Infodienst” in the “Infokeet.” It lasts until midnight, so I was a bit sleepy this morning (I got up at 6:45 a. m.). Now today again “Info” and tonight perhaps to Eindhoven. I quite enjoyed myself there Sunday evening.

Yesterday afternoon I had a “friet” topped with goulash—the goulash was ½ inch cubes of meat with lots of mushrooms, onions, paprikas, very fine carrots; the sauce wasn’t tomato but was red-brown (probably paprika) and might have contained some tomato.

I wrote both Blake and the Principal this morning about the regional sportsmanship conference. I hope things work out well—I worry when I am there, and really worry when I’m not. Though I admit, I haven’t (thus far) been troubled with a lot of home worries this trip.

Both head cooks have injured ankles, so we got Chinese tonight (take out). I’m just waiting. Unfortunately I have ticket dienst tonight, so I have to stick around. At least it’s cool enough that the tent feels ok.

The Belgians (a big group, a “groupy” group and a somewhat obnoxious and looked down upon by the Dutch group) have been waiting in line for an hour already for tickets—that will mean a 3 hour wait for them!

Marike’s Colesla

1 witte kool
1 zakje rozijnen (200 gm)
1 prei
2 ½ eetleepel mayo
200 ml yoghurt
6 appels (Jonagolds)
1 teelepel mosterd
alles snijden en door elkaar
mengen; 1 dag in de koelkast
laten staan

2 August 2006

I found out again tonight that I didn’t have to do ticket dienst—at the time ticket dienst was starting (no doubt they are faster at it—I only did it once last week). But now it’s raining and windy (in a way it feels like a mountain summer storm—only, I guess because I’ve experienced such). In the background (noises) is that constant thump-thump of rock music bass (here often synthesizer) and of course kids and traffic.

This morning I had Activitydienst—Farmer Golf, which turned out to be really fun. The clubs were mop sticks with small klompen attached for the smacking part-angled even like a golf club would be. The ball was an 8” fairly soft soccer ball. The holes were like ice cream buckets or 10-tins, each marked with a numbered flag. There were 10 of them, and the pastures where we played (complete with cows, fences, water ditches, varied grass lengths, ruts, and cow pies) covered I would guess about 10 to 15 acres. We did it in 2 teams of 5, whoever’s ball was farthest from the hole got to go. Like with golf, whoever had the fewest strokes won—and my team one: me, three Scottish girls, and a Finn named Nick.

I’m sleepy. The rain on the tent makes me drowsy.

Tonight for supper we had boneless pork chops fried and then steamed; with them boiled potatoes and canned beans—fruit for dessert.

This afternoon I went to Weert. I tried to call home, but couldn’t get through. I bought a phone card (10 Euro); bought a nice watercolor book; ate döner (I missed lunch at camp) (döner meat in a pita 12” rolled up with onions, pepper, tomatoes, and lettuce)—delicious.

Luke was just now here to say goodbye. He was a good kid, friendly, a bit picked on sometimes. He was quite bossy to work with (he obviously had been bossed—but Nederlanders can be nasty-bossy). I have his email and I gave him mine. He did speak plaat though—always hard to understand. He’s going on a vacation to Rhodes with his girlfriend Esther (from Ospeldijk—out by the Groote Peel).

Really, so much of this camp has been run by college + age young men and their live-in / camp-in girl friends. The girls serve gladly and the boys expect them to “pull their weight”—and they do + often to please the boys; but often too because they are also very much a part of scouting.

Co-ed Scouting is not moral (though I haven’t noticed specific such behavior among the participants here) but among the staff at least, ½ are camped boy-with-girl in the same tent. And I don’t doubt that many of the others would like to be.

I haven’t noticed a “gay element.” Only Danny seemed like he was covering it up with a macho image. Anthony (his buddy) seems young enough to be confused, but thankfully that isn’t something we’ve had in our midst.

Obviously a live band (and not very good) will be tonight’s entertainment.

It’s still just pouring rain and it’s almost 9:00 p. m.

Would I come back to NICES? No, I’m too old. But it’s been a wonderful experience with nice kids and International Scouting.

3 August 2006

I’m in Den Bosch at the Den Otter. I’ve ordered a “Bosche Bol” the pastry to eat here according to the camp staff. I’ve come here to visit the museum, which is supposed to have a fair art collection (including van Gogh). So far the day is not rainy, but very hazy, cloudy, and moist. Yes, I’m sitting on the street terrace, taking advantage of these last opportunities for such.


Den Bosch was very nice. In addition to the pastry, I ate a Hollands New Haring sandwich and some Kibbiling (my fish for the day—entire trip?). The Mart was today, I couldn’t resist.

The Noord Brabants Museum was very nicely done in an old Manor/Castle, but with no van Gogh! They are getting the paintings ready for an exhibit next year. I did see the original of Brueghel’s “Peasant Wedding” and many works by followers of Heronius Bosch (from here, of course). There was also a fun exhibit of Netherlands Spreekwords. Of course with (Bosch or Brueghel)’s painting as the focus. There were some cute dirty little symbols that I would never have noticed.

I’m now on the train. Here in Eindhoven I bought some souvenirs and walked through the centrum as far as the Groote Bergstraat.

Last night I really felt down and unappreciated. I hope tonight and tomorrow are just the opposite. I am tired, but it will be difficult to leave this reality behind.

I have been able to see / feel beauty today. Such days are truly windows of happiness.

I’ll be to Weert in time to get money and still be back before 17:00 Infodienst.

It’s true, tonight was nearly as pleasant as last night wasn’t. The Infokeet wasn’t busy, the company was good, and it was very much of what really has been the best of NICES.

Tomorrow I get to go to the open Air Museum at Nederweert Eind (Enderhof) – 3 crew members and one participant.

4 August 2006 – Nederweert

For such a tidy little village, this bus stop is absolutely filthy. In addition to the regular bus stop mess, this place has been smeared with pizza, and I’m not sure what all else.

I really have enjoyed the little “specimen gardens” in the front yards here. It’s much like my little garden north of the house with a variety of shrubs, flowering plants, and occasionally some ground cover. They’re generally in open well-kept soil, not done with anti-weed matting and rocks or bark. I have though seen some zeroscaping (s?). Lavender is popular over here too.

I’m on my way to Weert—just because I can, and because it may well be the last visit. Tonight we have the “Closing Ceremony” and then I’ll probably do some packing.

It looks like I may get to go to see Beverley and Frank Tidwell in Frankfurt after all. Margriet’s plan is to leave Tuesday after work and come back on Wednesday. That’s quite a sacrifice on their part (gas and time). And I really wouldn’t mind the train ride up the Rhine.


I’m now in Weert at the plein in front of the Groote Kerk (Martinus). I’m eating what may well be my last piece of real Limburgse Vlaai: Vanilla pudding, a cream layer, and topped with strawberries in Danish Dessert. The crust is about ¼” thick and really is like thin bread.

The bells just played and struck 11:00 a. m.; the sun is shining; I feel like I have to capture this very Dutch scene and moment. The only thing it needs is my family with me. I need to implant some of this gezelligheid in them—also Dutch tidiness—somehow!


I just got back from the Einderhof (Limburgse Open Air Museum): it was wonderful. Both the museum and the guiding through it were excellent. It was almost too much—3 hours worth.

I of course liked the garden; but the flax to cloth operation was new for me. Keeping sheep principally for their poop/fertilizer was also new—collecting it as they come in and go out of the kooi. He called “Indian Artichokes” “Aard Peere” and he said they were propagated before potatoes. Their saw mill / woodworking, basketry, and bakery were also exceptional.

A house lower on the back than on the front was explained as “trying to look rich to your neighbors.” I said something about that being a very Calvinist idea, but he didn’t comment, but he did vehemently talk about how the English, during WWII, had blown up all of the churches and molens to avoid lookout and sniping by the Germans. I guess for some time the Germans were on the east side of the Nordervaart and the English were on the Nederweert side. He said that the Germans took pride in sneaking over and stealing from the English.

4 August 2006 -- 22:00 p. m.

It’s ten p. m. and I’ve turned in for the night—a bit early perhaps, but I’m thinking about leaving this life and going back to that greater reality: first Utrecht and then back home. I’m always so ambivalent with goodby’s. Yes, I’m very much ready, and yet I hate to leave these people forever. They have been very kind and very human—very “Scouty.” I’ve liked that and will always treasure this aspect of this experience. Barriers have been my relative shyness, age difference, the church (culture), and of course the language. Though none of the above were insurmountable—just barriers.

I’ve enjoyed the region too. My bicycle ride out to De Groote Peel really was “transcendental”—that joy, peace, and spiritual interaction with natual beauty that goes well beyond just the physical senses. I also liked Weert: a good size, comfortable, close enough and friendly enough too. I would like to have really looked around in the St. Martin’s Church, but I did get to peek in today during a funeral.

I got comfortable with nederweert too—especially this part near camp. The only negative was that Florence Ice Cream Shop: service was lousy, the whole place seemed pretentious and way over-rated, but, the ice cream was excellent.

Now this pseudo-American thump, thump technoesque-European Pop music; I will gladly leave this behind!

“Aard Peren”

In a foreign tongue
He spoke of you,
Explained your culture,
Extolled your virtue;
Yet as the tourist,
As the only stranger,
I knew you best—
From my own garden—
I only forgot your name.

Such change in memory
Seems a part of age,
But Youth and Beauty,
Even Intelligentia
It is a great gift of Age,
This honest Knowing,
That extends well
Beyond the Name.

5 August 2006
9:10 a. m.
my tent—Nederweert

5 August 2006 – Lopik, Utrecht, Netherlands

I slept well last night and was awake fairly early and disassembled the interior of my tent: rolled up the sleeping bag, folded up the sheets, rolled up the pad etc.

I went to breakfast at 8:30, but nobody was there but Willy, so I went back to my tent and wrote (the poem). When I was done, I checked on breakfast and Willy (de Haas from Helmond) was putting it out and eating, so Willi and I ate together and then for the next 2 + hours I picked up the trash around camp, and helped load the Austrian’s gear on the truck. Really, I had covered the whole camp except where the troops sites were located (some were still taking down camp). By then I had had enough and decided to wash my hands. As I was washing, Ruud and Margriet arrived. After some hasty goodbyes and loading my gear up; we left, and NICES was over.

Over, except for the stories (which I told most of the way to Utrecht), and the meeting of one of the scouts from camp at the gas station near Zaltbommel—I felt like I was at home to have the kid come up and say, “weren’t you just at camp.” (I still had my camp shirt on).

This afternoon I got a hair cut (from the neighbor lady) wrote home, put some poems on the Pathetic, and went bicycling with Margriet (toward Jaarsveld and then back along the Lek Dijk). It was extremely Dutch beautiful; riding high on the dike and looking south and west toward the open country and the somewhat cloudy sky. Wind was out of the North. It was fresh and green from the recent rains. It did remind me of a painting by Ruijsdaal—intense deeply felt beauty—yes, “transcendental.”

We’re fasting. I just read the scriptures for tomorrow’s Sunday School lesson. Now to bed, 23:00.

6 August 2006

I’m in Utrecht on the bus soon to leave for Lopik. I just walked the Oude Gracht from the South to the North, then east to the Dom Kerk and then west to the station, around a little bit through the Hoog Cathrijn, and then to the bus. I’ve always been turned around in Utrecht because the station is on the west, but felt north; that and the fact that Utrecht has usually been guided or visited in snippets. Tonight was the whole thing, ample time, and the need to do it myself—on purpose without signs. Tomorrow is a free day—perhaps to Almelo or some woods.

Margriet’s mother recognized both me and Ruud (a good day for her). Church was good. The hospital where Margriet works is HUGE! We got locked in and had to call a security man to let us out—all in a single Sunday. Just crossing the Amsterdam-Rijn Canal.

7 August 2006

I’m on a morning bus from Lopik to Utrecht. From there I’ll probably go to Mönchen Gladbach to do some German shopping. Ironically I’ll be going south again. Though I could also go to Duisburg which is further into Germany but also further north.

It’s a beautiful hazy Dutch morning, everything distant is softened, a chance of rain this afternoon.

I’m now on the train to Eindhoven—yes, I gave in to the pull of the South. I’ll go to Venlo and then cross the border there into Germany. The bus may be cheaper.

I really have gotten lazy with my Dutch. I change back and forth—but so do they.

We just passed the place where Margriet’s mother lives (in Houten). Now the Amsterdam-Rijn Canal.


Before I make the trip back home,
The trip back to the West,
I’m soaking myself in Green:

Bathing my eyes
To the depths of my soul
And then my soul itself
In the rich moist color of life.

Before we send kids
Out on a hike, we say,
“Hydrate yourselves,
Drink lots of water.”

With Dutch Green
I would do the same;
Saturate myself
Right to the dun colored roots
Of my Utah heart.

7 August 2006
Written crossing the Betuwe near Den Bosch


I’m now on the train to Venlo—a new direction for me, I believe. I don’t think I’ve ever traveled this line; first Helmond (Willy de Haas, our night watchman from camp lives here), and then Venlo which is really on the border with Germany.

These ticket machines have really changed Dutch train stations—fewer people there for help and information.

I’m on the train to Mönchen Gladbach. The train (according to a local) was both cheaper and faster than the bus. I’m not sure, however, if I have a one way or a retour ticket. I had to do the machine thing with coins—it only cost 4 Euro—sounds too cheap.

German trains are obviously not as well kept as Dutch ones—neither are their stations!


I’m on the train at Venlo waiting to go to go to Eindhoven. It’s very muggy and quite cloudy, but light. Venlo is a pleasant tourist friendly little city. I’ve heard people speak Limburgs again and was tempted to eat one more piece of Limburgse Vlaai, but didn’t. I also didn’t buy Mendelson’s Elija, but wanted to.

I spent enough in Mönchen Gladbach. It took less than ½ hour to get there from Venlo. It really was quite new and large with excellent shopping. I bought more children’s videos and an Asterix, a children’s reader that will be fun for German class, and for Morgan a German soccer scarf and T shirt (on sale but nice). Next Eindhoven for one last visit, and then back to Utrecht.


I’m in Utrecht waiting for the bus to Lopik. After Venlo I did stop in Eindhoven and felt comfortable in its centrum. I ate a döner (3 Euro) and then spent another six for dessert—expensive but good. Now back to Ruud and Margriet’s. Amsterdam and van Gogh tomorrow.

8 August 2006 – Lopik

I’m on the bus on my way to Amsterdam: van Gogh Museum and Historical Museums. Jan and Audrey Roberts are coming tonight, so I need to be back in Lopik by 16:00—earlier to be safe. Tomorrow to Koblenz to see Beverly and Frank.

I can see the water tower to the west, the place we walked on my first night here. Last night coming home, it was so cloudy that I couldn’t see it—actually not even the top of the big communications tower in Ijsselstein.

We’re just now leaving Benscop. Now Ijsselstein at their drive through bus station. Ijsselstein has a molen and a very impressive church tower—yes, and the communications tower. Next is Nieuwegein and then Utrecht.


I’m at a little lunch café not far from the central station. I’m hungry—I walked to the van Gogh Museum and back. Not a bad walk, and a good way to feel Amsterdam. Amsterdam is expensive—I knew it would be.

Van Gogh was line-up-crowded. I’m glad that my first time was more pleasant than today.

It’s nearly 2:00 p. m. I may not make it to the historical museum (I didn’t). I ought to get back to their house by about 17:00. Yes, it will be gezellig to visit with Jan and Audry Roberts, though I was never as close to them as Margriet feels that we all are—yes, it’s true that we all served in the mission (Margriet 2 week mission) at the same time.

I’m now leaving Amsterdam feeling somewhat empty. Not that my time at van Gogh wasn’t satisfying or that the city was any less dazzling and decadent—probably more so than ever. I know I’m more sensitive to this now. I think I’m just trip weary, and this change in weather makes me think of fall. I know it’s normal for Nederland to be cool, cloudy, and showery, but it’s such a change from the heat of two weeks ago. With my Utah senses, it seems almost early autumn.


I’m in Utrecht on the bus back to Lopik. I bought Drenthe / Nounen van Gogh picture postcards. In light of my time on the Peel, it was what attracted. I decided that Mark from camp looks like one of van Gogh’s “potato eaters.” At first, I thought he looked like a gargoyle (from the fountain at the church in Kleves), but no, I’m quite sure he’s descended from the “Aardapel Eters”--really! He also had that narrow rough farm mentality.

Dennis at camp was just plain too busy with school (finishing up a master’s degree at the university in Eindhoven) to be the real head (though he was treated as such) of the camp.

Baas did his job well, but I know he felt awkward bossing me. With me he was always somewhat shy—except in meetings when I spoke out about things that he didn’t feel needed to be brought up at that time. It was fun to see him bring the meeting back to order.

Frank was the natural leader, and though heavy, with its attendant hygiene issues, he never stopped. He always jumped right in, got done what needed to be done, and yet was thoughtful and very tactful if necessary. I was surprised when I found out Lobke was his “live-in,” though I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because with all of his attention to detail and what needed to be done (or not done), I expected that this would carry into his private life. Though if you don’t see “live-in” as an improper detail of life, I suppose it wouldn’t bother you.

Toos, the older head cook was kind along with being effective in her kitchen duties. Though young and testy, I’d also describe Marike (the younger head cook) as much the same.

Bart, the ticket man, was very much a “computer-nerd-type.” His language was better than the others. I could always understand him.

Wendy, in charge of night programs, was a natural leader (Dennis’s little sister) and a talent, but didn’t plan, delegate and communicate information like she should have.

I’m sleepy.

10 August 2006

I’m spending my last day in Dordrecht: not far from Lopik, familiar, small, and beautifully Dutch. I just ate my last döner lunch. I’m on the Voorstraat surely not far from where we used to streetboard (though I don’t recognize the exact spot anymore).

Koblenz yesterday was wonderful. Beverly and Frank waited for us at the train station (not the plan at all) not at the fort, but we got together by noon, visited the fort, and had lunch together there (good food and not a bad price). Even the weather and drive to and from, were excellent.

I just visited the Dorts Museum and saw the original of the molen that hangs in Mom’s and Dad’s house (that I copied in watercolor).

Next dessert, then back to Utrecht and then bake to Lopik. I should have visited the woods in Wageningen when I had the chance. This will end up being a trip without a real European woods experience.


I didn’t get my “Marzapijne Mandje” but the location was the same, and it was still satisfying. I’m crossing the river now west toward Zwijndrecht on the way back to Rotterdam.

It’s been an expensive but extensive trip. I’ve seen and done much. (There are a number of tunnels now between Rotterdam Central and Dordrecht—that wasn’t the case 35 years ago). Camp now seems almost like a dream (three fat [frumpy too?] English men—actually two big boys and a man—just sat down across from me). As I got off the last train, the boy sitting across from me said, “it was a pleasure to meet you.” He must have seen me writing in English.

It’s still strange to me to have such an extensive Negro (Surinamer) presence here in the Netherlands.

I hate the graffiti! It feels “Gadianton Robber” to me.

I need to change my last Euro checks in Utrecht—practice money for German class, then try to buy a Dutch folk song CD. I’m now at Rotterdam Alexander Station.


Unfortunately there was no folk song CD—though I did find the record store easily, and my feeling of orientation in Utrecht is solid—that too is an accomplishment.

I was just thinking how nice this day has been. Again Dordt was close, familiar, beautiful, and offered so much “romantic” (nostalgic) walking, which I did a lot of: I guess both a familiarization and a saying goodbye at the same time, and always with the possibility that this could be the very last time. And this time with the reward of knowing that this was the 4th time in Nederland—the 5th time in Europe. And I admit, I enjoy the almost constant praise of my Dutch (not near what it used to be 35 years ago) and equally rewarding my ability to live and enjoy with comfort the Dutch way of life and culture. The ability to sideline German has been a wonderful addition. And when Dutch people think I’m German, I can usually just answer in German and switch back with them into Dutch. Yes, there’s reward there (and surely ego), maybe appropriate for a teacher of languages and history.

11 August 2006 – Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, Netherlands

We left Lopik at 8:30 a.m., were to Schiphol by 9: 45, and I was through check-in by 10: 15. I didn’t have to pass through near the security that I did in Salt Lake city. There was an obvious presence of national security police (armed with rifles), but even in light of yesterday’s events in England (the liquid bomb threat), so far things have felt quite normal—not even the questions like last time. Maybe that will come later. Customs will be in Cincinnati before I get on the plane to Salt Lake.

It’s raining very heavily again—just the opposite of the weather when I arrived; yes, and Ruud said it’s twenty degrees cooler too—a welcome relief.

You can often reliably recognize Europeans (men anyway) by their ugly square-toed long shoes (they remind me of cross country ski boot toes).

I just finished off my last half-liter of Albert Heijn “Sinas,” not my favorite but ok.

There’s a nice looking American young couple eating in front of me (yes, I’m in McDonalds—no other choice here). It reminds me that Hank Rogers and his wife are sending off three of their sons to Iraq today. Ruud and Margriet see it as a huge wasteful tragedy. I said, “how sad; what a sacrifice, but what good boys.” I need to shape up my own life for these “last days.”

It’s pouring rain again. I’ve got 20 minutes until I need to be at the gate. I just bought a sugar bowl and some jewelry for Jan. I get irritated sometimes when we don’t use a sugar bowl and our house, and this will be a good everyday souvenir of Nederland. It’s cheap Delft blue.

I dread the picking up of the old pace and the burdens—that “down of return.” I also dread finding out what Cathy did to the car and garage ($$).

2:10 p. m. Schiphol, NL

We’ve been delayed now for more than an hour. The captain said it had to do with a family that wanted to sit together and were unable to communicate well. They and their luggage are now off, and we’re waiting now to update our flight plan.

The sun is out; the sky is broken cloudy. I’ve been dozing for the last hour, and I’m now starting to feel a bit restless—probably impatient if the truth is spoken. I hope we arrive on time for connections in Cincinnati (a worry the entire trip over the Atlantic).

We did have to do the questions “security thing” just before boarding at Schiphol. It was also there that they Xrayed our hand luggage. Again, it was not near as technical or stringent as in Salt Lake City. Finally, we’re moving!

The girl next to me is from Croatia, but has moved to the U.S. and will be attending school in Indiana working on her master’s degree.

Yes, that’s another burden I pick up at home—what to do next (after 3 more years of teaching).

7:50 p. m. Dutch Time

It’s strange how this jet time is like a veil between two worlds. You enter in this strange state of encapsulated reality and then come out on the other side back home with all of its comforts, connections, and of course its complications. And I will ask myself tonight, “was it really just this morning that I was in Lopik, that I rode through the flat green wet polders through the driving rain. Was I really in Dordrecht yesterday, and with Beverly and Frank in Kolenz just the day before. Reality becomes the strangest dream.

9: 50 p. m. Dutch Time

I was just mentally listing all the places I visited, and thought maybe I could write them down—again informally:

Bennekom & Wageningen
Zeeland & The Delta Works
Den Bosch
Sluis & region
De Groote Peel Natl. Park
Nieuwegein & region
Oudewater & region
Mönchen Gladbach

Important drive-through’s:

Saas van Ghent

I’ve no doubt forgotten somewhere, but this certainly gives an idea of the area I’ve covered in the last four weeks.

11:00 p. m. Dutch Time
5:00 p. m. Cincinnati Time --Arrival in the U. S.

I’m on the plane to S. L. C. A bit late, but Customs and Security in Cincinnati was very much hastened for our benefit. Most of us on flight 45 had some connection to somewhere else.

I’m already feeling melted into the main stream and a bit burdened (spiritually?) by the transparency of everything here. It’s hot and humid and they just said that it’s 90 degrees in Salt Lake City.

Am I happy to be back in the U. S. A.? I don’t know.

4: 10 a. m. Dutcht Time
8: 10 p. m. Salt Lake City Time
11: 00 p. m. M.D.T. home in Beaver Dam

13 August 2006 – Camp Loll

I’m at Loll. I left after church and was here by 5:00 p. m. for dinner. I’ve felt a little gloomy since my return from Nederland: it’s that build up of unsolved problems—that sinking back into the real world—and church wasn’t much of a “pick-me-up” in that regard either, but as I drove up the paved road there near where the old Squirrel Lutheran Church stood, surrounded by ripe barley fields, the Tetons in the distance, the bright blue Idaho sky, the distant fringe of green forest; I had to stop and “make my barbaric yawp!” It was another one of those intense interactions with nature that surpasses words. And I felt so truly happy to be back HOME.

I’m sleeping in the old office cabin—my office as director of Camp Loll in 1994—already so many years ago. I’ve been peeing about 3 times a night since I got home, and somehow Conner’s loft just had no appeal (I only peed once that night—back to normal).

Things look good here; we should get out early (though we didn’t) We’re dropping off the trailers at Nolan Heward’s place for winter storage—much easier than Kenny and Lois’s place west of Rigby.

Enough—I’m sleepy.

I am currently Reflective
I am listening to crickets in the yard

Comments (0)

First Snow of 2005--November
11/07/2005 01:29 a.m.
5 November 2005
Earley Park
Beaver Dam, Box Elder, Utah

It began just after 10:00 p. m. I had made my bed in the back of my truck, and so was compelled to move around to the west into an enclosure. I was dry; my bed was warm; I enjoyed being out in the night of the first snow.

There was no wind, but the breeze was gusty, and as I was passing into sleep, I occasionally felt the snow, lightly cold, almost tingly on my face. But I was warm; I was dry. I was enjoying (as few could or even would) this arrival of a new season.

It fell for some time, and though it did stick and started to pile up, the ground and even the trees had enough residual warmth that much of it melted on impact, and what didn’t melt, clung as a tenuous half-slush-—by morning transformed into an icy crust.

Morning came with a patchy faded indigo sky. There was little movement in the air. It looked and felt very November.

I am currently Blessed
I am listening to The awakening of a Saturday morning

Comments (0)

Great-great Grandma Wight
05/11/2005 03:57 a.m.
I spent much of Tuesday evening re-writing this account of the life of my grandmother's grandmother. I think it's worth sharing:

Mary Hurren Wight was born in 1848 in Suffolk, England, and was the daughter of James Hurren and Eliza Reeder; she was the oldest of their eleven children. Mary went to school for only a short time, where she learned her letters and how to do a little sewing. When she was about 8 years of age, her family, for religious purposes, left their beloved Suffolk, never to return again.

In 1856 the family, which included her father, her mother, and their three daughters, Mary, Sarah, and Emma, left England for Utah. In June, after seven weeks at sea, they arrived in New York, where they caught a train to Iowa. There, they stayed for a few weeks while they made handcarts and tents, and then traveled on to Winter Quarters in Nebraska.

The handcart company that they belonged to was headed by James D. Willie. On the day they started out, Mary’s mother gave birth to a baby girl, who died two weeks later. The company started out with a fairly good supply of food, a few wagons, some horses, mules, and hand carts. As time went on, the Indians stole some of their animals which made the loads too heavy to carry. People made piles of their precious supplies and burned them. When food became scarce, they bought a little buffalo meat from soldiers who they met along the way, and they ate the red berries that they found growing on wild rose bushes.

One day Mary and three other children became lost. It took one night and half the next day before they were found. They had huddled closely together and had listened to hungry wolves that growled in the night. You can imagine how thankful their parents were when the children were found; they had never expected to see them alive again.

When they got to Wyoming, Mary’s family ran out of food. Her father, while hunting the sagebrush, found a piece of raw hide, which had been left by some previous travelers. He cleaned, scraped, and cooked it; and the family ate it eagerly. Each portion of rawhide was only about two inches square, but as they chewed on it, it got bigger, and they received some nourishment from it. By this time Mary had walked about 1,000 miles and from the extreme cold, her feet and legs had become frozen. From that time on she had to ride.

Many of the people in the Willie Handcart Company became sick from fatigue, hunger, and cold; many were buried along the way, including Mary’s little playmate and companion. As Mary could not walk, her uncle carried her to the graveside in order for her to see her little friend for the last time. The ground was frozen so solid that the graves could not be dug very deeply. The bodies were wrapped in blankets or whatever they had, and then some brush or dirt was placed upon them. Mary’s own aunt while gathering sticks in this time of extreme cold, simply fell upon them and died.

The handcart company got caught in an early blizzard and had gone two days without any food when they heard the sound of creaking wagon wheels squeaking on the frozen, snow-covered ground. When they realized that it was help, sent to them from Salt Lake City, they wept with joy and fell on their knees in thankfulness. Those who survived this terrible trial finally arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on November 9, 1856.

Mary’s father called the doctor in to see what he could do for Mary’s feet and legs, but when he saw her condition, he said, “What is the use of sending for me? She’ll die. No possible chance for her.” But when he saw Mary and her mother in tears, he said, “Well, I can help her to die easier by taking one leg off above the knee, and the other off just below.” But Mary’s mother said, “No! If she must die, she’ll go as she is.”

A few days later they went up to Brigham City to meet Mary’s uncle, George Reeder, who had come to America three years earlier. They had not been in Brigham long when an old lady by the name of Snider called on the Hurrens. When she saw Mary’s legs, she told them if they would get some fresh beef and put on her legs, they would be all right; so her father walked all the way to Ogden and back several times to buy the beef for Mary’s legs. Before long her legs began to heal, but it was 1 ½ years before Mary could even take a step again.

Food was not very plentiful in Brigham City at that time. Mary’s Uncle George had grown some corn that year, but it had been piled on a dirt floor, and this caused it to mold—but they used it anyway and were glad for it. They also had a cow for milk, but it got poisoned and died. They felt very bad about this but Uncle George told his sister, Mary’s mother, that they should skin the cow, broil a piece of it and give it to the cat to eat. If the cat wasn’t dead in the morning, then they could eat the meat. The cat didn’t die, and they all ate moldy corn and poisoned cow as long as it lasted, and it never hurt one of them. They also ate sego lily roots which at that time were much larger than the ones we find today.

Mary was married at the age of 16 to Joseph Moroni Wight. Three months later they were called in a meeting to go to the Endowment House to receive their blessing and endowments. The next spring her husband was called to assist in building a sawmill in Smithfield, so they moved to Hyde Park to be near his work and also to Mary’s folks who had settled there. Later they moved to Hyrum, and eventually back to Brigham City where her husband worked in a sawmill and at carpentry. During this time their home, and everything they owned was destroyed by a fire. Later her husband went on a winter mission, and in his absence their baby girl died.

Mary had 13 children. When her youngest was about three years old, her husband, in order to avoid persecution for polygamy, took his second wife and children to Cardston, Alberta, Canada, leaving Mary and her family behind. There was much bitterness in the Wight family over this move. Mary’s family rallied around her, and her oldest boy, then 16 years old, helped to provide for her.

The family that went to Canada went through many hardships, but was instrumental in establishing the Latter-Day-Saint community there.

Mary seemed to be a natural-born nurse and she helped the sick and cared for the helpless. Many people from Brigham City of that time referred to her as “Aunt Mary.” In the years when her children were small, Mary said that it was a common thing for her to put her children to bed early so that she could wash their clothes and dry and press them so that the children could go to school clean the next day. She remembers a time when all the light they had was just a piece of cloth placed in a dish of grease with the cloth set afire, this gave light as long as the grease lasted.

When Mary turned 80 in 1928, she was still in good health and made quilt blocks, marked garments, knitted lace and braided rugs. She said that she couldn’t be idle and wouldn’t be old, so she kept busy. Because her legs had been so badly frozen in her youth, she couldn’t, however, walk very well.

Later, she moved in with her daughter Mina Baird down in Salt Lake City. On her 88th birthday she had a reception and among the many family members and guests that called to visit her that day was President Heber J. Grant. With that visit she could say that she had shaken hands with every president of the Church from Brigham Young down to President Grant.

At the time of her death in 1937, she was survived by three sisters, 6 living children, 49 grandchildren, 114 great-grand children and three great-great-grandchildren. Mary was buried in the Brigham City Cemetery.

I am currently Peaceful
I am listening to the television

Comments (0)

Next 10 Entries - Previous 10 Entries

Return to the Library of Leonard M Hawkes


pathetic.org Version 7.3.2 May 2004 Terms and Conditions of Use 0 member(s) and 2 visitor(s) online
All works Copyright © 2023 their respective authors. Page Generated In 0 Second(s)