Tibor, one of our faithful English students in Sopron, just sent us an updated picture of the last big project I had for the Sopron Branch in Hungary: a lift or elevator to make the church on the 3rd and 4th floors (2nd and 3rd if counting Hungarian style) more accessible for older members and those with various aches and pains. I'm sure you remember that a bakery and a bank are on the first two floors.
As we drove through Kansas on the way home, the radio announced that we were heading into a major tornado outbreak from Kansas through Missouri starting on a line from Salina to Oklahoma City and moving eastward along the route we usually take to Florida. We decided that since we hadn't seen Wendy's engagement ring yet, we'd detour southward through Salina and Okalahoma City to Houston. The tornadoes touched down everywhere just after we went through.
Here's Wendy's ring... and here are Daniel and Wendy posing with three of the new grandchildren we'll be getting this summer--Lucy, Reuben and Joseph. (The teddy bear is sitting in for a daughter who was at a school function.)
We're now at the last stop in our three week tour to visit the relatives. Here is daughter Carrie and her lovely family in Loveland, Colorado While the parents worked, we had grandparent duty for two days. Here grandpa is being egged by Allie and Cassie. Luckily the Easter eggs were filled with confetti. Of course, Thompson descendents go to the Big Thompson School. (Does it look like I am a big enough Thompson?) Cassie, Allie, and Maddie are showing off their gymnastics skills before their lesson. Cassie is trying on her costume for her tap dance recital. Maddie is hip hopping away in her dance lesson. Cassie decided that since the day was nice (in the 60s) that she would have a strawberry picnic. The elk are still grazing in the neighborhood waiting for the snows to melt in the mountains. Of course, we had to ride horses. Here are Allie and Carrie. Does grandma look like she is having fun with Cassie?
Boldog (pronounced bulldog) means "happy" in Hungarian--but this is the visual image that English speakers have when they hear the word. He doesn't look too happy to me. Near Logan, Utah we passed this building that looks like a Hungarian castle. We don't know what it is. This castle is the Logan Temple. And here is the new Brigham City Temple.
The snows melted from the highways and the tour continued, first Easter with Caroly's sister Diana and Merlin in Burley, Idaho... then family home evening with sister Kathy and family in Dayton... with some horse time, of course. In between there was the traditional stop in Soda Springs to revisit Roger's childhood, just in time to see the geyser... visit the graves of his parents... and drink some Hooper Water. (It tastes just like the Deutschkreutz water we drank every day in Sopron, Hungary) Of course, we are ever on the look out for wild horses.
I thought the poem says "April showers bring May flowers." I don't think the poem works in Northern Idaho and Montana. This looks more like snow to me. Caroly is enjoying it. A blizzard with an expected three feet of snow closed the Interstate through the mountains from Butte, Montana to Burley, Idaho for our visit with Diana so we're holed up here until tomorrow when the roads are plowed. I'm trying to taste the fresh snow as it swirls by. You can't really get a good picture of swirling, falling snow. Here's the car in the morning, covered with a thick layer of ice and dusted with snow at 6º F. Luckily our Florida car started right up.
The Thompson adventure a day tour continues. If it's Tuesday, it's Uncle Les's place in Rocklin, California... and pizza with his kids, Caroly's cousins... with a stop to see the Sacramento Temple. If it's Wednesday, it a visit with brother Chris and his wife Pam in Portland, Oregon for several great bowls of chicken chili.. with a stop to see Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge... and the thick moss on the Oregon trees. Thursday it's Chinese food with brother Tom in Pullman, Washington... and a look at the boyhood home. Firday it's a visit to the family lake cabin... on the shores of Lake Coeur d"Alene in Idaho. Saturday it's off to Burley, Idaho and a visit with Caroly's sister Diana.
Can you go back to where you were raised and relive the past? Or does the present interfere? The first stop in Caroly's Susanville was the home at 201 Alexander. The front door and porch are gone. This is now the entry. Most of the apple trees are gone. Here is what we found as we looked around for Trixie the horse. The Susan River still is flowing well along the property. The field that Trixie ran in now is filled with low cost housing. Some of the fields Caroly used to ride her horse through are still there. Most are now filled with houses. The nearby lumber mill where Caroly's dad Bleak used to grade lumber is now closed. We dragged Main Street to relive old times. The high school wasn't easy to recognize with various additions and upgrades. The A&W root beer stand where young Caroly used to carry trays of root beer to customers has been a Chinese restaurant for 25 years. We headed out to Standish where the Powells farmed before moving into Susanville. The farm buildings and rose bushes are gone, replaced by several new houses, but here are the fields out back. This is what is left of the store that Caroly used to ride her horse to on errands. She went to 4th and 5th grade in this town, but the small school has been replaced by a large modern school to serve the many new residents in the area. Last was a stop at the cemetery in Janesville... to visit the grave of Bleak and Evelyn. So you can see, the present and the future interfere with a visit to the past. But here is a nice look at the mountains on the way out of Susanville.