After the last week of traveling this week of Thanksgiving was relatively quiet and proved to be very thought provoking for me.
On Monday and Tuesday the President was in the office and that always makes it a little more busy because he usually has assignments or questions for Elder Ashton. He sometimes has questions for me, too, if he sees something odd in the budget allocations or we have an anomaly in paying som of the bills. He noticed what appeared to be a mistake in the amount I paid on two bills, and I was really glad when it just turned out to be a stapling error - I mixed up the cover sheet on two utility bills so that error was easily fixed!
On Wednesday, the Mission Secretary was out of the office traveling to spend Thanksgiving with family....I must admit I suffered a little bit of envy that she was able to do that and my family is too far away to make that feasible. It would have been nice to spend it in Arizona, Colorado, or Wyoming but decided to make the best of it and fixed Thanksgiving dinner for two young Elders. There were 4 of us for dinner instead of the 25 of so that made the cooking easy.....I didn't even start cooking until about 9 a.m. on Thursday and it is usually a project that takes a couple of days ;) We had a nice traditional dinner (it was a challenge to get all the food on the small table we have but we made it!) Then we played a couple of short games with the Elders and spent the rest of the evening just the two of us here at the apartment.
Elder Ashton started the day off with a bike ride over the Jorden Bridge with some of the Elders (Jeffers, Giles, Hansel, Brown, Wood, and Egbert). The Jorden Bridge is 167 feet high and here they are at the top of it. When Elder Ashton got home he was bored so he went to work on mission bikes. I wonder if he will ever slow down!?!
Friday was a quiet day at the office but I finally found a task to keep me busy the last 3 hours - I was counting out pass along cards for the new Christmas initiative in amounts of 200 per companionship. I got 38 sets counted out but we need 90 by Wednesday so I think I will have something to keep me busy part of the day tomorrow.
With the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday and taking into consideration all the travel we did the previous week, we decided not to go on any adventure on Saturday so I'm just sharing pictures I have taken around Portsmouth over the last couple of weeks.
I noticed this tree (I call it the "family tree" because the trunks of more than one tree are wound together and from a distance it looks like just one tree) a couple of weeks ago. I find that mother nature certainly has a sense of humor :)
We had rather nice weather this past week and when we came home Friday night we had a beautiful pink sunset over the water. There was lots of traffic and we couldn't find a place to stop and take a picture so I went back at the same time on Saturday night.....the sunset was not quite as pink but I still think it is a pretty and peaceful setting.
Notice how the sky is reflected in the water.....and I think those three clouds look like three turtles swimming along in the sky.
If you can see, just below the tree line in this picture there are two boat docks that I have thought about this week.....one on each side of the river. The one on the left side of the river is missing part of the dock and the one on the right is nearly always barely submerged in the water and seems to me that it needs to be raised. Soooooooo......every time we cross the bridge either going to the office or coming back to the apartment, I start wondering what steps would need to be taken to raise an existing dock (like the one on the right side) or to replace the decking on a dock (like the one on the left side). I have thought about that quite a bit but haven't come up with any ideas so I guess maybe I will ask GOOGLE ;-D
Here's a close up shot of the trees around here that have trees in a variety of colors - I think they are very eye-catching!
As you can see from the ground in the picture above, the leaves are really falling of the trees now....and it is time for the homeowners to rake them up and set them out for the city to pick up. For over a week, every day we saw the homeowner of my favorite house along the river out raking leaves. Below are two pictures of the leaves he bagged in that time.
I would guess this larger pile of bags is about 50 bags.
I counted these bags as I walked back to the truck - 34 bags! That means the homeowner has raked up about 85 bags of leaves and he's still not done! However, he cleaned it up enough to put up a Christmas Greeting.
I got a text from the Elders on Thanksgiving asking me if I could fix a pair of pants for them. I told them sure....they said the hem just needed to be fixed a little bit. What do you think?
I got them all fixed and pressed yesterday and had them in my hands to take to the Elders at church this morning when I realized the side seam was ripped next to both side pockets.....so they are back on my sewing machine waiting for that quick mending job. Sure am glad I brought my sewing machine with me!
We had an interesting couple of meetings at church today. The speakers ended early in Sacrament meeting so in keeping with Thanksgiving the Bishop asked for an "impromptu" choir to sing Hymn #219 - Because I Have Been Given Much. It sounded quite good for being impromptu and the choir was made up of kids, adults, and senior citizens.....Hispanic, African American, Filipino, and Southerner. Interesting ending to Sacrament meeting.
Then in the 3rd hour it was a combined Relief Society and Priesthood Meeting and was an open discussion of two comparisons.....Compare Life to a Race & Compare the Plan of Salvation to Climbing a Mountain. Very interesting discussion and so many different perspectives on those two comparisons. Take a few minutes and see what you think about those two comparisons.
And finally, this is my sweet friend, Shirley, that I met at church when we moved back here a year ago. She has had a couple of strokes and lives in an assisted living place. She told me today that she had turkey dinner at her place on Thursday and when I asked her if it was good she told me it was so-so. I think her life has been hard and is harder now as a result of the strokes but she always greets me with a smile and a grasp of my hand. I wonder if I would be as sweet as Shirley if I had faced the challenges she has?
I am blessed top have this opportunity to know and love the people here.....I continue to learn that we all have a story and I haven't yet found anyone whose entire life has been easy.
As we bid good-bye to November and say hello to December, life is good and we are healthy and happy. When I think back to 2007 when my body started to betray me, I am in awe that my health is so good - I am truly blessed!