Sunday, October 5, 2014

Gettysburg, Fall Leaves, and Apple Butter

It must be Fall - the days and nights are getting colder, the leaves are turning, it's apple butter making season, and time for General Conference!  Also time for our regular debate about when to turn the furnace on....  I (Janie) think we can hold out 'til November by just putting on sweaters and a few extra blankets on the bed. Wayne has his own opinions about comfort and health...

The past week has been a little different for us - not as many personal visits as we'd like, but lots of trips and service opportunities. I'll begin with Monday, which was our Senior Couples trip to Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. Another senior couple who live in Cumberland and do records preservation for FamilySearch called us on Sunday and said if we would drive to their house (1 1/2 hours north of Petersburg) that we could ride with them the rest of the way (another 1 1/2 hours) to Gettysburg.  It was fun to get to know them better and fun for Wayne to enjoy the scenery and not have to drive the entire way.  One of the pamphlets about Gettysburg says that it includes nearly 6,000 acres, with 26 miles of park roads, and over 1,400 monuments and memorials.  So of course we couldn't see it all, but we did see a lot and learned a lot.  They
had a wonderful museum.  My favorite part was the giant cyclorama painting of Pickett's Charge. Visitors seem to be right in the middle of the battle and it's amazing.  We ate lunch at the Dobbin House, which was built in 1776, and has been used as a private home, a station of the underground railroad (complete with a slave hideaway), field hospital during the Civil War, and now a restaurant and tavern.  After lunch we took a bus tour with a very knowledgable guide pointing out where various battles took place, telling stories about leaders, and explaining strategy.  So interesting.  What an opportunity to be in this area and see all these places!  We enjoyed our time with about 20 other senior missionaries.

On Tuesday we drove a friend, Janet, to Harrisonburg, Virginia, for a doctor's appointment.   It was nice to see some new country and to spend time with Janet.  She showed us a house where relatives of Abraham Lincoln had lived and where he had spent summers as a child.  She directed us to a crafter's mall, a Costco, and a real mall (with a Bath & Body Works and a Christopher/Banks store - I've missed them so much...). We took a back mountain road home to Petersburg to enjoy the Fall foliage and even made it back in time to help out at the nursing home.  Wednesday we did make some visits and were especially happy to spend some time with Audrey and John, our friends who have fallen away from the church.  Nice to see them.  I worked on genealogy at the church in the evening and Wayne practiced his singing.  Thursday we again left Petersburg early and took all our Elders to Woodstock for interviews with our Mission President, Mark Richards
followed by our District Meeting.  We made it home in time for a couple of appointments and more service at the nursing home.  Friday was a service day.  Wayne went out to a farm, to help a less-active member and also got to meet a couple of his children.  I finished up work on some genealogy for Becki and submitted a lot of names for temple work, then went to a meeting with the Elders and the Ward Mission Leader.   In the afternoon we helped Kevin and Sherrie peel bushels of apples for their apple butter activity on Saturday.  In the evening Wayne sang at the nursing home.  Yesterday was the apple butter making and General Conference sessions.   What a great day.  We thoroughly enjoyed both.  We ended the day with jars of apple butter and leftover food for the coming week (including root beer pulled pork that is delicious), plus being spiritually fed by our prophets and leaders.  One of my favorite quotes from Conference so far was from Sister Carol McConkie: "The Lord's house is a house of order and we need never be deceived about where to look for answers to our questions, or uncertain about which voice to follow.  When we choose to live according to the words of the prophets, we are on the covenant path that leads to eternal perfection."  How fortunate we are.

Nice to hear that Matt and Kyle were able to make the trip to Salt Lake for some of the sessions of Conference live.  What a great Dad!   Sad to hear that a friend from La Grande has been seriously injured in a car/bicycle accident, was flown to Boise for treatment, and is in serious condition.  We are joining with the stake in a fast on his behalf today and await news of his recovery.  So that's probably more than sufficient to recap our week.  But I just can't resist adding many more pictures.  Let me know if you find them tiresome or if your computer objects to showing them....  Have a great week.  We love you.

A small part of the giant cyclorama of Pickett's Charge

More cyclorama

Dobbin's House, built in 1776.  Where we had lunch 

Slave hide-away under Dobbin's House, part of the Underground Railroad

With our friend, Abraham Lincoln

Gettysburg Battlefield

More Battlefield

Our excellent guide for the bus tour

Our excellent bus

Old house on the way to Harrisonburg, VA,  where Abraham Lincoln played with his cousins.

On the road home to Petersburg from Harrisonburg

Roscoe started the apple butter at 4 am,  it had to be stirred constantly while it slowly simmered
for 12 hours.  Sugar and cinnamon was then added and the jars were filled at about 6 pm.

Filling jars with hot apple butter

Searching for the pennies that are in the bottom of the kettle to help prevent scorching.

The wooden paddle used to stir.

Cleaning out the kettle with fresh homemade rolls.

Probably about 18 gallons of delicious apple butter.


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