Sunday, August 2, 2020

Closure or Renewal?

 This time of Covid-19 has brought many closures, restrictions, and changes in many of our routines. 

Since I live by myself and I'm in the vulnerable age group for the virus and its complications, the restrictions, cautions, and logistics on where I can go and who I can see, have changed my daily life and other plans in major ways. I've felt disappointment, frustration, trepidation, and many other emotions since March. 

I've had to be more mindful of ways I can stay in touch with people if I can't see them in person. I have more time to focus on several major projects I can do at home, like building our digital family memorial library.

I've had to prayerfully figure out how I can feel the same connection with God that I feel attending church with family and friends or being of service in-person without concern for anyone's health. How can I experience these feelings when there are so many restrictions and concerns?

What am I to learn from this time of closure and restrictions? Gary Stevenson talked about using such times of closure as a time for renewal. He used the closure of the Salt Lake City Temple as a framework for his comments. 

"I envision it more as a time of renewal rather than a time of closure! In a similar way, we might ask ourselves, “How could this extensive renewal of the Salt Lake Temple inspire us to undergo our own spiritual renewal, reconstruction, rebirth, revitalization, or restoration?”  Gary Stevenson 

Back here I wrote about the Salt Lake City Temple 
being closed for four years for seismic upgrades. 

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Foundations & Safe Zones

Types and Shadows – The Salt Lake City Temple closed at the beginning of the year for planned seismic upgrades that will take about 4 years to complete. The plan and the process provide parallels for our own lives. 

"The renovation of the temple includes the installment of a base isolation system to help the building withstand a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. … this system connects the base with the temple roof through secure rods and cables in the towers to protect the building from further damage. We create a safe zone around the perimeter of the building where that building can move,. …It allows the building to move with the earthquake up to four or five feet in any one direction.”  Paul Lawrence of Jacobsen Construction  The temple’s stone foundation needs to be strengthened before the base isolation system can be installed. 

Gary Stevenson talked about this strengthening of the foundation of the temple and likened it to our lives. “What are the foundational elements of my spiritual and emotional character that will allow me and my family to remain steadfast and immovable, even to withstand the earthshaking and tumultuous seismic events that will surely take place in our lives? These events, similar to an earthquake, are often difficult to predict and come in various levels of intensity—wrestling with questions or doubt, facing affliction or adversity, .... The best defense against these lies in our spiritual foundation. What might spiritual cornerstones of our personal and family lives be? They may be the simple, plain, and precious principles of gospel living—family prayer; scripture study, ... and gospel learning... " 

Strong foundation and safe zone – I am designing and building in a way that I can withstand the seismic events that come my way.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Family History Project

A family history project in progress

dental floss to help ease photographs from a page
magnifying glass to try to decipher notes obscured by glue and scrapbook paper

orange paper - Dad's note from 1994 saying he removed the photos he thought were important (and put them on the blue pages) and I could throw away the rest of Celia's 1913-1916 scrapbook. I didn't. It's full of pictures of Celia and her Sidell, Illinois and college friends. She wrote clever captions under most of the pictures. There are great pictures of Grandpa, Caryl Holton, as a college man.
The book on the right in the top picture is by Karen Cord Taylor who grew up in Vermilion county, Illinois, home of our Holton, Cathcart, Alexander, Baum, Sconce, Sandusky/Sodowsky ancestors. About 1840 her ancestors in London, England went to a lecture sponsored by our ancestor Isaac Sandusky. Sandusky sponsored lectures in London, England on the virtues of land in Vermiliion County, Illinois. He happened to "have  extensive land holdings" there. Over the next few years about 100 people from a friends and family group in London, England bought land and settled in Vermilion County. I found out about the book when I read an article in the American Ancestors magazine. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Not Alone

During these unique times it's extra important to make sure people don't feel alone. 

We may not be able to alter the journey, but we can make sure no one walks it alone. Surely that is what it means to bear one another’s burdens—they are burdens. And who knows when or if they will be lifted in mortality? But we can walk together and share the load. We can lift our brothers and sisters as Jesus Christ lifted us. (see Alma 7:11–13).

To be called the Savior’s people ... we must be “willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; yea, and [be] willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things” (Mosiah 18:8–9).        Jeffrey Holland

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Childhood Summer Memories

I woke up one morning and found my flowers looking like this

Made me think of hot, muggy childhood summers back in Ohio

A Walk in the Park

300+ acres
Saint Edward's Seminary was constructed in 1931 and was a seminary for the Sulpician Order. The seminary closed in 1977 and was sold to the state of Washington. It's being developed into a lodge
 The grotto
Scriptures open to John 3: 16
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 
Lake Washington

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Summer Evenings

Heathman Hotel
Park Lane is closed to cars every evening to allow the restaurants expanded outside seating. Hopefully this will help them get through the Covid-19 restrictions. There's also music on the lane nightly.