Sunday, August 4, 2013

Nauvoo Road Trip: Day 3

Our second morning in Nauvoo dawned bright and beautiful! The bells in the temple's clock-tower signaled 7:00 a.m. and we all rolled out of bed bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Or bushy-haired:

We worked around camp and packed most everything up and got ready to leave. David wandered around collecting a few more cicada shells to add to his collection:
 He ended up with over 20 all together. He was quite proud of those little shells. Ew. Such a boy. He liked the ones that took team work the best. Jonathan would hold David up on his shoulders so David could reach them. Those were David's favorite bugs.

After breakfast we went on the oxen ride. Learned an interesting fact about oxen: oxen is not a different breed of cattle, they ARE cattle trained to haul and work. They are called oxen because of the work they do.
So these guys, Owen and Jesse, are Hereford cattle, a breed with which I am well acquainted! They were quite gentle and liked being pet by the kids.

 Peter was dead asleep. Poor boy just needed the sleep, he got a handful of twenty minute naps over the course of the three days we were gone.

This guys was very knowledgeable and told us all about oxen and their perks to the early church members: oxen were cheap, you didn't have to bring grain to supplement the grass, required less tack (in fact they needed no extra gear beyond the yoke), they were slower and matched a person's walking speed, they were stronger, and they tasted better if you had to put one down for some reason.

 Also learned that the oxen wagons could fit more in them because you didn't need to have a seat for a driver. Horses you drive from the cart, oxen you lead by a rope. Thought that was an interesting tidbit.

After the wagon ride we drove by the temp and went and looked around. Jonathan and I had seen the temple up close, but the kids had not. I think they enjoyed it...

 As we were leaving the temple's front steps a man stopped us and told David to come up the steps. The man ran inside and grabbed something for him to read. Turns out it was the temple president (I remembered him from the day before). He was a very nice man and that he took a moment out of his day to point out some fun stuff about the temple to David meant a lot to me. He probably does that all the time, but it was special anyway.

After that we went to the tinsmith's shop, then the gunsmith's home. David and Jonathan made it through with Peter...

 ... Andi reached the end of her rope so I went outside with her. She chased after a butterfly for a while and I the Nauvoo Brass Band. They ride around in a wagon playing old songs and hymns. At some point I heard them playing "We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet" down the road. I started to sing along, then realized half-way through the second verse that they had noticed I was singing and they stopped in front of me! I happily sang the third verse as loud as I could with them and clapped as they finished their song. I was the only one clapping, but it was a fun moment. Andi told me I was silly, but she was smiling, too.

Then on back to the Red Brick store. We got the kids some treats and I went upstairs.

This room actually felt really special. The Relief Society was organized here, and I was happy to see the room where such a strong organization of women was established. The store is happily situated with the front facing east towards the rest of town, and the back overlooking the Mississippi river. I think of all of the places we saw that room was one of my favorites.

Our last stop for our trip was to go to the place where everyone loaded their wagons onto ferries and left their beautiful homes, the temple they'd worked and sacrificed so much to build, and most of their prized possessions.

From that point at the river you could turn around and look back up into the city. During the winter, when they were fleeing the mobs, they could have looked straight through the city and up to their temple. That must have been so hard for them.
 But I'm so grateful for their sacrifice. Without it I would not be who I am today, nor would I know Heavenly Father and Christ the way I do.

After that we packed up the rest of our things and hit the road. We stopped in Peoria for dinner and had IHOP (they don't have those here in Michigan).

We hit the road again and didn't stop again until well after dark.

We finally arrived back home around 3:00 a.m.

Jonathan and I actually started making a list for the next time we go and what we'd do differently. Jonathan really would like to go back, I think it would be fun to go and be in the pageant some time (they have families in the cast and you go for a two-week rotation). So someday when we have the chance it is something we'd like to do. It is definitely something that we'd like to take more than two days to go and do. Two days time was enough to just knick the surface of everything you can do in Nauvoo. But this short trip was just exactly what our family needed to regroup and get away from life for a time.

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