Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Sisters Chadwick and Goff are assisting with a quilt being created by the Macon Ward Relief Society. Here it is ready to begin quilting:

The top was designed and assembled by members.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

A sister from the Forsyth group had back surgery on Friday and we went to visit her today. The surgery went fine and she was in fine spirits. With her type of surgery one cannot bend or twist easily so bath-rooming can be difficult. She sent a friend out to Walgreen's to get a butt wiper. That's right a butt wiper. Not something I was familiar with. Are you? It's a device with a ergonomic shape which grasps a bunch of toilet paper and that you can use without bending or twisting. The wonders of American ingenuity never cease to amaze. Even her doctor saw it and ask what it was. Anyway now you know if you ever have back surgery of all the implements you will need.

Thursday, 23 November 2017, Thanksgiving

Early in the day we delivered some chairs to missionaries in the Columbus area. Then we went the bridge between Columbus and Phenix City across the Chattahoochee River. A gentleman about our age came by and we got to talking. Phenix City was once known as the most corrupt city in the nation. We had heard stories before but he expanded. Someone tried to blow up one of the reformer's home with dynamite but no one was hurt. On one occasion all of the slot machines in town were gathered up and soldiers took pickaxes to them without emptying out the money.

There are fall on the Chattahoochee at Columbus which furnished power in the past. Here are a couple of pictures.

The wall along the left side is what remains of a canal that supplied power to mills in Columbus.

An old railroad bridge

We had dinner with Summer and Jake. Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, gravy, pumpkin rolls, cherry and pecan pie à al mode—everything Thanksgiving is supposed to be. Jake invited some of the officers he training with but only one was able to make it, an officer from the Army of Niger in Africa. He learned English in two months at an US Army school five months ago. He spoke it very well. The only thing that flummoxed him was "mouse." He asked, "What is mouse?"

Coming home some guy got on my left fender and stayed there for over thirty miles. Nothing I did would get rid of him. Why would someone do that?

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

The end of my first three quarters of a century. Or as John Hume said, "The twenty-fifth anniversary of your fiftieth birthday." Malino's Italian Grill in Valley, AL, the restaurant we went to this evening, gives dinner to individuals on their birthday. (www.milanosgrille.com) Their meat sauce is exceptional. The waitress said they add cinnamon.

We've been watching the cotton harvest for the last several weeks. Here's a field with the bales of cotton ready for transport to the cotton gin. Note how much cotton is left in the field. I was told that cattle may be let into the field to eat the cotton left by the picking machine.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

We traveled yesterday to deliver a replacement washing machine near Augusta. A woman spoke to me as we were both at the counter at the hotel having seen me missionary badge. She and her sister are in Augusta in order for the sister to get a medical diagnosis. Sister Chadwick asked if she would like a blessing. We went into the business center of the hotel which was quiet and private and I gave her a blessing. Not something I expecting to do on a weekday morning while checking out of a hotel.

On the way to Augusta, we couldn't resist this Methodist church in Camak, GA:

Monday, 20 November 2017

We took two hours after doing missionary things and went to the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta. It's small but has a fabulous collection of paintings. Here are some of my favorites:

Church choir

The man on the right was a Kentucky abolitionist who fought as an officer for the Confederacy.
He is depicted selling his part African son into slavery. Talk about schizo.

Two portraits by Samuel Morse who decided he wasn't going to make it as an artist
and decided to invent the telegraph instead.



Sunday, 19 November 2017

Today there were four people confirmed members of the church and given the Gift of the Holy Ghost. The first was a sister from a family we home teach. I had sent the missionaries to help her clean up fallen trees after the various storms we had this year. They asked it she would like to hear the lessons. No one had asked before and she always felt like the unseen elephant in the room whenever members of the church visited. The missionaries and I went fishing in her pond and she insisted we stay for dinner. During dinner she announced that she knew the Book of Mormon was true. She said she was reading and suddenly just knew.

Sister Cheryl Heath, Elders Valcin, Strong and Whitworth

She had learned about sealing in the temple to your family. The father of her children, an ex-husband, had reappeared in recent years leaving peaches at the gate for her, her mother and aunt. When he was hospitalized this summer, she was his advocate in the hospital and was there constantly. She expressed wanting to get sealed to him as soon as possible. I said, "You do realize that means remarrying him." She didn't realize that and was somewhat taken aback. But he and the missionaries are coming for dinner Thanksgiving. I said to one of the elders, "Teach him and in a year they can be sealed." It wouldn't be the first time a divorced couple found they were OK together after all.

The other three confirmations were teenagers from an active family who hadn't able to attend church for several years because of a sick grandfather—really good kids with a lot of potential.

Pandora, Zaira, and Gabriel Imlay
Elders Valcin, Whitworth, and Strong

There is an investigator that's been coming to church for several months. She dresses in the best southern church lady tradition. Once she had 150 hats but someone broke into her home and stole 2/3 of them:

Friday, 17 November 2017

It's been a little crazy and I didn't realize how much time had passed since I wrote in this blog so let me start with the most recent and work back.

The Dump

Sister Chadwick loves to go to the Macon-Bibb Landfill, AKA, the dump. Why you ask does Sister Chadwick love to go to the dump you ask? Because of all of the birds that hang out there and the possibility of seeing an alligator. This week we saw wood storks, egrets, a blue heron, cormorants catching 8-inch long fish in what could only be called a large mud puddle, and some birds we could not identify because they was too far away. The dump is in the middle of a large swamp. The local animal control authorities release alligators that find their way into peoples' backyards back into this swamp. Truth!

11 and 12 November

This past weekend we skipped out of church in Forsyth to go hear Ex-President Jimmy Carter's Sunday School lesson in Plains, Georgia. Saturday, we took Sister Goff, the mission nurse, and met granddaughter Summer and her husband, Jake, at the Massee Lane Gardens in Fort Valley, Georgia.

First the Sunday School lesson: The instructions online indicate that if you want a seat, you need to be at the church, the Maranatha Baptist Church, before seven A.M. for the lesson that begins at ten A.M.

The Maranatha Baptist Church

At 6:50 we are greeted by George Williams. George appears to be mid- to late-sixties with a full beard and a pleasant manner. George gives us a tattered card with the number 28 on it instructing us that is our group's position in the line to go into the church. There are cars from all over in the parking lot, Texas, Kentucky, Ontario, Iowa, and more.

A little before nine people begin to line up and George's wife, Jan, tells us what to expect. Jan is a former school teacher and abides no nonsense in line glaring at Sister Chadwick when she pointed out a very cold mockingbird sitting in a tree across the parking lot. No knives, scissors, or any other pointy object is allowed including knitting needles. Jan had to bring out one of the Secret Service agent on a previous occasion to convince a lady from New Zealand to put her needles back in the car. Apparently, the Secret Service get very nervous about Mr. Carter's Sunday School class. After all, it's widely advertised, it's open to the public and who knows what kind of a crazy might think to make a name for himself by attacking a former president. Everyone empties their pockets and bags and are wanded by the agents. Photos are only allowed before the invocation while Mr. Carter talks to the attendees.

The lesson was excellent. At 93 Mr. Carter is somewhat stooped but is vigorous and lively. He talked about faith and that when one loves Jesus and if one loves Jesus, one would do nothing to cause Jesus pain. The example he used was: If your daughter suffered whenever you did something wrong, would you do wrong.

We stayed for the service after the lesson. The pastor, Brandon Patterson, gave the sermon but I must confess I dosed some and missed a bit of it. Pastor Patterson is twenty-three, this is his first job as a pastor having just completed seminary this past spring, and was getting married the following Saturday.

President and First Lady Carter sat for pictures after the service. Here we three are with them:

The Carter's have been married for 71 years. While we were in Plains, we went to their former school, now a National Park Service museum about the Carters and saw the smiling peanut:

As for Saturday

Summer and Jake meet us at the Massee Lane Gardens in Fort Valley, GA. The gardens are maintained by the American Camellia Society. In addition to a large expanse of camellia bushes, the main building houses a world-class porcelain collection.

I didn't know anything about camellias. I didn't know and am having some difficulty adjusting to flowering bushes in November. Colors range from the purest white

to dark red

with simple six petal flowers

to bunches of petals:

Here's what one of the bushes looks like:

The azaleas were also blooming:

and even the bindweed:

My first experience with azaleas was in 1971 when we moved to Long Island. Flowering bushes are not an common thing in the semi-arid climate of northeastern Colorado and I was astonished when I saw azaleas and rhododendrons blowing in May and June. Seeing azaleas bloom in November is just as astonishing.

We had a great time. Here are Sister Chadwick with Summer and Jake:

There is a Japanese garden with a koi pond on the grounds:

The stones with the cross hatching are mill stones. Mill stones are used through out the gardens.

Inside the main building:

are the porcelain figurines:

My comment to Jake, "This represents a lot of cotton and peanut wealth."

The Previous Week

Sister Chadwick saw an announcement in the paper about a free concert billed as three generations of pianists. It was sponsored by the Macon Morning Music Club. We enjoyed it.

The grandmother, Susan McDuffie, played the organ and piano. The mother, Margery Whatley, and the grandmother played two pianos. The 14-year old granddaughters, Lindsay and Kendall Whatley, played two pianos. The mother and granddaughters played solos. The son, Robert McDuffie, a world famous violinist, played his $3.5 million, 1735 violin with Baxter James, a cousin, on the guitar. They played Bach, Gershwin, Poulenc, Rachmaninoff, Chopin—it really was a marvelous performance. The grandmother and son played How Great Thou Art. Sister Chadwick immediately bought CDs of Margery Whatley's and Robert McDuffie's music.