Sunday, October 26, 2014


Autumn has nearly come and gone here already.  It was not the spectacular palette of bright colors we were hoping for- a lot of yellows but not many reds or oranges.  And many of the trees are still green and simply turning brown with the leaves just quickly falling off. But fear not! I have taken PLENTY of photos of nearly every tree of color that I could find and and happy to share them with you-especially those of you in HB where you don't get much of an autumn at all.

We, along with the Moores, took an extended Pday trip this week and explored the lake region of New Hampshire. We spent Monday and Tuesday exploring this lovely area.

For lunch we stopped at a fun diner where, at our cute waiter's enthusiastic recommendation, we tried all things  "bacon jam" ...bacon jam burger, bacon jam sandwich, and bacon jam omelet. All were delicious! Next stop was the Mt. Washington Cruise across Lake Winnipesaukee ( of "What About Bob" fame).  This is an historic converted steamship.  We cruised across the lake (it it huge!) to Wolfsboro , which is the site of America's first summer resort, and back again.

I love this little island with its cute little deck. It has its own dock on the other side and tiny swimming area.  And of course, there is a cute house behind the trees. 

My attempt at vintage. :)

The mighty Mt. Washington

After our cruise we just explored the neighboring vicinity.

Squam Lake aka Golden Pond

A pretty vacation spot-cottages on the lake.

Maybe I'd better move?

Not much going on here this time of year, but come summertime this place is popular and packed!
On Tuesday we visited the Castle in the Clouds! (cue the Les Miserables soundtrack).  It really isn't a castle but a large Craftsman style estate on 5500 acres high in the Ossipee Mountains and overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee. It is a true Americana Rags to Riches story.  Tom Plant, the son of poor immigrants, worked his way up through the industry and with hard work, ingenuity, and drive he  bought his own factory and with his shoe innovations made a huge fortune. His was the largest factory in the U.S. and the largest shoe factory in the world. The house was not only beautiful but had many cutting edge, modern conveniences most homes at the time did not. Its bathrooms would function just fine  today- in fact, I would love the master bathroom.  It looks like it came out of Pottery Barn. The house even has a hidden room.  But the true glory of the place is the views  Spectacular vistas! From every single window!
It started pouring (and I mean pouring!) rain as soon as we entered the house so we didn't get the best photos of the views but it stopped raining as soon as we were ready to leave so we aren't complaining one bit!

A viewing station on the way up.

As you can see, we truly were in the clouds!

Every window had these stained glass inserts depicting local scenes.

I love this.  It was framed in Mr. Plant's bedroom.
I told you I liked taking pictures through windows :)
The "Castle".

The lovely bathroom I mentioned.
It had a deep clawfoot tub and a shower with a railhead and side jets!
And a private toilet area behind closed doors. 

We were so grateful the rain stopped because it gave us the opportunity to explore the dazzling grounds.

I found some red!!!

Adorable statues!

Feeding the stocked pond trout- big ones!

Can't get enough of that red!

Love the reflection.

Also on the grounds were some gorgeous waterfalls. Supposedly one of the few, if not only, private properties that had its own big waterfall.  Absolutely LOVED this place!

Do you see the face?

Gorgeous! I was as happy as a clam!  Loved, loved the beauty surrounding us there.

We ate lunch in what used to be the carriage house. Warm soups and hot chocolate to take off the chill and cut the dampness.  Our waitress, Michelle, was delightful and as we got to talking with her it naturally came out that we were serving missions for our church. She said she was actually looking for a church for herself, her husband and her little son. She said she was searching for one that required sacrifice (check!), did a lot of charitable works (double check!), and focused on family and family values (check, check and check!).  We encouraged her to check out the other churches that interested her but to be sure and include ours in the list. She was very interested and gave us her contact information so the missionaries in her area could reach her.  They did and she has an appointment with them in November.  It will be exciting to see what comes of it. :)

On our way back to Massachusetts, we stopped in Concord, N.H. to have dinner with my friend, Ruth.  Her husband couldn't make it this time so she invited her sister Jean to come along. We were so happy she did. They are both the loveliest people.  We have said before how we were coming on this mission to 'give back' a little after a lifetime of blessings.  Well, these two have been giving back all along the way for their whole lives.  They are an inspiration!  They chose one of their favorite restaurants to meet in- a Mexican one. Well, it redeemed Mexcian food in New England for us.  We had given up on ever finding any good Mexican here but everything everyone had was delicious. Thanks , Ruth!

Sisters with Sisters!
Jean and Ruth, Nancy and Susan

My blog program (or maybe me) was on the blink for the last few weeks so I am 3 blogs behind.
 The photos stir memories and I can write a little about them and those experiences. But sadly, the spiritual events aren't saved in such a fashion and are harder to recall to my aging memory. :D !
I did have a notebook where I jotted notes for just this purpose - to jiggle my memory and help me share those thoughts. Sadly, again, I left that behind at one of our meetings and have not seen it again.

Saturday was my 45th (egads! it hurts to say that out loud!) high school reunion. And since I went to high school in good ol' Franklin, Mass. I was practically right next door so ,of course, I went! Franklin is about an hour from here.  For those reading who may not be familiar with my history, my family moved here from Alabama when I was 16, a freshman in HS, and they moved to Colorado when I was a freshman in college at B.Y.U. So my entire life here in Massachusetts was all four years of high school.
Dale and I drove in early and took the local young missionaries out to lunch to catch up on the church's growth there. Wow! When we lived there we were the only family in the entire town that belonged to the church.   (About a year before we moved another family moved in) We drove to another town about 20 minutes away, Foxboro, to go to church in a little branch there where my dad was the branch president. Now there is a chapel (the stake center!) in Franklin and 2 wards and 2 branches- a family ward, a singles ward, a family branch and a Spanish branch! I could hardly believe it!  That was so exciting for me.

We also searched out the 'places of interest' to me- the high school, our homes, my best friend's home, etc.

The church.

The remains of my high school. This fall was the first year students entered the new building.

The brand-spankin' new high school! It's huge!!

Our house on Pond Street.
I remember it as being bigger.  Our house in Alabama was one story so maybe that's why this one seemed so big to me. It was really quite small. We rented this house until we found one we wanted to buy.  I was extremely unhappy that my parents uprooted me from all my friends and my happy life in Alabama so I 'punished' them by sulking in my room everyday for nearly a year. (teenagers!)

This is the house right across the street from us. It was the Ramsey's house. As of THE Ruth and Jean Ramsey in the photo above. I always loved their house. A classic farm house beauty. Many good memories there.

This is our house just around the corner and about a block and a half way on Janie Avenue. We bought this house. My dog died in that driveway. First thing I thought of when we saw it. Memories are a fascinating thing.  I also distinctly remember walking from this house to Ruth's and back in the fall and composing melancholy poems in my head.  (Oh, and I just had to get that glorious tree in a photo. )

The Class of 1969

We've aged pretty well, I think.
( I'm in the back row, 6th from right)


We spent the night in Franklin and left the next morning to go to Weston for our Stake Conference.  Our Mission President and his wife, the Packards were among the speakers. It was an uplifting and inspiring meeting. Among the highlights:
Keep our relationship with our Father holy. Share our gratitude with Him more than asking for things.
Seek to serve rather than be served.
Love the Lord more than the world.
Come unto Christ
A former atheist shared his conversion story.  He was converted through a ward activity which he attended just to support his wife.  He said to live the gospel is to believe in its power. And that it is like Green Eggs and Ham. Try them. Try them. And you will see.

In front of the Stake Center- we loved this tree!

Love the contrast between the orange and blue, blue sky!

That's a wrap for this week! You can see why its very easy for us to go our way rejoicing!


  1. I love your blog, it transports me to a wonderful place of fun sights! Love your pictures, your descriptive comments are perfect! You are both looking wonderful and it's obvious how much you are enjoying being with the missionaries and each other! Keep it coming!

    Love Lynda

  2. Glad things seem to be up and running again. I love all your wonderful fall pictures. Looks like you, Susan and husbands are having a wonderful adventure and mission. It was great you got to go to your high school reunion. Keep up the good work. Love ya.

  3. October is my favorite color, too! Thank you for sharing these idyllic photos and your reflections and memories of your childhood. Priceless!

  4. Ok, that first picture can NOT be real! Looks like a painting or something so beautiful! All those tree and leaf pictures were amazing. You are quite the photographer too...i love your composition. :) Oh, and before I forget: cute boots! I want them ;)

    Based on the picture of you at your high school DID look like a movie star! And I loved seeing pictures of your old homes...makes it so much easier to picture your youth now in my mind. What cute homes! And that castle in the clouds...wouldn't mind living there either!

    Love you guys! You and Dad look so good...healthy, happy, and full of true joy! xoxo