March indeed came in like a lion. It snowed again on March 1st. No one seemed to mind, however. We are so close to breaking the record of the snowiest Boston winter evah that everyone is rooting for those few more inches. That last snowfall brought us within an inch of the record so we shall see .
And just to be absolutely clear, I do not echo Eeyore's sentiments. I am not gloomy about the weather.
As I've said in the past, if I'm am only going to be here for one New England winter, I want it to be a real New England winter. Bring on the snow! ( As long as it stops by March 20th- the first day of Spring!)
It is good to be "back in action"! And we jumped right back in with both feet! It has been a very busy couple of weeks.
On Saturday, February 28th, we went on a "test run" to see how I would hold up. We had heard that a local cemetery was a must see site, in winter and fall especially. It was magical in the snow.
We thought this looks like a giant chess piece.
It is an incredible experience living among so many historical landmarks.
Sunday gave us a spiritual feast. Our mission president, Daniel Packard, presented a fireside on the prophet Joseph Smith and how what he learned could change the world.
The songs were:
If I can Help Somebody (Alma Adrozzo)
Make Me Whole (Rob Gardner)
Savior, Redeemer of My Soul (Rob Gardner)
Oh, How Lovely Was the Morning (Larry Beebs arrangement)
Even though it was snowing, the chapel and cultural hall were filled.
I wish he could travel through-out the world (or least have a video made) so everyone could hear this powerful message and feel the spirit both through the spoken word and music.
He did share some short videos he has made for our Portable Visitor Centers in which he answers some of the above questions and more.
Go to this link if you would like to see them:
You can search for him by name, Daniel Packard, or search these titles:
Is Christ's church on the earth today?
Why do bad things happen?
How can I feel lasting satisfying faith?
Look for the "Search " tab in the upper right hand corner and enter any of those things.
One of our Portable Visitors Centers
Monday brought another delightful dinner and Family Home Evening with our temple presidency and temple missionaries. President Huntington shared some his experiences of living in Saudi Arabia.
Tuesday was National Pancake Day so, of course, we celebrated. IHOPS was giving out free pancakes but since there aren't any near us, we just went over to a local downtown Waltham cafe and ordered up some of theirs.
Those are no ordinary pancakes! Oh no. Those are Reeses Peanut Butter Cup pancakes!
Look what happened in Huntington Beach on Tuesday!
We are not the only ones with weather :)
Everyone had so much fun playing in it. It was the first snow some of our grandchildren had ever seen.
On Wednesday we had the privilege of going to the temple with the mission leadership council. What a joy that was! To see all those remarkable young people reverently worshipping in the Celestial Room was a glimpse into heaven. The world is in good hands.
We finished around lunch time so we explored our area for some new eating places. We couldn't go to the place we had chosen because we couldn't find a place to park with all the snow still covering the majority of spaces so we just drove along till we found this place, which had parking. :)
Blue Ribbon Diner
Thursday and Friday we attended and participated in our zone conferences. Thursday was in Hingham and Friday in Worcester. Those two places were hit hardest with the snow. It was still pretty deep.
Church parking lot
Following are some highlights from the conferences
Some fun and very effective role playing
Sister Packard always comes through with a very entertaining and informative game show during lunch. It's always based on 'how well do you know your mission' but the game show changes each time. This was "So You Want to be a Missionaire.
A few highlights:
Plant your doubts in a garden of obedience.
When reading scriptures, read looking for answers to questions.
Repentance is always a happy joyful thing. In the Hebrew translation it means 'to turn', in Greek- a change of spirit. Hopeful and beautiful concepts. Unfortunately in the Latin translation it was changed to "to punish" which gives it the negative connotation it has today.
God cares more about who we are becoming than who we used to be.
Someone spent a lot of time on this sweet Golden Plates cake.
They feed us well. Too well. :)
Dale and I both gave presentations after lunch. He addressed the health issues of Acne and Athletes foot. ( Yes. Yes, he did) And I bore a brief testimony of the wonder and miracle of our bodies.
Saturday! Saturday! A glorious, perfect day! Our first adventure in ages!
March is Maple Month in New Hampshire. Sugar makers open their doors to the public to educate in the craft of maple sugaring. I researched and tried to find the perfect place. I did! I really did! I hit the jackpot with Charmingfare Farm in the tiny town of Candia. It proved to be the quintessential New England experience. I dearly wanted to be in the country, in the forest, in the deep snow. I got that and so much more. The icing on the cake was a sleigh ride ( yay! I finally got my sleigh ride) over the river and through the woods - 20 minutes into the forest to the Sugar House. And once there we saw the process of making maple syrup from the sap dripping into the buckets, to the boiling process. to the delectable treat of eating hot pancakes with freshly made, straight from the pan, hot syrup. Splendid!
It was a dream come true. It was a beautiful blue sky day to add to the perfection. And we shared it with the senior couple from our zone, the Walshs.
The sap is clear. That was a surprise. Dale tasted it and it tasted like water.
I found a lichen heart!
In the Sugar House. Making the syrup.
It is a very short season. The temperature needs to be below freezing at night and above 40 during the day.
Stoking the fire.
Truly the best maple syrup I've ever tasted.
Another bonus: S'mores!
The above and the following are of the charming Charmingfare Farm
All sorts of yummy maple treats. Loved the Maple Cotton Candy.
On our way home we stopped at a lobster shack ( not good) and at the Anheuser-Busch facility in Merrimack, N.H. to see the Clydesdales.
"Bud" (Of course)
King of the Mountain
And can you even believe this perfect ending to a picture perfect day?
I know its far away and difficult to see but just look at that magnificent animal kicking up his heels in the snow! So happy! So blessed!
Once again we go our way rejoicing!