Sunday, March 22, 2015

MARCH 8-15, 2015

We broke the record!

Just after 7 Sunday evening, with 2.9 more inches of fresh snow blanketing Boston, the National Weather Service in Taunton announced that the city notched its snowiest winter since records started being kept in 1872.

(Paul Revere)

Although the weather will be mild on Monday and Tuesday, yet another arctic front is moving in later this week and temperatures are forecast to plummet, again, and remain cold through next week. Wednesday night could drop to a low of 19 degrees.
And, yes, sadly, the record could rise even more.
“I’m sorry to say that we could be getting more snow on Friday,” said Nocera. “And it looks like there might be more next week.”
(I don't really get these graphics, but , oh well.)
Yeah! We did it!  
I loved it!
But now I am ready for Spring!  
(not looking forward to the snow predicted this weekend.  I'm finally over it!) 
I'm ready for dogwoods and daffodils!

Sunday was lovely.  We had another very special baptism.  We have been the transportation for 3 very sweet kids every Sunday now for months. Camilla, who is 13, and her 2 cousins.  They get up and get dressed and go to church on their own with no adults. Camilla reads her scriptures on the way.  Jason, 10, was the one baptized. Camilla gave a heart felt talk about feeling the spirit. Impressive , beautiful children. 
I was especially touched because Jason asked to take a picture with me. Very sweet. We love these people . They go to the Portuguese group so we don't really interact with them a lot at church- just in the car, to and from, so it meant even more when he requested he get a photo with me. 

just look at that sweet face!

Monday found us on the road again heading back to NYC for their zone conferences.  The Nautilus National Submarine Museum was right on our way in Groton, Connecticut. Dale has always had a fascination with subs and actually I think walking through them and see how people lived, worked, ate and slept in such confined quarters pretty fascinating myself. 

 The difference in the circumference in the sub and the largest.

We spent around 3 hours there and then made it to the Mission Home in Scarsdale, N.Y. around 6:30.  We arrived at the very same time as President Morgan and a returned missionary who was back visiting her mission with her new husband and family. The Hostess with the Mostess, Sister Morgan, had a delicious and fabulous dinner prepared for all of us.  It was delightful chatting with everyone through dinner. We visited with the Morgans for a bit after Kylie and her family left and then prepared for bed and the next day.  

Our first conference was held in Ossining, in the Hudson River Valley about 30 miles north of Scarsdale.  We enjoyed a beautiful drive along the river and woods.  There are many beautiful parkways in this part of the country. 
A tradition in this mission is to serve freshly made, warm authentic New York bagels for breakfast for all the missionaries.  The Morgans upped this a couple notches by serving them with an incredibly delectable concoction created by Sister Morgan. She mixes one batch of cream cheese with strawberry jam and ant;her with chocolate chips. The missionaries go crazy over them. There is more to it than that and she has promised me the recipe.  I will ask if I can "publish" it :) She told me how she did it but unfortunately, I didn't write it down.  I always come away with several yummy recipes when I'm with her.  Cooking is one of her many gifts and she graciously shares it with all.


 Another great tradition in this mission:  clothing exchange.  It cleans out their closets, gives the missionaries a something "new", and whatever is left goes to goodwill.  Win, win, win!

 And yet another fun tradition:  celebrating the birthdays that occurred since the last zone conference. The honorees are called up, get to choose a favorite treat from the basket and get serenaded. Fun!

One of our favorite parts of making these visits- running into friends, and children and grandchildren of friends!  Here  we are with darling Elder Driggs, the grandson of Tom and Leslie Borgquist, our former Stake President, Patriarch, Temple President and Matron and dear friends.

Wednesday is PDay in this mission so we took one too!  We took the train from Scarsdale into the city.  We really do love NYC!  It never ceases to impress and there is always something new to see and do and taste. This time we decided to see a couple of art museums, The Guggenheim and the Frick.  The first is modern art and the second is astounding private collection of Henry Clay Frick  displayed in his former mansion. We loved the architecture of the Guggenheim but not so much the art.  It was an exhibition of On Kawara's work which included no art but very random collections such as volumes containing every person he met each day of the year, every place he went, telegraphs he sent to hundreds of people , one a day, saying "I am still Alive".  Not our favorite.
The Frick on the other hand had a staggering collection that including some of the best works by some of the greatest European artists, Gainsborough, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Vermeer, and many others. Ah, to have been wealthy in the gilded age.

 First stop- lunch.  NY pizza.  Supposedly Bobby Flay's favorite. 

And Paul ate here so that should be good enough for me!

 A view of Central Park

The Atrium, the only thing we could photograph inside. 

The stroll along 5th Avenue from the Guggenheim to the Frick.  

 Food vendors and taxis.  So NYC.

 Irish Historical Society

Central Park

 A very crowded subway ride to Union Square.

 We heard the best chocolate chip cookies in NY are served here so naturally we had to try them.
They were quite yummy but we still feel Jacques Torres has the best!  Several missionaries told us they love Levain's the best so we have a new quest for our next visit there!

Union Square
(it looks so different than it did at Christmas time with the Christmas Markets filling it)

The Strand. An phenomenal old book store the Morgans told us about. 18 miles of books!!
We could have got lost in there for hours.

The 'golden hour' hitting the Empire State Building.

Just love stumbling across these old gothic buildings in the midst of the skyscrapers.

I have a love affair with doors and windows. 

Now to the definite highlight of our day in the city...we got to meet our nephew Joseph Brady and his lovely new bride for dinner.  It was so much fun catching up.  They are charming, delightful, engaging, interesting and fun.  We wish we'd had more time with them.  We already have another dinner date planned for the next time we are in the city.  It was also a treat to eat in a restaurant chosen by authentic New Yorkers.  They chose well.  We ate at Jane's which they picked because it was close to their work places and because it was quiet enough to hear our conversations and because the food was delicious.  It was kind of at the "corner" of SoHO ad West Village.  They didn't even know we were into "the Best Thing I Ever Ate" and, as it turns out, on of the appetizers was on the show.  A ricotta gnocchi.  so good-  think I behaved badly and ate way more than my fair share. Dale also said his pock chop was the best he's ever had. 
It is simply the best feeling reconnecting with loved ones.  We couldn't stop talking about how good it was to visit with them.  Love you Joseph and Jenne!

I know I've posted similar photos before but I just love these sites, these buildings, these landmarks!
After our dinner, we took a cab to Grand Central where we caught a train back to Scarsdale.

Thursday we spent in the Bronx for the zone conference there.  It was special for me to be there on that particular day because it was my dad's birthday and he was born in the Bronx. 

 President Morgan teaching powerfully.  The church gives the best of the best for our missionaries. 

Found out this is called the "bronx cart" here.  These sisters are ready to hit the streets of the Bronx!

 Enjoying the meeting!

 Senior missionaries also attend and enjoy the conferences.

Listening attentively.

Friday found us in Manhattan.  the stake center is in the same building as the temple so it has an extra special feeling about it.  
 Ye Elders of Israel.

 Happy campers. 

 Another superb lunch.

and more meeting of friends from home!  Here I am with Emily Pratt from our California Stake.  She is loving living in the city and making good friends here.  She is also wonderfully kind and volunteered her time to help feed all of us hungry missionaries. Thank you again, Emily!
at one of these conferences we also met Sister Christa Ek who is best buds with Emily Pitt, Laurel Evans, and Nathan Ritter so shout out to all of you!

"There's a fungus among us."  Dale and I were asked to give 20 minute presentations on health issues concerning the missionaries at each of the conferences.  He spoke on the lovely subjects of acne and fungus, such as athlete's foot and ringworm.  I thankfully was asked to address exercise. 

 I used a little humor to begin my little talk.

Dale eased them into his talk with this photo of him as a 14 year old missionary in Holland. 
(Just kidding about the 14 yearly part...but seriously!)

If you think this is gross you should see the photos of the real thing. 

The Mission Motto.

 Each elder receives a lapel pin and each sister receives a necklace .  Sister Morgan was kind enough to give me one and I will always treasure it. 

We loved everything about his zone conference week in the New York ,New York North Mission.
But one of the things we cherish most is the special time we were able to spend with the Morgans.  They are the type of people who instantly put you at ease and with whom you immediately fall in love.  They are warm ad gracious and funny and humble and so down to earth.  You want to be their best friends and feel you've always been friends.

Debbie, as I mentioned earlier in the post, truly is an incredible hostess.  If it weren't a sin to be envious, I'd be envious so instead let's just say that I greatly admire the grace and ease in which she hosts and serves.  She whips up delicious meals of several courses as if it were nothing.  It was almost as if the food appeared magically (maybe she has a fairy godmother up her sleeve?).  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert- it doesn't matter.  She has some delectable recipe waiting for you to try. And she gladly shares her recipes and secrets!
Tom is the perfect host.  He can keep you mesmerized for hours with amusing stories and anecdotes mixed perfectly and seamlessly with some of the most spiritual accounts you will ever hear. 
They complement each other so well and in doing so fulfill their callings in an extraordinary manner.
Great people.  We love them and are going to miss them very much when their assignment is over in July.

We tried to take a selfie but were not very successful.  I'm including this photo though because I think it shows the joy and fun we felt with these wonderful people.

We love the Morgans!
We love the New York, New York North Mission!
We love our mission!
We love the work!
We love the Lord!

"The Lord has done great things for us; whereof we are glad."

We go our way rejoicing!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Wonderful adventures in NYC! Love the picture with Joseph and Jenne. I'm glad you got to go and participate in those zone conferences. Looks like a great week!

  3. Looks like a great trip. It is nice you could meet Joseph and Jenn for dinner.

  4. I didn't know you got to meet up with Joseph and his new wife! That's awesome. He looks so happy.

    I had a ton of comments to make and I always forget them when I get to the bottom of your post. But I think that was so special that you were in the Bronx on Papa's birthday. I bet he was smiling extra big looking down on you serving there on his special day.

    So fun you are getting to see people from back home...such a small world! And I am glad you explained about the fungus presentation...I was going to ask in the other post and forgot. Seems like an "interesting" topic. Haha poor Dad!

    Love your selfie attempt! I think it was successful! And the Morgans seem amazing. You describe them in such a way that I want to know them too! Glad you got to have a lot of time with them.