Spring is finally here!
There are leaf buds on the trees!
And peaks of green are popping out everywhere.
And we are loving it!
However, that green and those flowers require April showers.
And shower it did on all 30,000 of the marathon participants and spectators.
The marathon route runs directly in front of the Mission Office so the Packards invited all the senior missionaries to come and watch it there.
We went out and cheered for a while but were very grateful to have a warm and cozy space with big picture windows to watch it go by as well.
The Elite women.
It was pot- luck brunch and everyone enjoyed the goodies and each other's company. We could keep track of the race's progress after they passed us on the computer.
Lots of fun watching a very famous event.
Thank you, Packards, Dennys and Algers!
Another view of our lovely Boston temple where we spent a fulfilling Thursday.
On Friday, we took our medical mission 'freedom prerogative' and headed for Nantucket for the annual Daffodil Festival! It was delightful in every way. I knew I would love it and was happily surprised at how much Dale enjoyed it as well. It is a spectacular celebration of the end of a long, grey, cold winter and the arrival of the sun, warmth and spring. It marks the beginning of the Nantucket season, and heralds the summer to come. It began in 1974 and each year since thousands of bulbs are added to the fields and roadsides bringing the number now to over 3 million! They bloom for about 5 weeks from late March to mid May. The festivities include an antique car parade followed by a drive to 'Sconset and a tail-gate picnic, a hat parade, a children's parade and a dog parade. Every one was a charming as the next. Prepare yourself for a daffodil overload!
Saved this family for last. Aren't they just the sweetest?
These daffy girls on top were having the best time of all!
Love the rumble seat!
These got my vote!
For some reason I simply adore this photo.
That is just a taste of the sights and fun and festivities we savored. And trust me, you have no idea how hard it was to select a sampling of each activity. If you think this is photo overload, you should see my files!
Dr. Elder Braithwaite working away.
One of our trendy gourmet breakfasts.
It was splendid! A pleasing mix of old and new.
(and I got a fantastic deal!)
We took advantage of a great bargain in a 3 course meal at one of the nicer restaurants. Even though Nantucket is an island, there are very few restaurants with a water view. This is one of them.
This is a short rib dish which was not bad but I frankly couldn't get past the insect larvae pasta. Seriously! What were they thinking?
Dessert made up for it however :)
Following will be a few more photos of Nantucket town, just to give you a feel for its captivating charm.
Whale Cookies! Nantucket's version of Balboa's Hippo Cookies!
They were yummy! (except Hippo Cookies have M&M's for eyes- much better!)
Just to prove he is still fulfilling his missionary assignment, even when "away from our desks"!
Brandt Point Light
The oldest house on the island.
A prize winning photo, if I do say so myself!
Sigh. As wonderful as it was to be here at all and especially to be able to see the Daffodil Festival, I found myself becoming melancholy in times of quiet. This naturally surprised me as I was in one of my happiest places on earth. I determined it was because I believe this may well be the last time I ever visit here and that causes my heart grief. My mantra over the weekend became: Don't be sad it's over. Be happy it happened.
A very tender mercy occurred while we were here.
At the car parade, just as I was photographing that darling family with all the beautiful little girls, some other people asked to photograph them as well. When they saw our name badges they became excited and called to us. To our great delight we met Bob and Sally Winebrenner and Victor and Gloria Mylroie.
They live in the Palmyra, New York area but were here for the festival. They were staying in a friend's house near town and invited us to attend church with them the next day which they were holding in the house. Nantucket had previously had a small LDS group but several of the major families moved and left the island with no priesthood. The full time resident members now on the island consist mostly of 3 nurses working at the hospital there so there is no organized church here. You need to take the ferry over to the Cape if you want to attend a meeting. Expensive and pretty difficult, timing- wise. The Winebrenners have lived on the island off and on for many years while they bought and restored and sold properties. During that time they had made many lasting friendships and connections. One such is with Porter Shehab, in whose house they were staying. It is all a very fascinating and interwoven story that I will tell as we go along.
We did happily join them for church. The house was fortunately within easy walking distance from our hotel. It was so different walking the quiet and practically deserted streets- quite a change from the crowds and noise of yesterday.
They warmly greeted us and introduced us to the 3 traveling nurses, Sandra and Wandee both from the Philippines, and Stephanie from Arkansas. Shortly we were joined by Porter and 2 of her children, Cricket and Rockwell. We commenced our sacrament meeting conducted by Brother Winebrenner. Both he and Brother Mylroie are sealers in the Palmyra Temple. Brother Winebrenner was also a counselor in that temple presidency a few years ago and Bother Mylroie is the stake patriarch. So you can see, we were in good hands.
We had prayers and hymns, the sacrament and talks. We were spiritually filled.
Partaking of the sacrament with these beautiful souls was one of the most sacred times doing so I can remember. It was not taken for granted. It had been a long time since the nurses had been able to partake and their joy in doing so was evident. It was a powerful and sweet lesson for me and caused me pause to consider what it truly means to me.
Brother Winebrenner gave an inspiring talk on preparing ourselves for the final assault on righteousness. He stressed that attending the temple helps us prepare every needful thing. If we have faith and are obedient we can call down the powers of heaven. He added the importance of having the faith of a child and explained deeper what that entailed.
Sunday School was conducted by Brother Mylroie but his message on loving one another got a little derailed by everyone sharing a little about themselves. Fascinating group. Porter's husband is a personal chef for one of the billionaire families on the island,the Johnsons of Johnson and Johnson, who also have a home in Key West and a permanent home in New Jersey. They traveled with the Johnsons when their kids were younger but now they live in New Jersey most of the time. They rent out the house we were meeting in when not using it themselves. Porter's mom and sister both live on the island.
After our meetings, Sally and Gloria prepared a lovely lunch spread for us all. Such gracious people.
We stayed and chatted till nearly 4!
We came thinking the highlight of our trip would be the festival but truth be told, it was meeting, spending time with and sharing in the gospel with these fine folks.
The home was filled with glorious local art.
When they found out we were going to be in their area next week, they took our contact information and said perhaps we could get together then and there as well. But that is a story for next time.
We again feel so rejoiceful in the great blessings we receive and the radiant souls we meet along the way.