Monday, October 3, 2016

A Dive into Fall and a Star Valley Temple

After a wild summer we thought we would have a relaxing September but…NOT! In addition to the fun of being in NYC, Texas and Utah for the mini family reunions with that darling baby Moses, we had a plethora of other fun things too! Luckily our meetings and travel found us in interesting and beautiful places!

With the help of some great people we are starting to organize some lectures for retreats for the coming year at the Zermott Resort in Heber Valley, Utah. More on that later, but we are so fortunate that the preparations took us to places where fall had arrived in all it’s glory.


Here’s our cameraman doing some B roll for the seminars in a beautiful place!




The computer just can’t do it justice. It’s breathtaking!



We also had an interesting trip for a speech to Detroit, where we visited the amazing General Motors complex.


We enjoyed some great food with good friends at the Young President’s Organization.


….and other good stuff! And spent a lovely evening with some extraordinary parents!

Next, we took a trip up to Bear Lake to close up for the winter. Sad! But lots to do!

Fall is also the time that cattle are moved for the winter months and it was fun to drive through the crowd on the way home!


Our darling grandchildren continued to grow up, despite our pleas to stop! Here is handsome Ashton on his way to homecoming with a cute exchange student from Russia!


A group of 30 of our dearest friends joined us at our home for a stimulating discussion. One of our guests was a lovely couple from Switzerland. Amazingly the wife showed me a picture of herself with Charity who they happened to meet because her daughter was a friend of Charity’s in London. She was a delight!


Last week I had a glorious day with my sister Lenna and her three daughters, Jessica, Lindsay and Taunie. Since our mother/grandmother, Hazel Clark Jacobson, her parents Ida and Ray Clark and both sets of great grandparents were called by President Brigham after arriving from Switzerland to be among the pioneer families who were sent to settle Star Valley Wyoming. We are especially blessed to be forever connected to this beautiful place.  It is definitely one of the most gorgeous mountain valleys in the world (next to actual Switzerland)!

We had a dreamy day driving through the most beautiful fall splendor imaginable!


I was in the back seat of Lenna’s luxurious car while Lindsay drove so I had to just take pictures with my mind. We all loved catching up on each other's lives while gliding through breathtakingly beautiful scenery on an eight hour round trip.

We were all excited to run into literally an ocean of sheep being herded back home. We loved watching the sheep surround our car and seemingly swallow us up!


We stopped at the Freedom Cemetery where our grandparents and great grandparents are buried. It's always great to see the beautiful pioneer headstones and to look around at the splendor our ancestors will view on resurrection day!



On the way here (above) we missed the cemetery turn and Taunie just happened to notice this as we turned the car around: We were so excited to see our great grandmother’s name on this historical marker! Verena is already a rock star to all of us who know about her life. MFME visited her home town about this time last year in Schmiedrued, Switzerland.


Above are the names of some of their ten children including those who died early. And below is the grave of our beloved Grandmother Ida Weber and Grandfather Ray Clark. She died in the flu epidemic of 1920 when a huge number of people in Star Valley died during that tragic era.

She died at age 38, leaving 10 children. Her two youngest (aged 3 and 1) died in the same week. They were taken out and buried in the night to avoid exposure to others. Such a sad story but we know what magnificent people these were and we know how lucky we are to have their genes! We also know how the courageous family members left behind gathered themselves up and went on to help each other grow up without a mom and to make grand contributions to the world!


A large group of our relatives lived in Star Valley for many years. But sadly, lots of them have either passed away or moved away. Our star cousin, Nada, however is still alive and even better than “kicking.” She has such a pizzazy, sparkling personality.

At age 83 she goes to the Star Valley Care Center (aka Rest Home) once a week to play the piano and sing. Our mother actually taught her to play the piano. They both started playing by ear and then evolved to stellar classical piano teachers.

We planned our trip around arriving at the Care Center in time to hear her play and entertain the patients. Nada is as close as we’ll ever get to having our kids meet our mother, who passed away before any of them were born. Interestingly, our wonderful mom also played for the patients at the rest home in Montpelier right up until the week before she died just before she turned 90.. She had her precious organ moved to the rest home so that others could enjoy her beautiful gift of music.. In both my mom and Nada’s case, many of the patients were younger than they were.


Nada kept us laughing at her self deprecating humor and as she gave us an update on her six children and many grandchildren who are so lucky to have her!


One of the main reasons we came was to attend the Open House at the new Star Valley Temple. Thousands of visitors are invited to walk through the splendor of the temple for a few weeks before it is closed for special ceremonies held in Latter Day Saint Temples for members only. Among those are marriages for time and eternity.

In pioneer days married couples had to travel  to SLC in horse drawn wagons to be sealed together in marriage. It took several days to travel from Star Valley to The Endowment House in those days with horses and wagons. Later when a temple was built in Idaho Falls, they still had to travel a long way for a marriage and to “work” in the temple as volunteers.

To have a temple right in the valley was unimaginable for our ancestors! So we were pretty sure that they would be with us in spirit in the rooms as we passed through that beautiful place! We were right! We felt their spirits in abundance!


Our gorgeous ride home through golden cottonwood and flaming Aspens and glorious combinations of fall colors of willows by the riverbeds made it a day to treasure. We ended our memorable day with this sunset:


Our September ended with a quick visit from Noah who lives in Orange County and came to Utah for work meetings. He managed to squeeze in a few hours with us to catch us up with some exciting plans that he and darling Kristi’s are cooking up for their future, including baby #6 who will be arriving just about in time for Thanksgiving Dinner!

Rick and Noah even found a few minutes to ride the horses through the fall colors within minutes of our house.


On to October!

1 comment:

Shawni said...

Oh man I'm soooo grateful to read this. Wish I could have been there for all this but reading this makes me at least feel like I was there! Love you!