Wednesday, July 27, 2011

City of Joseph

I never thought I'd think of 82 degrees as cool, but that's what the temperature was as we were leaving the parking lot at the Nauvoo Pageant tonight. Compared to the day, when the "heat index" (something, I take it, that's akin to our beloved wind chill factor) had us pegged at 117 degrees.

So yes, we baked in Nauvoo. Paid way too much for a rather mediocre buffet meal (it was all you could eat but the food, with the exception of the pie, wasn't all that memorable, and it was too much to pay for just pie). But I can forgive that, because the day overall was wonderful.

I've got photos and video, of course, but as it's past midnight already I'm not going to upload any of it tonight. It may have to wait until we get home, because I'm just too cooked. The heat is really taking it out of us, but we'll get through it. I keep telling that to my kids: We'll deal with the heat because we're here and that's what we've got to do and we certainly didn't come all this way to stay in the hotel.

We're in Fort Madison, Iowa, about a half hour north and on the other side of the river than Nauvoo. Our first adventure of the day came as we were trying to cross the Mississippi River into Illinois and had to wait for about ten minutes because a semi truck was trying to cross the bridge from the Illinois side and didn't notice the huge signs that said semis weren't allowed on the bridge. So he had to back up into Illinois, and that took some time. Once he got out of the way, however, we were on our way.

We saw three shows today -- our reason for coming is that Michelle's niece Lauren Brower is a performing missionary in the shows. We got to hear her play the violin and the harmonica -- a trick she's picking up as she performs here. She's got a lot of talent. Lexie is convinced she wants to be a missionary like Lauren, but it worried that it'll take hard work to get there. Yeah, I told her, it will. But it'll be worth it. She just needs to keep up with her piano lessons and work hard at that, because that's how Lauren got her start into the whole musial thing. Having musical parents as she does, however, helps out a lot.

The Nauvoo Pageant was most excellent, and not just because the temperatures dropped as the show went on. Getting all those reminders of what Joseph Smith did, and what he represented to the early saints was wonderful.

Watching that temple spire -- constructed of wood and muslin -- spring out of the blackness as they represented the completion of the temple just about made me shoot up into the heavens to join the bugs flitting around the stage lights, but in a good way, springing up with joy at the restoration of the gospel and the saving ordinances we perform at the temple. It didn't even bother me that there were anti-Mormons outside the pageant entrance, shouting at us as we went in. Nobody seemed to pay them any mind, and that's as it should be -- we ought to have done nothing more than the "whittling brigade" that Brigham Young advocated when they spotted troublemakers in Nauvoo, back in the day.

So, tomorrow: I want to get down to the Mississippi River and stick my feet in, if such a thing is possible there. I'd like to see the quarry. I know the boys -- especially Isaac -- are counting on Carthage Jail and the Browning gun shop. So that's where we'll head.

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