Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Farewell Eric

Last weekend as John and I sat basking on the Beach in Laguna, we asked one another, "Why don't we do this more often?"  We smiled, laughed, held hands, ate at a cool resturand, then rode a unicorn acrossed the rainbow.  Ok, ok, maybe not that last part, but i am trying to leave you with the fun feelings we had being together.  Weekend trips are fun and energizing. Getting away can give you a whole new perspective, right? So when we packed up the car and started driving to SLC on Saturday morning, I tried to tap that optimistic vibe for the days ahead.

Only this weekend, we were driving 6-7 hours up instead of a quick flight with beverage service.  And it wasn't just John and I. All 5 of the kids were cramming in for the weekend too, and not all of them have a zest for travel. Our return drive was to include a detour to see my parents, and we were staring down the grim reality of a 10 hour drive home on the very next day.  We weren't long into our trip when we got a call from our down the road neighbor. He left a message letting us know that Grandma Kristine had driven to his home (she is not supposed to be driving) and while she was very pleasant, she seemed confused. She was trying to call Hank ans couldn't get the phone to work, and could they tell her where the Blakes (our other neighbor) lived? His message said they took her home after turning her phone on for her.

We sighed, and smiled warily realizing that sometimes it's tough to fit it all in and still ride that rainbow! ;)  While it was a super short, heavy on the driving kind of weekend, luckily there were several gems in there that made it all worthwhile.

Saturday night we went to dinner with some friends of ours. We met to talk business, and man, we sure have some changes on our horizon.  We are upping our involvement in the Dickeys BBQ franchises we invested in several months back. We are going to try to take advantage of favorable lease rates and try to open many more stores within a years time. John will have to put in long hours and drive all over Utah and Colorado several days each week for a while. He is really excited because he really likes and trusts the friend he is going to be working closely with. John is also excited to build and learn something new. Both of us are a little apprehensive about the whole being gone part, but we are going to take it a day at a time. We feel like with so many unknowns in the gravel business, this is a good hedge.

I am so grateful for the Hannays that always seem to be there to help us when we go visit them in Utah! Our kids spent the evening at their home even though they were getting ready for a huge and exciting Sunday! It would be my nephew Eric's farewell, and they were getting their home all spiffed up for the special day!

Sunday came and we had the pleasure of attending Eric's farewell. He was called to serve as a missionary for our church in Mozambique (in Africa) for 2 years. He learned he will spend his time in Angola (another country in Africa) which was only dedicated for missionary work 2 years ago and has only 2 branches. Quite a pioneering experience! He will learn Portugese just like his dad, Steve, who served in Brazil when he was a missionary. Before the farewell I told Kim and Steve that I kind of missed the old school farewells with their missionary musical numbers (like the latest Afterglow song or Janice Kapp Perry's 'In the Hallow if Thy Hand'-you know, the classics...) and the parents of  the missionary speaking along with their son that would soon leave.  I know that these meetings sometimes got out of hand talking only about the kid, instead of the reason he was going (to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ), but who doesn't love a good musical number, right?

Well, Eric's farewell  Sacrament meeting that he happened to be speaking at, did not disappoint. There were 2 great youth speakers then they had it... one of those awesome musical numbers like I remembered from my youth! Some Polynesian guy sang some song about Jesus. His voice was like island butter, and the piano had a little bit of a beat to it, if you know what I mean. It was terrific! Then it was Eric's turn to speak. He talked on his assigned topic of course, which happened to be D&C 4- the classic missionary section. He did such a good job! He talked really fast, but it was good, cuz he had lots of good content and filled most of the time. He for sure spoke more in that talk than I have heard him speak in his whole life combined up to that point! While he rarely speaks, he obviously has some good gears turning in that head of his. He gave personal experiences, examples, scriptures and quotes. It was textbook! I tout he knocked it out of the park. And he closed with a humble though direct testimony to wrap it up. I think he will make a fine missionary and I can't wait to hear him again at his homecoming Sacrament meeting that he talks at when he returns.

After enjoying a great meeting, we headed to the Hannay home.  Because they have 1:00 church, it was already getting late in the afternoon as we took time to have yummy ice cream sundaes and assorted treats.  We would have loved to linger longer, but that long drive home was looming large.

A few shots from the after party

Me and Kimmie! So cute! :)

Gabe and Seth share the love with Ty Baby-we love this kid!
After much hugging and bidding farewell, we piled into the car. I think the seats were still warm from our drive up...

We were feeling so cozy in our car in fact, that we decided 6 hours home was not enough, we wanted to take our sweet time and do it in 10!  The logical choice was a detour to Cove Fort.


Fortunately my parents also happen to be serving a mission there, and as it was just my Mom's birthday, the extra driving was not a problem.


 It was already late evening when we arrived so we hurried over to the Cove to have the abbreviated, just-before-dark-and-the-old-people-that-are-serving-as-tour-guides-go-home tour.  It was fantastic and I am certain that my parents were the best tour guides there.

Looking out the gun hole at the sun going down

The Cove Fort laundry room with human yoke

Papa Ross tells of the Sharing Toy and
making Christ the Center of our lives

Jebb checks out more gun holes

Grandma Ross shows us the signature of the
architect that designed the Fort-he also
designed the better known Salt Lake Temple

Best Tour Guides at Cove Fort!


It was so nice to see my parents and I loved that my kids got to see them in action on their mission.  They are such a great example to us!  They were sad that they missed Eric's farewell but we gave them the recap.  We didn't stay too long as the sun was now setting on the Fort and it was closing up.  But we felt the spirit of the good people that lived there (Gordon B Hinkley's grandparents) and their faith in settling a wild place.  Eric won't be living in a Fort in Angola, but he will have the chance to be a true pioneer.

The drive home wasn't too bad until about 11:30, but from then until 2am when we finally made it, it was painful.  Golly gosh it is not easy road tripping so far in so short a time!

But it was all worth it!  My family got to hear Elder Hannay and see G&G Ross in action on their mission. I am so grateful for my family and the good examples they try to be for my children.  My older kids especially are so aware of what their extended family is up to and I am glad they have some great relatives to look to.  I hope they will feel the desire to set the same example for their own younger cousins when the opportunity arises.  Thank you Hannays and Rosses!

1 comment:

Kim Hannay said...

Thank you so much for coming! We love the Gillelands!!