Thursday, June 14, 2018

Visiting Chyrrl & Glynn in Nauvoo

Roger's sister, Chyrrl and her husband, Glynn, left on their Senior Couple mission to Nauvoo, Illinois, 
about 15 months ago and will be returning back home in September. 
They love family members to visit them and experience the sites of that historic town 
that is so important in LDS Church history. 
We tried to get there early in the summer season before it gets too hot,
so we flew to St. Louis on May 31.

We had Marriott points to stay in the Renaissance Hotel overnight, which was right next door to . . . 

. . .where we shared a delicious breakfast.

We rented a car and headed to Nauvoo, just over a three hour drive.
Both times we have been to Nauvoo
once many years ago and then seven years ago with our kids and spouses on a Church History trip 
with our beloved Wayne Brickey, 
 I wanted to stop in Hannible, Mo, where Mark Twain was born. 
So this time we did, 
for lunch at the Mark Twain Dinette.
Pork is big throughout this neck of the woods and we shared  a huge smoked pork salad 
and homemade root beer- tasty!
Hannibal has gotten seedier; I guess Mark Twain doesn't hold the tourist interest he used to.

We arrived in Nauvoo just before Chyrrl and Glynn had to leave to perform in, Sunset on the Mississippi
a music and dance show outdoors performed by the Senior Missionary couples 
and the Young Performing Missionaries
who had arrived in Nauvoo a couple of weeks before. 

 Chyrrl and Glynn's cute home  in Nauvoo 

They welcomed us warmly, fed us a quick, tasty meal, then off they went. 
We brought our luggage in and unpacked a few minutes, 
then we went to see the show.

The grounds everywhere near the Church historical sites are well-kept and beautiful.

The Nauvoo Brass Band, made up of select Young Performing Missionaries, was excellent.

We didn't get pics, but to start off the show, a Children's Parade, made up of audience kids selected, 
and dressed in old-fashioned costumes, paraded through the aisles with the YPMs.
Next the show honored all audience members who were or had served in the US Armed Forces.

"Off we go, into the wild blue yonder . . ."

Then the show went into high gear, amazing us with high energy and talent!
The show began at 6:45 PM, and with the sun in the performers faces (luckily, the audience was in the shade), 
and the temperature at 94 degrees (that was the hottest it was while we were there),
they put on a great show!

Chyrrl, in "Grandma's Feather Bed"

Yee Haw!

Young Performing Missionaries

Next day, Saturday, 
it was Chyrrl and Glynn's P (Prep) Day and we took a day trip to the Amish country.
On the way, they showed us this garden, where they get their fresh produce throughout the summer.
Everywhere we drove, the countryside is green and lush. 
High humidity will do that!

Chyrrl was aware, from other senior missionaries, of this unique pottery shop 
on the bank of the Des Moines River in Iowa, and it was on our way to the Amish country. 
The original plan was that we were to have lunch in a cute restaurant in this tiny little town. 
We went to the pottery shop first and the owner greeted us as we pulled up.

Marilyn had and has a grand passion about resurrecting and restoring 
 the Parker and Hanback Pottery established in 1865. 
It is the only original pottery building left standing in the state of Iowa and is included in the book, 
1,000 Places To See Before You Die. 
She has dug up original molds, makes the slip and pours lovely bowls in various shapes and forms. 
She explained the process of painstaking excavation to us and showed us many interesting artifacts 
that have been dug up and she told us lots of stories.
She is a real character, but we learned a lot and she is really quite a fascinating woman. 
That's my favorite part about traveling - to take time to try to immerse myself 
in the local culture by getting into meaningful conversations with the locals, 
especially with people who are passionate about which they speak. 

Note all of the pottery shards left from the old pottery of yesteryear and the old kiln was buried nearby.

Marilyn explained how she makes the silt, then pours the pots from forms of the original pottery she dug up.

This is done in an adjacent building to the main shop.

Next, we went inside the store. Her original plan was to live in the second floor of the shop, 
but her husband died before she could make it happen.

I absolutely loved the cool, rustic charm of this restored building!

The men helped her pull up the old trap door, revealing more excavation that needs to be done underneath.

Chyrrl and I had fun looking at all of the pottery. We each got a bowl thrown by another artist . . . 

(Chyrrl is holding the one she purchased.)

. . . then each of us picked out one of Marilyn's poured bowls.

Bowl made by Marilyn

Blue and green bowl by Venecia; the same artist made Chyrrl's bowl she's holding above.

As you can see, I love to collect folk pottery from all over the world.

Not knowing that the lunch place closed at 1, we missed it, 
so we drove to a neighboring village 
where the only place to eat in town was a fast food place where all of the locals were hanging out. 
We had burgers and tenderloin sandwiches. Tenderloin always means pork in the Midwest.
Another half hour drive and we made it to Amish country. 
There were lush, well-kept farms everywhere 
and the Amish either walk or transport themselves in horse-drawn buggies.

Our first stop was to Raymond Yoder's farm, where Chyrrl and Glynn have done business 
and become friends with them. 
Chyrrl knows each one of their kids' names and we were greeted warmly. 
They have a large chicken farm with 10,000 chickens that ships cartons of eggs all over, 
and their kids work on the assembly line, 
placing the eggs in the cartons as they come off the belt.

Raymond Yoder home

Erma Yoder came out to greet Chyrrl.

Yoder chicken farm

The kids got to take a break and went running for their little kitten.

The kitten hid under the house . . .

. . . but was quickly retrieved.

Amish women and children go barefoot in the summertime.

Back to work.
Chyrrl brought a sucker for each of the children, but they had to wait to suck it 
until after they finished filling the egg cartons. The little guy was too young to work, 
so he sat and watched his sisters. Every now and then the next youngest child went over to him 
and he held out his sucker for her to suck. It was so cute to watch her put her head down on the sucker, 
not touching it, and take a few sucks, then go back to work. 
That little guy was happy to share with his sister!

I thought this was one of the cutest marketing packaging I have ever seen! 
When the purchaser opens up, each egg carton contains a note from one of the children. 
They each take a turn each day of the week to write a little message and a little drawing.

We next went to an Amish bakery and store. The bakery is only open on Fridays and Saturdays, 
and it had an amazing array of breads, pies, rolls, cookies and doughnuts. 
Chyrrl buys their pies and freezes them, then they enjoy them with Sunday dinner. 
We got to have some strawberry rhubarb and blackberry pie at their house. 
They were out of their amazing turn-overs this day, but Chyrrl let us try a peach one she had in her freezer. 
Best turn-overs ever! 
Today we bought doughnuts and I had one of the best treats that I know I will dream about. 
It was called a cherry long john. It was a long doughnut with homemade cherry filling 
and frosted with a buttercream/whipped cream topping. 
It melted in my mouth!
I found the cutest little hand-carved wooden train, painted in bright colors in the attached shop 
for some little great-grandson in the future.

We stopped at this barn shop down the street to check out Erma's paintings 
and I found some rhubarb and tomato jams to try, and, you know me, 
some homemade Amish fudge. Delicious! 
They offered free ice cream cones and popcorn and had all kinds of interesting items for sale. 
Wish I didn't have to get everything home on the plane; 
I would have bought a lot more homemade food items.

Amish buggies parked outside the store

We also visited another Yoder farm and shop where Glynn had previously purchased two Amish buggies 
that he has already sent home - one larger, covered one for him and a smaller, uncovered one for Chyrrl.
 I guess they will have fun with them with the grandkids, riding around the farm 
and probably in the 24th of July Parade. 
This family is also friends now with Glynn and Chyrrl and they have 11 children!

One of Glynn's fellow missionary teamster friends has purchased this covered wagon, 
made by the Amish.

 When these triplet goats were born, their mother died giving birth to them, 
and the Yoders have been keeping them alive with bottles. 
They are thriving. 

The little boys led us to the horse barn. 
This cute little guy sure knows how to sweep up.

This other little guy went out to the pasture and brought in Glynn's ponies, mother and baby, to show us. 

On the way home, we stopped in a town across the river from Nauvoo, Madison Fort, 
and ate at this small, unique restaurant where the chef is originally from Japan. 
Chyrrl and Glynn have eaten there before and said she's a good cook.  
We weren't very hungry, but shared some tasty food.

Sunday, church was at 7:40 AM, sharp. All of the senior, YPM and single sister missionaries meet together 
and there are two more wards in Nauvoo that meet throughout the day. 
We attended Sacrament meeting in a Chapel, then drove to the Visitor's Center for Sunday School, 
Relief Society and Priesthood meetings. 
It was Fast and Testimony meeting, 
and there was such a sincere, excited spirit voiced in each missionary's testimony. 
The lessons were handled so well-organized, which was tricky with so many missionaries 
implementing the new program of individual participation. 
The meetings, with such well-thought out comments, were inspiring. 
On the way home, Glynn wanted to show us the horses in the pasture, 
then he had us go for a drive along the Mississippi River.

A member of the church lives here who makes string instruments and teaches lessons. Chyrrl said she is so talented.

 We returned to Chyrrl and Glynn's, where Chyrrl prepared a turkey dinner with all of the trimmings,
 including rolls and Amish pie and ice cream. 
That afternoon, we attended the weekly spiritual music program the YPMs put on at the Visitor's Center, 
and It was probably my favorite program. Wow, they sound great! 
I loved their A Cappella arrangement of The Lord's Prayer!

That evening we walked on Parley Street to the Mississippi River,
 the path that the Saints took on that frigid, blustery day 
when they had to abandon Nauvoo. 
It is called the Trail of Hope.

 We were led by a lantern to each commemorative quote plaque, where different YPMs shared 
several members' stories, sometimes with song and instrument.
Some of Chyrrl and Glynn's kids and grandkids arrived that night
 and we transferred our things to a cute little cottage/motel 
that Chyrrl had arranged for us at a deep discount.

Monday morning we rode on the oxen ride with Glynn talking to us all along the way. 
He is so sincere and you can feel of his deep testimony and love of the Gospel.

We next spent some time in the Family Living Center, where senior missionaries demonstrate 
how to make different necessities of life when Nauvoo was thriving. 
We watched demonstartions of rope making, barrel making, candle making, weaving and bread making. 
We were impressed with how well the seniors were able to explain and demonstrate these difficult crafts. 
Roger took a pic of this cute family who were having a family reunion and were each wearing shirts alike.

Throughout the days, the band plays and you will often come across groups of YPMs singing.

We attended a cute performance of, Just Plain Anna Amanda,
 which opened with a short puppet show for the kids.

We met up with the Wayment kids to go on a wagon ride with Glynn.

That evening, we drove to a nearby town and Chyrrl and Glynn treated us to a delicious Mexican dinner.

Tuesday, our last day, we went to some of the other sites that we had not been to 
when we had been to Nauvoo previously. 
We remembered that a relative was listed on the wall by the river who had had to evacuate Nauvoo.

The Saints traveled across the Mississippi on flat rafts such as this one, with their wagons loaded on top.

This limited edition print hangs in the Visitor's Center and poignantly tells the tale.

We took some quick shots of the Nauvoo Temple. Last time there we were able to go through a session 
with our kids and spouses, and we got many beautiful shots of it. 
Such a beautiful temple inside and we are so grateful the Church chose to reconstruct it.

Our longtime Home Teacher is Serge Woodruff, who is 92 and he always visits with his cute wife, Marilyn, 
and they are dear friends. 
We didn't go through the Wilford Woodruff home before, 
so we enjoyed doing so and took some pictures to give to Serge.

This is a painting of the home where Wilford was born.

Wilford's portrait with his personal English Setter china dogs on the mantle

The portrait on the wall shows 4th Church President Wilford Woodruff with his Presidency (Joseph F. Smith is a counselor, who served with and was friends with our Great-Great Grandfather, Isaac Fox, in the Hawaiian Islands).

Chyrrl said Lyon Drug and Variety Store was real interesting and we had also missed this one last time. 
There were fascinating things inside, each with a story.

Before we had to leave for St. Louis, we all met up to hear Chyrrl narrate on the carriage ride 
past each of the sites. 
She was wonderful, tempting tourists with interesting highlights of each place 
to make them want to go inside and visit each one. She's a natural!

We passed some of the YPMs, who serenaded us.

We took a pic on the carriage of everyone. 
The grandkids had been having a ball at several kid-oriented activity sites.

Grandma with her visiting grandkids

We had so much fun visiting Chyrrl and Glynn!
They truly went out of their way to make everyone have a grand time!

On the drive back, we googled Trip Advisor and were led to this wonderful barbeque place.
Wish we had one like it in St. George!

I loved the painting of this cow on the wall.

We flew out early the next morning, after again staying at the Marriott Renaissance.
Truthfully, this trip was loads more fun than I ever thought it would be and it was another great Memory Maker!