Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Dear Kids,
     I'm sitting at one of the open computers in the public library in Palmyra, New York. Chuck and Sharon and Seth are browsing around, and Charlie is sleeping in his stroller. The Hill Cumorah Pageant starts in 5 hours, and some people go early to set up their lawn chairs and save their places, but we're happy here in the library, where it's air conditioned. But it's not as bad as yesterday. We felt like we were walking around in a steam bath. Chuck and I came out of the Sacred Grove about four in the afternoon, and we saw a nice-looking man sitting at a table under an umbrella, with his water bottle. He was one of the many volunteers who come here to help. He had a name tag that said he was "Brother Norton." I thought he looked familiar, maybe from high school, but Chuck figured it out right away. He asked the nice man, "What temperature will we get up to today?" Brother Norton said, "Probably 95 or 96, with 90 percent humidity." Of course it was Kent Norton, the TV weatherman. He and his wife are here for the week as volunteers.
     Chuck and I are here for the week, too, but we've been all over the place. Saturday afternoon, after my cousins' reunion at Sugarhouse Park, we flew to Detroit, where Seth picked us up at 1:00 in the morning. We slept over in Sharon and Seth's beautiful little townhouse, which they just moved into, and then Sunday morning we went to Church with them. I bypassed the grownup meetings and spent my time in the nursery with Charlie. I got lots of new ideas for singing time, for when I get home. It was great.
     Sunday afternoon Seth had to go to the university to monitor some experiments, but about 4 in the afternoon, we left for Buffalo, New York. The shortest route is through Canada, and it took way longer than we figured, but we finally got to Amber and Cathy's house about 10 pm. Their house was sweltering hot, like everywhere, but Chuck and I slept in the basement, on a blow-up mattress. Sharon and Seth and Charlie slept in the living room, with a fan blowing on them. Monday morning Cathy and Amber both had to go to work, but Chuck, Sharon, Seth, Charlie, and I drove to Palmyra. The most important thing we wanted to see was the Smith farmhouse and the Sacred Grove, so we went there first. And in spite of the heat, we really enjoyed it. Later on, we climbed up the Hill Cumorah, still in the sweltering heat, and I decided Moroni probably buried the plates at the bottom. No way would he have made that climb holding those heavy plates, unless maybe it was in the winter. Later, when it was starting to cool off, we drove to the temple and the Whitmer home, where I ate a green apple off one of the trees.
     We spent the night in a motel in Victor, about 12 miles from Palmyra, and this morning we went to the Grandin print shop (my very favorite place, except for the sacred grove,) and then to a park, where the Erie Canal passes through. We watched the locks open and close, to let a cruise boat through. I think that was one of Chuck's favoite things.
     There's a little eatery called the "Chill and Grill," or maybe it's the "Kill and Chill," or the "Kill and Grill." A sign outside says, "Welcome, LDS. We Have Fry Sauce." Yesterday we had the greasy-spoon specials, and this afternoon we ate ice cream there. With all the other Mormons. We've overrun the town.
     What else is happening? I've totally lost track of time and place, which you've all experienced when you go on a trip, so I can't even think of the news at home. I'll do better next time. I love you all!