Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Visit to Philadelphia

We had such a wonderful visit with Sara and Isaac and Hazel! We had fun seeing the new nursery, and expecially playing with the person for whom the nursery was decorated! Hazel is absolutely the best baby I've ever seen--and that isn't a prejudiced view--it's the truth! She sleeps about 10 hours at night, and she takes a couple of naps by putting her in her car seat with a binky, and she peacefully falls asleep! I couldn't believe it! I don't think Sara slept longer than 30 minutes at a time for the first several months! I was quite impressed with Hazel.

Sara posted pictures from our visit, so I'll not repeat all of them. I am so glad that we went to upstate Pennsylvania to see the site on the Susquehanna River where the Priesthood was restored. It's something that Tom has wanted to do for several years, and it was a very worthwhile experience.

We found a B & B in a town close to the site, and the name of the town was "Montrose." I grew up in "Montrose" Califoria, so I said we had to go there! The name of the B & B was the "Rosemont Inn," and the main street that connected to my own street (Community Ave.) was "Rosemont Ave." Can you believe it?! So there was no question about where we were going to stay--I was just hoping it would be good! It was wonderful!

I especially enjoyed the night before we went to the site, sitting in the B & B where we stayed, having a discussion amongst the 4 of us about the Priesthood. And then to be at the spot where the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood took place was a special experience, and to be able to walk where Joseph and Emma had actually walked and lived.

This is where their little house once stood. It was also very poignant to think about Emma, and how often she must have knelt next to the grave of her firstborn baby, buried not far from their home. I'm sure she couldn't have helped but wonder why God had not intervened, and kept her baby alive, as I did when my baby Cindi died. Poor Emma, she lost so many children--she had many, many things she had to endure alongside her husband Joseph. Anyway, it was a very good thing to be there.

This is the grave marker for Isaac and Elizabeth Hale, Emma's parents. About 30 feet away from these markers is the marker for Joseph and Emma's baby.

It says: "In Memory of An Infant Son of Joseph And Emma Smith June 15th, 1828." The Church has done an interesting thing. On the back of this newer monument is embedded the original marker.

There was a county road about a block away that went down to the river. Because of the railroad, the monument site and cemetery are fenced, so you can't walk down to the river from there. At the end of the county road is a dirt road that backtracks to a place even with the Priesthood site. However, it had been raining for several days, and the road had become a large pond, and since we were in a rented sedan in the middle of nowhere, with a baby, we decided to not be adventuresome. Sara and I and Hazel stayed in the car, and Tom and Isaac hiked back to the area. They returned to the car quite muddy, but they were glad they went all the way down to the river.

There was a little island in the river, and the eddy it created looked like a perfect place for a baptism! Of course we have no location specified where the baptisms took place, but somewhere along this river, somewhere in this area, John the Baptist appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.

This is the quote I got off the Church internet site:

"Joseph Smith Jr. first came to Harmony in 1825 to find employment. He and his father boarded near here in the Isaac Hale home, where Joseph first met Emma Hale, his future wife (JS-H 1:56-57). Joseph and Emma were married 18 January 1827. The Prophet received the gold plates 22 September 1827 at Manchester, New York, and soon thereafter moved with Emma to Harmony, where he began translating the plates in their small home near the river. During the translation of the Book of Mormon, Joseph and Oliver Cowdery wanted to know more about baptism and walked to the river to pray to the Lord concerning the subject. In answer to this prayer, John the Baptist appeared on 15 May 1829 (JS-H 1:66-74; D&C 13). He conferred the Aaronic Priesthood on Joseph and Oliver. They then went into this river and baptized each other for the remission of sins. Joseph and Oliver were then directed by John the Baptist to ordain one another to the Aaronic Priesthood. Soon thereafter, Peter, James, and John appeared on the banks of this river and conferred on Joseph and Oliver the Melchizedek Priesthood (D&C 27:12-13; 128:20)."

On the way back we saw a wild turkey in someone's field, and we should have gone back and tried to get a picture of it, but we didn't.

We had such a wonderful time. I even got to see fireflies, which I love! We left SLC on June 18th, and instead to trying to meet at the airport, we rented a car and met Sara and Isaac and Hazel at an "Irish Pub." The food was really good. During our time in Philadelphia this trip, we tried a new (for us) place to get a Philly sandwich (HUGE), and as Sara mentioned, we tried sushi at a place I think was called The Pod. Some of it was OK, but some of it was quite good. The whole eating experience was fun. We had rain for a couple of days, which I think was a lot better than hot and humid weather, which started the day we left! One day we met Isaac after work/school, bought food at one of the truck vendors, and went to the tennis courts to sit down and eat. I love this picture of Hazel looking at her Grandpa.

Afterward, we went to watch Isaac play baseball on a co-ed team he belongs to.

I'm just so glad we had the chance to go visit and be with Sara and Isaac and, especially, Hazel!

All's well that ends well!

No connected with the trip to Philly, we had dinner one night at Keri's, and I took a couple of pictures. It was so nice that Grandma was able to be there.

Isn't this a beautiful picture of Keri?!

Matt and Kati and kids, and Mike and Michelle and kids were there, and we had such a nice time that I didn't take the time to take many pictures!

I have more "summer" pictures to post, but I'll tackle them later!