Sunday, November 2, 2014

An end of an adventure, but now a new beginning...

So much has happened since I last posted on the blog.  I will add some additional items now to catch up on our activities for “the record” just in case anyone is still reading.  At least I will have a record for the ending of our mission activities.

The last weekend we were in Scotland we received permission to travel to England to visit with our son Steve and his family.  Steve is stationed at the US Air Force Base at Lakenheath, England, which is near Cambridge.  We went with his family to cheer on James, our grandson, as he participated in the high school cross-country meet.  This took place at a high school near London and there were three other schools participating.  It was fun to see James run and he managed to record a "personal best time" in this competition.

On the way home we stopped at the Audley End House and Gardens.  The house is an early 17th-century country house outside Saffron Walden, Essex, England.  It was renowned as one of the finest Jacobean houses in England.  Audley End is now one-third of its original size, but is still large, with much to enjoy in its architectural features and varied collections.

 These old homes are fun to tour and each gives a "window into the past" of what life might have been like.  As with many others of these home, we were unable to take pictures on the inside so these just show a wee bit of the gardens.

We returned to Edinburgh to meet the couple who would be replacing us – Elder & Sister Leavitt – and prepare for the trip home.  It is with mixed emotions that we worked through this week. 

 We took one last trip down to the heart of Edinburgh.  I have grown to love this city and its beauty.  Above is the St. Giles Cathedral.  It is a beautiful building and I love to go in and see its grandeur and the beautiful stained glass windows.  The Mission will be presenting another concert here at Christmas, performed by a group of young missionaries.  The acoustics in this building are quite something to hear...

Below is the house of John Knox, the Scottish reformer who played a major role in changing Scotland from a Catholic country to a Protestant country.  It is located along the "Royal Mile" which I love to walk to see the history and the interesting sites.

There was much to do the final few days to ensure our files were complete and everything was ready to turn over the work to the Leavitts.  We are anxious to return home to see friends and family but sad to leave Scotland and the many people whom we have grown to love.  This has been a wonderful experience and in many ways we don’t want it to end…but we know that there is “life after a mission” waiting for us in Arizona.

We left Edinburgh on Saturday, October 18th and flew to Washington DC.  We stayed with our son John and his family for the weekend.  It was great to see them.  On Monday we flew to Orange County and were met by some family and friends.  On Tuesday I stopped into the office of Rutan & Tucker to see many friends.  It was a great reunion.  That evening the Flemings hosted an open house to welcome us home and again we were able to get reacquainted with many friends.  Wednesday morning we went with Carolyn's brother and his wife down to the beach to eat breakfast.  I must admit, as I sat eating breakfast and looked out over this view, I wondered why I decided to leave California...

After breakfast we left California and headed to our new home in PebbleCreek in Goodyear, Arizona.  We were greeted by "welcome home" signs prepared by our grandchildren.  I then remember the main reason we moved - to be closer to family, especially some of our grandchildren.

 Thursday morning I woke up early as I was still adjusting to Arizona time.  I sat on our patio and watched the sun come up and a new day begin...

A new chapter of our life will now begin as we get settled into retirement.  So far, the time here has been very busy getting settled in and continuing to unbox items that have been stored in the garage from our move from California prior to our mission.  In many ways it feels we have now gone full circle to return to Arizona with a wonderful 18 months in Scotland and Ireland as part of the circle.

I really enjoy PebbleCreek and am excited to get involved with many of the activities offered in the community.  

This is the main entrance to our community...yes, it is a beautiful place to live.  It may not have the ocean, but it will be our home for now...

One of the things we had looked forward to in coming home was to participate in the Open House of the new Phoenix Temple.  This will be "our temple" now as is only about 30 minutes from our home.  We wish all our friends could have been here with us to enjoy the beauty of this building while it was open to the public.  One can go to the Church website and find pictures of the interior.   I will post a few pictures here.

 Temples are special buildings of worship to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They provide a special place for worship and a place to perform sacred ordinances...such as baptism for those who did not have the opportunity to be baptized while in this life.

 There is an unparalleled peace and beauty inside the walls of a temple

I invite all to listen to the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  We have a wonderful message to add to your current faith in God and is son Jesus Christ.  Let us add to the good that you have in your life.

Will there be additional posts to this blog?  Yes there will be!!  I am not sure what form it will take, but I intend to continue to post some activities as we begin our next phase of life.  We will be going back to California to give our report of our mission to our Ward.  We will be speaking in the Sacrament Meeting on November 23rd.  You are invited to attend.  The meeting begins at 9:00 a.m. and will be held in the LDS Church building near the corner of Los Alisos and Muirlands, in Mission Viejo.  We have also been asked to participate in a Stake Fireside that evening to talk about our mission experiences and hopefully motivate other seniors to consider serving a full-time mission.

This has been a wonderful journey and I am excited to see what life will now bring was we begin the "life of retirement".  Thanks to all who have read my blog...I hope you have enjoyed reading about our travels as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

Until the next post...Cheers!!!


No comments:

Post a Comment