A duck story and the Gores

Here is a picture of our latest visitors here in Oklahoma City.  Kevin and Jean Gore from Walkden, Greater Manchester, England.  They visited and stayed with us for two evenings and about two days.

I first come to know the Gores in 1998 as I was preparing to leave for my mission to the UK.  The Bishop from the Hazelton Ward, Paul Tateoka, sent word through his brother in my ward, Ted Tateoka, that I needed to call this couple from the UK.

The Gores were staying with one of the missionaries who had brought them into the church, who lived 5 miles or so down the road from me.  I called the Meacham home and had a nice visit with Kevin for about 30 minutes or so.  I obviously had my mission call, but I do not recall knowing that they lived in my mission.  Kevin knew I was in the mission so he told me a few interesting things and we hung up the phone.

I admit I completely forgot about this conversation with Kevin Gore until my first Sunday serving in the Eccles Ward (now Swinton) of the Manchester England Stake.  I stood there shaking hands with members and introducing myself when a man asked if I was Elder Ross from Hazelton, Idaho.  I apparently looked dumbfounded so he informed me that I had spoken with him on the phone before my mission.  Granted, this was the first time I laid eyes on him.  Well, that started a relationship that has now come down through the years.  I served in the Eccles Ward for about 6 months, although since there were two sets of missionaries, me and my companion had the other half of the ward.

The Gores were probably one of the closest families I had in that ward, although there were a couple.  Before we left late in 1999, Kevin and Jean Gore treated all four of the missionaries to a very nice roasted duck dinner.

Time has a way of marching on, and so it has done with this friendship.  Brad Hales, Amy Hales, and I visited the Gores again in the summer of 2003 when we went to England for a convert baptism of a lady who Elder Hales and I had once taught (in Runcorn Ward).  I think we spent two evenings with them at that time, although our time was limited because they were working and we had other people in the area we also visited, but Jean made us a roasted duck dinner again!  We did not request it, but she made it, and it was fabulous.  We again enjoyed our time with them, although limited.

The Gores were kind enough to invite us to the wedding of their son, Ian, in Springville, Utah in 2004.  Brad Hales and I visited, partook of the food (no roasted duck!), and enjoyed a good evening with our British friends.  The Gores came to visit Utah in 2008 again, but we were only able to enjoy a light dinner at Olive Garden together (again, no duck, only in England!).

Amanda and I made the trek over the water again in 2008.  This time we again spent 2 nights with the Gores in their home on Trinity Crescent.  Both in 2003 and 2008 I knew the neighborhood well enough I could still drive to the home without much difficulty.  Jean once again made her now famous roasted duck dinner!  I honestly think this is the only times I have ever eaten duck in the past decade, if ever in my life (other than what they call duck at the Chinese buffet).  The Gores were more than kind in allowing us to stay with them, use their computers, talk family history, and even hosted a little get together of other members of the Swinton Ward I still knew and asked about.

Here we are in 2011, 13 years later after the phone conversation, and the Gores have come to visit us!  Sorry, we did not treat them to a roasted duck dinner.  It would have been an insult to Jean’s cooking.  Their son, Ian, had moved from Springville, Utah to Bentonville, Arkansas.  Kevin and Jean wanted to come down to visit the Oklahoma City Temple and, we feign to believe, us.  We drove out to Pops Soda Shop in Arcadia.  We also ate out at our favorite little Mexican joint and then we treated them to capers and artichoke pasta the night we made them dinner.  We played a couple of games of Ticket to Ride and just enjoyed our time together.  Thanks for being such great friends and keeping in contact through the years!

When is the next time we will see the Gores?  And, the question you all want to know, will there by duck involved?

Great Uncle and Aunts

Who would believe the 25th of February is almost here?  I cannot believe how fast the months fly when you have your head in books.  The odd part is that I don’t feel like I am doing a very good job of keeping up with the reading.  I cannot tell you how excited I am for the next semester where they add one more substantive class and remove the writing class.  What will I do with life then?  I need to start working on being more diligent and proactive.

In visiting with a couple of the 2L’s I feel somewhat comforted with the notion of what is called mental fatigue.  I think my eyes finally just accepted the fact they are going to be tired and quit twitching.  Who knows. the twitch probably just moved to my neck or shoulder with a slight noise from the mouth when I do it.  At any rate, this is not a new phenomenon.  I thought perhaps I was going prematurely old or something wrong with the synapses in my brain where I would think one thing and completely say another.  Just today in visiting, rather than saying doctor, I said dentist.  To correct myself, I went to say doctor but somehow defendant come out.  After a short pause, doctor finally came out.  I laughed, Andrew laughed, and the conversation went on.

This weekend was a delightsome weekend.  My Great Uncle Donald and Aunt Lolane Andra came to visit.  They arrived on Friday and left this morning.  They finished their mission around the 6th of February and have been working their way through the country back home.  They stopped for a week in Nauvoo, then a week in Branson, and a weekend in Oklahoma City.  They are next headed to Tucson.  They will spend a few days there and up to St. George for a month or so before up to Chubbuck/Pocatello.  Don and Lolane are sure a lot of fun.  We went to the Western Heritage Museum here in Oklahoma City.  I enjoyed it.  Like most museums though, my feet and knees grew tired of the walking around endless hours on hard floors.  I will need to go back to truly appreciate much of what was there.  We went out to Pops Soda Shop in Arcadia and enjoyed a meal.  Don and Lolane particularly enjoyed it.  We all did.

Sunday we ventured to church.  They thought the ward was very open and friendly.  I am pleased the ward was so open and friendly to them.  It wasn’t quite so much when we got here.  But it certainly has improved.  Afterward we ran out to the Oklahoma City Temple and walked around the grounds and took some pictures.  After serving in the Washington DC Temple for the past 18 months they were quick to notice how tiny the temple is here.  That most certainly is true!  I assured them it was well used and loved.

We wandered off to the Oklahoma City Memorial.  The weather turned out to be beautiful.  It could have been a little warmer, but it was sure a nice day.  They really enjoyed that as well.  It really is a well-done memorial.  We returned to our little home to enjoy a full meal and many hours of games.  We filled much of our time on Saturday with games as well.  We sang some old songs together, chatted about old times, visited about family, and genuinely had fun.

On a sad note, I also received news that my Great Aunt Lillian Jonas Talbot passed away on Friday.  She was born in 1930 and lived in Layton, Utah.  She was the sister of my Grandpa I knew the least growing up.  She was the one who let me borrow my Great Grandma’s journals to type them up which are available here on the blog.  She was also the one who had my Great Grandma’s photo albums and let me borrow them to pick out the photos and scan them.  So I came to know her considerably more in the past 10 years.  Apparently she had been to the temple on Friday and she came home and sat down in the chair in the living room and was playing with the dog a little.  When my cousin came back from a run to Walmart, she thought she was taking a nap.  But when she came in, she was gone.  How is that for peaceful and quick?  I hope I am as fortunate.  The funeral will be on Wednesday.  I wish I could go but the cost and time from school are too much for the moment.  I wish the family all the best.

Amanda will surely post some photos from the weekend on our joint blog.  It was an eventful and productive weekend.  Now time to start making up what studying I did not get done!