Bonified Stately

Another week has passed and things constantly change and go. Sometimes I have to laugh at how quickly the world seems to change. One moment one thing is happening, the next moment all new circumstances have arisen.One month ago, Amanda and I were not in Virginia yet. In fact, we were driving through Kansas and would be arriving in Missouri. A week before that, we were comfortably situated in our little apartment in Provo, Utah. Had not even started packing yet. One year ago, I was unmarried, living and working my life away in Boise, Idaho. I had a wonderful job during the week working for The Gallatin Group, and on the weekends I sprayed lawns in Malad, Idaho. Seven months ago and eleven days, I was married in Logan, Utah. Put me at seven and half months ago, I was working on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Now another chapter of sorts is beginning, or at least a sub title. Today Amanda officially starts at Virginia Commonwealth University in the dental hygiene program. It was strange to drop her off at her ride’s home, and come home alone, to realize she is now a student again. Oddly enough, Matthew and Sarah Harris are one of the individuals who Nathan Wayment’s e-mail passed through in its line before us for which we were able to secure this huge home to live in.

Another chapter opened on Friday when I went in to take the Virginia Health Insurance Licensing Exam. I had spent a whole week in class preparing to take the test, and there I was, taking it. I really don’t know what I expected, that it wouldn’t come? It did, and I squashed it! So, now I have certification to be licensed for health insurance in Virginia. Now, I head off to Raleigh, North Carolina for two weeks of training so that Combined Insurance of America can appoint me. Then after appointment, I will receive my actual license from the state. Then I will be bonified and legitimate to be selling insurance in this state. Carrying on in a company of which my Grandmother invested 30 years of her life. Too bad I could not take her residuals!

Life marches on, it continues to amaze me, and go forward. One day it seems that I have enjoyed and endured all I wanted in life, and then another magnificent vista opens before me. Endured not because of pain and torment, but because it just seems my bosom could not contain anything more. My, our, blessings are beyond comprehension. At some points in life, I feel my heart has swelled as wide as eternity and could not possibly take any more. Pain just isn’t an option any more. It is so low, so mean, so vulgar, and something only to distract our mind from the real view. The past weeks I have recognized blessings which have come to me which have been in the pipeline for generations. I recognized blessings that come to me from my Great Great Grandmother Christiana Wilhelmina Knauke Andra. I also stumbled upon one that has passed to me from Regina Friederike Nuffer Scheibel Wanner. Just this week I had one fall in my lap that came from Herbert and Marthan Christiansen Coley. Who would ever have thought that the faith of these individuals would reap and bestow blessings on those who they only could imagine.

Well, time to be doing something more. All is according to plan, as far as I can see.

 

Nuffer family history

Today I am glad to announce that I completed the Nuffer family history.  As grand as that sounds, that actually is defined as I only finished the book that Larry gave me on the Nuffer family.  I went through and read the entire book gleaning family history information.  It was very interesting.  Much of the history of Preston, Glendale, Mapleton, Providence, and other places in Cache Valley are included.  I have built a greater relationship with my Nuffer ancestry now.  Plus I have learned a good deal about parts of the family I knew nothing about.  There are everything in there about marriages, skeletons in the family, births, deaths, places, and even records of temple ordinances (including second anointings).  It has been very interesting.
This will come as a revelation to some, but I am still typing up the journals of Lillian Coley Jonas Bowcutt.  I am now 9 months into 1961.  I hope to finish the year by the end of the week and send it out to all the family who are related.  I am excited.  I have learned some really interesting things.  She tells of her bout with cancer, having ‘her female organs’ removed, and the comings and goings of neighbors.  She tells of every family who comes to visit.  I have really enjoyed it.  She tells of my Grandma going to get a cancerous mole removed.  She tells of my Mother and some of her reactions to others.  She tells often of the baby, Jackie, and how she seems to be always sick.  She mentions how she is taking care of Ren and how he broke his hip.  She tells of her reading the Book of Mormon and how she wishes she could go to the temple with her sister Edna.  I am building a relationship with my Great Grandmother.  I wish they were a little longer and she would reflect some.  When her own mother died, she tells of the funeral and nothing more.  She tells who came to visit but nothing of the emotional side made it in really.  I wish she would tell something about Joseph Jonas.  The only mention so far is going to put flowers on his grave, and his father’s.
There are two interviews tomorrow.  Both with staffing services.  One is for a legal staffing company.  I would really like to know if they have anything available.  If there are no job offers, I think I will go ahead with the job at Combined.  I have already agreed to start training next week. I have been really impressed with Marc Summers, who is hiring me.  He has been so kind and really gone out of his way to help any concerns I have had.  Not to mention his respect of the LDS religion.  He has openly stated he wants to learn more, so I am interested in taking this job just for the missionary opportunities.  The same in traveling to visit people. I could meet more, have more opportunity, get to know Richmond more by going with Combined than ever sitting in an office.  I did always want a job that would be outside.  Geez, I don’t know why I am even second guessing this.  It seems like it could be all I could want and more.
The bad parts are that I will have training for three weeks.  The first week here in Glen Allen.  Then two weeks in Raleigh, North Carolina.  They pay for all the costs, but that doesn’t help alleviate the costs of living right now. However, once I have a job, they tell me the usual base pay for a week is at least $500.  That is if you are doing the work and just picking up premiums.  He said selling insurance on top of that will only add to that amount.  He said they like to have their people making $125 a day.  He said you can pretty easily make over that.  I think I will give it a try.  The money would not hurt, but more importantly, I need some type of income.  The best part is I love to travel, I love to meet new people, and what an opportunity to share the gospel.  You never know, I could do insurance law some day.  They said they do have a legal department and they even help to pay for some of the schooling.  Sounds like a good idea to me.  We will have to see.  I think I will go with it.  I will wait and see what these two interviews tomorrow bring for us.

Thoughts in Malad

One of the best parts about being able to spray is that you have a nearly endless amount of time to think about anything you choose.  What a wonderful opportunity.  I hear of these people who are bored with their job, or have nothing to do, and even this job, that it is so boring.  Well, that tells the state of their mind doesn’t it?  What a wonderful opportunity.  It is like the old fairy tale of the hero getting into the cave of precious gems, with only one stipulation, that he can have any one he wants, but only one.  How sad that so many people choose to leave the cave with no gem, or with a tawdry, poor quality gem.
Anyhow, when I arrived at Larry’s this morning, he asked me about my meeting with Larry and Lori Kaye Gleim.  I told him about my experience and what it was they said.  He was disappointed that she did not want to get to know the family any.  He told me that he broke his leg and ended up staying with Donald and Carolyn for a time.  For about 4 1/2 months, nearly every day he would stay with baby Lori Kaye and take care of her.  He said he would never forget holding her on his knee and how beautiful she was.  He said there are some similarities between Toni and Lori Kaye, but he considered Lori Kaye beautiful as a baby.  That was only confirmed when he met her at her Grandfather’s, Harley Jepsen, funeral.  He said he could see the point of her keeping it quiet, but just did not understand it.
It was an interesting starter thought for the day.  I sprayed for a couple of hours thinking about that.  I think of the doctrine that at the last day all things shall be made known.  Those things which are secret shall be shouted from the rooftops.  Now, whether that has any bearing on me, I do not know.  However, Lori Kaye’s mother, and Lori Kaye will some day have to face that.  At some point, Lori Kaye’s own children will have to be told who is their biological grandfather.  At some point, Carolyn, for what reason she is hiding all this, pride, children’s hearts, or something else, will have to face it an answer it.  It will all have to be sorted out.  Especially someone who is where she is now, you would hope the wife of a Stake President would be more honest with her own family.  The wife of a High Councilman, who is a representative to a student stake, would also be more honest with their own family.  Anyhow, to each their own.  However, I would feel that I would seek to know the man to whom I was born in the covenant to.  The man to whom untold priesthood blessings will come to me.
I finally took a moment to drive near the elementary school, and notice the foundation of the old Evan’s store still there across the street (the old Malad High School).  It was Diane Evans Spackman’s grandparents store.  (I stayed with the Spackman family in Eagle last year.  She told me about it last year, finally I took the time to pay attention to see if I could see it.  It is still there.
I sprayed this lady’s lawn who was in the back yard while I was working.  We started talking.  She told me about her husband’s death in February (Bill Price).  She told me about his death, how it happened, and how she is struggling.  I was not sure how to reply.  But I just listened.  She asked me about my winter and I told her about my marriage.  She was excited and told me about her marriage.  Eventually, I found out she currently lives in what was her parents house.  Then, found out her father was a four term Senator to the state of Idaho.  She asked me if I liked to read, and I told her I did and biographies were my favorite.  I told her I was currently reading a biography on Borah.  She then told me that U.S. Senator Borah was a friend of her father.  In fact, she remembered her father and Sen. Borah talking on the front porch of that house.  I was surprised.  She told me about her memories of the man.  Who would have thought I could get personal testimony on a man whose biography I was reading at the time.  I was very impressed with how genuine Helen Daniels Price was.  I spent a good half hour visiting with her about the lives of others.  She was a librarian in Malad for 25 years or so.  Such great people in the world everywhere. 
At some down time, I read some of the Nuffer family history that Larry gave to me.  It was a very interesting read about Neuffen, Germany.  Also some of the surrounding towns my family is from.  It was interesting to learn that John Nuffer (son of John Christoph Nuffer, my Great, Great, Great Grandfather) studied architecture and building in Stuttgart before converting and coming to America.  That is why he ended up building so many buildings including the Oneida Academy.  He also worked on the Logan Temple.  It was interesting to read his blessing by Apostle Teasdale and setting apart as a Seventy before going back to Germany for a mission.  It will be interesting to read more.
I visited with Lorraine Dives today, whose son is Larry Dives, who lives in Pleasantview, and works at the Malad Post Office.  We had a good visit about her yard and how it is improving.  It is these types of experiences that I like.  Mingling with those individuals who are the salt of the earth and go about doing their own thing.
Of other news, something to add to the usual surprises of life.  Amanda returned home on Thursday evening to find that there was a fine layer of dust throughout the house.  Originally, due to the dark nature of the dust, it was assumed to be coal dust.  There are workers replacing the old coal furnace in the basement, and somehow they ended up shooting dust up into both apartments. Our landlord, John Payne, send a nice cleaning lady to take care of the problem.  Saves us from having the clean the whole home I suppose. But it was not a happy thing for Amanda to discover.
Well, that will do for today.  Tomorrow is spraying in Malad again.  I have to admit, it is the only place in the country I know of, and somehow a great source of pride to me, that they fly an American flag on every other light pole on the main streets.  The clincher, on the other poles there is a Welsh Flag.  Reminded me of my mission, and I am excited that a city takes its heritage to heart and shows it.  So many cities have become mainstream Babylonia.  Here is a town who has not forgotten some of what it is and where it came from.  Plus, I have a special place in my heart for Cymru.  I even bought a Welsh Book of Mormon a while back and would like to learn to read it.    I hope Malad is doing it for the right reasons, and continues to do it, for it is a wonderful thing.
Tomorrow Amanda and I attend Prairie Home Companion.  I am really excited.  Not that I have to leave at 5:30 in the morning to finish work in time, but that I am going to personally attend a Prairie Home Companion.  I have always admired them, even from when I was in Junior High.  Also, tomorrow night after Prairie Home Companion, Amanda and I attend the last Utah Temple, Ogden.  That will complete our goal of attending all 11 temples.  If we had time, I would like to get in both Idaho Temples (soon to be 4!).

People

“I love that man better who swears a stream as long as my arm and is attentive to administering to the poor and dividing his substance, than the long smoothed faced hypocrites.”
That quote by Joseph Smith sums up much of what I believe.  I have been always so fortunate to end up with the salt of the earth, or at least being amongst them.

No matter where I go, or what I do, I have been very blessed.

I made a stop at the Oneida County Museum on Saturday.  I ended up chatting and visiting with those ladies for a length of time.  Most of them knew or knew of my relatives from Samaria.  It was a good day.  I sat and had lunch with an 88 year old, Daphne King Thompson.  She was a good lady.  We discussed her lawn, and she informed me about the Welsh Festival that had been revived in Malad.  Did you know Malad (Samaria) has the most Welsh people outside of Wales?  Yep, it is a bona fide fact.  BYU said so!  So I think I might join the Welsh Society.  After all, some of those Williams, Jones, and Evans are my relatives.  Also, seeing where I served in a mission for Northern Wales, and my ancestors really did come from Southern Wales, why not?  I can support a good cause.  So, if you are interested, www.welshfestival.com It is only $10!

Meier and Frank continues to go well.  I am now a full time painter.  Who would have thought.  That Law and Constitutional Studies major has come in mighty handy in telling that paint where to stick and not to.  Things are good at work.  I like having a my own list of things to do and having my own drive to get it done, rather than a taskmaster of any sorts.  Oddly, somehow moving from receiving to maintenance, my opinion actually counts for something.  I don’t know how a position change actually gave me intelligence in the presence of others, or at least an opinion to be expressed.

I stopped to visit my cousin Ralph Naef.  He is a 1st cousin, twice removed.  We share Regina Nuffer for an ancestor.  He came to our reception, which is a great thing, seeing how we had never met.  I promised I would stop to visit him.  We had a great conversation.  But moreover, he gave me a book.  Oh yes, more to add to my family history.  It contains the whole Naef family history, but I am only going to add the descendants of Charles Daniel Naef.  Ralph was telling me, that he has 600 and something direct descendents, and like 900 if you include spouses.  That is simply amazing.  That is from a number of descendants that was compiled over 10 years ago.  So I am sure there is well over a thousand now.

A good friend of mine from work, Bob Corliss, allowed me to look up some records on the internet with his information.  I stumbled upon a registration form for my great grandfather, David Delos Donaldson, and WWI.  He was working in Twin Falls, Idaho.  The best part is, we never knew he went to Idaho, ever.  Not only that, he was working there, and was exempted because he was working to support his younger siblings and mother.  He did later enter, we don’t know when or how, but went to France in the Argonne and was gassed there.  He suffered his whole life and eventually died from the mustard.
With this information, I went to visit my Uncle Dave Donaldson because my Dad did not know anything.  So I picked his brain.  We know little about my Great Grandfather before he married.  Now we know he was working for Ballantyne Plumbing in Twin Falls in roughly April 1917.  He served in WWI with two brothers.  As mentioned, he was hit with mustard, spent some time in hospital, and he wasn’t getting better, so they sent him home.  He married my Great Grandmother in 1919, Berendena Van Leeuwen.  They had 5 children.  During the great depression he worked down south as a plumber.  Dave did not know where, but there was a possibility it was at the Hoover.  When they went on a trip to Los Angeles, he insisted on stopping at Boulder City and the dam on the way home.  Oh, we do know that before they got married, he worked as a plumber in Phoenix.  How long we don’t know, but he could not bear the heat down there.  During the depression when he worked down south, the family stayed in Ogden.  Dave was young enough that he did remember his father coming home, but not where from.  Again during WWII, the whole family moved to Napa, California and Great Grandpa was a plumber at the naval yard there, he made it sound like Oceanside.  I do not know if there were any other naval bases down there.  Then they moved back.  The family must not have stayed down there, or he did not work the entire war, as my Grandpa and Grandma met in 1941-1942 at the Berthana on 24th street Ogden at a dance.  They were married in April 1942, shortly before he left for war.  They were not allowed to be married in the temple because Great Grandpa was not a member of the church.  I am not sure if this was to get him to join or what, but it backfired.  My Dad was born on 4 July 1943.  My father did not see my Grandpa until he was 3 years old when he returned from war.  Anyhow, Great Grandpa was a plumber by trade.  He worked up until the 1950’s when his health failed him.  He picked up smoking because it soothed his lungs.  It sounds like the mustard burned his lungs the rest of his life.  He would smoke to deaden the nerves.  Dave told me this increased until he died.  Even the last few years of his life, he had oxygen when he went places and when he slept.  But he kept smoking.  Dad told me of one of the few memories he had of his Grandpa.  He went to visit him in Ogden, Grant Ave if I remember right, and he was laying in bed.  There were newspapers all over the floor.  He got into a coughing fit and coughed a big thing of phlegm up and it went on the floor.  It was the combination of the irritation to the lungs from mustard, and the smoking.  It was what eventually killed him.  I was told the story that when he had had enough, he had my Great Grandma cook this big dinner, and he ate it, and then passed away afterward.  Apparently his body could not handle certain foods, especially meats.  He just could not take it any more and wanted a full meal.

Dave told me that David Delos Donaldson’s father, William Scott Donaldson was a plumber also.  Supposedly he had a confectionary in downtown Ogden at one time as well.  We have a picture of them standing in the store.  His mother, Mary Elizabeth Williams, was according to Dave a witch with a b.  She was high minded, snooty, and a brat.  Dave said never once that he was in her presence did she ever notice him or give him the time of day.  He said she was very negative and a condescending person.  Nothing went right, everything was wrong, and it was everybody’s fault.  He never liked his grandma, and would rather move out than be in the house when she went to move in.  At one point, Great Grandpa did not allow her to move in because Dave would move out.  She was the daughter of David D Williams, whose brother, John Haines Williams, is the father of those Williams who settled Samaria, Idaho.  All those William’s in the Malad Valley are my relatives, and they are the Welsh I spoke of earlier.

Berendena Van Leeuwen, my Great Grandmother was an amazing lady.  Everybody loved her.  Betty, Dave’s wife, told me that whenever she thinks of the Donaldson home in Ogden, she sees herself pulling in the drive, and the curtains parting and this little curly headed woman with a big smile with a little wave beaming at her.  She was an amazing cook, never using recipes.  She had an infectious laugh and loved everybody and everything.  In 1955 she was in an auto accident that handicapped her the rest of her life.  It was an Oldsmobile 88 that she went to pass a semi and he put her into a telephone pole.  She did some major damage to her hip.  She had a full body cast for a long time.  She had over 14 major operations.  The final one, one for kidney stones, weakened her enough that she died shortly after.  Despite 4 years or so of being handicapped, Dave and Betty told me that she was as chipper and happy as ever.  It did not even seem to phase her.  They took her camping several times, but the one they remember is the one before she passed away.  They would be out fishing and they would put her in a chair on the bank to watch.  She would giggle at the birds and them.  Betty insists that when she smiled the whole world brightened.  Dad remembers Great Grandma coming to visit with her monster bed.  Dave remembers that very well too!  After she went out to live with Grandpa and Grandma two different times for about a month each, he said she could go, but he was moving the bed no more.  Dad remembers her in a full body cast but she was funny.

Dad would tell me about Grandma always having home made bread.  They got in trouble more than once for coming home and taking some when they should not have.  Dad also told in Grandma’s funeral how Grandpa would come home, sneak in, ask if anyone was looking, and lay one on Grandma.  Other times he would come in and they would start dancing in the living room.  During the war, Grandma and Grandpa would kneel at 9 o’clock no matter where they were and pray.  In the spirit of oneness.

Anyhow, that is all I am going to share now.  There was more about David Delos’ siblings.  But I am not so sure on all that, need to do another interview, then I will comment.