25th of October

It has been quite the week.  We have replaced the sewer side of our plumbing, moving on to the feed side next week.  We had our ward Halloween Party last night with Trunk-or-Treat, Chili Cook-off, and Costume Contest.  We were there long enough to eat chili but not really do the costume part, even though we did dress up.  I had to walk across the hall and teach my 1.5 hour class on part two of the new FamilySearch website.  The fun part it was completely in my Fitzwilliam Darcy costume.  The class seemed to enjoy it.
Tonight we are having ourselves a Halloween Party at our house.  We have invited over 30 but only about 20 RSVP’d.  It should be fun.  It is for the most part buddies from school.  The interesting fact is that it falls on the 10th anniversary of the murder.  A couple joked they were going to come as an Idaho inmate, but have changed their mind as it was a little tasteless.  I am sure Amanda will post some of the pictures online on our joint blog of the occasion.
I took a mock exam this morning and feel I did fairly well considering only half way through the semester.  I know which areas I need to work on rounding out more of my knowledge and understanding of the specific torts and the elements of each.
This week I have been in contact with some old family friends who were kind enough to share some recollections about the Jonas side of the family.  Here are some excerpts from those communications.
“I woke up in the middle of the night when [Norwood] came home. Yelling, noises, thumping, screaming. I was scared, I had not met him yet. When I heard [voices], I peeked out the door. [Doug] was trying to pull his mother off his dad who was trying to stop [Norwood] from beating Jackie. She was 11 or 12. He was drunk and yelling that Jackie was not his child. Can you imagine the poor child. I had never been exposed to anything remotely like this. TV was not so graphic then. Wow. The next day no one said anything. Pretend it did not happen. I remember Doug suggesting hiding or removing the booze. [Colleen] said that would make him mean so she would not do that. I did not sleep well the entire time I was there. Norwood was cordial to me, even smiled and teased me. He was fine when not drinking.”
“Sandy was drinking and taking Motrin, she told me it was a “good high.” Motrin was prescription at the time and she took it for her constant pain. She had had severe head trauma and reconstructive surgery from the car accident where she totaled Doug”s Opel Cadet 2 1/2 years earlier. She showed me the pictures. Wow. You have probably seen them.”
“[Colleen] said she could not take Norwood’s drinking any longer and was filing for a divorce. Sandy was very upset. She said that if she divorced him they would never be together as a family in the Celestial Kingdom.”
“I must admit that Sandy’s remarks about the divorce struck everyone as being foreign due to her dislike of the church.  But remember it is how you are raised.  She knew nothing else.  I believe that she reverted to a child when faced with the divorce of her parents.  And that child believed in the Celestial Kingdom.  She can not be an atheist, that is just a defense mechanism.  She radically changed her memories of her father after he died.  She embodied him and fought hard with her Mom.”
“[Doug] was very stressed over the fact of his parents divorcing but supported his mother’s decision. In the following months Sandy moved back to Cache Valley. [Doug] used to get late night calls from her. She was usually drunk, unhappy, hated being a Jonas. Hated her mother. She took to wearing her fathers clothes. Right down to his boxer shorts. I don’t know how many times she was in jail for disorderly conduct, drunk in public, open container, drunk driving. The laws were not so strict then. She finally had to leave Logan. The law was not going to tolerate her behavior any longer.”
[Doug and Linda's] wedding was planned for April 12, 1975. [They] mailed the invitations out on March 12th. Doug’s dad was no longer living at home. On March 14th, he was crossing the street and was hit by a 17 year old boy with his younger sister in the car. There are many versions of the story, no one really knows for sure. All I know for sure is…the day [the] wedding announcements arrived everyone was learning that Norwood was dead. It was a very tough time for Doug. He never had the adult relationship with his father that he always wanted, he grieved that loss for many, many years.”

“After the wedding and [the] open house in Richmond, Sandy [went] back to CA. Doug needed his sister and she needed him. She was very depressed and drinking an awful lot.”
“Colleen definitely softened in her memories of [Norwood] after he died.  Occasionally she referred to him as “a son of a bitch.”  With such a tone uncharacteristic of her.  I remember the yelling in the Jonas household.  It was almost like if [the family] did not yell you could not hear them.  I never experienced [Colleen's] wrath, she always spoke calmly to me.  At least that is what I am remembering today.”
“I found her to be a very loving woman.  People seemed to flock to her because of that twinkle in her eye when she smiled.  She was up at 3 am to put every hair in place.  Men started arriving around 6 or so for coffee.  A man she called “big brother”, 2 or 3 others, I do not remember their names.  I remember I always got dressed before coming down because you never knew who would be there.  It was always fun to watch her laugh.  She could light up a room.”
“When I met her she hugged me and kissed and treated me like I was her friend.  She shared herself with me as if we were close girlfriends.  I wore rings on every finger, she loved my jewelry, I gave her a very special fish ring.  It was silver and kinda wrapped around the finger.  Needless to say she created her signature look beginning then.”

“I really am surprised you had not seen the pictures of your mom after the accident.  She had reconstructive surgery.  They show the rebuilding of her nose and cheek bones.  I was told that her cheeks were plastic.  There was orbital damage.  It truly changed her overall appearance when you look at before accident and after pictures.  I wonder where these pictures are.  They were Colleen’s.  They were pretty gruesome I remember them pretty vividly.”

“I still cannot smell blackberry brandy without fully remembering when [Sandy] rolled the jeep and we were searching the field, in the dark looking for you, terrified.  You were with Grandma and we did not know.  The jeep had the blackberry brandy all over in it because she was drinking from it when she rolled.  She could not remember where you were, she was hurt pretty bad and I think her dog was killed.  No cell phones at the time or we would have found you quicker.  You were an infant, maybe Oct or Nov.  [We] were living in Paul at the time.  We all worked for Circle A, we called it Circle J.”
Anyhow, some interesting insights from an outsider!

Milton Abbas, England

We have arrived in Weybridge, England. We are staying with a family we knew in Richmond, Virginia; the Jeppesen family. Weybridge is not far from London and this will be our home grounds while we are visiting the London area. We certainly appreciate their hospitality. 

Today we have been busy. We spent the morning with the Wise family and saying our farewell. They really spoiled us while we were there. A full English dinner last night. I will tell you what! What a treat!

Yesterday we visited Longleat, which is a living manor house. Quite the treat. It has been there since Elizabethan times. They even have the shirt Charles II was executed in. That was interesting. The Lord of Bath lives there at present.

We made a trip to Poole and Bournemouth, both of which were interesting. We would have spent more time but Amanda left her purse at a McDonald’s which required backtracking some. It was luckily turned in and we breathed a sigh of relief.

Later in the evening Jennie took Amanda down to Weymouth and Portland while Cynthia and I went through family history. We are definitely cousins through Edward Harris and his wife. We are very likely related through my Willetts line, but we were not able to show the connection. She doesn’t have her line far enough back to connect to where I have individuals. But by all accounts, the families definitely link, making us double cousins!

Today was much more of a Jane Austen day. We visited Winchester Cathedral where she is buried. But it has a fascinating history all its own. It was falling down and it required divers to correct the foundations. How is that for interesting? We also visited the Jane Austen home in Chawton where she lived for many years.

We now find ourselves in Weybridge for the next few days. The London Temple is of course closed while we are here. But we are looking at visiting London while we are here.

What Temple Work Means to Me by Rosa (Nelson) Jonas Andersen

(I have maintained punctuation and spelling)

I was asked to talk a few minutes on what temple work means to me.  This I shall do to the best of my ability.  First I shall talk about the book called ADDED UPON.  No doubt most of you have read this book.  If you haven’t it would be well worth your time to do so.  We all know we existed spiritually before we came to this earth.  Two people, a man and a women, were chosen to come to this earth to fulfill a mission here and take up a body.

They came, the woman was born in Denmark.  The man was born on a farm in America.  The woman, named Ensign emegrated to America.  When she got here she got work on a farm doing house work.  One afternoon while working, a man came to the door and asked if he might have something to eat.  While he was eatin they began to chat, she found out that his name was Rupert and that he was looking for work, that he prefered doing farm work.  Later when the farmer came into the house Ensign told him about Rupert.  Rupert was immediately hired as the farmer needed help badly.  The young couple became friendly, fell in love and after a summer of courtship they were married in the temple.  Rupert had some land of his own, left to him by his father.  They made a home on this land and raised a nice family.  During the winter Rupert did work in the mines in order to get extra money.  They lived happily together for some time.  Finally one winter day Rupert was killed in the mines leaving Ensign alone on this earth to finish raising her family.  The children grew up one by one.  They married leaving Ensign alone, after a few years called home.

Rupert was there to met Ensign, they knew each other, they could remember before they came down to earth, how at that time they wondered if they would be to gether on this earth.  They had been, they smiled at each other and were content.

This story causes me to think of my parents life, being like unto it.  My mothers parents emigrated from Sweeden.  Mother was one of the first baby girls born in Logan Utah.  When she was nine years of age her mother died.  Later grandfather remarried, marrying a woman with a large family.  After a time mother was forced to earn her own living wherever she could get work.

She found employment in Pocatello Idaho.  There she worked at a boarding house waiting on tables.  Here she met Joseph S Jonas, like Rupert and Ensign one summer of courtship and they were married.  Father being a Rail Road man they moved from one place to another.  They too raised a family of seven children, four girls and three boys.  Along about the spring of 1910 we were living at Thorp Kittitas Co. Washington.

One night after a terrible storm a flood came causing much damage.  Trapping many people in their homes.  Being R. R. man father was called upon to help rescue these people, and through the wet and exposure he suffered in helping these people he became very sick and was in the hospital for six months, with rhumitisum and pneumonia.  He was so sick he had to be turned on sheets.  He was a staunch catholic and did not believe in mormonism.

While father was in the hospital mother took us little ones and went to visit her brother August Nelson who lived in Salt Lake City.  Through the worey for father and we little ones mother became very nervous, her heart became affected and she became very ill.  One night she passed away from a heart attack, if it had been now days I do believe she could of been helped, by the wonderful medicines we now have to work with.  But we children didn’t know what to do.  We were left alone in the care of her older brother with no mother, and father so desperately sick.

We feared father was too sick to receive bad news and were afraid a shock like this would prove fatal to him.  So we told him nothing about mothers death.  After the funeral I went to visit my father at the hospital who was still in Washington.  Father a catholic and mother a L. D. S.

At heart like Rupert and Ensign they were meant for each other, for mother’s spirit did not loose any time singling her mate out.  For when I entered the room father said “well she is gone isn’t she?”  I said what do you mean?”  Father said “your mother she came to my bed side at 15 min. to ten on the night of Dec. 23, I know all about it.  This is proof to me that they were meant for each other.  So I am having my mother sealed to my father for all time and eternity, as my father since that time has pass away to be with my mother.  I know they met in the hereafter recognised each other, and will be happy when I get their temple work done.

It was while we children were staying at mothers br4others home in Salt Lake City that we were babtized into the mormong church.  The Lord works in a natural way, he braught us back to where mother left off as a girl.  There most of us lived untill we were fully grown, married in the temple and went on missions.  But father would not accept.

My baby brother Joseph when he grew older went back to his father and tried to convert him to the mormon religion, but to no avail.

Years went by and father became ill again.  I sent for him to come to my home.  He lay desperatly ill for days.  The night before hr died he was so very ill, he called me to come saying “Rose offer a word of prayer for me” I knew then the hard shell about father had soffened, as even that much to his mormon daughter was a great deal for dad.  I prayed for him, but he passed away the next night.

I am thankful to my heavenly father there is a plan whereby we children who were left, were able to have these two people united in eternal marriage with their children sealed to them.  I feel with in my self they are happy and satisfied.  May I ever be worthey of entering into their presence when it is my turn to answer Gods call, is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Stiffnecked

Today I sent my wife back across the country.  Seems a bit out of odds that I am sending off my wife for another month or so.  It seems more like she should be sending me away.  A mission?  Military?  Work travel?  I could not help but think of Engelbert Humperdink’s, “There Goes My Everything” as we said adios again.  As President Stucki would say, “There is no such thing as a good bye in the gospel.”  I believe it is true.  No matter what happens, we will meet up again.

I find myself even further from her now.  I am now in The Dalles, Oregon.  She is in Richmond, Virginia.  That puts us about 2,800 miles of separation in one day.  Don’t we live in a day of miracles?  I can visit with her without any more cost than my cell phone plan.  I spoke to her in Detroit, Minneapolis, Richmond, and a host of other places in the past month.  I am always impressed when I send out a dozen letters in one day all to different regions on the United States, or even the world, and know they will arrive there.  Most of them within 2 or 3 days.  That is a miracle to me.  As I type this up, on a free internet signal, in a hotel room, my computer connects to the internet and will make it available worldwide within seconds of my pressing the send button.  Every person in the world could read it if they wanted.  That is a miracle.

If you cannot tell, I have thought about miracles today.  I listened to some of Harold B Lee’s stories about miracles.  I thought about the miracles in my own life.  I even wrote of the miracle of the Book of Mormon in a recent blog.  They are all about us.  Somehow though, I get so busy in my life not to recognize them.

This leads me to the scripture I have thought about from the recent reading of the Book of Mormon.  This is another one of those scriptures I memorized that summer but have not been able to retain.

“And there are many among us who have many revelations, for they are not all stiffnecked.  And as many as are not stiffnecked and have faith, have communion with the Holy Spirit, which maketh manifest unto the children of men, according to their faith.”  (Jarom 1:4)

Far too often, I think I fall on the side of the stiffnecked.  In fact, I know I do.  I am just proud enough to miss so many of the blessings which could be easily obtained.  In some instances, more recognized.

There are plenty of ways in which I still need to repent and rise above the natural man.  Without beating up on myself too much, I do completely recognize that I am just humble and faithful enough to have some personal revelations of my own.  I end up with one or two in each journal, but they are there.  Meaning, I know that the Lord speaks to even me in my weakness.  Even in my weakness, I am abundantly blessed and am just humble enough to see some of those blessings and miracles all about me.

More Info for Colleen’s Journal

I received an e-mail from Sally Buttars with some information about Grandma’s (Colleen Andra Jonas) Journal.  Here are the details she helped with (with minor editing).

“Chick ( Delbert Bair) was a Richmond original.  Chick lived up on third East and first South and his home sat right on the corner.  The home is still there.  Chick nevered married.  I use to deliver the Herald Journal to him.  Chick had this monkey and it was mean.  Chick’s brother Blaine (Cub Bair) lived just through the field behind my Dad and Mom’s home.  Cub and his wife Emma did a lot of things with my folks.”
“Now Dutch (Dutch Reese) didn’t live in Richmond.  Dutch was from Amalga.  Dutch was a big time cattle buyers.  He used to come to Richmond a couple of times a day just to have coffee at LD’s.  I used to work at LD’s at that time.  Dutch was one of the biggest BS’ers in the valley, but he had the heart of gold.  I’ll never forget Dutch.  He had eye glasses that looked like the bottom of a Coke bottle.  Dutch would tease every waitress that worked at LD’s.”

Inlande Futures

I have been pretty slow to mention anything on here about the recent change of venue for employment.
My newest employment is with Inlande Environmental Resources, Inc. based out of Pasco, Washington.
As most of you know, I was laid off from Bank of America on 31 December 2007.  They were divulging themselves of the entire Wholesale division.  I was one of the fortunate few.  I applied for a number of positions within the bank but I later found out HR and a Hiring Manager had messed up.  They thought I was a closer instead of an assistant underwriter.  I was not seriously considered for the jobs I applied for.  I fought it some, but there are only so many positions and they were already filled.  Once again, Bank of America screwed something up.  I won’t even go into how they messed up my pay and severance package.  They withheld the equivalent of 32 hours of pay for some hiccough they had on their end.  I think I am glad to be done with them.
In the meantime of applying for different jobs, my Dad gave me a lead for Inlande.  I thought it couldn’t hurt to apply.  In the end, I ended up getting that job for 1/3 more salary, plus commission.  So I could not refuse it.  No other jobs offered employment in Richmond.  It was one of the only options open to me.
Part of the problem applying for a job in Richmond was the fact Amanda graduates in May.  With that, I would effectively quit my job to move west.  Who is going to hire somebody for 4 months?  I could not be dishonest when they asked how long I intended to stay with the company.  Add to that, the fact Amanda and I have already booked our tickets to Europe for 6 months from 4 June to 16 July.  Who wants to hire me then?  As soon as we arrived at the town I would be attending law school, I would then have to find employment for a month or two until school started.  The whole situation was not favorable.
Along came Inlande Environmental.  We made a trip for the interview.  It was more of a visit to the family.  I was interested in the job but it was so far away.  When would they want me to start and how long would Amanda and I have to live apart?
When I found out it was 1/3 more salary, plus commission it was more interesting.  It would be a change of industry from mortgage/finance to infrastructure/public utility.  That industry will not go away as long as humans need to consume water and remove their waste.  I was forthright about our 6 week vacation for the summer, the good chance of my getting in to law school, and attending law school in the fall.  They still thought I was worth the risk.
It looked fascinating to me to have a job that got me back into some chemistry.  That was an area I have been interested in for a long time.  (I took a chemistry book on my mission!  I never got around to studying or reading it though.)  Plus with the recent changes in the mortgage and finance industries I wanted to get out of such a shifting environment.  Add to the fact my new job would not keep me confined in an office and I was definitely hooked.
The major difficulty was in the distance.  Amanda would have to remain in Richmond while I moved to Idaho.  The position is for a Regional Sales Manager for Utah and Southern Idaho.
Amanda has a number of rotations coming up in which she would be gone for several days at a time.  In addition, she wanted to start studying for her boards a couple hours every night.  With my being gone, she could study for long hours without the need to be concerned about me.  I also would not be the constant distraction I am for her.
After the offer, we determined it was not an offer we could pass up.  Nothing else came as close to looking as good.  Richmond is expensive and we could not afford a drop in pay.  I really didn’t want to spend a month job hunting because the loss of income would really cut our options for our trip to Europe for the summer.  Employment had to continue for us.
This put one of us closer to scope out places to live when we decide where we will be moving for the fall.  It helps me get out some more of the traveling bug that constantly haunts me.  The requirement to travel and a company vehicle with fuel had me jumping with excitement.  This job will have me traveling all over the entire state of Utah, Southern Idaho, and Western Wyoming.  Not to mention the occasional trip to Washington.  I certainly have a few places to stop as I am traveling through.
Amanda can focus solely on school and I can really do the heavily traveling required to lay some foundations.  Even if I decide against law school or am not accepted, I will have done the initial legwork so I won’t be required to travel as much when Amanda joins me.
It will not be an easy task.  I have no worries that Amanda and I will make it through it.  We will get to see each other about once a month until that time.  Anything we may lose in 4 months apart I certainly am sure we will make up in 1 1/2 months of traveling through Europe.
Most people look at me like we are crazy.  Like I have left my wife and this will be the end of it all.  For some reason I feel more pity on the people who feel that way.  I am not concerned for my marriage like they seem to indicate they would be for theirs.  Sure, I don’t want to be away from my wife.  However, we both recognize this as our best option and felt that heaven was directing us this way.  We can talk daily.  We can e-mail.  All is not lost.  Our engagement we spent equivalent time apart and were able to overcome that obstacle.
I now find myself in Idaho.  What does the future hold?  I am not entirely sure.  A couple of law schools have declined me already.  There are a few more to hear from.  We shall wait and see.  At any rate, Amanda and I will be reunited this summer and pressing forward for whatever life presents then.  This job could be one with definite long range potential.  More doors are opening than are closing with this time apart.

Photo Album for Thanksgiving 2007

The photo album that I just placed up a few hours ago are all photos Lolane Andra took.  She and Donald came down after Thanksgiving and spent a couple of days with us.  We went around and saw a bunch of the sites.  So you will see a pretty good variety of locations.  Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, Jamestown, Monticello, Confederate White House, Hollywood Cemetery, and who knows what else.  I put most of the pictures up.  Enjoy!  You may recognize a couple of the photos as very common to other photos in other albums that we took.

Jorgensen and Christensen

Robert Mathis shared with me this copy of a short history written by Amanda Emilie Jorgensen.  It is a history of her parents, my fourth Great Grandparents.  It also has a reference to Hanna’s parents.  This was written around 1933.
History of my Parents

My father Olaves Jorgensen was born in Drammen Norway 19 November 1830.

When he was twelve years old he started working in a saw mill for Mr Kjer.

My mother Hannah Mathea Christensen was born in Drammen Norway fourteen November 1831. She was a dressmaker when she was old enough to work. They were married fourth november 1855 in Drammen Norway. Two girls were born there. Constanse and Olga. Then Mr. Kjer transferred Father to Fredrikstad Norway to another saw mill and he worked there until he came to America in 1896.

Mother was very religious and always went to some kind of church but never felt satisfied. She lived in an apartment house and was talking to a lady named Mrs. Ask that lived across the hall. Religion was mentioned and mother said she wanted to find a religion that baptised people like Jesus was baptised.

Mrs. Ask asked her if she had ever heard about the Mormon people and mother said no. Mrs. Ask said to be ready Sunday afternoon and she would take her to hear the Mormon Elders.

As soon as mother heard the Elders preach she knew it was the true church. The Priest and other people tried to tell her it was wrong but she wouldn’t listen. The Elders had to take her to the ocean to be baptised after dark as they would be arrested and put in jaail if they were seen baptising people.

Mother was a very faithful member and the missionaries were always welcome in their home. She was President of the Relief Society for years.

Father wanted to join but didn’t dare to because he knew he would lose his job. Father was baptised just before he and mother came to Utah.

They went directly to Richmond Utah in Cache Valley to be near their daughter Othelia. They were here four years and had never had the opportunity to go to the temple when mother died in November, 1900. Father and Othelia and Constanse came to Logan and did the work for mother and she was sealed to Father. Father died in November 1904 and they were both buried in Richmond Utah.

Mother told me that the pastor of the Luteran Church said her parents Christen Hansen and Marie Evensen were the most beautiful couple he had ever married while he was a pastor.