Happy Birthday to myself. It was yesterday and I had a great day. Gwen took me to Mt. Vernon yesterday morning in celebration. It was a real treat. I enjoyed visiting and traipsing the grounds of our first president. I am even more impressed by George Washington than ever. I knew some pretty inspiring things about him, but these opened my eyes to fields I never knew he was even involved it. It was fascinating! The home was impressive. It shows some age, but is a historical place. I have thought loads about privatizing these types of places and this is an example of why. It was much better maintained and preserved than any government entity has been able to do at any other location I have visited of theirs. What is more, they are making great roads to progression and keeping up the place that the Park Service can’t do. What is even better, I know the money I pay for it goes right back into it’s preservation or other helps. There was a fair on the grounds that day of artisans who produce crafts, furniture, and other things of the same time period as Washington. It was very fascinating to see and watch. I especially enjoyed watching and meeting the lace maker. What a fascinating thing. I never had any idea how lace was made by hand. It was an education.
Later in the day Dennis and I drove around. He showed me around. I am always impressed by the history of this place. He showed me the prison where Stanton, Mott, and Anthony were all imprisoned. It is closed now and they are thinking about turning it into a historical place. Who knows what they will actually do.
The Thompson clan all gathered for a birthday party. We had pizza, cake, and ice cream. I got all sorts of things for my birthday. Gwen bought me lunch at Mt. Vernon. Socks, journal, party favors, books, cards, money, and other things. I really felt loved. I told them and insisted I did not want anything, even a party, but they did not listen. Oh well.
Age doesn’t bother me, but this one did for some reason. I always hoped that perhaps the First Presidency would remove the restriction that you can only serve one mission. Well, they didn’t. The other restriction they have is that males have to go before they are 26. Well, both of those restrictions now apply to me and I really wish they didn’t. What I would not give to serve another full time mission. Money or not, I don’t care where I was sent, I would rely upon the Lord to provide. I know we are all to be missionaries, and I am, but oh what I wouldn’t give for a full time set apart mission again. Something I hope that Amanda and I can do much sooner than later. There is a whole world yet to explore, and many languages I would like to learn. I have never really learned another, but a mission would be a great opportunity. I get e-mails from Mauritania of Nick and Irene Eastmond and their adventures there. The language (French), the people, the places, the scenes she describes. I got e-mails all summer from Ghana from Rebecca Thomson. Oh how much I would like to go there and see and experience all she did. I get e-mails once and a while from Tazmania, or Tanzania, or Brazil, or Chile and wish I could go to each. I pray the Lord will help make serving in other places possible, either through a job or as a missionary.
I have decided I would like very little to do with government. I am becoming more and more disappointed by the National Government. I have come to prize more and more the little state government I so much adored. Idaho has a certain simplicity, purity that has not been lost yet. Utah did not have it, they subscribed to too many ways of the politics. Idaho still has Statesmanship in many ways.
Working in the office of a Senator, I somehow expected him to be different. Especially since he is LDS and held to a higher expectation. So far, he seems to play the game like everyone else. Somehow I expected a little bit more friendly and personality in the office. So far, there is very little interaction. What little there is is to shake hands with constituents and have a photo taken for them.
I don’t know what I expected. I expected somebody who was more accessible, especially to his employees. I expected somebody who would articulate their position clearly. Something that I feel is not always clear, especially upon any underlying principles. Someone who was more interested in getting to know the people he represents rather than being seen and doing what he wants. Someone who sought association with those humble people of the every day walk of life, not the people who pay for lunch or a meeting. Visiting to hear the common concern of the common citizen, rather than being scheduled for those with a goal and agenda.
Having just read the book about his own personal life, Cecil Andrus painted to me the common man doing his best to serve and meet their needs. Nothing more. I was very deeply touched by his sincere words and the simplicity of his stance. His thoughts and comments have influenced me in many ways. Too bad we don’t have more statesmen like him, rather than just a political figure. Someone who is independent and is deeply respected by the people. Someone who is the friend of the people, not just a representative.
My stance of smaller government and more individual rule has only been strengthened. Washington D.C. has come to be the ideal of a way of life that will never connect with me. I am a part of the land, of feeling a deep underlying connection between all things, and of each human person. Washington D.C. seems to require individuals who are a law unto themselves. Those who appear to speak for the people, but don’t know who they represent, and what is more sad is they do everything the people want rather than what they need. Who knows what we shall ever do.