A dog named Navel

Today I thought I would share a humorous story about the late-night escapades of a car loaded with Utah State University students venturing down to see the Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti, Sanpete, Utah.  Brad Hales, Mark Morris, Emily Sarà, Seth Warburton, and I made the trip in my 1998 Toyota Camry in what I believe was the spring of 2004.

The story starts with the rather unexciting drive from Logan, Utah to Manti.  We took the normal route off I-15 at Nephi to drive to Manti.  We conveniently located a parking spot only blocks away because we were plenty early.  We met our friends who drove down separately and staked out our territory with quilts on the grassy green expanse you can see in the photo above.  It is on that very same hill that the Mormon Miracle Pageant takes place.  Here is a nice photo I stole from the Deseret News to give some idea of the stage and what is going on.

The pageant ended and the four of us found our way to my little Camry to head out.  We were told by myriad friends that if we truly wanted to get back to I-15 from Manti in a speedy fashion that we should take the old highway out of Manti to the south via Gunnison and Levan.  We started to wend our way through the darkness.

We had a great, great time leaving Manti.  I do not mean to knock the pageant in any way, but we were certainly making light of it.  We hold no ill feelings towards the doctrines or ideas presented, but maybe it was just that year, but the whole thing came off as pretty hokey.  We decided only the local drill team was allowed to be the angels on the hill with their coordinated flag signals that only someone trained in shipping would have understood.  We drove the darkness really making fun and laughing ourselves silly about how poorly some parts of the pageant were done.

The conversation turned as we continued through the dark roads.  We sang along with a song and the conversation turned to Levan, Juab, Utah.  I do not know how true this is, but lore goes that Levan was named Levan because that is “navel” in reverse.  The area was named Levan because it is the very center of the state, about where a navel would be.  I do not think this is really true since I am sure the town was founded before the final boundaries of Utah were defined, but it sure made great fodder for laughing and conversation that night.  (Apparently there is a Levan, Illinois too)

Well, we made our final approach into Levan with the lights of the municipality drawing closer and closer.  Some of the members of the car were preparing the cameras so we could make a very quick stop and everyone could disembark for a photo with the Levan city sign.  We were laughing about getting a picture with Utah’s navel and then it happened.

Do you know that feeling when you see something and suddenly you do not know quite what to do because it is coming upon you so quickly?  As I drove 70 miles an hour down this road and with the blinding of the lights just as you emerge.  I suddenly had a car behind me with his lights on and that was also partly blinding me.  I made out the faint outline of something laying in the middle of my lane.  Just as I could see that, I had a car also coming my direction so I knew I could not really just dodge whatever it was in my lane so I prepared to straddle it.  I could not slam on my breaks because of the car so close behind me, the shoulder on the right, and the car approaching on the left.  I could see it was too big to straddle just as I was too close and too fast to stop.  I clenched my teeth, gripped hard on the steering wheel, and yelled over the conversation for everyone to hold on.

That is when we heard it.  This massive animal went under the car and we heard and felt him rolling under the car and at one point a serious thump right under the feet of the people in the back seat.  The sickening smell of scalded hair filled the car.  Cries rang out, “What was that?”  I watched for the car behind to dodge whatever it was I hit but he didn’t even flinch.  The individuals in the back of my car were trying to see if they could tell what we hit.  I could see no sign of the roadkill in any of my mirrors (beyond the headlight glare from the car behind).  I continued to let the car coast and finally started to breath realizing that massive thing went under the car and did not appear to do any damage at all.  I continued to coast down the now four lane highway until I hit city limits cruising speed.  I think I should point out at this point that this creature was already laying in my lane.  Although because it was so large and lumped, I assume it was a fresh hit and I was just fortunate enough to be the next person to hit it.

Nobody seemed quite as chipper anymore.  Nobody wanted to stop at the Levan city sign.  It was just silence as we drove through town.  As we left town somebody asked if it was a body we hit.  I told them I did not know what we hit but that it looked like a really big dog.  I thought he was a fresh kill and fortunately he rolled right under the car without relatively little incident.  The way he was clumped up in the road though, I was sure the car would jump or he would be lodged there.  The rolling of the thing under the car was clear so no need to get out and take a look underneath.  The others in the car were sure that I killed the dog.  Then more silence; dead silence.

After another 10 or 15 minutes or so with just the faint strains of the radio in the background, conversation started to pick up again.  We named the poor beast “Navel” after Levan.  I did not know what he was, but we were laughing again and having fun conversation again.

We climbed on I-15 and started heading north at full freeway speeds.  I seem to remember that Seth was sitting behind me and he commented on the fact that cars driving by us were looking at us.  Sure enough, we could not figure out why in the world everybody was looking at us.  It surely could not be some coordinated effort to stare us down.  It became a game of sorts to make faces back at the people as they drove by.  This elicited some hilarious expressions back at us.  One lady looked at us in complete and total disgust.  I was the one driving and could see expressions of the individuals.

Finally after probably 20 minutes of this, a car pulled beside us on the freeway and rolled down his window and motioned for me to do the same.  He then yelled, “Hey, you’re dragging a coyote!”  In that split second to conjure and give a response, I yelled back, “It’s okay, we picked him up in Levan!”  The total disgust in his face was quickly manifest and they sped off.  All the occupants of my car erupted into laughter at my complete nonsense reply.  Even now I realize how disconnected it must have sounded motoring down the freeway at 80 miles per hour.  It took me a minute or two to realize what I just said and even I was laughing so hard I was in tears.

Then the thought came, “Now what?”  I am not going to just pull to the side of the freeway in the middle of the dark.  We all decided we would get off at the next exit and see what damage was done.  We had just passed the Nephi exit, so we had at least another 10-20 miles to go before the next exit.  In that meantime driving down the freeway, let me assure you we thoroughly enjoyed those who passed us by.  I deliberately slowed down a little bit to maybe not cause as much damage to Navel.

Here is the question; how do you via some form of charades inform those in other cars that you know you have a coyote dragging behind you?  A thumb up and a big smile just never gets the impression across the 3-4 feet to the passenger in the other vehicle.  They would insist on pointing to the rear portion of the car.  We just smiled bigger and give them two thumbs up.  Of course, we were laughing so hard I don’t know how we stayed on the road.  Every person trying to convey the message must have thought we were a group of sick, psycho individuals who could only laugh.  They must have assumed we did not know, which means they tried all the harder.  As we attempted to confirm we knew, we would all break down in heavier laughter.  I cannot tell you how hilarious this was!

The Santaquin exit fortunately arrived and we left the interstate.  Navel was probably pretty excited about the ending of his trip.  We pulled to the end of the off-ramp and into the gravel of the road.  We all piled out to see our first view of Navel.  This is what we saw!

I know this will be a bit gruesome for some of the viewers out there.  I need to describe this a bit more to you though.  This dog is half worn away by this point!  I think you can tell that half of his head is also ground away.  If you click on the picture and get closer, you can see tiny chunks of hamburger all over the back of my car (Which we did not discover until the next morning because it was so dark.  The picture is only lit from the camera flash).  I cannot tell you the smell that was present, but my expression and covering my nose should give you some hint.  It was flat-out disgusting.  Also, I point out to you that Navel’s leg was jammed between the body of the car and part of my undercarriage right in the middle of the car near the axle.  That means Navel is at this point stretched out probably 5 feet in length from the axle to the end of his leg you can see in the picture.  He was mangled, stretched, and partly disintegrated.

Now the issue became, how to get him out from under the car?  We tried backing up hoping he would become unattached.  We tried poking at him with a tire iron.  Brad even had the idea to stand on him when I drove off, but we then became afraid of Navel coming apart.  You know how you should avoid injured dogs?  None of us really wanted to lay down next this stinky dog, slide under the car in the dark, and try to get him unattached.  What options are left?  We decided to drive to a gas station for assistance.

We hopped back on I-15 and began another episode of being stared down by every car passing us.  It was not quite as funny anymore.  Levity did finally arrive as we would deliberately not look at the cars trying to get our attention and then we would break down laughing to the horror of those trying to inform of us our dire situation.  The 10 miles or so to the next exit with a gas station went exceedingly slow.

Now we were parked on the sanitary and clean concrete of the Payson Maverik.  We all stood around the car again trying to figure out what we were going to do.  At least now we had sufficient lighting to really tell what was going on.  We stood around talking and figuring a plan of attack.  Emily and Seth figured out they would not have to do the dirty deed so they went in the store and returned passing out donuts!  Emily remembers that I made some comment like, “What do you think this is, some sort of Relief Society meeting?”  The comments from individuals as they came up to our circle and realized what we were all standing around looking at, WHILE eating donuts.  I remember one lady was very disgusted.

I tried climbing under the car but it was so low to the ground that I could not reach the spot where Navel had his leg lodged.  Nobody wanted to have to get out a jack so we could climb under the car.  I walked into the Maverik and asked for ideas or thoughts.  The attendant suggested I go grab a rod for turning valves down in the ground (about 3 feet long with a “T” at the top) and try using it to get him dislodged.  We poked and prodded at him for a while.  The broken leg and all the tissue just wasn’t helping me pull out his leg.  I cannot emphasize how terribly disgusting of a sight that Navel was.  This is roadkill that we had to deal with in an intimate fashion.

Finally our hero arrived with a couple of rednecks in a red Dodge minivan.  The dad walked up and asked us what the problem was.  Upon seeing Navel and then looking at my Missouri license plate he asked, “You from Mississippi?”  I responded, “No, Missouri” and he walked back to his minivan and his son quickly appeared with a plastic bag in his hand.  That little 7 or 8 year old climbed under my car without any fear and with his plastic covered hand pulled Navel’s limb out of its wedged location.  (I warned him of the hot exhaust which he still hit with his little arm!)  The kid then and went and hopped back in the little van (and did not go inside to wash!).

I walked in and told the attendant I wanted to buy that red minivan’s fuel.  He let me do it.  The man was appreciative, and so was I!

Now, what to do with the remains of Navel?  The Maverik attendant suggested we just throw him in the dumpster at the side of the building.  No small task for a bag of bones that must have still weighed 50 pounds.  Nobody wanted to touch him so we used the valve rod to pick him up and walked him to the dumpster.  We could not get the rod up over the top of that dumpster without Navel sliding down the rod.  It clearly was not working.  I finally had to reach out and touch Navel to hold him in place and keep him from sliding down the rod while Seth and I put him in the dumpster.

We returned the bloody rod to its location and later, unfortunate user.  We both washed our hands multiple times in the bathroom before heading to the attendant to let him know we were leaving.  He gave us both a Mt. Dew for the road!  We thanked him and headed on our way.  We arrived in Logan, Utah about 1:00 or so in the morning and all collapsed into our beds.  But whenever I hear of Manti, Levan, or the Mormon Miracle Pageant; I now think of Navel the dog from Levan.  May he forgive me for dragging him over 40 miles!  May he forgive us for the endless laughs that night and many since then at his expense.  I feel bad about his owners who wondered where their dog ran off to, I guess at least they did not see his terrible state.

I graduated once

Since it is the season of graduations and I am fortunate to have just participated in one, I thought I would give a little personal post about some of my earlier formal graduations.  I am sure there are other graduations I probably participated in, but I do not have photos of them, at least that I am aware.  Like graduation from diapers,  which consists of a diaper on the head with a tassel.  Or graduation from elementary school, which would consist of a wedgie (and a tassel!).

Here are my Kindergarten Graduation Pictures.  The Graduation ‘ceremony’ was held in the West Minico Junior High Auditorium in Paul, Idaho.  I can still remember the day, both sets of Grandparents being present, and some of the program.  It was quintessentially the same program that Andra, my sister, would go through two years later and I remember that occasion for her.  I am assuming I graduated Kindergarten in the spring of 1984.

Now we can forward more than a decade to graduation from high school.  I graduated from Minico High School in Rupert, Idaho in the spring of 1997.  I swear there are photos out there of the occasion, I have seen them.  It does not seem my family has any at the actual ceremony, and whatever my Grandmother had is with her stash, wherever that might be since she passed away.  That could be the dump, but I guess it is in a drawer somewhere in Alaska.  Maybe some day…  This is a photo in my Grandmother’s home in Paul, Idaho.  This photo was taken on my Grandma’s birthday and probably taken by her.  I am still pretty thin, excited about life, and wearing that new class bling, I mean ring (that was rudely stolen by a home invader in 2009).

Forwarding a few more years, here is a picture of graduation from Utah State University in Logan, Utah on 17 December 2005 with a BS in Law & Constitutional Studies.  By this point I am days away from marriage to Miss Amanda Hemsley so she joined me in the photo, along with future in-laws (my Dad and Jan are in the photo too, to my left).  I even got some fancy cords again!  Two more of my grandparents had passed away by this time and the last one was unwilling to attend.

Now the latest event in my graduation history.  Graduation on 15 May 2011 from Oklahoma City University in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma with a Juris Doctor.  Not only is my Dad and in-laws in the picture, my family has been joined by the newest addition of Aliza.  I doubt there are further formal graduations in life, besides death, awaiting in the future.  But at least we have some of these graduations in photograph.

I am such a ham!

Look at the cool hood.

Charles and Christina Nuffer

Back row: Bertha, Anna, Clara, Louise. Seated row: Charles, Charles, Christina. Lap children: Preston, Laura. Front: Ida, Joseph.

Back row: Bertha, Anna, Clara, Louise. Seated row: Charles, Charles, Christina. Lap children: Preston, Laura. Front: Ida, Joseph.

Christina Wanner, the mother in this picture from 1910, is the sister to my Johann Georg (John George) Wanner Jr.  I previously posted a family portrait for Christina’s sister, Maria Magdalena Wanner Wagstaff.  At some point, I will write my Great Great Grandfather, John, but until then, I will keep writing on some of the peripheral lines.

Charles August Nuffer, the father in the photo, is the brother to my Regina Friederike Nuffer.  A brother a sister with the last name of Nuffer married a sister and brother with the last name of Wanner.  Two other Wanner sisters married another set of brothers with the last name of Bodrero.  Anyhow, the children in the above photo are all double cousins to me.  Can you smell the consanguinity in the Wanner family?

Charles August Nuffer was born 18 June 1871 in Neuffen, Esslingen, Baden-Württemberg to John Christoph Nuffer and Eva Katharina Greiner.  His parents joined the LDS church on 12 April 1880 after following the example of their daughter, Regina who was baptized in January 1880.  Charles actually joined 26 January 1894 in Mapleton, Franklin, Idaho (then Oneida County).  He passed away 17 July 1952 in Preston, Franklin, Idaho and buried beside his wife 4 days later in the Preston Cemetery.  If you are interested, here is his autobiography.

Christina Wanner was born 30 March 1872 in Holzgerlingen, Böblingen, Baden-Württemberg to Johann Georg Wanner Sr and Anna Maria Schmid.  Her whole family joined the LDS church in 1891 (she 16 October 1891) and immigrated to the US in 1892 settling in Logan, Cache, Utah.  She died 10 August 1940 in Preston and was buried 4 days later.  Her daughter Louise, wrote a biography about her.

Charles and Christina were married 1 February 1894 in the Logan LDS Temple by Marriner Wood Merrill.  Note, this is 5 days after his baptism!  To this marriage was born 9 children.  The first 7 were born in Mapleton and the rest were in Preston.

Clara Katherine Nuffer born 10 August 1895, died 18 August 1984.  Married John Leroy Hansen 30 October 1918.

Louise Mary Nuffer born 19 November 1896, died 16 October 1980.  Married LeRoy McDonald Roberts 17 November 1944.

Anna Christina Nuffer born 8 January 1899, died 25 January 1928.  Married Elmer Willis Cummings 23 April 1919.

Bertha Wilamena Nuffer born 9 June 1900, died 9 November 1990.  Married Alfred Dean Winn 9 February 1921.

Charles Fredrick Nuffer born 21 October 1901, died 30 June 1970.  Married Ruth Gamble 4 October 1922.

Joseph Adolph Nuffer born 18 May 1904, died 27 June 1985.  Married Greta Susan Alder 20 July 1927.

Ida Eva Nuffer born 15 June 1906, died 1 December 2000.  Married Gilbert Warren Stater Cafferty 24 February 1926.

Preston Albert Nuffer born 13 June 1908, died 20 July 1995.  Married Ella May Day 24 June 1936.

Laura Elvina Nuffer born 15 February 1910, died 21 December 1994.  Married Hilden Jack Alvord 12 April 1929.

I am happy to correct or add information to this family if you have information.

William and Maria Wagstaff

Back row: Willard, William, Annie, Parley, Maria, Jesse. Front row: Elsie, Edna, Herbert.

Since this is another peripheral line, I will not get to write much on this family.  But this photo I thought deserved to be shared with others.

Maria Magdalena Wanner, the mother of this family in the photo, is the sister to my Johann Georg (John George) Wanner Jr.

William Addison Wagstaff was born 7 November 1860 in Kirstead, Pinxton, Derbyshire, England.  He passed away 31 May 1931 in Ogden, Weber, Utah.

Maria Magdalena Wanner was born 12 Sepember 1873 in Grünkraut, Tübingen, Württemberg to Johann Georg Wanner and Anna Maria Schmid.  Her whole family joined the LDS church in 1891 and immigrated to the US in 1892 settling in Logan, Cache, Utah.  She passed away 23 October 1952 in Ogden.

William and Maria were married 17 June 1896 in the Logan LDS Temple.  To this marriage were born 11 children.  All of which were born in Glendale, Franklin (then Oneida County), Idaho.

George William Wagstaff born 26 January 1897, died 4 February 1897.

James Addison Wagstaff born 24 June 1898, died 14 March 1913.

Annie Eliza Wagstaff born 27 December 1899, died 20 December 1940.  I do not think she married.

Wilford John Wagstaff born 28 August 1901, died 23 June 1903.

Parley Leroy Wagstaff born 9 April 1903, died 18 Jan 1996.  Married Eliza Dorothea Blanch 14 March 1929.

Willard Lesley Wagstaff born 3 March 1905, died 21 January 1973.  Married Mary Isabell Gibson 19 October 1927.

Jesse Olsen Wagstaff born 9 January 1907, died 27 October 1991.  Married Berta Edna Gibby 28 October 1936.

Herbert Spencer Wagstaff born 11 November 1908, died 19 March 1962.  I do not believe he married.

Edna Leona Wagstaff born 10 July 1910, died 11 January 1997 in Kaysville, Davis, Utah.  Married Horace Raymond Owen 10 March 1933.

Elsie Magdalena Wagstaff born 7 August 1912, died 4 December 1990.  Married William C Coleman 17 January 1974.  I do not know if she had a marriage before that.

Albert Wanner Wagstaff born 8 July1915, died 19 August 1970.  Married Marvel Irene Higley 2 October 1948.

The entire family moved to West Weber, Weber, Utah after the last child and before 1920 and remained there the rest of their lives.  Most of these children died in or near the Ogden area.  One or two returned to the Preston, Franklin, Idaho area, probably due to relationships from before the move.

The individuals in the photograph above are as follows from left to right, front row consists of the three children in front.  The photo above was taken about 1914 after James had died, but before Albert was born.  Aren’t they a cute little family?

If you have more information to add to this family, I would be happy to correct or add to it.

Slumbers Not

I stumbled upon this photograph again tonight and thought I would share it.  This picture was taken by an old roommate of mine at Utah State, I do not remember for sure which one, I think Mark Morris.

The contrasts of the photo are pretty dramatic.  This is taken from Darwin Avenue in Logan, Utah.  You can see the Wellsville Mountains on the west side of Cache Valley.  You can see the lighted Logan LDS Temple with its greenish spires and lighted facade.  Some other silhouettes are discernible and will be recognized by most people who have lived in Logan, particularly the LDS Tabernacle Spire and the red Wells Fargo sign.  This photo was taken 12 November 2003.  You have to click on it and zoom in to get the full effect.

Whenever I see the picture and the amazing sunset, I am reminded of Felix Mendelssohn’s oratorio named Elijah.  The song particularly that comes to mind is “He watching over Israel, slumbers not” (from Psalm 121:4).

I know God is watching over Israel and not slumbering.  In the end, all things will come out right.  He is in charge, this is His world and His plan.

“When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land.  [T]hey shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards…they shall build with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despite them round about them; and they shall know that I am the Lord their God.”  Ezekiel 28:25-6.

“Let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.”  D&C 101:16.

MTC anniversary

The 28th was the 10 year anniversary of when I was supposed to enter the MTC.  Time has certainly flown!  Who would ever have thought then I would be in law school 10 years later.  I wonder how many people even thought I would attend law school.  Who knows what they thought I was going to end up doing.  I was glad to be able to go on a mission.  The first eggnog of the season found its way into our refrigerator.  Boy does it bring back memories of may Christmas’ from long ago.  I know, we haven’t even hit Thanksgiving yet.  I guess the eggnog is just early.  I had a happy tummy for a day or two, regardless of the season.

One of my school buddies is looking at the home next door.  Wouldn’t that be great to have neighbors who I went to school with?  We could work on our homes together, we could have parties.  I could ride to school with Andrew and Amanda could sleep in for another hour.  She would be happy about that.  We will have to wait and see.  Since they probably cannot get into the home by themselves, we are taking about signing with them.  The great thing is the house is owned by a trust.  Both of the parents have died and the family really just wants to sell it, even for about 2/3rds of its value.  So we worked it out that in signing with them, they would share a portion of what they make on the house when they sell it in a couple of years.  All the more incentive for me to help when they are fixing it up!

Last night was the last of my classes.  I did not mind it was on Halloween.  I never cared much for the holiday.  Besides, what better way to remember the dead on Halloween than teaching a class on family history and new FamilySearch?  There was wonderful attendance all 4 classes.  I am relieved it is completed.  On that note, the temple work continues forward at a wonderful pace.  I received over 75 completed cards in the mail this week.

It has been a quick, but dragging week.  I have felt somewhat oppressed in soul.  Nothing I can attribute it to other than just weariness and exhaustion.  A good number nights of sleep have helped me recover.  However, I fear I will not completely recover from Contracts.  I really like Torts and Civil Procedure.  I could do with more understanding in Contracts and perhaps I would enjoy it more.  I started outlining it today.  We got about 1.5 chapters completed.  I got a headache by that point so we called it for the day.  I am not sure if it was Contracts or the salty pretzels.

We watched The Kite Runner last night.  I really enjoy shows like that where I get to see some insight into other cultures.  I enjoyed it.  The insight into Afghanistan and Pakistan were very interesting.  I would really like to learn that language and travel those nations.  A whole world to learn.

I finished Deuteronomy this week.  I enjoyed it.  The end reminds me much of a General Conference talk.

Here are a couple more of updates on stories about the family.  Here are some more stories I received about the family from two individuals.  Most of them are about my Grandparents, but I also included the one about an experience with the church.  I am so completely disappointed in those who did this.  This is not at all what the church teaches.

“[Colleen] loved dancing.  She taught me how to be a better follower.  [My husband] put an extra step in his 2 step, I would stumble every time.  When I watched her and [my husband] dance, it was always smooth.  She taught me how to relax and follow his lead.  I am sure that she had much pride watching you grow into a man.  Dancing with all the “old ladies.”  Can you imagine how special and young they felt to be dancing with you.  That is a very special thing you gave to them.”

“Once we moved to [a small town in Idaho], [my son] was old enough and began his religious education at our small mission church in town.  I was very involved with “taking care of my church.”  It was during this time that I met and interacted with “practicing” mormons.  People were not afraid to tell me that I was wrong.  Of course, everyone knew [my husband] was LDS.  The church rolls tracked every one and missionaries, relief society, and elders would stop by before I could finish unpacking.  I had some disagreeable things said to me.  Especially about how awful I was to cheat my son of a greater life.  I felt I was treated meanly by many.  At cub scout functions, no one wanted to sit near us.  Sometimes, we were even told the wrong times for things so we would be very late.  Every one would stop and stare, whisper.  I felt so bad.

“Our ward president’s wife had no difficulty telling me I was an awful mother, but that “scouting” could be for everyone.  Blah, blah, blah…  In order to survive I asked for permission to attend Seminary.  Which I attended at Soda Springs High School.  I had my mother find me out of print books in San Francisco.  I began to read everything I could.  Pro and Con.  I was asked to not return to seminary, it was because I asked too many questions.  I was disruptive to the education of the young people I was told. My father’s youngest sister converted to Mormonism.  She lives in Clearfield, I think.  I don’t have much contact due to the way she treats my father.  She and I had a relationship back then.  She is still very active in the church and assisted in my education.  She wanted me to convert.”

“Colleen had said something about being disappointed in the “church” in Preston.  That Grandma and Grandpa Andra had given land to the “church.”  That the trade-off (my word) was that they would be “taken care of” by the church.  Some one else will have to fill in these blanks.  Something to do with the church wanting the rest of their property.  She spoke harshly at this time and used the term “church” in general.  Not a specific Ward.  Sandy was very upset about the Temple marriage to Evan because she did not like him and the “celestial kingdom.”  Her family would never be together again.  She would yell at Grandma about this, they both yelled.  I really do not remember anyone in the family attending church at all.  [My husband] always welcomed the missionaries, he would have conversations at length.

It was not really a topic of discussion between Colleen and I.  She never openly criticized me or anyone regarding religion.  She did express regrets about her children and Norwood. I don’t remember her expressing regrets about herself.  I felt sometimes that lack of religion in the household was used as an excuse for the way things were.  An excuse for the choices made.  It seemed to always be in a negative reference.  I did find it interesting the times that the “church’ was brought up.  When a person did not want to assume responsibility for a choice made.  It was blamed on the “church.”

“I know that Norwood was always pretty mean to Colleen.  He scared me a lot, but I was pretty little.  I did hear my parents talking about how he did hurt your grandmother and they were not impressed.  I will talk to [my sister] and ask if she remembered more than me.  He was awful when he had been drinking, I did see that myself when we stayed at Colleen’s for a week.”

“[Doug and Linda’s wedding reception] took place in the basement of the library in Richmond.  [Colleen] had made all the arraignments.  She did the decorations.  I remember the spiral staircase with the gifts displayed.  It was very nice.  I had met most of the family that was there at Norwood’s funeral.  [Doug] wore the Tux that his folks had bought him in High School.  I remember how handsome he looked.  We stayed at Sandy’s.  I think she was living on Main St in Logan. I just don’t remember the fine details.  For a Jonas gathering, you might say it was uneventful.”

“The initial call from the police came to [Colleen’s, about your mother’s wreck].  Colleen was not there.  I asked about you, the police said there was no baby.  I had seen you with her prior to her drinking.  Sandy was not above leaving you in the car when she would drink.  So the police began the search.  By the time [we] arrived at the wreck, they had found the dog, I think he was under the jeep.  It was dark, I remember the field, the tumbleweeds.  The shadows cast.  The jeep upside down.  Sandy was at the ER.  The baby carrier that she used had been found, but no Paul. I remember hearing someone say, if you were out there, you were dead.  The smell of the blackberry brandy all over the carrier, the inside of the jeep. (I am crying right now.  This is hurting my stomach a little.) Okay…  I remember [your Uncle Doug] yelling, “I’m going to kill her.”  Typical of the family, he rambled about every single thing she had done wrong in the past.  Making himself madder and madder. I was freezing, terrified, my stomach hurt so bad.  One of the deputies radioed and we were told that Colleen was at home and that you were with her.  [Doug] was so angry by the time we got to you.  He fought with his mom about Sandy.  All I could do was hold you and cry.  Grandma was concerned about Sandy and Doug did not want her to go to the hospital.  Colleen had been spared the emotion that Doug and I had just gone thru.  I think Colleen had run into Sandy and had taken you so she would not leave you in the car while she drank.  Probably because it was cold.  I am curious about Doug’s memory of this.  Your mom would probably not remember, she was drunk.  I don’t remember anyone but the police and Doug and I looking for you.  I believe we looked for a little over an hour before the call.  Thing is, you were never missing.  No one else really lived the terror, so this would not be a story connected with the rollover.  There would/should be in the police report, we did search for you.”

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.