No posts for almost two weeks--that's a sorry record for this blog! Read on to find out what I have been up to.
Since June 24th, we've been privileged and delighted to have our daughter Donna with us, on loan from the great state of Idaho. She and her husband Jonathan, who arrived a week later (after a MOST harrowing flight on Delta), are cast members in the Hill Cumorah Pageant (here's an interesting site about the Pageant by a cast member) near here in Palmyra, New York. The Pageant is an annual outdoor dramatization, with a volunteer cast of hundreds from all over the world, of God's people and Christ's mission to them in the New World as related in the Book of Mormon. Melany is in her second year on the Pageant staff. They've been staying with friends, practicing (here's an awesome slide show of pictures from cast rehearsals), and performing at the Hill Cumorah site for more than two weeks. I (along with son Colin and Frank the Wonder Dog) have been holding down the fort here at home--and it's a lonely business! But we have had a few opportunities to get the family together during this time, and loved every minute of it!
On Thursday July 2--the day after Jonathan finally made it to Rochester--we had a marvelous lunch together on Melinda's deck. That's her at left, flanked by Donna and Jonathan. She presented them with a beautiful rug/wall hanging--I'm not sure which it's supposed to be, technically--depicting the various Latter Day Saint historical and religious sites in the Palmyra area (see below). The next day, Donna, Jonathan and Melany departed for the Pageant site.
One week after that, on July 11, the family came together at Hill Cumorah for this year's first Pageant performance. We got to see Donna and Jonathan in their costumes (the cast mingles with the crowd before the performance); she portrays a "consort" of sorts to the wicked King Noah, while he plays a New World disciple of Christ. That's them in the picture below (Jonathan's eyeglasses are, of course, not "period correct", so he removed them in the following pictures).
At one point a couple of odd old folks insisted on having their picture taken with them. The fine lady bears a striking resemblance to Melany, but the old codger was mistaken by several people in the crowd as some sort of fallen Mennonite who'd just wandered in.
We were so happy that Robert and his wife Sheila, who now live in Amherst, NY while Rob attends the University of Buffalo, could join us. Here's Rob with our noble Thespians. At the time Sheila was lost somewhere amongst her own family contingent up from the Hornell, NY area, which numbered close to 30 people! I couldn't believe that we managed to "save" that many seats for them!
There were no performances on Sunday and Monday, so The Troupe were able to come home for a couple of days. We were joined by Jonathan's parents (up from Georgia) and two of his siblings (from Cincinnati, Ohio and somewhere in Missouri), plus their spouses and children. We had a picnic lunch and dinner in the back yard, and I donned my Civil War uniform and gear to give my patented demonstration about the life of a Civil War soldier. At least a few of the children seemed to be intrigued with it, and the rest were very polite, and looked just a little bored. Here I am in full marching order, explaining how the musket is loaded and fired (too bad no one got a picture of me firing it, which was probably the high point of the show).
Next, I dove into the haversack to show what's kept in there--specifically, bacon and hardtack. I offered everyone a sample of the latter, and to my surprise, even some of the adults tried it! Usually, only the children are that brave. Everyone agreed that it's--YUMMY!
Tonight is the last Pageant performance for this year, and we'll all be home for the next three days before Donna and Jonathan have to return to Idaho Wednesday morning. Stay tuned, as we should have a few more adventures to relate before then!