Friday, July 24, 2009

The Things You See While Driving...

I had to go to the podiatrist today for my bi-monthly check-up on my feet. Things don't look too good for 3 of my toenails. We're going to continue treating them for the fungus for 2 more months and if there is still no improvement, they will be coming off. Sad, but I'm sick of them looking so disgusting. If that happens, there will be no more cute pedicures, but at least I won't have grody toenails anymore.

After leaving the doctor's office, I decided that since I was famished and was so close to Wienerschnitzel, that I would stop there and get me 2 chili dogs. Yum-o-la! Love those! And, since Wienerschnitzel is not anywhere remotely close (within 5 or so miles) to home or work, I don't get there very often. So, it was a good treat. I was going to run into Target for a few things, but after eating my yummy dogs, I decided I was too full and it was too hot to get out of the truck. Plus, it's been a long week so I just wanted to head home.


Then, I remembered that there is one of these stores in the shopping center across the street....

I was very lucky and found a parking spot right in front of the store...and I mean RIGHT IN FRONT....ten feet from the door. (It's a new shopping concept area similar to those in Easton, Ohio and I love it!) I walked in and the ladies greeted me. I looked around and exclaimed, "I'm in heaven!" They laughed. Silver hearts EVERYWHERE! Bags, purses, watches, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, everything so silvery lovely. But...because I'm a fatty girl, none of their necklaces fit me without an extender, but then the long extender shows if I have my hair up, so I was bummed. I told the sales lady that big girls like Brighton too and they needed more options on necklace and bracelet length.

Once I was past the depression of not finding something I'd be happy with (today) in the way of bracelets or necklaces, I moved on to looking at purses. They were having this really cool sale that if you traded in any purse or handbag (even one from Target or such), they would give you $50 off the purchase of a new purse or handbag costing $150 or more. Okay, seriously, I would never pay that much for a purse...until I experienced the QUALITY of a Brighton purse. So...I considered shopping for a new purse while I was there. I found a lovely red bag, but since I already have a big red bag that Melon Man bought me for Christmas, I decided against that. I then found a very luscious brown purse and I was SERIOUSLY considering it. How would I tell Melon Man that I spent over $100 on a purse? He wouldn't understand...or would he? He is the one who bought me my little (and I mean little - but that's the way I truly wanted it - and it was $85 three years ago) Brighton wallet purse that I have now. So, he knows how much they can be.... But, would he REALLY understand my "need" for a new purse and especially since he always tells me I already have enough purses in the closet? I didn't think so, so I decided against even looking at it. But kept calling to me....look at me....touch me....pick me up.....smell me, it screamed! I could barely resist it!


It yelled, louder and louder, until it was all I could hear! I ran to it, picked it up, caressed it's beautiful leather, and opened it. (Did you know a Brighton handbag comes with a soft plush little bag to store it in? I didn't!) And then I saw it....the price tag. I almost dropped the freakin' thing.

$425! FOR A PURSE?!?!?!

Yeah, back on the shelf it immediately went. Sorry, handbag, not gonna do it. Just can't do it. I could make an extra truck payment with that money and be out of vehicle debt one month early - in 16 months instead of 17. I could make almost an extra half of a house payment with that. I could eat out a lot with that. I could stay 3 nights in a hotel in San Diego with that.

I perused the store just a little more as if looking for something I just HAD to have. But, alas, I decided to leave. I hung my head in sadness that I was leaving a Brighton store, one of my most favorite places, without anything, but raised it up high as I realized that I had stood my ground and didn't spend a bunch of money I didn't need to spend on something that was far overpriced, just because of a name.

So, I headed for home. I took some "back roads" through the "country" and loved every minute of it. They are less traveled and so there is less traffic which means I can look all around me and enjoy the scenery as I drive along. Not a whole lot of change...still tons of fields with rose plants, wholesale nurseries, corn fields, sorghum fields, cotton fields, you name it, it's there. I also drove past the Air Force base. I always want to stop off to the side of the road and watch the planes land, but you can't anymore. If you do, either a cop or the MPs come along and escort you on your way. Ever since 9/11, everything is so protected. But, today as I was driving by, I noticed something at the very far northwest corner of the base - something I'd never noticed before. When I got home, I googled a map of the base and looked at it. Apparently, this section is pretty new, because this satellite view shows the area only partially completed.

This isn't an actual picture of what I saw, because sure as I got out with a camera, the MPs would have been chasing through the streets of town to get my camera from me, but, it is quite similar to what I saw.

What it appeared to me to be was some make-shift training camp of how a U.S. military camp in Iraq or Afghanistan would look like about now. I thought about how the soldiers and Air Force guys (sorry honey, what are they called?) and the Marines that are serving our country are staying in places like this, in that wretched heat that they have over there, like we have here in AZ, and they don't have A/C to keep them cool. They don't have Simmons BeautyRest mattresses with 4 inch pillowtops to soothe their worn and tired bodies. They just live in these tents and serve the Iraqi and Afghanistani people and do it to protect us here at home. It all really made me think.

Then, I thought about how today is Pioneer Day in Utah. I come from a very strong pioneer heritage. My great-great-grandparents walked across the plains to Utah in the Milo Andrus company of 1855. They were only 26 and 24 years old. They had a son, my great-grandfather, who was only a year old when they began their journey. The following is a narrative about their company which I found on

This was the last of the Perpetual Emigration Fund companies for 1855. Milo Andrus received the assignment to captain the train the night before the party was to leave Mormon Grove (just outside Atchison, Kansas Territory) and had just 12 hours to get himself ready. Two things made this last-minute appointment necessary: the season was very late and no one else with plains experience was available. Thus Andrus and his two assistants had an enormous responsibility. The company had few oxen, and many of these were small and unbroken, so they had to be trained en route. Part of the company left Mormon Grove on August 1; the rest left on the 3rd. Inexperienced drivers had to shuttle some wagons forward, then return with the teams to bring up others. One emigrant recalled that early on it took four men to drive one yoke of oxen. There were 461 individuals in the company when it set out.

No sooner had the company left Mormon Grove than the U. S. Marshall for Kansas Territory arrived with an order to attach the train for debts attributed to Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Jedediah M. Grant (at that time the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Captain Andrus convinced the marshall that the train belonged not to the First Presidency, but to the Perpetual Emigration Fund Company. The lawman then tried to take Andrus back to Atchison to "get sufficient good security from amongst the Citizens there to secure the debt & cost," but the Captain refused to leave his train. At this critical moment, the marshall "was taken with the bellyache and wanted a little brandy," which Captain Andrus quickly supplied. He then fed the marshall supper and drove him in a buggy to his lodgings. Nevertheless, the marshall ordered Andrus and three other brethren to appear at the October 3rd term of the U.S. court in Leavenworth, and when he got back to Mormon Grove, he attached four or five Mormon-owned wagons, "a few lame cattle," and some calves.

The Andrus train overtook Captain Allred's emigrant company on Big Grasshopper Creek; later, both parties camped on Walnut Creek. Tired of leapfrogging his wagons, Captain Andrus decided to leave a Perpetual Emigration Company thrashing machine in the care of a local farmer. Andrus now set a pace that was "as hurried as he could urge, push, and cajole, the group over the plains, up and down the mountains, through the canyons, across the rivers, and through the miles of the thick dust of the trails." At some point, the train encountered a large herd of buffalo that "ran across our train, while in motion, and knocked down and [bore] off the horn of one of the oxen." The Indians that the train met were friendly. At Big Blue River the train used the ferry because the river was running high. Near there the party camped just a few rods west of Captain Harper's company. It was here that Andrus "nailed our colors to the top of the mast." From Little Blue River, the Captain wrote: "Two wagon axles, one wheel, and several tongues broke which has caused us some delay; but notwithstanding . . . I . . . am doing all in my power to push on this camp . . . as I am deeply anxious for their welfare." Two elderly emigrants had died. The train followed the Platte River and must have crossed the South Platte. It stopped at Ash Hollow, where Andrus learned that General William S. Harney and about 700 soldiers had "found a party of the Sioux Indians about eight miles from Ash Hollow and a battle had ensued on the 3rd of September. The General sent over word to Andrus on the 5th keep an advanced guard stating at the same time that the best information that they could get was that they had killed one hundred and twenty Indians, taken about fifty-eight prisoners, mostly women; had four soldiers killed and five wounded. He stated, also, they were going to lay out a fort a small distance below Ash Hollow after which they calculated to proceed to Fort Laramie, and from thence to wherever they could find any of the Sioux Nation."

"A few miles from where they were encamped there were about forty Indians that were in the battle near Ash Hollow. Nothing came of this. The company passed Court House Rock, Chimney Rock, and Scotts Bluff. By September 13 the company was 12 miles below Fort Laramie. It then passed Laramie Peak, Independence Rock, and Devil's Gate. At the latter place, on September 28, the emigrants met brethren from the Salt Lake Valley. On October 4 the train crossed Devil's Backbone, "a most awful mounting [sic] of stone." That night "came on a dredfull [sic] storm of snow." On the 6th the train crossed South Pass. Near Chimney Rock 20 oxen and 2 cows died "from something the[y] had eat or drank [sic]." Upon reaching the Sweetwater River many more cattle died. There was little feed for the animals; in all, the Andrus train "lost 11 animals above 50%."

At the fifth crossing of the Sweetwater it snowed three inches. The train crossed the Green River on October 11 and arrived at Fort Bridger four days later. From the fort, Captain Andrus sent word to Salt Lake that he needed fresh animals and that "many of the men, women and children were almost barefoot and very destitute of clothing." By the time the train reached the Weber River, the emigrants were running out of provisions. They crossed Big Mountain and Little Mountain. A delegation of dignitaries from Salt Lake met them at the mouth of Emigration Canyon.

The Andrus train, with "upwards of 50 wagons," arrived in Salt Lake City October 24th. Because of the lateness of the season, Captain Andrus had pushed his people hard. Undoubtedly, this is why one of the travelers described him as "a terrible bully and tyrant." However, another emigrant wrote, "It was not an altogether unpleasant trip." For his part, Captain Andrus had been ill during much of the journey. He said that leading this 1855 train was "one of the hardest burdens that I have been called to bear in the midst of Israel during my sojourn in mortality." This from a man who had been with Zion's Camp, who had been in Nauvoo at the time of the Martyrdom, who had "helped watch the city by night, and worked on the temple by day," who had gone to Carthage at the time of the indictment of the murderers of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, who had experienced the persecutions leading up to the abandonment of Nauvoo, and who had participated in the Latter-day Saint exodus westward, a man who, himself, had led several other emigrant companies.

What a find this story was! I had never truly known all of this about my great-great-grandparents. I am so GRATEFUL to them for sacrificing their lives so mine could be so deeply rooted in the gospel and the happiness that it brings to my life and Melon Man's life.

This has been a good day for me. Lots to think about. Left work early. Now it's the weekend and I get to go to the temple tomorrow with my yard boy and his family and ward friends. Derek's leaving soon on a mission, so this will be his first time to the temple. I'm honored to have been invited. I've watched him grow into a young man since he was 11 years old. I know he'll be a great missionary...his parents have taught him to work hard and I appreciate all he and his parents have done for me. They are great people.

I'm also looking forward to going to the temple to be able to find guidance on an issue I've been thinking about and struggling with lately. There is something weighing heavy on my heart lately and I know that I can find the answers I'm seeking by going there and feeling our Savior's love.

What a great place the temple is. I'm sad that I didn't have the influence in my married home with Mr. Spock to enable me to be able to go there all those years we were together. But, Melon Man, and all of his spiritual goodness, was sent to be part of my life because I needed him and because he is a good and RIGHTEOUS man. I'm so glad that he told me, that one night long ago, that he wanted to marry me, but he wouldn't be able to if we couldn't be sealed together for ETERNITY in the temple, rather than "til death do us part" (like in all other churches or civil marriages). That has meant more to me and had a bigger effect on me than he will probably ever know.

I know tomorrow will be a GOOD day. And I'm glad for that. I really need one right now...


Sigie said...

Great story. I enjoyed reading the history of your family coming across the plains. And about your purse experience, deciding that $425 could be used for more important things. Good girl.


Cindy said...

Oh! I LOVE the Brighton store. I have a few pieces from them but I'm like you--very expensive.

The pioneer story is so great. Thanks for including it.