18 April 2013
On the banks of the Mississippi River.
I grew up going to Nauvoo, IL almost every summer to either watch or participate in a historical outdoor musical called City of Joseph. It told the story of the early years of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the people who gathered and created a thriving community there.
Every year I looked forward to Nauvoo.
Even though it was always hot and humid to the point where you were melting, even in the shade.
Even though I had to live in a tent for two and a half weeks.
Even though that tent usually fell over during a classic Midwestern thunderstorm and all of my things were flooded.
Even though I never had enough fingers to scratch all of my mosquito bites.
Even though I lived in constant fear of chiggers burrowing under my skin.
Yes, even with all of the discomfort, I always counted down the days until I would load a couple of duffel bags into my grandpa's white hatchback and take the eight hours of country highway to Nauvoo.
I think we all have places like that. The places where the blessings made up for the burdens. They may not be physical locations, they may just be periods of time, but they are our little bits of heaven on earth. The things we can reminisce about when we are having a bad day.
I learned a lot about sacrifice, faith, service, friendship, and hope in Nauvoo. The spirit of that small town is unlike anywhere I've ever been.
And then on July 31, 2010, Nauvoo was secured as a family heirloom. I was married to my best friend for time and all eternity in the temple on the hill overlooking the river.
After a luncheon with family and a few friends, we got in the graffiti marked Pontiac and drove across the river to Fort Madison, IA. We stayed a few nights in a Victorian era hotel called the Kingsley Inn. All of the architecture, small shops, and good food made me fall in love with the west side of the river. I asked Jeff if we could live in the Kingsley Inn, but he said it would be too expensive. I do, however, plan to eat at The Ivy as frequently as possible until my mortal body leaves this earth.
Since moving to Iowa, we have been able to stay at the Kingsley twice because Jeff travels there for work. I don't know if Jeff is quite as fond of that bend of the river as I am, but he's getting there.
Nauvoo will always feel like home to me.
All of those pictures were taken with my
phone. The frames and light leaks are
added with Pixlr-o-matic, and then I use
Photo Squarer to get them in the right
format for Instagram. I'm hoping VSCO
Film and Afterlight will eventually make
their way into Android territory.