Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ladybug Picnic

Our chapel is in town and gated. 

So every time a visitor or friend approaches or would like to enter, we get a doorbell.  Its sound is reminiscent of a song I heard with my younger brothers before they whisked off to school in the mornings:  

    "One, two, three
    Four, five, six
    Seven, eight, nine
    Ten, eleven, twelve
    at the ladybugs' picnic!"  

 So we get to have ladybug picnics daily.  At least 10 times per day.  Maybe more, depending upon the office or church schedule.

Usually, we like visitors.  Sometimes it means a change of plan for the day.  One of those such days was a week ago Friday, when one of the missionaries was returning home a little early for health issues.  I am unsure all the reasons why, but it was my blessing to be an accompanist for this journey. 

Speaking of accompanying, for the most part, my experience in such a role, to this point, has been impromptu.  Arriving at our chapel, sometimes I have five minutes to review what is being sung.  Then, either the bishop or a counselor will request louder or softer, depending on the size of the group (we celebrated a group of 150 three Sundays back when Val suggested that I pump up the organ volume, after which the bishop suggested it be toned down.)  I don't have an agenda so much on volumen, but I do like polishing the hard spots a few times.  I finally reached the bishop this past Saturday night, with a promise to learn the numbers a little early--at last!  Arriving at the church with no power in our home, we learned the power outage included the vast area of Alta Verapaz, and every song would be sung a capella! (Here is to hearing early in a few weeks!)
Speaking  about Sundays, we have a few interesting Sundays ahead, and I hope to outline them as they come.  

During my trip to Arizona, I had welcome "personal accompaniment" to a ward in Phoenix with a grandson. Next to my ear I heard a small whisper, "The bread seems to taste better at church!"  He is right.  Isn't it nice to sit near a family member and feel love around you, even if you do not know all of the faces?

When we visited Verla during our quick January break in the MTC, her Mom 's stake was being encouraged to learn the Proclamation on the Family.  I enjoy different portions of it, but the part I like this week is the part that says "Happiness in family life...[is] established and maintained on [among other things]...wholesome recreational activities."  

Which is why we can be jazzed that Riley, Jordan, and Brandon clamor to play Rook.  And why we are glad our extended families like to take family vacations close and far.   Remember the 1996 vacation to Yellowstone, Brianne?  Maria?  It seems like we had a funny encounter with a buffalo.

Our neighbors visited Saturday, penning for us their favorite places in Guatemala, after which I chanced across a note from my second MTC tutor encouraging me to visit one that was on their list. 
This is Semuc Champey--many in our zone traveled there Monday, so I begged for pictures! These are from Elder Winter of Layton, Utah (almost neighbor to Andy & Karyn when they lived near Antelope.)

Our neighbors humored us by playing "Quiddler" and sharing noodles, rice, chicken, vegetables, grapes and mango.   One of my favorite quotes from the week has been running across Grandma Gee's comment in Hawaii saying in essence:  "I did not care for mango when we first got here, but it kind of grows on you.  We have been treasuring the last one of the season."  So, it is mango season-- and who cares if they are super-ripe?  Semi -ripe works! 
Not many can argue with good fruits (above) and tell me who would turn down dinner at Allina's?(below) 
So our season, this month will be to celebrate birthdays for Zach, Savanna, and Elder S.
Today brings a hurrah for Zach!  Ask his family about welcome and unexpected happenings on their upcoming horizon.  If I had time (and maybe in awhile I can do more) my thoughts are turning to shout out for "drama" inserted with interest into our family history--Lysander Gee, paternal great grandfather to Grandpa Ivin, sponsored a drama society as postmaster and then attorney and statesman in 19th century Tooele, Utah.  We also find endearing comedies that include a fried-egg routine from family drama specialists in Logan.

As we learned definitively this week that there is no extra internet to be had in our neighborhood, it will be have to be found here at our ladybug office, or siphoned through neighbor to home walls. Here is to inviting ladybugs everywhere to pray us a piece of internet.  And here is to having electricity and water!   Do share your ladybug stories, and ring our doorbell with your notes and calls.

[Verse of the day, about opening our doors and loving our neighbors:  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ 
himself being the chief corner stone.  Ephesians 2:19, 20]

And the field is white! [Try memorizing D&C 4 in a second language and keeping up with 50 twenty year olds!]

Below, the note I forgot to share about our trip for Val's dental work to the city:

These missionaries offer time, talent, and my favorite:  mother/daughter teams! 
 Look mom!  No cavities!
The clinic is next to a huge 100 year old relief  map of the country--now you know why you need to yawn on the road north!

 This flower is to welcome in springtime and daylight savings...we now correspond with Mountain Time!
And these shots are from our apartment visits, showing our missionaries dwellings 1/2 hour north in San Pedro Carcha
Sometimes it is worth it to drink from a bottle and walk the straight and narrow!

  The flowers are for Jannette, indicating  we are thinking green in our apartment.  We just received soil from a kind neighbor--pretty herbs on the way!
This menagerie is in a restaurant near the ladybug doorbell.
And our final shot, to show that even neighboring friends can have a sense of humor!  
"If you're happy and you know it, wink your eye!"
Love, Starkeys



  2. I particularly like the cavities line and picture :) Great blog! Are the dogs ones that you saw in the streets?

  3. I particularly like the cavities line and picture :) Great blog! Are the dogs ones that you saw in the streets?