Monday, September 29, 2014

I posted this last September 29th, but am sharing again in case you missed it.  I've added some more photos and remembrances, also.

 I've updated it to "77th..."  They had been married 44 years when my Dad passed away on Feb. 6, 1982 after a 6-month battle with colon cancer.  My Mom passed away on July 26, 2013 at the age of 93. So she had been a widow for 31 years.  

She often said after his death: "I miss Arnold more each year."
   Now their eternal love is recorded in the sands of time.

     Today is the 77th Wedding Anniversary Remembrance 
for my Mom & Dad.
Verna Huffaker and Arnold Albertson
September 1937
Photo taken in photo booth at the Jerome County Fair
"This is as close to a wedding photo that we have," 
my Mom told me.
Here Mom is at age 15 when my Dad fell in love with her.

         .........back on September 29, 1937, 
Arnold Albertson, age 24, 
said to Verna Huffaker, age 17:
"I dare you to elope."
Verna said: 
"I double dare you."
         They told their best friends...
Here are my Mom's words from her life story:
"An Idaho Girl" 
   A dare to get married: 
To elope or not to elope? …that is the question

            Arnold, evidently had gone to Hagerman to see his old girlfriend.  I’m pretty sure that he had, on the rebound, asked her if she would marry him because he knew that she was really in love with him.
            On Tuesday he come out after school and wanted to talk to me.
            “I dare you to get married,” he said.
            For some cotton pickin’ reason I said, “I double dare you.”  That was a popular saying.  So we decided to get married.
            I went in to the house and got ready.  I wore one of the outfits that I had bought with my café money, a pretty two-piece blue knit dress. {Verna had worked all summer in Bliss--16 miles from Wendell to earn money for her Senior year of high school.}

            We went and got Marie [Richardson] and Ralph [Rogers], our best friends, and told them what we were doing and wanted to know if they wanted to go and get married, too.  They did.  
            We drove down to Hagerman.  Arnold had to stop at this old girlfriend’s house, and it seemed like he was in there an hour talking to her.  When he come out we took off for Hailey.
            It was about a two-hour drive from Wendell to Hailey.  We couldn’t get our marriage licenses until the next morning when the court house opened.  Marie and I stayed together that night at a room in the Hiawatha Hotel.  Arnold and Ralph stayed together in another room.             
            That was the first time Marie and I had ever seen a big bathtub. 
            The next morning when we got up we decided we’d have some fun in that bathtub.  We filled it as far as it would go and we just sit there and splashed around and was having a good old time.
            We didn’t know that Arnold and Ralph had gone to a jewelry store in town to each buy a gold wedding ring.  The rings were the same.  They cost $7.00 each.  [That would have been a little over two day’s pay.]  This is the wedding band I still wear.
            When they come back, we didn’t hear them knock on our door so they thought we had backed out and gone home.  They went down to the bus and train stations to see if we’d been there.
            By the time they got back, we were dressed and ready.  We ate breakfast at the hotel café then went to the court house to get the license.  When Arnold saw the line for the birthdate he whispered to me,
“You better put 1919.”
            “I already did,” I whispered back.
            We didn’t have to have a blood test at that time.  
The license probably cost a dollar.

It was about one o’clock by the time we went to the Episcopalian minister’s home.
            I almost backed out.  I can remember going up that walk, reaching down to pick up a rock, and thinking, “Do I really want to do this?”   I can remember during the ceremony thinking, 
“I wish my Dad would walk through that door and stop me.”
            The minister’s wife played the piano.  Arnold and I were married, then Ralph and Marie.
            I loved Arnold but by then I was a scrambled egg.  I had four guys that I thought I liked but I was so overwhelmed that Arnold could feel that way.  Arnold was head over heals in love with me.  In fact, it kinda bowled me over to think he loved me so much that he cried when he thought he was losing me.  I couldn’t believe that anyone could feel that way.  I thought it was just awesome that he would love me that much to cry if I wanted to go with somebody else.
            When we got to my house after the wedding there was this letter from Harold, signed “Love, Harold.”   I had to sit down and write to him that I had gotten married that day.  I often wondered what he thought when he got that letter?
            In his letter Harold said  “maybe you will get your feelings back for Arnold,” or something like that because we had talked about it.  I had told Harold I wasn’t sure that I was in love with Arnold anymore.  Harold and I hadn’t even gotten past the holding-hands stage. 
                We went to tell Mother and Dad we was married.  Mother was out hanging up clothes and I just walked out there and told her.  I guess they could have had the marriage annulled since I was not yet 18 years old.
            “Well, if I’d known you wanted to get married, we could have had a garden wedding for you here,”
 Mother said.  
            Then we four newlyweds drove to Twin Falls.  We went to a movie at the Orpheum theater downtown.  I don’t remember what the movie was.  Arnold and Ralph checked us into rooms at the Rogerson Hotel a couple of blocks east of the theater. 
            Arnold had drawn his next week’s salary from Owen at the Sport Shop,
 and we’ve been a week behind ever since.

Wedding Shower

            The next week my mutual class gave us a wedding shower at Mom and Dad’s house.  Arnold drove down to Hagerman and brought his mother to it.  She just sat on a chair toward the back the whole time without saying a word.  My mother got a little upset because she said Blanche hadn’t put forth an effort to talk or get acquainted with anyone.  However, I learned it was because she was so extremely shy around people.  She didn’t even talk much around her own children.
            I knew that the school didn’t allow married students so I went and got my deposit for my locker.  I think it was a dollar and a half.
 Mother and Dad moved to the Basinger place at this time...
And they lived happily ever after . . . or mostly happily.

Here they are on the left at our wedding reception June 17, 2014, three days after they were sealed.
They were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple 
on June 14, 1961,
the day Walt and I were sealed.
I think this photo is in September 1962 for their 
25th Wedding Anniversary. Arnold, age 49; Verna 42.

My Dad passed away on February 6, 1982,
at age 69 of colon cancer.
My Mom was a widow for 31 years.
She passed away two months ago on July 26, 2013, at age 93.
This is our family is June 1962.
Mom, age 42; Dad age 50, my sister age 13, and me age 23.
Walt and I had driven from St. Louis to be with our parents in Idaho
for a vacation during our first wedding anniversary and
after Walt's third year of medical school.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The last couple of weeks or so in El Salvador... far behind are we now?
Today is Sunday, September 28...
   Will try to catch up today. I added photos to last week's post.
      Walt went to visit a ward this morning, but I was afraid of the virus that's going around and knew that our coordinator from that ward missed her Friday afternoon/evening shift because she called in to say that she had this virus (it's like Dengue, but worse).  And I didn't want to take a chance of catching this contagious virus.
     When Walt got back and came to the end of his High Priest group Sunday School class, I was surprised when he walked out of our building as I was just ready to walk back to our apartment.
    So I asked Hna. Haroldsen to take our photo.
So at least above is something current, since I'm 15 days behind on our blog.
   We hope you have had a peaceful and restful Sabbath Day.
    We had a good reminder today in Sunday School class from Isaiah about all the things The Savior does for us:
"Isaiah 22:22 The Savior opens the door to Heavenly Father's presence.
"Isaiah 24:21-22 The Savior shows mercy for those in spirit prison.
"Isaiah 25:1-4; 32:1-2 The Savior is a strength and a refuge.
"Isaiah 25:6-9 The Savior will prepare a feast and destroy the 'vail.'
"Isaiah 25:8 The Savior wipes away our tears.
"Isaiah 26:19 The Savior will bring the Resurrection.
"Isaiah 28:16 The Savior is our sure foundation.
"Isaiah 29:4, 9-14, 18, 24. The Savior will restore the gospel to the earth.
"Isaiah 30:19-21 The Savior knows our trials and directs our paths."
     We are thankful for The Savior.
     We love The Savior.
     We want to follow The Savior.
     The Savior, Jesus Christ, is the Redeemer of the World.
       On this Sunday evening, we testify of these truths.
          Con amor, Walt and Eileen Petersen - San Salvador

Sunday, September 21, 2014

These past couple of weeks in El Salvador...

You can see that I didn't get that second week posted...
so I'm still two weeks behind.   We left off on Monday night, September 8.   (I'll get the narration, then add the photos.)

September 9, Tuesday
Most of the day we caught up on things, but we also took time out to go to the National Museum.  All the national museums, Botanical Gardens, pyramids, Government Palace, and such are all closed on Mondays.  So the only time we can take our temple missionaries to them is during the two semi-annual temple closures.
We had been there four other times (first with the Fishers, second with the Clarks, third with the Brewers, and fourth with Daniel & Kelly) but the Haroldsens had never been.
So off we went.  I have no photos because I thought I'd left my camera in the apartment.  But when I got back and looked for it, I found it deep down in the purse I had with me. (I even sadder that I didn't get photos.)
We and they enjoyed the museum. Then we had lunch at the Bistro San Lorenzo right by the museum.  It's the best lasagna I've ever had anywhere--restaurante or homemade.
Here's a photo of the Mormon Temple in the museum section of "Religions in El Salvador" when we were there with the Fishers.
Here's Elder Joseph Clark and Walt next to the museum guard.  Wonder if he's one of the Mayans from Guatemala?
Marilee Clark will be sad to hear that the fun Museum Gift Shop is closed down, that space where it was is completely empty.
The next four days turned out to be a whirlwind of outings...we went somewhere every day for the rest of the week.

September 10, Wednesday
We asked President Majano if he could drive us to the Government Palace.  He found out that it's only open a few days, at specific times for people to go through.  He found out that Wednesdays from 1:00-4:00 is one of those times.
So we (Pte. y Hna. Majano, Pte. y Hna. Alas, Elder y Hna. Haroldsen, and us*) were off.
(*Elder y Hna. Caballero were with their daughter and her fiancé visiting other places.)
From there,  Pres. Majano and Pres. Alas thought we should see the area of Los Planes.  It's up towards some mountains so Pres. Majano drove us up, first to a famous Cathedral...
...then back down the mountain a ways to the Look Out to view the city of San Salvador. 
  Since we were right there we had pupusas at the Abbi Pupuseria (which some claim has the best pupusas in all of El Salvador)...
 ...then we drove back around the corner to the Look Out again to see the city lights after sunset.  
When we got back to our temple grounds, the Majanos wanted to take us to some more landmarks of their country the next day.
September 11, Thursday
We were off to Lake Coatepeque, but stopped first at Los Chorros, a great water park, with many natural springs coming out the side of the canyon walls. It's been there for a long time, but they told us that the 1986 big earthquake changed the configuration of the land.
And this is one of only about 5 photos I got that day because my camera battery went dead.  I couldn't figure out why until I downloaded the pictures.  I had inadvertantly hit the "record video" button as we started out, and have our conversations from just before we pulled out for the next 16 minutes, including Hna. Majano's prayer for safety on the roads.  It's showing the floor of the van.  No wonder the battery went dead!
   So here's the 8 of us: President & Hna. Alas--Eduardo y Consuelo; Elder y Hna. Haroldsen-DeVar y Sharon; President & Hna. Petersen--Walt y Eileen; Hna. Majano--Aida.  President Majano--Rafael is taking the photo.
Driving on up into the mountains, we stopped to view the lake from above it.  We tried to drive down to the water's edge, but it's all private property and we never got to the actual lake. (I googled a photo of it.)
Then it was over to Santa Ana where we had lunch at the Food Court in their grand Centro Mall.  Santa Ana's national treasure is an elegant Theatre Nacional, which we toured for the next hour. (I googled this photo, too.)
But this is one I took inside when we went there over a year ago with René Hernández when he drove us and the Thompsons to hear the National Symphony play.  He is their second chair violin.

Then over to the grand Cathredral, where a cloudburst hit as we were leaving.  We tried to wait it out, but it showed no signs of letting up, so Pres. Majano drove the car up to the front and we each made a mad dash under our umbrellas.  
We were all a little damp on our hour ride back to the temple grounds where my camera had gotten some life back and I took this photo.
The Majanos wanted to drive us all to San Vincente the next day.

September 12, Friday
Off early to San Vincente, stopping at a great new fancy-dancy lookout along the way to view the valley with several towns, including San Vincente.  (I had charged the camera battery.)  
Here's Pres. Majano telling Walt that they could see the town where he was born from this lookout.
El Salvador is a small country that has towns built among the many mouintains.
Before heading on down to the city, we stopped for a couple of hours to rest and relax in a darling get-a-way resort built on one side of Lake Apastepeque.  The Alas had not been able to go with us this time.
We even splurged and took a boat ride around the lake for $1.00 each.
Here's the boat driver's little side kick.
Quite primitive.  Saw women washing their clothes in the river, then hanging them there.
Back at the dock, we posed with our guide/boat driver.  He's going to college studying tourism.
We then had a yummy lunch there at the lake side among the swaying palm trees.
The roof was interesting - woven reeds of some kind.
We had some more kick-back time just enjoyed the beautiful palm trees and quiet peacefulness.
Before leaving, we got a photo of the gals at the restaurante.  Notive that the older gal didn't look at me.  Her generation was taught that when you get your picture taken, if you look at the camera, it can take part of your soul.
Walt took a photo of the sign to remember the name.
Then we were off to drive through San Vincente.  President Majano drove us by the hospital where he was born.

And we stopped at their favorite bakery in the whole country.
We weren't too late getting back, to rest up for the next day's outing.
When we got to our apartment, Edwin brought us a special gift from the Service Center employees. A piece of the granite of the temple with the outline of the temple on it.  And, when they trimmed the tree outside our back window, they made an outline of the temple with this inscribed on the back: "San Salvador 12-Sept-2014, Presidente y Hna. Petersen, Gracias for sharing your love and kindness with us. We will miss you! Your brothers and sister: Hugo, Romel Edwin "Tiwy," Alex, Hugo "Ruso," Ricky, Victor, Alberto, Santos Rojas, Hna. Cecy, Jorge."  
They have all helped with every little and big thing that needed to be done for our apartment and for the temple.  Their remembrances for us will be treasured because of the sweet memory we will have of each of them.
[It's almost midnight, and we've got a big day tomorrow--adding the photos to this on Sunday, September 28.  Hopefully I will finish this post during this coming week, plus up to September 28....getting there...only 15 days behind.]

September 13, Saturday  [Narrathion done last week; still adding the photos as of Sept. 28.  My Mom used to say: "I spend half the day putting yesterday away."  I need to adapt them to trying to catch up on our blog.]
We left early for the long drive to the area called Cerro Verde where the Volcano Izalco is.  They were just opening it up at 8:00 when we arrived.  From the lookout we felt almost at eye level with the top crater of the volcano.

We hiked over to the big hotel that was built when so many San Salvadorans and tourists were going in droves to witness the daily, spectacular eruptions.  Within two weeks of this big hotel's opening, the eruptions stopped.  Then there was an earthquake that damaged the hotel beyond repair.  (Guess there wasn't supposed to be a hotel there.)

When we got back to the center of this National Parque, we all had pupusas and hot chocolate, then headed back to the temple grounds.

The Alas were speaking that afternoon for a group of Young Single Adults in the Santa Ana area, and the Majanos were speaking that early evening at the Saturday session of the Cuscutlán Stake Conference.

Walt and I spent the rest of the day preparing for our talks the next day at the Cuscutlán Stake Conference.

Whew, that was quite the last four days of our temple closure two weeks.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The past two weeks in El Salvador, Minnesota, then back to El Salvador...

September 1-14... Temple closed for two weeks...
We were ready for a quiet fourteen days of R&R...
but it didn't turn out to be "Rest & Relaxation," but "Return and Repair." We returned to Mayo Clinic to repair...well there must be a better word for "repair" that starts with an "r." (Any one have a suggestion?)
   Walt has many keratoses on his face and scalp.  He has had three previous ones removed that on biopsy showed they had become malignant.
   On August 21 he went to a dermatologist here to have one on the top of his head biopsied.  (We had sent a photo of it to Dr. Jerry Brewer at Mayo Clinic. You will remember that Jerry is our son-in-law, married to our youngest daughter Jennifer...who now goes by "Jen.")
   Jerry had confirmed Walt's suspicion that it could be malignant.
   We received the results of the biopsy on Aug 28: "Malignant squamous cell carcinoma."  
    The first impression of the skin specialist here in San Salvador was to freeze it off.  However, we are hoping that he had not seen the closer results of the biopsy that showed it deeper than at first thought.  
When Dr. Brewer saw the photos of the biopsy results, he felt that MOHs surgery was needed to be able to get all the margins removed.
    So on April 3rd we were on our way to Minnesota, and the next day in Rochester at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Brewer not only removed this tumor, but found four others that on biopsy that day showed malignancy.  One was bigger than the others, but it was still better to have the "baby cancers" removed also.

Back to the start of September...
September 1 - Monday 
Beginning of our two-week temple closure for the semi-annual maintenance, painting, and deep cleaning.
      Elder y Hna. Udall finish their six-month temple mission here and fly back to their home in Eager, Arizona.
Some of us gathered at 4:00 a.m. to help them take their luggage down and give them a final good-bye: Los Alas, Caballero, and us, plus Presidente López drove them to the airport.
    We and the Haroldsen's went to lunch at Shaw's.  
Here are Elder y Hna. Haroldsen, temple missionaries have extended there 18 month mission to 21 months.  DeVar and Sharon will return to Idaho Falls in March. The photo is outside by Shaw's where we had lunch.
We didn't do any shopping that day because we were working out plans with Dr. Brewer to see if we needed to go to Mayo Clinic.  
And during the temple closure we don't have Family Home Evening as a group since everyone is going different places.

September 2 - Tuesday
We worked out plans with the Temple Department and Dr. Brewer about having the surgery done and our flights to go to Minnesota.
Then we packed.
September 3 - Wednesday
Up at 3:15 a.m., left for the airport at 4:30 a.m.
Arrived in Minneapolis at 4:00 p.m. and got to Rochester by
6:00 that evening. It is always great to be with Jen & and Jerry and their six children (plus a baby girl due on Oct.  3).
September 4 - Thursday
Bright and early Jen drove us over to Mayo Clinic and we went up to the Dermatology floor 17 for the morning surgery.  
Walt was surprised that he had no pain after the deadening wore off.  As we were leaving the Clinic he asked: "Do I look funny?"
"Kinda like Frankenstein," I honestly answered.
This next photo shows more of the white dressing on the surgery spots.
Sept 5 - Friday
We did take it pretty easy the day after his surgery. That evening we "double dated" with Jerry and Jen.  They took us out to a delicious dinner at "Prescott's" a family restaurant that not only has great food but specializes in fresh vegetables grown in a huge garden they plant each spring.
Our custom is to order a fish and a steak, then we share.  Walt got red snapper and I got a filet. I should have taken a photo of Jerry's spinach.
We did get a photo of the four of us, but not one of the "Prescott" name. Most of you know that Walt's grandparents were "Byrum Heber and Maria Prescott."

September 6 - Saturday
Seth and Sarah, age 12, auditioned for the Rochester Symphony and will now be violin players in this community cultural organization.
   Then after a bar-b-que lunch, we had dessert at Flapdoodles.

Jerry brought home chips 'n other yummy treats (well the "Sour Patch Kids weren't too yummy) to snack on while we watched the BYU game.  The pre-game broadcast had us revved up to watch the Cougars and then the BYU channel switched to golf or something bizzare.  That's when we found out that Texas had not given permission for BYU to broadcast the game, nor to re-broadcast it.
(That made me extra glad that the Cougars whooped them 41-7.)

So we huddled around the radio as we tuned to KSL to listen to it.
  (Reminded Walt and me of the 'olden days' growing up in the 1930s, 1940s and first half of the 1950s before we got TV in 1955 in our little town of Wendell, Idaho.) 

September 7 - Sunday
On the way home from their 1:00-4:00 Church block, Lizzy, 4, wanted to run the last several blocks.  It seems she was born running.
Then we got a family photo on their front porch.  It was hard for those boys to keep their ties on that long after Church, but they made their grandmother happy by doing so.
The Jerry and Jen Brewer Family
Jerry, Jen, Seth, 12; Sarah, 12; Benjamin, 9; Joshua, 7; Elizabeth/Lizzy, 5 in Nov; Adam, 2 in Nov;
and Baby Girl due Oct. 3.
Then it was time for the traditional 
Mormon Sunday Roast Beef Dinner.
China and goblets make for a
beautiful table setting for the Sabbath.
An added treat was fresh veggies
from their super garden, and
nothing beats hot-from-the-oven
homemade rolls.
We ended this special few days with our family
by watching the wonderful DVD 
Jerry made for
Jen's 40th birthday of August 26.

September 8 - Monday
We were up early for Jen to drive us to the five o'clock shuttle for the hour and a half drive to the Minneapolis Airport. 
The clouds seemed extra fluffy and pretty during the flight.
We had quite a crazy 2-layover flight back:  East to Newark, New Jersey.
Across from the New Jersey airport we could 
see the skyline of New York City.
From there we flew back west and south to Houston, Texas, with only a 59 minute layover at this second stop.  And by the time we were off the plane, it was only 20 minutes to get from Terminal C to Terminal E.  As we hopped off the indoor airport vehicle at our gate--well more like hobbled off--they had us board immediately.
I didn't get any photos of us at the airport, but as President y Hna. Majano were driving us away from the airport, I hurried and snapped the wheel chair that Walt had been pushed through the airport in.  We can no longer stand in those long lines to get through immigration, nor hurry fast enough.  And I use my walker to keep up with Walt's wheelchair.  
We're "older than dirt" and feeling our 80 and 75 years.
It's always great to see the temple after we've been
 "out of the country."
And we thank our dear friends, Rafael y Aida Majano
for picking us up again at the airport.
A piano had been delivered for the Temple President's apartment. Since we weren't there, they had put it in the Haroldsen's apartment, which is right next to ours.
Elder y Hna. Haroldsen had hot, homemade soup, 
salad, and rolls waiting for us. 
It tasted so good after our leaving early that morning and
arriving at our apartment after nine o'clock that night.
DeVar and Sharon are also good friends.
All those we've worked with during our 
four missions we consider 

And that's our first eight days of September.
I'm worn out now, so hope to post the next seven days
of September tomorrow or some time next week.

We pray you have had a restful and peaceful 
Sabbath Day.

As we said in our talks this morning
at the Cuscatlán Stake Conference,
happiness comes by 
keeping the commandments,
receiving our endowments,
and being sealed in the temple
so we can be 
families together forever.
We loved being with our Brewer family
for four full days, and look forward
to our eternal connection.
We are thankful for Walt's having all the
squamous cell carcinoma removed
by a priesthood blessing and by
Dr. Brewer's medical expertise.

We look forward to becoming 
even "older than dirt."

Happy Birthday to
two of our sweet daughters-in-law...
last Friday, September 12
to Kathy Anderson Petersen, 
to Julie Black Petersen
tomorrow, September 15.