Because...yesterday he joined the ranks of the 'officially old'! My wonderful companion, and the baby of his family, finally reached the 65 year milestone. And being in the middle of England as a missionary seemed to him like a great place to celebrate his 'graduation'.
The eclectic group of LDS friends christened the family's fire pit newly-constructed in their back 'garden' (a.k.a. backyard). We ate, sang, had carrot cake (what ELSE would Elder Meese choose?) and 'hung out' in the perfect evening weather.
The wonderful aroma of BBQ smoke. I kept smelling my sleeve all the way home that night. I felt like I was in Millcreek Canyon....
Here's my only 'grandmotherly' question about this photo: how could two girls this cute, talented and active in the gospel still be single? Anyway, it was sure a lovely evening.
Oh, and did I forget to mention that Elder Meese was given an official 'Wallace' mug at the party? They said it was because Wallace and Gromit's creator is from Preston! It is evidently mentioned in some of his movies! Now we REALLY feel honoured to live here!
Well, moving on with this week, Sunday they put up florals in honour of Elder Meese's birthday!
Okay, actually there was a wedding at our chapel on Saturday. I really included this shot to show something interesting. The man on the right is an official government Registrar, who has to be in attendance at each ceremony. As part of the proceedings following the ceremony, the couple has to walk over to the desk, along with the bishop and two witnesses, and sign the register. The groom's brother played a wonderful piano background during this part.
I also couldn't pass up this shot. The bride is majoring in Botany at a Lancaster University. I wanted to take one of these cupcakes and shellac it as an art piece! Holy Pinterest.
So, here's another sign that our mission days are numbered: I finally burned out the motor on our mixer!
Fear not, Elder Meese bought us a new one and we were back on the road within the week. But we just had to laugh. Some days I think, "Don't worry about knowing enough doctrine to serve a mission. Just make sure you like to bake and have your recipes and conversion charts in your bags. So many people we've met LOVE American cooking...cookies, cakes, Mexican food, interesting salads, pulled pork. It hardly matters, they seem to love it all. The only thing they Don't do is mix sweet with savoury. You don't put a jello salad on the table to serve with the roast or vegetables. And mixed fruit would more properly be on the dessert (a.k.a. pudding) table.
And these shots come under the heading of 'things that are universal in the church':
Young Women on Tuesday's Youth Night. Raising money for Girls' Camp.
Young Men on Tuesday's Youth Night. Chair football! Yea!
I know they probably don't generally play right into the 'international stereotype' of youth activities. I'm just saying.....
And, because I know you're wondering how well our YSA is surviving the summer? Great! And last week was especially outstanding because our beloved friend Ben (center) came through Preston. He spent lots of minutes at our kitchen table earlier in the evening talking about the new love of his life. She sounds like a keeper; I think she might be it! And he's planning a USA trip next year, so you'll get to meet him...hopefully 'them'!
Wow, I have gone on a while again. I've said I would try to keep each post to about ten photos. But....one more. The grocery stores here always have really reasonable floral bouquets, so we always have fresh flowers in our lounge (a.k.a. living room). When I bought this one, this sweet old man sitting in Sainsbury's asked if it was my birthday. I joked that it was probably just for the 4th of July. He pondered a moment and then said, 'Oh, that was the thing about the tea, wasn't it'. We chuckled all the way to the car.