Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Blog Visit to Mexico and A Special Place on the Farm

We're traveling down to Mexico today for another visit to Itzel Library. Yel has been an amazing support and proponent for my books. She organized a gigantic tour of hispanic blogs all around the world. Itzel Library is an amazing blog, and I'm honored to visit it again. Please stop in and see how great I sound in Spanish. Thanks, Yel, for translating me once again. 

Today's Michael/Leesie scrapbook goes back to Tekoa and a unique site on our old farm. Remember in UNBROKEN CONNECTION when Michael takes Leesie home for Thanksgiving, and Michael and Leesie, Kim and Mark, and Phil and Krystal all walk down to the old cemetery together? I didn't make that up. There really is a Lone Pine Cemetery carved out of one of the farm's fields. It was my favorite place on the farm. In the spring, it filled with daffodils, paper whites, and lilacs. A concerned group has been cleaning it up, so these days it doesn't look as wild as it used to be, but the graves are still there, and it is still and reverent, beautiful place. I visited Tekoa last summer for my high school reunion and took pictures of the cemetery. This scene is a scene I had to cut from TAKEN BY STORM, so I saved it, revised it, and used it in UNBROKEN CONNECTION. When I visited, I copied the words Michael and Leesie read from an actual baby's headstone--"Planted on earth to bloom in heaven."

This is the headstone I used in the scene. If you look closely, you'll see it says, "Budded on earth to bloom in heaven." Shoot. I like that better than "planted." I must have remembered it wrong.

This thicket gives you a taste of what the whole cemetery was like when I was growing up.

Tekoa Mountain in the distance.

Here's the field that neighbors the cemetery. This was June--not golden yet, but beautifully green.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Big Welcome to Christy's Stories and a Visit to BYU

Today M+L Forever visits a new friend and blog, Christy's Stories. Christy asked questions that no one else has before. She's a new blogger so please stop by, make lots of comments, and welcome her to the Michael and Leesie family.

Now that you've seen Phuket and a glimpse of the Similans, it's time to take a look at where Leesie ended up. For some reason, I have no pictures of BYU. And I was just on the campus again in May when my son got married. But my daughter, Rachel, is a much better photographer than I, and she raided her iphoto and sent me these so you can get a feel for the campus and inside Leesie's dorm. She didn't have any pictures of a tunnel sing, though. Maybe I can find one on YouTube.

This is the Y. It's a good hike from campus. You can get a glimpse of Leesie's dorm, Heritage Halls, in the lower left corner.

Here's the Carrillon Bell Towers. It plays every hour to mark the time. But sometimes there will be a concert.

This is my daughter (2nd girl from the left) and freshman friends in her kitchen at Heritage Halls.

Another shot of the dorm kitchen. My daughter is 2nd from left, and my son os on the right. Yes, I taught them to make Christmas Cookies!

This is the Provo Temple. Leesie walks up there a lot and takes Michael. You can see how close the mountains are to campus.