Monday, January 26, 2015

Many are Cold....But Few are Frozen!

The winter is dragging on and all of Pittsburgh is cold.....but it is true.... few of us have frozen yet!

Actually, with our heated garage and the option we have to stay inside if the roads are too bad, life here in the winter makes other winters we have experienced seem a lot worse.  Today has been a 'snow day' for most of the city.  It has been snowing all day and we are supposed to get more tomorrow.  It happens to be our P-day so I have loved the cozy feeling of staying in the apartment and getting caught up on e-mail, the blog, and hopefully Family History before the day ends. We have a roast on the stove cooking for dinner tonight!

Jim went over to the church to play ping pong and basketball with the elders for a little while.  Hope he comes back in one piece!  We are having "our" 4 elders over for dinner tonight.  We think they will always be special to us because they helped us through our first few weeks here and we have had some amazing spiritual experiences with them.  We've also shared some really 'interesting' and funny moments with them.  Both the spiritual, 'interesting', and funny moments are just hard to put into words....or even capture in pictures.  Hope the words and pictures will help to crystalize in our old minds just a little bit of the joy and happiness that we have felt in serving our mission.

We are starting to get over the shock of living together 24-7.
Going straight from the working world into 'instant togetherness' has been like having a bucket of cold water dumped on us.....BUT we are making it, and are realizing it is just another adjustment of life.  At our senior conference we talked to other couples who seem to have had the same challenges that we have had.... and they still haven't strangled each other.  A little while ago we had an 'interesting' dinner with Charlette, one of the ward members, who seemed to want to strangle Jim for me!  She is the funniest, most interesting member we have met so far!

We have started to visit some members on the "South Side" of Pittsburgh recently.  It is an area of the city that is quite unique.  At one time it was called the Workshop of the World because it had so many glass, iron and steel factories.  It now has a flat area where there are stores and businesses, but the homes are mostly built on lots and lots of hills.  The hills are so steep that cars can't maneuver on them and so to get access from one street to another there are steps.....lots and lots of steps.  They even give the steps street names so it really complicates finding addresses....... even with the GPS.

On the way to a visit members homes the other day we tooks some

pictures of the South Side mural and some of the steps.  One set of steps is called "The Slopes" and there are 5,447 of them.  The neighborhood association sponsors an event called "Step Trek" in the fall where people climb the steps for either leisure or fitness and many of the homes are open.  We have heard there is a monastery at the top of the hill and lots of beautiful views.

Step Trek sounds like a fun community event that we want to get involved with and maybe see
if the wards want to use it as a service project to either get things ready or help at the event.  An interesting fact is that the steps of the South Side Slopes rise to 1,457 feet and the Empire State Building is 1,454 feet tall.  Also the steps in all of Pittsburgh total 44,645 feet which is higher than Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina.  Like I said....lots and lots of steps!!

Our last P-day we went to a museum call the Soldiers and Sailors
Memorial Museum.  It was very interesting and we saw so much history of the area as well as military history all over the United States.  They had a beautiful hall with the Gettysburgh address written at the front of the hall.  Seeing it written so large and in a quiet hall, all by ourselves, had quite an impact on us.

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