Sunday, March 10, 2013

The wanderings and musings of a returned missionary

The wanderings and musings of a returned missionary
Darrel L. Hammon

Grandpa and Grandma Hammon and two adorable grandchildren
 Coming home from a mission carries with it both happiness and joy and a feeling of not being totally connected to reality or at least the new reality you find yourself in. I have experienced both of these feelings over the past month. Fortunately, some of our wanderings have allowed my disconnectedness” to submerge itself for a time being.

Our daughter's street
 We landed at our daughter and son-in-law’s place. They bought a new home and are refinishing the basement, including a bedroom just for us. It is in a nice neighborhood with a view of Utah Lake and the Wasatch Mountains in the back of their home. 

The neighbors are extremely nice. We hadn’t been here for more than a day when the neighbors brought soup, bread, brownies, cookies, cake, and host of other delectable goodies that only Mormon women can create. Plus, some just came by to visit and introduce themselves. We stayed for a week and re-acquainted ourselves with our little granddaughter now 3.5 years-old and a new grandson born while we were in the Dominican Republic. Then we headed to our other daughter's home who lives with her husband and young son in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin is different. It was still cold. The wind blows there, too. Fortunately, we were there for only two weeks and didn’t experience any of the Wyoming winds. They say they do have strong winds but nothing as strong as the Wyoming winds, the constant blowing and shuffling of dirt, plastic bags, and snow. Wisconsin is beautiful with gentle rolling hills, huge clumps of trees, and lots of water everywhere. Again, winter invariably steals some of the greenery that Wisconsin is famous for. While I was there, I tried to imagine the green leaves, the green corn fields, the green rolling grasses, and the little lakes scattered everywhere, instead of the dull gray, leaf-less trees, the frozen lakes, and the barren fields now covered in snow.

Los Hammon with grandson #2
The highlight of Wisconsin was being with our daughter and her family. Our new little grandson who was born while we were serving in the Caribbean was delightful. Granted, although he is almost five months old and still very much a momma’s boy, he still allowed his grandparents to play with him and bounce him. 

Doting grandfather
He loves being tossed in the air and look at himself in the mirror. We also helped him with his tummy time although he isn’t a real fan of going over five minutes. He even semi-crawled while we were there. The big break through was feeding him real food, not just his “mommy’s nummy juice.” Well, maybe some baby oatmeal mixed with applesauce can be real food for an almost five-month-old, compared to his daily dosages of his mother’s milk. Of course, he wanted to hold the spoon and then just lick it first to see if it met his delicate taste buds. But like any other kid, he could plaster more food on his face than in his mouth. I suspect, though, he’ll get the hang of it. Some day.

The López Family
We also spent time in Boise with our good friends. We drove to Weiser twice to see one of the young men who lived with my family when he was just eight years old and had to go to therapy each day. We were able to visit with his wife and four boys. What a great family they are. Plus, we were able to find and chat with one of my high school friends from Garfield, Idaho, who lives with her family in Weiser. Incredible! We had a great visit, just like old times.

One of the things we discovered more poignantly while serving a mission is the importance of relationships and friendships, old ones and new ones. Amazingly, the rekindling of old relationships and friendships is like riding a bicycle. It just comes back naturally. In fact, Wade, one of the friends we visited while we were in Boise said, “It was just like old times as though [we] had never been apart.” 

Twin Falls Temple
Part of our wandering transition has been attending the temple. We have been able to attend the Mt. Timpanogas, Boise, and Twin Falls temples. We hadn't been to the Twin Falls Temple before, we participated in the first dedication of the Boise Temple, and our daughter and her husband were sealed in the Mt. Timpanogas Temple. We love being in the temple. There is a sense of quiet peace, tranquility, and connectedness.

Joanne, mi Querida and my stability
So, as we try to transition back to some semblance of post-mission stability, we thank our family and friends for trying to make it easier for us. We’re still not there, but we are striving toward it.

Snake River gorge by Twin Falls