Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Backward, turn backward, oh time in your flight

Title:  Backward, turn backward, oh time in your flight

Dear Family and Friends,

I will explain that title a little later on in the post.

Sept. 16 is independence day of Mexico from Spain.  The night before, the 15th is a big ceremony.  I watched a rerun on TV.  The revolution got started when a priest Hidalgo rang his church bell and invited all his congregation to start the revolution with him.

So on the 15th the president of Mexico rings a bell in the main square, called the Zocolo.

Then follows the "grito" or shout.  He says "Viva los heroes de la revolution." Hurrah to the heros of the revolution.  The zocolo is full of people who shout Viva.  He names some of the heroes and everyone shouts Viva.  Finally he shouts "Viva Mexico" 3 times and every shouts Viva.  They do this in many cities in Mexico.

Then the following day they had a HUGH military parade through the main square.  1000's and 1000's of troops.  Many women in the military.

We enjoyed a visit from our son Jonathan who teachers at BYU and was here to make arrangements for an exchange program for students from BYU.  He and his companion went to Church with us and we had a couple of meals with him.  Yes, senior missionaries can have family visit.

I remember when Jonathan was a little boy and we had to go sit with him in Primary class to help keep him quite.  He has done really well.

Then we had planned for weeks for the arrival of our son Richard, wife Deanne, and 6 young children.

We went to Church and then to the house of my nephew Matt Sandberg for dinner and a birthday celebration of one of our grandchildren, Emilyn.

She loved it.  Couldn't help but think of my daughters.

We took a tour of the city on a "hop on hop off" bus.  Fun.

Lots of things to see.  The statue of independence.

Unfortunately it was the coolest and most cloudy week we have had.

We went to the top of the Latin American tower.  Tall building.  You can see the temple from there and the mountains in the distance.  It is a big city.

You could see the Zocalo, the main square where the president leads the "grito".

And the Palace of Fine Arts where the Ballet Folklórico performs with all the traditional dancing.

The Alameda Park, Palacio de Bellas Artes and lovely buildings.

And look straight down, look for the men with straw hats on.  They are protesters.

They are also standing in between the lanes.  They are protesting that 43 students in a bus going to protest a speech of one of the state leaders about a year ago just disappeared and the government hasn't been able to find out why.  They were joined by the teachers on the day Richard arrived and blocked one of the main streets making traffic bad and we arrived about 1 hour late to get Richard.

We of course went to the original Sanborn's restaurant were Michelle's father worked when he was a medical student.

We ate there with all the children.  They were so good.

Oh, the times were ate out with our young family!

And we went to the National Cathedral.

Interestingly, after we were there one of the grandchildren said, "I didn't like it in there.  It doesn't feel good." I feel the same way.

This picture is taken from the open top bus we rode.  There are many beautiful streets in Mexico City.

Of course, back to the pyramids.  Very impressive.

They had a tent up in front of one of the smaller pyramids.

I asked a man who was sifting and washing sand and looked like he was in charge what they were doing.  He said they had discovered an original tunnel running under the pyramid.  The tunnel was 15 meters - 50 feet - below the surface and they were slowing digging the tunnel out and shifting and washing all the dirt taken out to look for relics of any kind.

The older grandchildren and grandma climbed to the top.  I "agreed" to wait below with my pregnant daughter-in-law.

Afterwards we went to a restaurant.  I liked the sign on the restroom doors.

Lovely colors in the restaurant.

We rented a van and driver to take us around.

It was about 1 1/2 hours there and back and some of the children we a little tired.

On Wednesday we went to the the Chapultepec Castle where Maximillan and Carlata lived when he was Emperor of Mexico, installed by France.

But this was the closet we could get.  It was closed.  The president was giving a speech there and there were military police everywhere.

We did go to the zoo which the children loved.

I was surprised to find Rafika of the movie Lion King there.

Notice the broom they use here outside, made of twigs or balm leaves.  They work really well for sweeping large areas.

And of course we had to go to the National Ballet.  I have put pictures on a previous blog, I know, but I love the place.  This is of the glass curtain painted with the volcanoes Popo and Ixta on it.

This guy must have spun the rope for 15 minutes with a girl inside; he did change hands once in a while.

Such  pretty outfits. In this one they tie a bow with their feet.

And they really move!

They even came out into the aisle and danced right in front of us.  Notice how tall they are.  They have a height requirement.  They are all nearly the same height.

They have several changes of outfits.

Love that show.

Then on Thursday we went to Xochimilco, where they float in boats.  My nephew's wife and their 4 children went with us.

We noticed 6 boats all floating together.  It was some kind of Social Security outing with older folks.  They had Mariachi bands on board and were dancing and singing.

We paid to have a boat with a mariachi group come along side and play for us.  (Also a marimba group)

Note the oar that one of the local boats uses.

We took our own lunch and ate on our boat.

Good time.  Then on Friday we went to the temple visitors center.

They have a wonderful visitor center with a place for children.  They would really have liked to stay longer.

Then it was off to the airport.  The children helping with the bags.

I think everyone really enjoyed Mexico.  Some of the grandchildren were a little taken back that some places you have to pay to use a toilette,  Buy hey, I paid 4 pesos and got some toilet paper to bring home!

Now, to the title and somewhat of a spiritual thought.

I was truly sad when our family left.

Thinking about our son's visit and his 6 children traveling around, pulling their luggage, I thought of this quote someone used in general conference.

Backward, turn backward, oh time in your flight
make me a child again, just for tonight.

But then I thought I miss my young children, now all grown up and I thought: 

Backward, turn backward, oh time in your flight,
make them children again, just for tonight.

I wished I could have all my children, young again, traveling together.

Why would I like to go back, caused I missed somethings then.  Too anxious, too worried, not enjoying the moment.

So my thought, enjoy fully wherever you are.  It will pass.  You can't go back.  In school, children at home, working, or grandparent.  It will not last forever.  Don't miss out.  Be fully present.  Make the most of every moment.

Elder Grandpa, Dad, etc.


  1. Great post/great photos Elder S. It's our annual chili cook-off at the church this Friday. We will miss you two! Abrazos!

  2. Dear Dad and Mom, thanks for the wonderful writeup of our trip. It was so magical! We sure do love you and miss you. The kids have said many times how they miss you.

    Love, Richard and Deanne