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Historical Marker for Ano Santo 1950

Perafita Ano Santo Historical Marker

Perafita Ano Santo Historical Marker

In the middle of a road that runs east and west towards the ocean in the community known as Perafita, is this historical marker for Ano Santo 1950. In this picture, I pose underneath the towering cross. My guess is that this photo was most likely taken near February or March 1989. My missionary partner was Elder from Wyoming who worked with me from the beginning of January through most of March, possibly into April. We had a lot of success meeting and teaching the people of Perafita. As a result, this was one of the more enjoyable time periods during my mission.
While my memory is likely inaccurate after all of these years, it seems to me that this day was sunny but cold. We started working in Perafita in February after our success in Leça da Palmeira near Matosinhos was minimal. I remember the month of January was dark and wet. February seemed to be cold. Eventually the warmth of spring made the last few months working in this area more enjoyable. This was nice considering both Leça da Palmeira and Perafita have a nice ocean side that we traveled each day.
I need to go back into my journal entries to remember more about this time period. In the meantime, please enjoy this picture that shows this historical landmark on the Portuguese streets.

Momma Moose Outside Our Home

On the morning of November 11th, 2015, I was getting ready to leave to work. I walked out of the bathroom after showering and found saw a moose outside our window deep in the brush. The moose wasn’t easy to spot, but my eyes happened to look the best direction to see the animal enjoying her morning breakfast. I walked over to the window to get a better look.
A few days earlier our dog spotted this same moose with her baby in the backyard and played a game running up close to them before running away when the mother got protective. The baby also chased a few times. Our larger sized dog had fun playing this cat and mouse type game as he was fast enough to run up and invade their space before running away when they chased him. I should’ve videoed this exchange and shared on “America’s Funniest Home Videos” or something. When I told some colleagues at work, they asked where the video was.
So on this day as I saw the mamma moose in the distance, I grabbed my phone and started taking a few single snapshots. Unfortunately the moose was still difficult to spot. As I put the phone down, the moose came out of the bushes towards me and looked up at the window a few times right at me. I figured it noticed me and would cautiously keep a distance. Rather, this moose continued to come forward toward me. I took a few more pictures thinking this would be the best angle I could get to share with my colleagues.
I took all the pictures I desired, but I knew I hadn’t taken any video. Yet, taking a video with my phone is less than ideal as I like using my digital camera. But, the moose kept walking towards me until it was directly below me. It was looking in the 2nd story window into the living room. She kept eating leaves and looking inside. She then walked a few paces over to the other window looking into the living room a few paces away from me towards the front of the house. I walked over and continued to look down at the massive animal eating and peering into view of the house.
When she walked around to the front yard I started a video. This video shows the moose eating parts of a climbing rose bush. She eventually walked to the front step outside the front door. I ran around to my daughter’s room and woke her up seeking a better angle as the moose moved down the front of the house. After waking my daughter and telling her what was going on, we went downstairs. My wife had been asleep on the couch and didn’t know any of this was going on. Imagine my wife waking up and seeing this moose looking in at her? That would have been quite a surprise.
In the end, the moose walked across the road past our maple tree and past the neighbor’s house. All can be seen in the video. Now my colleagues have video proof, although the dog was more entertaining a few days earlier. A few cars that passed by also got a view of this moose.
As for me, the experience made my day. I felt fortunate to be able to wake up and enjoy such a scene. I was amazed the moose fearlessly came by and shared her presence with us.

4th of July Fireworks Downtown Spokane

On the 4th of July, my family traveled downtown in Spokane to watch the fireworks over the waterfront. We didn’t have a lot of time to find a good location to watch since we originally were going to watch the fireworks in Suncrest past Nine Mile Falls. We left around 8:30pm to go to Suncrest,…
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Book Review: Killing Lincoln

Killing Lincoln Book

Killing Lincoln Book

I just finished reading, Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard. I wasn’t disappointed. This book is a well written story describing the days ending the Civil War, those leading to President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination by John Wilkes Booth, and the events thereafter. The chapters detail the attempted escape of all individuals involved in President Lincoln’s assassination, as well as the long term outcomes of many players involved in Lincoln’s final days.

After reading the first section of the book, I started writing down more prominent thoughts and observations I wanted to share.

The authors repeatedly point out the number of times President Lincoln could have been killed in earlier situations. Similarly, they quote many figures with such fears. Quotes are provided emphasizing the mindset of significant persons in these events. It’s outstanding that these quotes and details have been placed together in this book making it into a great historical record.

As I read, I wondered how the authors knew so many details about the events that transpired before and after President Lincoln’s death. It’s details like how an impromptu parade slowed Lincoln’s progress to Ford’s Theater for the play, the names and sequence of callers seeking the President’s time, or specific lines referring to the Lincoln’s when they arrive at the play at Ford’s Theater. Some of the items have historical significance. For example, the fact that Lincoln’s body guard (John Parker) left his post at the theater to drink rather than guard the President in the balcony the night he was shot.

Considering the scrutiny that Bill O’Reilly would likely receive if anything were inaccurate in this history, I feel confident that the details are valid. The last few pages of the book have references to sources used in the main sections of the book.

The book describes President Lincoln gazing out into the audience a few times before John Wilkes Booth shot him. I can’t help but wonder if he knew in those last few moments that his life was over. Maybe he did, considering the many threats on his life. But after the shot hit his head, for whatever amount of consciousness he maintained, I’m sure he could no longer deny his fate.

Reading the events of President Lincoln’s death interested me. Surrounded by doctors, great effort was made to document President Lincoln’s passing including the rate at which he quit breathing and heart rate dropped.

President Lincoln’s brain was damaged, but it is unknown how aware he was of his surroundings. I hope it was a fast painless passing, rather than slow. It makes me sad to read about life draining out of him and the chance he might have known.

The book describes a horrible sound coming from President Lincoln’s lungs when Mary Todd Lincoln (his wife) touches him for the last time. This seems to indicate he was somewhat aware of what was happening. Or it is just a spooky coincidence.

John Wilkes Booth’s obsession with killing President Lincoln is manifest by his willingness to hurt others who were his friends in order to get his mania appeased. For instance, in order to make his escape he slashed his knife at William Withers, Jr., a theatrical friend whom he had drinks with only hours earlier in the day. Also, Booth kicks and hits with a knife, a boy named Peanut John, who was taking care of Booth’s horse outside Ford’s Theater. Peanut John was hoping for some form of gratuity for his service.

The book reports that 87 men drown searching for John Wilkes Booth and David Herold (co-conspirator in attempted assassination of Secretary of State William H. Seward the same night, who met up with Booth in Maryland trying to escape) in the swamps of Maryland. Wow! I’m surprised not much attention is given to this reported fact.

Much evidence suggests Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton was somehow connected to President Lincoln’s death. For example, John Wilkes Booth’s diary has 18 missing pages after being in Stanton’s possession for two years.

President Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln spent the afternoon before his father’s assassination with Booth’s girlfriend Lucy Lambert Hale studying Spanish. It is coincidental that he was later an eye witness to President Garfield’s assassination in 1881.

A unique side story discussed at the end of the book concerns Major Henry Reed Rathbone who was in the state box with Lincoln at Ford’s Theater. He was cut in the arm by John Wilkes Booth after Lincoln was shot. Major Rathbone later married his date – Clara Harris, who was with him and the Lincolns on the balcony at Ford’s Theater. Sometime thereafter Rathbone killed Clara Harris with a knife after going insane.

I recommend reading Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever for its historical education. It is easy reading. I am recommending my teenage daughter read it this summer while school is out. I look forward to reading Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot, Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II's Most Audacious General, and Killing Jesus, by the same authors.