Thursday, April 23, 2020

Signs of Spring

As you drive around the Pacific Northwest, you can now see the lime green colors in the mountains popping up, mixed with all the forest evergreen colors.  The deciduous trees have now emerged for the year.  

At the temple grounds our second wave of tulips, cherries and azaleas are now blooming.  The rain has also returned after a 2 and half week hiatus, which was nice for our beds and turf.  Now we must face a "real" spring with wet, wet weather along with the rush of mowing tall grass, and hoeing constant growing weeds.  The fountain lights project is getting close to placing the electrical lines and then we can put plants back in soon.  

With lots to do, we are taking advantage of this time while the temple is closed, but we hope the temple opens soon!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Spring Rushes In

We have now heard that the temple will be shutdown through the end of May, although the opening could potentially be extended if the Church feels it needs to. This period of time which some are naming “The Great Lockdown” due to the pandemic will continue to rage on and have impacts well into next year for all of us. But the spring season is well on its way at the temple grounds. We are fortunate to be able to work outside and be busy with several things this time of year, while still maintaining "social distancing."

Here are some projects of things going on at the temple right now and some pictures of the grounds:

The Fountain lights have always been an issue in recent years, so we are looking to locate the lines, which have been difficult to find.  We plan on renovating the bed and putting in some new plantings around the fountain where the grounds has been disturbed.

Kyle Bunnell, helping me to identify where to dig with the mini excavator

Kyle, Zach Turner, and Richard Nelson on the mini excavator

Gravel for trails and other projects

We have been fortunate on Grounds to allow other departments to come work outside.  Barbara and Jane from housekeeping, weeding at the front beds.
Aerating and fertilizing the lawn will help it green up and promote root growth this time of year. We are also working on our sprinkler maintenance and scheduling which takes several weeks with over 50 zones to go through!
I took this picture because it shows just how our Grounds Crew has grown! Usually just a few cars.  Thanks for everyone's help from housekeeping and kitchen departments.

Photos of the Temple Grounds by Jessica Myrup:

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Unexpected Shutdown At the Seattle Temple

We are amidst an event that has taken the world by storm: COVID-19. It started in China and has swept over every continent and effected everyone in some way.  The Temples were no exception and were immediately shutdown.  To meet in large groups is not only a bad thing to do, but an order made by governors all over the United States not to do.  We must do our part and try to slow the curve, as they say.

Sometimes living during a historic event such as this, can be exhilarating and depressing all in the same hour.  The world has screeched to a halt in most industries and it is hard not to see the effects coming upon every industry soon.  If you usually like to follow the stock market, then you have just started the roller coaster ride at the very beginning with the big drop, and no, the ride is not over yet so hang on! Some industries are booming, while others are scrambling for options to get through this soon-to-be recession.

Here's a few news stories that stood out to me recently:

  • A record 2.2 trillion dollar stimulus package that was passed recently to boost economy
  • Olympics in Japan have been postponed until 2021 and many sports are being postponed
  • 10 Million workers filed for unemployment in two weeks during March, also a record number
  • And the last one, which is kind of bizzare to think about-- Doctors in the UK are saying tough measures with isolation are needed to last up to 18 months. I don't know what to think about that ...

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one can not stop having conversations whether online or in person about the prophetic calling of President Russell M. Nelson.  We are all recollecting his words as he mentioned eating your vitamins and the celebrations for the 200th year anniversary of the First Vision.  Everyone remembers how he specifically said last October that this conference coming up is going to be special and different from the others previously held. The prophet was indeed right...this will be the largest gathering of families in the history of the Church as we gather to listen to the words of our prophet and other leaders of the Church.  Another interesting thing about this conference is it will be the first one only made available digitally.  There will be millions streaming the words of our leaders this weekend.  Pray for no complications with the internet!

From our move to a more "home centered-church supported" initiative we have been prepared for over a year on how to focus on teaching our families and getting ready for events like this.  That to me is what a Prophet does for us as mortals in this life.  Many ask why would we need a prophet in today's advanced world.  Here are a few suggestions: a voice of warning, as a seer, and as someone who knows the will of the Lord with everything going on.  And because the corona virus has shut down the world, we can now tune in and listen to his words without major distractions.  Perhaps the Lord has something special for us all to hear this coming weekend.

While the Temple has been shut down this spring, the flowers continue to bloom on the grounds.  I was able to capture some pictures yesterday of the beauty of the Seattle Temple.  Hope you can enjoy them during this crazy time in the world while isolated your homes.  I dedicate these pictures to the men and women who are fighting on the front lines of this battle, and aiding to those affected most by this new virus.

May we join with President M. Russell Ballard who said in a recent comment:

           "We will win the War on COVID-19!"

And if you want to tune into conference this coming weekend here is the information:

Saturday April 4

1st Session 9:00 AM PT
2nd Session 1:00 PM PT
Evening Session 5:00 PM PT

Sunday April 5

1st Session 9:00 AM PT
2nd Session 1:00 PM PT

Cherry Akebono Trees

Camellia japonica 

Magnolia 'Galaxy' (those buds are about 8-10 inches long!)

Camellia japonica (my kids named this one "butter")

Daffodils in the ovals 

Rhododendron x 'P.J.M.' (H-1)

Hyacinth mix with Primrose  (one of the most fragrant beds)

Primrose flowers leading up to the front doors, tulips will be blooming here in a couple of weeks

flood of Daffodils

Hellebore with vinca and tiny daffodil 'tete a tete' mixed in

The oldest Akebono Cherry Tree up on the south hill, we believe it is part of the original planting.  It is slowly declining due to age and some other things related to disease in cherries.  Most cherry trees only live 30-40 years.  Some varieties can grow a lot longer, just not this one.

Newly added Hyacinth along the loading dock 

Our Japanese Maples pruned to create a clouding effect seen in Japanese Gardens, plus seeing those waving trunks is quite a fascinating thing as well.  Crimson Queen is the variety

Acer palmatum 'Crimson Queen'

Another Crimson Queen Specimen

The East Facade with its unique curvature 

The empty parking lot that will soon be filled with patrons coming to worship

British Gamble Daffodil (one of my favorites)