Saturday, September 8, 2012

Me and the Mormons

This morning, I got up to walk Lake Pflugerville. My trainer wants me to do a 5K next month with her, so I have to keep pushing! As I pulled up, I noticed that the parking lots were full of cars. Last week, when I went, it was full of dove season hunters. So I turned to the dogs to see if they knew what was going on. Nope.  Just dog drool on the windows - no response.

The wind was really strong and temps were lovely - about 72! We got out of the car, untangled our leashes and started on the trail.

Going over the first hill, I could see tons of yellow vests.  Little kids, teens, adults, all over the place. Some were in the water with rakes, others were pulling up boards from the worn out docks. Teens were painting the wooden trash containers.  I couldn't really tell who all those people were. It reminded me of our years in Wichita Falls. For several years, we participated in Teens Make A Difference Day - sometimes with Girl Scout troops, sometimes with our 4H group. With 4H, we often got the heavy duty jobs, clearing brush or some other such thing. As Girl Scouts, we were often given painting jobs or landscaping work.  It was fun, and like this, there were hundreds of groups of teens all over the city in matching shirts. Each year, a different color.

But unlike our Teens Make A Difference Days, these weren't just teens. It seemed like families with all ages. Little kids were running up and down the trails, moms pushing strollers, dads in the water hacking at all of the overgrown marsh.  Kids of all ages were picking up trash. And EVERYONE wore these yellow vests.

Finally, I got up close enough to see.


My only experience with Mormons was when we lived in Alaska. It seemed there were lots of Mormons stationed at Elmendorf AFB.  The Mormon women down the street invited me to participate in their monthly craft extravaganza at their church and even taught me to quilt.  They were all about doing things together, very family oriented, so that was nice. I did get roped into a couple of Amway nights with them - that was uncomfortable. But I survived.

We even toured a huge Mormon Church in Anchorage, before it was "consecrated," or whatever they call it. It was a really interesting tour, hearing about how they baptize their deceased family members, seeing the room where their weddings take place, looking at their artwork and listening to their history. And more gold and ornate fixtures than I've ever seen! A Mormon woman who lived down the street from us joined us on the tour. She able to share even more information. It was all fascinating, really.

But...back to my Mormon Invasion at Lake Pflugerville.
I'm not exaggerating when I say there were hundreds of Mormons participating in this clean up of our 3 mile lake. I'll have to look in the paper to see if anyone covers it. It was impressive.

And it was really wonderful seeing that community service is alive and well.  I like seeing a church group shouldering the workload, instead of showing us their position by eating at Chick-Fil-A.   The workers were all friendly and eager to pet the dogs.  I thanked a few of them for coming out to work on the lake, as they drug their shovels and started heading back to their cars. They seemed a little taken aback that I did. Not sure what that was about...

The dogs and I ended our little walk with Gracie swimming at The Beach, and Buddy running along the edge. I sat there on the rock, while they frolicked and the yellow vests dotted the shoreline.  I'd been worried about all the overgrowth that you could see in the water and along the edge. But now, thanks to the Mormons, Lake Pflugerville was going to be in great shape!

No comments: