We have known since we entered the MTC that our assigned Branch and the town where we would reside would be New Paltz, New York but there was no room at the Inn (or the Ridge Apartments). On Wednesday of last week, we were provided keys to the apartment and on Thursday a couch and chair were delivered to the apartment. New Paltz is a village in Ulster County, about 80 miles north of New York City and 70 miles south of Albany. The populations is about 7000 except for the time that students at SUNY (State University of New York) are here when it roughly doubles in size. New Paltz was founded in 1678 by French settlers and much of the town looks to be that old. More to come on New Paltz.
We were told that Elders would assist us in moving from Goshen to New Paltz and that we would also get additional Stuff provided for the apartment but as you might imagine with 47 new Missionaries things have just not happened. Did I mention that gas is over $4 a gallon and that there is also $3 dollars in tolls between Goshen and New Paltz for the 85 mile round trip back and forth?
On Monday we rented a U-haul trailer and loaded up the King size bed (assigned to the Howes’ because the Goshen apartment gets two twin beds for Sister Missionaries) and our belongings and headed off to New Paltz. (That was easier to write than it was to do) Getting the King size bed out of the second story apartment in Goshen was easier than getting it up to the second story apartment in New Paltz. I guess gravity works. Sister Howes wasn’t amused or excited for the move. Once in the apartment we found that a couch and a bed doesn’t a home (for 18 months) make. But we were soon provided with kitchen goods and a couple of lamps. The good thing about being in your final destination is that we can finally hook up the internet (or so we thought). After contacting the provider we were told that the apartment was still under contract with the previous tenant and that we would have to bring a copy of the lease into the nearest office (Poughkeepsie, NY). Undeterred, we collected a copy of the lease, found the address in Poughkeepsie and headed off across the Hudson another 25 miles and two tolls. When we arrived we found ourselves in a BAD part of town and Elder Howes refused to get out of the car. However, we prevailed as a call to the company revealed that the previous renter had called to cancel service which allowed us to schedule installation of the service. All was not lost on the trip to Poughkeepsie as Sister Howes was able to shop at Target and do some bargain hunting for furniture at Goodwill.
So we now live in New Paltz with internet. Awesome. No more creating HotSpots to look up addresses and to talk on Face Time. Within the next month we hope to get a place to put our clothes away so we can stop living out of suit cases.
Many of the young men and women in the Newburgh Stake gathered together to have a Road Show. Unlike when I was a kid, they all got together several hours before the performance, divided into groups, where assigned a scripture and went about scripting a performance. Two hours later many like Elder & Sister Howes showed up for them to entertain.
I think that we were the only supporters for the kids from New Paltz except our young women’s President and one of the mothers. This activity brought back many memories for both Elder & Sister Howes as we ourselves participated in such activities when we were kids.
This past Wednesday the Senior couples from our Zone all got together here in New Paltz. There are four couples in the Zone for the next month, two of these couples are here in New Paltz, one couple is assigned to Monticello and another at West Point Academy (non proselytizing). All of them came for a visit to a local recreation area called Mohonk Mountain House. This area has a beautiful lake setting that was developed as a retreat in the mid 1800’s. A destination retreat both then and now this area was built up by twin brothers of the Smiley family over a period of many years from 1869 up until 1912. A favorite visit of many Presidents and families this preserve was also used as a World Wide Peace conference gathering spot. We’ll let the picture tell the rest of the story:
A hazy shot from the top of the Lake A shot from the balcony of the room next
The room built for Peace talks in the 1800’s
The “Senior Couple” from Bell Canyon You can see 4 states from this perch
The Monticello Missionary Couple are related to the 5th and 6th generation Smiley family owners of Mohonk (Pictured with pictures of Great Grandparents)
After our visit to Mohonk we drove to Poughkeepsie to have lunch at the CIA, no not the Central Intelligence Agency but the Culinary Institute of America a lot tastier than a commissary:
There are many restaurants at the Institute, this one was open for lunch. The Missionary couples on the end are: Howes, Hohosh, Wells and the Long’s.