We came to earth to gain earthly experience because we
had to have these experiences in order to grow and learn from each
day. Whether we learn and grow or just suffer through depends on us.
If we learn and grow then we can have joy and the thrill of
accomplishment. Our Heavenly Father has given us this opportunity to
have this wonderful earthly experience and to keep our second estate.
To illustrate this I will record some of the memories I have of
observing the difference in attitude of different people.
I remember the contagious enthusiasm of Dad and Mother
and the older members of the family when we moved into the old brick
two story house and began to make it into our home. The make over was
outside and inside and took a lot of work but was great fun for me as
Dad decided that the house needed to be re-shingled.
When he went to Pacheco to order the shingles from Brother Marion
Wilson I was permitted to go along. We arrived just before noon and
went down to the shingle mill to talk to Brother Wilson. He was
busy making shingles. I was fascinated with that big contraption that
made up the shingle mill.
A stream of water was running swiftly in a wooden flume
that ran over a huge water wheel. The weight of the water was turning
the wheel steadily with plenty of groaning and creaking. There were
gears and wheels that transferred the power to a big high knife
like Guillotine that went up and down with a loud grrrrr!!!!!
Chunk!!!! Grrrrr!!!! Chunk!!!! Brother Wilson was standing
on a high platform pushing a round section of a pine log that
was about fourteen inches long against the backstop under the
big knife that came down with a solid chunk!!! Each stroke of the big
Guillotine would cut off a shingle that tapered from 3/8 of and inch
to about 1/16 of and inch. Each shingle was about 5 or 6 inches wide.
The Log was water soaked so that the knife could cut it at an angle
without splitting. I to this day don't know how Brother Wilson
managed to cut those shingles so precise with that big contraption.
The shingles were tied in bundles and placed in a tank of black
oil to soak and become water proof.
Soon Brother Wilson climbed down and stopped the mill
by diverting the water into another ditch. As we walked toward the
house Brother Wilson showed us along the flume ditch pointing out
different water wheels. He showed us one for grinding wheat and corn.
Another to churn the butter from the cream from his milk cows. Still
another that ran a primitive washing machine for his wife to use for
washing the clothes of the big family.
At dinner we had some very good whole wheat bread
smeared with rich yellow butter. The wheat was ground by the grinder
powered by a little water wheel. The Butter was churned by the
churn that was powered by another little water wheel. I was impressed
by the ingenuity of Bishop Wilson and especially by his joyous
countenance when he was telling us about his different works of his
We also had some very good Molasses to spread on our
bread for desert that the family had made from their own cane. The old
Molasses mill and cooking vat are still at the Old Wilson home in
Pacheco. Kiko and Tracy used it one year when they planted cane
and made a lot of Molasses.
Brother Wilson was also the town Blacksmith and had a
good Blacksmith shop. He provided all of the necessary things
for pioneer life at that time. He rebuilt plow points sharpened crow
bars and picks and made many of the tools they used in the town. Made
double and single trees for the work horse teams for plowing and
wagons and even mended logging chains and any other repair work for
the saw mill machinery.
He was Bishop of the Pacheco Ward for many years and
was loved by all of the people for his jolly nature and service to the
community. He had a farm and orchard and a good garden. His cows and
chickens provided him with eggs meat and Dairy products. He was an
example of a man that enjoys work of all kinds and received joy in his
When the shingles arrived Dad went to see brother
Angus Wall about shingling our house. He was the best shingler in
town. I remember him well because he was quite deaf but I was amazed
at how he could understand you when you talked to him. His boys Roy
and Frank were good friends of mine and I often went to their place to
play. I remember they had a big horse the name Grullo because of his
color. Frank especially loved to ride that horse. He rode him on all
of the Trail Builder and Scout hikes.
When Brother Wall came to shingle the house he brought
all of his equipment with him. It consisted of a long ladder some rope
a hammer and Clinch Bar and his Cat. He had on his Apron with pockets
in the front for shingle nails. Soon he was up on our roof ripping off
the old shingles with his Clinch bar and taking out all of the old
nails getting it ready to put on the new shingles.
I remember one day I could hear him tapping with his
hammer "one two three, One two three". I was curious and wanted to
watch him put on the shingles. I climbed up the ladder and holding
onto the rope I went up the steep roof to where he was busy putting on
the shingles. He would put the shingle in place exactly in line with
the one next to it and put two or three nails in the shingle exactly
in line with the nails on the one before it. I saw that he would start
the nail with one tap and with two more taps would drive it firmly
into the shingle and the board of the roof. I watched fascinated
wondering how he could keep his lines so straight as he put one
shingle after another about four inches above the bottom or thick part
of the shingle underneath and exactly in line with the shingle next to
it. Every little while he would stand up, holding to the rope that was
tied around his waist and move his cat over to the edge of where he
was working. That cat was an ingenious stool made especially for
sitting on steep roofs. It was triangular in shape so that when it was
placed on the steep rood it formed a level seat to sit on while he
worked nailing on the shingles. It was called acat because of the
metal claws on the top and bottom where it met the steep roof. These
Claws dug into the wood of the roof securing the seat for him to sit
on while he worked at nailing on the shingles. The bundle of
shingles was secured near him with a rope suspended from the top
boards of the roof and could be moved along in front of him as he
worked swiftly nailing down each shingle in it's precise place. He
gave me a big smile of welcome without slowing his tap, tap, tap, and
again tap, tap, tap. He smiled as he worked and I remember thinking
that he was actually enjoying putting on the shingles. I could see
that he had made every precaution to be safe in his work and was very
careful and didn't take any chances because a fall from the high two
story house would be probably fatal.
I watched for a long time and could see the beautiful
result of his work. The precise lines of the shingles going from one
side of the roof to the other and all of the lines four inches above
the other going from the bottom of the roof to the top, without even
one nail or nail hole showing, making a good water proof roof that
would last for many years. I could sense Brother Wall's pride in his
work and felt the satisfaction of a difficult job well done. This
lesson helped realize that work, no matter how tedious and
dangerous, can be a joy and a great deal of satisfaction. I am
sure if Brother Wall had been asked what he was doing he would have
responded that he was making a very good roof for our house. I don't
think he thought of it as just nailing on shingles, a tedious and
dangerous job. That difference in attitude can make the difference
between enjoying our work or being bored and tired of doing the same
thing over and over.
The time came when mother needed some kitchen cabinets
in her kitchen. I remember that Brother Edwin McClellan came to stay
with us and build the kitchen cabinets for my mother. He was a quiet
man and unassuming but he was an architect, builder and a very good
carpenter and cabinet maker. I remember his quiet smile and pleasant
manner when he talked with me. I am sure that I was in the way some of
the time but he saw my interest and explained to me what he was
He set up a work bench outside in the yard and got out
his box of hand tools. I was fascinated as I watched him sharpen the
blade to his hand planer. I watched as he used that sharp plane to
smooth the boards easily and straighten the edges to perfection. Then
after they were fitted perfectly he would carefully smear each piece
with glue and clamp them together to dry over night making a perfect
joint. I noticed that he took pride in making each joint perfect so
that you could hardly tell where it was joined. Soon the
beautiful sideboard of the cabinet took shape complete with big
swinging bins for flour and sugar. When those bins were closed they
were exactly the same as the other cabinet doors along the front of
Above the sideboard the dish cabinet had some beautiful
glass doors to show off mothers china and dishes. These cabinets were
beautiful and were painted white and were built to last the life of
the house. Nothing broke or didn't work even with constant use by all
of the family
As Brother McClellan smoothed and worked each piece I
know that in his minds eye he could see it as a perfect piece of the
whole cabinet. He knew its exact measurements and how it would fit in
the whole. Each piece was made with care giving it the importance and
the patience to make it fit in the beautiful finished useful cabinet
in the kitchen.
Our Heavenly Father knows the beginning from the end
and all in between and he works with patience and love with each of us
know exactly where we fit in our families and in the whole plan of
Exaltation. Truly we are those of whom he spoke when he said, " For
this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and
eternal life of man.
As we work in our lives may we not get bogged down with
boredom thinking only of the tediousness of our work but may we see
the finished product and have joy in each task and each day of our
lives. As we live with each other may we see what each of us can
become and work with joy to that end.