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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Tiannanmen Sunrise Flag-raising, Mao's Crystal Mausoleum, and a Sacred Mormon Tree...All Before 9 A.M.!

We were up and a little bleary-eyed, but go TEAM SUNRISE!!  On the subway at 5:25.  It was a thing of beauty.  These two adorable youthful faces deserve a moment of homage as well.  Dani (to the south of Chairman Mao) is a visiting graduate student from Oxford.  She is studying Chinese history, and her Mandarin constantly saves us from arrest.  She is our neighbor and wrote the book on Wonderful! The other young lassie is Trezlyn.  She hails from Good Ol' Mt. Potato Peeler, and her mother is one of my besties.  Trez teaches here now, and her story is one for another day.  I will add that I gave Trezlyn a panda pin when she was about five...and here she is, so...

The Sandberg contingent of Team Sunrise!

Old and young alike.

Trezlyn has only been in China for almost a month, and hard as it is to believe, she had ALREADY visited Mao's Crystal Mausoleum!  I know!  She waited in line for two hours when she came...

 but Team Sunrise watched the flag-raising at 6:45 AND WERE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MAUSOLEUM BY 7:07!!  Unprecedented.  

We found Chairman Mao looking rested and a tad orange.  Let's see 1976?  Our bi-centennial--China's historical day, and Mao's last.  Kudos to google images.  Had these been live shots I would be soliciting files baked into cakes...

A statue of him in his glory days.

John got a little frisky and started to do the Teaberry Shuffle.   If you know what that is, you're older than dirt.


The day was young and crisp, so we headed across the street back towards the Forbidden City and a park

where the trees are gnarled,

the avenues are broad and deserted at 7:20 A.M.,

and holes awaiting bulb planting abound!

Not an altogether unpleasant job, if you ask me.

We heeded this sign which I think was warning us of falling puzzle pieces.

Some jolly souls were already up and had their tops spinning.

And others had put on their cutest bear mittens and gone for an early walk with Papa.

Team Sunrise posed beneath the tree where Elders David O. McKay and Hugh J. Cannon dedicated "the Chinese realm" for missionary work on January 8, 1921, during their year-long excursion in these parts and the South Pacific.  Of significance in that prayer is the mention of the intervention of the allied powers of the civilized world.  I have the whole prayer if you ever want to read it.

Other trees in the neighborhood.  Perhaps the elders rested their canes here as they walked around and got a feel for the place.  It staggers the imagination to wonder what navigating in China would have resembled in 1921...adventure.

I'd like to interview these trees someday.

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Favorite books

  • Me 'n Steve
  • Thundering Sneakers
  • James Herriott's vet books
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Travels with Charley
  • A Walk in the Woods
  • Peace Like a River
  • The Egg and I
  • Mary Poppins
  • Extremly Loud Incredibly Close
  • How Green Was my Valley