Friday, April 13, 2012

Lost and NOT Found

On a daily basis I lose things. I'm kind of scattered that way: keys, wallets, money, purses, sweaters, shoes and so on. Most of these things I eventually find though I may be late for wherever I was heading. Most "things" don't mean all that much--not in the long run. Somehow we find out what really matters when we lose something or someone that can't be replaced. Lately, I've been grieving some large losses. Things that matter.

 The first may be too personal for a public blog, and I may regain at least some of this loss. I hope so. The second big loss was my mother-in-law who I blogged about and who we buried on March 31st. She was a one-of-a-kind and a great loss to our family, her friends, and community members. Then on top of those losses another great loss for all of Paradise/Avon and Cache Valley. Twenty years ago when we moved to Paradise, the center of the community stood out.  A quaint Mormon church in a charming town.

On Easter I walked through this door for the last time ever to worship with friends. The bell in the fabulous bell tower pealed. Pealed not to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus so much as to say goodbye. Goodbye to not just the center, but the heart of the town. There's something about destroyed history. It can not be found. It can not be built again. Once gone, unlike my car keys, it's gone forever. Sometimes policies hurt. Policies should not just be made on economics and practicality. Beauty, space, tradition, and sacrifice matter. In a church that spends something like 2 billion on a mall, couldn't a little have been diverted to preserve our edifice? Shouldn't it have been?

I can't help but wonder if the demise of this building would be the same if it was in Salt Lake where the outcry could be heard and seen from church headquarters. If I sound bitter. You are right. I am bitter, but mostly sad. Paradise never was a wealthy town. In the early days, people with money built on center street in Logan. They didn't build out in the boonies. Paradise was a pioneer farming community. The church was the crown jewel.

The Northwest part of the church was built stone by stone, timber by timber in 1877.  In those days church members paid for much of the building and did all the work. They built onto the building in the 1950's and this chapel was added then. Notice the lovely color of the chapel.
                How many LDS churches built today are graced with hand-painted borders and lovely flowers--each one different? The man who painted these was in his 80's when he did it. He had worked on temple murals. These will not be preserved. They will be destroyed along with the building this week. After the meeting, we all gathered in front for photos--just like any funeral. And just like any funeral--we are left with what will never be the same again.


Anna Maria Junus said...

Why is your lovely chapel being destroyed?

Marion Jensen said...

This is so sad, and such a loss. :(

CTW said...

Anna Maria Junus because it cost too much to make it earth quake safe--so they say. Better to have it destroyed by man than by natural causes in the big IF and when we have an earthquake.

christine said...

I love this chapel. I have lots of memories of milestones in this chapel.

The chapel has always had structural issues for as long as I can remember. Water was getting into places and they couldn't always figure out how.

I remember that some of the flowers in the chapel had to repainted because they were peeling off the walls. This was when I was much younger.

It's really hard to say goodbye to such loveliness.

W&J Dymock Fam said...

Beautiful photos, Carole. I was thinking how much I would love pics of the flowers in the chapel. Now I can see them on your blog anytime.

Joanna said...

So sorry, what a beautiful building! Isaiah was blessed in that building! Now we have photos to add to his scrapbook!

Lisa Baker-Heaton said...

I'm so glad to see these pictures. My in-laws live in Paradise, but their ward has met in the new building for the past six-plus year. I had no idea the beautiful pioneer chapel was going to be destroyed, and then one day I drove into town and there it was -- a pile of rubble. I was heartbroken. I wish I had known ahead of time. Was there a concerted, coordinated effort to save it and have the Church's decision reversed? If the right media sources had become involved it might have been saved. Oh well...might have been. I don't know which is more sad, this destroyed chapel destroyed, or the others in the valley that have been "decommissioned" and now sit abandoned and deteriorating. Thank you so much for posting your photos.

CTW said...

Lisa Baker-Heaton, I think your in-laws are in my ward. I'm in Paradise 1st now. Yes, it is very very sad. Now not only were all the trees ripped up, but they aren't watering the remaining trees. More tragedy.