Talon News - Good Local News



Patricia Cratty

The LDS volunteers stopped long enough to take a photo with all the awnings they cleaned and painted

Richard and Mary Boatman of Aztec are a beautiful older couple approaching their 90s in age. They are still very active at home and in their community, and self-sufficient. There are some things however, that they are no longer able to do. Or, shouldn't be doing at their tender age. Climbing a ladder and painting the trim and awnings around their house would be on that list.

I know Richard and Mary because they were my neighbors in Aztec, on Oliver Street. One year, they allowed me to pick apples from the apple trees in their back yard. I used my recently developed canning skills to turn buckets of apples into beautiful jars of goodness to stock my pantry shelves. Another year, they allowed me to pick apples for a friend who is battling cancer. I figured organic apple juice would provide him much needed nutrients to aid with the fight and help keep weight on his bones.

Mr. and Mrs. Boatman have been generous to me in more ways than just apples. I noticed that although Richard and Mary remain proactive in keeping a large yard and garden beautifully manicured and well maintained, the paint on the sunny side of their home was flaking off. During one of my visits to the Boatman's house, I overheard Mary asking Richard if it would be possible to get the windows scraped and painted before winter. Richard has a willing heart, but I could see some distress, because a willing heart is not the same as a capable body. So, I offered to do the work for them.

My intentions were good, but maybe I promised more than I was actually able to take on myself. This project has been going on for some time. After I had finished the garage, circumstances called my family back home to Nevada. I was bound and determined to finish the project, but how? I reached out to the LDS Missionaries from my church. They were so willing to help us, and they have helped more than we could have imagined.

The garage was a large project and it was nice to get finished, but the rest of the house was even bigger and I was running out of time. I was not sure how much they would help me get done, but I thought that whatever they could do would be much appreciated.

To my surprise their numbers were strong, and they got right to work and worked those hours solid. I learned a big lesson about the power of numbers. The amount of work that was done in a few two-hour sessions would have taken me months to complete. Between my husband, the missionaries and myself, we were able to complete the side of the house where the sun beats down. We were able to beautify the house, but most importantly preserve the wood.

My family and I have moved back to Nevada for work. The back side of the house is still in need of paint, but is not in such dire need as the front of the house. It will be okay for another season. I am hoping to come back and coordinate more service to fulfill my promise to Richard and Mary. Mr. and Mrs. Boatman are so grateful for the service that has been rendered on their behalf. They are so grateful for the willingness of these young missionaries to serve. And they are impressed with the spirit that they have with them. They continue to praise the youngsters as they say, "They are just great kids."

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