Category Archives: Uncategorized

The BIG Ditch….

I told you last post that we would talk a little bit about the Erie canal. While we have been here, we have learned a lot about just how many miracles took place as the restoration of the gospel rolled out between 1820 and 1830. One of the significant events to take place was the building of the Erie canal which ran just north of the main street in Palmyra. This canal ran only about 600ft behind the newly completed Thayer and Grandin row of buildings which housed the Grandin Print Shop. This made it possible for Mr. E B Granding to purchase and have the latest printing press delivered. This press weighed over 1600lb and would have been nearly impossible to move it the over 225 miles from New York City to the western frontier in Palmyra.

The Erie Canal (sometimes referred to as “Clintons Ditch” after the then Governor of NY) was built to create a navigable water route from New York City and the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, originally stretching for 363 miles from the Hudson River in Albany to Lake Erie in Buffalo. The canal was first proposed in the 1780s, but construction began in 1817, and it opened on October 26, 1825. It was the second-longest canal in the world (after the Grand Canal in China)

Like many government projects it ran into challenges right from the get-go. Almost immediately on the completion of the canal it was determined that it was too small. A revision began and, it was enlarged between 1834 and 1862. This could have been because no one originally working on the canal had a strong background in engineering. Think of the first canal as OJT (On the Job Training). Even the canal that was completed in 1862 was eventually revised to take advantage of deeper waterways and new lock technology to allow larger boats and heavier freight. It is said the before the canal it cost nearly $100 to ship a ton of lumber to New York City, and after it only cost $5. A tremendous savings and boon to the westward migration of people and materials. For more details you can visit

Not far from us here at the Grandin building is a great place where we can see all “3” of the canal routs. We have an old crossover bridge where they traded sides for the mules to pull the boats, and Aqueduct that spanned the 2nd canal and it also acted as a crossover bridge, and the NEW canal with a modern lock. While the first canal path is dry, and you can see just how large it was, the other 2 still have water in them.

Down the road just a couple of miles we can find old lock 60. A great example of a double lock that would allow ships to pass in both directions. These old locks had wood gates that were in need of constant repair and were later changed to Iron gates in the modern locks today.

But since a picture is worth 1000 words, I will leave you with a few pictures of this amazing modern-day marvel. Unfortunately, it became less cost effective to ship down the Erie canal, and so now a days it is only open for pleasure boats that sail from the Atlantic to the great lakes and back again. 

Remember you are Loved

SIster and Elder Isom

Oh and by the way…Happy Birthday to my love Amy Isom on this day

The snow is melting

The snow is melting! And now it’s ice : ( it is making walking the grove a matter of life and limb. But just as the snow is going away so will the ice path. When thinking about it seems as if we go from one challenge to another one. Just when we have figured out how to get around in the snow without sounding like an out of shape old fat person on a tour. We are not facing the ice path. We are looking for the grassy area where everything has melted to walk safely up the hill to the grove (now we just sound like old fat people a lot less out of shape).

I feel an all things spiritual thing there. In each season of our life we face challenges. Having just come through or are coming to the end of winter here in NY. We had some really hard days. We were learning how to give tours via Zoom. We learned how to dress so that we can stay warm (layer upon layer). Which shoes are best for walking in the snow. And more importantly how to stay positive. We are now pretty comfortable with the winter season just as it is coming to its end for 2021. As we were in the beginning and even in the middle, I didn’t think we would get it figured out. IT WAS HARD! But I can see as we took each day one at a time and each tour one at a time. We were able to endure each day and endure it well. As we looked at what we had done each day and felt proud of the effort that we had made. So it will be if we put forth our best effort forward for the spring season here in NY. I hear if you thought the snow was bad just wait for the rain. So I begin the mental preparation that when the rain does come I will be prepared and like my tagline reads for 2021 “Come what may and love it”. I will continue to look for the grassy area in my life where if I just move over 2 feet the walk will not be nearly as difficult.  I will also look for those who have walked that path and come out with the least amount of bumps and bruises to see how they were able to walk that path.

Yesterday the new Young Sister Missionaries (YSM) got to do part of a live tour with us at 2 and then at 4:30 they took on the whole tour all by themselves. They did a great job. It is fun to watch and to think that just 6 weeks ago we were where they are now. We were nervous and words would just not come to our mind what we wanted to say. We had memories some of the really important parts but when giving the tour they would just vanish from our minds (thank goodness for note), now we are really quite comfortable. And happy to share the things we have learned (I guess we are that grassy area for the YSM).