Traveling with Kids
Valerie made Debbie a beautiful, frilly Sunday-go-to-meetin’ outfit for traveling, and she charmed the locals from Caribou to New London. When my business took us to various Sacrament meetings, it wasn’t uncommon that we’d then share somebody’s Sunday dinner, where her vivacity was always well appreciated. And when we were putting together plans for visits to distant outposts, we’d always be invited to spend the night: don’t recall that we ever had to spring for a motel room.
During those years, I pretty much always attended the worship services of other New England wards and branches. Newcomers to the Cambridge (or, later, the Arlington) Ward came to refer to Valerie as the “Widder Anderson,” and she was asked more than once how she managed with all those kids and an inactive husband.

She did say, now and then, that she was grateful at least that I’d taken with me the most active of our brood, to lighten the burden she bore on our designated pew. Glad she felt that way, but that never quite resonated for me. Kinetic and irrepressible though Debbie was, she never gave me a lick of juvenile inconvenience, when we went places together. Our deal wouldn’t have endured, otherwise.

To this day, I can still run into lovely people from Caribou and other remote locations who’ll exclaim, “Andy! it’s good to see you! And how’s Debbie?”

It was either in Groton or in New London, Connecticut, where we enjoyed Sabbath hospitality in the home of Bishop John W Booth. He sets a remarkable example of a positive attitude for fellow amputees. He tells of a day when unsettled weather made his stump uncomfortable, and his neighbor at the office called, “John, are you all right?” To which he replied, “My leg itches; here, scratch it for me.’ Whereupon he tossed his prosthesis over the cubicle-divider onto his friend’s desk. It’s reported that the chap he was interviewing passed out.

All three of the beloved mission presidents I was privileged to serve with in the New England Mission came to Debbie’s and Tony’s wedding reception in Provo in 1995. I think that was the last time I ever saw the Tempests.
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