Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 10 - Grotto of the Redemption

July 6th started when my aunt left for work and we left to go back to my sister’s house. On our way out of town we had to go past the A&W drive-in with this young man standing outside trying to share a root beer and sandwich with us.
I think there used to be more of the family there, but he is the only one left.

On the way back to Fort Dodge we stopped at West Bend, Iowa to see the Grotto of the Redemption.
The story of the Grotto goes back to a young seminarian, Father Dobberstein who in 1912 began work on building the shrine to fulfill a promise he made to the Virgin Mary when he was sick with pneumonia. The Pastor stock piled rocks and precious stones for years before he got started on the structure. The designed purpose of the Grotto is to tell the story of man’s fall and redemption by Christ.

This is a statue of Eve and God's Angel.
This is Joseph and Mary with the baby Jesus.
This is Jesus laid into the arms of his mother.
The rocks were laid one by one into the forms that you see in these pictures. It is really an amazing feat completed by the Pastor and a single helper for many of the years.
There is a vast collection of minerals, precious, and semi-precious stones in the building of the Grotto. Petrified wood, malachite, azurite, agates, geodes, jasper, quartz, topaz, calcite, stalactites and stalagmites are just some of the rocks that were gathered, purchased or donated for building of the Grotto.
An interesting side note that adds to the oddity of the Grotto being built here in Iowa, is that the land surrounding the town of West Bend is not known to contain any type of rock or precious geological specimens. This is where Pastor Dobberstein was called to do his work so this is where he did it.
I managed to get Mom and my brother in a good picture before we left.
Then we found a vintage piece of technology that most people under - oh, let's say 15 years of age, have never seen in this country. They just don't seem to exist anymore.
After the Grotto we stopped for lunch in West Bend at the Wagon Wheel and had a delicious meal. Pork Tenderloins for all but me, I had a Reuben and it was wonderful.
After lunch we headed back to Fort Dodge and had a quiet afternoon/evening of watching the guys install a new screen door on the front of the house. Or was it the back screen? I forget, but I do know that it required at least one trip to Menard's. Sometime during the time we were there both entrances got new screen doors. The front door got painted green to match the shutters. The bathroom sink got a new shutoff valve and faucets. The lights on the front of the house got replaced. It all looks very updated now.
It was a little busy, but all things that my sister wanted done - and since she is a month from delivering our nephew, well... she gets what she wants.

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