I have been working (volunteering) at the Atlanta Temple for one day a week since 2000. It is something I really enjoy. Even when I went back to work part time, I made arrangements to leave early on the day I was at the temple so I wouldn't have to give it up.
Last year, we first heard that the temple was going to get some renovations. It is 26 years old and there are things that need to be replaced or redesigned. So all last summer, we waited to hear what was going to be done, how long it would take, when it would be done, etc. Later in the year, the word was that there would be a complete renovation which would mean the temple would need to be closed. In the late spring, we finally heard exactly what was going to happen.
July 1st the temple will close for complete renovation and will be closed for 15 - 18 months! Now that we are into June, the reality of the temple closing is fast approaching. I am finding myself feeling sad and worried. I will really miss the day at the temple each week. It has been like a spiritual boost that helps get me through the rest of the week. I will miss the people who work when I do. Most of them live far enough away that I never see them except at the temple, but they have become important to me. I will miss being in a place where there is only a feeling of love and caring, with the cares of the world left outside. I do hope the next year and a half go quickly!
On the plus side, because the renovation is so extensive, we will have an openhouse for the public and a rededication when it is complete. I am already thinking about friends that I would like to invite to come and see the temple. We were at the original dedication of the Atlanta Temple in 1983 and it will be exciting to be part of the rededication. We took our children to the openhouse before the dedication and Lisa, although only 7 at the time, still remembers it.
My stake has been temporarily assigned to go the Columbia, South Carolina, temple. That will be about a 3 1/2 hour trip, one way. We won't be able to drop by after work! On the other hand, since it will require planning, perhaps we will be more appreciative of the opportunity when we do get to go. Sometimes when things are too easy, we fail to appreciate their value.
I am still trying to decide how I will fill my extra day each week. I am thinking that I will be able to get back into the genealogy research, which I have had to cut back on since I started working again. That would be a blessing I would enjoy!