Sunday, July 5, 2015

July 4 evolving

Ken Cannon and I passed a pleasant holiday yesterday.

In the morning we ate breakfast at the ward where I was comforted to see the regulars (Rick Horne, Stuart Loosli) still flipping flapjacks with the best of them.  Then we skedaddled on home where I lazed about until it was time to cheer on the Bees and watch some fireworks down at the Smith's Ballpark.  We were joined by Mike Brown and his lovely wife, Kacie, whom I have known and loved since the day she was born.  And now look at us!  We're grownup friends together!

Anyway, I've thought about how our observance of this holiday has changed over the years.  To recap--

1.  When Ken and I had young kids we went to Provo on the 3rd, lit off fireworks (one of them went accidentally went up TRQ's robe once!  Fortunately, no limbs lost!), slept over night, and hit the parade in the morning.   We spent the afternoon over at Ruth's house where the kids knocked themselves out on the Slippy Slide and I went into a potato salad-induced coma.  In the evening we returned to SLC where Kathy Berg and her neighbor Kathy Shafer used to have a monster neighborhood party in their combined backyard.

2.  When Ken was made bishop, we stopped doing the Provo Fourth, which was sort of tragic in some ways because the Fourth was the Biggest of the Big in Provo when I was growing up.  But we were obligated to go to the ward flag raising ceremony and breakfast, and eventually that became our new beloved tradition.  We still went to Provo in the afternoon, then returned to SLC for baseball purposes.

3.  And now we don't even go to Provo.  Ruth is too tired (she has the right to be too tired--she's 95!) to host a family friendly Bacchanalia and, frankly, we don't mind staying home.

Holidays evolve to fit the time of life you're in and I'm pretty much okay with that.

I did spend a lot of time yesterday thinking about Becky Thomas.  The Fourth was her favorite holiday.  She felt about the Fourth the way I (sometimes still) feel about Christmas.  I felt her everywhere.  And that was lovely.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Well, THAT was disorienting

For the past four or five summers, I've either biked or run in Liberty Park first thing in the morning where I always give a nod to The Regulars like myself.  One of them is an older man who wears some sort of armed forces golf hat, so over the years I've imagined him fighting in WWII.  Maybe he was in Normandy, storming the beaches.  Or maybe he was in the Pacific, fighting his way across the sands of Iwo Jima.  

Whenever I see him, I feel like saluting and thanking him for his service.

And I still feel that way, although this morning it finally occurred to me that this gentleman--who I've been thinking of as old--may actually be closer to my vintage than to my uncles'.  Which means he could be a vet of my generation's war.  Vietnam.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Salt Lake Trib e-mail account and a sacred vow

So somehow I didn't get the memo that the paper was switching servers, which happened while I was gone and now I've lost everything I had over there on the original server.

Here's the downside of all that.  I've lost some contact information from certain readers I'd like to stay in touch with.  (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!)  Please e-mail me at my new address.  Or at

Here's the upside.  I don't have to feel responsible for those 5,000 (and I'm not kidding) unopened emails in my queue now.  I have a blank slate again!  And (channeling Scarlett O'Hara here) as God is my witness, I'm never going to wind up with 5,000 emails in my queue again!

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Seven Deadly Sins

Yesterday over dinner we were discussing which of the seven deadlies we were most prone to commit.  Which, why?  Why were we talking about that instead of baseball?

Anyway, after reviewing myself on the Sin Front, here's what I decided.

WRATH:  I'm more apt to be peeved in this life than wrathful.  Except when someone steals my last Dr. Pepper.

GREED:  Honestly, I'm too slothful to be greedy.  Greed takes energy.

SLOTH:  Seriously, is this really a sin?  I don't think so.  And when you turn this word into a noun, I'm a fan. Sloths rock, baby.

PRIDE:  Again.  This takes energy.  Count me out.

LUST:  Yeah.  This one's pretty much in the rearview mirror these days.

GLUTTONY:  Well, yes.  Now we're getting somewhere.  Especially if Mexican food is involved.

ENVY:  Bingo.

I wouldn't say envy consumes me.  But it's a presence at times with me--especially in my writing life.
Especially when I'm feeling bad about my writing life.

OK.  Gonna get to work now.

POSTSCRIPT:  Actually, just want to clarify here.  I don't feel bad about my writing life at the moment.  WIFYR energized me.  I feel that all things are possible.  Except for a return of my stomach muscles.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Well, yes, I am in the house again

It's been an intense few weeks.  First there was getting ready for WIFYR.  Then there was WIFYR.  And then there was the Edwards Family Beach Week.  And now there's re-entry into my normal life.

Beach Week, as always, was terrific.  And occasionally fraught.  But terrific.  And occasionally fraught.  You can't get that many family members under one roof and not have those "moments"--the ones that require you to apologize to someone later.

In my case I needed to apologize to TRQ for getting sharpish with her in front of several of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  I felt terrible as soon as I snapped at her.  Still do, in fact, although she was very gracious and kinder to me than I deserved right then.

I've been trying to understand what happened and here's what I think was going on.  TRQ and I were both playing the role of Uber-Mother, running around the room taking everyone's emotional temperature.  And that, my friends, can be exhausting.  By the end of the week, we were both REALLY tired.  And when that kind of tired happens?  Words.

I was texting all of this to Lisa B. while Ken Cannon and I were driving home yesterday, saying I'M SUCH AN IDIOT and NO ONE ASKED ME TO TAKE THEIR EMOTIONAL TEMPERATURE and WHY DID I SET MYSELF UP?  And she very calmly reminded me that in our culture women are asked to and expected to do all kinds of care-taking.   She's right.  And I appreciated her pointing this out to me.

But now I'm home.  And there were strange visiting gnomes on our porch when we returned.  So it's all home sweet gnome.  And when next summer comes,  hopefully I'll be at the beach again.  Like my brother Jimmy says, "We keep on going back."

Like the swallows.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Dads, etc.

Here's a column a did with Father's Day in mind.  I cried a little as I wrote it, which I didn't expect.  It was one of those things that changed directions on me.

I think remembering that drive hit me in a different way because while my own father isn't at the place where my grandfather was yet, he has aged in the last few years.  The melanoma and the heart issues have taken their toll.  And I don't know.  It's hard for him and, frankly, hard for the people who love him.

Conference is going well.  One of the unexpected pleasures of having done WIFYR for so many years is that I run into old students during the week.  Their dedication and willingness to learn always inspires me.

Plus they're just a lot of fun.

Monday, June 15, 2015

MEMO TO SELF: Do not buy pastries at Starbucks

I know.  I've learned this lesson before.  HOWEVER . . .

Because I had so much reading to do today, I slipped away from WIFYR for a couple of hours and set up shop in a nearby Starbucks.  Which meant, of course, that I had to buy something.  So I bought a sugar cookie.

Now I ask you.  How hard is it screw up a sugar cookie?  But guess what.  Starbucks can!  This cookie was not only bad, it was aggressively-in-your-face bad.  It offended me with its badness and as you know, I am not a food snob.  At all.  It's just that I require my food to taste . . . you know . . . LIKE FOOD and not a former shoebox.

Starbucks!  You should be ashamed of yourself for offending me with your alleged cookies!

OK.  Rant over.  In other news, I have an awesome class at WIFYR this year.  Looking forward to tomorrow.