Wednesday, August 20, 2014

An unexpected pleasure just now in the strangest of settings . . .

So I just returned from the doctor's office where I had this thing taken off the end of my nose that has been growing unattractively there for awhile.  The doctor kept referring to it as "a horn," which did not make me feel any better about my appearance.  How would you feel if you'd been wandering around Salt Lake with a horn growing out of the end of your nose?

ANSWER:  Not cute.

Anyway, while I was sitting in the waiting room, I heard a man say to his wife, "corn and tomatoes and peaches."   So naturally I was interested.  In fact, he had me at "corn."  Which rhymes with "horn."  Which I was growing until the doctor removed it.

I looked over at him and realized he was reading the Trib.  A column in the Trib.  MY column in the Trib.  He was reading it to his wife and I was sitting right there and they didn't even know it because no doubt the nasal horn rendered me temporarily unrecognizable.

But here's the thing.  They were smiling.

Not a big deal, really.  But it pleased me.

This week's column . . . 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thoughts on having a kid come home from a mission

WARNING:  I have a feeling the following list could be long, boring and of limited appeal.  But I want to get stuff down before I forget.  Because five minutes from now I will have forgotten everything.  Such is middle age-ish.

1.  Avoid going to the SLC airport on a Wednesday.  It was a mob scene.  I've never seen so many people waiting for missionaries.

2.  A surefire to feel like a Mormon loser is to not have homemade signs welcoming the missionary home.  I did buy a banner that said WELCOME HOME from Party America.  But everybody made fun of me.

3.  Elder Cannon and all of his clothes smell like mildew.

4.  I can't understand him when he talks to me on the phone even though he is speaking English.

5.  It occurred to me as I was cleaning his room earlier this week that I'm done with another part of my life again.  It's not that I want to send more kids on missions, but this is just another rite of passage.

6.  It also means I'm inching toward death.

7.  Okay.  Forget #6.  It may be true, but I'm not anywhere near as morbid as that sounds.

8.  My heart breaks a little for Q right now.  I know he's happy to be home.  But I think this transition is hard.  Bittersweet, as Lana Barney said.

9.  He called from the airport in Atlanta at 5:00 a.m. yesterday to tell me that he was fine and that he's a vegetarian again.  I'd be disappointed if he weren't.

10. Really, one of the best hugs I have ever received in my entire life was the one he gave me in the airport.  I didn't think I was going to cry.  But I did.

11.  I really should have made him a homemade sign.

12.  On the other hand, at least no one can accuse our family of going over the top like other families there.

13.  Some poor guy at the airport asked me what was up with all the people.  I think he thought Kanye West was in the house.

14.  For once Ken Cannon's tendency to run late caught up with him.  He was still trying to park the car when Q. came down the escalator.

15.  We went to lunch at Rio Grande where all the brothers immediately turned into fourteen year-olds again.  LOUD ones.

16.  I'm sure we didn't leave a big enough tip by way of apology.

17.  I was unprepared for more tears when Q took off his missionary bade at the stake president's house.

18.  Q and I had a "planning session" this morning so he could make up his schedule for the next 10 days.

19.  I am recalling all the other homecomings of the other sons.

20.  I'm so glad he's home.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


The mother in me is so happy to see this boy.  The shallow part of me is all WHEN DID MY UPPER ARMS START LOOKING LIKE THAT?!

BROS!  This is that sweet moment before they all started getting on each other's nerves again.

Missionary shoes . . . 

Why yes my grandson IS adorable, thank you very much.

Missionary joke!

Father and child reunion!

Ken Cannon probably trying to boss me around when he didn't know I was taking his picture . . . 


Family shot

Marginally better family shot


Quinton with his once and future roommate Dan.

Oops again.  Although style points for the pink pedal pushers, Bro!  Whoever you are.

Granddaughter's sparkly shoes.  Also!  anklet tattoo!  TRQ will have a fit!

Lunch at Rio Grande where all my boys except the RM turned into fourteen year olds again.


Ken Cannon talks with his hands.  A lot.

Best photo of the day, thanks to Phil.  Thanks, Phil!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Crazy grandmothers

My recent trip to Wyoming inspired this week's column.

I remember a conversation I had with Shannon Hale a long time ago after her sister died.  She told me she hated death--not because she doesn't believe in a hereafter but because the separation is so hard.  I thought of this as I wrote my column and remembered with love those who mean so much to me.

Monday, August 11, 2014

A snapshot of my future selfie (and it isn't pretty)

So yeah.  I'm a small-talker with store clerks.  I compliment them on their jewelry and tattoos.  I say something about the weather.  I may comment about the price of things, but only in a positive way.  I like to think this is me making a human connection.


I was just at a hardware store where a cheerful elderly small-talker (she had excellent earrings btw) wouldn't stop small-talking.  Like, those of us standing in line behind her heard the full life story of her garden hose.  How old it was.  Where it came from.  Where it went to college.  How many times it had been married and divorced.  The whole nine yards.  The whole nine thousand freaking yards.

And all I could do was offer a prayer up unto the skies and say, "Oh please don't let that be me one day."

Although now because I said that, I will most assuredly be that woman with the garden hose.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A little road trip with TRQ and the Coach

Here's where we stayed in Pinedale.  We went to see our relation Ava who is in a care facility now.  She's fab.  And she still had enough energy to try to kiss my dad on the lips.  The look of discomfort on his face = priceless.

Did I mention the place is called The Rivera?  It's super cute.  

They're pretty photogenic, don't you agree?  My dad is particularly happy here since he beat my mother at cards.  Twice.

Girl party!

Guy party!  (That's the joke at our house.  My boys think I'm a guy.)

TRQ made me take a picture of this.  I think she called them stackers.  You put hay on them.  Or maybe this is where you hang your chaps out to dry.

Because who doesn't love an antler arch?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Various angels

My friend Kathy has decided to bake cookies for me to take to the residents of the rest home where I read picture books.  Isn't that fabulous?  And she bakes enough so that I can have one or two myself.  Or three.  More fabulousness, right?

So anyway, I went yesterday with a couple of picture books and a big bowl of cookies, and the residents were thrilled.  After we were finished, one of the residents said a prayer (because technically this is a church meeting thing), and this is what she said, "Dear Heavenly Father.  We are SO GRATEFUL for Ann's neighbor.  Please bless her, and also please bless her that she will . . . "

Big long pause.  

I'm pretty sure the resident wanted to say, "Please bless her that she will keep making us cookies."  But apparently that was too naked of a request, so here's how the prayer ended:  "Please bless her that she [Ann's neighbor] will keep being an angel on earth."

So nice.