Friday, November 25, 2016

I'm off to see the Coach this morning.

He and TRQ didn't come up for Thanksgiving yesterday because he isn't doing well, so I'm headed to Provo right now to see them.  They are both ever present on my mind these days.

Last Sunday in the NYT I read an election post-mortem piece that claimed the reason HRC and the Democrats lost is that Left has given in to "identity politics"--unintentionally emphasizing the things that make us different, that separate us, as opposed to the things that we as Americans have in common.

I have no idea if this is true or not, but it did make me think about the Coach and how he dealt with people.  You could almost watch his special antennae come out and feel their way around an initial conversation, searching for the things he had in common with a single mother of color and the son he was recruiting.  And when he found them, voila!  That's what they talked about.

He did this with everybody and in retrospect, I would say it's one of the big reasons he had such a singular career.  That insight was the motivation behind this piece in the Trib.

Meanwhile, I'm wishing you a happy Thanksgiving weekend.  Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Working on Thanksgiving

This morning while I was shopping for Thanksgiving at the Smith's downtown, I struck up a conversation with an employee, who suddenly launched about how wrong it is for people to shop on Thanksgiving.  She's senior enough herself that she isn't working on Thanksgiving, but she thinks it's better for folks to stay home and enjoy their people and their meal and give everybody a break.

And all I could do was stand there and say "d'accord."  Which was weird.  Because I usually don't speak French when I'm shopping for Thanksgiving at Smith's.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Two grandfathers

The other day when I was driving home from Provo, I stopped at a fruit stand on 8th North in Orem.  There were mostly apples for sale, so I asked the man there which variety was his favorite.  He said Fuji.  So I bought a basket of Fuji apples and he threw in a few extra for good measure.  Meanwhile, Mt. Timpanogos loomed blue behind us both, along with the small patch of orchard that hasn't been plowed under for new homes.  This man was my paternal grandfather two generations ago.

Later that day I took our car into Bobby's Car Clinic on Third Ave and immediately felt at home when I inhaled the familiar scent of oil on concrete.  Bobby was my maternal grandfather two generations ago.

It was one of those days where time, in the words of Joseph Smith, became one eternal round.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

More TRQ

Still reading TRQ's memoirs and enjoying them so much.  I just read a passage about how she discouraged she and the Coach were after trying for years to get pregnant without success.  And then things changed.  She lists the reasons why she was (at last!) expecting a child, which are tender and touching.

I like the last reason the best, though:  "Of course the natural event also took place."

As the years have passed, I've grown to cherish my mother's vibrancy and unique perspective so much.  Love her.

Friday, November 18, 2016

What I'm possibly learning as I grow older

The French say it is a privilege to grow older.

At least that's what somebody told the French say.  Those French.  Always going around saying stuff that you then quote without knowing whether or not actual French people were involve in the saying of that stuff.

But whatever.

It's an interesting thought--one that runs counter to the way we often feel about aging.

This morning I was thinking about the things I maybe understand a little better now than I did when I was younger.  The first one is this:  whenever possible, people should solve their own problems.  You can support and listen, but in the end, people gotta take that solving problems walk for themselves.

The second one is this:  holding onto grudges is stupid.  Forgiveness is essential.

OK.  So I've only learned two things.  But still.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Facebook shaming

Dear Facebook,

Overtime I check in with you (which is more often than I care to admit) I notice that over there where I am supposed to share personal info, you've got a little note saying, "I know.  I'm too old for this."

Just so you know, Facebook, I understand what you're trying to do.  You're trying to make me go, "But I'm NOT too old.  Look at me!  I'm young!  For my age!  See how young I am?  I'M ON FACEBOOK!"

So, FYI, Facebook.  Only old people are on Facebook except, of course, some of my kids who are on there to taunt other family members.  Especially when those other family members are being sincere.

So get over it, Facebook.  I'm on to you.


Someone who's old

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My name is Ann Cannon and I am an biter of string cheese

The other night at work two of my fellow employees were talking about string cheese.

#1:  I have a friend who eats string cheese.  Ugh.

#2:  I eat string cheese.

#1:  Okay, fine.  But you probably don't BITE IT.

#2:  LORD NO!  I pull it apart.

I was standing there at the cash register, listening in dismayed silence because a) I eat string cheese and b) I bite it like it's a Tootsie Roll.  And also I was having flashbacks to that moment when I realized I should have been tipping the pizza delivery guys all along, which I never had because I didn't know you were supposed to.  That happened in the days before I was the sophisticated person I am now.

Except I bite string cheese BECAUSE I DIDN'T KNOW ANY BETTER.

So I remained silent, although I did send an email the next day, confessing I am a biter.  And guess what.  They love me anyway.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

And this is why I love TRQ so much

TRQ is writing her memoirs right now and it's really great.  I just read this bit about my parents'  courtship days at USU:

One thing that bugged me about him was that he wore galoshes around campus.  It really bothered me.  I thought it made him look like a sissy.  However, I really liked the way his pants fit him.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Shooting up in a parking lot

While I was at a stoplight this afternoon, I watched a street person, reclining against the shabby wall of a gas station, checking his forearms for a vein.  It was one of those moments where you feel a profound sorrow for the wreck of a human life, as well as a bone-deep sense of helplessness.

And once again I realized how very much I hate anything that even remotely glamorizes substance abuse.

Friday, November 11, 2016

A recommendation

There have been some lovely moments, but overall this has been a crap week.

Which is why Sara and I decided to "eat our emotions" today.  We met for breakfast and PULLED OUT ALL THE STOPS and hell if I didn't give myself permission to eat my emotions all day long.  To wit I had a lovely salad with my mother, a southwestern burger and French fries with Ken Cannon, a big slice of chocolate cake, plenty of white fudge-dipped Oreos, Dr Peppers galore, a Coke, and peppermint ice cream.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Iris in the fall

Irises--that perennial staple of Grandma Gardens--is one of my all time favorite flowers.  I love the orchid-like petals and the shimmering colors (damn!  I'm painting an awesome picture here!) and the orange creamcicle scent.  I love picking them on Memorial Day and strewing them on our people's graves both here and in Provo, remembering the times we used to take coffee cans wrapped in tin foil loaded with peonies and snowball bush blooms and irises to our kin's graves in Wyoming and now suddenly I'm wondering where DID all those coffee cans comes from?

Anyway.  Irises.  LOVE them.

I've been aware from my extensive reading in the garden catalogs that come to my house (!) that there are now repeat bloomers--irises that bloom in the spring AND the fall--and I did think unto myself I should try one of those out.

I've now seen them with my own eyes--in a bed here in the Aves and in a bed along 7th East down by Trolley Square.  They're huge and every bit as gorgeous as the iris that bloom in the spring.  My verdict?  They feel wrong to me.

Maybe I love something BECAUSE it's seasonal--fleeting, transient.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Beverly Hillbilly

So this afternoon Doni and I celebrated her birthday by having massages at the Kura Door which is a very swanky uptown spa here in the Aves.  Everything there is super classy and nice-smelling and  designed to pamper the client, which is why there were free almonds and figs just lying around for us to eat, I'm assuming.

Anyway.  I was so taken by the place--I don't live in the lap of that kind of luxury--that I was tempted to start stuffing all those free almonds and figs in my robe pockets to take home with me, which means I would also have to steal the robe while I was at it.

Honestly, I could have entitled my afternoon "Ellie May Clampett Has a Spa Day."

Monday, November 7, 2016

How to Be the Noisiest Person in the Room

So I've been taking this mindfulness class on Monday nights for the past two months, and it's been very useful on a number of fronts.  On Saturday we had our day-long silence practice, meaning we weren't supposed to talk from the moment we checked in at 9:00 until we checked out at 4:00.

I liked it.  It made me realize how unquiet my life usually is.  It felt good to be still.

Except I did eat some potato chips and let me tell you that there is nothing as noisy as eating potato chips in a room full of quiet.  Every sound involved--from the opening of the bag to the crunching motion of your mouth--becomes seismic.  Like, you could get on a citywide PA system and announce "ANN CANNON IS EATING POTATO CHIPS!  SO MANY POTATO CHIPS!  SHE IS CAUSING TSUNAMIS AROUND THE WORLD BECAUSE OF ALL THAT POTATO CHIP NOISE SHE'S MAKING."

And that's how you turn into the noisiest person in the room.

You're welcome.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Thanksgiving jokes

So my friend Rick Walton taught me how to write Laffy Taffy jokes.  In honor of Rick, let us all commence.

What is Thanksgiving Turkey's favorite dessert?
Peach gobbler!

What did one Thanksgiving Turkey say to the other Thanksgiving Turkey?
"I'm stuffed!  How about you?"

What does Thanksgiving Turkey call the refrigerator?
The DRESSING room!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Just call me Sister Grumpypants

So I've been noticeably grumpy the last few weeks, which . . . I don't like.  So I spent part of today trying to decide why I'm grumpy.  And then I spent the other part of the day eating Kathy Barnson's pumpkin chocolate chip cookies like a boss.  YAY ME!

Anyway, here's what I decided.

1.  The election.  This election cycle has brought out the worst in EVERYONE.  Except, apparently, for Melania Trump who is urging us all to be kinder and not bully people, especially online.  Which IRONY!

2.  Fall.  Yes.  It's beautiful.  But gah.  Can you say SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER?

3.  Tinkerbell.  I know.  I'm the one who wanted another Newfie, but she's a one-hundred pound puppy who is kicking my butt right now. I put out Thanksgiving decorations this morning, which she chewed up while I wasn't watching.  Dude, I said to her.  Did you really need TO SNACK ON MY PILGRIMS?

4.  Family.  You never stop worrying.

Okay.  Remind me that the Cubs won again and I'll be fine.  Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Who's the teacher?

When our oldest son, Phil, was in junior high school, a man showed up on our porch late one wintry night, wanting to sell his collection of poetry.  The price?  Three bucks.  I said no because there is a deep deep part of my soul that hates to be scammed.

Phil observed the (non) transaction.  After the man left, he said what's the big deal, Mom?  It's only three bucks.  And then he went looking for the guy, although I don't think he ever found him.

I've thought a lot about this moment over the years, realizing that (once again) Phil has often been my teacher on many, many fronts.  That happens with all children, but particularly with the firstborn.  You learn from everything the two of you--child and inexperienced parent--experience together.

I am especially grateful for my wildly creative, intelligent, resilient, loyal, and kind-hearted boy who entered our lives on this day when I was a graduate student teaching classes at BYU.  Happy Birthday, Phil.  Thanks for the ride.  Thanks for the love.