Monday, January 23, 2012


It finally snowed.

Every prediction for show during past two weeks has fallen flat, blown away by dry sunny skies. I used to not want snow at all, preferring to fast forward my life from January 1 to May 1. But then last year I started snowshoeing and things changed for me. I have been waiting for two months for the snow to come. The anticipation was killing me. It finally came on Saturday, but I wonder if there is enough to get out the snow shoes.

For me, snow meant no smog, no icky recycled already breathed air. It meant invigoration and pine trees when Darren and I ventured up Provo Canyon. It meant I could shed all the guilt from not working out in a germ-invested gym where sweaty, hyper people are trying to lose weight that they will gain again next year. Adios crazy gym people, I thought. You're all going to get sick touching all those handlebars. You're going to wear yourselves out and be bored in a month. But I am going up to the mountains.

I'm such a snot. But before we got a little snow, I was seriously thinking that I was going to have to join the ranks of gym-going people, eat my own words, and hate every minute of it. Guilt to exercise nags whether you're going to the gym or the mountains. So I might as well just exercise.

Let more of the white stuff come so I don't have to do that. At least the gym people are getting healthy while I am sitting around waiting for a snowy day.

Monday, January 16, 2012


If I wasn't a Mormon I think I'd be a Baptist. Just for the music. OK, and the passionate people. What it really comes down to is I want to have fun at church. Why don't Mormons sing? Myself included. If I was a Baptist I would go to church for one hour. I wouldn't have to skip Sunday School to go home for a Diet Coke!

I particularly like this song from the Calvary Baptist Church in Salt Lake City. On Martin Luther Kind Day I like to listen to this kind of music. In fact, one of my radio stations on Pandora is set to contemporary gospel music.

My family and I saw a great exhibit, This Light of Ours, at the new Leonardo Museum in Salt Lake City. We walked around looking at hundreds of pictures of the civil rights movement. The college-aged student and my high schooler were rapt with interest. My 13-year old and 10-year old were definitely not rapt, but showed a heartening amount of interest. I will take what I can get!

This exhibit is outstanding. The photographs are stunning. I loved listening to Pastor France Davis of the Calvary Baptist Church speak (on video) about the civil rights movement in Salt Lake City. What we learn in school is about the movement based primarily in the South. I learned that all states were influenced and involved in some way. It was fascinating to see it at the local level. Utah was intimately involved. Utah? Yes, Utah.

As some of you know, I have been spending some time in the public schools. One day I listened to a group of 8th graders talk about racism. They discussed how it is alive and well in the halls at their school. They talked about the assumptions they make about people because of their race or where they're from. One Asian boy said, "Yeah, everyone thinks I'm so smart because I'm Asian. But I'm just normal." Others spoke about how it is easy to make racial jokes. About how fun that is. And how the people who are the brunt of the jokes are often laughing as well. That is what this group of mostly white kids claimed.

"Dude, I don't mean to tell those jokes, but they just come out," one of them said.

I wanted to chime and say that adults are just as guilty of racial assumptions and sometimes actions, maybe even more. Adults would like to say we are not overtly racist, but many of us are passively racist. We don't engage in racist activities, but we do nothing to help stop racism. We rarely discuss it. We don't like to admit that it exists. But I didn't say anything because I was a visitor and I just wanted to listen.

I was impressed with these 8th graders. They were informed. They were aware of their tendencies to make judgments about people.

Here is a poem that we read in my multicultural education class. I will never forget it.

When I was born, I was black
When I grew up, I was black
When I go out in the sun, I am black.

But you, 
When you were born you were pink
When you grow up you are white
When you are sick you are green
When you go in the sun, you are red
When you get a cold, you are blue
And when you die, you are purple.

And you call me colored.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Life in Laundry

If there were an "L" word, laundry would be it.

Laundry has consumed my life since my daughter was born in 1991. I was hopeful when she moved out several years ago after 18 years of washing her clothes that my laundry "load" would be lightened. Perhaps there would only be 10 loads a week instead of 12.  And sometimes I do feel like there is less laundry. But sometimes it means that I find her clothes around  the house when she has spent time here and that I take care of them and try to get them back to her. Practically I should "wash" my hands of her clothing. She is 20 after all. Not much about being a Mom is practical, however. Sometimes I take her stuff to the dry cleaner's, too. Bad mommy.

And yes, one less person in the house should theoretically mean less laundry. For a while now I have been trying to figure out why that really isn't true. I think I have an idea. Even though one person moves out, the remaining children here go through growth spurts (ie 13 year old boy) and their clothes get bigger. Dumb? If two kids go up a size then that increases the amount of laundry, right? Enough to make up the loss of one less person? Maybe not. I am delusional as I sort sort wash wash dry dry fold fold and stare hopelessly at the basket earmarked solely for unmatched socks.

Babies and toddlers generate tons of laundry, but their clothes are the size of washcloths compared to my teenage son's sports jerseys.(And believe it or not, they smell better.) And now that my husband has taken up basketball, biking, hiking and canyoneering, I now have a new genre of laundry--"adventure clothes."

In my teenage years, I would go through my closet in the morning and throw tantrums that there was "nothing to wear." Then I would throw my discarded clothes on to the floor where they would end up in the wash. Today, my kids don't have meltdowns about clothes (thank the Lord), but they still throw perfectly clean clothes on the floor if they decide not to wear them. When I don't feel like smelling them to find out if they are clean (or just don't have the stomach for it) I just wash everything--everything.

Wash wash wash. Fold fold fold. Like a Chinese laundry.

"Have the kids do their own laundry," my husband advises. What that means is that they let it accumulate for two weeks (14 pairs of underwear equals 14 days of not doing laundry!) and then they dump a truckload of clothes on the laundry room floor when I am also doing laundry. They put in a load and then go off for a "day date" to Jump on It and return five hours later with more sweaty clothes. In the meantime I have done multiple yoga moves to get over the pile to the washing machine to keep it all going.

Wash wash wash. Fold fold fold.

If I discover that I am out of Downey (the staff of my laundry life and the only thing about laundry that doesn't completely defeat me) I may lose it for a while thinking that I have to use a crummy dryer sheet. Running out of Downy is like running out of Diet Coke or clean underwear, if you must know.

Don't get me going on the sock basket that never has a single match. It sits on the floor by the dryer with 100 screaming occupants shouting, "match me, match me!"

"It's time for family home evening, kids," I said one Monday night. "We're all going to match socks!" Fun fun fun, match match match. Lame lame lame.