"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

We've moved!

For the next two years (Summer 2014-Summer 2016) I'll be blogging our family's adventures in China at www.chinesemileposts.wordpress.com

Monday, May 15, 2006

Granary Apartments

I’m not sure why my memories of that summer are so vivid. As time has passed, my memories have faded. But for some reason, I have a lot of memories from that summer, from living in the Granary Apartments. It was four months. It was the first time I had my own room at college. It was the last terms of college for me where I’d be taking classes before teaching them.

The Granary apartments were brand new apartments, right across the street from the hill on the South side of campus. I first saw them with Spencer. Maybe that was part of why I moved there. I liked them. But I remember he liked them when he first saw them that night, wished he could live there, but it turned out they were for girls.

I wanted to live somewhere nice for a change. I was tired of the basement of a house. I wanted air conditioning, a window I could see out of. Everything was changing. Relationships were coming to an end. Friends were moving. I needed a change. I moved in with one friend. It was just for the spring and summer terms, then I’d be moving to another place to do my student teaching. Then I’d be running away, home to California.

What I remember most is my room was so clean. I think it was the first time since I left home for college that everything I owned fit (and it hasn’t since). It was a big room with a big closet and storage under the bed, shelves in the closet and an awesome desk. And I had a nice view out my window, the wooded hill that went up to campus. I remember vacuumed floors. I don’t know why, I’m sure I didn’t vacuum that much. And it was pink carpet. Not pale pink, like a baby’s room, but sort of a mix between mauve and burgundy. And I remember having my cute bookshelf filled with all the books I’d acquired and being so proud. I remember being able to have the blinds open, or the window open and I could just sit on my bed and read.

But it’s not just that room I remember. I remember that whole summer differently. I remember Angela worked as a lifeguard at the pool in the dorms. It seems like I spent that whole summer at her pool reading. What’s funny is that I don’t think I went to her pool more than once or twice. I even remember which books I read that summer; The Cider House Rules, Memoirs of a Geisha, and spending an entire night and day reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire after buying it at midnight. I read a couple of times at the pool that our complex shared with the one next door, or maybe I just borrowed it. I got a horrible sunburn on my shoulders and neck that are documented in a picture of me with my friend Gloria and the other two random roommates I had that summer as I blew out the candles on my birthday cake. I was 22 years old.

I remember the music of that summer. I must have listened to No Doubt’s "Return of Saturn" a million times. And NSYNC’s "No Strings Attached." And I imagined all sorts of stories I could write about a Gwen Stefani – like character hooking up with a Justin Timberlake like character. Even thinking about that reminds me of the parking garage, under the apartment complex, that I hadn’t even remembered until now.

I remember gold fish baby-sitting with Gloria, trying to scoop that fish out with a spoon so we could clean out it’s bowl and that fish squirming with Gloria and I about to puke. I still think of that experience each time I consider buying my daughter a fish. We still have no pets. I remember when Gloria’s best friend went out of town and her husband convinced Gloria to dye his hair. And Gloria, wanting to be innocent, convinced me that it would be best if I did it. So I dyed Jason’s hair that summer.

Maybe it’s so vivid because it was the last four months that I was officially a student at BYU, reporting to campus every day, or at least most days. I ran into a roommate from my freshman year that I hadn’t seen since. I ran into Kenric, having an old boyfriend console you from the broken heart you have from another is odd. He even came over and invited us hot-tubbing. Would he ever change?

It was living here that I got to talk to Tiffany for the first time in a year and a half after she came home from her mission. It was here that it seemed that none of my friends remembered my birthday, only to come home from eating at TGIFridays three times in two days (for my birthday) to discover that not only did my brother call, but so did an anonymous boy. I assumed it was Spencer. Or maybe I hoped. It seems like he did call me, the next day, or the day after. He was excited about an NSYNC concert he had gone to, or would be going to. And it was here that my husband emailed me. For the first time in years, it appeared as though we were speaking again. He emailed me to wish me a happy birthday. These emails would continue over the course of my student teaching and would paramount on New Year’s Eve... 6 ½ months later, when we would kiss. We were married the following April. Less than a year after that birthday email.

Maybe I remember it all because it was such a short, easily documented period of time in my life. My years living at the Arch House had all blended together to the point that I didn’t know how many roommates I’d had and who had lived there when. How could I possibly remember all the details, all the fun. But at The Granary it seems as if I remember it all.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Is the number of pages I've read this year (at least the ones contained in books I've finished. They don't count if I haven't finished the book yet).

I've read 28 books.

I just updated the books I've read recently list on the right side of my blog if you scroll down far enough. Let me know what great books you've read lately. I'm always looking for something new to read.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Delayed Speech: I'll make a deal with you

Okay. This post is not supposed to be. I’ve written it twice. And now lost it twice. The first version was, of course, Pulitzer worthy. The second, was close to perfection. I guess we’ll have to see about the third. Assuming I don’t somehow lose it as well.

My son just turned two years old. Not until we moved to Kansas when he was 17 months old did he say "mama." He had occasional words before then. Like "car," but they were never repeated and thus lead me to believe it was some freak occurrence between his lips and tongue while breathing a certain way. Not really talking. Mostly he would just breathe in and out with a lot of expression.

He has a speech therapist now whom he adores. He also has about 30 words and a dozen signs that I think most people could understand. He’s only ever put one two-word phrase together, "Hi Brett," to my husband’s brother last weekend.

I’m not really overly concerned. I’m sure he’ll speak someday. And until then, I can be assured that he’s a genius, silently taking in the world around him and assessing things before he chooses to open his mouth and contribute. My husband read the economist Thomas Sowell’s The Einstein Syndrome, which he wrote about late-talking kids because he had one himself. And Einstein was one. See... genius I tell you. What I gather from this book is that most people will try to put your kid into some category, based on their inability to speak. But it isn’t really an inability, more of a delay.

Everyone has a story to tell about someone they know who was speech delayed. My husband’s 95 year old grandma always tells me about her brother who was three when finally his mother stopped waiting on him hand and foot and he needed to speak and said something along the lines of, "Hey, get me some water." My favorite story of the sort is from Haven Kimmel’s A Girl Named Zippy: Growing up Small in Mooreland, Indiana. Kimmel relates the following story from her mom's baby book for her:

The last entry is dated four months before my third birthday:

This weekend we went camping. After dinner little Zippy was running in circles around the campfire, drinking from her bottle, and Bob decided she'd had it long enough. He walked over to her and said, "Sweetheart, you're a big girl now, and it's time for you to give up that bottle. I want you to just give it to me, and we're going to throw it in the fire. Okay?" This was met with many protests from Danny and Melinda and me; we all felt that there was no call to take something away from one who has so little. The baby looked at us; back at her dad, and then pulled the bottle out of her mouth with an audible pop, and said, clear as daylight, "I'll make a deal with you." Her first words! Bob didn't hesitate. "What's the deal?" She said, "If you let me keep it, I'll hide it when company comes and I won't tell no-body." He thought about it for just a moment, then shook his head. "Nope. No deal." So she handed over the bottle, and we all stood together while Bob threw it in the fire. It was a little pink bottle, made of plastic. It melted into a pool.

Now that we know she can talk, all I can say is: dear God. Please give that child some hair. Amen.
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