Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Alison's Birthday RAM

I remember the deep sea of clothing that covered your bedroom floor. I remember pastel leg warmers, spandex drill team outfits, shiny silver parachute pants, and closets full of aerosol cans. I remember the Best of Bread, Air Supply, and Thriller. I remember the dexterity in your fingers and the weight in the busts of Bach and Mozart. I remember the heavy spirit in those silent moments sitting next to you in front of a newly decorated Christmas tree, and feeling total comfort in the wind outside. I remember green canyon hotdogs, and wondering if I could ever swing like you. I remember you giving the coils of the phone cord a workout while slowly licking a spoonful of peanut butter dry. I remember your mud-caked spud harvest jacket, liver dinners after a lamb butchering, and wide eyed nights in front of the slide projector.

I remember Primary Children’s. I remember concerned grandparents, Mom’s tears, and the salty smell of the lake. I remember you sitting in the hospital bed and dipping your head, cascading your brown hair forward and revealing the balding spots where the hairline should be. I remember taking turns, light-mindedly playing with the medical gadgets that you eventually brought home.

I remember watching the videotaped seminary graduation you had missed. I remember Pine View apartments, and learning the term “RAM” while visiting your computer class. I remember your bouquet, and the whiteness in your dress and in the snow. I remember the crème puffs and the big empty jars. I remember Greg, a soul full of unquenchable playfulness, and a brother in the most real sense of the word. I remember Roxanne, her affinity for peas and crickets, and her warm heating rock.

I remember the spirit of adoption, heaven sent and filling our world like God’s own breath. I remember your little girl with the widest eyes in the entire world. I remember your face—the very countenance of motherhood.

I remember letter after letter after precious letter. I remember photos, packages, and testimonies. I remember your love of the temple, the smile to end all smiles, and plenty of warm hugs. I remember saying to myself, “this is a sister” and knowing that no one else knew just what I meant.

Alison, this is my random access memory.

Lets not move our arms
Lets not move our legs
Lets not move our ears
Lets not move our noses
Lets not move our bones

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Putting the Hallow back in Halloween

Back in MY day, we really knew what Halloween was about. Pagan Celtic rituals that celebrated harvest, prophecy, and protection from the coming winter? NO WAY! It was all about dressing up in such a sweet costume that people couldn’t help but give you lots of candy. Deep down inside I knew that if they thought my He-Man get up was better than my brother’s Darth Vadar outfit, that I would come home with more candy than him…and let’s not kid ourselves—its all about the amount of candy, right?

At nights end we would all gather in the living room, dump out our sacks full of goodies and count our loot: 8 mini candy bars, 15 Jolly Ranchers, 10 dum-dums (stupid crap suckers), 4 blow pops (now that’s a sucker!), 25 candy corns, one set of chocolate coins, 12 caramels, and 1 popcorn ball (thanks grandma, I won’t be eating that one). We would barter with each other, trading this for that, getting just the right mix for school the next day—where we would flaunt our candy and each try and make ourselves the envy of our classmates.

But the youngsters these days just expect hand outs. It’s no longer “trick-or-treat.” Things have degenerated into something requiring much less effort.

Knock. Knock. Door opens.


“Excuse Me?”


“Um. Okay. And what might you be?”

Worried look, pauses. “I’m a gangsta.”

“A gangster? Are you serious? What happened to Big Bird? Thundercats? Obi-Wan Kenobi for heaven sakes?”

“Look, I’m a gangsta, just fill the bag.”

“Tell the truth! You just came home from school, grabbed your pillowcase, and started knocking doors, didn’t you?”

No comment. I begrudgingly surrendered a Kit-Kat and he trotted off to the next door.

So that’s it! Only about half of the Halloweeners that stopped by actually had on costumes. I’ve decided—tricks only for those fools next year. No more gangsta’s, and brats, and “cheerleaders” that really are just wearing the sweat suit they wore to school that day. Halloween will be different at the Blake home. I’m taking it back. I’m taking them all back.