Friday, June 27, 2008


A couple of months ago I was sitting in a hotel room in Seattle and happened across a PBS special: last year’s Osmond family reunion concert in Las Vegas. When first advertised, this concert was sold out in minutes, so the PBS host says. And, indeed, the very enthusiastic and middle-aged audience looks like it’s completely packed.

The trademark harmonies of the Osmonds are still there, but my, oh my! those guys are gettin' old! I’m watching Donny cavorting around the stage and I’m worried that he will trip, do a face-plant on the steps and finally ruin those perfect teeth.

I was never a big fan, per se, of the Osmonds and their music, but our ages are similar, so I’m using their work to make a point.

Thanks to the success of a young friend, I have a much closer view of the elaborate marketing that goes on around the up and coming singers. The package is heavily stylized, and I wonder whether those young musicians end up losing their sense of self before they even begin. In chords and lyrics and melodies the human soul finds a mysterious expression. Music is, in fact, a visceral experience. I think God designed it that way and meant it to be an honest expression of the soul as well as being something artistic.

There are many who say our generation is too old to be performing – “middle age” isn’t sexy, you know, and it’s sex that sells. But I say that the music should speak for itself, rather than relying on the show of nubile flesh, the model-thin body, the professionally airbrushed print advertising. Age should be irrelevant. It’s the music, the expression of the soul, that matters.

Sooooo….. Rock on, Osmonds! (But watch where you put your feet.)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Two more pics

Here are two more pics of the kitchen -- the backsplash is done and we are back in operation. We are also still moving stuff back in and trying to decide which items belong in which cabinet, so it's all quite a mess. These are the latest two pics -- I will take more once we've made progress in the clean-up aspect of things!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Home is......

I’ve spent the last couple of days in New Jersey – the State where I was born and raised and where I lived the first 44 years of my earthly existence. A long personal history ties me to this State. It is my home in a very profound sense.

Six years ago I moved out West, called by the love of a good man and a marriage of great contentment. I don’t regret that move one bit. I relish the grandeur of the country, the less frantic pace of life, and my adopted hometown. But sometimes I get a hankering for that deep feeling of familiarity that only comes from the place where you’ve spent not just a lot of time but where you’ve had significant life experiences, especially in your formative years. Home.

Very little out West is like the East. The air smells different, feels different. The water tastes different and has a different mineral content. The accents and cadences of the spoken word are different. The last names are different. The weather patterns are different. The colloquial expressions are different (NO one in Idaho says “youse” instead of "you," and NO one in NJ says "oh my heck!"). Even in these days of mass communication and easy movement around this vast country of ours, local culture remains strong, shaped by people living in close proximity to each other in a unique environment that everyone must cope with and react to. It’s not necessary to label the differences “worse” or “better” – they’re just different.

I’m definitely home when I’m out West – that’s where my husband and family are, so that’s home in the very real sense that it’s my center and it’s where I live. I can’t imagine living anywhere else, either, unless my husband went with me. But I’m also home, kind of, when I’m here – this is where my family of origin still live, where I learned to ride a bike and drive a car, got my first kiss, made straight A’s, grew to be an adult, raised my daughter, buried my Dad; powerful memories among many other memories that comfort and unsettle all at the same time.

And yet this is no longer a place where I could live. Here is mostly just a haven of memories now – a home in that it is the source of so much of who I have become. But it isn’t Home in the living sense of the word.

Still, New Jersey calls me from time and time, and sometimes I just can’t resist that feeling. So I go home to the memories and what is familiar. It soothes my soul in a way I can’t really describe. I’ll be here for a few days. I’ll see my family and breathe in the soft air, complain about the humidity and enjoy being in my brother’s company. And when I touch down at Salt Lake International Airport again next week, I’ll breathe a sigh of relief and look forward to being at home in Idaho – where I now live. Home.

What are your thoughts about home?