Saturday, June 21, 2008

Jiggedy Jig

We're back from our hurricane visit to Utah. Never, never, my friends, has so much activity been packed into so little time. To ease the overwhelming variety of friends, family, work associates, and favorite sites to visit, we were forced to strictly divvy up our time into the following segments:

Days 1&2: Dowdle family
Days 3&4: Taylor family
Days 5&6: Stanfill family

This worked better than we even imagined. Sunday we had the usual Dowdle family dinner horde, (Us, mom, dad, Eric, and about ten other random extended family members and friends.) What fun that was. I reveled in three hours of dinner table political ranting (finally, all that conservative radio put to good use!) The next morning we had a leisurely breakfast and headed up to This is the Place Monument for the day. I know, this is incredibly nerdy. This is the kind of thing that only a husband who truly loves his history-psycho homeschooled wife could ever possibly tolerate and even claim to enjoy. Miraculously, we had chosen the ONE day out of the year that John Huntsman (bless his soul) pays for everyone to get in for free AND get free ice cream. The place was a blooming sea of multicolored strollers. I'd forgotten how prolific we Mormons have ever been. I couldn't help but think that Brigham must be smiling, exceedingly pleased that his people are still propagating like rabbits. Seriously, birth control is the pits. Better to have rabbits.

The next two days were delegated to the Taylor family, since the far flung New York clan were also in town. What fun to see our fellow nerds, er, homeschoolers. We went to the pool, but all my joyful hopes for swimming with Jed and Michael were dashed by a sore throat, a freak windstorm, and an astonishing amount of poop. We still had fun. Jed LOVED the pool, and Auntie Annie and I tossed him about as he shrieked with laughter. That evening we all met together and the woman compared new offspring as well as cooing over pregnant bellies. (See Brigham Young comment above.) No wait, that was the night before. Tuesday we went to Claire's bridal shower and ate the most delicious salad bar ever. I will admit that I forfeited my hamburger and instead picked, um, like two gallons of strawberries and sugared pralines out of Penny's salad. And then I took two bites of the cake and went back for more sugared pralines. Kryptonite, I say.

The next morning we went on a Taylor family hike up to Stewart Falls. A nap starved Jed freaked out in the Ergo on his daddy's back on the way up. I pulled him off, strapped him on my belly, and we pressed grimly on. And we made it! No more crying fits and one floppy headed, sleeping toddler later, we victoriously punched our fists in the air and announced to the universe that you CAN HIKE WITH A TODDLER! Not that there's anywhere to hike in Indiana. But you know. It's the idea.

Next two days were a blur of Claire Stanfill's wedding festivities. When we stepped into her family dinner, I caught my breath because the room, bathed in pink sunset light, looked like a garden of light and flowers. Truly beautiful. Just right for Claire. I spent most of the evening chasing Jed out of the serving room, where he was obsessed with getting into the food-warmers and/or tripping a waiter. Each time he escaped down the hall, he ran full blast toward the serving room with the most evil of toddler laughs. The next day, we gratefully dumped him into my parents arms for he day and went to the temple. After a brief to-do over forgotten temple recommends (along with a good number of the grooms family, it was a bonding experience in the temple recorder's office) we attended a lovely sealing ceremony. We felt all romantic a lovey dovey afterward. Nothing like a visit to temple to get the marriage candle glowing again. That evening we attended the reception, held on Joel (Claire's huband)'s family farm. No sugared nuts, but I still managed to, um, consume more than my fair share of the treats. Geeze, visits to Utah are the WORST for my waistline. Seems like if it isn't a wedding feast it's grandma's daily pies. So good and yet so... um... cellulitic.

Saturday was a wild tour of this that and the other, loose ends, early father's day and birthday celebrations, and a final gorging at Bombay House. Michael and I had our first date there, and it's still just as unbelievably good as I remember. Can anyone not face a dish of Lamb Coconut Kurma with Peshawari Naan bread and not eat every drop, lick the bowl clean and then wish they were bulimic?

We bid a tearful farewell to all our beloved family. Sunday morning we headed for home. I only wish we'd had more time to visit so many of our dear friends. I hate not being able to see everyone.

I never thought I'd say this, but when we stepped off the plane, I moaned a sigh of relief as I felt the joy of hot hot hot hot humidity blessed my parched skin. The next two days I reveled in the rehydration of my hide, the disappearance of desert-like legs, the plumping and moisturizing of flaky face, the soothing of miserable nasal passages, the blessed goodness of brown skin not coated by a layer of white flaking of leprous-like suicidal skin cells. I haven't used the A/C all week.

I'm amazed how much I missed it here while we were gone. Utah has had something of a rosy visage, but I must say aside from family there (which is an overwhelming reason to make anyone to want to move back, admittedly) there isn't much I miss. The traffic! Oh, the traffic! The sheer volume of pressing human beings on not enough roads was almost claustrophobic. We are so lucky tucked down in our quiet little riverside house tucked in the trees.

It's good to be home.


Elise said...

You are hilarious.

Amanda Lynn Stanfill said...

Humidity, BLESSED Humidity...I've had my window open all week, despite my roommates best efforts to air condition us out of house and epidermis. Another 'Amen' on the not so much missing UT part...kind of a creepy place to my mind...

chelsea said...

hey, I'm not in Helena but in STEVENSVILLE!!!! at the public library of all places! Wow, your trip sounded like it was jammed packed w/ tons of fun and family! That's so great you could come out and so wonderful that you planned it out soo well! I'm glad you all had such a sweet trip!

Love, chelsea