Thursday, September 14, 2006

Everything Therapy

Yes, I'm still around! I think I set a new personal record for the longest interval between blogs, and it wasn't just so that I could enjoy hearing from people who missed me. I was busy with "everything therapy".

My husband and I sang with Evening Song ( for eight years, and we were invited back to join them on a trip to Utah for some very memorable performances. (By the way, the director also invited us to join them in Prague in '08, and my response was that I'm game for being ANYWHERE in '08! Me - in a body - still alive - pick a spot, any spot, and I'm there!!!)

Our family boarded the plane for Salt Lake City, and I had to learn the hard way about the new airline security restrictions regarding liquids, gels, etc. I thought I had been vigilant about putting all such items in my checked baggage, but I learned to my horror that I had overlooked my mascara, which was sitting in my purse. My MARY KAY MASCARA - THE BEST MASCARA IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!!!!!!!! It didn't occur to me that - oops - oh, yeah - it is kind of a liquidy, gel-ly kind of substance, and it couldn't go into the airplane cabin with me. My bags were already checked, and we also didn't have time to run it back to the car. I begged, "But sir, it's my MARY KAY MASCARA!!!" His reply was sympathetic but unyielding. Into the discard bin it went. My husband reassured me that he could get me some more when we returned from our trip, and I had to make do with some L'Oreal version that I picked up at the drugstore after we arrived in Utah. (Sorry, L'Oreal -- it's okay, but it's not the same.) The good news was that it provided the only bad luck moment during the whole trip, clearing the way for a series of unforgettable events.

One such event was a lunch meeting with my publisher. It was awesome! I'm officially under contract with them now, and I received the first round of suggested edits for my book, my favorite of which is the comment that they preferred my own "voice" to any quoted passages that I used. This will be a really cool process. It means everything to me to be able to see this important legacy project moving forward.

The Assembly Hall at Temple SquareOur two choir concerts were also amazing experiences. One was in the Alpine Tabernacle in American Fork, and one was in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City (where I have longed to sing for many years). One of my favorite moments was when an Assembly Hall official opened the concert with prayer and gave thanks for our choir who had come "from the GREAT STATE of TEXAS". (I had to suppress the impulse to "Yee-HAH"!) We had many friends and family members attend our concerts, and it meant everything to me to see these dear people, to have them support our performance, and to be able to sing great stuff with a great choir. One of our many supporters was our high school choir director (who was also our clog dancing teacher and Cloggers West director), and it meant everything to us, to be reunited with the person who discovered and cultivated our talents, and who directed these activities that formed lasting friendships (including my "gaggle" of girlfriends and the romance with my dance partner who later became my husband). We had a couple of family gatherings outside of concert time, and those family relationships mean everything to me. Some of my favorite memories of my growing-up years include the family gatherings that would happen almost every weekend.

I had some fun bonding time with my son as we went for a long walk one morning while everyone else slept in. He was enamored with the mountains, and he listened to my story as I took him on a long walk up one of the foothills in Lindon, starting at my old bus stop at the bottom of the hill, to where my old house stood at the top of the hill. The hill is now paved, but it was a steep gravel road when I was a student in junior high and high school. After a long day of classes (and clogging) that steep gravel hill was a tough climb for a girl who was really into fashionably uncomfortable Candies shoes during the early eighties. As I explained to my son, I was relieved a couple of times when a nice boy pulled up to me in his parents' car and drove me up the hill. He was my dance partner at school, and I later married that nice boy. It meant everything to me to relive those early years of a budding romance, and to share more of our family's "story" with my son.

We also had some time to reunite with some friends, including two of the "gaggle". One of them is a cancer survivor, too, and she and I share a fantasy of starting a girlie rock band called the "Longflicks" (because life is just a flick of the finger, and we each want a long one). So we posed for our album cover. It meant everything to me to spend time with my friends, and especially to have some hang time with the one who walks a few steps ahead of me and gives me lots of laughs and inspiration as we travel our cancer journeys together.

On Sunday morning my husband and I bid a temporary farewell to our children, who stayed with their grandparents during the next leg of our adventure. We drove back to Salt Lake City and attended the broadcast of "Music and the Spoken Word" with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and we even had the opportunity to meet with the director of that choir afterward. It was an unforgettable experience, and it meant everything to me that they opened the broadcast with one of my favorite songs, "How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place", from Brahm's Requiem:

How lovely is thy dwelling place, O Lord of Hosts
For my soul, it longeth, yea fainteth, for the courts of the Lord
My soul and body crieth out, yea, for the Living God
How lovely is thy dwelling place, O Lord of Hosts
Blessed are they that dwell within thy house
They praise thy name evermore
How lovely is thy dwelling place

After the broadcast we went to church services with some friends, and it meant everything to be able to take part in that worship, to take the sacrament, and to feel the wonderful spirit that surrounded us. After church we headed straight for Star Valley Ranch, Wyoming, to our original honeymoon cabin. It meant everything to me, to be able to recapture one of the most magical times of my life in such a beautiful, memorable setting. I married well, and that means everything to me, too.

A couple of days later we came back to Utah, reunited with our children, and took them to Salt Lake City to see the temple grounds. The Salt Lake Temple is where our family was first "born", upon our marriage there eighteen years ago. We also toured the visitor's center, where our son marveled at the large statue of Jesus Christ, the Christus. As we approached Temple Square, we also passed by the McCune Mansion, which was the site of our wedding reception. This historic home is alleged to be haunted, according to, and while I've never personally experienced anything that would confirm that rumor, I sure do plan to haunt it myself someday. Meanwhile, it meant everything to me, to share these special places with my children, and to see them enjoy the big statue of Jesus.

After a wonderful week we returned home to Texas, and it meant everything to me to return home, safe and sound, and find that all is still well here. "Everything" therapy paid off well: I aced my neuro test and blood tests the next day at my oncologist's office, and I feel pumped and ready to take on Round 6 of my maintenance chemotherapy on Monday.


bryny said...

Glad to see a post from you, I was getting a little worried (trying his best to sound like a clucking mother hen>. Glad you had a good time in Utah. Retracing steps is always special


Anonymous said...

Hi Krista and Jared!
I'm so glad that you guys had such a wonderful trip back "home" - Utah will always be home to me, even though I do love Oregon too. I wish I could have made the trip down to see you while you were there, but hopefully another opportunity will present itself. Have a wonderful day and thanks for this wonderful blog!

Love and hugs,
One of the gaggle members who missed the Utah trip, Teri :o)

Judy said...

Hi Krista,
I am thinking about you this morning. And glad to see you had this wonderful trip! I am glad to see your picture and to see you are well and pumped by the Spirit.

Kristine said...

It's good to hear from you again!
What a wonderful trip...and to share it with your family, a true blessing.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a great time! I really wish I could've made the trip. I haven't seen Marnie in years. You both look great in your album cover. By the way...I speak a front row seat to the concert. I'll even bring my "bic" for the encore performance.

Love ya much! Hope we find some more free time to get together.

Gaggle, Gaggle,