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Home. I Get To Be At Home.

Early last March, I boarded a plane to visit my mother in New York. As I live in Australia, this was not a simple coast to coast jaunt, but rather a hemisphere to hemisphere voyage. My husband and I planned the trip months in advance. Though my food storage was already in good shape, I …

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Beauty for Ashes

By Emily Milner

I. Every so often I watch this reality show, What Not to Wear. Clinton and Stacy, the style gurus, take someone without any fashion sense, mock her wardrobe, give her style advice, and take her on a five thousand dollar shopping trip. The chosen women begin the show clinging to their sad fashion choices: the …

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Some Bathrooms are Worth Noting

By Jennie LaFortune

My friend’s toddler took my phone and her cute little finger navigated the screen like a pro. She scrolled for a minute, then asked, “Why do you have pictures of bathrooms?” Explaining to a 3-year-old that a few friends and I (and our moms) have had lengthy discussions about great public restrooms stumped me for …

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December 2017 Editorial and Table of Contents

By Jennie LaFortune

Driving home from a long day of work and a half-done to do list, I let the familiar blare of Christmas songs fill my car. It was dark at 5:30 p.m. and I noticed how much the neighborhood square looked like a corner of Stars Hollow. Christmas – the magical time of year. Or so …

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First Death

By Kimberly McKell

I pull onto the I-15 freeway heading south in my black Chevy Equinox. Driving from Rexburg, Idaho, to Salt Lake City, Utah, takes roughly three hours, depending on whom you ask and who asks you. My parents think it takes three hours and forty-five minutes; friends think it’s under three. It is Grandpa Turley’s birthday …

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Beauty and the Beast and Me

By Jessie Christensen

When I was about twelve years old, a librarian recommended I try reading the book Beauty by Robin McKinley. I had already read most of the other things in the small teen section of my library branch and was looking for something new. To my surprise, I totally loved the book and re-read it several times that year. The story of a girl who was loved more for her kindness and integrity than her outward beauty touched something deep within me. At that time in my life, I was deeply conflicted about my identity and my place in the world, and looking for something or someone for guidance.

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For Sale

By Kellie Purcill

For sale a wreck Or let’s just say that she’s a jumble of wonky wooden flooring (and a stubborn set of sails).   The price unlikely Or let’s say that she’s a deal of work along the staircase (that flirts and stubs your toe).   The choice difficult Or let’s say that she’s a handful …

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Fog

By Lorraine Jeffery

Through the ocean mist, I heard boisterous young male voices. Rather than muffle the sounds, the heavy fog seemed to magnify them and, although I couldn’t decipher the words, I could identify six or seven voices. I slowed my pace and looked behind me, but the prints that my athletic shoes had left on the …

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Beauty in Broken Things

By Kellie Purcill

To look at her fingers, you have to wonder what has happened to her – a car accident? Genetic fault lines? Torture? All the joints are loud, rude pebbles jostling and pushing the surface of too fragile speckled skin. Age has sucked the strength and padding from between her bones and cartilage, so when I …

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Travels in the Islamic World

Today’s UP CLOSE trips and travels post comes from Melanie, who  lives and works in the Washington, DC area.  She loves planning trips almost as much as she loves taking them, and sometimes she has trouble remembering where she’s actually been and where she’s just dreamed of going. Most recently her travels took her to Egypt and Turkey.  Next she hopes to visit Niagara Falls, Peru, and Puerto Rico.  She publishes her random thoughts and ideas at mel-bel.blogspot.com.

Allah u Akbar, Allah u Akbar

Ash-hadu al-la Ilaha ill Allah – Ash-hadu al-la Ilaha ill Allah

Allah is Great, Allah is Great

I bear witness that there is no divinity but Allah

 I experienced my first call to prayer in surround sound. The song burst forth from one mosque and then bounced and echoed from tower to tower in Cairo, the city of a thousand minarets.

 This summer several of my friends traveled to Jerusalem. I, on the other hand, used my hard-earned savings to visit the Muslim world–Egypt and Turkey, to be exact. I fell in love with Islamic art as a humanities major at BYU, and ever since I have longed to see the Shah (Imam) Mosque in Iran . . .or perhaps the more accessible mosques of countries a bit more friendly to Americans.

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