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A Time to Save, A Time to Toss

By Teresa Bruce

Over the weekend, not at my house, I dumped 24 bottles of fruit juice down the drain and tossed a couple of pounds of brown rice into the trash. The juice expired 12 and 13 years ago. The bag of rice was opened more than a decade before the juices’ “best by” dates. (We won’t …

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Earth, Wind and Rain

By Karen Austin

When my plane descends into the Salt Lake City International Airport, I usually experience some form of turbulence.  I’m a bit jostled in my seat, wondering how close we are to the ground at this point. Through the window, I see white clouds smeared across sharp, blue skies. In the background, the low humidity puts the mountains into sharp focus.  As the ground rises up to meet us, I’m filled with a mix of apprehension and excitement. The Wasatch Front has that effect on me.

[Photo by Coty Creighton via Creative Commons]

I turn to see the newly minted Elder Austin looking at the fasten-seat-belt sign. He was set apart fewer than 24 hours from our descent. We’ve traveled from Indiana in order for him to enter the Missionary Training Center. While he wasn’t born here, he knows that I was—as were grandparents, great (and great, great) grandparents, as well as scores of other relatives. The landscape has been altered by their labor and by fragments of their bodies.

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Maeser and Me

By Jessie Christensen

Anyone who has spent time at Brigham Young University is familiar with the iconic Maeser building. The oldest building on the main campus, the Maeser building sits alone at the far end of campus, its white façade and classical columns setting it apart from many of the newer brick structures surrounding it. The building is named after Karl G. Maeser, a principal at Brigham Young Academy, first head of the Church Education System, and one of the founding fathers of BYU as it is known today. In front of the building is a statue of Professor Maeser, honoring his role in the founding of the university as well as a famous quote from him that has defined the Honor Code for generations:

“I have been asked what I mean by ‘word of honor.’ I will tell you. Place me behind prison walls–walls of stone ever so high, ever so thick, reaching ever so far into the ground–there is a possibility that in some way or another I may escape; but stand me on the floor and draw a chalk line around me and have me give my word of honor never to cross it. Can I get out of the circle? No. Never! I’d die first!”

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The Eighties? Wicked Awesome

By Angela Hallstrom

A few days ago, my 14-year-old son happened to see some photos from my youth. As he gazed upon his mother in all her big haired, acid washed glory, he said, “Did you guys know you looked kinda crazy back then? Or did you really think all that was totally normal?”

“Not only did we think we looked normal,” I answered, “but we were pretty sure we looked wicked awesome.”

And how wicked awesome were we, really? Shoulder pads, blue mascara, leg warmers. I mean, the hits just kept coming. The funny thing is, I vividly remember looking at pictures of my own parents in the 1960s and thinking the same thing my son thinks now: how in the world could they walk around like that all day?

So the baton has been passed. I’m getting old. And one of the benefits of age is the right to annoy the younger generation by waxing nostalgic. Want to join me?

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Sisterly Love

By Melissa McQuarrie

When I was a little girl I thought one of the happiest sounds I’d ever heard was my mother laughing with her six sisters. They’d stand around my grandmother’s kitchen, washing the dishes and putting away the Christmas dinner leftovers, laughing so loudly they sounded like the kookaburras that cackled outside my window every morning. My mother’s sister Rosalie—we called her Ro—lived just a couple of miles from us, and she and my mother got together several times a week while my cousins and I played. They colored each other’s hair, shared recipes and gossip, reminisced about their childhoods, and cried together when Ro had her miscarriages. But mostly I remember their laughter and the way my mother’s eyes brightened when she was around Ro and her other sisters. My mother knew a secret then that I’ve only come to appreciate now that I’m a grown woman and a mother myself: having sisters is pretty much the best thing that can happen to a girl.

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