That’s right, I graduated from BYU 30 years ago! My, how the time flies. I actually hadn’t realized it was 30 years until my friend and roommate Melora from oh so long ago called and said, “Let’s go!” So she and her husband Thomas flew in from NH for Homecoming weekend. We had a good time visiting with Robbie Bosco and Lee Johnson and Jim Hermann. If you don’t remember, it was 30 years ago that BYU was undefeated in football and went on to win the National Championship. Go Cougars!!!
We celebrated with an overnight get-a-way at the Marriott downtown. We enjoyed a scrumptious steak dinner and then got to go see the Broadway play, Wicked. It totally was as good as everyone said it would be! By total coincidence, we ended up sitting next to neighbors and family. So much for getting away “just the two of us!”
A family vacation in Oregon has become somewhat of a tradition for our family. However, this last time wasn’t just a regular ‘ol beach trip. First stop, Corvallis Oregon, where Phillip earned his master’s degree in creative writing from Oregon State University. You should probably start calling him Master Brown. Siblings, parents and grandparents made the trip to Corvallis to support him. We attended graduation at Reser Stadium (sans soon-to-be-mentioned super cute toddler), where Phillip, now especially distinguished (see presidential wave photo), was hooded and received his diploma. We took photos together and then the entire family went out to an Italian dinner afterwards to celebrate.
After church on Sunday, our big Mormon family piled into a wee pub to listen to Phillip and his cohort’s reading of poetry and stories they had worked on as part of their theses. Phillip read a few poems with his lovely NPR voice and finished with “Sunset Alert” — a nod to his childhood memory of Mom always alerting the household whenever there was a nice sunset. We’re all so proud of Phillip — er, um, Master Phillip.
Besides the pomp and circumstance, our trip was also different than previous ones because we had with Alan’s parents with us and oh, a toddler cuter than anything you can imagine. That’s four generations by the way! So, ten adults + almost-two-year-old Kenyon headed out to the coast Sunday evening to spend the week at a beach house in Waldport, Oregon.
We filled our days with long walks on the beach (as cliche as it is, we actually did), braving the tides of the cold ocean, watching World Cup soccer games, visiting Heceta Head lighthouse, flying kites in the gorgeous weather, playing Nertz and Quirkle, enjoying a game of Loopers on the sand, having a crossword competition between the boys and the girls, writing Haiku, working on family history, completing a jigsaw puzzle and practicing mindfulness.
Monday evening we celebrated all sorts of things — Phillip’s graduation, birthdays for Loren and Phillip and Tess, as well as Father’s Day for Wally and Alan and Loren. For one of Phillip’s graduation gifts, Loren collected art from family members to go with Phillip’s thesis poetry collection. It turned out great!
Some of the high points of the trip besides Phillip’s commencing, of course: Kenyon being cute, Kenyon smiling, Kenyon rocking Madeleine’s sunglasses, Kenyon showing off how ridiculously intelligent he is, Kenyon doing anything, Kenyon asking to be read “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” an average 12.7 times a day, etc.
Other highlights: Mom found a glass bottle with a message in it, someone accidentally loaded the dishwasher with liquid hand soap, four generations built a sandcastle together, Mom enjoyed having meal teams (so she didn’t have to be in charge of all the meals) and a “professional” photographer* and one day Tess won almost every game we played.
We were absolutely sad to leave the ocean, but we enjoyed the family time together and can’t wait to go back.
*I took about 1,600 photos over the course of the trip (about a fourth of which actually turned out, and about 75 percent of which were of Kenyon), and put together a slideshow for those who wish they could’ve been there and want to live the experience for themselves.
P.S. I also wrote this blog…and yes, I am currently my mom’s favorite child.
In July, I had a show of my artwork as part of the Gallery Stroll held on the first Friday of every month in downtown Provo. Several art galleries, restaurants, and other venues allow local artists to show their work. I exhibited my work at the United Studios of Self-Defense, a karate dojo. My show was titled “Dwelling: in spaces, in forms.” It featured paintings, prints, and photographs from a series I have been working on for about 10 years, although most of the pieces came from my work in the past three years. I was inspired by the house-shape pentagon and how the shape instantly leads the viewer to think of a house or church or some other type of dwelling.
I was also honored to have Phillip contribute a poem which he had written as a response to several watercolor pieces. Thanks to all of those who came and saw the show. I appreciated your support. It has been a goal of mine for several years to have a solo show of my artwork. For those of you who weren’t able to see the show, please check out my website, which features some of the artwork which was in the show (I’m still in the process of updating it)
You can see my work at paperandwood.wordpress.com
After 4 long years of hard work and dedication, Madeleine graduated this week from BYU majoring in Print Journalism with minors in Editing and German. I think we can say that she embraced college! From the classes to magazines and newspapers, from all the sports to the many many friends, she loved it all and definitely got her money’s worth!
Watch her receive her diploma.
In preparation for his mission, Elliot was able to receive his endowments in the Draper Utah Temple today. We had a nice group with Alan’s parents, Loren, Anne, Tess and Bishop Lundgren and his wife, Marla. It’s great to have so much support! It was a very nice experience and Elliot is excited to be able to attend several times before he leaves for Peru June 5th.
Apparently one of the things on Grandpa Wally’s bucket list is taking a ride down the Olympic Bobsled track. So during Spring Break, he invited Clark and off they went to Park City. Grandpa sat 2nd behind the driver and Clark sat 3rd behind him. Travelling at 88 miles an hour it only took them 55.6 seconds to get down the hill. New Olympic record?
After nearly 30 years, I’ve started working again. I’ve been hired as a substitute teacher at Waterford School. So far, I’ve taught Nursery 3’s (preschool), All-day Kindergarten, and 4th Grade. I’m hoping to be able to teach a couple of days a week, but the nature of being a substitute is rather like being on call…so we will see. I don’t want to hope that some teacher will wake up sick tomorrow, but it would be nice 😉
Clark has been practicing hard and this week was able to perform a marimba duet, play in a marimba quartet and play jazz piano with 3 professional musicians. Of course it all sounds better in real life, but we did record a couple of the pieces for your listening pleasure, should you be interested.
Fugace by Claude Bolling
Alborada del Gracioso by Maurice Ravel
Last night with the family gathered around and Kelsey close by, Elliot opened his mission call to learn that he will be serving in the Peru Cusco Mission, entering the Lima Peru MTC on Wednesday June 5th. He’s super excited about Peru and being able to continue learning Spanish which he studied for 6 years at Waterford.
After the big news at our house, he and Kelsey left for her house so that she could open her mission call with her family. She has been called to serve in the Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission. Also Spanish speaking and also entering the MTC on June 5th – she goes to Provo though!