by Anne

October 21st, 2003

First, take an airplane and it takes six hours to get there. I think. Then you’re there. If you have been in Utah for your whole life, you freeze for a moment. I can smell the ocean. I feel the breeze on my legs. It’s a little cold, but not too much. It feels good to me after being in Salt Lake City in the summer which goes to 100 degrees. It’s nighttime. There are so many stars. I see two shooting stars. Then I go to my grandma’s cute little summer house and fall asleep. When I wake up, my grandma is there to see me. We go to the beach and write. I smell the salty water and feel the sand against my toes. I play hide and go seek with my brother in the sand dunes and then go kayaking in the river. I hear the crows cawing at something. I look up. A bald eagle has a little black baby crow in its mouth. A flock of crows are chasing after the eagle saying, “Give me back my baby you stupid big crow-stealing turd!” I splash in the ocean and collect the shells. A little white crab is walking over to my toe. I step backwards and look at the sunset. It was so pretty and had beautiful colors like, red, orange, a little bit of pink, and a beautiful yellow. The winds are blowing and making a whistling sound. I am bear foot walking down the wet sand with the waves gently splashing against my feet. The seaweed sticks to my arms but I don’t care. This is where I call home.

Gondola in Venice
Venice Galore
Venice Boats
Pieces of Venice
Man in Venice
Boats in Venice

We said we could have skipped Venice. Too far away from the other cities we visited. Too tiny and claustrophobic. Too rainy, too dark.

But then I think of spending thirty minutes in a store full of masks, trying on gold ones, silver ones, red ones with Megan and pretending in front of the store mirror that we just arrived to a masquerade ball.

I think about looking for our hostel, “Venice Lagoon House,” which we found was a regular house outside of the city owned by a man named Luca. He had a couple of bedrooms, and when it got full, Luca slept on the couch next to the kitchen.

I think about Megan and me buying 4-euro pizzas from the pub two blocks from Luca’s and walking back to eat the boxes while watching Spiderman on Megan’s iPad.

I think about how excited we were to finally have a room we didn’t have to share with other people.

And when it was time to sleep, we were so delirious that we had a laugh attack. I don’t remember what was so funny, but we laughed until our stomachs burned.

I think about trying to weigh a peach at the grocery store and when I couldn’t figure out the Italian weight machine, an old woman came over and showed me how to print out a receipt sticker by pressing the button with the fruit name on it.

And when I said “grazie mille” to her, she took my face in her hands and said “Ohh, ohh” followed by cutsie Italian words.

I think about puddles and umbrellas scratching on brick walls as we tried to walked through tiny, busy streets.

Looking back, Venice was a dream.

Since I got back on Tuesday, Spencer and I have been saying each day that we’ll go running. We haven’t.

Today I woke up at 7am with more energy than usual and bullied Spencer out of bed. “Get up, you! No more sleeping!”

He groaned. “Will you scratch my back for just 10 minutes? I’ll feel so much more relaxed on the run. Please just scratch my back.”

I usually fall for Spencer’s morning back scratching whines. Not today.

“HECK NO, GET UP NOW!” I stood next to his face and jumped on the bed.

“That’s not good for the bed, you know.”

“Then get up!” I kept jumping.

We went outside and it was already sunny. Both of us like running when it’s dark. But I still pranced around and gave Spencer flirty kisses on his cheek to celebrate that we were running together.

I was mostly excited to show him the run to the zoo and then up the Bonneville shoreline. Amber, Charlie and I ran this last year every morning. No stops.

But before we got to the trailhead at the zoo, I was panting.

“I can’t do it. My knees. I can’t breathe. No. Too hard. No.” I was totally pooping out.

“We’ve got this,” Spencer said. “You lead. You set the pace. Let’s just get to that cement block at the top.”

I walked and waved my arms around, hoping my arms would distract Spencer from the fact I wasn’t really running.

“I’m so glad we did this,” he said. “Look how beautiful the valley is!”

My flirtiness had worn off and now I was the one whining. We walked through the shrubs and ran when another runner was passing us, until they couldn’t see us anymore and then we walked. I was pissed at myself.

“I’m so out of shape. I used to run this every day! I can’t even get to the trailhead.”

I gave myself another minute to be negative. Then I said, “At least we got up this morning.”

“And got our running clothes on.”

“And ran to the zoo.”

“And… ran when it was sunny out!”

“And got up the steepest part.”

“And ran even though we’re sore from boating.”

I guess my summer Netflix workout wasn’t doing it for me. Back to running!

Anne & Meg

Megan and me at the leaning tower of Pisa

During the summer before 7th grade, my parents moved us from Salt Lake City to the middle of nowhere. There was nothing but our house and dirt hills, which my parents took as an opportunity to come closer with nature. In the mornings, my dad threw a bag of garbage over his shoulder and walked to the trash can down the street. With only his see-through underwear bottoms on. Whistling as he walked.

To show how angry I was at my parents for making us move, I’d storm out of the house with my dog, Miss Cairo, and find an unfinished house to hide in. I’d sit on wooden boards and play with leftover nails until I thought I’d been there long enough to make my parents frantic. But they were never frantic. “Hi Anne!” They’d say when I walked in hours later. “We’re making cookies! What have you been up to?”

Maybe they’d get frantic if I smoked pot, I thought. Just once. But getting pot meant finding human life, which was non-existent. Continue reading First Day of Seventh Grade

I need a break from packing.

So I’m watching the Republican debates. I’ve made it a tradition to watch the republican debates since the beginning of college. I wanted to eat up any kind of understanding I could.

I listened to the whole thing and I wasn’t riled up or anything. But at the end, I started feeling this overwhelming sickness. Like I needed to run to the bathroom. Like I needed to turn off the TV immediately. It was when they all started talking about God. And how God has blessed the republican party. And how they have received revelations from God. And how God has NOT blessed the democrats. I felt so icky.

So I just wanted to say to you, republican politicians, that I also receive personal revelation. And I know that I receive just as many blessings and revelations, even when I don’t think like you.

Everyone has their right to believe what they want. But what gets me is when I hear that God is not blessing me because I’m liberal. I mean, how completely un-christian is that thinking? I think everyone receives personal revelations. But something is just wrong when one thinks that God favors one party over the other.

The presidential elections in Utah are when I want to run away from any social outing, including church. Because even though the LDS presidency makes our bishops read the statement over the pulpit saying that all parties may have our values and stances, I still have to hear on the news about that bishop who wouldn’t give his democrat member a temple recommend because of her political stances. I was still called a baby killer in junior high. I still had Mormon friends take my Obama pins off my bag. I still don’t know of any Mormon democrat my age in Utah. I still sit in church hearing comments that assume all of us are on the same page politically and anything on the contrary would be apostate.

I know everyone feels targeted. I know conservatives are afraid of how life is changing now. I just wanted to give you my little bits. Think what you want. Learn as much as you want. Do what you want! But for the love, please don’t tell me that God loves me less. And FOR THE LOVE, do not tell me that God loves me, he just doesn’t agree with me. HAH! Because guess what? I’ve gotten my own personal revelations and what I hear is this: “I love you. You’re my daughter. I get you. I understand you more than anyone else. And I’m sorry you feel isolated at church sometimes. That isn’t fair. Because your thoughts are just as important as everyone else’s.”

Phewf! I feel better.

I’m avoiding the house mites.

It started when I found little bumps on my palms and fingers. They showed up one-by-one at the beginning of the summer. I thought they were spider bites. But tonight the bumps are all over my hands. So I googled “little bumps on fingers and hands” and found a picture that looks similar to my hand. It’s called “dyshidrotic eczema.” It’s these tiny blisters caused by seasonal change, stress, or allergens. These bumps can all meet up together and create a big blister, which they have happily created on my pinky finger.

Wikipedia quickly mentioned on the “dyshidrosis” page that a study found a connection between those who have dyshidrosis and those who are allergic to house mites. Not knowing what that meant, I clicked on the “house mites” link which brought up a picture of a black bug with lots of crooked legs and sharp edges. I closed out of the image before I could see more, but I picture the little devil with a monstrous mouth and sharp teeth, ready to feed on my brain. House mites feed on organic stuff. Like me.

So I’m avoiding the house mites. That’s why I’m up. The only thing is, I don’t know how big they are. They might be microscopic. I could clear this all up by reading the page, but I ain’t going back there! So I’ve decided the couch is safe and the bed is not.

Have I told you I’m on anxiety meds? Ha! You’re like “Uhh, are they working?” I’ve been taking them for a month and a half now. It’s my first time taking anxiety meds on a daily basis.

This is when I decided. I was sitting on Hukilau beach in Hawaii. Watching crabs run across the sand. Breathing the salt air and the warm breeze. Cheering when a turtle poked his head out of the water. I thought, I am in paradise. No place on Earth can get better than this. I am in paradise.


And I am still afraid.

Anne Lost in MeadowsIn Disney’s cartoon Alice in Wonderland, Alice tells her cat what her world would be like. She starts to sing (like in all Disney movies) and lies in the daisies. When she lies down, the flowers completely cover her as if no one is there. I loved that scene. I wished I could find a meadow of flowers where I could disappear. I wanted to lie down and see the flowers above me.

Spencer took this picture of me at Fish Lake. There’s hair in my eyes and my arm is bending awkwardly, but I love it because I’m in the meadows and it’s yellow and it makes me happy.

The real reason I’m posting this is so I can pin the picture and add it to my “Lost in Meadows” board on Pinterest. I have a whole board of girls in meadows so I can partly satisfy my childhood Alice in Wonderland fantasy.

Follow Anne Louise’s board Lost in Meadows on Pinterest.

Did you have any childhood fantasies like this?

On another note, I searched “Alice in Wonderland lying in daisies” and Google said “Did you Mean: Alice in Wonderland laying in daisies?”

No, I didn’t. Idiot.