Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hot Enough For Ya?

by Stephanie Black

It occurred to me on Tuesday night that heck, tomorrow is Wednesday and I’m supposed to blog. I wish I’d been organized enough/bright enough to line up a guest blogger for this week, since I’m in Arizona visiting my sister and I’d rather party than blog. The party is growing—Grandma arrived on Tuesday, and another sister and her family arrive today. And boy, do we know how to party. Yesterday’s festivities consisted of:

A trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond to buy sheets, etc.
A trip to Wal-Mart to buy swim goggles, etc.
Amish friendship bread, a lack of instant vanilla pudding, and resultant crabbiness.
A jigsaw puzzle
Get Smart
Girls’ camp prep and the wages of procrastination.
Swimming and more swimming.

It’s fun being in Arizona again, even if the weather is hot enough to melt my shoes. We used to live here, and I’d forgotten how beautiful the desert landscape can be. As for the heat, you just stay inside. Summer is the bad season; winter is the good season, and the payoff for enduring summer comes in February when you’re outside enjoying the gorgeous weather while most of the nation is up to its collective armpits in snow. Granted, it seems a little strange that I’d come here on vacation in July, but my family and I basically just want to sit around in my sister’s air conditioned house or in the pool and cackle like fiends at each other’s jokes, so who cares if it’s 142 degrees outside?

The trip down here was a new experience for me. This is the longest car trip I’ve ever taken without my husband (we decided it would be better if he didn’t use up precious vacation days coming to a climate where you can bake bread in your glove box). He very kindly loaned us his Palm Pilot for the trip so we could use the GPS navigation program. This was a great blessing to me, because I’m the kind of driver who can get lost in a parking lot. You can’t completely cancel your brains when using the GPS—occasionally it does make mistakes, like when it tried to kill my husband by telling him to drive off an elevated freeway—but most of the time, it works wonderfully. We made it the 700 miles to Arizona without any complications worse than a missed exit and occasional eruptions of bickering from the kids. I’m just hoping we didn’t lose any crayons under the seats, or they’ve melted into oblivion by now. In fact, the entire interior of my car has probably melted. I actually did melt a small boom box once on a summer trip to southern Utah. I left it sitting on the dashboard of the car and the next day it looked like something from a Salvador Dali painting.

Today I get to attend my sister’s ward book club, which will be extra fun because they read and enjoyed The Believer a while back and hey, what writer doesn’t delight in having people tell her how much they enjoyed her book? Then the biggest partying will take place on Friday night, beginning with a Harry Potter dinner and games, after which the lunatics among us will head over to the bookstore to party until the stroke of midnight when we can get our grabby little hands on book 7. Our plan is to read it out loud together. No fair sneaking the book and reading ahead. We did this once before with book 5, and we actually stuck to our game plan. No one cheated and hid in the closet to grab a few extra chapters. Can we manage such self-control again? Sure. It’ll be more fun to take it slowly, anyway. Since this is the last Harry book, we’ve got to savor it.

Photo credit: Thanks to my sister, Mean Aunt, for these pictures taken at the Desert Botantical Garden in March.


At 7/18/2007 11:40 AM, Anonymous meanaunt said...

Wow! Those are some great photos!
(insert fiendish cackling here)

At 7/18/2007 11:49 AM, Blogger Jeff Savage said...

That's what we are doing with HP7 too. We started the tardition back with book 3, and have somehow managed to hang onto it low all these years.

Reading the final book will be a bittersweet experience, because it will be the last of its kind in more than one way for us. My daughter is waiting for a missionary to come home, my oldest son will be preparing to go on his mission this time next year. And, well . . . this is the last Harry.

So we are looking forward to the whole thing, party and midnight purchase (and reading included.) Have fun and stay cool. Maybe it will drop under 100 by midnight.

At 7/18/2007 1:10 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

There are so many reasons why I've only gone to Arizona in the summer once . . .

Great pictures, by the way. And I didn't realize Mean Aunt was your sister. Hi, Stephanie's sister! (Waving)

At 7/18/2007 1:29 PM, Blogger Karlene said...

You guys are nuts! I pre-order my HP books at Wal-Mart and go pick them up at the reasonable hour of 7:00 a.m. Then I lock myself in my room and don't come out again until I'm done.

My daughter reminded me that I had promised her a movie day this week and asked if we could do it on Saturday. Heck, no! I'll take her twice next week.

At 7/18/2007 1:30 PM, Blogger Karlene said...

Oh, was this post about your trip to AZ to visit your family? I see the letters HP and my brain goes funny. Sorry. Pretty pictures. :)

At 7/18/2007 2:58 PM, Blogger Jennifer Leffler said...

My daughter has done the midnight thing since 5th grade(she is now a senior in college) for the first book. She was hooked before book one even came out because her 5th grade teacher had received an advance copy from England and was reading it to the class. So she will be picking up my book for me. I probably won't get to pick it up until last Saturday afternoon because my RADishes (see for more on that) will be on a home visit. It is going to be hard not to peek at the end.

Sound like a great trip to Arizona!!!

At 7/19/2007 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


What is a family TARDITION?

At 7/19/2007 10:49 AM, Blogger Jeff Savage said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 7/19/2007 10:50 AM, Blogger Jeff Savage said...


It's kind of like a tradition, only not quite as permanent. Instead of being written in stone, it's only written in tar.


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