Tuesday, July 29, 2014

An attempt to find a voice

Whew, if there were electronic cobwebs, this place would be covered in them.  I think deep down I feel like I lost my voice somewhere, and it's hard to write when you don't know how you want to say things.  Realistically though, after this many years my old voice has probably gone the way of my twenties, easy socializing that doesn't require taking into account five children, a house that when it's dirty I have only myself to blame, and clothing that I haven't worn since three kids ago.  I think I'm finally coming to realize that the only way to forge a new voice is to, gulp, actually sit and write and feel dumb but still hit publish.

But, enough catch-up, let's chat.  Well, where is the Shannon clan now?  Currently we're in Utah, living in a two bedroom apartment with seven people (seven!  When did we get a new member?  In June of this year, and her name is Athena).  But only for the next couple of weeks, and then we're going back to Ohio, where Avram has one final year left of his Ph.d.  Yes, there will be an end to this mythical journey called "Getting a Ph.d. while having five children."  Just as a refresher, Avram is getting a degree in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from OSU, which specifically in his case refers to Hebrew Bible and Early Rabbinic Judaism. He's writing his dissertation on Foreign Ritual (mostly Greco-Roman) as seen through the eyes of the Early Rabbis, and what this teaches about Rabbinic conceptions of appropriate ritual and religious action.

We are in Utah this summer where Avram is teaching a couple of Book of Mormon classes at BYU.  He did the same thing two years ago, if this sounds familiar. We are even staying in the same apartment as last time, only this time with two more kids.  Enoch gets the privilege of sleeping in the pantry off the kitchen, while our three older girls are in the second bedroom we also call the playroom, and Athena is in with us.  Also, the Living Room houses a couch, small bookcase, and table and six chairs, since the kitchen isn't large enough for a table.  This makes the living room feel kind of like a crowded hallway (it isn't large either).  It's fun to laugh about, and it really isn't bad, because at home we have four kids sleeping in a room together, and Enoch would even fit in their room here, it's just that it's easier to have him sleep on the other end of the house from the sparse toys we have here.  Also, I know from experience that this will make returning to our three bedroom (one we use as a playroom) house that actually has a table in the kitchen feel positively roomy.

Lydia is eight, and is obsessed with poetry, reading, and avoiding writing and chores at any cost (writing more than chores, even).  Elisheva is six, and loves Frozen, makeup (which she doesn't get to wear), dress-up, pink and purple, and anything else that sounds like a stereotype of a six year old girl.  Guinevere is four, and is a great cleaner, very opinionated and stubborn, and cannot be forced into anything (but we have been working on the fine art of persuading for years now).  Enoch is the strong but silent type - he doesn't speak almost at all, even at 23 months.  We already have an appointment with the doctor when we get back, but until then we are grateful that he is fairly even tempered, and isn't too picky, except when it comes to food, because he doesn't seem to mind that we don't understand his garbled sentences.  He is also built like a tank, which is highly entertaining aspect of his character.  Athena is only seven weeks old, but has an old soul, and face.  I realize that pictures would be highly appreciated here.  Hey, I'd like them here too, but then I would have to go and upload them from my camera (which means finding my camera), then picking them out, then trying to get them in the post, and somewhere along this line giving up in disgust and finding some other activity that doesn't involve so much bother just to say a few words.

As for myself, well, I'm still me.  It's amazing how even though I have more kids, years, and opinions, I still am as me as I ever was - I pick reading over cleaning, love seeing people and also love spending time alone (usually reading), love the outdoors, but only if I am doing something in it (camping, gardening, hiking).  I talk too much, or just a lot, depending on who you are. My current life plans are to go back to school a year after Avram starts a full time job (so, hopefully in two years).  If he gets a job at BYU I want to do a master's degree in Archaeology/Anthropology, with a certificate in Museum Studies.  What do people with that degree do, you ask? Why am I going to get what could just be a vanity degree?  Well, first off, because I wouldn't be paying tuition, so why not?  Second, I actually would love to work in that field, or in many potential fields like that .  I previously wrote about that here on this blog, and my basic thoughts still remain the same.  Of course, we could end up almost anywhere (please, God, let it be somewhere), so the specific thing I would get a further degree in would depend on what what available.  BYU is our top choice for a number of reasons, which brings me to my final hobby - looking at the Provo housing market via Zillow.  I found a perfect 1913 home near where we live now (which is a couple of blocks from the Provo City Center temple that's currently being built) that is a great price.  Unfortunately, Avram has no job in Provo, so the grown up side of me is not putting in an offer, but I like to imagine being a crazy couple that buys a house in a state they don't live in, entirely on the slim hope they will return, and then I like to further wake up, and be grateful I'm not crazy.

So that's the Shannons.  In a nutshell.  Maybe a brazilnut nutshell, but that's just how I write - and is part of my voice, whether years ago or today.  Maybe next session we can work out topics I like to write about that I won't get too nervous or self conscious about, and stick back in a drafts folder to never see the electronic light of computer screens.


  1. I like your voice :D
    And you should do like Charity in Crossing to Safety -buy the house to prove to the world that you are destined to live in Provo. Errrr, or not!!! Hmmm.
    But I do hope in a year's time you are back in Provo, moving in :) be sure to buy a house big enough to have us visit :D

  2. I like your voice too. How great to get off the plane and find new posts by Thora!