9.11.13

This is something I wrote two years ago, while still working for a local newspaper. I'm not sure why I never published it. Maybe it's unfinished? But it's finished enough to publish now. 

It's hard, working in the newspaper world. I read about death, destruction, sorrow and horror everyday, for eight hours. It has made me lose some faith in humanity. Not all of it, but some.

But days like today, they are the hardest. I had to read story after story of the victims of Sept. 11, 2001. Of their lives and potential, of it all cut short, and of the people they left behind. There are children that never met their dads. There are men who ache for their wives. And there are so many parents who wish they could have one more day with their child.

Each story was another sucker punch to the gut, to see how these people still mourn for the dead, and how our country still bears the scars. I don't feel anger toward anyone or any group for what happened, but the sorrow I feel for my country and my people — beautiful, good American people — is akin to the sorrow I feel for my own family when they suffer. Because although we're not related by blood, they are my family. All 307 million Americans are my brothers and sisters and I'm so proud to be one of them. It's cliche, but I am proud to be an American.

No one I knew died at the Twin Towers, the Pentagon or in Pennsylvania that day, but it still hurts. Hurts to see my country suffer, my people suffer.

-eg

4.24.13

Are you reading my mission letters?! You should be. Read them here: hermanagosney.blogspot.com


Also, I probably won't be posting anything else here for a while, since I've run out of ideas for pre-scheduled posts. Shucks.

-eg

4.17.13

I forgot about these. Here are some pictures from my roadtrip in January from Utah to Texas.

Mason and Gage 

Gage, Mason and me 

Me in Monument Valley, Utah 

Spencer, me and James 

James, me and Spencer right before I left. (Spencer was crying, sweet little guy.)

 Conner and Scotty outside the Albuquerque Temple

Max and me

Man I have a lot of nephews, and this isn't even all of them! :)

4.10.13

I might not have ready access to Pinterest, but that doesn't mean my Humor Board isn't sitting there, ready for you to look through. I'm pretty sure it'll make you laugh. Or at least chuckle.

[Click here.]


Oh, and Happy Birthday Mom (in 5 days)! Hopefully somebody sings to you using a wooden spoon as a mic. And hopefully there's less carnage than the proceeding picture. 


4.3.13

General Conference was great, right? Or, no, wait, it will be. This weekend, I suppose. Wish me luck, I'll most likely be listening to it in Spanish.

In case you wanted a little something different to watch in addition to General Conference, here are some good Doctor Who clips. Because you can't ever have enough Doctor Who. (And because someone should enjoy Doctor Who while I'm away and unable to. Haha.)


3.27.13

That feeling of flight. As if you are a bird, running, jumping, catching the wind and soaring up. Do you ever get that feeling? It would have to accompany something phenomenal, in my opinion, because that is one phenomenal sensation. It's not the same as taking off in an airplane. No, in fact that feeling can be thrilling, I guess, but is quite offensive to compare to the one I'm talking about. Try, Soarin' Over California at California Adventure. Or, perhaps, this music video? Really, the best way to experience is becoming a bird. Or pterodactyl. Or dreaming about any of the above. So, uh, good luck with that!



3.20.13

Good moooorning! Kelsey and Catherine wanted me to write down this story for a memory book that Deon is putting together, so I thought I'd recycle it here. For your pleasure.

I don't remember if it was winter, but I do remember the cold. That dark, nearly-windowless cell in which I spent uncountable ... minutes ... awaiting my fate. 

It was probably around 2001. I was 13 and we lived in Kingston. For whatever reason, I was in the basement bathroom one evening when there was a knock at the front door and Mom and Dad came downstairs with the missionaries — two elders, one of whom I had a major crush on. Geeky side-parted hair, ill-fitted suit and all. Mortified at the possibility of him seeing me without makeup and in my pajamas, I slowly creeped toward the bathroom door, pushed in the lock (because you know how Elders are, always barging into bathrooms without knocking), and decided to wait it out. How long could they talk? What could be that important? 

As five minutes turned into 10, I began to get nervous. The cement and drywall that surrounded me in that tiny half-bath mocked me. "You're never getting out. You're going to die in here, with all the BYU Creamery buckets of forgotten toys, the over-sized orange Scouting sleeping bags hung from the ceiling, and the spiders. Oh yes, the spiders. Daddy Long Legs, who are neither alive nor dead in their dust-covered webs." 

Determined not to let the voices taunt me to an early grave, I looked at myself very seriously in the mirror. "Get it together, Elizabeth." Finding some bits of chalk in the (very organized, thanks Mom) piles on the floor, I amused myself with drawing on the drywall. Having recently watched "West Side Story" I began with graffiti of the Sharks insignia and then the Jets. Having completed that, I realized I had no idea what time it was. No clock, no watch, no cell phone (were those even invented back then?) I reckoned it had been at least 35 minutes, and the conversation sounded as strong as ever. This is when the desperation started pushing against my chest. With the last bits of chalk I wrote out how many days I'd been incarcerated — one mark, two, five? I scratched out encouraging sentiments and last words. I decided future generations would know my story!

And then, from the abyss I heard the conversation outside my door coming to a close. Could it be? Freedom was near!

"Well, thanks for coming over, Elders," Dad said. "Why don't we gather everyone for family prayer?" 

NOOOOOOOO!!

Maybe they wouldn't notice my absence. Maybe they would just go on without me, assuming I'd fallen asleep in my room. But that day, luck was not on my side. One-by-one the siblings came downstairs and waited. And second-by-second I waited and prayed that they'd get on with the prayer. 

"Where's Elizabeth?" Mom asked.

"I don't know," came the answer all around. 

"Please, please, please, please," I whispered, eyes heaven-ward, hands clasped in front of me. 

"Why don't you go get her?" And off they went, looking for me. 

"She's not upstairs."

"She's not in the garage."

"ELIZABETH?!" Kelsey called out the front door. 

And then, my worst fear was realized. I could picture them all slowly turned their heads toward the closed door just 10 feet from them. 

A knock came, my face feeling the vibrations as it was now pressed up against it in agony.

"Elizabeth? Are you in there?" 

"... yeeeah."

"Have you been in there this whole time?"

"....."

"Seriously? ... Well, it's time for prayer. Come on." 

"Uh, I'd rather not," I finally replied.

"Open the door, Elizabeth." 

And so, with all the strength I could muster and the courage of an Amazonian warrior, I opened the door. But like a cockroach in the squaller of the Houston slums, I shrunk from the light. 

"I'll just kneel right here." Out of sight and on the cold cement floor that had been my home for the past hour (yes, it had only been an hour), I knelt. Someone said the prayer, the missionaries said goodbye — said goodbye even to me in the bathroom, still beyond their vision and completely mortified — and left. And then, from the pit, I emerged. A free woman. A changed woman. 

[You're welcome, future generations.]

-eg

3.13.13


The last of the memories about my family:

Conner - I still quote you, Conner, from when you were about 2 or 3 years old. "Cute boots, Mom. Cute boots." And also another favorite, you singing along to that rap song: "Flashing ... Lights-lights." I even got my roommates to quote it like you said it.

Scotland - You didn't like me very much when you were tiny, Scotty. You only liked your parents. But one day me and you were playing up in your room in Provo and it was a good 15 minutes before you realized that your parents weren't around. Then all hell broke loose, but it was fun while it lasted.

Maximus - That last time I saw you, just this past January, me and you were thick as thieves for those 36 hours I was at your house. We built two forts and watched Disney Channel and you showed me your Power Rangers toys and your great dance moves. That was so much fun.

Charlie - When your parents were both going to school at BYU, Charlie, I babysat you for about an hour or so every other day on the second floor of the Joseph Smith Building. One day you got a poopy diaper and unbeknownst to me, it had gone all up your back as well. Trying to get your onsie off became one disgusting mess quite quickly, and I pretty much decided then that I'm never having kids that poop and you owe me one.

Aurora - I remember going grocery shopping with you and Charlie and your mom in Provo. We'd always get the shopping cart with the play car attached to the front, and you and Charlie would sit up there having a grand old time. You make the funniest faces and ignore Charlie when he wanted you to get out. It was pretty hilarious.

Jemma - I remember holding you in the hospital when you were first born and taking pictures of you and Uncle Thomas. You were one teeny-tiny thing with a bow in your fuzzy hair.

Lillyanna - A couple weeks before I left for my mission, me and Benton came into your room where you were taking a nap. Without even looking at us, you heard Benton talking and said (mostly to yourself), "And so it begins again."

Benton - Sshh, don't tell anyone, but you're my favorite. Don't worry, I'll keep your secret that I'm your favorite too. I love your high-fives and half-smiles that explode into laughs. You're adorable, Benton, in a masculine kind of way.

Love,

Aunt Lizzy

3.6.13

Yet MORE memories. I can safely say I'm probably really missing my family right about now. Hope you're missing me too.

Thomas - You made me and you and Catherine an omelet one time that was about the size of Rhode Island and we took it outside to eat it. We took a seat at the big spindle thing we had under our carport, the thing they probably used to store telephone wire cable or something. Also the spindle thing the neighbors told us to get rid of because it brought down the look of the neighborhood. Psh, losers. We at the omelet with barbeque sauce because that was really the only way to do it, according to you. It was a good omelet, by the way.

Catherine - Remember how we used to play cats in our room? And the four walls of the bedroom were the four walls of a cardboard box we cats lived in? Yeah, that was messed up. And then I pretended to scratch my way up the cardboard box wall and proceeded to fall onto and knock off the shelf of not-pretend tea sets.

Brianna - When you were just learning to talk in full sentences, Brianna, I was so proud of teaching you to say, "Boo, Mariners. Go Angels!" because the Mariners were playing the Angels at the time and I wanted you to say it to Dad (Grandpa). You said it pretty perfectly a couple times, but when it came to saying it to anyone other than me, you wouldn't. Thanks a lot. ;) (Just joking!)

Hayden - I love that you give me a hug every time I come to your house. Remember how we went to go get doughnuts at Krispy Kreme back in December (2012)? You got a Krispy Kreme hat and we listened to Beatles songs and I was just so impressed by your attention to detail and concentration on the lyrics. Those doughnuts were good, too, huh?

Tucker - When you were a baby, I thought it was fun to lift you up high and sometimes throw you into the air and catch you again. What I didn't know, one such time, was that you had just eaten and so any pressure on your stomach would send baby vomit out of your mouth. Unfortunately, I was right underneath you, mid-throw-and-catch, and got that puke all over my face. Gross. It was pretty funny though.

Mason - I never feel left out when I come over to your house, Mason. You always want me to play, and I love buliding castles with you out of the wooden blocks and knocking them down. We'll have to build a lot of castles when I get back from Chile!

Gage - You, my friend, are awesome. Watching you dance to Gangnam Style never got old. You've got some sweet moves, dude, and your smile is the cutest thing I've ever seen.

Spencer - When we went to the Albuquerque Aquarium a few Christmas' ago, you were so enthralled by the fish, and after we left (which was hard to do, because you wanted to stay) all you could say all day was, "The fishes, the fishes, the fishes, the fishes," in a sing-songy voice. And then you would also say, "The fiya (fire), the fiya, the fiya, the fiya," when you saw the fireplace at Grandma and Grandpa Gosney's. I still quote that.

James - Me, you and Spencer had a great time at your house the last time I visited, playing monsters. And the time before that we played hide-and-go-seek and you were always so excited to be playing, that a lot of times you wouldn't stay hidden, or you'd come out and tell me where Spencer was hiding. That made me laugh.

Love,

Elizabeth/Aunt Lizzy

2.27.13

Some more memories, as promised:

Deon - I remember you taking me and Catherine (or maybe it was just me?) to Edmonds one day. It was so fun, going in your Suburu station wagon and listening to Barenaked Ladies. We went and got my hair cut, without Mom's permission. I remember how light my head felt afterward, and also how mad Mom was that you got my hair cut without her permission. Haha.

Dillan - I watched you play basketball a couple times in Provo. I remember thinking, "Those chumps don't stand a chance against my brother-in-law." And I was right. Until you broke your ankle.

Kelsey - Getting stuck on Space Mountain at Disneyland was pretty rad, huh? Getting to see the inner workings when they turned on all the lights to fix the rollercoaster, wondering how we weren't decapitated around every turn, taking a picture on the ride. Then it wasn't so fun when we got to go a second time and nearly lost our over-priced lunches. Thanks, Walt.

Ben - When you came to visit us for the first time in Kingston, it must've been after church because I was wearing a skirt. But that didn't stop you from picking me up and spinning me around. I thought, "He's either gonna be a great brother-in-law, or this is gonna be really awkward." Lucky for me, it's both!

Love,

Elizabeth

2.20.13

Hey, me again. Remember last week when I posted memories of Mom and Dad? Well, here are a few more:

Gabe - I used to think that caricature of Morrissey you had in your room in Logan was a picture of you. I also thought the ear plugs in your room in Logan were somehow a sign that you were deaf. I don't know why I was in your room so much.

Anna - Girls nights with me, you and Cath were always fun. I can't even remember what we did differently than most other nights, but the fact that they were called Girls Night and you wanted to hang out with us made it cool.

Devon - I woke up one night when I was about 5 and came out to see what you and Gabe were doing in the family room. You and he asked if I wanted to watch some TV. "Beavis and Butt-head, or Saturday Night Live?" you asked. I wanted Saturday Night Live, so naturally you chose Beavis and Butt-head. I think I went back to bed.

Sarah - I thought it was pretty awesome when you and Devon got married and Devon got rid of all his pirated music. I had always heard stories of Devon getting out of things, of charming or smarting his way through life. And then suddenly his powers were useless. Haha. Way to go, Sarah.

Love,
Elizabeth

2.14.13

Oh, I forgot, here's my Mormon.org profile. [Click here]

Pretty spiffy, I know.


2.13.13

Today I'm entering the Missionary Training Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'll be gone for 18 months, serving the people of Chile and teaching the Gospel. But don't worry, you'll still get to hear from me, and not just in my weekly letters. I've written some posts and scheduled them to go live while I'm thousands of miles away. It's like I've died and left you a treasure trove to pilage as you pretend to mourn my death.

So, let's begin.

I thought it'd be fun to write short memories of each person in my immediate family, but because I haven't utilized my time wisely and haven't written nearly as many posts to go live over 18 months as I should have, I'm splitting them up so they last longer. Warning, these aren't necessarily sentimental or funny or in any way amazing memories (although they could be all three and more), but they are things I thought were worth jotting down.

Here we go. Mom and Dad first:

Dad - You told me once that the sky is blue because the sun reflects off the ocean and hits the atmosphere, which is why we see blue during the day and black at night (because the sun goes down.) I propagated that lie for 24 years, and may have convinced more than a few of its accuracy. Niiiice. Thanks for taking time to give me an answer, even if it was the wrong one. :)

Mom - I remember you taking me to lunch at Taco Bell before Kindergarten and losing my front tooth while eating a bean burrito. I felt pretty special being able to hang out with just you. Catherine was there, I'm sure, but I don't remember her (ha!), just you and me, and the cinnamon twists that I won by dropping a coin into the water tank game on the front counter of the restaurant.

Love,
Elizabeth

2.7.13


So, I leave in five days. Right? Thursday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday-Monday-Tuesday -- OK, so like five and a half.

So, that's pretty cool.

-eg

1.31.13

Things To Do Before I Die #32 completed. Four Corners.

1.10.13

I have nothing against staying at home. Goodness, I love being home! I love being safe and comfortable and unbothered by people and responsibilities and dress codes. But there is something to be said for going out, I think. For doing things picture-worthy, whether you're taking a picture of it or not. There's something unarguably exciting about going places you've never been before, or going places you've been many times but seeing it all with new ears. Eyes. I meant to say eyes.

I hear of people's travels, see photographs of adventures, and think, "How lucky. How lucky they are to be having adventures." And then it struck me just today: I'll be having adventures soon. Sure, I'm having a grand ol' time now, but I mean real adventures that I even I can call adventures. You know, things that shout at me, "The grass is actually greener here! Dummy."

As much as there is to say about the good in staying home, Bilbo and Frodo only had adventures when they ventured out. Am I right? Of course I'm right. I feel like Sabrina (gosh, I love that movie) when she is walking from the apartment above the garage to the Larrabee's garden party. "I promised myself, years ago, all of those years, hundreds of times, thousands of times. And now, I'm invited."

Or, rather, I'm going. Now I'm going.

-eg

1.8.13

Let me tell you something: Reliving the past? Not such a good idea.

I've kept a journal since the second grade. Age 7. That's eighteen years we're talking about, of hand-written, first-person accounts of my life. And it's all stored nice and neat in a collection of books in a gray plastic tote in my parents' attic. And every time I come home — yes, every time — I go looking for that box and open its lid like it's the Holy Grail, golden light showering my face as I peer inside. Then I sit, like the masochist that I am, and pull out one of the books at random. I flip open to a page and begin to read, often without even looking at the date. It usually begins quite pleasantly, as I recognize names of friends or laugh at how I am, and always have been, a horrible speller. And then I read too far, for too long, and I get sucked back to 2003 and my ridiculous sophomore behavior of liking this boy and disliking this girl and trying to make sense of things that I still haven't made sense of. And instead of shoving the box back into its dark attic corner, I pull out another book, hoping this time it'll be more like a Disneyland ride instead of a middle-of-nowhere-mining town carnival ride from Hell. Luckily I bi-passed that bit, but unluckily I opened to what is sure to be the script for High School Musical 4: The College Years. How many boys could I like in the span of 3 months? I'll tell you: Four. Yes, four. And how many dates can end awkwardly? I'll tell you: All of them. And let me tell you another thing, Zac Efron wasn't even close to being in this script. Not even close.

I don't want to relive the past, not until I'm 94 years old, in a nursing home, afflicted with horrible memory loss and dementia and somebody pulls out those mismatched journals and begins reading them to me as if they are someone else's life and then I can laugh and laugh and ridicule that poor, pathetic person completely unawares of my self-deprecating comments.

That is how to relive the past, my friends. Otherwise, don't do it.

Unless Zac Efron was part of it. Because, well, then, maybe it's worth a shot.

-eg

1.2.13

I've been a bit distracted. You know, moving. Christmas. New Years. Mission. But I realized the other day as I, in the middle of a 4-way conversation, burst out with, "Loves it like a thorn in the eye!" that my metaphors are better confined to the page, not to any audible scenarios. And then I realized, that wasn't a metaphor at all, but something entirely different that I can't remember the name for, which would make me sound either incredibly smart or incredibly pretentious if said in normal conversation. I am also too lazy to Google it right now in order to tell you. Yes. I'm currently that lazy.

And so, here I am, awaiting the lightning to strike so I can dump my metaphors, similes, conjectures, conjunctions, adverbs and pinafores onto an appropriate stage.

As it happens, I have nothing to write really. It's a new year, this is true, and I should be writing something about New Year's Resolutions, or reporting on last year's, or spewing some nonsense about the absence of resolutions and how hipster I am by doing so.

I have but one goal for 2013: Be the best missionary I can be, and don't slaughter the Spanish language.

That was actually two goals, if you'll notice. But neither of those are goals, actually, since they cannot be measured, nor really attained. But I'm gonna leave it, because if I don't have goals, I can't fail trying to achieve them. And failure is one of my least favorite things, along with oatmeal raisin cookies and clogged drains.

Did you click on the link to my last year's "resolutions"? Good on me, I accomplished them all except the Europe one. Bummer. In January I did, in fact, rock climb a 10c and would go on to climb an 11a as well. I can't remember what I got Catherine, except that it had something to do with a ticket to Disneyland. No, wait, that was the present. I remembered. We went to Disneyland in February, I ran a 10k in July, I believe (I was a few months off, so sue me) and actually ran the Red Rock Relay in September. I didn't go anywhere like Canada in April, but I did go to Texas in May and Oregon/Washington in November and Disneyland again in October. I didn't go to Europe in August but Cath and Mom came to Utah which was just as good (brownie points, whaaaaaaat!) and the rest of the year you can figure out by perusing my blog archives.

That whole paragraph was pretty unnecessary, in hindsight.

Oh hey, I went through the temple for myself last week. It was a special experience. The gospel is true, and the temple strengthens my testimony of it.

Dallas Texas Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Not sure what Dad was doing ...



Jessica, Catherine, me, Kelsey and Thomas


Wish all my family could've been there, but it was great to have these peeps there with me.


I was especially happy Jessica could be there. She's basically my sister.