What the Family Learned this Week

Monday, August 26, 2013

Putting the FUN in Funeral

By: Lauren LaClare 

I went to a funeral last week of a super cool lady in my ward...she was from New Zealand.  She was Maori went on a mission to Arizona and served on different Native American reservations etc. (this was back in the late 60's early 70's) She met her husband there and on a side note he started the Lamanite generation.  They were both into singing dancing and all that good stuff. 
 I tell you this because at her funeral she had Native Americans in their traditional garb (feathers and all) sing and sign the Lords prayer.  Super cool.  Then as they were taking the casket out...all her Maori relatives stood up front and sang a super cool song that I didn't understand any of the words but because it was sung with such emotion and overall more enthusiasm than I ever hear in our usual church hymns...it was awesome.  Then at the cemetary her relatives did the Haka!!!! I was like hello I have no ties (other than being related to Daniel) to any Maori or Polynesian heritage...but think it was so sweet that I want that at my funeral. For no other reason but to make people smile and to just see something Awesome. 
So I tell this whole story and want you all to think not about your funerals :) (yes mom we know no funeral...but maybe Brinn can just do the sprinkler or running man around your casket in some sort of celebration ha) ...but to be thinking about a way to make more fun cool traditions in each of our families.  At that funeral I was really feeling my whiteness and lack of more fun cultural traditions.  I wanted to be like hey Swedes...you kinda suck.  So other than food let’s try and think what lively traditions we can start doing.  I was thinking of picking up the fiddle and doing some rip roaring singing around a campfire...or maybe learn how to River dance (thanks Irish) Ha.  So many choices of what traditions and cool things I would like to steal for my fam.  Good luck Sweet Granats!!!!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

What We Learned about Cell Phone Service in National Parks and What it Reveals About Human Nature

A recent trip to Yellowstone with the extended May family (a wonderful and highly educated group I might add) revealed one of the problems of the modern world, and how a new gadget has become a crutch, a necessity that without we are not quite sure how to function.  

I am speaking, of course, about the cell phone. 

As it turns out, with all its natural wonders and geothermal oddities, Yellowstone National Park does not have reliable cell phone service. We realized quickly that in a caravan of three minivans, there would be some difficulty communicating and coordinating. Yet even once we had realized that cell phone service in the park would be minimal, we weren’t quite sure how to navigate large group management. We lost track of each other several times, and in over 2 million acres of space, it became impossible to meet up again. And like muscles that have not been used, we seemed incapable of fixing the problem as it just kept happening over and over again!

Cell phones have made us all lazy, dependent on technology and texts to guide us through life rather than clearly communicating and formulating plans. Which is fine most of the time, but the new system’s flaws are quickly revealed when there are no bars, or when someone, heaven help us, does not even HAVE a cell phone.  

What did we used to do back in the day before cell phones? How did we meet up with people without calling and asking “Where are you at?’  We had to actually choose times and places to meet I guess. It’s hard to remember that far back. Noon at the flagpole. 2 pm by the Ferris wheel, etc. So many movie and TV plots revolve around miscommunication or not being able to get a hold of someone. Recently Karina and I watched the beginning of the musical Grease. Danny Zuko and Sandy enjoy their summer love, but sadly separate at the end of the season. It occurred to me that Sandy could simply send a quick text  - “Danny - I didn’t move back to Australia. I’m attending Rydell High. Where are you at?” It would make for a very different movie.  

In the future, if movies or television are going to have any drama, they will all have to be set in Yellowstone Park.