My art history professor, Chip, he seemed really alive to me. He was an ex-surfer turned art historian. He was funny and brilliant, tall and thin with floppy bangs turned gray. One day someone brought in a hand carved chainsaw made out of wood, which impressed him immensely, obviously. He just happened to be wearing a flannel shirt that day, so there were a lot of references to lumberjacks. I had a pocket full of dead cigarette butts because I hated throwing them out on the ground. When I'd reached the end of the flame, I'd twirl and pinch it between my fingers until the last of the lit tobacco fell out, deaden it with the bottom of my shoes, and pocket the brownish filter until I found a place to throw it away. Unfortunately, I always smelled like stale cigarettes back then. I don't believe I minded because everyone I knew then smelled like that.
On an adventure, I'd probably do some fishing.
I'd visit monuments. Sure. Why not?
I'd make the kind of scrambled eggs Grandpa Aanonson made cooking over a camp stove. Those were the most golden, fluffiest, butter glistening eggs I've ever had--at home or at the RV camp. I'd sit in the folding chairs with Grandma Aanonson while we fish the pond, admiring her cowboy boots and crossed legs while she drinks a beer from a can. I've always loved how Grandma would just laugh about things that seemed like such a big deal me. At my sister's wedding, I walked right up to her and said, "Grandma, I have to tell you something. I smoke." I wanted to save her the shock. She just laughed. "Oh. Okay, honey." And that was that. I'd love to go fishing with her. She's actually coming to stay with Mom and Mike for a few months, so we'll have four generations of women under one roof every Wednesday night. That's an adventure right there.
One thing you should know about my Grandma Aanonson: she always wears red lipstick. She has for a long, long time. She looks fabulous. She talks with God a lot. I can't wait to sit with her for long stretches just listening and listening. She's almost 90 now and as vibrant as her lipstick is red.