My Mormon family, which includes the 100 living and in-law descendents of my maternal grandma, have begun to coalesce back in the homeland Zion of northern Utah. Once they scattered themselves across the Los Angeles basin, but now they have all returned to the Mormon promised land, and everyone is living in houses under construction, with bare rooms waiting for unborn children.
They aren’t much for the hustle, bustle and smog of Salt Lake City; they prefer the university setting and unshakably beautiful mountains of Provo, a place I’ve frequented since I was three months old. It’s funny that the unofficial symbol of Mormons is a beehive, because my family has finally buzzed back to the honeycomb, surrounding the Queen Bee that is my Great Aunt Idonna.
Donna circa 1939
“Auntie Donna” inherited the role of matriarch once my grandma passed away, and her house in Pleasant Grove is now the aorta for my family’s activities – much to her chagrin, because she loves living alone, and the 40+ cousins at her house each day are driving her up the wall.
Today and yesterday Tessa and I went around to a bunch of my favorite cousins from the different families and she got an ear-and-eyeful of my family’s bizarre and lovely peccadilloes. I wont bore you with the details, but suffice to say she gorged herself on Mormon Jello, saw breeding in its purest form, and could probably make the movie “My Big Fat Mormon Christening.”
my awesome Worsley cousins – click here for the 1991 version
Last stop before heading for the sin of Las Vegas, we drove up 700 North to see my grandma’s old house. The site of so many of my earliest memories, the best Christmases and cousin crushes, her house was magical to all of us. We pulled up to the driveway and this is what we saw:
The Mormons may live forever, but damn, their houses sure don’t.