Welcome to Shanghai


Tuesday was a long day. It began well enough. We hurried through the airport at 6:30 a.m. and walked within inches past President Henry B. Eyring. I try not to be a sign seeker, but I’ll admit I thought it was an auspicious sign that we were on the right path. Atleast toward the right corridor to our airplane.

All three of our flights were delayed, which meant lots of running through airport corridors with kids and backpacks in tow. The flights were fairly peaceful, with Pinky Stinky crying eight times, Miss M. crying four times, bathroom breaks galore and nary a wink of sleep to be had by Mom. The Hubs left his cellphone on a plane in Korea and The Draper Kid upchucked in the hallway, fresh off the flight from Incheon to Shanghai. Which put us from first to last of a line of 200 people in Immigration. Whispers of “lao wai” (foreigner) and comments regarding our many children could be heard around us.

And then, at the end of a very long day, stood a good friend, waiting for us.

Americans in Shanghai. Pu, The Hubs & iPad

The Hubs has known Pu for 20 years. They served in Hong Kong together. I’ve known Pu and his wife for 15 years. They walked me through the Bountiful Temple Open House, which sparked a desire in me for a spiritual conversion. Later, Pu and I attended a study abroad program to Nanjing. And…he introduced me to my husband. Pu and his wife are like family to us. So, imagine, at the end of a long and trying day, this good friend standing there, smiling at us.

Shanghai is going to be wonderful.

Top 5

I’ve been pondering what I’ll miss most after the move and aside from family, friends, piano, art, karate and drinkable water, I’ve narrowed it down.

5. American humor. A Christmas Story makes me laugh.

4. Driving. Even behind the really bad drivers who don’t know what to do at a four-way stop…or how to merge on to the freeway…or signal when turning…

3. Target. I’ll miss our Red Cart Romance… and American designed goods. Which are made in China…but only available in America. Oh, the irony…

2. Fourth of July and Christmas.

1. The Temple.

In Which Adventure Calls Us

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”
                                         -Lewis Carroll

The time has come to say goodbye to what’s comfortable and hello to the unknown.

Once, I lived in a bucolic town where my children picked flowers and berries, made mud pies and watched Fourth of July fireworks explode in the night sky. They rode bicycles in the summer heat and ate popsicles on the front porch. My little three-ring circus and I learned to ride horses, chase chickens and feed sheep. It was an idyllic life, the kind of contentment that sounds too good to be true and exists only in storybooks. Okay, maybe there were occasional horse pies mixed in with some of the mud pies, but I can assure you, the happiness felt was quite real. But life moves on. And soon, one of the kids was accepted into a program in another school, in another place. The house sold and we moved across town, only to find ourselves moving again, towards a grander adventure…