I'm a bit of an oddball in Salt Lake. I resent the plethora of shopping centers surrounding my place of residence rather than bless the concrete they stand on, I consider being able to see the stars every night more important than having any kind of night life, I'll drive around the block to avoid turning left on a street with no stoplight, and my definition of "culture" excludes bar hopping, Will Ferrell movies, and fashion sense.
*I feel the need to point out that Salt Lake culture is considerably more diverse than the picture I've painted. It's much harder to classify Salt Lake-ians than Provo-ians.*
I'm glad I get to experience new ways of life and broaden my horizon a bit, and I'm not saying one way of life is superior to another, but it's always refreshing to hang out with people who have the same roots that I do.
On Saturday, despite my plans to study the afternoon away, I made an appearance at the Jackson family reunion. (Once Mom mentioned the f-word--food--I really had no choice on the matter.)
Nearly 100 people gathered at Salem Pond to reunionize. For once it was okay to assume that a majority of the people were LDS. Everyone had a good old man joke up his sleeve. A popular topic for conversation was fishin' and huntin'.
Usually I don't like going to family reunions that extend beyond my aunts and uncles. Being reintroduced to vaguely familiar relatives for half the afternoon gets old really fast.
"This is my second oldest, Angie."
"Ah, yes, I see the family resemblance."
Repeat that conversation 40 times.
But there's something nice about being with people who share a quarter of your weirdness. Even though we're spread across the country, the Jacksons are still a bunch of old-school farmer dudes at heart.