Saturday, September 13, 2008

Girl power

I'm here in Heber, Utah with a group of about 20 girlfriends. It is estrogen central, baby. It is outlet shopping, jewelry making, game playing, walk taking, gabbity gabbing, food eating, zip lining, hot tubbing fun.

In the entry of our rented "cabin" (at least 4000 square feet, isn't that quaint?) there is an interesting chair. I use the word interesting here meaning ugly, and I realize that's a bit of a Lemony Snicket construction. That's one of the main things I've been reading lately - out loud, to the kids.

Anyway this chair is made of a big old gnarled log hollowed out in chair shape. The funny thing about it is that because of the shape of the log, there's kind of no back half of the seat. Just a hole. We have one friend who is seven months pregnant and we got a great photo of her in the chair pretending to do Lamaze breathing.

Which brings me to the other main thing I've read lately. Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross. The story follows Joan, a 9th century woman who dressed as a man following her brother's death and entered a monastery, possibly eventually becoming the pope. This story is disputed by the Catholic church and I'm willing to entertain it as either fiction or fact, but it was a fascinating story with well researched insights into the medieval church, the power dynamics of gender, and the politics of the time.

Anyway, in the back of the book there's a picture of a pope-checking chair with a hole in the seat. Some claim, apparently, that it was used to check the sex of incoming popes after Joan.

And that brings us full circle, back to the goofy chair in our entryway. I think this one is meant as art. No pope-checking going on here in Heber, I'm pretty sure.

We're all packing up our girl power and heading back to our responsibilities later today. Our pregnant friend will be staying with a Utahn friend for a couple of more days - her home is in the Houston area and the airport is still closed. Another friend lives near Galveston and could not leave; she's a nurse in a children's hospital. Remember them today if you can.

The book was good. And yes, this will pass for a book review in my food-stuffed, sleep-deprived state. Enjoy.


Braden and Meredith said...

Lol--I've heard of pope joan but never the chair. quite funny

Bek said...

UM HELLO????? I am FROM HEBER!!!!!!! WHA??????

How is my town doing (besides small and hick-ish?). You made me homesick. ;-)

Kari said...

Ana - it was SO great to meet you! You are a lot of fun!!