The 2017 Timpanogos Storytelling Festival is over and I'm sad.
I've just started to expect to spend my days listening to stories about Esther Agra trying to wiggle out of a speeding ticket with an innocent grin and the excuse that she doesn't speak the English and about Bil Lepp trying to stay atop Diablo the devil horse.
My face hurts from laughing.
I find myself going around with images burned in my brain of Ed Stivender as a dancing man and Sam Payne trying to impress the girl in Camelot with his Lancelot song.
It's magical and real.
I've gone to some of the festival every year for nearly the last 30 years and usually written a section cover story about one or two of the storytellers.
I've seen the festival grow from an event held in Karen Ashton's backyard in Orem to an event attended by thousands.
They know Davis by sight and sound.
(This year when the teacher in his story caught and killed a mouse, they all gasped. He had them immersed in the story of Miss Daisy and their adventures as they traveled the world in her fourth grade class. They also knew not to cross a teacher who wasn't afraid of a mouse.)
There's no real way to tell non-believers about the storytelling festival.
I heard a guy trying to describe it to his friend over the phone.
"Yes, they tell stories but it's more than that," he said, clearly having trouble conveying what it means to hear stories that move you, make you laugh and make you cry.
I can listen to Carmen Deedy talk about babysitting her grandson and I know why she crawls up in the crib with him and then can't get out.
I hear the funny, small voice Catherine Conant uses when she tells the police officer she is the daughter of the guy who sold him his house and I travel back in time to when I sped in my father's Impala between Idaho Falls and Pocatello.
Their stories bond us.
We who are listening travel through time to when we were kids and when we were in trouble or in love or simply growing up.
We've all been there and it's sweet to go there again.
For a good one of Donald check You Tube.