My photo
Utah, United States
One night while tucking Abby into bed she sweetly chimed, "good night! Sleep tight! Don't let the bed bites bug you!" I like her thinking. Sometimes life bites. The trick is to not let it bug you.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Places I Love...

After a gondola ride at Snowbird.
aka "the land of mine inheritance". A little Mormon humor for my pleasure. 

I've been wanting to write about my favorite places for a while. Not because I want to give a travel log or anything, but just because I have been impacted by them and want to share. Some of the things I love about my favorite places are common, some obscure, but in every case significant to me. I thought I'd start out with my present location.

I can't imagine there are too many people interested in reading this who don't already know my life's story: So Cal girl who left home for college in the late 80's and spent the next 5 years going back and forth between home, Idaho, Japan and ultimately, the University of Utah. (How I ended up at the UofU and subsequently met my husband, Scott, is a little freaky and a post for another day.)

Prior to making the move to Utah, I spent all but one summer of my life vacationing here. My grandparents' home is at the foot of Utah's Ben Lomond (right), near a couple of canyons and a lovely river. When I was a child, staying with my grandparents was the closest I ever came to experiencing life in a rural environment, having always lived in a suburb of Los Angeles. They had a huge yard with vegetable gardens and fruit trees, shared a fence with neighbors who had horses (the horses loved us for feeding them my grandma's apples) and of course incredible mountain views.The summer days were hot and dry, the nights breezy and comfortable, and the occasional evening thunderstorms always an anticipated treat.

Utah was where I first camped, caught a fish, dug a potato out of the ground, built a tree house, held a baby kitten, ate a tin-foil dinner, spit a cherry pit, rode in the back of a pick up, shot a bottle rocket and got a perm (not all vacation choices warrant sentimentality).

I had fun cousins, aunts and uncles in Utah, and it seemed like every time we went to the store I met a new relative. I loved poring over the family photo albums and reading the events recorded in the family Bible. A few generations worth of ancestors had lived and died in my mother's childhood home, and I always had a sense of connection to my heritage when I was there.

With such fond memories to fuel my impressions, I never found it difficult to imagine myself here. So, when it came time to make college plans, Utah seemed like a logical choice; away from home but near family, familiar enough for an easy transition. I've loved it since day one, and though I will always have a fondness for my home town (another Place I Love), I've never looked back.

A few of the many reasons I love Utah:

  • I love that the high schoolers have their proms at the state capitol.
  • I love the glorious fall colors and the first snowfall.
  • I love the graffiti-free school yards and great teachers.
  • I love my proximity to canyons and lakes.
  • I love my surprisingly diverse neighborhood.
  • I love 101.9 the end.
  • I love Pioneer Day.
  • I love the roadside produce stands.
  • I love that we now have In-N-Out... a little flava of my youth when I'm feeling nostalgic.
  • I love the easily navigable Salt Lake International Airport.
  • I love living among adorable families of quail.
  • I love that my children are growing up with the things I loved about this place.
    Andrew in Great Grandma's backyard.

Abby and Bobby.
Wes fishing at Powell.
Ian & view from Sunrider's roof.
I camped last summer, but haven't caught a fish in years (if you don't count the catfish that Rob Carlson caught with his bare hands when I chummed it at Lake Powell a couple of years ago), nor have I had another perm since I've lived here. Our neighbor's cherry tree branches encroach on our yard, but I never eat the cherries, let alone spit out the pits. I do love the view of the snow-capped mountains through its blooming branches in the spring, though, as well as all of the many other blooming trees that decorate the landscape annually.

Utah isn't for everybody, and there are a few things I do not love about it (could they please start a new driver's training class here called "how to navigate a 4-way stop"?!).

It would be nice to live a bit closer to the rest of my family, and I sometimes miss the beach (and let's be honest, Disneyland).

But as for me and my house, I guess you could say, this is the place.


The Bunker Family said...

just what I needed! Thanks. The 4-way stop thing is an epidemic!

apple slice said...

cool post. i like the cherry imagery. cute snaps. can i say, you are on my top 10 list of utahns.