Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Winter Wonderland

Although there has been snowfall this Winter, today was really the first big storm. So tonight, I pulled on my old leather boots that come up to my knees, stuffed my jeans in as much as I could, bundled up in my navy coat with the furry hood, and headed outside.

It was about 9:30pm, and I headed to Temple Square. There were maybe two or three dozen other people enjoying the lights and taking pictures (a far cry from the usual crowds this time of year), and like everyone else, I had a difficult time figuring out where to point my camera. (There are so many great spots!)

Here's what I decided on:

The iron fence that lines the sidewalk in front of The Beehive House and The Lion House. Obviously, I really like fences. Incidentally, so does my sister Summer.

I love the lanterns at Temple Square. This one is covered in snow, but still emits a soft glow.

This is the most perfect snow-covered tree at Temple Square. I dare you to find a better one.

After I walked around the temple and the fountains and the windy walkways, I started for home, but by then it was about 10:15 and quietness was settling into the night. So I decided to walk over to City Creek Park and wander around. This time, I was nearly alone, except for an occasional dog-walker, but both people and dogs kept to themselves and went on their way. I, on the other hand, played! I was up to my knees in snow, forging new paths and exploring what looked like new trees hanging unusually low to the ground. I felt like I was the only one who had discovered this pristine park, and it was my job to either let it stay in its perfect stillness or run around and knock down piles of snow and watch them fall into clumps on uneven ground. So I did a little bit of both.

Boy, did I have fun! It was so nice to enjoy the peace that comes from a fresh snowfall. I took lots and lots of pictures, and then I walked up 2nd Avenue and down to The Cathedral of the Madeleine, where I'm sorry to say, I was a bit disappointed. Some of the saints were lightly dusted, but there just wasn't enough snow to make it look as impressive as I wanted it to. And by then, my camera started dying. (Isn't that how it always goes?)

This is a pretty bridge that runs across City Creek.

Again, I'm into fences. This one made it seem like I was in a Winter Wonderland.

These zig-zaggy lines of a ramp in the park looked beautiful.

Close-up! Of huge trees! Look at how well they carry all that extra weight!

I thought I liked pictures of unadulterated snow, but then I decided that I like the snow to look like something has lived there or been there––either underneath it or over it. So vegetation peeking out of snow is interesting to me, but so is a sign of movement. I walked over perfectly untainted snow and messed it up and in messing it up, made it better. "Someone has been here!" it says. "Life has been here!"

As I was playing, a thought occurred to me. I love snow. I don't know what to do with snow when I am in my car, but I do know what to do with snow when I am on my feet, and it is glorious! It is so playful and fun, and I didn't want to come home for the night, except I do, actually, have to go to sleep.

It reminded me of a few things:
  • Going on a snow adventure late at night can be so much fun!
  • Kicking snow and throwing snow and dancing in snow and climbing a hill in snow are all fun things!
  • Eating snow is also fun!
  • Sliding around in slush and pretending you're ice skating is super fun!
  • Walking slowly and looking at the delicate things around you is meditatively fun. :)
So that's how I ended my night. In a thoughtful place. This is me. This is my name. I need to enjoy walking through and playing with snow! I've been so terrified of having to drive in it that I've been dreading it, but tonight, I made my peace with snow. It is so beautiful and happy and playful, and I can love Utah for that.

Texas offers warm, wonderful, golden sunshine nearly year-round. California is almost the same, except the weather is a little cooler. Utah, though, has snow. Cold, wonderful, white snow that reminds me to be playful and silly and carefree.

I like Utah. I like this state. I like that I don't feel so cold here when snow is falling.

Thing I'm thankful for: encouragement to go out tonight, when the snow was at it's finest.

Monday, December 14, 2015

All About Me

Brookie told me that the green cards you win in Apples to Apples are supposed to describe you as a person. These are the green cards I got tonight:
  • StunningYes!
  • WittyWhy, yes.
  • PerfectPerfectly charming.
  • WickedYes, that, too. Sigh . . .
I think that pretty much sums me up. I just wanted to win the "Irresistible" card. Hmph.

Thing I'm thankful for: late-night chats in the kitchen while I wash the dishes.

Monday, December 07, 2015

This State

People keep asking me how I like Utah, and this is what I usually say, "It's okay." That's not what people want to hear about their state, though; they want to hear, "It's great! I love it here!"

Why isn't it great, then? Why don't I love it here? I realized this weekend that it has more to do with my health than anything. Since I've moved to Utah, I've been hit by a car, had two sinus infections, and have had a cold that's lasted over two weeks. Oh! And I had a root canal.

Not only are those things not fun, but they affect overall life satisfaction. It's hard to enjoy life when your body is in pain. It's not Utah's fault, of course, but when people ask me how I like it here, it's hard to separate my time in this state to my time in . . . this state––this state of feeling broken.

At the same time, there's nothing wrong with "okay." Why are people expected to be ecstatic about everything? Why does everything have to be great? Why can't "okay" be enough? I never said I didn't like Utah or that it isn't great––just that it's okay.

But since people have asked, I'll list the things that I think are great about Utah:

  • I get to live near family again. I have a brother, aunts and uncles, and cousins here.
  • I get to live near some of my Atlanta friends again because they live here now, too.
  • I live in the Lower Avenues, my favorite neighborhood in Salt Lake City.
  • My location means I am within walking distance of work, the grocery store, a pretty great mall, and Temple Square!
  • I get to see the Christmas lights at Temple Square every night of the week, as I walk home from work each day.
  • The mountains! Mountains are beautiful.
  • My co-workers, namely David, Russell, Alana, Rob, James, Matt, Trey, Gabe, Mindy, Ben, Natalie, Aubrey, Aubrey, Brad, Marleny, Melissa, Jenny, Drew, Becca, and Robin.

Thing I'm thankful for: the Neti pot.