this is the place

Editor’s Note / Disclaimer: All pictures courtesy of my Blackberry, which does not have the best resolution.

Today, we had plans to wake up early so that we could get good seats at the Cache Valley Pioneer Day parade. (Almost spelled Prada there. We all know where my heart is.) We woke up late but were still able to get decent seats, even though I wore the wrong shoes and I had to take them off halfway through. The day was hot, but my Diet Coke was cold, and I was happy. I was totally new to this whole throwing candy at the crowd thing, but Tyson was all over it. Unfortunately, since we don’t have kids, most candy throwers just ignored us. (Note to self: Borrow a child for next year’s parade and split the candy 50/50. A couple handfuls of Tootsie Rolls don’t last all day.)

Next was the carnival at the park, where we purchased the largest cotton candy I’ve ever seen.

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It was gone in ten minutes.

Then we went home where we made spaghetti, and I felt sorry for myself because I couldn’t write something longer than 43 words and all those 43 words were complete nonsense. I spent hours trying to sound charming, witty, and profound, yet the best thing that I could come up with was, “I hope that one day someone will describe my style as ‘effortless.'” (True story.)

Close to 10 pm, my husband popped his head into my office (the futon in the living room), where I was still getting nowhere with my writing. He told me that we were off to see the fireworks. The lady did protest too much. “But I still haven’t written anything all day,” I said in my best whiny voice as I wrapped a scarf around my head. (No picture available. When we got back home, I realized that I looked effortlessly ridiculous.)

We drove to some back street with no street lights that looks onto the park from which they would be shooting off the fireworks. The afternoon sky is probably my favorite thing about Utah so far and today was no exception. The sun had only been down for about an hour and a half, so the sky was still tinted pink in some places. The fireworks started to go off, and they were great, even though since we got engaged after a fireworks show, all of the fireworks shows we’ve seen after that have been a little anti-climactic. Like, “You’re not on one knee and handing me a beautiful ring? Oh.” Anyway, it was during the fireworks that I found my inspiration. I started thinking about what I should have been writing about all along.

“This is the place.” – President Brigham Young

Today marks the 165th anniversary of the first group of Mormon pioneers that were led by President Brigham Young entering the Salt Lake Valley after a difficult thousand mile journey. Even though I have no pioneer ancestry, I’ve always felt a kinship with these early Mormon settlers. It’s almost impossible for me to listen to their heartbreaking stories of courage without crying. I think of what it must have been like to be asked to sacrifice everything. I’m so grateful for the men, women, and children that made that journey to an unknown land that I now call my home. Every time I visit Salt Lake, I’m so amazed at what these people were able to accomplish with such limited technology and resources. They were able to turn a barren land into a beautiful place.

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So inspiring.

This really is the place.

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