Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday Memories--Salt Lake City

First things first: I passed! I got a C on Physical Science. I even called to ask and make sure. Indeed, it’s over. I never have to take it again. I can't decide whether to throw the book away or enshrine it.

Sunday I had such a fun day. Calvin and I went to Utah for a wedding on Saturday. Saturday night he dropped me off at a hotel in Salt Lake City while he went to Idaho to go hunting. Sunday morning I got up at 5:45 and read while I was waiting for the sun to come up. After I showered and ate breakfast (oatmeal, apple juice, granola, milk and a banana) I took off walking. I passed only one man on the street. He asked me, in a thick British accent, where a pharmacy was and I explained there wasn’t one close. When he wondered why the town was so quiet, I explained that the businesses in downtown Salt Lake City shut down every Sunday. He couldn’t grasp it because it seemed even the homeless people had found somewhere to go. The two of us pretty much had the streets to ourselves.

I walked to L.D.S. Temple Square via the Beehive House and admired the flowers and the gardens. (Note: parsley is beautiful in a flower bed.) It was so calm and peaceful and I had no agenda. Sometimes I think I need to throw away my plans more often. I wasn’t in a hurry. I stopped to think and look and listen. I even sneaked in a few minutes to watch the Tabernacle Choir practice for their early Sunday morning broadcast. I don’t think I can articulate what a peaceful and restorative morning it was for me. I didn’t try to cram an extra thing in, I left myself plenty of time and I soaked up everything. In short, I felt balanced, my word for the year.

I made my way back to the hotel and rode the shuttle to the airport. I was plenty early so I sat down to read and wait. I was reading a book that a friend asked me to read on abusive behaviors. It was a bit of a snoozer and soon I was asleep. After twenty minutes I awoke and saw half a dozen women gathered around a man in a business suit about five yards away. The women were all laughing and happily interacting and I wondered what was entertaining them. I looked at the man and saw it was Donny Osmond (funny to think at 50-something we still call him Donny). What a nice, nice man he was to those women. They were in their fifties and giddy—laughing, asking him for autographs and for individual pictures. He just pleasantly smiled and visited with them. When they finally left, the college volleyball team who was sitting next to me stood and asked him for autographs. Very congenially he kept signing his name and then started for the main terminal again. A woman in her 30’s approached him to say something and he patiently listened to the woman for a minute or two and then said a few words back. I was so impressed with how kind he was. I thought how terribly annoying and frustrating it must be to never be anonymous, but he good-naturedly endured the attention without seeming to either thrive on it or be annoyed by it. I didn’t even try to catch a picture; it would have broken the spell —he being so nice and then me trying to capitalize on the scene. I was glad I woke up in time to see him be so polite . . . and mature. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by the interchange, but the women reverted back to high school behavior at seeing him (which was rather sweet) and he just seemed so professional, mature and kind to all of them.

After he left I went to find a seat closer to my gate and found a friend from Moses Lake. It was wonderful getting to visit with her for awhile. I sat on the plane next to a sixteen year old that was flying to Idaho for her grandpa’s funeral. She had just gone to her very first dance on Saturday—homecoming. She was so excited and told me all about the date and her hair and the food and the music and her dress and showed me the pictures on her camera. She is a Jane Austen fan and so we talked about favorite scenes from Pride & Prejudice and Bride & Prejudice. She is taking a religion class with only special needs kids in it. On the first day of class, the teacher came and explained he needed volunteers to join his class and be partnered with the kids with special needs. She immediately stood up and offered to go with the other class. I thought that incident spoke volumes about her. She stayed glued to me after we got off the plane until her mom showed up. Her mom gave me a wonderful, knowing handshake. It was a very sweet way to end a good trip.

We used to go to Salt Lake City often when I was young. It was right up there with Disneyland as one of my favorite places to go. Salt Lake City was where I first rode an escalator, learned to cross a street by myself, tasted scallops and saw The Sound of Music. Salt Lake City has lots and lots of happy memories for me.

How about you? What city holds happy memories for you?


Diane said...

Oh, I feel like I was right there. You described everything perfectly. Those are just about identical experiences and feelings to many I have had in SLC, too. except for Donny. (I might have taken a picture, though!)

I saw The Sound of Music there for the first time, also. It was so grand. We all dressed up and everything. I continue to love your blog!

hennchix said...

My favorite happy memories are from being stationed on Iceland, and going to Rekjavik. We would go visit the members there, and also to play in Bbigtown". They had the yummiest lambdogs with dried caramelized onions, and this awesome mustard. They were called "Pilsurs". sometimes our pronunciation was not so great and they would hand us a beer- "pilsNER". No, we must have looked very perplexed, because realization would dawn on the waitress' face, and she would say "AHHH, PilSUR?" hEE HEE.

Loved your post- I could just see it all happening.

Josslin said...

My favorite memories are in Seattle and Spokane. When we're exploring as a family, everything seems right with the world.

Kim Sue said...

:) love the peaceful feeling I get just thinking about SLC on a early Sunday morning.

melanie said...

Such a happy, pleasing post for a Monday!

I have really happy memories of Salt Lake and St George. Every spring break, Christmas break, summer break we drove to WA from Las Vegas. We would always go to the Beehive House/Temple Square and on the way home we would stop at Brigham Young's summer home, it was our stop and stretch place before got home. I can't wait to take my kids there someday. But then again, I might rather go there myself one day and have some really great, reflective, quiet time!

My mom just saw Donny and Marie in Las Vegas. She was given free tickets and she loved the whole show. She mentioned all the things you did about him. I'm sure she wouldn't have just watched the scene. She would have talked to him no doubt!

The girl needed you. I love you are always where you need to be. You're awesome!!

Jess said...

What a great post, it made me smile :) I love that you gave yourself time to just take everything in.

I must say that Cedar City Utah holds many wonderful memories for me. It still feels like home every time I return :) Have a great week!

Amie said...

How fun... I feel like this about St. George and Lake Havasu... (or at least how I remember them. I haven't been to Havasu in over 15 years so I am sure my memories are outdated! Glad you had a great weekend.

Donna Chapin said...

It is kind of weird feeling being in a hotel all by yourself. I've had to do it few times for work. The one place I felt the most uncomfortable was Washington DC. I left the hotel only to eat and work. But your stay sounded much more peaceful!
And I don't think I could have restrained myself from not being part of the crowd around Donny Osmond. You see I had a bit of crush as a teenager. And how fun that you were able to have a good conversation on the plane. I know that you like a good plane conversation.

Julie said...

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on passing your class! I can understand your pain. I had to take physical science twice. I got a D the first time. The second time I was married to a scientist who tutored me and I still got a B! Just burn the book, you'll feel better! Or get Ty to sell it for you on so you can at least go out for ice cream to celebrate!
I have very fond memories of Provo and going to college there. We lived south of campus and it was so peaceful. I loved all the fun things to do and all the activities. I also love pilsur! Who lived in Iceland? What a small world. So beautiful there too.

HeatherM said...

Probably Spokane. Seems a bit boring, but it was truly the "big city" the whole time I was growing up. State tournaments, school shopping, visiting with aunts and uncles, antique shopping, skywalks, Boehm's candy, The Bon Marche deli for lunch. Fun, fun times!

Becky said...

I love downtown SLC and have many fond memories is the place that I remember snow for the first time.

I get a kick out of the fact that you are able to talk to complete strangers at airports--I don't have the knack for it!

Also, is it funny to admit that I have never heard Donny Osmond sing? :)

Becky said...

P.S. CONGRATULATIONS on passing your science class!

Alisha said...

I love SLC, too. I'm so happy to get to go there this weekend for General Conference with my 8-yr old son.

I also have a special fondness for London, England.

PS--I LOVED Bride and Prejudice. Very clever. And very funny.