- My Friends! – I haven’t even been gone half the length of my trip and already I have spent much time with people who know me and love me in spite of our history. I dearly miss the ones who are sick or have work commitments that have kept them from coming to Girl’s Night Out or lunch or just stopping by for some catch-up. These women give me something to look forward to every year in my visits here, and they keep me going during the mean time. One of them I have known since birth, some since elementary, a few appeared in the middle ages and the rest are from high school and beyond, but we all have one thing in common: we have enough dirt on each other to know where all the skeletons are buried. LoL!!
- Geography – I’m not sure if that’s the right word for it but I just woke up from a nap so cut me some slack! I think Utah is just as varied in California when it comes to microclimates. The mountains are SO beautiful, the valley so green… the architecture of this valley is being well-maintained and protected giving you a sense of permanence. Buildings are generally not left to rot once their purpose has been fulfilled, they get re-used and re-purposed in new and inspiring ways all the time!
- The Weather – I know. I am shocked as well. Let us all note that winter is not largely included in this sentiment, although I’ve always said that I love me some snow between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s, and if all it ever did was snow during then it would make a strong pull in getting me to move back. Right now it is Autumn, and you can totally tell. There’s a crispness in the air that tells you something’s coming. Leaves are starting to turn everything from verdant green to a golden rainbow of sunset. Football is in the air and people are proud of their teams. School fundraisers are abundant, but not in the form of tacky candy and wrapping paper sales. They do it in a classy way like “XYZ Elementary Family Night” at a favorite local drive-thru where a portion of the evening’s proceeds go to the school. Or a thorough car wash, not just one where they hose off your car and pretend to clean it.
- The Stores – I’ve often said that if I could move certain stores from Utah to California, or vise versa, it would make either place a lot more liveable for me. If Salt Lake City ever gets a Trader Joe’s, I’m in trouble! My good friend Darci and I are crafting today (I’m writing this on Tuesday). She took me to her favorite fabric store, where I forced myself to put on blinders lest I spend myself into homelessness, to pick up some grosgrain ribbon for a project we’re working on. They didn’t have much of a selection but boy, did they have rickrack! That crap’s expensive if you buy it by the packet at your major craft retailers (JoAnn’s), but not here… it’s only .45 cents a yard! Needless to say, I got a few. Yards. In ever color under the sun.
- My Family – My brother and sister and their families live here. As with most siblings, we did not like each other growing up. Nay, we hated each other growing up. That all changed when I moved. My sister is not much younger than me and was married close to the same time I was and we have children the same ages. Becoming friends has been easy with her as we’ve gotten older. I had to wait a little longer for my brother to grow up and start his family, but those changes have brought me a stronger relationship with him as well. I know they think I am a nerd, but I love them a lot. And the time that they take out of their super-busy schedules just to entertain me with meals and games to play mean a lot. They’re the biggest reason I’d consider moving back. But they’re also one of the biggest reasons I don’t. Being so far away makes the time we have together all the more special. But living closer doesn’t always mean more time together, and for me that would be hard.