The Alpine Loop
Every October, I love to get in my car and drive the Alpine Loop around Mount Timpanogos. It's so beautiful, especially when the leaves are changing color. There's one spot in particular that's my favorite. It's a small parking lot with a view over the canyon - looking down on the mountain sides. The pine trees are thick and dark green, and then there are patches of bright yellow aspens. The affect is gorgeous.
August and October are my favorite times to go up into the canyons. In August I go to the lake by Brighton Ski Resort and watch for moose. You have to go in the evening when they're coming down to drink from the lake. They're fascinating. So huge! And sometimes there are groups that come down together. My friend Heather and I saw five in one evening a few years ago. So awesome.
Wednesday I went to Lehi to have dinner with my good friend Nicole and her family. She and I used to work together here at the COB, and talk and laugh and write scathing emails to each other when we were bugged and shop at Crossroads and take walks up City Creek Canyon...it was great. She left the COB a couple of years ago when she and her husband adopted the beautiful Bridget - a sweet, sweet girl. I've really missed working with her, and am so glad that we've kept in touch.
Dinner was good fun. She made a tasty casserole, and we ate and talked, and I tried to convince Bridget that I'm not so scary. I think she was close to believing me by the end of the evening. It was so good to just sit and talk to Nicole again, about important things and unimportant things and everything in between. I love friends who stay friends even though you hardly see each other anymore. It's really nice.
Like Sands Through the Hour Glass...
My niece Sierra is 18 years old now. I know, I'm shocked too. Her birthday was October 17th. She and her family were on vacation at Disneyland on her birthday. Could there be a better place to become a legal adult? I don't think so. Sierra is a beautiful girl, always has been. When she was little, she'd hold my hand and skip along side me, just so happy and as bright as sunshine. I remember when she was born. We were at the hospital to see her, and Barry said, "It's going to be so much fun, watching her grow up.", and it has been. So, so much fun.
All my girls are growing up. Cortni is married. Sierra is graduating in the spring and talking about going away to school. Mariah has a driver's license. Savannah is finishing up Junior High, and Josie (my niece in Wisconsin) will soon be 12 and in Young Womens. It's strange, because when I think about them being babies, it feels like a long time ago, but at the same time it doesn't seem like all of this should be happening yet. I consider myself very lucky to have had the time I've spent with all of them. They are, each one, a real joy. And I pray every day for their safety and happiness. Such beautiful girls.
Left to right - Savannah 14, Sierra 18, Cortni 21 and Mariah 16.
And this is Josie, 11, with her brothers Jake (left) and Matthew (right).
I found out this week that my brother Courtney and his wife Andrea are expecting a baby girl in March! So there will soon be a 6th niece to fall in love with.
Niagara Falls in a Barrel
I read a fun story on the Writers' Almanac today. It's interesting to find this because my friend/roommate Melissa went to Niagara Falls this summer, and I asked her about going over it in a barrel. She said that it's not something that anyone should ever do. I have to agree. Here's an account of the first woman who did.
"Annie Edson Taylor climbed into the barrel in the Niagara River, at Little Grass Island. She was wearing a flowing black dress and flowery hat, and carrying her lucky heart-shaped pillow. After she was inside, the top was shut and a bicycle pump increased the air pressure inside the barrel to help with the cushioning. It was pushed into the river at 4:05 p.m. and it headed toward the Canadian side. Shortly after, Annie and the barrel plunged over the falls. It took about 35 minutes from the time Annie pushed off shore to when she was pulled out of the water by rescuers. She got out of the barrel unharmed, except for a few bruises and a small gash on her forehead. Her first words after she emerged were, "Nobody ought ever to do that again."
Thanks, as always, for your constant attention.
You are loved.