Drip Mist, Salt Lake City, and the Ferris Wheel of My Brain

Have you ever had one of those weeks that feels like a whirlwind? That's been my last week and a half. We traveled to a family reunion in Utah last week. Traveling always makes me feel a little frazzled and causes me to lose my bearings in the time-keeping department of my brain (especially when we travel across time zones). It's like I've gone back to when I was a kid and summer seemed to have no clocks.

Before we left, I realized that since the house was painted last fall I hadn't hooked up a functioning drip mist system for the back garden and there was no way that the potted plants were going to make it until we got back (I didn't want to burden our cat sitter with that task). Silly me waited until the day before our departure to go out and hook up all the mini hoses and drippers to each new pot around the pond. Fortunately, I had to send my husband out on only one run to Ace Hardware for connectors I didn't have because I started the task late in the evening and the store closed shortly after his quick trip. Summer time-keeping has been hard this year--don't know why. I've felt like it's earlier than it really is. Has it always stayed light this late? All logic assures me that it has but this year feels different. Maybe it's because I'm feeling more alive and in tune with myself and my surroundings.

So with the drip mist extensions and changes in place I could go away on our short trip knowing that I wouldn't come home to dead potted plants even if the temperatures soared. Never mind the fact that I had yet to pack, vacuum the living room so the cat sitter won't think ill of my housekeeping, and get my head into the trip itself.

The last was the hardest to do--getting my head into the trip. I was planning on doing some family history research while there what with the LDS Family History Library right there in Salt Lake City. That alone required some fraction of my brain. I have this process in my brain that I like to envision as a ferris wheel--each bucket of the ferris wheel containing an idea that I need to process and mull over. Well, it seemed that my ferris wheel hadn't acquired a bucket for the trip or the items attached to it like the family history research. It seemed that the wheel was completely full of buckets about the garden, the website, the online store, my photography... every bucket imaginable except one for the trip. So finally late that night, I managed to get a wee bucket on there so I could focus enough on gathering my research notes and electronic files on the laptop so I could do some sort of research

We flew the next day via JetBlue--a favorite of ours because of the great legroom, leather seats, wonderful employees, and satellite televisions at every seat that we can listen to with our iPod headphones (universal jack). The flight went out later in the day so it afforded me time to pack. Good thing too because I had come down with a head cold (yes, in the summer!) and my head was foggier than I would have liked. With all my cold medicine and a huge stack of nice soft tissues in my carry-on, we were off.

I hadn't been to Salt Lake City for the past 9 years and was anxious to take photos with my new camera (a big bucket in the ferris wheel). Seeing the city as a photographer was a phenomenal experience! Early in the trip my patient husband learned to pull the rental car over at the word, "Stop!" I would see something that looked like a great photo and just have to shoot it. He was so good to indulge me although sometimes he was purposefully heavy on the brakes just for dramatic effect.

I also found that the family history bucket in the ferris wheel became dominant as soon as I set foot in the LDS Family History Library. Get me around stacks of books with potential research gems and I'm like a bloodhound in the Louisiana swamp. My mom lovingly calls me "Lafayette" for that very reason. I hunted down wonderful pieces of information about my ancestor--a shepherd in Scotland in the late 1700's. I found the farm on which he actually herded sheep and the tenant farmer that ran the farm which his family had run for nearly 300 years before. Yes, I was baying like a bloodhound inside.

The reunion started the following day and covered two days. What priceless experiences we had as a family. I saw cousins I hadn't seen in 10-25 years. I saw other cousins that I begin to crave seeing if I haven't seen them in a year or so. I spent a great deal of time with my two aunts and their spouses; enjoying them and soaking in the experience of simply being with kin that share one's heritage. The experience was enlivening and enriching. I've been on a natural emotional high for the entire week following the reunion. Family connections truly are precious and vital to our core beings.

And despite the scorching heat of Salt Lake City easily climbing up into the 100's, I thoroughly enjoyed the city as I always do. It is a beautiful urban center that doesn't feel like a big city. I particularly became enchanted by the city during the very warm summer evenings. Photographically capturing the lights at dusk became a bit of an obsession (which my sweet husband again obliged).

Now we are home to the cats and the garden. The cats forgave our absence quickly although Dee Dee had to meow at us quite a bit for the first half hour we were home. The potted plants in the back garden faired very well with the new system that I really didn't test before trusting that it would work sufficiently while we were away.

Too bad I forgot about the potted miniature roses in front...

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