Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The 24th of July is a sort of benchmark in the year. It has been since a childhood event when, on the 24th, my uncle ascended in his pickup to the top of Bountiful Peak, decending in the heat of the summer day with a bed full of snow. He deposited it at my grandparent's house, amazing all, especially us children. Since then, this is a time when I look to the local mountain to see how the water year is progressing.
This year's snow, like the last, has been scant over much of the mountain, mostly on account of this summer's tremendous heat. We have made it to this point with just enough snow on the 'Shoe to make me smile, though. Things will be just fine.

So, as things go, it was a fairly quiet Pioneer Day here in SpringTowne. Most of the festivities around the state were held on Friday or Saturday in this state leery of revelry on the Sabbath.
I erected the state flag, nevertheless, in silent protest to all of the US flag waving that seems to happen on this holiday, as if it were merely an extension of the 4th, a day entirely appropriate for such flags. Pioneer Day, in my eyes, is more a Utah Independence Day, inasmuch as the pioneers were in fact fleeing the United States way back in 1847.
They were seeking a land where they could practice their worship of God as they saw fit, with all their virtues and foibles intact. The Utah Pioneers escaped to Mexico, legally or not, to a high desert that not many wanted to bother with. They proposed to join the union not long after that, after their bit of earth became a territory through the shady dealings of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, though Utah (for much of those years known as Deseret) was rebuffed for more than forty years in its attempts to gain statehood. The request was only granted after threats, war and petty accusations wore Utah's Mormons down to give up many things held sacred.
My wee flag waves on the 24th as a feeble reminder that some things were given up to become a part of the home of the free and the home of the brave. Things haven't much changed even in the present, judging from processes and machinations at work in our fair nation today.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The corn is up and tassling out, and our sunflowers are about to bloom.

Having bought water shares from a good couple in town, we are ready to begin a system so we can drip irrigate as much plant life as possible while cultivating a wee bit of lawn for old time's sake.
It's the end of July right now, though. Too hot and not a good idea to use much water at this time of year, anyway.
Pioneer Day is always a time for us to head north to Bountiful. We invariably go to my aunt and uncle's house for a feed and family get together next to my grandfather's old garden patch at the home which was for many years my great-grandparent's.
Since we absolutely must, with threat of some ungodly sanction from on high if we miss it, too soon after arriving, we headed over to Main Street for the parade.

The sun shone heartily on Bountiful's 24th of July parade (held on the 21st), so heartily in fact that though it was seven thirty pm in the intermountain west, we were afraid that we'd made a wrong turn and had gone south from our home in SpringTowne instead of North. It was not unlike sitting on a street in Phoenix, watching a parade in the 103 degree heat. Stifling isn't even much of a descriptor, since I was willing to run a good race to get out of the heat. I would have sprinted a good ways.

Play, talk, running, shouting and general hijinx wore the kids out by the time we got home from the fireworks up the hill. The floor of the living room is made into a wide bed and all fall asleep, hopeful for promise of more fun on the morrow.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Yes, I know that pictures of kids and kittens are adorable and perhaps the photographic equivalent of the gastronomic strawberry shortcake, but this post has nothing to do with either.
The general malaise of our materially-obsessed society is becoming more forceful in its sway here in quiet SpringTowne. More "successful" artists and retirees seeking speculative real estate are showing up in their luxury sedans and glittering SUV's. The ratio of leisure class to working class, on the rise for quite a while around here, is rising as to become more obvious with each passing month. The gentrification of Spring City has become a boom market.
As the new homes built become larger and more marked in their contrast from the those of the common folk, there is even dissention amongst the former elite. Some professors at the local college comment about the ostentation of the new wave of the genteel.
Of course, the unwashed masses who haven't been squeezed or been persuaded to sell out are talking and taking some action, as well. Signs of protest have appeared on SpringTowne's utility poles, though they were torn down by an offended someone almost as quickly as they were put up.
How long will it take for Spring City to become another Park City, Heber or Emigration Canyon, Utah? One never knows, but hopefully the transition will be marked by some amount of conscience and consideration. The heart of this town would benefit from such.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

One of the original members of Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett, has died at the age of 60.
Shine on, you crazy diamond.

Sunday, July 9, 2006

After a job interview at the Aspen Ranch in Loa, I joined Ryan, his father and his brother for a spot of fishing on the Escalante Plateau south of the Boulder.
The rain was refreshing, the lake beautiful and the fishing better than any we've experienced in a long time.
All four of us, on one of the most beautiful lakes in our world, singing out to each other to ask what was pulled next from the clear water and into the nets. We were giddy by the end of the evening, hardly believing our good fortune and the size and colors of the Brookies we were blessed with for our hike and meager efforts on their lake.
When will that place treat us in like manner again? It hadn't done so in many, many years, and probably won't again for at least a few.
We'll hold this time in our hearts at least until that next one.