Friday, July 10, 2009

It Rays to live in Ogden

Ogden gets a lot of slack, and I completely understand why. But I think it takes a lot more slack than deserved. It's not nearly as trashy as say...west salt lake. Not nearly as full of crime either.
I was driving to meet a friend today. It was close to sun down. I had my windows down, allowing the cooling summer night air to blow through the windows and run through my hair. As I drove along Mountain Road as it turned into Harrison, the smell of the fields along the mountain rolled into my car. That was the smell of summer for me. I then got into the rural part of Ogden.

In downtown Ogden, the houses were reminiscent of a time when people sat on their porches and kids watched howdy doody. Ogden is the essence of the "American Dream" lifestyle. You can drive down the streets and picture it in the forties, fifties, sixties. Beautiful churches, an old Christian, a beautiful catholic, episcopilian, baptist, etc, were examples of the diverse religious lives in Ogden. As you get further into downtown you get an idea of what Ogden looked like in the twenties, thirties, forties; what bootleggers and Cattle Stock Union owners mingled in.

I met Jim at Bistro 258, sat outside on the patio. On a Friday night, people were coming in and out of shops and restaurants, bars and clubs. A harley festival was going on, filling the night air with the sounds of engines and mufflers. We ordered our souffle (the best souffle in the world.) and continued to talk. The sun started to set, turning the sky into a palette of pinks, oranges, yellows, purples and blues. The light reflected off of the gorgeous mountains that framed Ogden.

I realized tonight that I really love Ogden. I know I don't want to spend the rest of my life here, but I'm glad I love it. I'm glad that I've gotten to a place that when I finally move, I won't have a problem coming back. I won't dread coming back. We have a beautiful little humble temple, we have 25th street and other great additions to downtown that is building it up into a great place to be and spend your time.

I know Ogden isn't the best place, and it isn't even the best place in Utah, but it certainly isn't the worst. And it's not even a bad place. It's pretty awesome. Ogden is awesome. And I'm glad I am priveleged enough to be one of the few that see that.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

God Bless America! Land that I love!

"Here's to high treason. That's what our founding fathers were committing when they signed the Declaration. Had we lost the war, they would have been hanged, beheaded, drawn and quartered, and-Oh! Oh, my personal favorite-and had their entrails cut out and burned. So... Here's to the men who did what was considered wrong, in order to do what they knew was right." --Ben Gates, National Treasure--

This wasn't the best fourth of July I've ever had, but it didn't take away one fact: Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. Last night was just as great as any. I had a friend though talk about how much she disliked holidays because they are for people who have someone. She said I liked holidays because I always have a really big family to celebrate them with. But even this fourth of July, I sat in my house all day watching movies. The only festive thing I did was fireworks.

But the reason Fourth of July is my favorite holiday is because...well...I've become a cynic. I know, that doesn't make sense, so let me explain. Please. I've been in hundreds of plays, I've seen thousands of movies, I've dealt with some extremely sappy and emotional situations. I've also had to experience things that have hardened my emotions, because it's too much to feel that intense of emotion. (I won't go into detail there.)

But America. Patriotism. This country. The Red, White, and Blue. This is something that still makes me feel such emotion. I Love this country. Yes, it has major problems and we're all in a crisis, bla bla bla. But the truth is, I love this country. I love for what it stands for. I love my grandpa and Brother for fighting for what they know is right. And as I watched those fireworks last night, and listened to those songs about what makes America, I was grateful. I was grateful to be in this America for its birthday instead of in Germany or India or Anywhere else. I was grateful to be celebrating the fourth like millions of other Americans were doing. I sat and thought about my family in the various places in the country watching fireworks too. And then I thought of all the Americans everywhere watching fireworks, and it made me happy and proud.

I wish we were as United every day as we are on that holiday. What a great country we would be again if we could all work together instead of trying to tear people down. We should lift and support our leaders, encouraging them to make good choices for our well-being. I'm so glad for the founding fathers who took a stand against Tyranny, who sacrificed everything to give those living in these colonies a chance. I'm so very grateful for all the men who have lived and died to give us our freedoms and give others their freedoms.

And as I watched those fireworks last nigh, I actually had a tear roll down my cheek as I thought, "I am so glad to be apart of America. A part of hotdogs, rock and roll, country music, popsicles, red and white checkered pic nic tables, apple pie, football, baseball, Chili, and all those other things that make us America."