Thursday, August 18, 2016

Settling In

For some reason, my first hours/days in Salt Lake were hard.  I just felt so lost and out of place.  I'm sure a lot of it was residual stress from the journey, but as I wandered around our new home by myself (Jason was already hard at work), I wanted to cry.  Everything in the kitchen was just so tall and the bedrooms seemed so small; I couldn't imagine how we were going to make things work. 

It wasn't until I gathered the kids together and took a trip to Salt Lake's main library that I took a deep breath and sighed, yes, everything is going to be okay.  It's funny, but I think the way that you first orient yourself to a community probably communicates a lot about what you value most.  I have frequented libraries, rec centers, parks, schools, and church but I still haven't been inside a Walmart, Target, Kohls, or Shopko (with furniture stores being the notable exception.  Our couch didn't fit through the front door.)

Anyway, back to Salt Lake's main library, it's incredible.

We got library cards, signed up for the summer reading program, and took advantage of the summertime Kids Eat Free lunch program.  Brooklyn is hiding off to the right in this picture, but if this photo included audio, you would hear her commenting on all the natural light and offering her compliments to the library's architect.  Her Daddy has trained her well.

The kids adore the reading nooks that can be found in the children's area.  I love that they are so inviting that the kids grab books from the shelves and nestle in to read instead of heading straight for the iPads.

Talia on her perch.  This gal is trying to strip Brooklyn of her Bookworm title.  Yesterday she read all of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child along with several other books.

Exploring the library's outdoor roof-top garden.

Gotta love those mountains!

At ground level, the library hosts a beautiful courtyard garden as well.

The splash wall is particularly fun.

Annika was already prepared with a swimsuit, of course.

After the library we rode trax for free to the City Center.

It seemed fitting that one of our first excursions should include the Salt Lake temple.  After all, this is the reference point for all our directions as we find our way around town with the grid system.

Come to think of it, the temple is also our reference point for life, marking where we want to be and teaching how we can get there.  What a breathtaking monument to faith.

The kids enjoyed listening to pins drop during our tabernacle tour.  Luckily Annika had dozed off, so you could actually hear.

A photo in front of the reflecting pools, albeit poorly cropped.  Fortunately we can go back and try again.

And one more picture of the temple at night.

Not a bad place to call home. In the words of little orphan Annie, "I think I'm gonna like it here."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is not doubt in my mind that "you're going to like it in SLC". However,the fact that you will like it there has as much (probably more) to do with your attitudes and inclination to like it, as does the place itself. I'm so pleased that you are "settling in".

I'm doubly pleased that you make regular visits to the city library. The SLC public library is a fabulous place not only for its inviting and functional architecture, but for its dynamic collection and service oriented staff. For example, I was delighted to learn that Brooklyn just completed reading "The Soul of an Octopus". I suspect she accessed this book through the library either in print or as an e-book. A major aspect of any library's magic is its fostering a palpable feeling of nearly an infinite number of learning possibilities. If we ever lose that "palpable feeling" we should return to the library frequently to nourish that good seed. It is certainly possible to visit libraries virtually as well - but, in my view a physical visit is still a bit more profound. Much of our eternal progress depends upon taking our life-long learning seriously. Any good library invites an active learner to explore, to learn and think more - to become more - and to have a quiet mental conversation with many of the finest minds who have gone before.

A few relevant library quotes before I get back to my "career" library work:

"I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries." -Carl Sagan

"Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries."

"Libraries are community treasure chests loaded with a wealth of information available to everyone equally, and the key to that treasure chest is the library card." -Former First Lady Laura Bush