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Ten Things of Thankful: Labor Day Weekend Surprise

Photo: A peek into the Hidden Garden at Ashton Gardens. A vine-covered archway leads to a shallow pool and water fountain.
I'm a bit later than I usually am in linking up a TToT post, but I knew that I would have lots to say after the weekend, so I held off until now.

Last week, as John and I were sitting at the table, we heard a big thud. I went out to the porch, expecting to see a dead (or at least stunned) bird outside the window, but the only bird I saw was a magpie, flying out of our maple tree. I didn't think too much about it, until a day or two later I was standing outside, looked at the window, and because the light was just right, noticed this:

Photo: A dusty outline of a bird in flight appears on a window of my house. The side yard and neighbor's yard is reflected in the window.
1. I'm thankful the bird (and the window) survived the impact.

2. I'm thankful that a couple of friends from California were able to come visit for a few days. They arrived in the middle of the night (which really wasn't a problem for us; we fell asleep at our normal bedtime, and just opened the door when they arrived and pointed out the guest rooms), and then the next morning after they were more rested, we started our fun. 

3. I'm thankful for a great surprise! While we were eating breakfast with our friends, the doorbell rang. Youngest son and his girlfriend were driving through on their way to a getaway with siblings and college friends. I knew they were going, but I didn't realize they would be traveling by our house on their way! It was great to see them, if even for a short time.

4-8. I'm thankful for a chance to play tour guide. Not only do I enjoy showing friends different places, it's a nice excuse to visit those places myself. I'm thankful for:

  • Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah. I've written about this place before, in the winter when they have their Luminaria display. It's also beautiful in the other seasons! 
Photo: A mixed bed of flowers (which I am guessing on the kinds): blue salvia, reddish-orange flowers that look somewhat like nasturtiums, yellow coneflowers, and a tall pink rather exotic looking flower 

Photo: A close up of a statue, showing the hand scooping up a little chick. This statue is one of many in the Light of the World Garden at Ashton Gardens that depict scenes from the life or teachings of Jesus Christ. 
  • the Salt Lake Temple. Though I frequently worship in temples, I had not been inside the Salt Lake Temple in years, so I am thankful I got to go last week. It will be closing for 4 years for extensive renovations, beginning in late December of this year. When the renovations are complete, the Salt Lake Temple will be open to the public before being rededicated. So if you've ever wanted to see the inside of the Salt Lake Temple, plan to visit Utah during the open house (expected to be held sometime in 2024.) 

  • Vampire Penguin. Yes, I just discovered this was in Utah a couple of weeks ago, and yes, I've already mentioned it. But it is truly yummy! Also, they have a punch card, and we've already earned a free dessert! 
  • Our local movie theater. It is family-owed and operated, closed on Sundays, and doesn't show R-rated movies. I can support that! Oh, and although it shows first-run movies, the tickets are only $6.50 at most. Matinees are less, and all day on Tuesdays, a ticket, a small popcorn, and a small drink will set you back $5. We watched The Fighting Preacher last week, and  recommend it. 
9. I'm thankful for learning new things. I was putting up a car windshield shade, and my friend helped me. She unhooked the car's sun visor and turned it down a bit, which made the shade stay in place better. I was so impressed! I don't know why I never thought of that before. Such a simple solution to fighting to keep the shade up! 

Photo: A car visor, unhooked and pointing downward, holds the sunshade in place
10. As always, I'm thankful for John. We went out on a hike today. John was patient with my frequent breaks. I tried to have positive self-talk; instead of focusing on the fact that I am not in as good of shape as I was a year ago, I decided to (repeatedly) focus on being thankful that I could be ready to keep hiking after a minute or so of rest. Fitbit tells me that we went 5.69 miles, with a 1387 ft. elevation gain. We turned around at a little bridge. The creek was beautiful, and flowing quite a bit for September. I'm glad we both enjoy being outdoors and that we can hike together.

Photo: John holds hiking poles and stands on a mountain canyon trail. Utah Lake is in the background.
Photo: Two forks of a creek join together. Green trees (both deciduous and evergreen) provide some shade.
What are you thankful for this week? I hope that you will be safe this Labor Day weekend, whether you are home, driving home or trying to stay out of Dorian's path. 

Joining me this week:
The Prolific Pulse
MessyMimi's Meanderings
A Season and a Time
The Broken Inside of Me
Carin's Gratitude
Phamily Blog
The Wakefield Doctrine
TeachezWell Blog
Backsies is What There is Not
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  1. Visits from family and friends do rank high on the thankful list when you don't see them often. Hope you have had a wonderful Labor Day!

  2. Beautiful thankfuls! My niece lives in Utah. Would love to get there.

    1. If you ever head out this way, let me know!

  3. We've had similar experiences with birds trying to take a shortcut, but never of that size. Fortunate both for bird and window.
    Good trick with the sun shade. (Being the way I am with heat, I don't have one and will actually enjoy the feeling of gripping a sun-heated steering wheel.)
    One trick with the dealing with different physical condition is to imagine you are setting out on a number of hikes. Make each rest stop the end of the current hike, then decide if you're up for another hike.

    1. Good idea with the multiple hikes trick. I was just determined to get to the shady, cool, more beautiful part. It's a steady uphill climb on mostly dusty, rocky trails until the bridge. The hike beyond the bridge is shadier and greener, but we'll leave that part of the hike for another day.

  4. What a beautiful photo of the fountain! The Ashton Gardens look so beautiful.
    I am glad you were able to attend the Salt Lake Temple one more time before the renovation.
    Surprise visits are fun. What a fun way to start a day.
    We take it slow and easy just going up the hill above our house, so I can relate to taking it slow and easy with the elevation gain on your hike. I'll bet you could see forever.

    1. I'll have to take you to Ashton Gardens next time you're here.
      The views from the canyon are beautiful, and I love seeing water flowing!


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