|Photo: A peek into the Hidden Garden at Ashton Gardens. A vine-covered archway leads to a shallow pool and water fountain.
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.
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.
Joining me this week:
The Prolific Pulse
A Season and a Time
The Broken Inside of Me
The Wakefield Doctrine
Backsies is What There is Not