A Day of Triumph and Beauty

This is the time of year that we get to remember some of the past that was more than just the beginning of Life for this valley. It was the start of the Desert blooming as a rose. I realize that some of that quote was for the middle east, but I think a great deal of it was for Utah.

Back in 1847, when the pioneers first entered the valley it was nothing like what we see now. There were some trees, mainly around what steams and rivers existed, but most of it was arid land. A desert.

Only the industry and work of those early saints turned this valley into what it is now -- a glorious area to see. One that I wouldn't trade for anywhere else.

I moved here from California when I was 18. I had lived in a couple of different areas, close (relatively) to the ocean and then further up next to the mountains. I don't remember being happy anywhere there as I have been here. (Okay...I do miss the ocean once in a while -- but we do have salt water nearby...grin)

The thing that I love most about this state is it's people. We have some wonderful people here, and they aren't all members of the church either. They are just simply kind, generous and welcoming. Hopefully my children will grow up to be like their neighbors...grin.

My favorite thing about the 24th, though, is the parade. I mentioned the Day's of 47 Parade last week, and I really wanted to mention it today. Talk about beauty and artistry! Some of those floats are amazing! I think anyone who works on a float deserves a medal, because that takes so much patience and diligence. At least they don't have to work with live flowers and stuff like the Rose Parade and have more time. They also don't have to worry about the thing dying and falling apart within 48 hours or so...grin.

If your curious about the floats before the parade, there's always the KSL preview party, held Monday and Tuesday down at the South Towne Center. Personally, I'd like to go see them after the parade, so I can go gaze longer at the ones I liked best.

Have you ever thought about the art of putting a float together? Not only do you have to consider the base and foundation, how it's going to move and be driven, you have to decide if there are going to be people standing on it, how they are going to be secured and what is going to happen around them. I guess it's always the theme first and then figuring everything else out.

I've never done a float, but I have a friend who has done many of them, and from listening to her -- they are a lot of work. I don't think I ever want to work on one ... I guess if someone asked me. grin.

What really amazes me is that this year marks the 159th year of the parade. I remember when it was the 150th and they did the commemorative entry into the valley. We lived in Salt Lake and were really excited and thrilled with the event.

There have been many gifts from our pioneer ancestors. Among them the drive to succeed, the desire to change the world around us, quilts that last to be heirlooms, dutch oven cooking, and last but not least the hoe-down. Okay -- I'm sure they weren't the inventors of dancing, but they knew how to party and have fun.

If you don't have pioneer ancestry in your family tree...I'm sure there's someone back there that has proven their worth. I myself don't have pioneer stock, but my hubby does and I'm proud to be able to associate with them.

My parents were converts. My father's family came over from England -- In fact I even had one that jumped ship and went awol. Kind of exciting family history, huh? I like it.

Anyway -- I hope you take this time to celebrate families and take pictures, read journals and make some memories of your own this month. I know I will.

Didn't someone say there was watermelon in the fridge?

Oh...and don't forget:

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Since I don't live in UT the 24th is often celebrated on the weekend close to it. I have been in SLC for the event though and enjoyed the proceedings {never went to the parade. Our ward went out to a farm and it was fun. Two ladies in the ward shared the wards history, that was cool. I was disappointed in the broadcast from SLC as it really didn't have much to do with celebrating pioneers. I am like you and didn't personally have family that treked across the plains but married into some. I have a great family that did its own pioneering in their own way. Family history can be an exciting venue to explore.

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