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rant and rave, or, “I heart Utah” redux

By Dalene Rowley

Lately it seems that every time I turn around someone is saying something not very nice about the place I have lived now for the past 17 years. A place I love, though I am fully aware of its flaws. The place I am choosing to raise my family and which has given my kids so much more than I ever had as a child. A place that, oddly enough, frequently ranks quite highly on a number of lists of the top places in the nation to live.

This kind of bugs. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve lived in Europe. I’ve been to Southern California a number of times and even been east of the Mississippi. So it’s not like I am completely oblivious to life outside the Beehive state. But even when I chose to relocate here after graduating from college one of my family members said to me, “Why on earth would you want to live there?” Gimme a break! I live here because I like it here. Yes, there are a few (not all) characteristics I see displayed by a few (not all–not even anywhere near the majority) people that drive me a bit buggy. And while it’s true any time you have a high concentration of any one demographic living in the same place things can get a little weird, Utah truly is still a pretty great state.

I’m not the only one who thinks so. Are you sitting down? There are wonderful, kind, intelligent, educated and even fashionable people in my very neighborhood who live here and love it here, too.

I’ll never forget one night when some friends of ours took us out to dinner up at Sundance. She has had a successful career as a runway model in all the major fashion hot spots in the world. He has worked with some major names in the recording industry and now produces huge trade shows all over the world. They have visited and lived all over the world–both coasts, Europe, etc. A few years ago they moved from LA to the end of my street. They weren’t members of the church at the time, but later they were baptized. They now share time between their home here and a home in Nevada. My point is, these people have lived all over the world and they certainly have options about where they live now. During our dinner conversation, Rob, who is very passionate about the subject, brought up how much he loves living here in Utah (in Provo no less). He went on and on about what a great place it is to live–so much so he had me dying to live here and I already do!

A number of recent comments all over the blogosphere (don’t get me started) ripping on those of us who live along the Wasatch front have left me with a running composition–an “In Defense of Utah” post–in my head. But it would be as futile to play point and counterpoint all day long with the haters on the left as it is to defend the rules or decisions I make to my 13-year-old daughter. And, just like there is no point in explaining things I know because of my experience as an adult to said young daughter, nor is there any point explaining things I know because I actually live here to someone who does not live here or to someone who lived here 20 years ago.

So what’s a Utah transplant to do?

Some families I know have a rule at their house that if someone says something not nice about someone they have to follow it up with something nice. So here’s the deal, today you get to rant and rave about where you live. Because it’s my post and I’ll make rules if I want to, there are indeed some rules:

You cannot knock someone else’s state (namely mine) unless you actually live there (meaning, you only get to rant about your own state). Tell me something you really hate about where you live. But here’s the catch. Since I’m a bad news first good news last kind of girl, you have to follow up your rant with something you really love about your state.

Oh, and if you cannot come up with one single thing you love about where you live? Well, there is a house for sale right across the street from me. I’ll even help you move in. I may even bring you a casserole. Or some green JELL-O.

About Dalene Rowley

Began blogging as a legitimate way to avoid housework and to keep a journal of sorts. In her other life she wants to be excellent at a number of things, but in this one she's settling for baking a mean sour cream lemon pie, keeping most of the points on her quilt blocks in line, being a loyal friend and aspiring to moments of goodness as a wife and mother.

49 thoughts on “rant <i>and</i> rave, or, “I heart Utah” redux”

  1. There is absolutely nothing I hate about where I live, and I live in Utah. What I don't like, and has been covered, are the comments that I have heard from people that live on the East Side of the Salt Lake Valley (I live on the West). Even going so far as to vote to split a school district in order to avoid helping the West side build schools. Who helped build YOUR schools?! South Jordan, West Jordan, Riverton, Herriman – before they had the money to do so. It's such a narrow-minded and selfish perspective. What difference does it make what side of the freeway you live on? Of course, not everyone feels this way.

    What I LOVE are my neighborhood block parties, kids riding their bikes and feeling safe, waving to everyone outside in their yards as you drive by because you actually know them and are friends with them, and most of all, the views of the East Side Mountains. Which, by the way, are a whole heck of a lot prettier than the views of the Oquirrh Mountains!

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  2. I hate that I live next door to my hubby's work-mates. I hate that I feel like I live in a fish bowl.

    I love that I live in the big city (the first time in my life). I love that I can ride the bus/train/street car anywhere I want to go to. I love that I have no idea where to shop which leads me to buy less. I love that no matter where I choose to go, part of my trip is on foot.

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  3. I hate the price of gas – but doesn't everyone?

    I like that grocery stores are open 24 hours and that there are some that are closed on Sunday, that my kids can play night games in a very safe neighborhood, and I like my neighbors.

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  4. Dalene – I love this post! As a girl my family moved 13 times by the time I was 18. Different states, and overseas. I then went to BYU, met my man, got hitched, continued his schooling and as soon as we were done with school couldn't wait to leave Provo and never come back. Moved to So. Cal. Loved it, but soon realized we would never be able to provide the kind of life for our kids we wanted to, in Newport where hubbie grew up. I always said I'd rather live anywhere but Provo. Well, after MUCH thought, we moved to Salt Lake (Sugarhouse). As a freelance designer hubbie kept getting gigs in Provo. Weird. We started thinking about moving and things fell into place way too easily, found the house we've now been in for 14 years. And I love it. Sure there are things that bug, but really, those things would bug me anywhere. I think there are definitely some weird idiosyncrices (sp?) here, but I have grown to LOVE it here.

    Few things that drive me nuts: Macey's on Sat. night – really? The weather – seriously? How can it go from snow to broiling in ONE week!?!

    Few things that are great: Lots of good places to eat. Love how most of the town shuts down on Sunday. Feel fairly safe most of the time.

    And I love my neighborhood, especially since you're in it.

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  5. Tonya–"really?" "seriously?" I was watching a movie the other night and one of the characters asked, "Really?" and it was so you.

    Ask me how much I love that you love "lots of good places to eat." *wink* You and your family are definitely part of what I love about where I live.

    (I love my neighborhood so much that when we needed to move into a little bigger house–our first house was originally a fruit-packing shed that kind of got built into a small, two-bedroom home–we simply moved across the street.)

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  6. I hate feeling like I'm looked down upon, pitied, a second-class citizen, a freak of nature because I'm 27 and still single and childless.

    I love being nestled between beautiful mountains, having loving family nearby, not feeling like a weirdo for keeping the law of chastity, not having to drive an hour or more to get to church, and I love feeling unique for not fitting the mold.

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  7. The only thing I hate about living in Utah is that many of my beest-beloveds DON'T live here where I'd have easy access to them.

    I have no credentials or pedigree that would turn this into a celebrity endorsement, but here it is: I LOVE PROVO, UTAH.

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  8. Ha ha, change that to BEST-beloveds. My only BEEST-beloved is running around collarless in my backyard, and is not current on his parvo shot.

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  9. I grew up in Salt Lake and now live in Germany. A missionary today accused me of "hating America." It's not that at all. I couldn't explain to him how I feel. The world doesn't seem that big to me. A plane ticket and I'm there. But why do I need to be there when I can have just as much contact on the internet? There are differences between places, but they all have good points and I just don't really have the desire to always live in Utah. That doesn't mean in the slightest that I don't like Utah despite the fact that I have not ever felt homesick. I had a lovely experience there, it means so much to me: family, friends, memories, mountains, snow, hiking, Temple Square, etc.

    Now what I love about my current "state"(Sachsen)/city(Leipzig):

    -Because it's flat, wimps like me can ride their bikes everywhere.
    -There are big, lovely parks here and there where things are just let alone to grow.
    -The wards here are made up of great people.
    -There are modern buildings alongside historic wonders.
    -The university I attend will be 600 years old next year.
    -Bach and many other famous geniuses lived/were educated in Leipzig.

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  10. I live in Virginia.

    I HATE the muggy, like a dog breathing in your face, need to shower again as soon as you walk outside humidity. (also hate the traffic on 66 or the beltway, no matter what time of day, what day of the week, ALWAYS traffic!! How can there be that many people needed to go somewhere ALL the time?!)

    I LOVE the green, green, green everywhere, grass, trees, more trees, etc. (funny how the thing I hate is why there is the thing I love. . .)

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  11. Things I don't like about New Hampshire: Butter cubes are a different shape, cheddar is white, paying to go to the beach, humidity, no Nalley's Chili, the mayor is the head of the school board, no law requiring public schools to offer kindergarten, toll roads, no decent Mexican Food

    Things I love about New Hampshire: Autumn, no sales tax, living amongst so many historical sites, Autumn, trees, school caliber, getting lots of visitors who want to see this part of the country, being a novelty (a Mormon!)

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  12. Things I don't like about Seattle: long, long months of cold gray weather; stupid traffic everywhere; high prices and high gas costs.

    Stuff I love: so many parks to go to with kids; we live where we can walk to stores, school, and work; it's green and beautiful; the summers aren't hot

    We're moving in two weeks and so I'll have different things to talk about then 🙂 My husband and I both came to BYU for school and ended up spending quite a while in Utah and really liked it. My only complaints were the winter weather and the lower wages for my husband's line of work.

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  13. I love where I live. Love it.

    I also have a testimony of the saying Bloom where you are planted.

    I don't love that, although we are "sisters", some of my harshest critics and judges are here.

    I think that happens everywhere.

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  14. My greatest beef with living in Utah (besides the crazy-can't-make-up-my-mind weather) is a feeling that although everyone and their dog want the schools to be better, not one of those people (or their dogs) are willing to pay the taxes necessary to make the schools better.
    Oh, and no flouride in the water. I mean, what is up with that!? Drives. Me. Crazy.

    But what do I love? Oh, where do I start? The people, the mountains, the clean language, the activities, the family-friendly grocery stores and restaurants, the academic atmosphere (oh, yes, it is there), the instant access to wilderness, the modesty, the music (oh, the music!!), etc. etc.

    I miss California for many reasons, but I'm not surprised Utah (specifically Provo) feels like home to me. It is home.

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  15. Things I hate about Texas: really gigantic bugs, St.Augustine grass (AKA Texas Crabgrass), looong summers, it takes a long time to get out of here (there's a whole lot of Texas!)

    Things I love about Texas: people are very friendly, there are a jillion kinds of salsa, everyone comes here in concert (not so much in Salt Lake), thunderstorms.

    Things I don't like about Utah: everybody looks the same, people are so into family that they don't seem as interested in friends, peer pressure to drive an SUV.

    Things I love about Utah–being in the foothills and looking down on the twinkling city lights, Temple square, Megaplex theatres (love assigned seats and the butter on their popcorn), going up into the mountains on a hot day.

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  16. I dislike the stigma associated with living in Provo. Yet here I am.

    (Just for the record, you can complain about fickle weather in Utah, Illinois, and Virginia, and probably every place in between)

    I like that my neighborhood is my ward. I like that my hair stylist and my therapist and my grocery bagger are LDS. I like that there are no tornadoes or hurricanes. I like that I am minutes away from a bike trail or a mountain trail.

    Having grown up in suburban Chicago, I also liked standing out as one of the LDS kids (of which there were 30 in my HS of 3000), and I do miss that.

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  17. I'm only in Ohio (smallest town I've ever lived in) for three more weeks, so this is a great activity for me!

    Loathe: The only catch-all store in town is Wal-Mart. The drunk undergrads during the school year. The train that runs through town at all hours, sounding its loud horn.

    Love: The people, the independent video store, the patisserie, the people, the lack of traffic.

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  18. FoxyJ–I love Seattle. But I've only ever visited, I've not lived there. As for Utah, my husband is an educator, so I understand about the lower wages for certain lines of work. They are trying harder in recent years and things are definitely a little better than they were when we started.

    Jenny–Depending on which grocery store you shop, your grocery bagger could even be my son!

    Julie R.–I think I could live just about anywhere if it had a good patisserie.

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  19. Ok, so I'm in Cal. this week and I remember why I love it here: the BEACH. But that also brings me to what I hate here: the crowds. Every time we come to visit it's like my body goes into overdrive. I absolutely love it, but there is a large amount of hurry-up-ed-ness here.

    So I guess that gives me another thing I love about home – the pace. Even though I feel like I'm always two steps behind, the pace is slower in Provo. At four in the morning there just aren't the same traffic jams on I-15 as there are on the 405!

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  20. I'm in Ideeho, and we have virtually no public transport here (and we got very accustomed to it in Portland). There are too many Republicans, and they keep pushing each other further and further right. I could rant about this forever. When we moved here we'd been in the state 3 minutes and saw a bumper sticker reading "Charlton Heston is MY president". We almost turned around back for Portland.
    What I love about the Gem State–just enough Mormons. love that there are no nasty bugs, no humidity, tolerable summers, no earthquakes (virtually none), no tornadoes, no, flash floods, and no extreme freaky winter weather.

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  21. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. I grew up in Salt Lake City in the fifties and sixties, spent six years in Provo at BYU, married and left, never to return except for the occasional family visit. I have consequently spent the last 33 years defending Utah as a great place to live and to be "from". Even my husband spent the first ten years of our marriage bashing the place of my nativity, until I finally, in one of those fits of desparation, told him I'd had enough. He was shocked. I don't think it had occurred to him that every time he talked down about Utah I took it personally. How could I not? (To his credit, he hasn't said a negative word about it since, at least not to me.)
    We've since lived in Mississippi, Oregon, Washington (I love Seattle) and now western Montana. All of them have crummy weather some time of the year and great weather other times, so that all balances out. There's very little that I don't like about Montana, though I really miss the literary climate in Seattle and surrounds. Even when the temperature here is minus twenty, the sun is still shining, and we have the most exquisite sky at all times of the year (you have to live here to truly understand the meaning of "Big Sky Country"). And I love the casual pace of life and the laid-back "live and let live" attitude of most of the people.
    Home is wherever I am with the people I love,and that's in Montana now, but Utah, and Salt Lake City in particular, is a place where I will always feel comfortable and truly "at home". Fortunately, one of my daughters married a young man from Provo, and they have made Utah Valley their home, so I always have a place to stay. And wow–southern Utah, the red rock country, the parks–there's nowhere on earth more beautiful than that.

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  22. I'm in Utah and I don't like ungracious Mormons (thankfully, there really are very few of them, I think). And I'm getting pretty sick of the tiny measly excuse of a winter we've been having lately. I mean, come on! Bring me a good snowstorm, already!

    But for love — I, too, love that my neighborhood is my ward family. I love that there really are good good people here (although I'm quite certain I'd find good people everywhere). I love that I can bicycle everywhere. I love that my family is here so close.

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  23. Oh, I'm interested in the house across the street from you!!! We are actually going to buy a condo in Provo one of these days so our kids can live in it and go to school. And I love UTAH!!!

    I hate the cost of living here in Southern CA. But I absolutely love the beauty and the reason why I put up with the cost. I've lived in a number of places and it's in the top 2. That doesn't mean I'll live here forever, though.

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  24. Growing up I lived everywhere from Texas to Pennsylvania. I vowed I would never live in Utah. Here I am in Cedar for the past 11 years (the longest I have lived anywhere) and I do love it. I never want to leave.

    What I hate. There is nowhere to buy kids' clothes. OK Wal-mart and Christensens. The lack of shopping sometimes drives me seriously crazy. Somedays I hate the wind that carries my lawn chairs to the next lot. Some things have gone permanently missing. I miss my family in PA.

    What I Love: I live right on the foothills and my views of the mountains behind me and the valley below me are a daily blessing. Southern Utah's scenery is so dramatic and awe inspiring. I too have lived in the land of green you Eastern girls and while I love green, I do love my wide open spaces. I love being surrounded by a large LDS family. I never thought I would like this coming from places where I was always the minority. Sometimes I even like the wind.

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  25. I guess I don't get out much. I haven't heard of Utah bashing.

    I hate too much sun and hotness.
    I love cloudy and rainy days.

    I love cake too, so if you'd like to make me one and bring it over, I'd be happy to eat it for you.

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  26. Hi, I'm the choir, thanks for the sermon.

    The Utah denigrations infuriate me.

    That being said…

    What I don't like about living where I live in Utah:
    1. Limited public transport options
    2. I have to drive for 45 minutes to get to a really good bakery
    3. Nope, that's it.

    What I love:
    1. EVERYTHING ELSE

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  27. OK, my turn:

    Hate:
    1. AzĂșcar said it–public transportation leaves something to be desired. This is our own faults.
    2. When people assume everyone else is LDS–they're not always.
    3. The one-party system and the anti-education sentiment rampant in that party (of which I am a disillusioned and disenfranchised member) makes me want to scream. Again, this is our own faults.

    Love:
    I love the people. I love watching people evolve. I love the mountains–and no, they do not make me depressed. I even love the crazy weather in the spring–I like mixing it up a little and never knowing what you're going to get. I love and appreciate that kids–especially those who may be struggling with the choice as to whether or not to serve a mission–can go to literally dozens of those meetings formerly known as farewells as many of their friends leave. I was 22 and attending one such meeting when the spirit reminded me I had passionately committed some 14 years earlier to serve a mission. And so I went. (I'm sure the spirit can tell you such things anywhere, but I'm one of those people who need to get hit over the head.) I love that a some 50 high school kids and even some of their parents crowded into my living room to watch as my son opened his mission call. My brother happened to be there and he asked, "Is the the village?"

    I love my village!

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  28. Dalene–I hope this comment isn't breaking one of the rules…I taught high school in Utah, and the "anti-education sentiment" factored into my decision to leave. But I did very much love living in Sugarhouse. One of the MANY things I miss about teaching in Utah is going to former students' farewells…I can't quite describe how those meetings made me feel and strengthen my own testimony. I really miss those opportunities.

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  29. I just spent the weekend in Utah. I'll admit it, I've been really nervous about moving back after leaving BYU ten years ago, and now, after running through the mountains all weekend, I can't wait!

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  30. When my husband and I were young marrieds in Provo, we felt like we HAD to get away from Provo. Since "growing up", we've realized how stupid we were and often think about living there again. (anywhere in UT) We are snow whimps, though. And haven't forgotten the week the high was 2. Brrrr!

    When I first moved there I couldn't get over the beauty of the mountains and how they looked like a photo. They are gorgeous. Now I live next to mountains and love them, too!

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  31. What I love about Utah: living close to my extended family (none of us grew up here, but we've all moved here since, even Grandma!), the musical opportunities for both listening and performing, the convenient access to many things LDS (food storage help, book stores, history, Women's Conference, etc.), not having to drive very far to church, the mountains

    What I don't like about Utah: the stigma–the feeling that if I tell someone I'm from here, I'll be instantly judged; the constant accusations that the Church is negatively involved in just about everything. I'll bet in other areas, people outside of the Church mainly ignore it–I actually wish for that. Here, if the Church wants to build some kind of project, there's instant cries of "foul" and how we're taking over Utah. I get so sick of that. But I do also hate the one-sided politics. I do think that there is an "ease" of living here that isn't always good for me. I'd like to go someplace a bit more diverse culturally.

    My dh is job-hunting, and I have really mixed feelings about both leaving and staying here. We are open to going just about anywhere. The biggest drawback to moving elsewhere will be losing out on having all of our extended family close by. I didn't grow up near any of my cousins, and I feel I missed out. It's hard to think of taking my children away from their cousins.

    The biggest drawback to staying is that I want to see the country and not be stuck in the same place forever.

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  32. Thanks for this post, Dalene. I have lived on both coasts and in the midwest, and as much as I enjoyed my experiences there, particularly in the East, I love being here and raising my kids here. And I wish I didn't have to feel like I need to defend myself and this place as much as I do. I, too, realize it has its quirks, but what place doesn't?

    Nevermind the fact that Utah is beautiful and diverse in landscape…from amazing mountain peaks (I love my mountain view!) and beautiful lakes to the hot, dry, red-rock beauty in the south, to classic desert.

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  33. I live just a few minutes south of San Francisco, so I will go with the standard I HATE THE COST OF LIVING here. It is not manageable for most, so we lose so many fun families. Once they decide that they want a yard or to not manage apartments any more, or to be able to afford food, they are off. Our friends are spread far and wide.. I wish more people stayed.

    What I love? How long do you have. The diversity in people, cultures and food. The history (Mormons were among the first here…), the sweet neighborhood I live in, the weather, being a few minutes from the beach, the cheap UC school options, being so close to the city and exploring what it has to offer, the list goes one and on…

    I never thought I would want to move back to Utah, but now we can't wait. The lifestyle is great, people friendly, cost effective, etc, etc. Several of our friends (not LDS) have moved there and can't believe that we haven't come yet. The word is getting out about Utah and people think it is a pretty great place to live….

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  34. What I hate about Eastern PA: Crime, urban decay, organized crime, gambling, crime, mean people, crime, lack of members to hold callings, single sisters in the gospel who hear gunshots at night but can't afford to move, being far far away from family and airline tickets soo $$$$.

    What I love about Eastern PA: Youth who are the only members in their family and are faithful despite their surroundings. Being close to DC, Philly, NYC and the beach (even if a 2 hr drive can take 6). The rare gems -wonderful members who have grown strong living here.

    BTW – I am one of those people who put down Utah. But I couldn't read all the posts because it made me so homesick. I cry watching General conference because I miss it so. Just remember next time someone criticizes your home it could be they have to remember the bad so they don't cry every day they're not there.

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  35. How timely-this morning I woke up feeling an intense hatred for EVERYTHING and EVERYONE in El Paso. Mostly because it is so hot and I am having hot flashes from hormoney chemicals. But also because I am so tired of feeling like I am the only person here without Mexican heritage. (Which is not true. But it seems that way today.) I just wanted to move to Scandinavia and be among my people. The blondes who like bland food and pickled fish.

    But in the spirit of Dalene, here is my good thing about the EP: Manzanita del Sol soda and roasted corn. And gas is still at $3.80

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  36. As a Utah transplant, I really wish there was decent public transportation. I also feel the education system is rather lacking. I do not like that my neighbors send politically one-sided emails, as if everyone has the exact same standpoint. I do not like the extreme heat in the summer.

    I love the mountains, the outdoor recreation and the kind people. I LOVE the snow. I'm a winter person. I love regularly taking my kids to places that I only got to visit once every few years as a child (such as Temple Square). I really love that there are so many GOOD kids that my kids can call friends. I love that here I am not bizarre.

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  37. I just moved to Florida from Utah. Florida is GREAT to vacation, but it blows to live here. First of all, the retirees drive me batty. Not that I discriminate against old people, but I would like to just once walk into a grocery store and not smell old man fart. Second of all, the retirees have made all kinds of deed restriction rules around here that I feel like I'm at my grandma's and I'm not allowed to touch anything. Finally, the rest of the population in Florida seems to have an IQ of 27. Oh well, I guess no place is perfect.

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  38. We are moving to WA in a month. Currently everything here is lovely because I'm feeling all sentimental and weepy. I will miss lots about Utah, but I'm excited to find things to love in our new town!

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  39. Having lived in Provo since I was seven years old, I am not sure if my complaints would be specific to Provo, or just to humanity in general.

    Therefore, I will choose to focus on my absolute love of Provo! Everyday I look out from my deck, take a look at those mountains..and all is right in the world.

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  40. I grew up in Cedar City, UT. If you are living there now, I envy you. I live in Oregon, east of Portland. I love the forests and the mild winters. I love the school my kids attend. I love that my husband can actually have benefits with his job that he could never have in Utah. I love no sales tax.

    I hate that our state taxes are higher, that all the cost of living is higher, and I hate porn shops that are right out in the open with big huge signs letting you know what's there.

    I may be a transplant in Oregon, but my heart is still in Utah.

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  41. My husband & I met at BYU. He was from Utah, I was from all over the place. We lived for 5 years in Idaho after graduation and loved it. Then we moved to Durham NC. We've been here for 13 years now and can't imagine going anywhere else. That said, I am always a devil's advocate when people talk about living in Utah. If people tell me they can't stand living there, I have plenty of reasons that it's a great place to live. If people tell me that they will never be able to be happy until they're in Utah, well…I have things to say about that too!

    Things I hate about NC: Ministers who preach about Mormons, Christians who are sure that we are evil. Days that are so hot that the air-conditioning can't cool down the car. Driving 22 minutes to early morning seminary every morning. Droughts.

    Things I love about NC: It is SO BEAUTIFUL here. Every season makes my heart rejoice. My back yard looks like the Garden of Eden. Wards who are not so close geographically that everyone is in everyone else's business. Friends who become as dear as family when family is all so far away. And the very best part–we live 3 hours away from beautiful beaches and the very warm ocean.

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  42. I grew up in California, but have lived here most of the time since coming to BYU and have now been in Utah almost half of my life–weird!

    There have been all kinds of socially narrow-minded kinds of things I've hated over the years, but I can't seem to think of many these days. I have a good life here. I do wish for great variety in politics and I get really irritated at dishonest Mormon business men and women (I'm thinking the percentage of dishonest business people in general is likely the same all over the place, but I . . . oh don't get me started . . . enough said on that . . . I think my blood pressure was starting to rise).

    I do really miss the wide open sky in California, and there is a more free and open feeling there that I also miss.

    I love that I'm not too far from beautiful mountains and desert and farmlands. I miss living three hours from the beach.

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  43. There are things I love about my state, but I'd rather take your offer to live in Utah and eat green Jell-o!!!

    (Is there a blogging rule about commenting on a month-old post? Just wondering 'cause I have no life so I've been looking through older posts and came across this one :))

    So. I live in CA. Northern, to be exact. What I don't like about it is how crowded it is getting. All of my sisters and I live in the same town and NEVER run into each other, never. Just this last week our local fair started and on the very first day there was a stabbing, complements of local gangs, of course. Also, because I am not in a high socioeconomic status, I feel like this area is specifically for them, not those like me who live paycheck to paycheck. It's also known as "Wine Country" which, yes is very beautiful, etc., but as an LDS woman, I don't find the moniker charming. I guess any LDS families living in Las Vegas or Reno have it worse. Anyway, more than all of those things, I don't like not having any privacy. Because I have to live in appts., that's sort of a foregone conclusion that privacy is a non-option. However, I just really want to sit on my porch some mornings in my robe without people looking over to my porch. *sigh* Oh, and how could I forget?!?! THE COST!!! It is so darned expensive to live here! We rent a small two-bedroom on the outskirts of town and pay well over $1,000 per month! I was looking at Utah rentals online and wow, for what we're paying we could live in a house with a yard! Unheard of here with my income bracket.

    So, something I love. Well, as I mentioned, it is very beautiful. It is basically the exact terrain as Italy, except a little more tepid in temperature. It is/was a very mild mannered town, as I was saying though, there is a large influx of gangs and their goings on. But, it's fairly crime-free.

    But, alas I do want to live in Utah. I feel like it's my own personal Zion and truly hope to one day go home. One can dream, can't they? I was considering going to BYU, so that may be more of a possibility someday!

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  44. I'll comment late too! I am recovering from some surgery and am going crazy with boredom so I am reading lots of old posts!

    I didn't grow up in Utah but live here now. I liked where I grew up- Minnesota is beautiful and friendly and a great place to raise a family (we spent 10 years after college too)

    I LOVE living in Utah! I love the weather (to us, winter feels like spring after Minnesota!) I love the mountains, I love the NO MOSQUITOS (in comparaision) I love the friendly people, the no humidity and the fact that my kids can find lots of great friends with similar values AND similar interests.

    I miss the closeness of our wards in Minnesota but love the love the fact that I am living the gospel here with my family. Not that I'm trying to avoid work but sometimes I used to feel that my whole life revolved around what was going on in the ward or if I was doing enough. I have found it easier here to find the joy in the gospel- not just the frenetic life of a busy LDS family.

    This is provincial but I love the fact that my 3rd grade daughter's wonderful teacher met a great man, shared her engagement and plans for a temple marriage with her class and we could go to the reception and watch her and her friends run around admiring their teacher and wanting to BE JUST LIKE HER!

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  45. One of the things I love about the blog here is how discussions get revisited, so thanks for chiming in Maddison and Christine. Good luck with your recovery Christine!

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