I'm in Midway, Utah, and the title comes from a nickname I've heard for the mountains of Utah. I'm at the lovely home of my friend Lisa. My suitcase is lost, I slept in my clothes, haven't managed to snag a toothbrush yet and the Southwest folks are "puzzled" as to where my stuff might be. They said several times,"Wow, it really should be here by now." That is a helpful statement from a customer service rep, yes? In 32 years of flying, I've never lost a suitcase, so I won't complain, and I guess I am none too smart when it comes to putting emergency gear in a carry-on. My biggest heartbreak is not the clothes, I can figure that problem out, it's the 8 family reunion photo books that I had in there to take to my family in Arizona. I'll be really sad if I never see those again. I just couldn't fit those in my carry-on items because I brought all my camera gear and that HAS to be carried on. I don't have fancy enough cases to trust it to the baggage handlers. Anyway, this is one of those times when I'm glad to be fairly low-maintenance. Now the big adventure will be whether or not I get it before I leave tomorrow for Arizona. I have visions of Meet the Parents and it finding me just as I'm ready to head home.
In better news, we had a really fun night last night with a reunion of sorts for all the kids we know from church that are out here at BYU. It was great for Johnathan to have a memorable evening with his pals before he begins his missionary service. Lisa is a master of hospitality and making people feel welcome without any fuss or ostentation-just take-and-bake pizza (something the east coast needs, I think) and paper plates. I love seeing her house, too. It completely inspires me. She had told me the story when they were living in Maryland for a year (that's how I met her), and it makes me smile to see it in person. They bought a small house about 10 years ago and have completely remade it into a real dream home. I like the way they designed all the spaces to be cozy and livable and REAL, not just huge and impressive, like so many new homes are designed today. I love the work of Sarah Susanka, and this house fits her not-so-big principles perfectly. Add to the mix that another of Lisa's talents is decorating, and you end up with a place that really feels like a haven, not just a building with high ceilings and fancy details that don't have much purpose for a busy family. I'm so happy for their success in perservering over 8-10 years of gradual additions and working on it when they had the money, etc. It makes it seem doable for anyone.
Today we will have time to hang out on the campus of BYU, where the Missionary Training Center is located, drop Johnathan off and say goodbye, then maybe take a drive through the mountains. There is a Utah version of fall going on, with splashes of color against the desert and I want to see it. It is nothing like an Eastern autumn, but I wouldn't want it to be-it is beautiful in its own way. The light in the mountains, with the high elevations, is different and beautiful. It is stark out here, but so dramatic and BIG. I love the contrast between Maryland and here. Hopefully, we'll have pictures soon.