Welcome to Utah; Wanna Stay?

I’ve lived in Utah for most of my life. If you don’t know where Utah is: just go West of that big, open, flat area in the middle of The United States of America to the Rocky Mountains; but stop before you can gamble or make it to the beach.


Given my druthers, I think I’d prefer somewhere like Boston in the fall. With dogs. And no dishes or laundry. Ever. Those who know me might wonder why I’m living in The West with 4.5 children and housework ’round the clock, but we’re not going to climb aboard that psychologist’s couch right now.

I bring up my location and innermost desires because I often wonder why people come to my little speck of the world. Why do they stay? What do we have to offer here?

For me, the attractions include:

    1. The Mormons. Okay; okay: the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
      When I traveled with our music group in high school, other kids we met in the hotels would always ask two questions: Where are you from? immediately followed by Are you a Mormon?
      We may have stood out for lack of cussing and cut-off jeans, but mostly Utah is just known for its Mormons. I’m not bothered; there are a lot of us here. Mostly I get bothered by those who are bothered by that fact. I mean, it’s a little obvious that LDS people might live in Utah. They kind-of settled it.
      Anywho: being mostly LDS myself and not minding the culture surrounding it, I find the placement comforting more than not.
    2. The people.
      Personally, I feel this ties into Reason #1, but I knew many people would go digging for ‘Mormons’ once I mentioned ‘Utah.’ Whether it’s because of the huge number of LDS and families or not (trust me, it is), the people here are generally friendly and kind.
      I remember watching the American Idol episode they filmed here in 2009. Contestant after contestant on the show responded to the judges’ negative assessment with a smile and a, “Thank you.” The judges were weirded out by the positivity (watch at about 15:37).

  1. The Scenery
    Since I live in the Salt Lake area, I can always see mountains. Mountains, mountains, mountains. They’re beautiful, and I totally take them for granted. It’s not till I’m lost in Oklahoma that I realize how wonderful those natural compasses and rocky beauties are.
  2. Destinations
    Utah is also home to plenty of hiking/biking/camping/ATVing areas. There are even a few spots with swimmable water. I’m too lazy to look up what percentage of the state is Federal or State land, but it’s sizable. Utah’s home to Zion’s, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Goblin Valley….
    I am also not very grateful for how close and easy these destinations are, or the millions of unnamed camping and hiking areas. If we want to go on a quick hike, there are several within half an hour’s drive. There are even nice areas to walk around within walking distance of our house.
    Utah is also known for its skiing. I haven’t had time or money for the sport since high school, but publicists are not lying when they say it’s The Greatest Snow on Earth -though I’d amend that it might be the greatest this side of the globe. I’d love to try the Alps.
  3. My family nearby
    You all aren’t going to enjoy the benefit of this; but having grandparents, siblings, cousins (lots and lots of cousins!) close enough to visit is very nice. Home is where the heart is and all that.

I was born with an odd curiosity for where other people call Home. Specifically, I often want to experience their day-to-day lives. So: what do you like about where you live? What do you see? Visit? Eat?

If you’ve lived several places, what have been your favorite aspects of some of them?


While you consider and respond, read what I wrote this past week:
Wednesday, September 4: Discussed a bit about the fun and games of selling dice.

Thursday, September 5: “A Thoughtful Poem.”

Friday, September 6: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Deb!

Saturday, September 7: Announced the 42nd Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. Do you know where your towel is? PLEASE ENTER!

Also, “I Give Myself Two Thumbs Down” over at The Bipolar Longname Blog.

Sunday, September 8: “True Grit?,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, September 9: An inspirational quote by Paulo Coelho.

Tuesday, September 10: “Wilhelmina Winters, One Hundred Three.” Sorry, Wil.

Wednesday, September 11: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “‘Work at Home,’ They Said,” “Parents, Put the Phone Away!!!,” and “The Boy Mom Poem.”


Photo Credit:
John-Mark Smith
Michael Hart
Justin Luebke
Mitch Nielsen

©2019 Chelsea Owens

54 thoughts on “Welcome to Utah; Wanna Stay?

  1. I’m from a bit of everywhere, spent lots of time in the Midwest, California, South Africa, and Afghanistan. Utah is such a pretty state though, I’ve been skiing there once, and it’s in fact one of the settings of the book I’m working on!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have lived in getting on for 40 different places! My favourite three would be Hawkes Bay New Zealand (where I grew up so magical!), Asheville North Carolina, and Saint-Victor Quebec! All three are way out in the countryside. I’ve never been to Utah.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve lived several places, including IL and FL, but mostly just KY and CA. Maybe due to growing up in KY, I just can’t get behind full-on desert (like UT). CA was mostly a change of scenery, albeit a very long one. My life was in a rut in KY so I moved West of the Mississippi River. Since CA was the only place I knew I could find work with horses readily (my occupation at the time) and knew someone I could stay with while I got acclimated, it became the destination. It worked out so I stayed. There are advantages to CA – beaches, mountains and forests all within an easy drive; lots to see/do; plenty of social activity for just about any interest. However, it is crowded and noisy and all the bad stuff, too. (as seen on TV). I was born and grew up in KY and it has much to recommend it (to me at least): natural beauty, mountains (hills to folks like you who have real mountains), plenty to do. And, if it has one thing virtually nowhere else has, it is weather, but in moderation. I discovered early on that ‘storms’ tend to blow themselves out before they get that far inland, regardless of the direction from which they come. At most, KY gets a glancing blow. Only on occasion does something really sneak past the border and overwhelm the state. Sort of the Three Pigs thing – not too hot, not too cold – just right. The longer I stay in CA the less it appeals and I’ll likely retire to KY when the dust settles. I guess the heart always goes home.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Born cinncinati Ohio
        Moved to New Jersey
        Then NYC (lived there from age 2-19)
        Tgen Rutland Vermont
        Elmira NY
        Eaton Ohio
        Pawpaw WV
        Gore VA
        Elmira NY
        Houston Texas (1980)
        Many many places there.
        Cambridge England
        Houston TX
        Richland Hills Tx (now)

        Liked by 2 people

          1. OK what are these places like
            Born cinncinati Ohio- eh visited nothing impressionable.
Moved to New Jersey- ditto
Then NYC (lived there from age 2-19) dirty, noisy, pollution, yet I really miss it. Could walk everywhere. 
Or public transport.

            Then Rutland Vermont- mountains are fabulous fall colors unimaginable
Elmira NY-eh
Eaton Ohio -eh
Pawpaw WV-very tiny town. Apple country mountains
Gore VA-eh
Elmira NY-eh
Cambridge England******* MY FAVORITE. Climate is temperate, architecture felt familiar (new York) ancestral roots. Public transport.
Houston TX-eh
Richland Hills Tx (now)-eh too country. I realize I like city and public transport!

            Liked by 1 person

      1. My sister is picking me up . She lives in Park City . If you weren’t a pregnant busy momma I’d ask you to meet me somewhere for lunch , but I don’t want to add to your chaos. I know how it is!

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Okay ! Let me ask my sister about the itinerary . She always plans a lot of activities. Do you Facebook ? You can message me on messenger or friend me . Or I’d be happy to give you my cell number.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been to Utah a couple times. The first time, I was driving from Sun Valley to Houston, and I just stopped at this cute little motel called “Blue Horsehead Mountain Inn” or something like that. The only food options in town were the gas station or a guy selling tamales out of the back of his El Camino.

    The second time, I was in Salt Lake for just a little bit before departing (again, for some God-forsaken reason) to Idaho. I made sure to see the lake, drive around to see the mountains, and enjoy the scenery. Utah is, indeed, lovely.

    Perhaps I’ll answer these questions on a blog post later, when I’m feeling a bit more bloggy.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. All right, let’s see if i can get them all in:
    Central Coast of California
    Southern Coast of California
    Gulf Coast of Texas
    High deserts of New Mexico, Texas and California
    Olympic peninsula
    Southern England
    West Australia
    Right now I live on the sunny end of Monterey Bay but hope to be back in NM before too much longer.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Utah sounds like my kind of place. Is the dryness good for allergy sufferers? My places of residences have been London, England; Quebec, Canada and Ontario, Canada. Currently live in the City of Guelph, a university city.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Utah is such a beautiful state–I admit, though, that it being the Mormon Home is what often comes to mind when first hearing it. But then the mountains quickly follow.

    I live in California and have all my life. I love the weather, cultural diversity, and access to forests. I do not appreciate the cost.

    Liked by 1 person

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