Sequester has been painful...17 hours of furlough on this paycheck alone...we are still paying rent on our apartment in Macon, but at least we are able to to that. I fear there are some people who are going to be so far behind when all this is over that they may never catch up! All that and Congress and Senate going out of Washington for their PAID 5 weeks vacation! You have to be kidding!
But, I look up at the beautiful mountains and the blue sky with scattered white puffy clouds and am thankful that we are here in Ogden. It is like being in a time warp. Today was a little challenging, but in a kind of fun way. About 3 PM the power in the Hotel went off. I knew better than to try an elevator, so I put Buddy on his leash and we headed down the ten (yep I said ten) flights of stairs to the Lobby to see exactly what was going on.
About the fifth floor, the dog refused to go down any more stairs, and so - yep - I had to carry him! Good grief! When Buddy gets tired, he just plops down and refuses to take another step, yesterday it was walking back from the park, today the stairs! I need a strap on doggie carrier!
Upon arrival in the Lobby I found that both elevators were stuck with people inside and the staff was scurrying around to get them out of the elevators. I must say, they managed this quite quickly, and had a generator up and running to keep one elevator going as well as minimal lighting throughout the building. I found out soon after that power was off to the entire block where the hotel is located. Bummer! Worse than that was the fact that the power company didn't seem to know what was causing the problem. This was going to take a while. Sooooo, picked up a couple newspapers and made myself comfortable in the Lobby. One of the employees came down out of the offices on the second floor and began to play the piano. Very nice.
After I had been reading for a short while, Chris, General Manager here came over and we sat and chatted about Ogden for over an hour! Ogden is kind of like being in the 50's or 60's...like going back to my childhood years when it comes to the kindness of the people, and being a great place to raise children. But, on the other hand, they are quite progressive when it comes to things like public transportation, irrigation, the arts and more! When you check out a book or five at the Library for instance, you don't have to fill out anything; you just stick one or even all five of the books atop a scanner at the same time and it records which ones you are checking out! How neat is that? Alivia is at the Eccles Art Center this evening getting her first DRAWING lessons. That girl is really good (and she is only six). She carries a drawing pad everywhere she goes and is super excited about taking lessons. There is a group here called Nuture The Creative Mind, and another called RAMP an acronym that stands for Recreation, Arts, Museums and Parks. They have all kinds of activities for adults and children all year. Some cost and some are free. There is just a huge emphasis on families here and clean living. Amazing in 2013! I am more than impressed.
RAMP funds have been used to fund such projects as:
- Playing Fields
- Walking, biking, equestrian and cross-country trails
- Neighborhood parks and pathways
- Swimming pools and aquatic centers
- Community recreation centers
- Multi-cultural and arts festivals
- Dance, theatre and music activities and performances
- Literary outreach programs
- Publicly owned tennis, basketball and skating facilities
People here actually USE public transportation, and trains and buses here are immaculate and on time and inexpensive to boot. In Salt Lake City they have instituted a BIKE SHARING program. There are green bicycles on the sidewalks and you just pay to take one for a half hour or more and ride it to your location, returning it to another station when you are done. You can rent them by the hour, week or yearly pass. Entirely too cool, and catching on so well that they are going to put more of them out in the next few months.
We have found that people here just LOVE Strawberry Lemonade.
Also, in a restaurant (not a bar) you HAVE to order food in order to be able to purchase alcohol. I am not sure how much the Mormon influence has had to do with that, but it sure seems to work well here.
On Sundays most businesses in this town are CLOSED! Yep, closed...just like used to be in the fifties and sixties. People spend Sundays with their families here. Amazing. There are picnics and biking and hiking and all kinds of family oriented activities. There is a lot less trash thrown out of cars and onto the streets. People here seem to have a greater appreciation of the beauty around them, and just how fragile the environment is. There are more organic farmers here than anywhere I have ever lived. I have fresh produce delivered to my door once a week from a local group. Today it included tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, cherries, mangoes, lettuces, onions and more...I am getting very spoiled!
The power came back on by around 6 PM, but you know something....I really didn't mind it being off all that much. Oh, I couldn't cook dinner the way I had planned (we ended up at a local restaurant where I had some great Creme Brulee - forbidden fruit!), but sharing conversation in the Lobby of the Hotel with the people who work here and other guests was fun and educational. So it was another really great day in Ogden, Utah! Looking forward to many, many more!
LOVE, PEACE & JOY