Music boxes

Music boxes
Music boxes have within melodies they carry in them, once they're open music feels the air;
Every person you have known has a song of their own, once they open up you'll hear whats there;
Every person longs to find who they are deep inside, every person yearns to know their place..."

Friday, August 12, 2011


I'm not sure I'll be able to accurately describe my experience in Utah. It has been over 13 years that I've been there. Salt lake City has changed. Others cities have changed. But if something remains the same, it's the spirit I feel when I see the mountains and breathe the Utah fresh air. It's like breathing pure joy. I love Salt Lake City. And something else has remained the same: the love of very dear, special friends. Some things never change. I'm eternally gratefully for that.

When I was about to land in S.L.C., it was the end of the day. The sun was setting, but I could still see the land under me. I saw the desert giving place to the majestic mountains, then the Great Salt lake, more Mountains, and all of the sudden, just like that, the valley. I saw thousands of homes, buildings, lights... and I couldn't help but thinking about Brigham Young and his vision, when the pioneers arrived in Salt Lake. He said "This is the place". But the place was desert and dry soil and not exactly the garden of Eden...
If only he could see it now. I got goosebumps when I landed. Nothing compares to the feeling of just being there. I knew I was in for a great 6 days. I just didn't know how great they would turn out to be.

The Evans picked me up at the airport, and seeing them was the beginning of my emotional experience. I spend Tuesday night with them, the whole family was home and it was a treat to be near them all.
On Wednesday we toured the Conference Center, felt the reverence that is inside it, walked through that great space and felt like we were on sacred ground. We strolled through Temple square, and had lunch in a restaurant on the 8th floor of the Joseph Smith Building. I was eating my chicken salad sandwich and through the window, I could see the magnificent Salt lake Temple. I remember them asking me what I'd like to do next... Nothing, really. I would have stayed there forever. Where else can you sit down, have lunch, and have a view like that? I would've been perfectly content to stay there and feel the sweet spirit of the temple. It was that good.

 That evening we roasted marshmallows in the back yard and felt the quietness of the place. On Thursday they took me to see the movie "17 miracles". And I cried... cried and cried. But it was a happy cry. The moving was touching and the tears could not be held. That's when the crying sprout began... and it would not stop for my whole stay in Utah. The Evans took me to tooele to be with My Online Friends. And this is the part where I stop for a break, because I can't keep on writing with tears in my eyes. I will be back tonight and tell all about my experience in Tooele.

Meeting my online friends has been the highlight of the year. I'm not sure how to explain it... I met people that I already knew. Does that make any sense? We hugged, laughed a LOT, cried during testimony meeting, and truly bonded. I can never forget that experience.
Meeting my friend Misty was something else... She has been my friend for years! She's been my confident, my strength when I needed it the most, my shoulder, my dearest friend. When I saw her coming I was already there, we were having opening ceremonies. My heart leaped when I saw her. I ran to her and hugged her for a long while... It didn't feel like I was meeting her for the first time. It felt like I was reconnecting with a childhood friend that I hadn't seen in a while. I was not surprised by the way she talked, laughed, cried. As she would later describe it, it was like meeting a long lost sister. This is truly what I feel for her. During the weekend it was just so nice to give her a hug when I felt like it... it was soooooo nice to hold her baby, make him laugh, and even take a nap with him on the couch... it was fantastic. I miss her so very much already...

There were other people that touched my heart deeply too. There was 35 of us! All in the same house, with air mattresses and blankets everywhere. We had activities, worked on a fantastic humanitarian project, even visited the ladies prison in Draper. That was phenomenal. It was their Relief Society activity evening, and just to know the people behind the uniforms was unique. It was a very spiritual experience. I'll be forever grateful for the people that allowed that to happen, and for my dear friend that invited me to go too. It will be hard to forget that evening there, the ride there and back home, the time we spent together in the car talking and getting to know each other better, and crying. There was a lot of that, I have to confess. But they were happy tears.

There was one night that five of us stayed up until almost six in the morning. Just talking and being silly in the dark. And laughing. A lot!

When it was time to leave, my heart was so full, but also so sad for leaving my friends. I did make room in my heart to bring them with me though. They are still here.
It was in this state of happiness/joy/sadness that I met the Evans again to go to the conference center and watch "Music and the Spoken Word", with the Mormon tabernacle choir. Oh.My.Goodness. It was amazing! To hear them sing in that huge room, and to hear the organ echoing loud in my soul... I have no words. It was a dream come true. I was so touched... I think that since hearing them sing until I had to leave the next morning, I was an emotional wreck. In a good sense. But every little thing would make me think of Jesus and cry in gratitude. The mountains. The sunset. The Salt Lake valley. Everything had a special touch to it.
Did I say how much I love Utah yet? We breathe better there. I can't explain it, I can only attribute this feeling to The Spirit that's felt there. Maybe because of the pioneers that made it all happen. Maybe because of the stone cutters that worked at the salt Lake Temple years ago. Maybe because we can't drive half an hour without seeing a beautiful, peaceful temple. Or two, or three, or four, depending each direction we're driving. Or maybe because, indeed, "This is the place".

Misty is a professional photographer. She shot a few pictures of me, this is one of them. It was really cool to have her walk in front of me and shoot while I posed. I felt like I was walking on a red carpet. Come to think of it, I really was. Real friends mean the world to me, and this lady is simply the best of friends.

Can't wait for the next Girl's Weekend Out!

Monday, August 01, 2011

My Online Friends

I remember my husband coming home with a computer about, hum let's say, 13 years ago. The thing was beige, huge and ugly. I asked him what in the world we'd need that for, and then gave him the sermon, we already have enough distractions in life, I don't even have time to watch tv, etc etc. He told me I could email my family. I told him my family and I WROTE to each other.
 Double ha!
 When did the world change so much? Can I even imagine life without the internet today? I'd survive, of course I would. But it would be hard, part of it being that I have friends that live in my computer. They have lived there for about ten years, and they've been here for me through the rocky stages of my life. The have helped me grow with their examples, and they have taught me too many things. My Online Friends are a big part of my life, and we comunicate almost daily. I've seen their pictures, heard their voices, laughed over almost to nothing, cried when one of them goes through a trial, and smile when I think of them. Over the years my list of online friends has slowly grown, and I enjoy meeting new faces, learning about people. We are a bunch of gooffy, strong and beautiful women, each one unique, each one a jewel. We are married, single, we have kids, we can't conceive, we are republicans, we are democrats, we are short, we are tall, and some of us even like celery. Ok, let's not go there.

During the years I have wondered what would it be like to actually meet them, hug them, play with them, see what they look like when they first get up and when they're not smiling for the photo. I wondered what I would feel being around the people I know so well, yet have never met. Odd. How can someone love who she cannot see? But I do, I really do, and I still dream that one day I will meet them all. For now, they live in my computer and in my heart.

My Online Friends have a weekend together once a year. Between living in Boony Ville and moving to Portugal, I never had the chance to go to the girl's weekend out. I have read and heard about previous gwo's, and ached to be there, knowing perfectly well it was impossible... then. This year, well, let's say I've been jumping up and down for the las two months, because on Thursday, August 4th 2011, I will land in Utah in a parachutte and for the whole weekend, I'll be with them. In the same house. In the same room. Breathing the same air.
How can one prepare for this? I can't write down my feelings and emotions right now... excitement, anxiety, joy, fear (what if they don't like me?), even nausea. Will I laugh and shriek, or will I cry? Will I jump up and down, or or I fall flat on the floor? Will I hug them 'til they burst, or will I paralyze? Or will I, like I do many a time when I'm extremly nervous, start laughing so hard that no one will be able to stop me for at least 2 straight hours? (or until someone knocks me in the head with a hammer, or manages to shove a xanax down my throat)

* sigh*

** double sigh**

I will fly to UT tomorrow and stay with friends until Thursday. Then they will take me to my very first GWO.

What will follow, we'll all have to live and see.