Tag Archives: The Magic Mountain

Midsummer Daydream

On the occasion of Tom’s and my 43rd wedding anniversary:

ravens over the Grand Canyon

ravens over the Grand Canyon

I bought a copy of Don Quixote in 1974 as an early step in an ambitious plan I had lined up after my first year of graduate school. One of my favorite professors agreed to work with me as I decided to read “the big novels” during the summer break. I was going to read Don Quixote, The Red and the Black, and Remembrance of Things Past. In this professor’s class I had already read all but the last fifty pages of The Magic Mountain. I think my failure with the last fifty pages should have given me a clue.

Sometime in May that year, my friend Tom thought we might as well get married. Reader, we got married at Midsummer and it has worked out very well for us. Back then, it was all friends and family, love and excitement played out on a red rock and pine forest backdrop. Over the years, some pain, sadness, envy, anger, and other of the less favored emotions have been added to the mix, but our picaresque still wanders on intact.

Thinking about our wedding usually makes me laugh Given only a few weeks lead time, my parents gamely drove out from Michigan to Salt Lake City to attend (and pay for) our wedding. I think Hank and Audrey might have thought I was marrying a Mormon, but being people who minded their own business, they didn’t ask. I suspect they were relieved when they found out that Tom and I were being married in an Episcopal church, but I would never know because they would never talk about such matters. The one thing my mother did say after meeting Tom was, “I knew you wouldn’t marry a jerk.”

1974 were salad days for my brothers and me, so only one brother was available to attend the wedding as the official representative of the whole team. The designated brother, George, was a Michigan-style skier (the top elevation at Alpine Valley where he used to ski is 500 ft with a vertical drop of 240 ft), so he wanted to see the Utah-style slopes.

The day before the wedding, my dad and mom, George, my husband-to-be, and I piled into the family’s LTD for a drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Snowbird ski resort (top elevation 11,000 ft, vertical drop 3,240 ft). My family was suitably impressed with the mountain peaks, rushing creeks, huge boulders, and the tram ride. The tram ride was nothing compared with the drive back down the canyon. Hank was a flatlander born and bred, a driver since he was about twelve, and never one to spare the accelerator pedal. He said he wanted to spare the LTD’s brakes, so–and this was before seatbelts were standard in American cars—we all hurled down the six miles of canyon road twisting and turning speeding I imagine between 40 and 50 miles an hour—with no brakes. I thought I might die before the wedding. We younger ones were frightened, but I believe that my mother took it all in stride.

Back to the Wedding: A friend, Becky,  whom I had roomed with when we worked at the North Rim was a clothing and textiles major at Brigham Young University. She kindly made my wedding dress. The pattern and material cost only about ten bucks, and the resulting dress fit my body and my mind perfectly. Another woman, Laura, a fellow graduate student and (since that era) my lifelong friend, embroidered violets on the dress’s empire waist. At the almost literal eleventh hour, Laura decided to embroider not just the front hem of the dress, but all round the bottom of the dress. She stayed up all night to finish.

Tom’s best man was our friend Art, whom Tom knew in high school and whom I met at the Grand Canyon. My maid of honor was our friend Sally from the canyon days.  Back then Tom was a cook, I was a salad girl, Art was a waiter, and Sally sold tickets for the mule rides down the North Kaibab Trail to Roaring Springs.  As a point of information, I would like affirm that people ride mules down the canyon; they do not ride burros or donkeys. Mules are large, intelligent, and sure-footed; they know what they are doing even if they do seem to want to walk closer to the trail’s outer edge than to the canyon wall.

Not only did Sally make Tom’s tie to go along with his Z.C.M.I. (Zions Commercial Mercantile Institution) bargain rack suit and perform the maid of honor tasks, but she also provided the music for the service. Tom wanted her to sing “Ode to Joy,” but we were all satisfied with “The Lord of the Dance.”

All our Utah, Arizona, and Wyoming friends attended the wedding. I know this because we have photos of our friends lined up along the tables with odd expressions on their faces. Most of our friends back then could use a good feed at a decent restaurant. In addition, since Utah still made drinking alcohol in public difficult back then, our friends were dazzled by the Mormon version of an open bar—all the mini bottles you wanted.

I don’t tell you about it much, but sometimes I despair about this and that. Then I think of my family and my friends and, like Anne of Green Gables or Jo March, I buck up.  The world can sometimes  seem difficult, but Tom (and my family, our friends, the gardens and the books) have been my comfort and joy. Thank you.

Lynda and Tom, August 2016 (photo by David Moss)

Lynda and Tom, August 2016 (photo by David Moss)

cliff rose, Cape Royal

cliff rose, Cape Royal

(adapted from Losing It: Deconstructing a Life, unpublished work © Lynda Terrill, all rights reserved)

 

 

 

Road Trip 2014: The Road Goes…

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say

J.R.R Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Kolob Canyons, Zion National Park, UT

Kolob Canyons, Zion National Park, UT

 

I am here to tell you that, just as Bilbo said, the road does go ever on and on. Furthermore, as he implied (see above), this road goes on both literally and figuratively.

In our travels I sometimes wear a maroon hooded sweater that makes me look like one of the dwarfs in The Hobbit (not, I note, at all like a hobbit wearing a hooded Elven cloak from Lorien).

maroon hooded sweater with orange knapsack

maroon hooded sweater with orange knapsack

Before I go farther on this path: Yes, I am one of those The Lord of the Rings junkies, common in my generation. I first read the trilogy when I was seventeen and I have read it at least eight times since. Two of Tom’s and my happiest parenting times were when we read LOTR aloud first to our older children and then later to our youngest.* I am going on about all of this because, as a supposed  “literature” person, I feel a bit defensive about reading the trilogy eight times instead of ever wanting to go back to The Magic Mountain or In the Heart of the Heart of the Country.

I am speaking literally and figuratively here:

  • I always traveled with a dear companion, who, day after day, kindly hurt my broken wrist–my P.T. exercises–so I would heal, and then warmed my side of the winter bed for me.

    Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, UT

    Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, UT

  • Sometimes the road was cold and lonely. I remembered the dead and worried about the living.

    winter road

    winter road

  • Sometimes the trail was alight with the sunlight glinting on the wings of hundreds of butterflies freshly transformed in the pine woods of the high country. I didn’t manage to capture a photo of this, but the magic remains within us.

    Glacier Trail, Great Basin National Park

    Glacier Trail, Great Basin National Park

  • Sometimes the path seemed dangerous—high and winding and steep—but I think it was only the fear within me.
LaVerkin Creek Trail, Zion National Park, UT

LaVerkin Creek Trail, Zion National Park, UT

  • Sometimes we joined family and old friends along the road or met new friends–warmth and safety amid the cold, the heat, and the winding road.

*In my family, I am famous for always crying over the death of Boromir. I want to be a hobbit—merry, strong, and steadfast—but I am more like the frail man of Gondor (inside, of course, Boromir was a doughty warrior on the outside).

Beach Road, Meher Spiritual Center, Myrtle Beach, SC

Beach Road, Meher Spiritual Center, Myrtle Beach, SC

More to come, I think.