Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Sunday, September 27, 2009

On Moving to Utah

by Sariah S. Wilson

At this point it seems a pretty foregone conclusion that we'll be moving to Utah in the not-too-distant future.

If we stay put and stick to our game plan, we could possibly pay off our debt (student loans, cars, credit cards) in about three years. Which would free us up to move to Utah where a house similar to ours costs considerably more.

I have mixed feelings on this possible move. I know now is not the time, even though part of me wants it to be. There are so many great houses out there at reduced prices because of the recession, and because my babies are still so small I wish I could be there with all that extended family now. (I must stop my obsession with going out and looking at homes in Utah online. It's making me sad that I know I won't be able to buy any of them.)

But for now, my husband works at a company that he loves and we're doing okay. And I think this was because I was raised in a scrub desert and went to college in a desert, but I can't tell you how much I adore the seasons here in Ohio. The lush greenness is just amazing. I love all of our rain and thunderstorms. (I'm the sort of person that would probably be very happy in a place where it rained constantly.)

I love the seasons here. We actually have them. Right now as we go into fall, the walls of trees behind the houses on my cul-de-sac are starting to turn a blazing orange. Soon the other trees will turn bright reds and brilliant yellows. There are trees everywhere here and they all turn the most beautiful colors. (We even have a mini-forest in our back yard that I get to look at every day while I do dishes.)

I love the snow in the winter - sometimes we get a lot, but most years we get enough here and there. Which is good, because I think the city government where I live still can't figure out what that white stuff is falling from the sky and whether or not they should send out those salt trucks.

Spring is also fabulous - after everything being dead it bursts back to life, with bright dots of rainbow-hued color everywhere and that gorgeous lush green returning to all the plant life.

Summer I am not a fan of. Never have been, probably never will be. Particularly because it is so humid here.

And it's hard when you've spent most of your married life in one place. This is our first home. The house where I brought my babies home from the hospital. The only house my children have ever lived in. We've had the same pediatrician for the last ten years. Been in the same ward for that amount of time. I know that could all change at any moment, but it's hard to let go when you've put down your roots so deep.

On the pro side, nearly all of our family (on both sides) lives in Utah. I think it would be more helpful to writing for the LDS market if I actually lived in Utah and could really try to develop relationships with booksellers and other authors and could go to conferences and events without it costing me an arm and a leg.

We brainstormed over possible places to live if we do move there - we agreed it would need to be along that middle lane that surrounds I-15, and in between SLC and Provo (so that my husband could work either direction if he needed to). Right now I'm sort of partial to Saratoga Springs. I love the views of the lake and the mountains. I could probably give up my trees for a view like that. It'd also be nice to live somewhere that you pretty much knew you'd always have a white Christmas.

So for all you Utah residents, what do you like least about living in Utah? What do you like most?


At 9/27/2009 8:31 PM, Blogger Karlene said...

I like the mountains the most. I like the cold and snow the least.

At 9/27/2009 9:35 PM, Blogger L.T. Elliot said...

Hate the snow.

Love the summer and fall. Love the community and the clean city.

But hate the snow.

At 9/27/2009 9:42 PM, Blogger Jeff Savage said...

LT, we hate the snow too. But we are from California, so that's probably why.


Having lived in Illinios, I know what you mean about the trees, but as far as seasons, you write like Utah doesn't have those. There is a very clear Summer, Winter, Fall, and Spring, including . . . trees with colors. Some of the most beautiful fall colors I have ever seen are up in our canyons.

One thing I really appreciate about Utah is the lack of humidity. Humidity makes summer and winter in the midwest very unpleasant. In Illinois it was rare to see a crystal clear beautiful sky, fast flowing blue rivers, or summer evenings that weren't filled with bugs. None of those problems here. Even when it goes over 100 degrees it is actually still quite pleasant in the shade. And winter is less harsh with the dry air.

I don't know that living in Utah really helps you sell many more books, but it's nice to have the company of other LDS authors.

At 9/27/2009 9:50 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

I love Utah for lots of reasons, but the biggest (aside from proximity to family) is the natural beauty of the state. I'm a big fan of southern Utah--the national parks, the little towns, and the fact that you can really get out in the wilderness. I missed that when I was in the midwest: it didn't matter how far you drove from a city, you were still next to a farm. I like being able to get out to where there is absolutely no one for miles and miles and miles.

As for downsides, I'm the opposite of the three previous commenters: I love the winter but hate the summer. Too freaking hot. I'd take ugly overcast January over hot August any time.

At 9/27/2009 11:20 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Saratoga is nice - but it takes a long time to get to I-15 because of the traffic. The road-builders are currently working on some alternatives, but so far there is really only one road out to Saratoga from the freeway, so you can imagine the traffic load it takes every day. I live in Lehi (which you have to go through to get out to Saratoga) and try to never be around that road during high peak traffic times.

That being said, I love Lehi. It is strategically placed between SLC and Provo, and we live about 5 minutes from the highway. Come on and check out this beautiful city!

At 9/28/2009 3:17 AM, Blogger Evil HR Lady said...

I'm going to be naysayer. I'm a former Utahn and I would move back. But, I've seen many a person say, "oh if I move to Utah then..." and then they are shocked to find out that all of their problems followed them. That people are still rude in the grocery store, only now you find out that that rude lady is the stake YW president. The mean kids on the playground at school are in your ward/stake.

I'm not saying that Church members in Utah are less righteous, I'm saying that outside of Utah (I refuse to use the term "mission field") you only run into other church members at church functions, so you don't see them at their worst. It can take some adjustment.

As far as what I like about Utah, I like Southern Utah with the red rocks.

At 9/28/2009 9:45 AM, Blogger Sariah S. Wilson said...

Karlene and L.T. - I love the mountains too, but I'm actually pro-snow.

Jeff - I noticed you clarified "in the canyons." The seasons I remember from Utah were hot, hotter, cold and much colder. Spring and fall didn't seem to last for very long. Which is still better than what I had in California, but here the seasons actually last as long as they're supposed to. :) I love having the colors surrounding me and not just up on the mountains.

Probably one of the biggest differences I noticed is that when driving in Utah on the freeway, everything around me was brown. Here, everything around you when you drive is vibrant green. I love that.

And I don't know that I agree that living in Utah won't help improve sales. I know it won't be a drastic change, but I bet it would be helpful.

Rob - I like the wilderness thing too. We can get that here and down in Kentucky. But I also like the farms. So much fun in the fall to go and get pumpkins and hay rides and corn mazes and play with the animals. My kids look forward to it every year. I also much prefer the winter to summer.

Heather - I considered Lehi, but do you have that lake/mountain view that Saratoga Springs has? I love that view.

Evil HR Lady - I suffer no such delusions about Utah. Things shocked me while I lived there, and the wool was very much pulled from my eyes.

My mom's been pretty surprised - Utah now for her is nothing like the Utah she remembers from her childhood. They had no help moving in, no one has come to say hello or welcome them to the neighborhood, their attempts at being friendly have been pretty much rebuffed, their HOA (comprised mostly of LDS members) is horrible, etc. She was sad about it until she decided to focus on the things that make her happy.

At 9/28/2009 1:34 PM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

I'm in Lehi. From my window, I watch the colors change on Mt Timpanogos, and can look to the west over Utah Lake. It has it's own beauty. I miss my California years when we get through the Christmas holiday, but thankfully by then my kids are playing indoor sports. I don't like driving in the snow, but there are very few occasions that the weather is too bad to drive in (maybe 3x a winter). My husband and kids love to ski, so they are snow bunnies. I'm happy sitting inside the ski lodge with a book and hot chocolate.

Saratoga Springs is a great place to live--when I first came househunting in 2000, there wasn't even a grocery store out there. Now they just opened the new high school. If I was a young mom again coming to Utah, I'd seriously consider Saratoga Springs. There are so many other beautiful areas as well, like Spanish Fork, Mapleton, Highland (Ut County). If you want to go north, Cache Valley is awesome. It's cooler during the summer, but you'll also have colder winters.

The infrastructure is still being built out in Saratoga Springs, but a year from now, you'll have clear sailing from Saratoga to I-15.

And the BEST thing about Utah is that instead of burning up our vacation to come to Utah, we go on vacation somewhere else.

And holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas Day are far from lonely!

At 9/28/2009 2:38 PM, Blogger Becca said...

Hey, come to Heber. It's milder in the summer (about 10 degrees cooler) and the colors on the back of Timp just about knock me out every morning. I have mountain views out all of my windows (even the basement - even the bathrooms). We're right between SL and Provo, with the added benefit of the Park City outlets nearby. Downsides to Heber - extra long winter (we lose our leaves before everyone else, and lose our snow after them) and no Target. Can't please everyone, right?

At 9/29/2009 1:57 PM, Anonymous Michael said...

Oh my Gosh! You must think of the children! How could you possibly want them raised west of the Mississippi when they have been blesses to be born east? I mean just having to suffer the browness of the west, not to mention the cultural and spiritual challenges of obtaining and maintaining a deep testimony of the restored Gospel in such a place where it is commercialized, trivialized, and trampled under foot in such a brash, Babylonian like way. Make sure you re-read Brother Hugh Nibley's many essays on the broken promises of what was to be Zion's mountain west.

Don't do it!!!! Stay in Ohio!


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