I just returned from a whirlwind trip down to Kanab—drove down on Wednesday and back up on Thursday. The Utah Symphony is involved in an outreach program and was performing in the Kanab schools, and symphony officials invited me to attend the performances since our family foundation provides some support for the program.
I drove both ways alone, and I was reminded how much I love that drive! The scenery is beautiful, with much of the trip on curved mountain roads without cell reception. That means that, like it or not (and I LOVED it!), I could do nothing but concentrate on driving and the gorgeous surroundings.
Thankfully, both days were, indeed, absolutely gorgeous. Clear skies, warm temperatures . . . couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather. Of course, I couldn’t just drive, I had to dual task. I listened to audio tapes, turned the music up loud, and spent some time reflecting on many things. It reminded me of the days when I used to commute back and forth on a regular basis, and while the drive is long, I enjoy the thinking time.
When I arrived in Kanab, I had lunch with my aunts and Leslie. (Vonna was planning on coming, but she had the flu.) I always look forward to girl time with my family—we can spend hours at lunch, just catching up.
I spent the evening with some other guests who had been invited down for the symphony’s performance. We also took a tour of our Stampin’ Up! manufacturing facility in Kanab. They thoroughly enjoyed the tour—and so did I! I haven’t taken an official tour of the facility in a long time.
The two performances yesterday morning (one for elementary and middle school students, and one for high school students) were delightful! The symphony performed in the school gymnasium, and I was surprised how good they sounded. (Several of the musician commented on how good the acoustics were as well.)
Listening to them play took me back to my school days, when the symphony visited our school every few years. The outreach program provides opportunities for students in rural areas to gain exposure to symphony music, something that many of them may not experience in any other way. I know I didn’t . . . growing up, we didn’t make it to the “big city” often, and when we did, our time was spent doing things other than attending fine arts performances. I was married with children before I ever attended a regular symphony performance, so I understand the value of these outreach programs.
They welcomed me at the beginning of the high school performance as an alumnus of Kanab High School and a sponsor of the event. When the girl who introduced me asked me when I graduated, I giggled. I couldn’t even remember, it’s been that long ago!
I enjoyed both performances; I had intended to leave after the first one but couldn’t resist staying around for the second. . . The music was beautiful, and the conductor did a great job of both teaching and inspiring the children. Of course, there were a few who were rolling their eyes and had the “why do we have to be here” attitude, but most of them really did appear to be appreciating the music and the opportunity.
After the performances, I grabbed lunch with my stepfather, Paul, and then got back on the road again. It was a quick—but wonderful—24-plus hour trip full of appreciation for beautiful scenery, beautiful music, and beautiful people.
I got home just in time to head out the door to attend our neighborhood caucus meeting. I’m not proud to admit that I’d never attended one before, but I am committed to never missing one again (as long as I’m in town). While it took much longer than I anticipated (more than three hours!), it was informative and enlightening.
Our society, in general, has become apathetic, and I can understand that. It’s easy to feel that one person can’t really make a difference. But I believe it’s our responsibility—and honor—to live in a country that has the freedoms we have, and we need to be as involved as possible.
So that’s been my last two days. This morning it was back to life as usual . . . meetings, work, getting ready for Shanna’s shower tomorrow. More on that next time!