Because we’re military, we’ve lived in eight states and two countries (three for me). Utah is by far our favorite state, and if we could, we’d make this our permanent home. Here’s my Utah Top Ten Unique Items: things I love, things I’ll miss, things I’ve only encountered in Utah.
Top Ten Utah-Unique Items
(From the home office in Layton, Utah)
1. The Utah Left: Every state seems to have its own driving idiosyncrasies. In Utah, it’s the Utah Left—the propensity to take that left turn across traffic with so little time that the oncoming drivers need to apply their breaks. At first, we were aghast at the chances people took, but we soon learned that EVERYBODY expects it. Three years later, we take Utah Lefts (Sometimes shouting “Utah!”).
2. 270-Degree Mountain Views: Layton is in a valley, and we are surrounded by mountains. I can’t see them from my house, but most of the time I drive, I have gorgeous mountain views before me.
3. Keeping Up With the Joneses: Utah apparently has the highest consumer debt of the nation (according to my son’s socials studies class) and the highest dollar value of cars. For the most part, people’s yards are gorgeous and well-kept, and there’s an attitude of looking good for the neighbors. It gives the area kind of a 50s-60s feel.
4. Family First. There are always dads in the park playing with kids, mothers biking or taking kids for a walk in the stroller. Extended families live in the same neighborhood and kids aren’t interested in leaving home.
5. Are You Going to BYU? Or UU or Weber State or any other local college. Most of the students in my daughter’s graduating class, near as she can tell, would not fathom going out of state for college. This is an alien experience for my daughter, who has no real ties to the state and no particular need to stay near home in her college years. (Having said that, she’s hoping we’ll move to Florida when she attends Full Sail next year. Not to be too close, mind you, but for weekend visits now and again.)
6. Maverick. This is the regional equivalent of 7-11, and there are always deals on candy and soda. They are walking distance from the house, which is nice for my oldest who loves to walk down there for a soda. They also do outdoor grilling during lunch in the summer months.
7. The Zombie Chase. This is an annual event. The organizers set up an obstacle course with zombie-dressed volunteers. They also have a paintball rink set up where you shoot at zombies who shuffle back and forth like a carnival arcade game.
8. Moab. For amazing views there is no place better. It’s in Southern Utah, but you’ll think you’ve gone to another planet.
9. ‘Oh, My Heck!’ This is the junior high swear of choice according to my son.
10. Temples and Parks. Throw a stone, you’ll hit a Mormon temple or a public park. Mormons are assigned a temple by neighborhood, so there’s always one within easy driving distance of their house.
Rob retires this year, so we’ll be moving to wherever he finds a civilian job. (He’s interested in getting into a commercial manned space company.) We’ll miss Utah, but one thing we’ve learned—home really is where the heart is, and our hearts are with each other.
About Karina: Karina Fabian grew up in Colorado, but for the last 24 years has considered her home “Air Force.” As an officer and then an officer’s wife, she’s lived in Texas, Italy, Japan, Wyoming, Colorado, Rhode Island, Virginia, North Dakota, California, and now Utah. Writing is her passion, and she’s had eight books published and been in over 100 anthologies and magazines. An award winner for her fantasy, science fiction, and devotionals, she writes whatever interests her and is never at a loss of ideas.
Her latest is Greater Treasures: A Dragon Eye Novella.
Find Karina at:
(Pictures provided by Author)