October 2007—My Favorite Places
Dear Theo, Sage, Nina, Sam, Jacob and Sofia,
I guess there aren’t too many places in the world that I don’t like. This is a beautiful world that our Heavenly Father and Savior prepared for us to enjoy, and they have put so many varied and interesting plants, animals and people on it! I love them all.
I loved New York, where I grew up. It is a whole world in a city. Mom once said there were upwards of 20 different countries represented in her Relief Society. Now wouldn’t you call that variety? Think of all the different cultures, foods, styles of dress, and languages there.
I loved Utah, where I went to school. I loved living where our pioneer forebears settled and where the prophets of God live and meet. I loved the mountains and high mountain valleys. I loved the friendliness of the people I found there.
I loved Argentina, where I served as a missionary. I loved learning to converse in Spanish. I loved the trains and busses we used to get around. I loved the empanadas, the pizza, the dulce de leche, the yogurt, the ensalada rusa and the huevos cubanos. I loved the folklore and the tango. I loved the broad avenidas and the colorful plazas. I loved the warmth of the people there.
I love the other places I have had the privilege of traveling to see, French Quebec as a boy, continental Europe in college, and more recently Spain, Africa, Venezuela and Chile. Each place had a special and distinctive character. I relished each and took in as much of its special beauty when I was there.
I love Pittsburgh, where I now have lived most of my life. Pittsburgh has beautiful vistas, lovely greenery, and varied neighborhoods. It has a fascinating history of industry and labor, waves of immigrants from different nations, and many styles of buildings.
Best of all it has home, which I would have to say is my favorite place of all. Here at home I feel a peace and contentment that I don’t feel anywhere else. Here at home I can look at any wall or any corner and find artifacts that bring back happy experiences, accomplishments of the past, and thoughts of loved family members—our children and grandchildren, my parents, grandparents, and their ancestors. Home is where Grandma lives, my closest and best friend, and Eric, our special oldest child. Here I can enjoy the yard and garden and the interesting and always changing neighborhood around us. This is my center, to which I always return, happily, from whatever adventure has taken me away.