Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Mo Tab.

There are a few advantages to living in Utah.

No, not the freezing cold of winter.

Or the blistering heat of summer.

Or the volatile fall and spring where it can be freezing in the morning and blistering in the afternoon.

Really! There are a few advantages!

We have the Mo Tab. Or Mormon Tabernacle Choir. And they are amazing.

Every Sunday morning there is a broadcast of "Music and the Spoken Word" that if FREE to attend. Free, I say! Why haven't you been yet? We totally love to go. Get up super early at 7am on a Sunday morning when we don't have to be at church until 11 am, drive for 45 minutes to Salt Lake City........Okay. We don't love that part. Especially when it's snowing. But we do it anyway because it is not to be missed.

I would go every week if it were manageable. But it's not, so it's easier to make the family go with me if I try for a few times each year. Our most recent trip was.....eventful.

The Christmas concerts are always the best! And most crowded. We would need a good plan: right day, leave very early to get a seat, pack snacks. We decided our date a few weeks in advance, making sure everyone would be available. Unless Hubby had an unscheduled meeting that he wasn't told about until the last minute, which he did.

We woke up to snow.

Tons of snow.

I tried to talk them out of it, the children. But Thing One was determined! She shovelled the walk & driveway, dug out the car, and started it early to warm it up. She cheerfully (and not so cheerfully) poked and prodded everyone into motion. She helped Eclair to dress, combed Luke Skywalker's rebellious hair, and packed little bags of cereal for snacks. There was no getting out of this. We were going, as a family.  And we began the white knuckle trip to SLC.

We had no idea when we departed how bad it would be. The snow flew thicker the further north we went. They call it "lake effect." I call it horrible. It appeared as though the snowplow drivers were on strike. The normally four lane freeway was lost in the frozen wasteland of white. I followed tire tracks of the other brave souls who proceeded me, hoping that I wouldn't be following someone into the median or off the road altogether. All the way there, I kept muttering "we shoulda stayed home.....we shouldn't be out in this.....we are all gonna die." Each time she heard the muttering, Thing One would flash a brilliant smile my direction, reminding me that this was all her fault and I should shoot her when we got home.

The trip normally takes 45 minutes. On this day, it took 75.

We are supposed to be in our seats by 9:10 am. I dropped the kids at the curb at 9:25. "RUN! You might make it! I'll park, and since there's not a chance I will make it in, I'll meet you in the North Visitors' Center after the broadcast!" And I hurried to park in the underground lot.

The underground lot is quite nice. It's not so cold, and there is no snow. For those of you who may live where there is no snow, you may not be aware of how difficult it is to park when it snows. No one can see the lines. So they park....wherever. Which is really freaking annoying. And annonying. Really annoying. I'm very annoyed by it. Really. It is only made worse by well-meaning plow drivers who create these giant snow mounds while they're clearing the lots - usually the mounds will take up 4-6 parking spaces, making it even harder to find a spot. So, yeah, underground is BLISS.

But underground is usually crowded. Because I think everyone else hates street parking as much as I do. This day was not crowded. Hmmm. Unusual for Christmas at the Mo Tab.....I was able to park right by the elevator. I sprinted. Shuffled, really. Because it was slick I tried to be careful, yet quick. I crossed the street against the light and managed to avoid getting cited for jaywalking. I shuffled even faster - the doors were still open! One of the senior missionaries, a man in his seventies, started running toward me "We'll get you in, Sister, take my arm!" They held the door for me, and I climbed the stairs. Where are my kids? Found them quick. Walking quietly to sit by them as they count down "four, three, two" and the broadcast begins.

This video is a different day/year from when we went, but this song was my favorite:

 (I miss Craig Jessop. He's an incredible conductor. He's so exuberant that he once gave himself a nosebleed when he hit himself in the face with his own baton. True story.)

It was great. Some of my absolute favorites, Wilberg arrangements. Spoken word was inspiring. Stupid ungrateful children fell asleep. Or at least dozed a little. But we made it.

I found out why underground was not crowded. Why they held the doors for me. The place was nearly empty, especially compared to normal at Christmastime. Afterward, Bro. Newell got up and thanked everyone for braving the storm to be with them. This is the stuff memories are made of.

Here's the photo:

Sleepy children after an amazing concert.

Can you tell these were taken with my poor cell phone? I wonder what it would have been
 like if I had taken the real camera? Maybe something like this?


Much, much better. Hi, Mack Wilberg!


 Of course now it's two weeks later, and we're not in the Tabernacle, but the Conference Center.


Which is pretty amazing.


I didn't actually go this time, I'm old and I need my sleep.
Screamapillar and Thing One went. 
And it wasn't snowing.



The fountain...

and the lovely waterfall window.

See how lovely it can be? I highly recommend it.

For our sad family trip, we didn't have such great pictures.

And on the way home we stopped at McDonalds to use the bathroom and were accosted by very agressive panhandlers.

But that's another story. For another day. Hopefully one I can forget very soon.

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