Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Mantra: Remember Your Roots

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Remember your roots
My home :)
Before the Flashing Lights
For the 4th of July I decided to go to Payson, the place I call home. We all have those special places, where everyone knows your name and the people are glad you came. Now that I think about it, I may be confusing my childhood with Cheers. Close enough.

Growing up in any town you get to know the place, the people, and the stories that go with everything there. You get your own story from it- who you are, what makes you tick or what doesn't. Remembering where you're from is a good way to measure how far you've come and where you still need to go...or go back to. Your roots make you who you are- the good, the bad, and the hilarious. They also provide you with a lot of pictures that are usually embarrassing, especially if you grew up in the 80's with big bangs and Olan Mills photo shoots. The good news (thank you so much, Technology) is that millions of other people can enjoy them as well, as they get passed from inbox to inbox. I always wondered where those pictures came from. I can now tell you that some must be generated from my very own home-away-from-home.

Here are some of my stories and ridiculous pictures.

When I was at my grandmother's house I remembered this little portion of the wall, below, where they would measure how tall I was getting. Looking at it this last week, it occurred to me that my family never planned on me being very tall at all, seeing as how the measuring "wall" they used was no higher than the counter top. Don't you worry- I showed them. I am approximately one and a half feet taller than that doggone counter. I think. I haven't measured because I don't want to know if I'm wrong.
Low expectations of my height-to-be.
On the turn off from the main highway to get to my grandmother's house, there was a little shopping center with a bar called Pete's Place. I remember going in a couple of times with my grampa for lunch and trying to get him to let me drink beer because I thought I was quite mature and old enough to handle what grownups drank. I was also slightly delusional, only being 5 years and 7 months old. Months used to count back then, when you were 5 going on 30. Eventually, he gave in and let me have a sip, which I recall being one of the worst moments of my life and also the reason I don't drink. I'm not saying it was moonshine, but I'm also not saying it wasn't.

Adult dairy cows, now performing.
Pete's Place is still standing, however, it is now an adult cabaret. This little turn of events doesn't necessarily please me because I have to pass it every time I go back, but it does make me laugh. You know why? Because Pete's Place was always known for the giant cow sculpture that stood above the sign. It was the way people would give directions- "Head down 260 and turn right at the cow on the sign." Well, they changed the sign, but they left the cow. I can only imagine what people think when they see a large and in charge moo cow over an adult cabaret sign. Personally, I think their marketing folks may have gotten their degrees online rather than from an actual school, but that's just me. I'm sure business is boo-mooo-ing. Get it?! Yeah, I know. I'm a dork.

Cows are kind of a hot item when it comes to memories of growing up. Having written that, I now realize how odd that sounds, but I digress. When my family would go on trips out of town to the valley, we would take highway 87, where the infamous Cow Rock was formerly located. It became a family tradition, above and beyond our own family, to point out the cow. At Christmas time when we'd drive by, someone would always have it decorated with a little bow and Santa hat. One time someone spray painted a face on it. Once, it even got some pretty graffiti spots.

Tragically, in recent years, the head has fallen off, making my trips a little boring. Pointing out The Headless Cow to people just makes me look crazy, since the rock now just looks like...well...a rock.

I left my roots and took off running
Recently, though, my mom called me at work, as she likes to do, to tell me about the Shoe Tree. Now, if you read the stories about my mom calling me randomly, you understand my hesitation to dive into her story, but I had to know. She had me at Shoe Tree.

She swore up and down that on the side of the highway a tree existed covered in shoes. I had never, not ever, seen this tree. Not until last week, that is. Very randomly, I was looking over at the sunset as I was driving and there, off in the distance, was a tree covered in shoes. It was the most beautiful weird thing I had ever seen - aside from those umbrellas on the side of that building in New York - which meant I had to take a picture. Ah, Shoe Tree. You now give me reason to be happy on my drive back to the valley.

Last but not least, a couple of years back there was a new town mayor who decided to put in a stop sign at a non-existent intersection. People ignored it, so eventually he put up a little note under the stop sign. I couldn't find my picture of it, but this is basically what it said:
Picture taken from
Yep. Really, you gotta stop. "I'm not just here to look pretty!!" is what I imaged the next sign saying, but tragically that one was never posted. 

Moral of the story: Home is where your heart and your hilariousness is. Go back and visit it every so often. It's good for the soul. And laughing burns calories, so it's like getting a workout, too. BONUS.

Do you have any funny and fond memories of your hometown?

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