Friday, May 27, 2011

Temple Square and the Mormon Miracle

Panorama view of Temple Square
About six years ago, I flew into Salt Lake City, the rendezvous point for a backpacking trip in the Wind River Range. For reasons that now escape me, I had to come on an earlier flight than the rest of my hiking group, so my job was to get the rental car and return to the airport later that evening to pick them up.

With a couple hours free, I decided to go see Temple Square, the site of the Mormon Tabernacle. By the time I got to downtown Salt Lake City it was almost 4 P.M., and the rush hour traffic was in full swing. Finding Temple Square was a snap -- signs pointed to it from every street. Finding a parking spot was another matter. The block is quite a long one, and as I drove around it I began to think that all I would see was spots already filled with cars. And then ... on the last side of the square I was going to check before giving up... was an open spot!

I parked the car, giddy with excitement! It was short-lived. I was parked at a meter. I had removed all the change from my pockets before I left home so I wouldn't set off the alarms at the airport. I was in a rental car. I had absolutely NO change to put into the meter, and this was before meters took credit cards or bills. I had finally gotten a spot, and I wouldn't be able to use it.

But I decided to check the meter on the off chance that enough time was left for me to hurriedly get change somewhere. I couldn't believe my eyes when I the meter still had a whole hour left -- about the time I had to spend there! I called it my "Mormon Miracle." So I used that hour on a whirlwind tour of the Temple grounds, vowing to come back another day when I had more time.

Today was that day.

And I discovered the truth of a common maxim -- those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.

John and I were meeting our friends, Carole and Dick, at the Square. This was mostly an unplanned get together -- we are on our way to Alaska, and Carole and Dick are on their way to South Dakota, but we realized that our rigs were both parked within day-trip distance of Salt Lake City this weekend, so we decided to see the Temple together.

John and I did the same "parking-space-search around the Square" I had done years before. We finally found one and grabbed it. That is when my deja-vu meter went full tilt as I realized, again, I had not thought to bring meter change with us. I had learned nothing from my "Mormon Miracle." However, this time we managed to scrounge a quarter and eight nickles in the car, which bought us enough time to go to a nearby hotel and beg for a couple dollars in quarters.

Carole and Dick arrived just when we were getting back to the meter, and parked across the street from us.

They didn't need a Mormon Miracle -- they were smart enough to have brought quarters!

Zoe, John, Carole, and Dick

Next Post: Images from Temple Square

1 comment:

Dick and Carole Schneider said...

Not "smart" enough....just lucky...
We really enjoyed the day - have always wanted to see SLC - now know that we need to return to the area...BTW, read that Elizabeth Smart is a Sister in Paris