Husband is a Treasure

I have a bad habit of kicking off my shoes and not putting them away. Caught up with me last Sunday night. I was getting ready for bed and remembered I needed to enter one more portion of water on my Fitbit app. My phone was charging in the living room. I entered the data. Turned to go to the bedroom and tripped over a sandal. I went down in a huge way! My husband could only watch me fall. There was no time to get up and try to stabilize me before I crashed into the floor.

Turned small toes on left foot under and smashed down on them as I went down bodily. Skidded left knee across the carpet, then left elbow, then smashed down on left shoulder. Saw stars as shoulder lit up in electric explosion. Slammed jaw on the carpet as I hit the floor. BUT thank goodness I did not hit my head, though I came very, very close!

My sweet husband was by my side instantly. Mind you I once fell in the Smoky Mountains at the end of Abrams Falls trail on a wet rock. That time we had to hike 4.9 miles back to the car and me with a dislocated right shoulder. So we were both a bit fearful of the extent of my injuries this time.

Nothing seemed broken as he slowly helped me sit up on the floor. Then slowly helped me stand and get to the sofa to sit down. He bandaged my knee and went to get some ice crushed for an ice bag. Bandaged my arm where forearm had busted open from the impact. Put me to bed with Tylenol and prayers for healing and comfort and another soft ice pack.

We saw a shoulder surgeon Monday as I was unable to lift my left arm without tremendous pain, and then not all the way up. MRI of shoulder is scheduled in case it does not get better in a week “after the dust settles” from the fall. Possible rotator cuff injury. If not better, MRI will determine if surgery is needed and exactly where.

So I am spending most of my time editing past posts. That has been encouraging as I have read, again, how the Lord has sustained me through the past. Acute pain is a bear when it comes on top of chronic pain. I am determined to trust and follow where I am led through this ordeal.

Moral of the story: put your shoes away and trust in the Lord regardless of what comes your way! Even if it involves a mess you made.

Pain is exhausting and I do not know how much more I will actually create today, but you will know by what I do or do not post! When people ask me in stores, “May I help you?” my typical response is “Yes. I need all the help I can get!” Please lift me in prayer until this is resolved. Thanks, Molly

To the Equator

Cincinnati is 274 miles further from the Equator than Flagstaff, but that distance makes such a difference in the quality of the light! Our friends moved to New Mexico because they get so many MORE days of sunshine there. This has been a hard year for Cincinnati regarding sunny days. On average, there are 176 sunny days per year in Cincinnati. Flagstaff averages 266!

Waterlogged Milkweed

I am seriously hoping the Milkweed does not drown before the Monarchs lay their eggs. I so want to watch larvae hatch out again this year! At the rate we are going rainwise, it is a toss up right now! I slipped out between showers to take this photo. Was sprinkled on as I walked back!

Our local weatherman stated that as of June 19, 2019 63% of our days had rain this year alone. That is 107 out of 170! We are 13″ over our annual rainfall level.

So yeah, gloom is our word so far as weather goes. They are predicting more INCHES of rain over the next few days. Farmers are suffering the most. All the people here are complaining. The YMCA keeps closing their outdoor swimming pools.

Hope you have sunshine wherever you are as you read this!

Amazing Weather

We had over 4 inches of rain in 24 hours here. Today we are approaching 1-1/2 inch and it is only 10:10AM! No matter how much Ohioans complain about our weather, my heart goes out to those in the midwest whose homes and farms have been underwater for months. I cannot imagine the destruction. Pray for them! Makes it hard to write about Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam, but here I go.

We spent one more night in Las Vegas and took off the next morning for Hoover Dam which neither of us had ever seen. Of course, you may remember the point of this trip was to go to places we had missed in our previous travels among the 49 States. (#50 will be for our 50th wedding anniversary!)

Another gorgeous cloudless day in Nevada as we entered the Hoover Dam area. We were told we might not be allowed to drive across, yet that particular day we could walk across and the drive across the road that tops the dam.

The lean on the towers fascinated me. As did the sparkling sun on the water. Look for the color line along the cliff that shows how high the water has been in the past. Wish we could drain the Midwest and send it to Hoover Dam!!

I liked this plaque!

I was all of five years old then!

So had to wonder the depth along the shore! According to http://mead.uslakes.info/level.asp The water level on June 18, 2019 was 1,085.46 feet. The level is 143.45 feet below full pool of 1,229.00. I love looking in water depths!

This is the view you are likely familiar with. Yep, it made me a bit dizzy!

Look at the employee parking!! Both sides of the water. Greenish water is expelled water from power plant.

And finally the huge angels. You can likely see better photos on bing images, but these are mine.

Acceptance with Joy

Bob had a much, much better photo!

This is the flower we found in Death Valley. It is so much better than the first one I posted. Especially poignant this morning as my body spent most of the night in an arthritis fit that would not let me sleep until the wee hours of the morning. It rained almost four inches overnight. Likely the weather effected me as well.

But there you have it. Acceptance with joy even when it is impossible to sleep.

Las Vegas to Death Valley

On the way, near Nellis Air Force Base, we saw the largest drone we had ever witnessed with our own eyes. Quite intimidating! Nothing the guys below ever experienced for certain!

Yes that tv show is where my thoughts about Death Valley were formed! How about yours? We were privileged to get to see the Valley with our own eyes. Granted it was a somewhat windy day, (never good in a sandy environment) but we were amazed at the contrasts. I was hoping to see the lake someone had told me formed recently from the torrential rains they had experienced. But it was all evaporated by the time we visited there.

We entered at Route 374 near Beatty, Nevada about 3307 ft elevation. The park is over 3,336,000 acres. We saw a tiny portion. Daylight pass was 4316 ft elevation. The basin of Death Valley lies at it’s deepest point 282 ft BELOW sea level. We went to -190 ft that day.

Sand, desolate environment. I cannot imagine being relocated to this area by the military from the Midwest or one of the coastal areas!

In one of my favorite stories, Hinds Feet on High Places, Much Afraid meets little flower called Acceptance-with-Joy.We thought we met that flower years ago when we first visited the Grand Canyon. She seemed to be here, too!

Bob and I both thought of the story when we saw this tiny yellow flower struggling in the harsh conditions.

An amazing place to see. So glad I do not have to live there or cross it in a covered wagon!

The Big Trip – Las Vegas Area

Las Vegas. Oy. I do not have much good to say about the downtown gambling areas. We went during the week for cheaper room rates. Used it as our base location to visit both the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest area and Death Valley.

We stayed at the Grand Hotel in “Old Vegas.” Bob took his quarters hoping to use them up with the slot machines. Disappointed that the machines all take paper money now and issue a paper voucher for your winnings. No rattling coins when there was a winner, but plenty of lights and noise! We were easy walking distance to the Fremont Avenue canopy that formed a pedestrian-only gambling mall. At night we saw zip line riders overhead, so many flashing neon lights coordinated with music for six minutes on the hour. Too many weird people. Women in scanty clothes and men too aroused for public display (in my opinion). We were amazed that tourists were there with their children. I never would have exposed my daugher to such behavior as a child or even as a teenager! Yes, I am old and fond of my values.

The “Strip” with the mega-hotels was also not to our liking. Bob was driving and the traffic was awful. Then a truck with a huge advertisement made with led lights pulled in front of us. It literally hurt our eyes. The sidewalks were crammed as bad or worse as the Avenues in New York. People shoulder to shoulder with shopping bags and jaws agape. We did not go into any of the huge hotels as parking was at a premium and we decided we were just not THAT interested.

The drive to the west of Las Vegas was so interesting. We were looking for Red Rock Canyon and did not manage to find it. But we found the scenic road into the National Forest and Charleston Peak Ski area. The cactus were blooming and very fragrant.

Notice one on the hilltop, too!

We noticed the cactus stopped growing at about 7000 feet in elevation, at least in this area. We drove to an elevation of 8,437 feet.

More new sights!

Driving Through Desert Towards Las Vegas

So there we were driving through flat, boring desert land and I saw something in the distance I had difficulty recognizing due to its sheer size! We had seen prairie land that had been burned, but here?

From a greater distance looked like a black field.

An online article states: “The industrial-sized power plants at an industrial park in North Las Vegas are designed to generate the equivalent amount of electricity to meet the needs of 46,000 Nevada homes, according to a company statement. The plant can be a startling sight for drivers heading toward Las Vegas along busy Interstate 15.”

Nevada gets much more sun than Ohio, so unlikely we will see any of those around home!

Okay, I Did IT!

Been practically tearing my hair out trying my patience (and I am certain the patience of the company working with me) figuring out how to get the Stand and Tip blog ready for printing. I do not even know if I want one copy or multiple. I finally asked for a refund because the returned data was wrong, and then wrong again, and then again. Most likely my errors, as I have no idea what I am doing! They graced me to start over.

The photo below was taken some years ago showing Bob and two of his four his siblings at a wedding rehearsal dinner. I have always thought it should be captioned, “NOW WHAT?!?”

I have a throbbing headache and wonder if I should have even pursued this?!? After scurrying about and getting into a frenzy trying to accomplish all this before I would have to pay for the blog site again, I learned that somehow I had already paid in advance for that blog site through 2020. WHAT??? This one, Treasures in Plain Sight is the one due to expire soon. Oh Molly, you doofus! I believe I have a pdf copy of Stand and Tip this morning. It contains comments I did not want, but I have all 90 entries in my possession.

It is amazing they even let me out in public alone. Ever had one of those weeks where frustration just seems to come in flood tides? The blog was paramount, then a tooth broke off my upper plate and ten minutes later another tooth. Do not even know WHAT broke them. So grateful I did not swallow the broken ones. Then when I called the dentist the next day he would not be available until 5 days later. That cancelled our dinner reservation to a nice restaurant. I also did not issue any large smiles for the next 5 days. So they took my plate this morning and will send it for repairs overnight. (And yes, I am toothless for uppers for something like 30 hours.) Bob and I decided it is time to have an extra one made. That is a bunch of money.

When frustrations compound upon themselves, how do you cope? I have been trying to turn each occurrence over the God and ask for help. Left to myself I know I will mess everything up. When people ask “May I help you?” I tend to reply, “Yes, I need all the help I can get!”

So rather than being stubbornly self-reliant I am trying to learn to Lean Hard upon the Lord. My dear friend, Dan, once taught me to learn to say “I DO” to God by living with Intimacy, Dependence and Obedience to Him.

As the Episcopalians are fond of declaring, “I will, with God’s help!”

Cedar City to Zion National Park

For whatever reason, and in my case there could be multiple reasons, I awoke the next morning with back pain that was unrelenting. This is a lousy thing to endure on vacation when you want to go and see and do without causing a glitch in the plans or complaining. I created a prayer years ago that helps carry me through times like this: ” I have determined that this day, each time I am drawn up short by pain, I will praise You, for I love You better than life – even better than quality of life.”

So I entered the day knowing this would be one of those days when I needed to lean hard upon Christ and look beyond myself for His grandeur and creative glory. Stuck on a pain patch, took my Tylenol, and prepared to find out where to catch the shuttle to the Park bus.

Michael W. Smith recorded a song called “Above All” written by Lenny LeBlanc and Paul Baloche. The first verse especially applies to Zion National Park!

Above all powers
Above all kings
Above all nature
And all created things
Above all wisdom
And all the ways of man
You were here
Before the world began

Above all kingdoms
Above all thrones
Above all wonders
The world has ever known
Above all wealth
And treasures of the earth
There’s no way to measure
What You’re worth

In Zion National Park automobiles are prohibited unless you are staying at the Lodge. Then you can drive in. Otherwise, the tourists are taken by park bus from place to place. Standing in line for a long time waiting with the crowd to board a shuttle made my pain level worse. Drats! If you get off the shuttle to look around you can board the next one that comes along. We decided to ride the shuttle to the end of the canyon and look around there. If there was a place we really liked, we would get off on the return loop. My back and pain level being what it was, we knew there would be no hiking for me that day. From the visitor center there are 9 places the shuttle stops. Having already seen Arches and Bryce we were underwhelmed with Zion. Maybe if we were better athletes prepared to backpack some trails would have been more impressed?

We rode the shuttle to Temple of Sinawava. The canyon was carved by the Virgin River. We disembarked and had a short stroll to the riverbank. The waterfalls were lovely. The colors of the stone.

Tiny trees on top were likely not tiny up close!
We were standing lower than these trees at the base.
A day at Zion in pain is better than a day at home in pain!!
Yes, it was chilly! Us with scarves and feather vests and fleece jackets!

With the crowds on only this first Tuesday in April, we decided we had seen all that we cared to see. Not eager to wait in long lines for another shuttle. As Bob wrote in his journal: “We had expected the trip to take about four hours; it ended up taking about eight!” Of course that included driving from the motel to the park and having a late lunch afterwards. But sadly, we again missed the nap we had promised ourselves! Oh well. Sleep can help fight pain but someone said, “You can sleep when you are dead!” Unless of course, your eternity is spent praising God for His glorious creation and wonders in your lifetime!! But then you won’t NEED sleep or have pain. YEAH!!