Weekend Readers?

There seem to be increased readers on weekends, so likely I will begin planning my posts for the weekend, or Thursday through Monday or who knows where my mind goes? Oh, the lyrics were actually “Who knows where the time goes?”

Looking back through my collected vacation literature I was delighted to see the National Park Service called Bryce Canyon “Poetry in Stone.” No, I did not write poetry about it, just tried to capture the grandeur in photos!

From Bryce we did make it that night to our motel in Cedar City. I want to back track to Capitol Reef, where we so enjoyed the scenic drive through the many geological features. One thing I did not emphasis was the black rocks.

The Park Service describes these as coming from 20 to 25 million year old lava flows. “Pieces of lava rock were transported many miles from their source, and were smoothed and rounded by their violent journeys within gritty floodwaters. When floods receded, black boulders were left scattered across the floodplains. The black boulders are black on the inside too! The white coating on the surface of many of the boulders is a mineral crust known as caliche, which is mainly a thin film of calcite and gypsum crystals. Caliche forms when mineral-laden groundwater seeps upward, coats the underside of the boulders, and evaporates from the surface, leaving its dissolved minerals behind.” I found the white frosting on the rocks as interesting as the rocks themselves.

I just find this stuff so interesting! Reading National Park literature I can learn a bunch without having to study geology to discover the facts. Nice they teach me as they publish!

I kept thinking of my baseball friend, Levi, and wanting to pick up the baseball sized black rocks. But alas, I am too honest, and could not do it. Besides the Park Service asked us to “not disturb or collect rocks or other park resources.”

I did pick up a smaller black rock along the side of the road after we left the park. Alas, neither one of us took a photo of the large black boulders 😦 So you will have to imagine!

Words and Blog and Death

I am planning to close one of my blog sites and thinking about getting the blog printed so I do not lose the hard work and thought I have put into that. Perhaps one day my grandchildren would want to read it to learn more about me? Discovering entire worlds of on-line services to pay for to get ready to publish and then to actually print. Yikes. Decisions, decisions.

Then I am face-to-face with the reminder that no one will get out of this world alive unless the Lord comes soon. From my journal:

“Judy has died from cancer. Homer dead of cancer. Betty dead of old age and cancer form. Sonia’s mom dead from cancer. Surrounded by death of folks older and younger than me. Disposing of trapped chipmunks, killed on purpose by us.

1 Corinthians Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed,  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality.  When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”  “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

1 Corinthians 15:51-55 (NRSV)

“Death and life, intertwined. There are just sometimes that the death is more clear than other times when we try to forget it, put it out of our minds, pretend it is not always near. No wonder the men in the NT Bible story did not want to help the man beaten, robbed and left for dead on the side of the road. It brought home the fact it could happen to any one of us and death is always near.

Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead.  Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

Luke 10:30-32 (NRSV)

“I fertilized new shoots I should not have fertilized. I too kill things. And I will die someday, the day the Lord has appointed for me. “

So perhaps it is important to preserve the blog writings for the next generation to read after my death? Or is it all words? Would I have liked a record of where my parents went in Michigan when they went fishing there years before I was born? Heck yes! All I have is a postcard they sent my uncle which I did not see until his daughters sent it to me after his death.

Is this the best way to spend my saved money? Perhaps it will be valued by my offspring in the future? Maybe not saving it is like killing those new shoots in the garden. The killing was accidental, yet still they are dead. Do I let those words and thoughts that have come out of me go – just perish in the dust of on-line words? Perhaps that is not a good use of my funds or talent.

Oh my, conundrum after conundrum. Would Judy’s boys cherish a memoir from their mother now that she is gone? Perhaps my adult children might cherish one?

I wrote this several years after my mother died suddenly.

Oh the ache
The wrenching tear at your heart
When you want to share joy
With one who has passed over.

Oh the void
When those too familiar arms
Are no longer there
To embrace you.

Tonight I shared an experience
With my daughter
That I once shared
With my mother
“Ice Capades,” with this wondrous four year old!

If my granddaughter ever delights
In the swirling spangles
And enchanted wonderland on ice,
I pray both she and my daughter be spared
The anguish I feel tonight.

Perhaps the future generations of our family might know the joys and challenges of my life by reading what a wrote about this past year. Guess I will pursue publishing. Scary.

Bryce National Park #2

Yep, by far my favorite. Would love to go back some day and stay in a lodge or nearby accommodations!

Look for the animal tracks in the snow!

Goats? Mountain cats? Bear? I will never know but I delighted to see the tracks 😉

When we traveled in Alaska in early spring we learned that willows are one of the things that bud out first. Well, that makes sense as that is true at home in Ohio, too. See the willow buds in this vista foreground?

A rugged place to grow. Did it burn?
Who lives in there? Goblins? Mountain folk?
See the hoodoo face on the top right?

I called these cantaloupe rocks. Sandia Mountain in Albuquerque means watermelon. These are just lovely ripe cantaloupe!

5:45 PM and still almost 2 hours to the motel. Time to get a move on, amazed tourists!

God created such amazing things and we felt privileged to have seen them with our own eyes. What a day!

“We acclaim you, holy Lord, glorious in power. Your mighty
works reveal your wisdom and love. You formed us in your
own image, giving the whole world into our care, so that, in
obedience to you, our Creator, we might rule and serve all
your creatures. When our disobedience took us far from you,
you did not abandon us to the power of death. In your mercy
you came to our help, so that in seeking you we might find
you. Again and again you called us into covenant with you,
and through the prophets you taught us to hope for salvation.

Book of Common Prayer

Bryce National Park #1

My favorite place on the trip! (The Sandhill Cranes in Nebraska were the most exciting.) We could not travel the entire Park because the road was closed due to excessive snow. National parks evidently are not allowed to salt roads, so any risk of snow melt causing sheets of ice or avalanche danger has the rangers closing that area of the road. I was still delighted with what I did get to see!

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.  They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.  Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.  It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.  It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.

Psalm 19: 1-6 NIV
The vast expanse

From The Book of Common Prayer:

“God of all power, Ruler of the Universe, you are worthy of glory and praise.
Glory to you for ever and ever.

“At your command all things came to be: the vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile earth, our island home.
By your will they were created and have their being. “

I love the shadows that appear to be undulating when in fact it is the rock face that undulates!

Let those kids get out and run off energy! Let this old woman marvel at the glory of the vista!

Bob liked the hollowed out area in the distance. Not certain how far away it was, but difficult to capture without a telephoto lens!
There is a hoodoo!

A what, you say? So glad you ask. Look to the left of the pine tree. There is a rock formation that looks as if it has a black ball on top, shorter than the pine tree. It is bald and wearing sunglasses and a serious expression.

Serious faced hoodoo looking at you!

We have had a few discussions about what constitutes a hoodoo. Here is the Wikipedia version.

“A hoodoo (also called a tent rock, fairy chimney, or earth pyramid) is a tall, thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or badland. Hoodoos typically consist of relatively soft rock topped by harder, less easily eroded stone that protects each column from the elements. They generally form within sedimentary rock and volcanic rock formations.

“Hoodoos are found mainly in the desert in dry, hot areas. In common usage, the difference between hoodoos and pinnacles (or spires) is that hoodoos have a variable thickness often described as having a “totem pole-shaped body”. A spire, on the other hand, has a smoother profile or uniform thickness that tapers from the ground upward.”

We generally saw hoodoos from below, so this was a treat to see one from above!!