Spring Roadtrip 2019

From Flagstaff we were on our way to Albuquerque, more specifically Corrales, home of our best friends, Dan and Betty. Going to their house is like coming home to us. Have never found another couple that we can visit with and travel with so effortlessly! All four of us get along great! We had already traveled 4,000 miles when we arrived there. We were more than ready for a rest and restore session!

Their home faces Sandia Crest, 10,678 feet, in the Sandia mountains, popularly known as Watermelon Mountain because of the red glow at sunset.

From Cooksey’s’ courtyard

And of course love from Betty and Jessie!

Walking Jessie is a delight. Dan has her so well trained! The courtyard is often populated with Gambel’s Quail.

One day Bob and Dan drove up to Sandia Crest and and went shopping at the Henderson General Store and a rock shop in Cerrillos. The next day there was a terrible wind storm that practically obliterated the view of the mountain.

Departing for the remainder of the trip on Day 20 was sweet, but also difficult. It is never easy to leave the Cooksey’s!

Sometimes a Writer Must Work and Wait

I have been working to read and then copy out selections from Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning.” That book had a huge impact upon me years ago when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. For those who have followed this and my other blog I mentioned the book a while ago. Since I continue to age (better than the alternative) and the future is uncertain regarding this shoulder, which means our summer, and then our trip to Cape Cod in the autumn, and on and on it goes in uncertainty – seemed like the right time to take up the project. I had ordered a used copy of the book but it was SO old that pages were crumbling as I read. So I got a newer copy and have completed the part entitled Experiences in a Concentration Camp. Now this might seem totally depressing to some, but Frankl is worth reading. He writes from the viewpoint of a psychiatrist and a prisoner about what happens to humans when choices are removed. This chapter is about 145 pages in a smaller paperback, so not too difficult to accomplish. He actually writes from experience. Bob’s Dad was part of the Liberation Army in WWII and set some of the camps free. I have wondered if he was one of the soldiers who freed Doctor Viktor Frankl?

Frankl focuses repeatedly on the fact that the last of human freedoms is the ability to choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstance. Hopefully, my synthesis of his insights will come forth in future blogging.

The attitude choice has come home to me again personally as I wait for diagnosis of the problem in my shoulder after the fall in the living room. I get to choose my attitude. I am NOT always sweet and kind and uncomplaining. When I get weary from pain and frustration I often want to just go crawl under a rock where I will not hurt anyone with my misunderstood tone of voice or sour attitude. Today I will focus on what Scripture says about waiting.

 Because of the LORD’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!  I say: The LORD is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him.  The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.  It is good to wait quietly for deliverance from the LORD.

Lamentations 3:22-26 (HCSB)

His mercies never end – even when we are irritable. His mercies are new every morning – He knows so well I will need a daily dose! His faithfulness far exceeds mine.

The Lord is my portion, therefore I put my hope in Him. Well, what else can I say? I trust the doctors and MRI, but He is my highest and best hope, my most thorough Physician. The Lord is good to those who wait for Him. I wonder HOW many times we are admonished to wait for Him in Scripture? Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. In returning and rest I am saved; in quietness and trust will be my strength. Be still, and KNOW that He is God.

Jeremiah ends with “It is good to wait QUIETLY for deliverance from the Lord.” I know a woman who is waiting for healing from a second back-to-back Shingles infection. I know a man waiting to find out if the purchase of the home he wants will go through. I know others waiting to heal after surgery, waiting for back pain to let up and be healed, waiting for a church dedication and celebration after hours and hours of hard outdoor work, waiting to plant their crops after history-making flooding. Some are waiting for asylum in America fleeing violence in their homeland, another waiting to finalize a divorce after a miserable marriage.

As humans we do not generally wait well or quietly. Perhaps remembering His mercies are new daily and His steadfast love for us never changes can help carry us over the bumps and crashes of our dreams in life.

When your particular house of cards comes down, remember that no one EVER said “I want to be ill this summer”, or “I want to be waiting weeks on end for an answer .” Ever. So along with me, rest, wait, hope and watch for a manifestation of His love in our presence.

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

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.

Fort Collins to Grand Junction: A Long Day and Long Post!

We were going to drive to Grand Junction, but Bob decided we were too early to check in to a hotel, so we drove on the Arches National Park and then to Green River. What a long, exciting day.

10:58 AM which will matter as the day unfolds.

The drive from Fort Collins goes down towards Denver, then across the Rockies via I-70. This follows Glenwood canyon along the Colorado river. The mountain pass at Vail is 10,603 feet. We saw things that were too far to photograph and new to us. Like not just exits for skiing areas, but actual snowboard courses with people flying down them. Have seen that on TV, but cannot imagine actually DOING snowboarding, or skiing for that matter. I have never been known for my coordination or sports prowess. Ramps and ski jumps and things that amazed me, people willingly riding lifts to the top. I am also not a fan of heights, so there is that wonderment, too!

We saw signs for Aspen, Beaver Creek, Vail, Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, Arapahoe, and Keystone, all famous ski areas that we had never visited, but often heard about on news and sports channels.

Years ago we took our children to the west coast from Ohio on the Amtrak. The train followed parts of this same road. We were delighted to see the tracks and confirm our memories!

Colorado River 12:25
See the tracks on far side of river!

And such terrain change in one day! Huge mountain peaks, national forests, the glory of the mountains with snow, without snow, river canyon, tunnels, scenic overlooks and then on towards the Colorado plateau of eastern Utah with dry, rocky terrain anywhere from 4,500 to 6,500 feet in elevation at Arches.

Two hours later, 2:35, still Colorado!
Gives an entire new meaning to get out and stretch your legs! People walking along the lower edge, up the path with shadows, and on the ridge if you can see them! 3:11 PM
5:21 PM Long but amazing day! Now in Utah for certain.
5:30 Arches National Park
Is it a Sphynx or a dog?

Bob had to climb alone as the day was wearing me thin energy-wise. He made it into the big arch.

Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints! 6:14 PM
I appreciated the Three Wise Men (shadows) on our way out of the park at 6:40 PM

On our way to our hotel we agreed there were almost more landscape/environmental changes in one day than we could comprehend. Sort of sightseeing whiplash 😉

We also agreed the next day NOT to make such a long day again on this month-long journey.

Cheyenne Wyoming

We are tired of staying at the same hotel chain. And the quality of the chain has become so unpredictable. We decided to try some thing new. This is a shameless plug. This was BRAND NEW! Our first stay at a Tru hotel by Hilton. Great for a single traveler. CRAMPED for a couple! We did like the hooks on the wall and the great shower though! Not certain how we might book it next time to try to get extra space in our area? It was designed with young people in mind, including the huge lobby area with pool table and plenty of quiet booths for business work and phone calls.

https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/11/a4/39/b6/tru-by-hilton-cheyenne.jpg
See the source image
See the source image

We lit out of town the next morning after doing an interview with fact finding Hilton staff. They made it worth our while with a payment for our time. Pretty sweet for retirees on a journey! Cheyenne to Ft. Collins, Colorado 47 miles, (plus mileage into and through part of Rocky Mountain National Park).

7,000 miles and

16 states, slept in 10 of those in at least 3 different motel chains. All but one night was pretty good sleep! 48 years of marriage and this was the longest trip we had ever taken since our one year anniversary trip moving from California to Ohio. In all those miles there was only one moment when we both thought we were about to be in an auto accident through no fault of our own. We still marvel at how were kept safe, day after day, hour after hour.

Most children have an hour or two a day when they get cranky. Low blood sugar, need for parental attention, whatever. And adults can get that way, too! Eating routines disrupted, NO NAPS, navigating strange places, being in the car for hours on end together days on end. We had those moments. Most were navigated with humor, kindness, and sometimes snacks or coffee stops.

Realizing neither of us knew the way at every moment in time, we were able to not take things personally. Accepting the fact that those moments were going to occur almost daily helped, too.

Seeing something new and wonderful or just reflecting on the vast differences between today’s scenery in contrast to yesterday helped restore a sense of wonder.

Things such as is this typical grain storage or caused by the trade wars? We had no answers, just a sense of wonder at the abundance the agricultural families of our country produce. We saw many of these seeming impromptu storage set-ups. There were abundant silos, but these appeared in plenty.

Tire tracks from truck deliveries!
Does the fan provide circulation to keep it from spoiling?

We discovered during the trip that we were uneducated in so many areas, prone to still be human, able to travel together long distances and still in love after all these years. Determined to face the chapter of older adults as joyfully as possible we seemed to have at minimum one good laugh a day. Now I wish I had written down those comic moments!