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!

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!!

My Dear 56 Followers,

You might have stopped expecting posts from me by now.. We were traveling for one month, by car, on the belated retirement road trip and I did not post much. In fact, I did not write much either! Barely took notes.

Seven thousand miles with my husband in the car and I pretty much went brain dead as far as my disciplines. Reading maps, keeping our sense of direction, making and canceling hotel reservations, those I can do! But oh, the things we saw and experienced! You might have seen the posts about the graffiti artists in Kansa City? Decorating a western fence, and expedition dog? After that we headed further into the western states.

I hope to chronicle our experiences, photos and insights in the next few weeks or so. I think the mail, laundry and groceries are caught up. Though the checkbook has NOT been balanced and none of the appointments I need have been set up! We have spent some time with both adult children and the three grandkids. Made it back to our church home, too.

So here are a few pictures to whet your appetite to perhaps continue following me? Oy! Can’t do that until I download them from my iPhone. So much to catch up on!

GUESS WHERE!

Guess who!

And two of so many ways to see the world!

Expedition Dog

Did you know that Lewis and Clark had a dog on their expedition? Seaman was the Newfoundland breed that accompanied them. He was purchased for $20 just before they departed Pittsburgh.

He is remembered in this statue in St. Louis on the Mississippi riverbank. I took the photo on a gray day. The river was so high the stairs were closed and waves from the passing tug boats and barges were splashing up!