Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sedona - Bye for now...

Time to move to New Mexico. Today was a somewhat stormy day, but when the sun shone through, the contrast between sunlit rock and dark clouds in the sky was dramatic.

Friday, November 27, 2009

More Red Rocks...

Tell me if you are getting bored with Red Rocks. I'm not...

Me? Each day, the look is different. Today, for the first time in Arizona, there were some clouds in the sky.

The show changes by the minute with clouds.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

More Red Rocks

Every evening, the sun lights these faces. The show can be watched from the water, as in my last post, or from the high country.

Every few minutes, the lighting changes, and you have a new blend of colors on this majestic palette.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Day in Sedona

Yesterday was a full day. I got up before dawn and drove to the airport to watch the sunrise. It was really cold, but I am glad I did it.

Back to Enterprise, breakfast and a nap, then to the Oak Creek Canyon. (I know, don't shoot midday - the light is not good.) No worries, I will have other chances. The Oak Creek Canyon runs north-south between Flagstaff and Sedona. The right way to explore the canyon is on foot, but it is still nice by car.

At the top of the canyon is a scenic overlook. The view is grand, into the canyon.

Everyone was really taken with the scenery.

Well, almost everyone...

Driving back down, there is one vista after another.

Castle Rock at sunset is as iconic for Sedona as Half Dome is for Yosemite. I scouted a spot to watch, where I could catch a reflection of the rock as it picked up the colors of the setting sun, amplifying the already-red rock face. Wunnerful!

Thank you, Bree, for teaching me to look at mud puddles too...

Click on THIS one!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Welcome to Arizona

Yesterday, driving toward Phoenix, I stopped on the shoulder to watch the sunset.

Today, I drove to Sedona and found a campsite (no easy task!). I then signed up for a jeep tour of the Red Rocks area. As it was late afternoon, the colors were rich.

Adding to the experience of the vibrant colors of the area was the severity of the jeep ride. A number of the slopes were a 100% grade (1 to 1, or 45 degrees). Not as big a deal if the track were smooth. It was NOT.
A cool ride, but it did wear me out. It is not someplace I would want to be with Enterprise!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Northern California Coast

I most DEFINITELY need to spend more time here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Those Who Served...

It is the morning of Veterans' Day. I am marking this day and its significance to us by remembering those that I personally know who have served in the armed forces of this Country. I urge each person reading this to take a few minutes and think of those who you know personally who served or continue to serve to keep us all safe.
Strapping on a uniform changes one. Perhaps you served here at home in a time free of armed conflict. Perhaps you served in an active theater. Either way, when one puts on the uniform, one makes a statement, that they will place themselves between their fellow man and threats to our safety.
Love comes in many forms. Love for self. Love for immediate family. Love for spouse. Love for friends and more remote family. Love thy neighbor... And the ultimate expression of love, loving your fellow man, unmet and unknown, so much that you are prepared to place yourself between them and harm. Those who have served in our armed forces have made this choice.
On this day, I remember my grandfather who served in WWI. I remember the uncle I never knew, who did not come home from the Pacific Theater. I remember my father and my uncles who wore the uniform during WWII and the Korean War. I remember my peers, Andy, Charlie and John M. who served in Vietnam and who left part of themselves, either physically or emotionally, there. I remember Erik and Gene and Harry and Herb who served in the Air Force. I remember Charles and Bob who served on flattops. I remember those of today's generation, Kris and Vanessa, who served or continue to serve.
You have all chosen to protect your fellow man. I have not forgotten, and I thank you.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Oregon Coast Sampler

I really look forward to my months here starting next spring so I can pick my light and wind and water conditions. Right now, I want to share one afternoon's findings.

A storm had been blowing off the Pacific for two days. It was high tide, and the wind was still pushing hard. The result was strong surf and, very often, heavy mist.

As the mist would come and go, it would reveal and alter vistas of serenity and power, meditation and fury.

I'm going to like it here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Tale of Love

I have a story to share. I heard it this past week while visiting with my cousin, and I thought it too beautiful to not be shared. It is a tale of true love.

I wrote of my uncle's passing in a post in March of this year. Last weekend, my cousin Kim and her daughter took me to visit his grave. We stayed at his house that evening and she told me this story.

First, you must know more about him and his wife. Lonnie and Glenda married early in life. They faced a lot of adversity, as most of us do. For them, it bound them closer together as they faced each challenge as partners and lovers, sharing the burdens in easy times as well as the hard ones.

His family culture was one of strictness and harshness. "Spare not the rod lest you spoil the child" was a credo firmly followed by my father as well as most of his siblings. Not so, my uncle. He treated his wife and children with love, gentleness and respect.

Their marriage was perhaps the best I have ever known. It was filled daily with music and laughter. One could not visit their home without being surrounded by the love that they shared.

Now, the story. Glenda was dying of cancer. She was at home. There was nothing further the hospital could do. The end was close, as foretold by Glenda's increasingly ragged breathing. Lonnie asked Kim to leave them alone. Kim protested, wanting to stay with her mother. Lonnie insisted that Kim give them these last few moments alone.

Kim left and waited in the other room.

About 15 minutes later, Lonnie called to her. Glenda's time was over.

When Kim returned to their bedroom, it was to see that Lonnie had picked his bride up and held her in his lap, her head on his shoulder, as he softly sang the songs they had sung together so often. She passed in his arms, no longer able to sing with him, but hearing him and feeling his arms around her.

I asked Kim if I could share this wonderful story of love. There is so much anger and strife in this world that we can all use a little dose of such love and tenderness. Kim graciously agreed for me to post it. So, I now share it with you all. Or, as Lonnie and Glenda would have said, "With Y'all."