Saturday, August 15, 2009

Flying With Torn Wings

While we are camping, Charlie can find me down by the river. I bring my lounge chair, a book in hand and sit right by the water's edge. The sound of the river running, sitting still and taking the nature in, is not hard to do. I have fallen asleep many times because it is so relaxing. I didn't get to do this very much on our most recent trip. This year, I noticed a lot of butterflies, more than usual, fluttering around. Honestly, I could stand still and they would just fly circling around me, maybe 12-15 at a time. The wind would blow through my hair and I had to giggle with feeling like I was Pocahontas or Faeries were going to show up at anytime. It was really magical.

I also noticed that they would land at the water's edge to drink water. It would start with one Butterfly and then slowly they would start landing one after another as if they didn't like to drink alone. As I watched the Butterflies, I noticed that quite a few of them had torn wings. I was amazed that they could still fly and wondered how they had gotten torn. Possibly from the wind and getting tangled in the manzanita bush? I suddenly felt like the butterfly that had torn wings... I am still flying too.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Takin' Time & Slow Dancin'

Every night, Charlie and I would drive to the Dardanelle store to call our daughter Diandra to check in with her; we missed our little pumpkin. There are no towers where we are camping and you can not use your cell-phone. We also have a system; if someone needs to get a hold of us, they call Diandra and then we know to call them. Rob will call his sister more than usual, so that she doesn't get lonely. In turn, he too will give his sister messages to give me and his dad; visa-versa (Charlie mostly razzes Rob about how many fish he has caught). I am glad Rob does this too, it makes for a long week not hearing from him when you talk several times a day, every day.

They have live music in the back of the Dardanelle store every evening at sunset. One night when we went to call Diandra, there was this singer who sounded just like Willie Nelson. While Charlie talked to Diandra, I took in the moment listening to him sing. Can you imagine? Willie Nelson's voice singing in the Mountains? It was so fitting. As we got off of the phone with Diandra, the musician started to sing The Righteous Brother's song, Unchained Melody. Charlie grabbed me and we started to slow dance on the side porch. We had our little chi's with us and they started to jump on our legs, so we each picked each one of them up and tucked them in between us and continued to slow dance. Charlie started singing the words in my ear... it was such a sweet, touching moment that I will never forget.


Oh my love my darling
I've hungered for your touch
A long lonely time
And time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much
Are you still mine
I need your love
I need your love
God speed your love to me

Lonely rivers flow to the sea to the sea
To the open arms of the sea
Lonely rivers sigh wait for me wait for me
I'll be coming home wait for me

Oh my love my darling
I've hungered hungered for your touch
A long lonely time
And time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much
Are you still mine
I need your love
I need your love
God speed your love to me

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Gone Fishin'

Fishy, Fishy, In a Brook

Fishy, fishy, in a brook
Daddy caught him with a hook
Mommy fried him in a pan
And baby ate him like a man.

When we go camping, we make a menu for the entire week. We all bring our own meat and then try to distribute the side dishes among us all. We also try to keep it as basic as we can so that there isn't a big fuss over dinner and time is spent visiting instead.

On Thursday while we were camping, dinner on the menu; fish, steamed potato-squash-mushrooms-onions in a foil bag, sliced tomato's and a green salad. When making the menu, we had planned it for that Thursday so that we would have plenty of time to catch the fish. If we didn't catch any, we were fish out of luck and would make do with what we had planned only without the fish.

Mike's wife, Florence tried to pitch in and do some fishing too.

Here is our daughter-in-law Melissa (Adam's wife) looking at the river. She was such a trooper this year; she doesn't like camping. The thought of bugs, dirt and not being able to shower or sleep on a comfortable bed, well let's just say, she not keen on the idea. BUT she did it this year. I think she did it for Charlie because she knew how important it was to him. Melissa says she would go camping if she had a trailer or cabin. She is so cute!

They fished and fished. I love this picture. I have a picture just like it, only with Charlie and Diandra in it. Too Sweet!

Here is Charlie, our second oldest, Mike, and two of our grandsons coming back from crossing the river.

The California Department of Fish and Game's Wild Trout Program (now the Heritage and Wild Trout Program) was established by the California Fish and Game Commission in 1971 to protect and enhance quality trout fisheries sustained by natural reproduction. They plant on Thursday.

They manage plans that identify actions and policies necessary to protect native trout habitats, and maintain or enhance native trout populations.

Here are three of our grandchildren Calin, Cameron and Aurora, watching them fill the buckets with the trout to put back into the river.

The nice ranger let the kids get a closer look.

The kids got to also see them be planted into the river.

Here is a bit of Trout Education with the help of my son Rob. There are so many different kinds of trout; California Rainbow, Golden, Paiute cutthroat, Lahontan cutthroat, Warner Lakes redband, Steelhead, McCloud River redband, Goose Lake redband and Eagle Lake rainbow trout. A wild trout is a trout that was born in the wild and spends its life cycle in the wild, regardless of the origin of its parents or ancestors. A native trout is a trout that was found here originally, prior to human influences. A wild brown trout is not native to California. A coastal rainbow trout is a native California trout (even if it came from a hatchery). A golden trout born in the Little Kern River is a wild, native trout.

Here is another one of our grandsons doing some serious fishing. He is watching and waiting
for that pole to jerk so that he can
"reel er in!"

Here is our oldest of son's, Adam, helping Ryan with his pole. Boy did this bring back memories of Charlie with our three boys!

Here is a fish that Charlie caught while he was fishing with our nephew Gavin who is three (he dropped his fish in the dirt because he was just a little afraid of touching it). This little fish should have been thrown back but it was his first catch and we decided it was a keeper this time.

As you can see we caught our fish for dinner! Charlie wanted me to get a photo of his hand against the fish so that Rob could see how big the fish were. Sorry Rob, I know this is making you wish that you were there with us even more.

*Some of the photos of Mike and the kids were taken by Florence.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The River Flows

Friends and Prayer ~

As we walked back to Charlie from our little hike, I ran into a friend named Judy who lives close to where we live. She lives out in the country and has a lovely country store that is throughout four buildings on her property. I have gotten to know her through the years and she has been praying for Charlie.

I learned in our conversation that Judy and her husband had just lost their dog on the fourth of July. They were walking on their property and noticed that their little dog was no longer with them. They went to look for her and found her laying on the ground having a seizure. Their little dog didn't make it. They were devastated and decided to head to the mountains to try to get their mind on something else. Their story made me love on my little one's; giving them extra hugs and kisses. I felt so bad for them.

Charlie had walked up and they immediately started to ask how he was doing. Charlie has never met them and I introduced Charlie to them and added that they have been praying for him throughout his cancer journey. Charlie humbly thanked them and then the men started talking about fish and where the good fishing-holes were.

When we go camping in Nevada High Sierra's, I have learned that die-hard campers are creatures of habit. We like to go to the same places, at the same time. We have become friends with many of our neighbors while camping. We have had meals together, help fix trailer's, exchanged stories and have always learned that we know someone in common; there is that six degree theory. Our neighbors, when we go camping at this time of year, also live in the little town that we live in. I know it's Crazy! When we got our campsite situated, we said our quick Hello's and immediately, for both of us, our friends and family started flowing in.

Later during the week, The wife of Art (I believe her name is Linda; our neighbor's at camp) came over to visit me. She had told me that they just lost their son three months ago, he was only 42 years old. It was sudden and unexpected. He went to work on Thursday and he was gone on Sunday. He wasn't feeling well, was taken by ambulance and they learned that he had Acute Leukemia. She started to cry and I hugged her. She immediately asked how Charlie was doing. I told her we just found out about the bone cancer. It was the first time I let my strong wall down, and cried with her. We shared our grief and told each other that we would keep each other in our prayers.

Through the week, friends and family poured in on both of our sites. Our neighbors being from our little town, we knew just about everyone that visited them! They all came over and were excited to see us too. They all told Charlie they were praying for him. My heart overflowed with God's goodness and love. It was so good to see and feel the love and warmth of family and friends surround our neighbors with their support through this difficult time. In addition, we also felt the concern, support and love through their continuous prayer. Charlie again felt humbled. With going camping at this time of the year and meeting everyone, with what was going on in all of our lives. . . I felt it was a divine camping trip and it was beautiful to witness. I can tell Charlie that he is being prayed for; which is greatly appreciated. Although at times, for someone going through the fire, it is hard to know and feel the support through a second person. In turn, you hear only "nice words" spoken. When people come out of the woods, LITERALLY and tell you themselves, it is quite different all together. Now when I tell him so and so is praying for him, it will mean more having seen it for himself.

On the drive back to camp, I was thinking about everyone who keeps Charlie and I in their prayers, on a prayer list, lights a candle for us and are thinking positive thoughts for us. Through blogging, I have met beautiful friends here. Your heart felt prayers, positive, loving and caring comments have also supported Charlie and I. At times, through this cancer journey we are on, those comments have carried me. In addition, I know that I have a lot of readers from all over the world that haven't commented and are probably doing the same for us. When Charlie was getting his chemo treatments in the Hospital, I would print my post and read it to him later the next day.

With all that being said. . . I am truly thankful and feel so blessed!

My cup is overflowing!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Columns of the Giants


Two layers in the lava may be clues to separate volcanic eruptions.

The First Flow

The straight columns formed as the lava cooled evenly under ideal conditions. They cooled from the top down and the ground upward.

The Second Flow

The twisted upper layer could have formed when a second eruption flowed over the already cooled first layer. The second layer could have pooled against a natural barrier that has since eroded. It probably formed under less uniform conditions, causing uneven fracturing.

How Columns Form

Perfect Conditions Make Perfect Columns

Hot lava, like most liquids, shrinks as it cools, causing tension in the new rock. The stress is relieved by cracking. The cracks often have three arms that spread at 120 degree angles, like the surface of drying mud.

Vertical columns occur only where lava of uniform composition and thickness cools evenly from top to bottom. These perfect conditions created the Columns of the Giants, one of the world's most intriguing wonders.


Signs of a Vanished Glacier

Ancient glaciers polished the tops of these columns, leaving behind their scrape marks.

The Power of Ice Crystals

The mounds of rocks at the base of the columns are called "talus." As water seeps into the cracks in the rock and freezes, the expanding ice crystals slowly wedge the massive blocks apart. As they separate, they fall into the heaps you see here.

Hidden Ice Field

You can feel cool air rising through the talus. Several thousand years ago an ice field forms here. This is what geologists call "the little ice age." Remnants of this ancient ice still remain, covered and preserved by the fallen rock.

Here is my mom sitting in the fallen rock to show you how much and how big it actually is.

Now... to walk back.
giggle~ no more "nature pics" of the walk...
I promise! The walk is over.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

#2 ~ Walk With Me ~

We are half way there...

Monday, August 3, 2009

#1 ~ Walk With Me ~

Pffft "Well behaved." I am thinking, 'Come on Sophie and Semone ~ you can do this.'

These are the steps to the trail to get to the Columns Of The Giants in the High Sierra's. My mom and I enjoyed the scenery, while Charlie went fishing.

When I see a bridge; a structure built over a depression or obstacle for use as a passageway. I always think of what it symbolizes in one's own life. You have to cross the bridge...

to get to the other side.

The sweet lady in the picture above is my mom walking Sophie.