Amid all other influences

Amid all other influences
"reaching for the light"

Friday, July 30, 2010


Some time ago when all our young-uns were still at home, I'd make a statement, expecting to be believed as "the word", there would be an echo, something like "not???" with the inflextion of a negatory question. Even before that time, our kids would always question us on numerous matters, even so that on one summer trip, my wife and I appointed our eldest daughter to be the "answer lady" for all questions. She had a gift, and probably still has it to this day for coming to the rescue and providing authoritative answers to questions posed by family members. I'd dare say she could give wikipedia a good run for their money and be just as believeable.

Anyway, the point taken here is that now with all the young-uns on their own with their own families, my wife and I have had great difficulty finding a good destination for a summer trip, or road trip, lest making preparations, getting ready for the road, housing the family pet, etc. Our previous commitment to stay in town, aka ecclesiastical callings/assignment, now completed, it made for good reason to hit the road. So in preparation, we have the checklist which includes all things necessary, such as, getting the car checked out, tire rotation, gas fill up, oil change, packing and loading the car. Then there are the more important things, like road trip survival gear that includes, audio books, camera gear, laptop, GPS (my lady), cell phone chargers, nutritional supplements (ice chest, paper products including TP, water, caffenated drinks aka Pepsi & Mt. Dew, Keebler Dark Chocalate and Almond cookies, Teriyaki Beef Jerky, chips, nuts, cheese sticks, etc.) So, after all the essentials are packed, we drop the pet off at Erin's boardomg kennel with detailed instructions how to take care of the pet. We make one last pit stop before hitting the road, house is secured, alarm set, thermostadt set, lights turned off, and then we remember to stop the mail and newspaper. So a quick after hours call to the local USPS, and we arrange for the newpaper to be picked up, we are off.

Since we are making a late departure, we'll wing it on the trip. We have a tentative idea how far we will travel and stop for the night. Lucky we got a GPS, who guideth our every move. I'm begining to get annoyed when it says "recalculating" in a very annoying english voice. All through the trip, you make a slight detour here or there and the response is "recalculating." There's only one thing to do here, "MUTE" the GPS voice!

So, our reason to get on the road was the State holiday, recognizing early pioneer journey to the mountain west, or Pioneer Day. It's a recognized State holiday, celebrated with all kinds of festivities including local parades, rodeo, fireworks, lots of camping out, and other celebrations. If you live in the state and you want to go camping to a nearby spot, you'd have better made them reservations back in Christmas, that's how serious we take this celebration.

The pioneers journey started on the banks of the Mississippi River and culminated in what is today, Salt Lake City with the prophetic statement made by Brigham Young, "This Is The Place!" I guess they had a better equivalent to the modern GPS that didn't say "Recalculating!"
So, like a modern pioneer, we hit the interstate, headed west, stopped in Elko, NV and went to Carson City, NV. From there we journeyed down to Yosemite National Park, CA and back to Lake Tahoe and on the Yerington to see family. On the way out, can't resist stopping at a military installation, Fallon Naval Air Station, NV. After the kind and simpathetic Marine allowed us on base, we got gas and snacks, and hit the road heading back to "this is the place" again with the annoying GPS lady repeating "Recalculating!" over and over again.

Once safely home, you check out the homestead and find that your garden is overwhelmed with humongous (sp) zucchinis. Should have told Erin to pick them while we were away.

Anyway, we're glad we went on the road trip. We visited the scenic Humbolt National Forest and Lamoille Glacier (outside Elko, NV). We visited Yosemite National Park and entered from the East side (Lee Vining entrance area), and of course, Yosemite is one of our favorites. We got to see Mono Lake at Sunset, and found the two Wal Marts and one Costco in Carson City NV. We also found that Yerington, though it is in the dessert, is fairly green with farming fields and livestock. As for Fallon NAS, those sailors and marines are always addressing you as "Sir." Oh by the way, I wouldn't recommend that Quality Inn motel on North Carson Ave. Their housekeeping needs more OJT.

Well, glad we're back, now it's time to get ready for our family reunion.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Whats Not To Celebrate? It's The 4th of July! Soooo???

I love fireworks, starburst and bombs bursting in air. I'm patriotic, I'm proud to be an American, and I love our country. Also, I do enjoy a good reason to BBQ and then some. Here in Happy Valley, its a big deal, to celebrate the 4th of July. I love parades, patriotic ones, how about a good hot air balloon liftoff, or even the fireworks. Thats part of the celebration.

Our little town of PG had its own fireworks display and it was great. Only had to go down the street from our home, bring a lawn chair, park it in front of a neighbor's driveway and instant great seating. Great neighbors share their front driveway for the fireworks display. I setup my camera for some time exposure shots, got a great view, and just had to put up with onlookers or those arriving late driving up and down the street, with lights on of course. Hey, next year, we're blocking the road so no through traffic.

Love them fireworks. Can't wait for more. Enjoyed a great show, and so did many others.

I'm grateful for being an American, our way of life, our freedom to be Americans, and so on. Sunday meetings were up lifting, very spiritual. Others felt and expressed their testimonies with such wonderful spirit and deep feelings for our country.

Got up early to catch the balloon lift off in Provo. It was a fun event and I always enjoy the balloons. One day, I hope to catch a ride on one and take my camera to record the view.

Started to get warm for the parade, so I came home and caught up with putting my flag out for display. I love doing stuff like that.

While we enjoyed the holiday, there was a lot to catchup with and little time to do them. I was adjusting a couple of sprinkler heads in the yard and accidently broke one off. Got met with a sudden burst of water shooting straight up in the air and on me. It took me a while to shut off the water first and then try to fix the sprinkler head. In the end, I have that zone shut off and will replace the head completely.

On the bright side, most of the garden is planted and just one or two more projects to finish up. I'm going to add another Square Foot Garden grow box on the terrace for more stuff to plant and finish off planting two more rows in the garden. If all goes well, we should be buried in vegies by the end of August.

Speaking of celebrating the Independence Day, yesterday, our neighbor, Doug, was sworn in and got his American citizenship. Congrats. It's a big deal and I'm glad he realizes it. Most people take it for granted and don't appreciate the significance of their citizenship. If you've lived out of the US for a period of time, you get the message real quick.

Well, we're gearing up for our ohana reunion or get together in a month. Yes, we are a month away from kick off. Jo and I are looking forward to seeing as many of our grandchildren together in one spot. If all goes well, we will have 18 out of the 20 here in PG. That ought to be a sight. Looking forward to all the fun to be enjoyed. We are going to take some family photos and will have to Photoshop those who are missing into the picture.