I really appreciate all the prayers and positive thoughts offered up on behalf of my uncle. While his condition remains serious and the ultimate prognosis is poor, I’m happy to report that he is doing much better now than he was when I saw him upon arrival in California a week and a half ago.
It was a rather last-minute trip but my parents needed to get there quickly and I was concerned about them driving that far under rushed conditions. We made it in two rather long days and the few pictures I took along the way were from a moving vehicle.
1. This was taken in New Mexico. I recall stopping at this place as a child when my mom and aunt took four kids from California to Oklahoma, Tennessee and Missouri.
2. Much of the scenery between Oklahoma and California isn’t anything to write home about but the mountainous area around Flagstaff, Arizona is pretty.
3. Since this is the only picture I took near Needles, California and it shows the Colorado River, you might not realize what a truly unpleasant place it is. It was 117 degrees, 8% humidity and probably around 20 mph winds when we drove through.
4. I know there are people who like the desert but all I could think as we drove through miles and miles of dirt and nothing is how very glad I am that we moved away from it.
5. I grew up in the Victorville/Apple Valley area but somehow I don’t even have the slightest feeling of home when I am there.
I know that sounds negative but I don’t mean for it to. I’m just reminded that we made the right decision when we moved to Oklahoma back in 1980.
Now, I do have to admit that there are other areas of California which have more to recommend them. Here are a few pictures I took at my aunt’s and uncle’s house in Glendora:
1. They have the most gorgeous backyard full of flowers, fruit trees and a pool:
2. I spent as much time as possible enjoying the outdoors while I was there. This was one of my views from where I sipped my Earl Grey each morning.
3. I didn’t ever get around to swimming but I did dip my feet in the pool.
4. This peach tree is an amazing thing. Several times a day my dad picked the fallen peaches off the ground. I picked as many as I could reach from the ladder and I lost count of how many packages of peeled and chopped peaches I put in the freezer for my aunt. Not to mention the two batches of fresh peach ice cream I made. Peaches are one of my very favorite fruits and I indulged in quite a few while I was there.
5. Cool evenings by the pool were a time of peaceful reflection. I’m very close to my aunt and uncle — I consider them almost a second set of parents — and I needed some alone time to try to process my feelings. I don’t know what the future holds but I’m grateful for the opportunity to visit my uncle in the hospital and to be there to support my aunt and cousins.
I have a few more pictures to share but this post is already rather picture-heavy so I’ll save those for tomorrow. Besides, it’s after 10 p.m. and I haven’t had my porch time yet.