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Durango Vacation Journal Part 15

Friday morning we said good-bye to the Stevensons. I made a Super Wal-Mart run, and just before 11:00, we left Alpen Rose RV Park. We drove steadily, and I didn’t take many pictures. Once I saw a brilliant yellow field of flowers that ran to the foot of the mountains, but I was driving, so I have no pixels by the million of that scene.

On Interstate 40, when we were about 30 minutes from Flagstaff where we would spend the night, the traffic suddenly stopped. A deadstop. Jerry turned on the CB and we learned that less than a minute ahead of us, an 18-wheeler blew a left front tire, had flipped and now lay completely across the highway. We sat in that spot for two hours. The driver survived, but with severe injuries—had to be extricated through the windshield opening. On the highway shoulders—both left and right—came numerous emergency vehicles—police cars, fire trucks, water trucks, and finally a wrecker.

We watched a helicopter fly in and set down on the highway, then probably 15 minutes later lift straight into the sky. One of the medical crew had performed a tracheotomy before airlifting the driver, whose chest had been crushed in the accident.

It was a first for us: I prepared dinner as we sat in stalled traffic. Jerry and I dined at our RV table, smack in the middle of I 40 just east of Flagstaff.

By now most of the people were out of their cars and as he is wont to do, Jerry went outside and struck up a conversation with those around us. After a while he came to the door and flashing his wide grin said, “What do you think? Some women out here need to go to the bathroom really badly.”

“Sure,” I said. “Bring them over.”

The women smiled when they climbed the steps into our rig, introduced themselves and said how much they appreciated us letting them use our bathroom. “Thank you, thank you,” they said when they were finished. They lingered and we talked a bit. Nice people, a couple traveling together, who plan to retire in two years and then do a lot of traveling. One of them had done a number 5 4-wheel trail. Somewhere in California.

Finally the wrecker had dragged most of the truck from the highway, and in single file, traffic that reached for many miles filed past the wreckage of the truck. It’s the worst wreck I have ever seen.

The sun was setting now, but our windshield was so dirty few of the pictures turned out well. The sunset was striking, and a sliver of moon hung elegantly in the dark, cloudy sky. Planes flew and marked their trail beneath the moon.

Taken in (See more photos here)


My devotional blog is here.

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A Tribute to the Father of Denise

A few days ago after I posted about Alzheimers, I received the following email. It touched me so, that I asked Denise if she would be willing to have her story posted on my blog. Denise has no web site, and this story has been published nowhere else.

—–Original Message—–
From: Thomas, Denise
Sent: Friday, August 18, 2006 4:48 PM
To: Shirley Buxton
Subject: FW: Memory Walk

After your blog post today, I wanted to share the e-mail below with you- not to solicit funds, but just to share the story of my dad’s last birthday before he died from Alzheimers, and just a little bit about the man he was.
In Him,
—–Original Message—–

Subject: Memory Walk
81 years ago today, my dad, Teddy, was born. Today we would be celebrating his birthday, but last September, just a month after his 80th birthday, my dad finally died from Alzheimer’s disease. I say “finally died” because, in reality, he had been dying, a little at a time, for many years.
One year ago, the family gathered in dad’s room to sing happy birthday to him because he had been bedridden for months. The grandkids carried in cupcakes, each with a candle and dad smiled – a rare thing in his last year. My mom made dinner for the family, but dad’s birthday dinner was a can of Ensure fed through a permanent feeding tube inserted directly into his stomach. Alzheimer’s had robbed him of even basic skills, like how to swallow food.
I wish you could have met my dad before this disease began to take him. He was an amazing man and, even though he was never employed by a school, he was a natural teacher; kind, wise and patient. He was the kind of person that everyone trusted, and he spoke up against wrong even
when it would have been “easier” to keep quiet. He touched the lives of many before Alzheimer’s robbed him of his.
My dad taught all of his children to always do the right thing; to speak up against injustice; to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves; to do everything in our power to make things right.

That is why on October 7, for the 4th consecutive year, “Teddy’s Troop” will join thousands of others in Memory Walk, a 5k event to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. Speaking from personal experience, some of which I’ve shared with you today, Alzheimer’s disease is devastating, not only for the person diagnosed, but the entire family. The funds raised through Memory Walk are used to provide services to families affected by Alzheimer’s and to research the causes of this horrible disease and develop treatments. I am asking, on behalf all of these families, for your support of our fundraising efforts. Online donations can be made on the secure website of Teddy’s Troop.

Edit: I see that this link does not work. I will contact Denise and try to work this out.

Or, you may write a check payable to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Your support is appreciated.
Thank you,

I don’t know who Denise is, but I do believe she loved her father, and I value this tribute to him.

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Hit Number 3000

Yes, it happened a few minutes ago–the 3000th hit on my two month old blog. I'm astounded.

Thanks to all of you who have visited my blog, linked mine to your site, helped me when I had problems, agreed with me, disagreed with me, and especially to you who have made kind remarks about the quality of my writing, my standards, and my views on life. Here's to all of us as we cast about our words: As ready seeds, may they spring into a bountiful harvest of truth and beauty.