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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)

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My devotional blog is here.

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Philosophy For Recovery, From a Clown

Andy’s 1962 Falcon Ranchero, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

What you see here is the pride and joy of Andy; his 1962 Falcon Ranchero, which is fully restored–all original, except the custom made cover for the back of it. The art work was done in 1998 and is signed Fraser. He keeps the vehicle garaged at a relative’s so as to avoid the hot sun, but often takes it out and drives it around a bit. He was eager to let me take pictures of it, and when I walked over to his place yesterday, he was lovingly dusting it.

Andy is a crusty, remarkable man, and more than once I’ve seen his spectacular eyes fill with tears. He attended the funeral of Tonya, whom he had never met, just because he was so touched by her untimely death.

A few weeks ago, he gave me a copy of a poem he wrote several years ago. This writing is very important to him, and I believe will be to you also.

“…I’d like to close with my football story, which sums up to me a whole lot of what this deal is. I like football, and I just like to think that this morning the God of my understanding is saying to me: ‘I’m getting up a football team and I’m making you the quarterback. And I’m going to give you eleven men on this team that you lost during your active alcoholism. I’m going to give you three men in the backfield that you lost during that time, and I’m going to give them back to you in the reverse order in which you lost them. I’m going to give you hope, faith and charity.’

‘I’m going to give you seven powerful men on the line. At the two ends I’m going to give you honesty and humility. At the two tackles I’m going to give patience and tolerance. At the two guards, I’m going to give you unselfishness and gratitude, and at the center, I’m going to give you willingness, and it’s going to be necessary that you use willingness on every play because this game is going to last a lifetime and there will be NO timeouts.

‘So I’m going to give you some ground rules. The ground rules are the ten commandments. The first four of these commandments have to do with your relationship with your coach and manager, God. And the last six of these commandments have to do with your relationship with your teammates. Now the ball is your eternal soul and goals are the gateposts of Heaven.’

‘NOW GET IN THERE AND PLAY BALL'”

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My devotional blog is here.