Sunday, January 24, 2010

Glen Canyon Betrayed

I just finished this book, new title "Glen Canyon Betrayed" by Katie Lee. It is the selection for January for the Boulder Book Club. It always amazes me that you find the right book at the right time, when you are ready for it. This book includes the journal entries, pictures, stories, and songs of Katie Lee when she made her numerous treks down the Colorado River through the Glen Canyon before Glen Canyon Dam was built. I better understand her descriptions of the canyons after exploring the canyons around the Escalante River and the "River" makes more sense to me after my own first trip down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon this year. On my own trip, I struggled with words that could describe the incredible beauty of what I was seeing and experiencing. Katie Lee finds those words and they are words of the healing power of the canyon and the river, the way both help in finding out who we really are, as well an incredible sensuality that I could never imagine would describe this place but does so well. Maybe because it takes us to such a core place of ourselves when we connect to the land in such a profound way, it removes the barriers between me and everything else. I am a part of everything else but I only understand that when my feet are in the water, my hands are in the sand, and I can stretch my body across warm sandstone. My eyes want to take everything I see and burn it some place deep in my soul for later when I need it again. I kept feeling like if I could just paint or sculpt, I might get closer to what the Grand Canyon looks like, what it feels like.

This book however, is a book of a lost canyon, The Glen, now beneath "Reservoir Powell" (her term). I think I've hidden from this issue, not wanting to place my own opinion here because I have spent many incredible days on the shores of Lake Powell. I say the shores because I'm not the water sports type. Cruising up the lake looking at the amazing canyon walls or hiking up to Rainbow Bridge are my extent of water sports. My best times have been sitting on the back of the houseboat as the sun is beginning to set or when everyone else has gone to the marina; just me, the beauty of Tower Butte or Navajo Canyon and a cold drink in my hands. But the part that I have loved most has been the part made of sandstone along with the back drop of the Kaiparowitz Plateau, Navajo Mountain, and all that amazing country that stretches from the lake to my home in Boulder. So through this book, I see what we lost. It's a loss you can't dwell too much on because there is no reconciling what has happened, no way to go back. But maybe it's helps us to think a little more about some of these other incredible places and try to find better ways not to love them to death. Katie even gives us hope, because in "river time" the river will reclaim what once was even if we won't be here to see it. Thank you Katie for sharing a Glen Canyon that began disappearing the year I was born. I will remember it every time I hike one of the canyons that once fed your beautiful canyon and river.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Weather Can Consume You

Each wave of moisture that moves from it's destruction in California to it's dumping of snow in Flagstaff has become the direction of our lives. Not only has it been inundating Flagstaff with snow but our decision to winter in Boulder has brought the most snow in many years, most of it this week. We arrived to a new inch on the ground with probably another 6 inches of old snow on the ground. Add another inch the first night home and another 8 inches or so on Tuesday and then 3 or 4 on Wednesday, all waiting for the big storm to hit. It did with 14 inches of snow. We get up each day and shovel an area for the dogs to go out and pee and clear all the snow off the porch. We kept the car by the house until Wednesday when we pushed snow with our bumper as we drove up the hill. We decided it might be time to park the car up by the road, a very good decision indeed. Steve helped Camille and Doug clear over a foot of snow off the top of their business roofs yesterday only to add the same today. We plan to clear our roof off but decide to wait since we don't know where to put that snow anyway since our snow piles are now over our heads. Steve's legs are worn out with all the shoveling and my back has a hitch especially after missing yoga last night due to the "big one." We plan for the power outage during these storms. It has stayed on more than we imaged it would but we did head for bed about 8:30 last night until the power miraculously returned. We listen when we wake in the morning for the sound of the snow plows and this morning we watched the school bus head the 28 miles over the slick rock to Escalante to the high school even with 14 inches of new snow on the ground. I doubt I would have put my own kids on that bus today, but this is Boulder. Our goal everyday is to get to the car and go to the mail. We aren't even expecting much in the mail, it just feels like we aren't trapped if we can at least go to the mail and see how others in our community are fairing. So tonight we wait to see if that one more storm will arrive in the night. It is all so incredibly beautiful and the best part is that we don't have anywhere to go but a day without shoveling would be a welcome relief to so many. And if we whine for even a minute, we remember those in California with houses full of mud and even more those incredible Haitians trying to survive what seems so unfair to a people who started with so little.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Changes A Week Can Bring

I am home once again, sitting at my computer and waiting for it to snow but so much has changed since sitting here just a little over a week ago. I made my trek to my daughter's to wait for the arrival of my granddaughter. I was listening to intuition strongly since I'm so far away I figured I would need a better sign than labor. My daughter was worried that I was coming down and would just have to sit around so I brought lot's of jobs to entertainment myself. We got one day of completing our distractions. I spent much of the day reading old letters and newsletters from 1960 to 1968 that my Aunt Margie let me borrow. It was an interesting task to be doing on this day because probably 80% of the letters were written by my Mom. I felt that I spent the day with her as well as my daughter. I was feeling almost a little crazy by the time my daughter was deciding to go to the hospital after a day of minor contractions to see how things were progressing. It was one of those times when I felt that I should be able to see and converse with my mom, she was so strong with me. It made more sense when my beautiful granddaughter, Taylee Rae was born just two hours after her mom and dad made that trip to the hospital. They didn't think they would be staying so didn't even take anything with them. I was waiting next to my sleeping grandson when a picture pops up on my phone of this beautiful new addition to the family. And she is beautiful. We spent this week getting her to figure out the nursing. My daughter has become such a confident mother. She keeps working and working even when things are struggling a bit. She didn't even need me to spell her in the nights, just got up and fed the baby then both dozed in the chair a bit and back to bed. She may succeed at having one not sleep with her but probably not since they were usually curled up together in the morning when I checked on them. Papa Steve arrived Wednesday when we brought both of them home. The big brother was loving to hold this new sister and asked his mom if it was ok if he kissed her head. He is also in charge of making sure everyone that arrives to see her have put the hand sanitizer on before touching her. Saturday my niece did a great Annie Leibowitz impersonation with incredible photos of the tiny girl. She also did a engagement photo shoot with my son and his fiance at Sand Hollow Reservoir. So they also got a little time with the new niece as well. So it was a wonderful week with changes that will shape the nature of of family forever.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Being the Mother

There are those times when it feels a bit strange being the mother. I feel so much like I still need a mother and now I must be that mother that I wish for. I'm in Boulder trying to decide if I should turn around and head back to St. George to provide the comfort and moral support that a very pregnant girl needs from her mother. Her doctor visit last week put her about halfway there and yesterday she lost the mucus plug and spent the rest of the day and night with nausea and diarrhea. She was trying to decide if it was a symptom of labor that would arrive soon or if she had just picked up a bug at work since no one has been sick at home. Boulder is a long way from the action, especially if it comes fast. Then there is the need for "the mother" when the tiny baby arrives and you're trying to get her to nurse and determine if everything is alright and keep her that way. I keep thinking "and what do I know about all this other than I have two that survived to adulthood." But I do miss my mother for back-up and reinforcements or even just a second opinion. I do hope that I have the opportunity to stick around long enough to be that secondary reinforcement for Geneya and this new little granddaughter that is planning her arrival as I write this. I also know that all I have to do is listen in that different way of hearing and my mother will provide that assistance I need now as well.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome 2010

We brought the New Year in right with card games, a movie, sparklers and some great toasts with the sparkling cider and grape juice. Colby got right into the toasts, making toast to "all" to "Geoff's marriage," and to "his new sister." Today we have a great visit with long time friends the Moores and the Singletons, sharing so many stories of all of our past adventures and updating on all the new. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family and friends.

It is exciting to begin a new decade. You reflect on the last decade and think of all the changes that have occurred in the last 10 years and you know that there will be that many changes in the next 10 years. You just can't possibly imagine what those changes will be. The kids will become a part of their career choices and that will guide the nature of their days. The grandkids get older and taller. They will become who they are meant to be. We will watch ourselves become senior citizens with all the aches and pains that go with that but also enjoy the liberation of that as well. We will lose those people we love, some as planned and some as surprises. There will be new people born to our families. It will all be a very interesting and exciting drama with a litttle touch of comedy.