Gone Coastal

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Can I paint you a picture?

Vegas sits in the middle of a low flat valley. To the west, and a little bit north, is Mount Charleston, and a long low finger of a ridge stretches south.
It's been windy since I've been here, and I might have mentioned to some of you that it's a bit dry. In fact there's been a bit of a drought, and even the famous fountains are flowing rather with much less flash. In the early evening, there were dark clouds breaking up the blue sky. Someone around here's gonna get some rain, I thought, and that's probably a good thing. I was driving down to the outlet center to find a place to eat.
When I came out after supper, the sun was just setting, and most of the sky had cleared again. As I pulled out of the lot and turned west to cross over the freeway, I saw what remained of the earlier menace.
Ahead, running the length of that mountain ridge, was a line of rain clouds, still emptying. A thick dark line divided the darkening blue sky. Below it, the virga hung and just brushed the top of the ridge's silhouette, backlit by the last of the sun's rays.
I didn't have a camera, and in any case I was driving. For a moment I wished I could snap that shot, capture it, but I wouldn't have done it justice in a frame.

Sunday, May 09, 2010


By the time I post this, I'll be in Vegas, but at the moment, I'm at YVR, waiting to board. About an hour ago, I said goodbye to my daughter and planted a kiss on the sleeping head of my son in the back seat of my car, having been driven to the airport by my Mom. It's Mother's day and I'm heading away from my kids for two weeks for training.
Most of what followed the goodbyes was pretty standard airport fare. A small lump in the throat and a butterfly or two. Stand in a line, Show some papers. The airline rep gave me the run down of 'the mill' ahead as I said it had been awhile since I'd been to this end of the airport.
Haul the bags down a hall. Show some papers. Answer some questions. Check the big bag. Stand in another line. Show the same papers again. Pull stuff out. Take things off. Put stuff away. Put things on. Stand in another line. Have the fast moving line I'm in moved to another queue and s.l.o.w. .r.i.g.h.t. .d.o.w.n. Exchange pleasantries, hand over a paper and walk through another door to the other side.
Having plenty of time before boarding, I wandered slowly toward my gate, checking out my options for overpriced food to bring aboard for later. My gate was waaay down at the end, and as I rounded the last bend it hit me exactly how long awhile it had been. About two and a half years since I was flying out of this airport and this very same gate. Trinity was just about 15 months when I was last here, and had been quite resistant to walking on two feet. But right here - or right over there, at that little indoor playset - as I watched with my 4 months worth of Eli belly and all the paraphernalia required for a mom taking her toddler on vacation - Trinity decided that walking was actually worth the effort. She proceeded to walk all over Kauai.

I'm now watching a couple of brothers scrambling about on that same playset. The younger is probably under a year, not yet walking, but climbing up the same slightly slippery steps, making his mother visibly nervous. The older is maybe three, somewhere between Trin and Eli now, running circles around, and occasionally over, the younger.

A little Mama nostalgia to mark Mother's Day.

And who knows, you might just get another post or two out of me while I'm here, wondering how to occupy myself without eager little hands pulling me this way and that. I miss 'em already, but checking in with my mom a little while ago, there sleeping soundly already. Perhaps I'll catch up with them in dreams.

Happy Mother's Day, all of you.