WRITER’S BLOCK-WRITE YOUR PASSION (A PICTORAL JOURNEY)

Take a stab at writer’s block by writing about something you are passionate about!  For parents, your passion may be in your love for your family.  Commingle that passion with a hobby and you can write a magical piece of work.  For me, magic happens when I’m with my son, Timmy.

It seems as though we can create weather.

We first noticed this phenomenon on a rainy day in the desert. We only got 3 inches of rain annually – yes, you read that correctly,  3 inches. So anytime it rained, we could hear children joyously running in the streets shouting, “It’s raining! “

One hot summer day, it rained a little so as was our normal tradition, we went outside to inhale the scent of creosote and see the kids jumping in little puddles and catching raindrops on their tongues.  “The skies are clearing, let’s fund a rainbow, ” I said, dragging my teenage son down the street. The sun was setting so I knew our chances were slim.

We reached the little neighborhood park as the sun dipped behind the mountains.  I looked up to the sky and said, “Dear angels, can you please bring a rainbow for Timmy?”

“That’s okay mom, the sun is gone. It’s still a nice sunset anyway.” I was bummed that we wouldn’t have a chance to see a rainbow but the sky was a pretty shade of pink. It was a nice consolation prize.

He pointed at the southern sky. “Mom, look!”

DoubleRainbow

A double rainbow!

We knew we didn’t have much time. We quickly shot these photos.

Cronin Rainbow
Summoning a rainbow

Capturing a rainbow

Swallowing a rainbow
Swallowing a rainbow

“Wait, wait, I’ve got it,” I said, with a mischievous grin. “Stand on that park bench. I’m gonna position the camera so it looks like you’re farting a rainbow.”

Always up for a joke, he hopped onto the bench. I had the hardest time getting the right angle. He asked me to hurry, the rainbow was fading and his legs were getting tired.

“Almost,” I said, “lean over just a little…hang on…” I clicked the button and BOOM! Thunder clapped so loud that I ducked and he jumped off the bench.

“Holy crap, that was close!” he said.   I looked at the pic and couldn’t believe my eyes…

TimmyLightning
Epic rainbow/lightning fart

Since that epic photo, we’ve noticed how our moods seem to affect the weather. Once, we were driving to his friend’s house and Timmy was going through some incredible hardships. We were talking with a friend on speakerphone. Just at that painful moment, a torrential storm pummeled the car. It was so loud that we could barely hear our friend on the phone.  Although it was a hot day, I began to wonder if we were hearing hail stones. I pulled over until the storm passed, both literally and figuratively.  Timmy felt better and the isolated storm vanished.

Once we hiked to an abandoned pioneer home site near Lake Mead. It was a typical Las Vegas summer day with temps over 100 degrees. We are both avid hikers so we were well prepared with water, a knife, a compass, and other essentials.

We hiked down a steep hill, mindful of the slippery scree. The dead brown weeds were tall and unwelcoming.  The air grew still. A raven flew by and then it felt like we entered a strange portal to another world. Time seemed to freeze in this place of heat and death.

The area was devoid of life. We could see the lake in the distance but there were no frogs, no birds, no bugs.

Just flies. So many flies! They annoyed us as we hiked.  It didn’t seem possible, but it quite suddenly grew hotter. It was easily 115 degrees near the lake.

126 Degrees
So hot in Las Vegas, so hot

We found some old lumber and bits of concrete. We knew we were near the old pioneer site that had washed away long ago.

“This place gives me the creeps,” he said.  He picked up a stone, walked over to a log and sat down.

“What are you doing?”

“Playing video games. You know, like the pioneers did.”

We had a good laugh and the flies left. Apparently,  demonic flies detest laughter. We still laugh about it, “remember that one trip to hell?”

Lake Mead Hell
Portals to hell near Lake Mead in Nevada

One day in November, we drove north towards Moapa. I knew of a cornfield and since my son grew up in the desert, I knew he would like it.

Sadly, the cornfield was gone. He was adamant that he wanted to stop anyway and explore the desert. We had a blast finding remnants of other brave hikers: bottle caps, bits of twine, a rusty can. We wondered what the adventuresome survivalist Bear Grylls would do with these items.

Moapa What Would Bear Do
What would Bear Grylls do?

We found a succulent cactus and cut a piece, carefully peeling away the barbs. We ate some and it was a  weird texture, yet refreshing.  We noticed how the autumn sun made long shadows and snapped these pics:

Moapa Back to Back Moapa Karate Kid

There was no miraculous weather on that trip, unless you count the long shadows cast by the sun. Why did we never notice that before?

I took him to Chicago one winter and it was so fun watching him experience snow. We had played in the snow at Mt. Charleston, Nevada, but he had never actually been outside while it was snowing.

The snow swirled around the street lights near the Chicago airport. I told him I was excited for him to see his first flurries.

“What’s a flurry?” he asked.

We drove up to my sister’s place in Wisconsin.  It was so good to see family, share stories, and have a few laughs.

I told my nieces and nephews that my son had never experienced snow falling on his head.

An hour later, one of his cousins ran into the house. “It’s snowing, and it’s really coming down!”  Timmy ran outside.  “Grab your jacket!” I yelled,  So here he is, catching his snowflakes on his tongue, with his jacket wrapped around his neck:

Catching snowflakes
Catching snowflakes

We ran outside and everyone was all smiles, watching the kid who just that summer had been in a 115+ degree hellish place make his first snowman.

First Snowman

Recently, I took Timmy and a few of his friends up to Mt. Charleston, Nevada where peaks soar 10,000 feet high. I showed the boys my favorite hiking trail and mentioned that Timmy and I had one found a neat shelter nestled in the trees. Timmy and I searched for it in subsequent years but couldn’t find it again.

We reached the zenith and one of his friends said, “Guys, hold on a second. Just take this in.”

Mt Charleston Views
Mt. Charleston vista

Mt Charleston View

They turned around and gazed upon the valley that I had enjoyed so many times. I was honored to be the one to show them such a special place.  On our way back down, we paused at the edge of a large ravine and downed some water and juice. I handed out chips and almonds.

Without warning, one of the kids circled his arms to keep from falling. Too late. The edge of the ravine gave way and he fell six feet. It was so random, but he was fine.

Hiking through a ravine in Mt. Charleston, Nevada
Hiking through a ravine in Mt. Charleston, Nevada

We used the ravine to guide us back down the mountain. Everything was going smoothly until we heard some shouts behind us.

“Do you hear that?” one of the boys said.  A roiling, rumbling sound of rocks and dead trees cascaded down the mountain. A landslide!

It was over in less than a minute, but it felt like an eternity. We mused that when the edge of the ravine had given way, we had received forewarning of the impending landslide.

For our efforts, we were rewarded with a fantastic find – we rediscovered the shelter!

Mt. Charleston Shelter
Mt. Charleston Shelter

I look forward to our future adventures with Mother Nature, and if we conjure up a storm, I’ll remember to snap a few photos.  Keep writing & keep sharing! – Cronin Detzz

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