Human Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy Restores Hope for Amanda

June 7, 2008–Wheels Back on Colorado Soil

Heading Back Home….

Judy snags a Business First Class upgrade with Me!  Yes! (Thank You Rusty Crossland!!!!)

Nothing beats a good morning cuppa java…

…except perhaps a long hot shower.  I’m home again!  Traveling far away makes me feel so appreciative for all the treasures of home:  my soft cotton sheets and pillow-top mattress; the raging unpolluted river outside; clean mountain air with crisp spring leaves and colorful bulbs; streets free of litter; sensible drivers who abide by road rules; no horn honking; super-sized, well-lit and hygienic grocery stores with an array of fresh goodies to satiate my appetite; the freedom to cook anything I want to in my little kitchen; the pleasure of driving my own car; gazing up at a cobalt blue Colorado sky after a day of rain; clear black nights with twinkling stars and moving satellites; my dearest friends who I have missed so much (especially my sweet beautiful best friend Gabrielle who looked after Tucker in my absence); and of course…loving cuddles and kisses from Dale and Tucker.  All of these things I have missed so much. 

Dale has been incredible.  After a grueling flight home I rolled into baggage claim and there stood my handsome man.  Dale had already collected my two bags.  He was standing tall with arms wide open.  I rolled up to him.  My heart was beating and I was admittedly a little nervous.  We hadn’t seen each other in a month, and we had hardly spoken a word across the miles.  Our eyes met and his beautiful smile shone brightly sucking me right into his warm embrace.  He wrapped me up in his arms and I smelled and felt the man I love so very much. 

“Come on” he whispered, “Let’s go see Tucker.  He’s in the car waiting.”  He took my hand and led me towards the elevator, the suitcases trailing behind.

Dale had picked up my jeep from Basalt, along with Tucks, and had driven almost four hours to greet me in Denver.  He parked in a disabled spot close to the automatic doors.  I could see Tucker’s blonde hairy body behind my jeeps tinted windows.

“Tucker!”  I called.  I could see him stand to attention in the back seat.  His ears pricked up with curiosity. 

“Tucker!” I called again.  “Who’s the most handsome dog on the planet?  Tucker, this is your Mummy.  Hello my Love.”

I dropped my bag from my lap.  Dale opened the trunk and there he was, panting and smiling.  Gabrielle had bathed him and his fur was fluffy and clean.  I wrapped him in my arms as Dale had hugged me.  I was home with the two boys that I absolutely adored.  Life was great!

Dale and Tucker escorted me back through the mountains into Basalt.  The last stretch from Glenwood to Gold Rivers Court I snoozed, with Dale propping my head up with his right arm and hand.  My eyelids were heavy and my jetlag had set in.  The river was massive.  Dale grocery shopped while l showered in my very own bathroom.  Not too long after I curled up with my head on Dale’s chest.  I breathed in his scent.  He held me tight with an arm around me and a leg on top of mine.  Sleep never felt so wonderful.  I was completely content.  My body nuzzled into his.  We were a perfect fit.  Tucker breathed heavily on his little bed next to ours. 

Dale showed up big time!  He took two days off work to settle me back into our home.  He cooked, he helped me fold my laundry, and he loved me and held me tight.  Our little family is complete again.

Wheels back on Colorado Soil…and it’s still raining!

During the last two weeks in Delhi I heard this one sentence over and over…

“I can’t believe I left my raincoat at home!” exclaimed Judy for the umpteenth time. 

“Amanda, I swear you warned me that May was dry and 110°F in Delhi this time of year.  What’s up with all this rain?  I NEED MY RAINCOAT!”

Judy neglected to pack her most essential item of clothing for her two-week jaunt to India.  She consciously decided not to bring her most precious raincoat because I avowed that the monsoon rains would come later in June.  With a little giggle and a smirk I owned up to the fact that it was my entire fault.  Judy NEVER travels without her raincoat.  In fact, she repeatedly brought this topic up just to make me laugh hilariously as the rains pelted down sideways and drenched us both.  I believed that Judy’s raincoat, or lack thereof, was as critical to her as a shell is to a turtle.

Well, it is official!  According to our daily news source—The Times of India—the month of May was indeed the wettest in Delhi’s history.  May was almost ten times as wet as the average for this time of year.  Despite the temporary respite from the awful heat, Delhiites (including Judy and me) were feeling a sense of unease with the weather being so out of whack.  The cyclonic circulation over Pakistan, Rajasthan and Punjab has been exceptionally strong this year causing heavy downpours in India’s northern states.  On numerous occasions, and often in the black of the night, buckets of rain washed Delhi clean pounding makeshift homeless dwellings and smashing to the ground precarious trees with shallow roots embedded into concrete pavement.  I’ve never experienced sudden downpours like I have in Delhi.  Thunder claps and roars, lightning flashes in big white streaks across the sky, rain hammers, the wind roars, dust swarms in a cloudy fury, electricity cables sway and hurl in the wind, and the power blacks out.  In fifteen minutes or less, the wrath is over leaving mini floods and a city soaked to the skin.  As the city bathes the stench heightens.  A quick downpour will induce potent smells that cause me to gasp, hold my breath, and quit breathing through my nostrils.  Only in Delhi!

India’s weird weather is just a small slice of Asia’s global climatic oddities in the month of May, 2008.  On May 2nd, Myanmar’s killer Cyclone Nargis slammed into the region with a death toll exceeding 40,000 and possibly reaching “100,000 or even more”, according to the chief of the United Nations Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief agency.  Up to 2.5 million people were affected!  A little farther northeast on May 12th, China’s earthquake in the Sichuan province reportedly left more than 80,000 dead and missing, 300,000 hurt, at least 4,000 children orphaned, and up to 5 million people homeless. 

My mind flashes back to this present moment as I sit in my over-sized chair peering out through fresh limey-green cottonwood leaves at a massively swollen river just thirty feet from my door.  A flood advisory alert is in effect all over Colorado.  Higher than average snowpack this past winter has local emergency management officials standing at the ready for evacuations due to possible flooding.  The river is the highest I have ever witnessed.  It is beyond immense!  Some places are already flooded and sandbags line riverbanks downstream.  Normally, this tranquil river cascades gently over boulders.  Now huge waves churn and crash continuously and the river lives up to its name—The Roaring Fork.   I imagine it is a kayakers dream.  This is my river, the constant that I use as an analogy for my life—a flowing, twisting, churning watery mass of transformation.  It is a river that is such a contrast to the eye-sore polluted river of plastic that meanders through South Delhi.  Once again I am reminded of the paradoxical world I have been exposed to, and the beauty that abounds none-the-less.

It rained all day yesterday, with snow in the higher elevations.  I drink the clean mountain air deep into my lungs with big belly inhalations.  I am home in my rocky mountain paradise with nature at my fingertips, but my mind sweeps beyond our little valley.  The world’s weather patterns are freakishly odd and have been in my face these past few weeks.  As I flew literally half way around the globe forever chasing Tuesday, it hit me how seriously our world weather is changing.  In the span of a month I have literally lived through crazy blasts of weather madness.  I am shocked and in awe of the magnitude of the worlds’ extreme weather events and disasters during the month of May, and I ponder the irreversible consequences of large-scale climate change and global warming. 

River of Plastic!

The Roaring Fork, Basalt, Colorado.


1 Comment»

  Kaye wrote @

I have never been to Colorado but being a big John Denver fan I have heard so much from him and have read alot also. He sold your state very well in his travels and it is my ambition to get there in person one day. All the best. What a place to regenerate.

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