Say It Isn't So

Saturday, February 18, 2006



The Salton Sea, an accidental sea caused by the breaking of the aquaduct that was under construction to bring Colorado river water to the Los Angeles basin back in 1903.

The San Andreas fault line is a crack in the earth's crust that stretches from the eastern edge of the Salton Sea until it heads out into the ocean off the northern coast of California. Salvation Mountain quite possibly sits on top of the start of this notorious and tumultuous line.

Leonard Knight, who used to be a snow shoveler in Vermont, came to this site from the air. His hot air balloon crash landed here. He decided that, because he wasn't dead, it was a sign from God and he should stay. And stay he did! In thanks to his good fortune he decided to create a tribute to his love of God. He worked with the earth around him and turned it into an adobe type mixture so that his mountain has a smooth and solid surface. He added paint and sculpted the adobe into glorious colours and shapes of flowers, hearts, doves, streams and biblical messages. As you travel down the 111 highway you can see it in the distance. A brightly coloured hill in the distance, resembling a giant petits fours! When your curiosity gets to you, you find yourself heading off in that direction. When you arrive Leonard is there to greet you. Paintbrush in hand, he offers up the entire story. He lives in an old trailer that sits at the base of this hill amidst a pile of scrap, including empty paint cans. His paint is constantly being supplied to him by visitors, and I must admit that when I said my Good-byes to this delightful, polite, gentle and eccentric man, I thought that I should one day return with a can of paint and a brush!

These pictures do not do much justice to the spectacle of this place. The mountain covers 5 acres. You can walk to the top with Leonard and receive a beautiful view of the Coachella Valley and the Salton Sea. Environmental groups might see this as very detrimental to the Colorado Desert, and I am amazed that no discord has followed. Perhaps they were fortunate enough to meet Leonard and lost their train of thought. I feel lucky to have made his acquaintance! A treasure to behold!

Saturday, February 11, 2006



Tomorrow, the husband and I celebrate our 30th Anniversary. Who'd have thought we would manage to pull this off! Apparently the odds are against us, but we were never normal anyway. We've been through lots of ups and downs, feasts and famines, good times and bad times. Maybe we didn't always agree, but it's all a matter of give and take. You win some, you lose some. That's what marriage is all about. I've got to say I feel like a winner!

When we first met he had a girlfriend and I had a boyfriend. Just acquaintances who met through mutual friends. He and his gal moved to the west coast after dropping off a set of speakers embedded in a barrel as my take of their stuff that they didn't want to move with them. I would spend hours listening to Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead, King Crimson and Emerson Lake and Palmer on those speakers. When friends came over they would double as a chair. Cool stuff!

About 2 years later, I moved out west! We met again while I was visiting and he was no longer entrenched in his previous relationship. As free agents, it didn't take long for the arrow to his us. We have been together ever since and I don't regret a minute of it.

Years ago I wrote a poem about my love. I told him about it, that it was in a box with all those poems that I wrote when I was in the youthful throws of adolescent angst. That he should take a look at it if anything should ever happen to me, but I never showed it to him. Somehow, I feel that he would never look at it if something did happen to me. That he would need to find someone else to go through all my stuff and so it would be lost. That's my adult angst talking! So I will post it here.

To You, the love of my life!

If I should die tomorrow
My love was true sublime
Do not dwell in sorrow
There is no end to time
As there is no real beginning
I shall be there in your mind
Always laughing, always grinning
Always there for you to find.

Without a doubt, you've given me the happiest years of my life, and I am looking forward to many, many more.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I don't have any space shuttle pictures in my computer but these guys are living dangerously and are incredibly brave as well!


It's been 3 years now since that very sad day. The husband and I were heading east to Desert Hot Springs to visit with the West Coast Snowbird side of the family. As we were cresting the pass in Banning California I noticed a very strange jet trail. It was very curly and lengthy. Not at all like the slip fault way the wind normally breaks up those trails. I was mesmerized! It was so strange.

We arrive at the mobile home park that my cousins stay at every winter when Saskatchewan is too deep in snow and cold for their old bones to put up with anymore. After the usual catch-up talk fest we sit down to a game of Mexican train style Dominoes. We do this every year and look forward to it. When the game is over and the scorekeeper has won (the scorekeeper always wins) we don our swimming trunks and head for the 3 natural hot spring tubs that are the centerpiece of this mobile home park. After a pleasant soak in each of the pools (each one has a different temperature) it's time for dinner. We head off to the little restaurant at the park and partake of the daily specials offered at quite reasonable prices. Then we head back to my cousins for a cup of tea and some of the Date Squares that I brought for our visit. We sit out on the patio and wait for one of the resident road runners to show up for a bite to eat. My cousin is a hunter in the fall and almost always bags a deer. To my surprise the road runners really like to eat venison. I always thought of them as vegetarians!

Time to head home. Back over the hump of the Banning Pass where the San Andreas Fault line squeezes between the San Bernardino and the San Jacinto mountain ranges. We once saw a rocket take off from Vandenburg Air Force base while crossing this pass and we always hope for another treat like that whenever we travel through this area.

The next day is Sunday morning which brings the LA Times to the garage door. I read the news about Columbia. My heart bleeds! What I had thought was a beautiful phenomenon of wind and jet stream turned out to be disaster for seven brave souls and the space shuttle program. I know these seven were aware of the dangers and they were honoured to have been chosen for the journey. Still I am sad! I always wanted to take a ride into outer space. As a kid I used to have this weird fantasy that if I knew I was dying anyway that I wanted to be sent in a spaceship toward the sun. I planned to relay back information as I travelled to the sun for as long as I was able. Now that I have matured I know that instrumentation would do that task much better than I ever could. I am happy that the Space shuttle program has found it's legs again. Those seven astronauts would have wanted it that way! May they rest in peace.