Friday, July 30, 2010

Leaving God’s Country for Sin City

By Lori Gebbie

Sorry it’s taken a bit to write this next part, but it was one of the harder parts we had to deal with. So, here goes…

The neighbor fixed the van, but we still felt a little iffy on it. We pulled our trailer out that evening and took it to the Circle L Campground in Layton overnight to dump it and prepare for the journey out. We are SO glad we stopped there. The park managers were such great people! So friendly, and very welcoming! Once we were settled in, they stopped by to chat. I guess they saw the rugged shape we were in, and spent some time with us, letting us unload about our journey so far. They left us with some good meditation techniques and some wonderful prayers for a continued safe journey. And we left with 2 new friends who we will keep in contact with for years to come!

But after talking to family, we decided it would be safer to have the trailer pulled by someone else and follow in the van. Well, we’re glad we did, because only 20 miles down the road, we threw a valve rod in the engine. We pulled into Lehi, Utah at a gas station there, offloaded our things into the trailer, and left it parked while we continued on with our hired driver. I rode in the vehicle pulling the trailer, and Robert followed with the other driver and the kitties. My drive was real interesting, I rode with Trevor, the owner of the towing company, and we had a great conversation. He tows up and down the state of Utah, and has several trucks in his fleet. He is also an EMT, so we were listening to the police scanner the entire ride. One of the calls that came through was a man who had been struck by lightning. I told him if he needed to stop anywhere, to please do, we’d already been on the road for a month, what was one more day? But the crew was already there and dealing with the poor gentleman, who was still alive but in shock. We listened to the updates for the next half hour, until another call came through that had almost the entire state in a tizzy. Apparently a car tried to pass a semi, and got sucked underneath it. When they finally stopped, the car was T-boned underneath the back tires. What an awful site, but by the time we got on scene, there were fire, cops, paramedics and ambulances there, so Trevor kept going.

We got to where the 2nd truck had to be dropped off at, and Robert and the other driver climbed into the cab for the last 40 miles or so to St. George. Right as we were passing Zion National Park, there was road construction on the 15 southbound, and without warning, we hit a HUGE drop in the pavement. The new road dropped close to 8 inches back to the old road underneath. There was no signage, it was just a sudden drop, and we found ourselves airborne for a few moments after the bounce. HOLY HELL!!! I was sure the trailer was going to snap off on the bounce, but Trevor was an excellent driver with several years of towing under his belt, and he was able to keep it all under control. I don’t know how he did it, but we settled straight away and kept going, intact. That happened about 5pm on 7/18. And we were lucky, because about two minutes later, a truck went airborne and crashed into a Semi, and the accident stopped traffic for a while. All I can say is, Wow. I still am highly emotional over the incident, and grateful we made it through in once piece. We pulled off at Mesquite to check out the trailer, check on the birds, and to calm nerves. Everything was fine, we didn’t even break a dish! Trevor had another driver take us from there, he had an evening planned, so we proceeded with his assistant, slowly off again to Vegas.

We hit town at 10pm, and once we hit the streets, I noticed that the trailer lights weren’t working. But it was just a short jaunt to my Dad’s house, and within a few minutes we were pulling up. We unhitched and off they went, back to St. George. I highly recommend Trevor and his crew. I wish I had got a card from them, but if you EVER have a towing need in this part of the country, please call them first. (1-435-979-5909)

It was in the high 90s when we got here, so Dad pulled an extension cord to the trailer and we put the fan on for the birds overnight as we settled inside. Boy, it was GREAT to be home again! I hadn’t been back for a visit in about five years. Wow, had Vegas changed! My father moved here back in ’89, when Sahara dead-ended at The Lakes area, but now the Valley had extended miles past his house, the commerce area booming with new retail outlets peppering the streets.

Over the next few days, we unloaded the birds and the bulk of our things, and put the trailer in dry storage for a month or two while we figure out what we are going to do about replacing our vehicle. So for the last 2 weeks, we’ve stayed close to home, healing our broken bodies and resting our worn nerves. I was wondering how Mom and Dad would handle having our small family invade their home. I’d brought cats home before, Bijou lived with them for a while when I was single between marriages, and that seemed ok, but now I was bringing my husband, 2 cats AND 2 parrots into their very quiet home. But they welcomed us with open arms, and so far, things are going fine. I actually think they like the extra company, and the cats have been extremely well behaved. Prinnie still gets loud, and her and Tye go at it in the back room once in a while, but for the most part, we’ve all settled together pretty seamlessly. Robert and I are set up in the front living room, we set up our office areas, and spend the bulk of our time there, drumming up local networking contacts, and reconnecting with old friends in the area.

So here we are, stuck again, but this time we’re home, and we can settle for a bit before we have to worry about taking off again. We had planned on staying here a month or two, anyway, the dry climate is healing my asthma, and it’s so much better on Robert’s back. I had to laugh, this morning it was muggy outside, the humidity had hit a staggering 38%!! (I just checked, in Vancouver WA, it’s 83% humidity today.) My parents have been extremely supportive through our journey, and we are so grateful they opened their home to us.

But enough relaxing, it’s time to seriously get back to work, so we are scheduling shoots now, and contacting local art galleries. We feel that this town is where we need to be right now, the art district is booming, and people are already recognizing our work as quality. Our day trips out to see the local attractions are limited without a vehicle, but Dad has been quite generous with his car, so I’m sure in the next week or so we’ll be able to hit Valley of Fire and Red Rock Canyon.

So, for now, here we are! Safe and (now) sane in Las Vegas, NV. We are starting to go through the images we took along the way, and as they get finished, I will be posting some of the gorgeous scenery we saw along the way. Thank you all for your prayers and good wishes, they really mean a lot to us.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Age of Confusion; the End of Yesterday, the Start of Tomorrow

by Robert Gebbie

It seems pretty obvious to me that this world, our world, is in serious trouble. What I remember of history, being of deep personal interest to me, I don’t believe there has ever been a time in our human existence when the entire planet has been in such a stage of fear, conflict and confusion. Religious hypocrisy, political unrest, economic disaster and geological change, a shifting and reordering in the foundations of everything I can think of, the “Perfect Storm”.

Mankind could be standing before the pinnacle of their greatest growth and advancement, or at the edge to the pit of their greatest despair. Will we overcome the threats and obstacles that lie before us? Or be the engine that drives society and possibly all of human existence into extinction? The choices we make in these times as individuals will be the largest determining factor in the results of the things to come. It will show in the way Humanity either embraces itself and the diversity of its beliefs and ideas, or continue down the road of our history like jungle primates hurling the feces of our jealousy, insecurities and judgment at our brethren.

Which ways will we grow to evolve forward into the age of what comes next? What avenues will we peruse to diminish those that hold a faith, or point of view, that differs from our own? I hate to say, in my opinion, that I don’t hold much hope for the Children of Man. This selfish and self-absorbed species of hairless apes, with blinders on, fail to reach together for a higher existence; and instead, choose a path to our own self-destruction.

It is the sum of all that life has become, created and imagined that leads a species to greater awareness and evolution. It is the coalition and interaction as one, while, at the same time, continuing to retain the individuality of separate entities. Similar to a single cell within a body, existing and cooperating together for the life of the whole, while continuing to perform their individual functions within their smaller, interacting community of organs.

If every individual begins working within themselves to change the perceptions that society and our cultures have written upon the human psyche, and re-write the way we think and interact with each other, we may survive. Sadly, it takes a personal effort, a deep and unwavering conviction, to improve upon what we are to become what we aspire to be. Often this commitment and pursuit makes us face things about ourselves and our inner being that most people would prefer not to uncover. Guilt for words and actions, for things we knowingly have said or done, that we knew within ourselves wrong the moment we did them. Fears and insecurities that arise from the possible ridicule we may receive from our peers because we want to fit in, rather than accepting and evolving from the diversity of each other’s experiences. It can be one of the most horrific and painful things any individual could ever conceive to do, to remove the masks of our own deceptions and peer face to face at the raw truth of our individual existence.

There is no absolute for the days ahead; perhaps a chance still exists to turn the course that we are on and redeem our honor and humanity. Perhaps we may yet save a place in the universe for the children that come after us, and the age that is to be. There will be great choices to make if mankind is to finally step forward and up to the things we were meant to be. It takes hope and faith for mankind to evolve and survive, or face the madness of our own creations and become victims to the devices of our own handy work. Only when we can stand at the gates of tomorrow and look back on the results, will this world know the success or failure of her greatest adored creation, the Human Race, the offspring of her seed.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lemonade, Anyone?

By Lori Gebbie

The last week here in Ogden, Utah, has been very interesting. The 4th of July came and went this year with a bang, as usual. We had a small barbeque in the backyard with our hosts, Dawnelle and John, and their neighbors. Afterward, there was a little bit of hopping around, as the men started tossing poppers at the kids, and setting off the small bit of fireworks they had. It was a fun evening, the food was great, and the company was nice.

My aunt and uncle were in town, so we made plans to meet up with them for dinner. It was real nice to see them again, I had spent a few summers at their home in Fort Worth when I was growing up, and it had been several years since I’d been able to connect up with them. I always marveled at genetics, and how family genes carried down the line. Our family line runs real strong, but I could always tell the difference between my grandmother’s side and my grandfather’s side. My father and I tend toward my grandfather’s side, my uncle tends toward my grandmother’s. But the family resemblance is real strong, and the relationship is undeniable.

We planned to meet them at Cracker Barrel (of course). Robert and I got there first, and we were milling around the little store area while we waited. As soon as they walked in, I felt their smiles as they spotted us and walked toward us. They are very soft spoken and gentle souls, and it was a wonderful reunion, as we shared stories of our misadventures, and caught up with their lives. My uncle is our family historian, and he takes care of our genealogy lines. He was in Salt Lake City, working on getting birth certificates and death certificates for our ancestors. I am excited to report that he is on the verge of breaking into the 1700’s with his research, which is quite the accomplishment for a Mexican family, as most of the records in Mexico were either burned, destroyed, or mutilated by lack of care.

As the dinner progressed, we talked with them about our lives, and the turns it had taken. And we talked about what we were teaching now, which is helping people re-balance and re-focus their lives for the better through Self-Perpetuating Evolution. Dinner ended, but our conversation was still going strong, so we went back to their room to continue our visit. We spoke of faith, of love, of growth, and did a lot of learning. At midnight, we cut our visit and planned on getting together again the next day. When we got home, we felt so peaceful, we went straight to sleep, feeling very loved and secure.

The van was delivered on Wednesday, and our minds started to settle. We now knew it would be a matter of days before it was done, and we were glad, because we were starting to get restless. It was one thing to stop because we wanted to, and another to be stranded without a vehicle, dependant on others. We try to be good company, as unexpected visitors we have been spending time in the trailer, so as not to disturb the normal pattern of the household. And with my uncle and aunt in town, we’ve been spending time with them. So it has worked out all the way around.

Today is Monday, and the van is almost done. We had a mechanic friend working on it for us, and we’re grateful that he is willing to help us out. So, hopefully today we’ll have the keys and be ready to pack up tonite to set out tomorrow morning.

We have found that, no matter how much we plan, we do not control our path. Instead of fretting and worrying about it, we’ve taken the opportunities given to us to explore the area we are in, and to make the most of it. And we’re happier for it, we’ve added a great deal to our portfolio and had some good visit time with friends, old and new. So, off we will head, tomorrow morning, in search of new adventures and friends. We will head toward Las Vegas, and hope that we can drive straight through. But, if we get stopped along the way, we’ll take that time to look around and enjoy the scenery. And just breathe.

**** Now available on our hub site, our pamphlet “Self Perpetuating Evolution”. Please feel free to download your copy. Distribution permitted in original form only.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Traveling with Disabilities

by Lori Gebbie

I’ve been asked repeatedly, why it’s taken so long for us to travel such a short distance. So, I decided tonight I would write about that. We always got into the van with good intentions. We would start out in the morning, intending to pull in 400 miles down the road for the evening. But, we’d start on the road, and the trailer would start to sway, so we’d start driving slower and slower, to keep it all under control. Our max speed was 60 mph, but we would average between 40 and 45 mph. And on mountain roads, sometimes we would trudge up the side at 25 mph, and pull it down at 40 mph to keep it under control.

What is a sway? It’s where the trailer starts going one direction while the van is trying to go another. And the sway is from the wheels, not a tipping motion. So it feels like you are going straight, but the van is being pulled sideways. When it gets bad, it feels almost like the rubber is going to be ripped from the tires. So you can see how stressful and tense the situation can be if you get out of control with it. It’s a lot of white-knuckle driving and a LOT of praying.

Another issue we have is Robert’s disability. He has a degenerative lower back injury with severe nerve damage down the right side of his leg and foot. After five operations, and killing his stomach with vicodin and morphine, he isn’t able to take painkillers anymore. So part of the white-knuckle driving is pain, and after an hour of driving with your whole body tense, it feels like you’ve run a marathon. So we would welcome the sight of a rest stop, where we could get out and he could stretch out again and try to get the blood moving. Sometimes he would just need a quick stretch and we could be off again after an hour or so. But sometimes a bad road or hill would wipe him out and he’d have to sleep for a few hours. And until we get the swaybar and equalizer hitch for the trailer, I can’t handle the trailer like it is, so we go at his pace.

So, that should explain why we seem to be crawling across the desert to get to our first destination. Next week we are having the van worked on, and we hope to be back on the road by the end of the week. But, as much as we plan for life, sometimes life has a different plan for us. For example, if we hadn’t been stopped here, we would have missed out on reconnecting with an old friend of ours. And my uncle and aunt just happen to be doing some work in Salt Lake City this coming week, so we’ll be able to visit with them, too! And Utah is God’s Country. The weather is beautiful, and the scenery is breathtaking. So, while it was unfortunate that we were stopped by engine problems, in the end, I’m glad we did. For the last two days, Robert hasn’t even been able to get out of bed. I think the stress stripped him of all he uses to hold himself together, and his body is just responding. I have him set up in the bedroom area, his computer there so he can still work while he lies down. He’s determined to be up and moving tomorrow, so I’m hoping the rest he’s had will allow him that much.

We hope you all have a lovely and safe Fourth of July this year.