Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Extraterrestrial Highway

I made an impromptu trip to St. George on Friday.  I got a call from my Dad in the morning. He asked me to go. His mother, my Grandma Nell was on death's doorstep. She has had degenerative emphesema for many years now. Her body has really been beat up for quite some time.  Grandma has been near death many times, but I knew that this was really it.  I hastily packed up some stuff and I was on the road in less than an hour.  It took about 9.5 hours to get there, but we made it all in one piece.

I want to thank Officer Burgess, highway patrol in the middle of nowhere Nevada for not giving me a speeding ticket. He was very kind.

I got the kids to bed and then headed to her apartment. She chose to die at home, instead of at the hospital. My sister Catye was already there with her boyfriend. Grandma needed a morphine dose once an hour. We stayed up with her all night. Catye crashed around 2:30am, so I took the night shift.

At 7am, I had to get back to my house, because I knew my kids would be waking up. All through the night, Grandma was slowing down. She took fewer breaths every hour. She was unconscious the entire time I was there.  I knew it would be over soon, but I still had to take care of my little flock. I fed them and then took a nap on my bed. I woke up sometime around 10am and then headed over there once my mother-in-law was able to come over.  

As I was driving back, Catye called me. She had come over to my condo as well when the hospice nurses had returned in the morning, but she got back there before me.  She told me that Grandma had passed away while we were both at my condo.  It happened at 10:15am. It was very peaceful. She just stopped breathing and gave up the ghost.

On Sunday I took Raef, Zach, and Eli over to Uncle Lyf's house so that they could play with their cousins. They had a lot of fun.

Look who is reading my blog!!!

My Dad and Heather came up late Sunday night, and then Monday morning we cleaned out all of Grandma's stuff.  Now most of it is sitting in my garage. Catye is going to take all of the furniture for when she gets married at the end of the year.

I decided to go ahead and drive home yesterday. The kids have things they need to do here in Reno.  They did pretty good on the drive.  Thank goodness for DVD players and Redbox. We drove through some of the most desolate roads in America.  This road was my favorite.

Yep, it is the Extraterrestrial Highway. It skirts the north side of Area 51.  I think I counted 4 cars on the road for the 100 mile stretch.  Hence, I  might have maybe gone 95 or so for certain stretches of the road. 

This is one of the stretches of the Extraterrestrial Highway.
 I decided to snap some pictures while I was driving. It is actually quite beautiful, but more so when you are driving east.  The sunlight is at your back, so it looks a lot nicer. Driving west is not as flattering to the desert. The light washes out all of the color.

This was a potty break on the way to Tonopah. 
 The kids would wander around in the sagebrush when we would stop. Then it dawned on me that it might not be a good idea for them to go too far.  You know, rattlesnakes.  I actually ran over one on the road.

For the record, once you leave Mesquite, Nevada there are exactly 4 places to stop from there, before you get to Reno.  You better make sure you have enough gas in your tank, because there is a whole lot of nothing for a long way.  But, the more I make the drive, the more I love this state. It has its own kind of beauty.

This is my artistic shot.  A view from the front and back.


Hoku said...

I always enjoy reading about your family "happenings"! I think I would've been more wierded out if I was there for the very last minutes, but it was nice that you could be with your grandma in the end.

bk said...

how could you NOT go 100 mph through the straight road of nothingness? beautiful nothingness, of course.

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