Sue and I have been going up and down the mountain a lot lately, from Fresno to Huntington Lake and back. The transitions from the valley floor to the San Joaquin river to the oak dotted foothills to the pines to the high Sierra are terrific. Our drive takes us past Millerton Lake and Shaver Lake. Hawks kettle on Pine Ridge and there've been a lot of deer this year, especially up on Tamarack ridge. When you hit the pines you can roll down your window and gulp in the cool air and fresh pine smell. In the daylight the sun lights up erratic sprays of wildflowers and multi-colored verdent meadows. Rustic cabins nestle in the trees. Every turn yields familiar rich views. Salt and pepper granite peppers every scene. If you go during sunrise or sunset or at night you get bonus views. It truly is a beautiful ride.
Sue has a friend, Jullie, a ranger who works in a ranger station above Huntington Lake, who has volunteered to drive Sue down to her whamo therapy sessions on Monday and Thursday of this week. Sue and Jullie have a lot in common. Jullie, like Sue, is a college home-ec major, a quilter, and one who loves the wilderness.
Sue's had a lot of physical and emotional pain lately. The other morning she hurt a lot and she didn't like the ugly red sores all over her from the shingles she's trying to recover from and she broke down crying while she was getting dressed. Said she was just feeling sorry for herself a little bit. After a good cry she got dressed and had some pancakes and got back to her usual cheerful self. She watered her baby trees, sat in the sunshine in her green adirondack chair sipping tea, chatted with the guests, and later made some business phone calls.
I had a Kings View Corporation board meeting to attend in Fresno on Monday evening. While enjoying the ride back up the mountain I pondered things while listening to country music. A Gary Allan song called "Life Ain't Always Beautiful" got me a little teary-eyed. The chorus goes like this:
"No, life ain't always beautiful
Tears will fall sometimes
Life ain't always beautiful
But it's a beautiful ride"
"What a beautiful ride"