Saturday, September 25, 2010

Memories...of Tough Times, of Happy Times

This afternoon we drove endlessly until finally reaching our first trip goal - Amarillo, Texas. Rich has driven more than 1,000 miles these two days. That's a good pace in a car, for a motorhome it's nearly insane. But we are parked for two nights here and will check out Amarillo by car tomorrow.

Somber memories were brought back as we approached Shamrock, Texas this afternoon. Driving to Chicago with my friend and her two sons, this is where I was on the morning of January 17, 1994 when Rich called to tell me that there was a major earthquake in LA just about an hour before. That was the first of the two worst events of our life. The kids were at home in Canyon Country...Rich was in Chicago and I was in Shamrock...they were alone. It was more than an hour, which seemed like an eternity, before I reached Sandee and learned that they were hour during which I watched on TV bodies being pulled from rubble and fires seemingly everywhere, not knowing what was happening to my kids. It was an indescribably horrible time.

So, today, we stopped at a McDonald's in Shamrock to get a Smoothie and take a short break. As we pulled out of the lot to leave, Rich had me look to the a restored 1930s Conoco station which was used as a model for one of the buildings in the 2006 movie Cars, a movie that our grandkids excitedly took us to see when it came out, knowing we would all love it.
The beautiful Tower Conoco station in Shamrock, Texas was used as the inspiration for “Ramone’s Body Shop” in the Disney/Pixar movie “Cars”. (Courtesy of

Today there was time and reason to think about how the most difficult times in our lives do fade as we recover, move forward, and make new beautiful memories. Not only were my kids and home okay that long ago January day but Sandee and Shawn are still happily together and have given us our three precious grandkids who are happy and healthy and are left with their own memories, but no lingering physical trauma, from the horrific car crash they were in two years ago. That was the second horrible event where we were left frantic for news, waiting by the phone for every call from Shawn who kept us in his thoughts and frequently updated.

Shamrock, Texas where I spent a frightful morning almost 17 years ago and where today I saw that old Conoco station that I will always remember as a monument to everything beautiful in my family.

Y'all hug each other just a little tighter today, ya hear?

Lovin' Life ~~ In All Times

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