Monday, April 19, 2010

Ashes to Ashes


This is not a photo of pagoda turrets over the jungle in Thailand, nope. It's a bird's-eye view of the tree canopy over Capitol Hill. It's so exotic looking, isn't it? I never think about this view living, as I do, on the forest floor.

"Because of the volcano ..." is not the way most conversations begin, at least it has not been a part of any conversation I can ever remember, not even after Mt. St. Helen exploded in 1980.

Over the weekend I've had several such conversations, most of them with Nancy U. of the blog Science Girl (link on my list of Blogfellows) who was planning a visit to DC. We were supposed to have dinner on Saturday. After that plan got scrapped we decided to meet for drinks Tuesday. Now? We have no idea when or even if she'll get to DC.

At 4:30 a.m. this morning I heard my phone do its text ringtone. Unable to understand who would be texting at that hour, I got up to discover that, "Because of the volcano ..." one of my clients would not be able to make his appointment today. He left unexpectedly early for his holiday in France, landed in Madrid and is now making his way north to Paris.

In terms of excuses for disrupted plans, a volcano rates among the most glamorous and interesting, at least to me. It's not possible to fight Mama Gaia after all. So it's disheartening to see that pressure is being put on the avaiation people in Europe to lift the bans because cancelling 63,000 flights causes serious economic problems. I'm sorry about the chaos and loss of money, but for heaven's sake, people! The bottom line is never the best reason to put anyone in danger.

What are they thinking?


I've been missing Jake terribly lately. This is one of the last pics I took of him last spring, shortly before he died.

24 comments:

Barbara said...

I've been thinking about your Jake too because it was just 2 years ago that he came for a visit in the VA suburbs since your house was featured on the Capitol Hill House Tour.

My Jake doesn't have the old-dog joint problems yet. He just can't see or hear well.

NanU said...

I miss Jake too. It's nice to see a new (to me) picture of him.
Have a glass for me at our non-date tomorrow! I'll be toasting the planet too. You have to be mindful, as often as possible. Get the nose out of the work and notice the sky (blue today, with a slight veil of, what is that...)
It looks like around here they've decided the danger of flying is not nearly as great as initially feared, if one is prudent and doesn't try to go through the thick of the ash. The question now is getting through the backlog of stranded travelers.
I'm staying on the ground.

Lynne said...

They are thinking *greed*. We humans have gotten so used to having everything our own way. What we don't realize until something like this happens, is that we are really pretty powerless up against the forces of nature. Still.

I am thinking we won't be leaving on Sunday ...

Even if planes take to the air again they are going to have to really prove to me that it's safe. Okay, they make a few flights successfully, but what about the 3rd, 4th, or 5th pass through the ash residue for that plane?

P.S. Love the pic of the DC canopy and hugs to you Jake-style.
The whole thing is starting to feel so unreal!

Reya Mellicker said...

Nancy you are the voice of reason! Sorry I'm missing you this time around. In June/July - YES. Tom will also be here then. Wouldn't it be fun for the 3 of us to intersect? That would be great timing.

Barbara I'm going to be a house sitter for the house tour this year. I was remembering your great generosity, letting Jake sit in front of your fireplace napping all day.

Reya Mellicker said...

Lynne yes. I'm thinking, if you don't have to travel to and from Europe right now, why even try?

lacochran said...

That top shot is amazing! It does indeed look like a far off place. :)

ellen abbott said...

The thing is, they don't think...not the airlines and not the travelers pressuring the airlines to get them where ever they want to go.

Linda Sue said...

Life causes serious economic problems...Just think of all the money we would have saved had we not been born...ridiculous greedy airlines- I don't think "safety first" is even part of their pledge at the meetings anymore.
Jake certainly left a big empty spot- I know, I can feel it from here, especially in the springtime when a good romp is in order. Dexter sends his licks and wiggles to you with puppy love!

Barry said...

I'm not certain I'd want to fly through that ash. And there are worse things than being stranded in Europe with a great excuse for not being home on time.

My heart leaped a foot at that picture of Jake! What a joy to see him again.

I envy you the pleasure of meeting with Nancy (if that takes place). Now that should make for a VERY interesting conversation.

Mrsupole said...

So happy to see a picture of Jake, it takes me back in time. I miss him too, and am so glad that you are up to posting a picture of him.

As to the airlines and all those people who are in such a hurry to travel. Safety should be their number one priority instead of hurrying to die. It only takes one small error and then it is over. Please relax, enjoy the down time and stay safe. That is all we people in the rest of the world ask of you. Volcanoes are nothing to mess with.

Love the tree canopy pic and at first thought it was of another area then realized it had to be DC and it was. Thank you for sharing it with us.

God bless.

Kerry said...

What a unique and wonderful view of DC; I love it. It's too bad you and NanU didn't meet (hopefully one of you would have written about it--that would have been fun), but yeah, she should just NOT fly right now.

I am delighted to see that you included a picture of old Jake. I still think of this blog as his space, even though he has been gone for almost a year. He does still seem to inhabit it.

Reya Mellicker said...

Jake was a huge part of my life. I really miss him.

Thanks to Dexter for his dog energy. Maybe I'm getting closer to getting a new dog. Who knows?

Tom said...

seeing what the ash cloud will do and how far into the states it will come should keep us mildly entertained for a while...let's hope the Thailand volcano doesn't give Yellowstone any ideas!

whatevr you do don't get a poodle- bichon...because mine just jumped into my lap and wants to watch dog-barking videos on youtube...ach! he can be soooo needy.

Nancy said...

We just had a long conversation about dogs last night with friends of over 30 years. We went through and talked about each dog, now long gone. Bitter sweet.

Nancy said...

Umm that should have been "bittersweet." But I just noticed your post about not using the bottom line as a way of determining the best way to go and the picture was of a Lexus - 2010 models being recalled for doing that exact thing - profits over safety.

John Hayes said...

I never trust decisions that could affect safety being made for economic reasons--but then, I hate flying in general! It's just about a year ago Jake passed away, right? I seem to recall it was the spring--that could be causing some heartache--sorry!

Reya Mellicker said...

Nancy that's so cool -the Lexus connection. It's purely coincidental. Wow.

John I hate to fly, too. I'm misplaced in terms of travel. I would so much rather take the train, or a boat, than fly. But no one can afford the time anymore. It's so sad.

Deborah said...

i've so been missing bessie and hobbes

my heart is with you

王俊貴 said...

Riches serve a wise man but command a fool.......................................................

Angela said...

Things surely look different when you are in Europe. Did you read my post about the volcano? I do like its name, Eyjafjallajökull, but it certainly makes people itchy here!

Ronda Laveen said...

Have to say, my heart skipped a beat when I saw that picture with Jake in it.

This volcano is a reminder of how much we humans are not in as much control as we like to think.

Memory Echoes said...

What a handsome boy Jake was. I wonder if your heart is tugging at you the way a new dog might tug on a leash.

I keep thinking that Mama Gaia has liver qi stagnation and she is in the process of resolving it. Then I remember, oh yeah, that's my problem. There I go projecting onto the Earth, of all creatures! Even so, I still get the sense she is pissed. I was reading an astrologer's analysis of the eruption, and the Aries Point is involved.

Love that canopy shot. What a wild urban jungle you live in!

Val said...

i am wondering about the ash cloud; why it is staying so high, and when/where/if it will land? i think its good stuff for soil enrichment?
Absolutely agree - surely people dont want to fly until it is safe? i love the lesson inherent in this event!
ah Jake
xxV

Reya Mellicker said...

Memory - I love your diagnosis - liver qi stagnation. I'm certain that's one of the problems that the American soul is suffering from.