August 21, 2003

Bullwinkle, A Test, And Dennis

Back in Brighton on an unanticipated trip to Utah to attend a funeral service. (Note to well-wishers: a very dear friend of the family, but not an immediate family member; I’m fine, sad this person is gone, but glad she’s found relief.) Came in late last night, and with the exception of nearly slamming into Bullwinkle J. Moose on the canyon road (mooses are very comfortable ambling down the middle of the road, it seems), arrived without incident.

It is, as always, beautiful here. This morning I chose a hike to Catherine Pass as my morning physical (as my sweet Swedish grandmother would have said), but today decided to make the hike a bit of a test. When I first made this hike in June, I was shredded for a day; two weeks ago, I made the trip with much greater ease; today, I wanted to see how quickly I could make the hike round-trip.

The results: Up in 56 minutes, down in 27 (I ran down) … 3.8 miles and 1,450 vertical feet round-trip in 1:23, a time I’m quite proud of. Oh, and I snapped this along the way: Mt. Millicent reflecting on Lake Mary.

Finally, a warm moment from last night: While making my way through SLC International I passed a crowd of 25 or so people waiting for someone to exit terminal security. At first I thought it was a crowd of Mormon well-wishers welcoming a missionary home from the field (a very common site in SLC International … “Welcome home, Elder!!”), but looking closer I noticed first flags on shirts, then flags in hands, then a large flag (with the lyrics of “God Bless America” sewn along the stripes of white) held between two folks, and finally, a large banner stating “Welcome Home Dennis” held between two other folks.

This was a different kind of welcome home. This was a welcome home for a soldier.

So I stood and watched for a moment, hoping to witness the singular scene of a mother embracing a son returned from battle. I didn’t wait long, as only a moment passed before I heard a woman shriek “There he is!!” And here came Dennis, moseying off the escalator, jar-head haircut and broad shoulders, around which his mother immediately wrapped herself. And the crowd collapsed upon him.

Country. Family. Maternal love. Duty. Honor. A safe return. It was the highlight of my week.

Welcome home, Dennis. Thank you for rushing into the breach.

Posted by Avocare at August 21, 2003 01:34 PM | TrackBack


Posted by: john at August 23, 2003 12:31 AM
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