We got back from our trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. It was wonderful to be in the midst of nature and of course great to be internet free for a few days. The long drive from SLC was a bit of a pain going in especially but somehow we got through it. The day after reached YS, we went around the huge park seeing a lot of the geysers. "Old faithful" of course didn't disappoint and dutifully erupted around the expected time. We managed to get a place to stay inside the park the second night, especially considering we booked at the last minute. The cabin was in the thick of the woods and we checked in late evening. After KB rested for sometime, we again went out to see some wild life and got caught in the middle of a "bison jam". A herd of bisons were crossing and cars were backed up in the one lane road. One bison was walking along the side of the road and started coming towards our car which scared me a little. But it just walked away soon after. We got some really nice pictures of the bison though. Sadly that night, KB woke up with a fever while B and KG were fast asleep and it was raining outside and the drops were pelting on the roof of the cabin. KB was so hot with the fever and woke up crying with nightmares. I sat up half the night cooling him down with a wet towel until the medicine took effect. Thankfully I had taken the medicines with me because nothing was open or available in the middle of the park. Somehow he managed to be energetic in the morning when he woke up. We drove around some more and saw more interesting geologic formations and then drove to the next hotel inside grand teton national park on the third night. I had called the morning before to try my luck and managed to get a hotel reservation inside the park. Normally people make these reservations one year in advance it seems!
Yellowstone has its own charm and the wild life makes it very interesting. But grand tetons - god, that place is so majestic in its beauty and so serene and peaceful during dawn and dusk. It is the kind of place you should go to to relax and just soak in nature's beauty. The lodge we stayed in was incredibly good and the view from the restaurant attached to it was a panoramic view of the tetons. It was a pleasure to be there with the kids. If I were rich, I would be going there very often! By some divine grace, KB managed to muster enough strength to see things during the day and also pull through during the drive back to SLC. We visited our friends there and then flew back to our place. KB gets motion sick and is also the kind who will think about it so much and psyche himself before he gets on the plane. So he threw up many times on both flights. One time in the car, I could not be prepared since it came without any warning. But at other times I was prepared and had a barf bag ready for him. Somehow managed to get through all of it. He pretty much survived those three days on apple juice and water and air! Ate two slices of bread for the whole day.
On the flight back, I was at the receiving end of a random act of kindness. Just to distract KB, I asked the steward standing next to our seat if I could get head phones for the kids. The guy said I would have to wait till the flight took off since they would be selling head phones only then. He then paused for a moment and asked if it was for the kids. I told him KB gets motion sick during take off and I was hoping to avoid him throwing up. He told me to wait for a second and then went in and got two head phones for the kids even before the plane took off. He said, "I know how it is...I know the routine!. It was really nice of him to have helped me out. It was an early morning flight and KB threw up three times even before he entered the plane. So pretty much there was nothing left to throw up. But still the distraction helped since there was some show on cartoon network (we don't have premium cable at home) that he wanted to watch at that moment. Such simple acts of kindness make such a big difference. I always tell myself the only way I can thank that man for his kindness is to pay it forward to someone else and try to go the extra length even when I don't have to. Just the way he did.
I was so cut off from world news those two days that I got to know of the CO shootings only when I got back home on Sunday. On friday night when that horrible incident was happening in that movie theater, I was up at night in that dark cabin with the sound of rain and cooling KB's fever down with wet towels. My prayer then was that KB's fever should not get worse, that it should not escalate into full blown bronchitis or asthma and mentally I was making plans as to what we would do if his condition got worse by morning. The next morning, I was so relieved and thankful that he woke up feeling much better and energetic. I was so thankful to what ever power it is that controls these things. Now when I think back, I think of the victims of the shooting and their families and how for them their world had descended into horror that Saturday morning to be rudely woken up to such unimaginable tragic news. It is strange how we all learn to cope with these different worlds - our own, the world immediately in front of us and that world which is remote but brought closer to us by the media. How else can the world go on? We just have to move on no matter what happens. We have to survive things that happen to us and to others and keep on going for there is no other choice. If I pause to think of this person, how destiny chased her, I find it so bizarre. How can the same thing happen to someone twice? Sometimes you just cannot make sense of this universe and nature's ways. Why would a brilliant neuroscience student do this to others? What did he not get in his childhood that turned him into a monster? Or would he have turned out this way despite what ever his parents did to raise him well? Such a torrent of emotions and thoughts when you read such news.
One can only hope that somehow such tragedies don't happen again. I have digressed far from the world of bisons and elks but I am glad to have that world to turn to to find some calm and peace in our confusing existence.