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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Joshua Tree at Sunset

We've had the good pleasure of having good friends in town lately. I first met Richard and Susan in Paris in 2000 at the International Pastor and Spouses Conference. They had been called to serve the International Protestant Church in Zurich, Switzerland. Doug had a history with them from Minnesota. Richard's sister was best friends with Doug's sister Debbie. So it was an easy connection. Since then, we've enjoyed time with them in at least 10 different countries. Now, following our lead on living in the desert, they bought a condo in Palm Springs in which their kids live which is great for us as it brings us back together in this desert climate at least once a year!
Since the desert is very new to them and still quite a novelty for us, we are enjoying doing some exploring together. Yesterday evening we decided to pack up a picnic and head out to Joshua Tree National Park, which is about a 40-minute drive from our house.
We chose a beautiful day and the park did not disappoint. It is such a unique and stunning landscape. The Joshua Trees are so interesting and the rock formations almost prehistoric. Some of the scenes looked like Cappadocia, Turkey, one of the places we shared a memorable time together many years ago. 

We all enjoyed wandering around the rocks and trees. Every once in awhile, a cactus showing off its gorgeous bloom would catch our eye. Many geckos scampered about. 
We eventually found our way to a high point that overlooks the Coachella Valley where we would enjoy our picnic supper and wait for the sun to drop behind the mountains.
It was so much fun to picnic! This was our first picnic since leaving Sweden and it brought back all of our good memories of picnic suppers in the archipelago in Stockholm. Food tastes good outside! Many people were gathered in the same spot, but we were the only smart ones with food and drink! Several commented on what a great idea it was.
Soon the sun began to set. The sky was on fire and the contours of the mountains and hills became more visible as the silhouettes began to take shape. 
We laughed. We talked about serious stuff. We pondered our futures. We enjoyed the company of good friends in a special setting. Life is good when surrounded by beauty and beautiful friendships.