In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “On the Way.”

Are there events — historical, political, natural — that divide your life into a ‘before’ and an ‘after’? 

We were on the last leg of a trip home from overseas, when the pilot announced that since we were early, he’d give us a treat. “Look out the windows,” he said, and made two low, tight circles around the caldera of that sleeping dragon, Mt. St. Helens.

Welcome home.

It’s been thirty-five years since St. Helens exploded.

Photo source: Wikipedia.

Fifty seven people died.

Photographer Reid Blackburn’s car. Photo source: Wikipedia.

One of my brothers got married a few days later. He and his bride drove off for their honeymoon in a cloud of ash.

Auto dealership in Idaho. Photo source:

A generation ago.

A naptime away in volcano time.

Sleep long and deeply St. Helens.


What natural phenomena has impressed you? Were you in New York for Sandy, New Orleans for Katrina? Nepal for the earthquake? The Northeast this past winter?


  • Nice post – nice photos and a great view. I remember when Mt. St. Helens blew – it was astonishing to see the power and the extent of the ash. I’ve been through a Cat 3 hurricane – Alicia in ’83 and helped my then girlfriend clean up her house after six feet of water had been inside. I had tickets to game 3 of the ’89 World Series and it took six hours to make it home to the East Bay that night. I’ve shoveled over twenty inches of snow on at least three seperate occasions and shoveled more show than I can count – nature has an awesome power and I have plenty of respect for her. I hope you enjoyed your trip – welcome home!

    Liked by 1 person

    • If that girl didn’t marry you, or at least try , she certainly missed out. What a catch. Speaking of catches, hope your team won that World Series!


  • Nature is not a nice lady. Was your trip home before or after it blew? I was in the Philippines just after Mt Pinatubo (late 80’s or early 90’s?). Ashes up to your ash deep.


    • Sometimes Nature is nice. But sometimes –! Our trip was many years after the eruption. Ashes up to your ash? That must have been impressive. We had trouble dealing with a couple of inches.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “Impressive” isn’t the word I’d use. And though I don’t use awesome…that’s the word, in a negative sense. The military was busy bull dozing the stuff off roads everywhere. The land was ruined.


        • Now you have me curious about the aftermath of the Pinatubo eruption.

          How did you get yourself to not use ‘awesome’? I keep trying to delete it from my brain, and it sneaks out of my mouth anyway.


        • I haven’t quite succeeded in not using awesome, either. I just “want” to stop. It does have a way of still sneaking out!


  • I have never been involved in any dramatic events in the natural environment here in England, and the closest to such a thing during my travels was a 6.4 earthquake that occurred when visiting San Jose, which was quite strong enough for me. Of course, in my fairly long life there have indeed been ‘before and after’ events in my personal world, all of which have been births and deaths – the same for all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! True. Can’t get any more before than birth or after than death. That’s remarkable that Great Britain has had so few geological events in the last half century. A center of peace and stability?

      Liked by 1 person

      • “That’s remarkable that Great Britain has had so few geological events in the last half century.”

        Actually, we once had an earthquake in the county of Kent. No structural damage was reported, but a china figurine did fall off the mantel piece of an old woman’s fireplace. 😮

        Liked by 1 person

  • We were in the bay area for the Loma Prieta quake in 89. Not too far from the epicenter. Never had a fear of earthquakes before that but now I have… well, let’s say a very healthy respect for them. Bless all who have perished in natural disasters. And who are continuing to suffer today. My heart is with them.


    • I remember that earthquake. It was impressive. Pancaked freeways? How many of us think of ourselves when contemplating with natural disaster? Demonstrates yours generosity that you think of others.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Hmm, I just saw this post now. Just received the email notification, and it didn’t show up in my reader. Weird.

    Anyway, for me, 9/11 is a big dividing point in before and after. Guess it really dawned on me how far some will go to destroy what we have. I suspect I’m not alone in that pivotal moment.

    I remember St. Helen’s too. It was incredible how far that ash reached.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 9/11 is a big one for me, too. The violent act(s) were a shock; and the world-wide sympathy for us in the wake of those attacks eye-opening. On the WordPress reader — there was a blip when I published this post, but it seemed to go through afterwards. Probably a reminder to us to save favorite posts in a separate system, just in case WordPress develops a big problem one day.


  • All spectacular in their realism. Haunting really. Lived quite close to 9/11 site with my family and moved to CT shortly thereafter tragedy. Lost many childhood friends from my suburban hometown of Manhasset, NY which was a short train ride into NYC.


      • My husband never liked living in the city so 9/11 simply hastened us along. We had two sons (2 years old and 7 months old) and were living in an apartment so had planned to leave at some point any way. I still love NYC and visit as often as possible. We are only an hour away so still see our friends 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  • Wow! What a nice Captain you had Julia. Nice pic of St. Helens! I remember when she blew. Her ash scattered all the way to SoCal and changed the weather pattern. We had an extremely cool winter that year and a lot more snow (I lived in the mountains at the time). I cannot say that I’ve lived through a volcano, although so many are reactivating as we speak, so you never know. But I have been through a large earthquake, a number of earthquakes actually, which is common when one lives in California. Time will tell what will happen next since we are living during a time of lots of seismic activity. Be safe my friend.


  • Beautiful view from the plane! I remember when I was a kid, we visited the place where the Galunggung mountain in Indonesia after its eruption in 1982. It was a huge one. My uncle had a holiday house near to the mountain. I remember the roads were dusty..dislike volcanoes eruption but unfortunately it is something that unavoidable in certain countries.. The tsunami in 2004 was certainly unforgettable phenomenon too 😦


    • You’ve had your share of front-row disaster seats. I guess volcanoes erupt frequently, but the world is so big, most of us are unaware. Where were you during the tsunami?


    • I remember that flood, and your post! Has it been two years already? Mourned the destruction, particularly in Canmore, where I once stayed.


      • Canmore and hiking/biking out is lovely. There is a 28 km. dedicated bike path between Canmore and Banff now.

        One never forgets a major natural disaster.

        Liked by 1 person

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