Sorrowful day in Las Vegas Nevada…Our home state of residency…

These appear similar to Begonias in the US which thrive in shady areas.
“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”
Colorful sky at sunset.

At 12:30 am, I awoke with a start, wondering why I was awakening at this odd hour. Most nights, I don’t awake until after 4:00 am, often staying awake for the remainder of the day.

I try to avoid taking a Tylenol PM, Melatonin, or any other over-the-counter sleep aid when sleep often alludes me, a common scenario for many seniors as well as the younger population.

Keeping my phone on the bed with the earpiece plugged in seems to help put me back to sleep. But, at the same time, I listen to various podcasts that aren’t necessarily stimulating and overly interesting.

Lime tree in the yard.

Yes, I know the many comments made by sleep experts that taking your phone or tablet to bed is a cause for one’s inability to get a good night’s sleep. But, how many of you, as you read this, are guilty of the same behavior?

However, last night was unique. I awoke four or five times during the night, finally giving up at the 4:00 am awakening to check the news on my phone. I was shocked at what I found, knowing I’d never fall back to sleep realizing the horror that occurred at a concert last night at the Mandalay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Eldest son Richard lives in Las Vegas and was on the strip last night for a pre-season hockey game for the new Vegas Golden Knight’s.  After the game, he ended up at New York-New York Hotel and Casino, which was only a block away from the attack at Mandalay Bay.  He left one hour before the attack.  

Pretty flowers in the yard.

It was a relief to see his comments on Facebook this morning that he was safe. So grateful he is fine, we couldn’t help but feel grief and sorrow for those who lost their lives and were injured and, of course, their family and friends. The trauma of this experience will remain with the thousand attending the concert for the remainder of their lives. Survivor’s guilt? Why did I survive and not others?

There’s no doubt that many of those attending the country music concert were visitors from all over the world. Las Vegas is one of the most popular places to visit globally, attracting over 42 million tourists a year.

Plants flourish in humid and rainy climates.

Here’s an article from the Las Vegas Sun with tourism stats for 2016:

Published Tuesday, March 14, 2017, | 1:29 p.m.
Updated Wednesday, March 15, 2017, | 9:45 a.m.
A record number of tourists visited Southern Nevada last year and spent a record amount of money, according to a report that economic analyst Jeremy Aguero presented today to the board of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
Some 42.9 million people visited Southern Nevada last year, spending $35.5 billion — 16.3 percent more than in 2015 when they left behind $30.5 billion, Aguero said. Per person, Las Vegas visitors spent an average of $827, up from $721 in 2015.
Convention attendees made up 14.7 percent of all visitors to Southern Nevada last year, up 7.1 percent from 2015.
The presentation highlighted the impact of tourism on the local economy. Among the report’s findings:
• One in four people in Southern Nevada is directly employed in the tourism industry.
• Tourism wages and salaries total $11 billion, or 26.2 percent of the $41.9 billion earned by Southern Nevadans.”

To continue this article, please click here.

As soon as I noticed Tom stirring, I told him what had transpired, and we both bolted out to bed to the TV room to turn on the one English-speaking news channel. Now, as I write this, we’re transfixed over the details of this horrific event. It will be hard to look away for days to come.

How does this happen?  Will we ever know what motived a 64-year-old to commit such a heinous act? Why did he feel so removed from a moral and purposeful life to inflict such savagery on others, let alone people he didn’t know…strangers…innocents…? Most likely, we’ll never know.

Purple Petunia.

We continue to soothe our sadness with the stories of first responders and good Samaritans who immediately took action to assist those who fell prey to this attack. It is good in this crazy world. There is hope that the human spirit strives for goodness, kindness, and the well-being of our future.

We can only watch the details with heavy hearts and pray for those who lost their lives and heal the hundreds injured. Peace? At what cost? Is it even possible?

Photo from one year ago today, October 2, 2016:

Upon closer inspection, we’ve been thrilled to see the intricate beauty of a red dragonfly that visits each day. For more photos, please click here.

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