When family shows up, there is a change in the schedule.  I am careful about making extended appointments for work.  Time with these special lives is too precious.

Our family lives way out-of-town.  They are in another state.  But the lure of special moments is strong.

When blood lands in the airport, it is time to pull out all of the stops and enjoy their company.  Too many days have passed since we have caught and loved on each other.  Many days will pass before they come again. 

All in all when family visits in Houston it is time to “make hay while the sun shines.”  Yes, your suspicions are correct.  I even join them for shopping!

Don’t worry.  Our man card offers a special dispensation for such moments.  There’s even a bonus for all of us who invest in lives entrusted to us by the Creator.

We went to one store after the next.  I simply took the responsibility as chauffeur.  At least with driving I had a good purpose in the after hours of each work day.

Then, at dusk something amazing caught my eye.  In the past I have mentioned that the flat landscape of Houston makes us miss the mountains of the West.  Yet, we have already learned to look up for scenes that we have come to marvel.

I was not disappointed.  The setting sun cast a brilliant hue on the developing skies overhead.  My wife and our visiting daughter entered the store.  I assured them that I would be along shortly.

That’s when I followed the sight overhead.  Carefully, I steered away from as many buildings as I could.  Cars were also worth avoiding.

Once I had a fairly unobstructed view, I raised my cellphone camera and captured the beauty of God’s creative hand painting on the clouds.  Whispy rising clouds, driven by a growing storm cell in the East, made for a spectacular sight.  The fading daylight cast special highlights on the cloud to feature its depth and density with variations that made me forget about driving, shopping and focus only on the marvel of light and clouds.

Just before the monstrous raindrops would pelt the world inhabited by we mere mortals, I was treated to moving masterpiece in the sky.  Beauty preceded the bombing of massive precipitation stored in a pregnant thunderhead moving in on our tranquil city.  It was a treat for a helpful driver of family proportions.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography