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My Strange Addiction

By Special to the Sentinel

Post by: Randee Bergen


I came home the other day and Addy had the t.v. on. "Hey, mama, wanna watch this with me?"

"What is it?" I rarely watch t.v. and when I do, I have to do something else simultaneously.

"It's called 'My Strange Addiction.' This one is about this guy who eats glass."

When your teenage daughter asks you if you want to watch a show with her, or do anything with her for that matter, you do it, even if the activity is number 192 on your priority list. So, I grabbed my laptop and plopped down on the couch. The strange addictions we saw were the glass eating guy (who has also recently started eating bullets), someone who takes 150 laxatives a day, a lady who is fascinated with death and is living for the day she dies, a woman who can't stop applying make-up, and a mother who is obsessed with collecting rocks. Her entire yard is covered with rocks that she has brought home one by one and there are bowls upon bowls of them in every room of her house. Every time she goes somewhere, she's focused on the ground and which rocks she should pick up and take home.

This last one--the rock lady--had me chuckling a bit at something I am now, since seeing the show, thinking of as my strange addiction - the sky. Living in the Rocky Mountain West, there is always a show going on up above with no repeated episodes whatsoever. A couple of summers ago I started photographing sunrises and sunsets and the amazing colors and cloud patterns that we get before and after the late afternoon rain and thunderstorms. There was plenty of moaning and eye rolling from the teenage daughters as I was constantly pulling over and getting out of the car to take pictures. You know, you can't just get the shot and then be on your merry way because 30 seconds later things have morphed and are even more stunning.

The sky was really flaunting its capabilities one day when we were on what should have been a seven-hour road trip. My strange addiction made it longer. I reminded the girls that at least I wasn't hanging out the window and snapping shots while going 75 mph. This is what I did before I learned some strategies for managing my addiction. Soon, the daughters acquiesced and started searching the skies with me and I know for a fact that they've got some beauties accumulating in their smart phone camera rolls.

The best of my sky photos ended up in an ongoing Facebook album. The album had a lot of faithful followers until one sad day when the Facebook powers that be informed me that I had reached the limit on number of photos that could be uploaded. This occurred in the springtime, a particularly rainy spring, and the wild flowers in the surrounding desert terrain were going crazy. Well, you can probably guess what I replaced my sky obsession with.

Actually, I haven't fully recovered from the sky. I still chase sunrises and sunsets. I am still hoping that the city will build a giant photography tower in the middle of town, with an East Deck that faces Mt. Garfield and the Grand Mesa and a West Deck that looks out toward the Colorado National Monument. Until then, I am always on the lookout for the best spots in town to catch the colors.

The other day, Amy needed something from Walmart. As we were driving there, the sky was concocting an incredible mélange. "I'm going to drop you off and let you run in on your own. I'll be right back. Just wait for me out front."

She nodded, knowing without even asking what I needed to go and do. I didn't have much time, so I took a little road that went behind Walmart and the Dollar Tree and Lowe's. And guess what? Score! First of all, it's quite lovely back there; I mean, in comparison with the front-of-the-store parking lots. And the Riverside Parkway overpass to Highway 6&50 was showcasing the sunset all too well. There was no question about it--this location would suffice as a fix for my strange addiction.


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Beautiful photographs!

Wow!  That’s an awesome shot.  I’m always worried about structures being in my sky photos, but no more…they look great in yours!

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