This morning there were three things that caught my attention as I drove to work.
First, the morning temperature. I am wearing one of those new jackets I bought at CJ Banks, and it actually felt nice to have long sleeves on when I went out to the car! The leaves in Albuquerque are just beginning to turn. Today's high/low temperatures are predicted to be 72/52. There's nothing better than autumn in the Rockies.
Secondly, the sunrise was about as beautiful as sunrises can be! Most mornings our New Mexico skies are cloud-free. But this morning, although the sky was mostly clear, there were some clouds, "artfully arranged" (to quote the radio announcer) over the Sandias. The sun rose behind them as I drove to work, and in my commute I witnessed first the fiery reds, then the oranges and finally the brilliant golds as they played upon those scattered clouds. God was really creative with his paintbrush this morning.
And thirdly, I saw a number of hot air balloon trucks and trailers on the roads. As surely as the swallows return to Capistrano every spring, the hot air balloons return to Albuquerque every fall. This coming Saturday will be the first day of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (Oct. 6-14). This year there will be a brand new shape-balloon coming from Belgium for its first American debut, none other than Darth Vader! You have to go to this link and take a look at him; he's awesome! He's going to be one of the larger shape-balloons, at 86 feet tall; talk about bigger than life! To add to the festivity, some local Storm Troopers will be participating as part of the ground crew. Dan, Tim and I will be at the balloon park by 5:30 on Saturday morning to see our favorite event of the Fiesta, the "mass ascension," when approximately 800 balloons will fill the skies at once. I think Darth is going to stand out, even in a crowd like that.