Tag Archives: Las Vegas

Flies, Trash, and Dead Bodies

25 Feb

“Like a corpse left in a garbage dumpster in the middle of summer.” -Sin City quotes

Right around the time that Oli turned 1 and got her first pair of prosthetic eyes, my mom moved in with me to help with the kids.

Which means she moved to the town of. . .Pahrump.

I wish I could tell you that it was a quaint little cozy city with white picket fences and the scent of fresh flowers in the air.

It was more like a city from Stephen King’s book Desperation with trailers sporting rotting sideboard and the scent of dead bodies in the air.

When we moved there we were sold on the idea of Parump becoming an up and coming city. With the housing prices sky rocketing in Vegas, we thought it would be an excellent idea to purchase a house in another town and wait for their market to increase. We thought there would be an influx of buyers recognizing the beauty and the quiet peace of living in the middle of the desert.

At least. . .this is what my realtor told me.

“Buy here! Buy now! You won’t regret it when your house doubles in value in a year!”

It didn’t work out quite like that.

Apparently everyone else spotted what I missed when touring Pahrump. The poverty, high rate of meth use, decaying landscape, trash, and a disturbing amount of flies. I guess the fact that Sherry’s Ranch was just down the road didn’t encourage families to move there either. Yes, this is a brothel.

What in the hell were we thinking?

And then I asked my mom to move there?

Granted we technically didn’t live in Pahrump. We lived in a track community about 5 miles outside of town.

It wasn’t far enough. The trickle of garbage, fly larvae, and stench of unbrushed teeth eventually made it’s way right to my front door.

The housing market in Vegas started on its downward spiral the year after we moved, which subsequently really plunged the value of my house into the toilet.

After my mom moved in with us she began to recognize that my optimism when describing my city was really just an act of desperation to get her to move to Nevada.

I used to tell her “It’s really not that bad. You’ll get used to it.”

I think she wanted to believe me at first until one afternoon she told a coworker that she had a blind date that night. The woman looked at her with hope and jealousy in her eyes, and sincerely asked “Does he have all of his teeth?”

That was the last straw for my mom.

It also didn’t help that her date turned out to only be in possession of most of his teeth and then offered her a sad plastic rose at the end of the evening.

She stayed though. She didn’t hightail it out of there fleeing like a woman who is being chased by smelly, aging, toothless men.

It did, however, end her dating career in Pahrump.

An Adventure With Seth

15 Feb

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The morning of Oli’s fundoplication surgery (reflux surgery) I awoke in the darkness. I turn over and glance at the clock.

Uggghhh…4am. We had to be at the hospital by 6:30 and it was an hour drive. I shook Seth awake and then got into the shower. A few minutes after I got in Seth knocked on the door.

“You’re not going to believe this Shannon. There was a snow storm last night.”

“What?” Snow in Las Vegas. Sounds like no big deal right? The first time I saw flurries in the desert I laughed that they would even have the nerve to call the slightly thicker rain drops “snow”. That wasn’t snow. These people had never been to Iowa. I had about the same amount of trust in my husband and his knowledge of snow as I had in the people of Las Vegas. He was from Hawaii.

I knew that it was probably just cold and raining. At most it might look like snow falling from the sky, but would melt once it hit the ground. We were in no danger of missing my daughter’s surgery appointment. I forgot that in order to get to the appointment we had to drive over the “pass”.

Pahrump sat higher than Las Vegas and in order to get there we had to drive over a mountain at 9,700 feet elevation called the pass.

As we left the house I wondered if we really were going to make it. Snow was actually sticking to the ground. I had heard when we moved to Pahrump that the pass occasionally closed when it snowed up there, but that it only happened maybe once a year. Surely it wouldn’t be closed the one day that we absolutely had to get to Vegas. Surely our luck wasn’t that bad.

It was.

As soon as we reached the base of the mountain I could see police lights directing people to turn around and go back.

I looked over at Seth who was driving. “What now? It’s going to take a month at least, to get another surgery appointment.”

“We’re going. I will get her to this appointment.” He says with determination and a look of excitement in his eyes.

Oh no. I’ve seen that look before. That look that comes from a man who loves off-roading and driving through the back desert.

“Are you serious? The gravel roads are going to be bad. I think we should just call and cancel.”

“Nope. Don’t worry. I’ll get us there. No problem.”

I am very worried.

Seth likes a good adventure and his adventures usually end up with us being stuck somewhere. I have been on many of these “adventures” with him. I have been stuck in the desert overnight, in the mud, with nothing to drink but cheap beer and coyotes circling us looking at my little dog like a quick and easy meal. I have been stuck 5 miles from the lake, with a flat tire and no jack, no one around for miles, for hours in 110 degree heat, with nothing to drink but cheap beer. Don’t worry. We always had beer.

These are just a few examples. Others include motorcycle trips in freezing weather and extreme heat when I have been totally convinced I was going to die.

I know Seth’s idea of an adventure.

This could end badly.

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