My sister (you know who you are) before she took to the road, had a house with an amazing western view. When sunsets were particularly spectacular, she would put out the call, “Emergency sunset”! She would call throughout the house, holler to the kids, call her husband on the car phone, and just revel in the splendor. It always made me smile. Tonight’s was indeed an emergency sunset, coming on the heels of a lovely day. The sky was full of just that shade of blue, and the clouds had a life of their own. I stood in the grocery store parking lot, taking pictures with my phone, and watching the colors shift and swirl.

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Lafayette, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy.” — Swami Satchidananda

Daily gratitudes:
Our solar eclipse observation group at work today
Sending Kelsea emoticons even if they all show up for her as rectangles
Having a chance to write post again
MKL
Cool vintage finds

Yes. I am coming up for air. And soon, so soon, we will be back up in the air flying over and to waters like these. It has been a crazy time for work, for my daughter, for seemingly everything, but I am coming back to a pace that doesn’t kill. It seems to have been a lovely fall here in Colorado. I had seen the aspens briefly on the way to work at Job #3,  but had no time to take pictures. We had big winds last night, swirling the golden leaves in the pig run, and letting the trees show off their spindly bare arms. I am hoping MKL and I will have a day to drive into the mountains this weekend, just so I can get a proper taste of fall before it collapses into winter. But let’s all remember that, thanks to a calm hurricane season (touch wood), we will have blue skies, white clouds, and warm calm seas ahead.

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It hasn’t been that long since we were in Moab, but it feels like it. Fall is coming and going with startling rapidity in Colorado. Work at the jobs has been so busy that MKL and I haven’t had a chance to go into the mountains since the trees started turning, but we both feel the change of seasons in our hands, and I feel it in my old breaks in my feet – like that old Far Side cartoon, my body now predicts the weather. I have had thought after thought about blog topics, but no time to put them on “paper”. So I console myself (and you) with reminiscences of days past, when it was warm and I was on the road.

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Moab, Utah.

Quote of the day: “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” — Leo Tolstoy

Daily gratitudes:
Turquoise
Babies snoozing in strollers
Weather cool enough for morning snuggles
Finally getting my iPod to sync up to my computer
Seeing behind the scenes from the LightRail train

I know I will be wishing this more and more as the cold comes and my hands start to hurt. I guess I’m getting a jump on winter by starting to wish now.

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Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the Day: “Romance takes place in the middle distance. Romance is looking in at yourself through a window clouded with dew. Romance means leaving things out: where life grunts and shuffles, romance only sighs.” — Margaret Atwood

Daily gratitudes:
Little old men in dapper bow ties
Dogs that look just like Tug
Seeing sunrises
Sleep
The first breath of fall

Sometimes silence is a good thing, and sometimes it’s not. The silence of a sunrise is a good thing. The silence of a loss is not. My daughter has been struggling with the suicide of a beautiful, bright friend, which is especially painful considering how she wants to help people. It hurts me to see her pain, when I can do nothing except be there. It was been 10 days now, and she is getting better but she’s still sad, which I reassure her is normal. She and I have both been sick. I have been overworking and not seeing enough of her. It is a hard transition into Fall. On a happy front, MKL and I have set our wedding date for next August at the spot in this picture, which will make everyone, including my dear departed parents, very happy.

I understand suicide. I have wanted to commit suicide. I have come achingly close. Only a promise to Kelsea has kept me from it. Depression lies, and one of the lies it tells you is that the world would be better off without you. And as a teenager, everything is so immediate that it is hard to see past the moment, past the pain, past the despair, to remember that yes, many people care about you, that you will have a bright future, that your parents will not ruin your life, all those things. I wish there was a way of showing every teenager who feels like this life is too hard that there is a future worth living for. If you are reading this, please, always remember that.

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Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “Some people are just not meant to be in this world. It’s just too much for them.” — Phoebe Stone

Daily gratitudes:
Love and MKL
Cleaning out the refrigerator
Wedding gowns
Tamara
Ice cold pillows
Mr. Man

As you can probably tell from my lack of posts, I’ve been working what feels like 24/7, but I wanted to let you know I’m still here. And if I weren’t under a brain cloud, I would be able to remember the name of this arch. What I can tell you is that it’s 1500 feet from the top of the arch to the bottom of the canyon, and there were people posing on top of the arch. I think they were crazier than I feel right now. Hugs to all.

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Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

Quote of the day: “We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.” — Mother Teresa

Daily gratitudes:
Toddlers in footed pajamas
Sharing lunch
Sparkling coconut water
The end of a project being in sight
Pretty sunsets

It looked to me like these two were having a dance-off. It’s funny how many of my pictures from Moab were of trees, considering that trees are the least of the landscape there. My Mother was a tree-hugger. I guess it’s in my blood.

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Arches National Park, Utah.

Quote of the day: “Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”  — Laini Taylor

Daily gratitudes:
Texts from my daughter
Dozing on the bus so I can get through Job #2
MKL’s eyes
Toddlers playing in the dancing waters
The feeling of souls in Union Station

Being with MKL (who is a car guy extraordinaire) has enhanced my passion for the road. I’ve always loved road trips. I’ve always loved ANY trip. But under his tender influence, I’ve come to appreciate the curves, the straightaways, the texture of the road, and the personality and performance of my truck more than I ever have before. Our second date was a drive. He picked me up and suggested we drive up to Leadville, which is about two and a half hours away. I knew he was testing whether I was genuine about my love of driving and going places, and if we did well in a car together for an extended period of time, and I did not disappoint. Our five-hour round trip turned into an eight-hour round trip. We discovered a shared love of opera, and he put his hand on my knee after asking permission. It is still one of our favorite shared memories.

So on trips like Kelsea’s and mine this past weekend, I get on a stretch of road and think how he would feel about it. He would love to drive the road in this image, and I am looking forward to sharing it with him.

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Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

Quote of the day: “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”  — Robert Louis Stevenson

Daily gratitudes:
Seeing MKL after an absence (or really any time)
Morning walks
Books
Peanuts
Crickets

Kelsea and I have returned to the real world of school and work. We had a fantastic time on our sojourn in Utah, and I drove 1000 miles in the last four days. Every mile was full of sights, talk, laughter, and love. Utah is beautiful and we would definitely go back, but perhaps in the spring or fall. I got a mild case of heatstroke on our one major hike attempt  — and I realized how much I need to pump up my cardiovascular system. One of the things I liked the most about Utah, aside from its beauty, was the honesty of its signage. When a sign says “Heat Kills”, it means it. And when a sign says 30 miles per hour (on a curve), it’s not kidding. I’m looking forward to sharing the beauty of this wonderful place with you through pictures.

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Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

Quote of the day: “Some say a sunset can be too beautiful for words.I’d agree with that.There are a lot of things too beautiful for words for me.To me, it was the earth’s way of saving the best for last.” — Shey Stahl

Daily gratitudes:
Kelsea
The marvels of nature
Music
Adventures
Taking side roads

Kelsea and I are on our annual mother-daughter Labor Day trip. She’s now able to cross another state off her list – Utah. I’ve been here before but never spent a night, so I guess now it can really count.

Our first impressions of Utah:

It’s dark. Really, really dark. Of course, it is night.

Right after the “Welcome to Utah” sign, was a sign for the “Trail Through Time”. If it hadn’t been so dark, we would have taken it. And it made me think of Dr. Who.

Shortly after that sign was a sign that said “Eagles on Highway”. What?! No!

Followed thereafter by towns with such intriguing names as Cisco and Yellowcat. None of which offered any services. And were completely dark.

Utah has very nice, smooth roads. Truck kept zipping up to 85 all by itself.

The shift in energy when we passed from Colorado to Utah was tangible. Not unpleasant, just different. Perhaps I will be able to put it into words after a bit more time here.

We know we were driving through someplace magnificent, but that darn darkness prevented us from seeing what it was. It reminded me of when MKL and I went to Monument Valley – when we arrived at night, we had no inkling of what beauty we were missing.

 

In the course of our seven hour drive from home, we avoided running over a coffeemaker and a pair of gym socks, and did not see any chupacabras. I have been up for almost 40 hours now, and so it’s time for me to go to bed. Photos tomorrow.

 

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