It is a night for positive prayers and intentions:

That people and animals less fortunate than I will find a warm and caring place to survive the projected cold and our current -7 degree night

That my sweet friend at work’s family finds strength and peace in their time of approaching loss

The MKL and I can successfully accomplish our tropical sabbatical to fend off winter for just one week longer

That this cold snap is gone before we return

That Mr. Man is well looked after by his caretakers in my absence (it’s his birthday on Friday)

That I can accomplish the long list of to-dos before departure time

That my physical not-rightness improves and is healed by rest and rum

I have always found my prayers more powerful when I turn my eyes to the sky and speak to the Great Spirit as a friend. This church in the Bahamas inspired me to do that. It was lovely inside and out, and a visiting orb accompanied me during my solitary explorations there.

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Georgetown, Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “Prayer is a relationship; half the job is mine. If I want transformation, but can’t even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I’m aiming for, how will it ever occur? Half the benefit of prayer is in the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention. If you don’t have this, all your pleas and desires are boneless, floppy, inert; they swirl at your feet in a cold fog and never lift.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

Daily gratitudes:
Straight roads and green lights
Loving my daughter
Feeling blessed by my relationship with my parents (and missing them daily)
A warm nightgown and bedsocks
The kindness of strangers, experienced twice today

I was starting to write a post about the ongoing consequences of teen suicide, and the words just weren’t flowing, and they are important words. So instead, because I am feeling a little better, I give you Abby. The fluffiest, happiest, snuggliest most adorable T-shirt wearing dog to ever brighten a warm Saturday ultimate Frisbee game before our freezing temperatures hit. And if you have been feeling bad for over a month and need to feel better, get an Imaging Center to tell you that it will cost you $500 for their services. That’ll make you get well pretty darn quick.

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Broomfield, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.” –  Milan Kundera

Daily gratitudes:
My bear of a coat
Feeling better
Chicken noodle soup
Helping
Knowing that there is a hammock and a sunset and MKL in my very near future, all in the same place

Not a bar fly, but a bar cat. I can’t remember this little fellow’s name, but he was certainly friendly and adventuresome. And a poser. Still battling something being wrong with me, and hoping that our sabbatical on Little Cayman will be the cure.

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Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “I know of a cure for everything: salt water…in one way or the other. Sweat, or tears, or the salt sea.”   – Isak Dineson

Daily gratitudes:
Cozy covers on cold nights (but missing MKL)
Understanding doctors
Good talks with good friends
Hope
Tomorrow

Why a random picture of a duck? Why not? He participated in one of my senior picture shoots with Kelsea. And he has an awesome Mohawk.’

Today would have been my father’s 93rd birthday. I miss him.

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Lyons, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.” — Hermann Hesse

Daily gratitudes:
A beautiful day
Working on the book again
A good visit with my darling daughter
Having the freedom to vote
New tires on the truck

It’s a shame that when I type that title, a phrase I’ve always considered lovely and representative of the best of these days, I have to wonder if I am being politically correct. I certainly don’t mean to offend. To me Indian Summer are the last days I can go barefoot, the days when I are planning for how to make it through one more Colorado winter, one more tropical trip in the offing, and then MKL trying to figure out how to combine houses…somewhere. Kelsea and I used the time today (much to her chagrin) to try once again to get a good senior picture for her. I’m a good enough photographer that I feel I should be able to do this, and there are some that will do, but none that I am completely thrilled with. Still, the choice is up to her, as most of her choices are these days. This is the spot we chose for both sessions – though her shots, for the most part, include her beloved truck, and in some cases, a random duck that we made friends with. MKL and I snuggled in late this morning. I made bacon and egg sandwiches, much to the chagrin of my still-tempermental stomach, and I realized that I actually do know how to not work for two consecutive days. Go me! Hope you had a happy weekend.

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Outside of Lyons, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.” — Anais Nin

Daily gratitudes:
Our Mohawk duck friend
A rare treat of a chocolate shake
Kelsea
Love
Snuggles

I am pleased to be contributing a letter to a book! One of my favorite bloggers, miss c at http://thekitchensgarden.com/ is starting her second book, a collection of letters that we would want our children to read after we are gone – or something along those lines. Miss c is an amazing woman who works hard to operate a small self-sustaining farm in the wilds of Illinois, along with being an author, a fabulous photographer, and an all-around lovely human being. I’m excited about this opportunity, and have been giving it a lot of thought. I wrote a letter to my daughter recently following the suicide of her friend, which I think might be appropriate, although it’s something I would share with her before I move onto the next place. So, should it be something about her grandparents? A favorite memory? Something about what I have learned about love, or about being a mother in the course of my life? I’m just not sure. Any ideas from you, my dear readers, would be welcome.

If I could have possibly climbed to this spot in Arches without falling to my certain death, I would have. It looks like a perfect spot for contemplation. And excellent balance.

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Arches National Monument, Moab, Utah.

Quote of the day:“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” — Rachel Carson

Daily gratitudes:
A drive with MKL on a beautiful day
Thoughts of the future
Classic cars
Sherlock Holmes
Cloudless days

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

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