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I love classic cars. We seem to have an abundance of classic car shows in Colorado during the summer, and I haven’t made it to a single one this year! Next year, I’m determined to create a calendar in advance so I can schedule Job #3 around at least a few of them. We found this gem in New Mexico, and MKL was super happy to sit in it. It reminded him of the truck in which his grandfather taught him to drive on the farm in Kansas when he was a small boy. We’re hoping that we’ll be able to find a great classic truck of our very own when we get a little more space around us. Ours is out there somewhere!

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Ojo Caliente, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.” — Anne Frank

Daily gratitudes:
The duck umbrella handle peeking from the lady’s purse on the bus
Sherlock Holmes
Sleep
That Janalee got a new job!
Watching internet cat videos with Kelsea

We sat on this porch in a pair of white wooden rocking chairs and listened to the wind in the sea oats and the waves lapping at the sand and said we could have been content there for hours.

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Cape Lookout, North Carolina.

Quote: “My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.”  —  William Shakespeare

Daily gratitudes:
That MKL and I are now formally  and officially engaged!
A day to relax
Patterns of sunshine
Happiness
Downpours

Because a day can start out really lousy, and wind up with skies like this.

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Lafayette, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. It is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live.” — Nora Roberts

Daily gratitudes:
The smell of warm asphalt
Glowing rain clouds
Helping others
MKL
The man in the elevator who cheerfully took the earful I gave him when he asked me how my morning was going

Elk are abundant, as are deer – moreso than I recall in my 34 years in Colorado. Last weekend, driving back from work at about 10:30 at night, I came across a car that had just hit a large elk. The occupants were two grandparents (about my age!), their four-year old grandson and their small dog. The grandfather had climbed down the embankment to find the dying elk (not a wise move) and the grandmother, little boy and dog were standing in the dark by the side of the road. Pieces of their car were scattered across the highway and the entire front passenger side was crushed. Others had stopped, but had moved on when they realized there were no injuries. That felt wrong to me, so I stayed with the trio on the side of the road, kicked the debris out of the road using moonlight as a guide so no one else would have an accident, distracted the lady with talk of random things, made the little boy laugh, held the dog while she helped her grandson put on some warm clothes, and tucked them all in my truck until the police came to help. They were from the city, and were scared and shocked. And very, very lucky. As I left them, she said, “You’ll never know what a lifesaver you were tonight.” And I wished them blessings.

The moral of this story is, if you are driving in the mountains, especially at night, keep a weather eye out. Elk are quick and slow at the same time. Go slower than you think you should, keep your lights on bright when you can, and look for their eyes – that gleam is usually what your headlights will catch. Let’s keep you – and these beautiful creatures – safe and sound.

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Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “The concept of conservation is a far truer sign of civilization than that spoilation of a continent which we once confused with progress.” —  Peter Matthiessen

Daily gratitudes:
The 3-year old Bronco fan with his mohawk on the shuttle
The man in the straw boater hat
Lunch with MKL
My wedding boots
Love

Giving you a peaceful image to end (or start) your day. It has been a week full of emotions for many of us, and I have been thinking a lot about the origin of our feelings, both good and bad, and the direction in which it seems our world is headed. But I think those words are for another day.

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Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “Body tension will always be present if our good feeing is just ordinary, self-centered happiness. Joy has no tension in it, because joy accepts whatever is as it is.” — Charlotte Joko Beck

Daily gratitudes:
My dental hygienist, Kim
A freezer with eight bags of roasted green chiles
How leaves turn over before it rains
Keeping the migraine at bay today
Knowing that my daughter has strong opinions about the world she lives in – and that she cares

 

My old friend Vernon on Anegada told me that in Bermuda, where he came from, they called these cirrus clouds Mare’s Tails. Although with his Bermudian English, still hanging on after more than 80 years, it took me a while to figure out what he was saying — the way he pronounced it sounded like “Marstels”. I seem to recall him telling me that they were a portent of a change in the weather. These are a beautiful example in the unique and magical blue of a New Mexico sky.

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Ojo Caliente, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.”  —  Lauren Bacall

Daily gratitudes:
That my voice sounds like Lauren Bacall when I get a cold
The ambulance drivers singing “Happy Birthday” to some unseen party over their loudspeaker
Hot air balloons in the morning
Pumpkin flowers
Old movies when I’m exhausted

The evening we had a girls trip through Rocky Mountain National Park was magical and it was wonderful to spend time with my ‘sister’. I think we drove my niece and Kelsea, who were in the car behind us, crazy because we were stopping every 500 feet to take pictures, some of which I have shared with you before.

The beauty and openness of the space at the top of the mountains lets me breathe and reminds me how much life is always worth living. There is always beauty. You just have to look for it.

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Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow; but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”  — Agatha Christie

Daily gratitudes:
Feeling sorrow and knowing it will ease
Making soup
Mr. Man
Seeing MKL for the first time in three days
Returnable milk jugs

I love taking pictures of doorways. I love doorways in general. They have such symbolism in our daily lives — arriving, departing, leaving our pasts behind us, entering into our futures. They suggest mysteries undiscovered and experiences unmet. The wicked imps of depression are nipping at my heels just now; I am trusting that the days to come will offer some relief and solace and help me get back to being myself. This is a doorway that has appeared in my path unexpectedly so many times, leaving me at a loss as to how to move through it every single time. I stand before the door to depression, fighting the imps that are trying to hasten me through, doing my best to kick them aside. I have made promises that keep me from succumbing, from falling through the door, from giving in. I instinctively wait it out until that doorway fades from the path before me, leaving it clear and bright. And now, I am waiting. But it is hard.

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Ojo Caliente, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.” — Helen Keller

Daily gratitudes:
Helicopter seedpods
The concert on Wednesday night
That Kelsea had safe travels – it’s hard to have my little girl far away
Bed
Books

It has been a stormy re-entry into the “real world”, which makes me question the value of one reality over another. MKL and I are toying with ideas about changing our reality. It may be time to start more focused planning. I don’t like feeling so clear in my plans and intentions when I am away and so swallowed up by daily life that I cannot move forward when I am here.

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Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”   — Ayn Rand

Daily gratitudes:
Dogs carrying their own leashes
Helpful strangers
Recyclable milk jugs
Bullfrogs
MKL

 

Our sabbatical has ended, and it was rich indeed with beauty, laughter, some tears, storms, sunshine, and the ever-present sea. How I will miss it until November.

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Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

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:
Safe home
Travels with my daughter
Snuggling with MKL
The sound of the rain
Seeing Mr. Man again

 

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