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Well, sort of. It was a very quiet Halloween. No trick-or-treaters. Honestly, between my tall fence and my creepy dead tree, I wouldn’t be surprised if the neighborhood kids think my house is haunted. Oh wait, it is. :-) So I give you this little creepy goody, taken at Kelsea’s favorite place in the mountains.

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Central City, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Remember your name.  Do not lose hope–what you seek will be found.  Trust ghosts.  Trust those that you have helped to help you in their turn.  Trust dreams.  Trust your heart, and trust your story.” — Neil Gaiman

Daily gratitudes:
The little girl in the unicorn costume at the grocery store
Being warm inside when the wind is blowing
The crunch of dead leaves underfoot
Watching Mr. Man watch the falling leaves
Feeling a little better

It is turning colder here. My house spirits are enjoying their newly learned trick of playing with the thermostat. Mr. Man is about the warmest thing around, when MKL isn’t here. So I turn back to the Out Islands, which seem like months, rather than weeks ago. My mild case of breakbone fever, combined with the change of seasons, means my joints are painful and I am already dreaming of our next trip to someplace where there is sand between our toes and sunsets into the sea.

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Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “A journey, after all, neither begins in the instant we set out, nor ends when we have reached our door step once again. It starts much earlier and is really never over, because the film of memory continues running on inside of us long after we have come to a physical standstill. Indeed, there exists something like a contagion of travel, and the disease is essentially incurable.”  — Ryszard Kapuscinski

Daily gratitudes:
Morning fog
Days that warm up to sunshine
A full tank of gas
That the Red Sox are winning
Plans and dreams

The Exumas were known for their salt production back in the 18th and 19th centuries. This Tuscan column, situated on a hilltop across from the salt ponds, was a marker to guide ships into the bay to pick up the salt harvest.  The salt ponds are right across the road from this spot, and we could imagine how miserable the slaves who gathered salt must have been. The heat emanating from the water was unbelievable.

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Little Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “I don’t know much about being a millionaire, but I’ll bet I’d be darling at it.” —  Dorothy Parker

Daily gratitudes:
Pain medication
Cold sheets
Small victories
Mr. Man
Beautiful frost patterns

MKL caught these stars for me in the blue, blue sea. Two of them. And this is one was ready for her close-up. The starfish were surprisingly heavy, surprisingly hard, and surprisingly pokey. Of course, we put them back.

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Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” — John Green

Daily gratitudes:
Pretty fall colors
A beautiful morning
Making it from my bed to the shower to the bus stop in 20 minutes
That MKL is home with me tonight
The birdsong of those migrating south

And a pure reflection of the colors of the flag of the Bahamas. This was taken at Big D’s Conch Stop, which was an absolutely gorgeous place to eat by the sea. I discovered that I am indeed allergic to conch (sorry conch, three strikes and you’re out). I don’t like eating conch anyway because of the time I dove one out of the water at Cow Wreck Beach and it looked at me with its little eyes as if it were saying, “Are you gonna EAT ME????” It looked so scared that I put it out far away from anyone else who might be looking for lunch.

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Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “Falling in love is as simple as opening your eyes, when you see the one.” — Mark O’Brien

Daily gratitudes:
The crazy beautiful sunset sunbeams through the fall leaves
MKL
Honesty
Soup on chilly days
Hanging up my clothes when I take them off instead of dropping them on the floor

 

I’m back and I had an awesome time, and you will all get to see and hear all about it! Here’s a taste..

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Over the Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “Love is like..waves.. you ride one in to the beach, and it’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever felt. but at some point the water goes back out, it has to. and maybe you’re lucky–maybe you’re both too busy to do anything drastic. maybe you’re good as friends, so you stay. and then something happens–maybe it’s something as big as a baby, or as small as him unloading the dishwasher–and the wave comes back in again. and it does that, over and over. i just thinksometimes people forget to wait.” — Erica Bauermeister

Daily gratitudes:
That we didn’t quite miss fall
That Mr. Man missed us
Hawks
Butternut squash soup
My shower

No, not the kind you usually see from me, but an actual human-hand-wave. I’ll be away for a few days, so I thought it only fitting that I wave goodbye and blow virtual kisses to all my delightful followers.  Surprises for everyone when I return!

Kelsea and I took the Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Rail Road on a lovely June day. We sat in the open car and found ourselves still trying to get the soot and ash out of our hair two days later, but it was great fun.

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Cripple Creek, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” — Alan Wilson Watts

Daily gratitudes:
Kelsea
Books
Having all the laundry put away (and the dishes done)
Purrs
Earl Grey of Halifax’s Tuxedo Party

This struck my fancy. I miss letters – actual letters that arrive in a mailbox, not emails, which are nice, but just not the same. I always used to write my letters on onion-skin paper – does anyone but me remember that kind of paper? It had a lightness, a sheerness to it, that made it seem more romantic somehow, more classic.  And of course, I always needed just the right pen. I think that’s a characteristic of most writers, that need for the perfect instrument to spill our hearts and words onto paper. Hope you are all having a lovely week.

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Salida, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

Daily gratitudes:
Watching a pink sunset at Topsail on the Jolly Roger webcam
That the grass is still emerald green in October
Mr. P, my new travel pillow
Lunches with MKL
Olives and feta

Things here continue to be in flux, with the town considering buying and scraping my little white house, and challenges with figuring out how MKL and I are going to merge households. Add to that the possibility that our long plan trip to a remote island is in grave jeopardy due to his work, and what do you have? Me. Fragile. Having fantastic dreams of tornadoes and devils and destructions. But still standing. Trying to find my places of gratitude and power, while letting go of the things I cannot control. My brain does have a tendency to ruminate on things, making them worse than they are. At least I recognize that, and I can work with myself on it.

We did have a lovely day on Sunday, taking Sophia the BMW over Guanella Pass to see the change of seasons. Here’s an image that reflects the transience and fragility of nature. And yet, each season marks a return to a new sort of beauty and strength.

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Guanella Pass, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “One can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.” — Lemony Snicket

Daily gratitudes:
The red-tailed hawk on the telephone wire, sun shining through his tail feathers
EPA workers protesting the government shutdown
That it was good coffee, even if I did spill it all over my shirt
The shine and dance in MKL’s eyes when he looks at me
A dog to pet outside the grocery store

 

Can you see the faint edge of a rainbow next to the  center monument in this image? I noticed it while we were waiting for dinner, and we both had a wonderful time trying to capture this slight piece of magic.  Things here, after the flood, are still in clean up and anxiety mode, but I have been doing a lot of processing, not only about the value of “things”, as I mentioned in a previous post, but the concept of home, which is something I have struggled with my whole life. Hopefully, the words that are running like an army of motorized slinkies in my brain will chill into something I can put on (electronic) paper soon.

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Monument Valley, Arizona.

Quote of the day: “There are some things you can’t learn about just through words. There are some things you can’t really understand until you’re living them.” — Kim Dare

Daily gratitudes:
Happy children on the shuttle
An early bedtime
A vat of pork green chili on the stove
Nine quarts of roasted green chiles in the freezer
The boy down the block who used his trampoline to make a perfect, unwobbly landing on the top of his fence

And that my blessing, otherwise known as my amazing daughter, just called me out of the blue to tell me how awesome she thinks I am. I love her so much.

October 2014
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