It was a beautiful morning today. The rainy weather provided as Kelsea’s graduation present is taking a little break. The Triangle Building is going up next door to the building in which I write for a living, and it’s really cool. My co-worker Christine and I have supervised every scoop of earth, cable laid, beam positioned, and glass panel installed from our upstairs window. We think we did a splendid job, don’t you?

Beautiful Day
Denver, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “The three facets of the great writer — magic, story, lesson — are prone to blend in one impression of unified and unique radiance, since the magic of art may be present in the very bones of the story, in the very marrow of thought…Then with a pleasure which is both sensual and intellectual we shall watch the artist build his castle of cards and watch the castle of cards become a castle of beautiful steel and glass.” — Vladimir Nabokov

Daily gratitudes:
A goose resting comfortably on the roof of an SUV
Red-winged blackbirds
The elderly waiter at the Broker
Reservations for Cottonwood Hot Springs
My friend Pam’s wonderful new job for which she is perfect!

You are perhaps wondering why you are reading a blog with a picture of a parking lot. There are two reasons tonight. The first is because I believe in seeing beauty in everything – even the light cast in the darkness of a parking lot, catching the glint of a stream of still puddles. The second is because parking has been a significant issue in the life of my darling daughter throughout her last two years of high school, since she’s been driving. Her school offers rather elitist parking alternatives. Either pay to park in the senior lot (but only if you’re a senior) or park along the 1.5 mile stretch of road alongside the school grounds, which are situated in the middle of a nice neighborhood. She’s a bit of a socialist (like me) and believes it’s wrong to have to pay to park in the lot of a school that you’re attending, and particularly unfair since not everyone has the financial means to do so. Which leaves her with free on-street parking. Needless to say, this free parking is only parallel parking (which even at my age is a nearly impossible challenge) and spots anywhere near the school fill up incredibly early. So for the past two years, I have received texts in the morning that say things like “I had to park in Nebraska and it will take me three hours to walk to class. Do I have to go to school today?” or “Everyone is stupid.” or “I. Can’t. Even.”

This image is not of that parking area. This image is of a spacious parking area that represents freedom and possibilities and how light can shine from the darkness, and that there are places where parking is not a struggle. In other words, today was my darling daughter’s last day of high school, and she will never again have to endure the frustration of parking along Greenbriar Boulevard. And she is to me a shining light that will brighten the future for more people than she will ever know.

Parking Lot - 2

Quote of the day: “My turn shall also come:
I sense the spreading of a wing.”  — Osip Mandelstam

Daily gratitudes:
Dinner with Kelsea
That no one was hurt when a car hit my bus this morning
How much Mary Roach’s books make me laugh
Chats with Christine
That my Texas friends in Runaway Bay survived the tornado with minimal damage

IMG_4194

It was a rainy day in Washington. I had gotten a speeding ticket, was lost, and my phone was dead. I went into a gas station, found a map, and brought it to the counter. The young man looked at it and our dialogue was as follows:

Young Man:: You wanna buy that?
My thought: Why else would I have brought it to the counter?
My response: Yes. How much is it?
Young man: 55 dollars.
My thought: You’re flipping kidding me. (I might have thought a stronger “F” word.)
My response: Excuse me?
Older Man Standing Behind Young Man: I think that’s five dollars.
Young Man: Why do you want that?
My thought and response: Because I’m lost and I need a map.
Young Man: Why don’t you just use your phone?
Thought/response: Because my phone is dead.
Older Man Standing Behind Young Man:  I can sell you a phone charger.
My escalated thought/response: I don’t want a phone changer. I want a map. Do you want to sell me this map? I just got here, and I don’t know where I am and I just got a speeding ticket and I’d like to buy this map.
Young Man: Where’d you get a speeding ticket?
Increasingly steaming brain/response: I don’t know where I got a speeding ticket because I DON”T KNOW WHERE I AM.
(They stare at me, waiting for clarification.)
Me (sighing): It was some long straight road with no signs telling me how fast I was supposed to be going.
They both nod and make sage-like, grunting sounds, and comment how troopers are always stopping speeders there.
Me: Can I just buy the map please?
Young Man: You really want this?
Me (in my most sinister, sarcastic, hissing, piratical tone): Yes, I really think I do.

I finally got my map. But I’m not quite sure what to think about Washingtonians.

Quote of the day: “A map says to you, read me carefully, follow me closely, doubt me not…I am the earth in the palm of your hand.” — Beryl Markham

Daily gratitudes:
My new cube backdrop of Cow Wreck (thanks to Christine, Elisa, and Walker Magnum)
That I found two apps that just play the sound of the ocean on my phone
That my darling daughter’s last day of high school is tomorrow
That MKL tells me that he loves how my eyes shine when I look at him
That Mr. Man seems to be feeling a little better (and that I have another idea about solving his ‘thinking outside the box’ issue

 

As I’ve no doubt mentioned several times, I have a tradition of reading the same book each spring. Since spring has been curiously delayed this year, no doubt having remembered some sudden and unavoidable appointment elsewhere, it has taken me a long time to finish my book this year. We have a week of rain, flood watches, and yes, even some potential snowflakes in the forecast, and I still have not reached the point in the book that makes me cry my eyes out in a sort of cleansing purge. The book is Anne of Green Gables,(go ahead, call me juvenile), originally published by L.M. (Lucy Maude) Montgomery in 1908. My copy is a little yellow paperback that I got some 40 years ago in a bookstore in Northgate Mall, a few blocks from my house. It was between a “This End Up” store and a store that sold fireplace implements and other impracticalities – from which I bought my brother a lovely Spanish sword for Christmas one year. (Thankfully, he never used it on me, though I’m sure he was mightily tempted.)

While I have read the other “Anne books”, this is the one that touches my spirit. The author has a way of weaving magic and beauty out of common images and words, even tweaking them to her own words when actually OED words just don’t suffice. I know I have a tendency to do that too, and that the way Anne sees the world is the way I see it: looking in nature and treasuring moments of beauty that are transitory yet everlasting in memory. L.M. Montgomery seems to capture all the hopes and dreams and sorrows and quiet joys of a young person’s future in her portrayal of Anne, and while I am not a “young person” chronologically, I have those same hopes and dreams and joys and sorrows, some now bittersweet memories and others anticipated with all the optimism of a teenager. And ll the enthusiasm of spring, when it finally throws off its cloak of gray and shows its true colors.

Anne of Green Gables

My version of the book is slightly shabby from numerous readings, has no copyright date, and isn’t even visible on Google images, and has a photo of a girl who someone at Tempo Books thought looked like Anne, but I disagree. I have my own vision, painted by L.M. Montgomery’s words, which is far more lovely and moontouched. And I highly recommend it if you need to bring a touch of spring and hope into your life.

Quote of the day:“Dear old world’, she murmured, ‘you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.” — L.M. Montgomery (of course)

Daily gratitudes:

And I keep my promises. These grow at the end of my alley, and I’m tempted to dig some up, divide them, and plant some in my yard, but I don’t know the people who they belong to, and truth be told (though most don’t believe me), I’m rather shy. Perhaps a midnight caper is in order…

Iris

Lafayette, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?” — Oscar Wilde

Daily gratitudes:
Outlander
Small steps to recover the garden
A visit from Kelsea
Letting the cashier at Walmart rant because people are rude
Versaries

Our spring has been late and wet, and though our daffodils have come and gone, as have our tulips, our iris are starting to pop out, so I’ll see if I can’t share some of those with you tomorrow. While I have no garden this year, I do have a few pots of pretty things and right now, that is enough. Mr. Man is still not doing well, but the vet came today and took some blood, so we hope to have some answers shortly, and get him back on the road to happiness. We should all be on that road, don’t you think?

Daffodils

Portland, Oregon.

Quote of the day; “Love is the extremely difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.” — Iris Murdoch

Daily gratitudes:
Big fat raindrops and rumbling thunder
A vet who is simpatico
The pressure of a warm cat against my legs under the blanket
Baby geese
That MKL fixed my lawn mower

I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a brown egg. I’m sure I’ve never eaten a green one. I’ll take two, with a slice of ham.

While my darling daughter has chosen to go somewhere other than Portland State University, we loved how the Portland Farmer’s Market was right in the school’s quadrangle.

IMG_3470

Portland, Oregon.

Quote of the day: “Probably one of the most private things in the world is an egg before it is broken.” —  M.F.K. Fisher

Daily gratitudes:
Things that make me laugh
That irises are finally blooming
Letting go of the past
Carmen Miranda earrings
Contemplation

Please send some healing energy in the direction of my beloved cat, Mr. Man. He seems to be ailing, and I have not been able to get ahold of the vet yet, but I am worried.

This is not today’s double rainbow because I forgot that I had a photo-taking device with me, but it IS a double rainbow, and it reminds me a bit of today’s. Everyone on the homeward bound bus took a moment to look at it, and joked about going to find the pot of gold. Kelsea and I tried to chase down the end of this particular rainbow up in Grand County last year, and came so close. One of these days, I will reach the end of a rainbow. I wonder if it feels different at the end, or if the air looks different? I think I’ll imagine that to be so.

Double Rainbow

Grand County, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Wherever you are, and whatever you do, be in love.” — Rumi

Daily gratitudes:
Storm clouds
Sunbeams
MKL
A talk with my brother
The binge-marathon of “Dark Shadows” from 1966

I want to remember a wonderful day, a happy day, and so, the horses of Shackleford Banks in North Carolina, on the day last year that Kelsea and I went on one of our adventures.

DSCF2779

The Bad Day:
– continuing to nip the identity theft in the bud
– being lied to and cheated by someone once dear to me
– having two spots being biopsied for skin cancer
– Mr. Man deciding the mud room is his litter box
– Mr. Man catching a mouse and putting it in the bed
– spraining my thumb trying to get said cat/mouse out of the bed/house

I’m working hard to find the lesson and blessing in today.

Quote of the Day: “Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.” – Rumi

Daily gratitudes:
Seeing MKL
Eternal hope
Anne of Green Gables
Late-blooming irises the color of violets
The little painting that Kelsea brought me from a street vendor in Paris

Remember me? I don’t even know how long I’ve been away from you all. It’s been a rich mix of work, varmint infestations, identity theft, and who knows what else. The pleasant things interspersed have been baby goats, the Stanley Hotel, spring (albeit slow-starting), and of course, the wonderful constant of MKL. I have yet to download a lot of photos from recent adventures, so let’s all remember where my spirit truly lives with this image.

DSCF1247

Little Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.” — Rumi

Daily gratitudes:
That Cheryl and Pete are on Anegada
That I loaded three of my own mousetraps this afternoon
Scaling Laundry Mountain
Open windows
People who do nice things for you when they know you are having a hard day

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