Not us, not for a while yet, but this lovely seagull was. Before we can fly south, my baby girl has to go to the northwest. And we are trying to be with her for Thanksgiving, so she does not find herself in a similarly pitiful and dismal freshman year Thanksgiving as I did. And at least we will be by the chilly sea. So, it’s time to not spend, pay off some debt incurred from wedding and college and house stuff, and then MKL and I can get back to warm, white sandy beaches, and he can properly analyze palm trees to his heart’s content as we listen to the tropical breezes whisper through the fronds – one of my favorite sounds There’s lots of beauty to be had in this life every single day. And my mother would have called this a “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” picture – it was one of her favorite books.

Exit Sky Right
Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “Only those who dare may fly.” — Luis Sepulveda

Daily gratitudes:
Catching the end of “The Birdcage”
The few remaining hibiscus blossoms outside of Union Station
MKL’s eyes
Railroads
Awesome sweatpants

And that my much-loved blog friend, the late Patty’s beloved daughter survived her head-on collision. The other (intoxicated) driver sadly did not, and he and his family are in my prayers. Patty’s daughter and I have never met, but I wish I could be there to mother her. I know her mom is watching over her – she was an angel in this life, so certainly she is a powerful one in the next.

My Mother always loved it when the pelicans flew over the porch. It happened seldom when we were little, and more and more often before her passing. Now it is a frequent occurrence, as if they have finally established a new flight pattern. I wonder what changes in the environment drew them in such numbers? I can see them sometimes skimming just over the edge of the sea. Always in formation, they have an interesting wing pattern, as if the leader starts the current with his flapping, then those in line behind each flap until he or she picks up the air current of the first party, and so on down the line, until they are gliding on the squadron’s momentum. Every so often, there will be a straggler or two, or perhaps they are rogues, trying to establish their own crew. They fly south. Then half an hour or so later, they return north. The pattern repeats, often, throughout the day. My Mother would have been delighted.

Sqaudron
Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the Day: “Well, if she doesn’t like pelicans she must be very disagreeable.”  —  Tess Oliver

Daily gratitudes:
Outfitting Kelsea for college
The lovely feel of the air today
Pockets of rain
Kelsea’s excellent tree trimming
Getting all my wedding pictures from my good-sister

Still basking in the glow of newlywed bliss – although it would be really nice if we lived together, but that will come. It’s been a time of many moods, getting ready to send Kelsea off to college. I bought her a one-way plane ticket, and that made me a little shocked. She cut off all her hair and she looks adorable. We know we have a limited number of trashy-tv-together nights, and it makes me a little weepy. So my blues have been coming and going like the tides, rising and falling. But my happiness at being Mrs. MKL and the wonderful memories of our wedding help keep the light in my heart. I had saved a “blue bomb” orchid blossom from a wedding I worked a year or more ago; it has sat on my bathroom shelf so I could describe it perfectly to the florist (shout out to Judy at Surf City Florist for an awesome job). I now wish I had saved a blossom from my own bouquet, but I’m so pleased that I was able to leave Kelsea’s with Lynn and mine with Janie to enjoy.

A Bridal Bouquet
Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “She was prettier than a bouquet of roses and crazier than a headless chicken. Fitting in was not an option.” — Marissa Meyer

Daily gratitudes:
The man in mismatched socks in the bus station
Pretty skies
Mothers who smile at their children (that happens less often than you might think)
MKL
Prairie dogs

My feisty friend at Half Girl Half Teacup has nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World award! It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the blog award circuit and I’m delighted, so stay tuned for my acceptance speech and nominations!

This picture is appropriate for today. While it has been a lovely day, with a lovely start, and a lovely visit with Kelsea, I am wallowing a bit in my maternal sadness, which translates into grumpiness. I bought her a one-way plane ticket to college today. I know this is exactly what we all want for our children, for them to grow and thrive and make the world a better place, but it is hard. I just want her to stay with me forever. Sigh. I’ll accustom myself to the change. And if I can get her to install it on her computer, there’s always Skype.

Crab Gathering
Surf City, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “I was wise enough never to grow up, while fooling people into believing I had.” — Margaret Mead

Daily gratitudes:
Having a caring, smart, amazing daughter
Cool nights and firepits
The sun being a blood-red ball as it sets
Coffee
Plans

 

I had forgotten that we had the same touch of rainbow at the end of our pre-wedding party as we had at the end of our wedding. I’m pretty sure that was my parents smiling lovingly down on us. I believe they approve.

A Touch of Rainbow

Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

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:
A little cooking
A little cleaning
A happy cat
MKL
Air conditioning

Something simple for tonight.

A Simple Arc

Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” — Lao Tzu

Daily gratitudes:
Tonight’s sunset
Time with furry friends
That Kelsea comes back tonight
Ratcheting down my anxiety
Crescent moons

Fishing is a big part of most island communities, and Topsail is no exception. While the shrimp crop is smaller than it used to be, due to overfishing, you can still see the shrimp boats trolling off the coast early in the morning, followed by a flock of seagulls. I, unfortunately, did not get up early enough to see the boats this trip, but these baskets are waiting for a catch.

Waiting for Todays Catch
Surf City, North Carolina

Quote of the day: “The clouds were building up now for the trade wind and he looked ahead and saw a flight of wild ducks etching themselves against the sky over the water, then blurring, then etching again and he knew no man was ever alone on the sea.” — Ernest Hemingway

Daily gratitudes:
Hanging with my former animals
Prayers and intentions
Recovering items dear to my Mother
A cooler day
That Kelsea and Pat made it to Seattle successfully

All pink and blue, unlike our swirling yet unfulfilled storm clouds here in Lafayette this afternoon. And speaking of babies – or those who are no longer babies – my darling daughter goes off to college orientation tomorrow. Then she comes back, which is good, but then she will go away again. I guess that is the way of it. As today’s quote says, we all leave a bit of ourselves behind when we leave a place. I have left much of myself at Topsail. My darling daughter will leave much of herself here. But we both have so much more to see and do and give, and an endless amount of ourselves to leave behind in the places we will love.

Baby SKy
Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” — Pascal Mercier

Daily gratitudes:
Making it through a tough day
MKL
Sharing Kelsea’s excitement about college housing
Our two new wooden parrots
Voyager

One of the greatest challenges of seaside photography for me is the timing between taking my camera outside of an air-conditioned car or house and taking a shot. My timing was suberbly off in this instance, but I thought the condensation created as spooky a sand picture as I’ve seen.

Smudged Sands
Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon.” — Edward Lear

(As an aside, this quote is from The Owl and the Pussycat. My Mother put the poem to a tune, and sang it to me when I was little. Once I had Kelsea, I remembered it, and sang it to her. My Mother heard me singing it to her once, and was so delighted that I remembered her little tune, that has now stood the test of time and generations.)

Daily gratitudes:
Having Kelsea home safe from her long road trip
Seeing my husband today (since we don’t live in the same house yet)
How nice the word ‘husband’ feels in my spirit
A slightly cooler day
Mr. Man laying on my heart in the middle of the night

I had no idea how many different kinds of starfish there were until I tried to identify this specific one. And each has its own palette and personality. I debated these are netted starfish, mostly because I love that name – it’s as if they were stars caught falling from heaven – or seestern starfish, which I believe it the accurate classification. But if they are any knowledgeable marine biologists out there who can confirm otherwise, please do so. To me, they are just beautiful. And tonight, MKL and I hope to catch a glimpse of our own falling stars, in the form of the tail-end of the Perseid meteor shower.

Starfish
Surf City, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “Look down and you may miss a shooting star in the sky. Look up and you may miss a starfish in the sand. But quick, look straight ahead and tell me what is that big, blurry thing that’s so bright? Oh yeah, that’s my love for you.” — Jarod Kintz

Daily gratitudes:
Seeing a big snake on my walk today
Going to the dog park without a dog to get my dog fix
Snuggly cat
Blue skies
Fresh peaches
How good life is

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