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We’ll leave the beach for a day, and you can see what I see every day — Union Station in Denver. It’s a beautiful building, and often in the morning, people are lined up waiting for the California Zephyr to take them on to parts west. While in the past two years, it has been transformed from what was for me, a sanctuary of stillness and spirit, to a hub for people to sit, work, chat, eat, drink, and generally be social, it still retains a touch of its old self, especially on the outside. And I can still feel the ghosts, way up in the arches of the ceiling.

20140627_192115
Denver, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “These times are too progressive. Everything has changed too fast. Railroads and telegraphs and kerosene and coal stoves — they’re good to have but the trouble is, folks get to depend on ’em.” — Laura Ingalls Wilder

Daily gratitudes:
That the blues have lightened a bit
The magnificent view of the Front Range
How the stars seemed to have shifted tonight
MKL
Mr. Man all snuggled up by my side

Today was one of those blue days when I just want to crawl into the spiral of a shell and stay there until my spirits lift. But that’s not the way life – or depression – works. On these days. sometimes, my mind wanders to things that made me bluer, and then I have to shift my perspective on those things to see the blessings inside them. They’re in there, just like a conch is nestled within the spirals of its shell.

Conched Out
Surf City, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “For a moment the image before us is frozen: our world, our lives, reduced to a handful broken stars half lost in uncharted space.” — Annie Kaufman

Daily gratitudes:
That my mother used to let me eat frozen peas in the summer when it was hot. They were so good and sweet, one at a time.

That I could afford to pay Kelsea’s first quarter college tuition today

The “golden hours” even when I don’t have my camera

The art collages on my bedroom walls

Watching “Catfish” with Kelsea – it’s her favorite show

This seat is probably hot in many ways. a) It’s in Snead’s Ferry, right on the river,  b) It’s right outside the kitchen window of this restaurant, which means the heat from the kitchen is pouring out upon the sitter, and c) it’s pleather. in the sun. We’ve all been in the hot seat from time to time, and at least this one does occasionally have a cool breeze to stir the hot hair straggling on the back of your neck in the depths of July. Looks like that beer (and the rain puddles) might have helped cool the occupant off a bit too.

The Hot Seat
Sneads Ferry, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “A man who goes into a restaurant and blatantly disrespects the servers shows a strong discontent with his own being. Deep down he knows that restaurant service is the closest thing he will ever experience to being served like a king.” — Kriss Jami

Daily gratitudes:
Feeling better
Ice water
A letter from LJRH
That I get to see my husband tomorrow
How lovely it is to say “husband”

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

September 2015
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