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Dear World,

There are some days when I don’t interact with anyone, which leaves little room for love notes to humans, but that doesn’t mean that there is nothing to which to write a love note. Tonight, I write a love note to owls, and send it to them on the black wind.

To the Long-Eared Owl, glimpsed through changing aspen trees many September ago, in the woods somewhere outside of Crested Butte, on one of those journeys that shaped the years to come. To the baby Western Screech Owl, nestled in the corner of a porch, so still that I wasn’t sure it was real. To the Barn Owl in the Portland Zoo, whose ghost face leapt brightly from the shadows of a rough-hewn roof beam. To the Great Horned Owls who lived in the towering White Fir tree outside my pink cottage, who hooted to one another in my sad darkness, gently, until I learned their language and could hoot in response. Especially to the one who, one night as I made my way across the cold dead grass, swooped so low, so huge, so close to my head that I had to duck, that I could feel the draft from the beat of his wings. And finally, to the pair, as yet unseen, that speak softly outside my window on rare wee hours in the Bungalow. I hope that one day I can learn how to talk to them as well.

great horned owl

#yearoflove

To the blonde barista:

Thank you for sharing memories of our mothers, both of whom told us, “Don’t walk in my dirt!” when they were sweeping the floors. My Mother always had a particularly funny, squeaky way of saying it, and I hear her voice in my head every time I sweep a floor with anyone else around. As a mom, you say it to your own kids. Thank you for laughing with me as I instinctively picked my feet up off the floor, sitting in my chair at the green cracked-ice table, so you could sweep under them. It was a sweet interlude on a cold winter’s day.

A photo of my first ever matcha. It grew on me, but the first few sips, sadly, tasted like what I think a dog must taste after he throws up the grass he just ate. Number of stars: questionable. For you vintage furniture lovers, please note the aforementioned green cracked-ice table.

#yearoflove

To the woman I met on my walk:

Thank you for noticing my Western Washington University sweatshirt. Your enthusiasm and excitement about my daughter attending your alma mater was adorable, and it matched your bright yellow jacket. You were truly a ray of sunshine on a dark-dusky winter afternoon. And your dog was super sweet. ♥️

#yearoflove

Dear MKL,
Thank you for all your love and support and for surviving the holiday season with me. It’s always more than a joy to see you, and I feel like a piece of myself is missing when we’re not together. You are my car guy, my intrepid honey-doer, my partner, and my heart. I love sharing drives, snuggles, germs, laughter, martinis, pool, and adventures with you. We will get this whole house situation figured out, in one state or another, and live in our House of Dreams before we know it. You make me feel loved, beautiful, respected, valued, appreciated, treasured, and safe, and I hope I make you feel the same. I’ll live every day to make sure that you do.

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Today’s quote: “When looking for a life partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, the crazy boys. But do not marry them. The things that make the bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands. When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated and ambitious. Someone who values fairness and expects or, even better, wants to do his share in the home. These men exist and, trust me, over time, nothing is sexier.” — Sheryl Sandberg

#yearoflove

 

 

Today’s love note goes out to my daughter.

Dear One,
There are too many things to thank you for…it would take a lifetime…but I’ll just stick with today. Thank you for coming to my rescue in the dreaded mouse affair, and for switching roles with me, comforting me after my bad dream. I did feel a little bit bad for the mouse, but thinking about Mr. Man using it as a plaything in the bed in the wee small hours drastically reduced my sympathy. I love the empathy that shines through your soul, and I will try to tough out any future rodent encounters, thinking of your strength. I expect there will be more, as Mr. Man seems excessively proud of his mouser skills, and the winter is bound to get colder. All my love.

Today’s quote: “Any cat may stare into a fire and see red mice play.” — George R.R. Martin

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#yearoflove

Today’s love note goes out to Rachel.

Dear Rachel,
Thank you for coming to brighten my home over this New Year’s. Your laugh lights up any space that you’re in. Your enthusiasm for surprises made helping deliver those surprises all the more fun. I wish we’d had more time to watch movies and hang out and just talk about everything. It’s wonderful to see how happy you make my wonderful little person, and I appreciate you letting me act like a Mom to you. I’m cuddled under the turquoise llama blanket that you and your actual Mom gave me, and I hope you make it home safely tonight. Looking forward to sharing tulips with you again in the Spring.

#YearofLove

A very long time. But let’s try this again, shall we?

Inspired by a fellow blogger, I’m trying the Year of Love. Small love notes to people who make a day special, people whose paths cross mine, even if they are strangers.

Sometimes, you’ll get photos. Sometimes, you’ll get daily quotes. Sometimes, you’ll get daily gratitudes. Like I used to do. The only certainty in life is change, and with change comes wisdom and beautiful surprises.

And so we begin 2019.

A Love Note to Michelle:

As you stood in front of me in the ice slide line, I felt a lovely chilly kinship with you. Two middle-ish aged women, clearly feeling younger than our years, encouraged by our kids to take a short, fast risk. I am grateful to you for acting as my comrade in overcoming our trepidations. We both did it – swooshing through the frozen rainbow tunnel – and both emerged gracefully, proud of overcoming our hesitancy, and having crossed one thing off our respective bucket lists, even though it was a thing we didn’t know we had on them.

XOXOXO

#YearofLove

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If wishes were stars, we would escape, just now, and run away back to the middle of nowhere in Costa Rica, and have our little house with the shower full-facing the jungle, the howler monkeys in the trees, iguanas and armadillos in the yard. I would bring Severigne a skull from somewhere in the West, and ask her to teach me how to cut mangoes and papayas. We would read and bask and recover. We would explore new beaches. We would have wine with dinner under planets and constellations, and go to sleep in the unexpected cool of the beach/jungle night in each other’s arms. And it would just be us all the time.

If wishes were stars.

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Playa san Miguel, Costa Rica.

Quote of the day: “Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” — Edgar Allan Poe

Daily gratitudes:
Incorporating sorrow into life
Holding onto faith
That Champ is coming home tonight (I think)
Talks with Kelsea
Loving MKL so much, which equates to missing him so much

The only thing better than baby goats snuggling each other is me snuggling baby goats. We have photographic documentation of that somewhere, courtesy of MKL.

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Berthoud, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” — George Orwell

Daily gratitudes:
Distant thunder
Clean dishes
Snuggly Mr. Man
My Peak Challenge
My new weight bench

 

But not as happy as me doing Goat Yoga on a beautiful Sunday morning.

Happy Goat
Berthoud, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “I want to go about like the light-footed goats.” — Johanna Spyri

Daily gratitudes:
The long-haired german shepherd playing in the dancing waters at Union Station
Sore muscles
Smoked oysters
That the view from my bedroom makes me feel like I’m deep in a forest
Baby’s breath on the bookcase

July 2019
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