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Last week, I went to surprise my daughter for her 20th birthday. It worked out splendidly, she was completely surprised, her friends were wonderful, and I think a good time was had by all. One of our adventures was a trip to Vancouver. I hadn’t been there in 40 years, and it certainly doesn’t look anything like I remember. We had limited time, so we explored the Gastown District, which must be one of the oldest parts of town. This completely modern building retained a touch of times past. I’ll share more images from my trip in the coming days.

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Vancouver, British Columbia.

Quote of the day: “Canada is not the party. It’s the apartment above the party.” — Craig Ferguson

Daily gratitudes:
That Kelsea comes home in four days
MKL’s hugs
Smiles with mothers at the grocery store
Christmas lights
Cleaning out drawers

 

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Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours..” — Henry David Thoreau

Daily gratitudes:
Warm milk
Warm coats
Warm kitties
Warm hands of my love
Warm beds

A warm memory of an autumn Saturday. We have drifted into snow and cold and wind, and I am happy to remember a peaceful day.

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Hygiene, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “It is in the turmoil of chaos that we discover what, if anything, we are.” — Orson Scott Card

Daily gratitudes:
Blue skies
Clean dishes
Prayers of friends
Cozy couches
Good walks

 

In the past three weeks, two people close to me have lost family to suicide. Now, two young souls will never see the beauty of another sunrise, and their families will never be the same. I know how hopeless and painful your life can feel, but I know it always gets better. I also know that, at that pivotal moment, it can be impossible to see that. There is always someone who cares, someone to reach out to, even if that person is a stranger. I may be a stranger to you, but if you’re reading this, and if you ever think that you can’t go on, reach out to me. I care about you. There is so much more than the moment you are in.

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Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “When people kill themselves, they think they’re ending the pain, but all they’re doing is passing it on to those they leave behind.” — Jeannette Walls

Daily gratitudes:
Our first snow (but only because we need the moisture)
Snuggly Mr. Man
Leftover chinese food
My toasty Razorback fleece onesie
Some inner calm

 

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Still not ready for words, except for two that I’d like to get rid of: Liberal and Conservative. Perhaps those labels had meaning once, but now all they do is divide and misrepresent us as individuals and as a unified nation.

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Cozumel, Mexico.

Daily gratitudes: “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Daily gratitudes:
The man dancing in his seat at the bus stop today
Gestures of kindness
More time with MKL
Sharing a family recipe with Kelsea
Walks with Christine

Still not ready for words. Let us be led by love.

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Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “There is no ‘way to peace,’ there is only ‘peace.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Daily gratitudes:
That MKL makes me laugh
Peek-a-boo with a baby
Sharing feelings with Mohammed
Having a voice to help others
Kelsea’s new job

Today had best be mostly wordless. Sending peace and love to all.

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Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “Whatever may be the tensions and the stresses of a particular day, there is always lurking close at hand the trailing beauty of forgotten joy or unremembered peace.” — Howard Thurman

Daily gratitudes:
MKL’s love and support
Lunch with a dear friend
An expedited passport request
Mr. Man’s paw on my heart
Trying to make sense of our world

 

 

Be this. Be a goat. And let’s all come together.

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Denver, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.” — Malcolm X

Daily gratitudes:
Things to look forward to
Warm socks
Love
Southern accents
Hunkering down

 

Darkness comes too early now, but I know that golden leaves and sun-bright streams exist.

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Outside Morrison, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” — Lauren DeStefano

Daily gratitudes:
The lady who complimented my outfit today
MKL
Puppies
Almost the end of the election
A clean living room

 

 

I’m not much of a sports fan. I generally like football, but only my own team (go Broncos), though I’m not sure I would had my Father not been a fan. We were season ticketholders at Duke Blue Devil football games throughout my growing up. I remember the man who sat with his family behind us for all those years looked a little bit like Jack Kennedy. But this isn’t about football. This is about baseball.

I learned about baseball at the Durham Bull’s ballpark (featured in the movie Bull Durham), on summer nights when I was a teenager. I would go with friends or with a hipster boy named Charlie who had slightly buck teeth, and always wore a string tie and cowboy boots, and who tried so hard (but failed) to win more than my friendship. Nights at that ballpark were perfect, all the way from the splintered bench seats, to the hot dogs, to the decades-old bull art piece on the side of the neighboring building, whose tail would raise and whose nostrils would blow smoke when it was hit by a home run. It was soft and warm and bright and buggy and felt like everyone there was family.

Even if you’re not a rabid fan, last night’s final World Series game was an amazing nail-biter with the best possible ending (sorry, Indians fans). I’ve been to Wrigley Field a few times to watch the Chicago Cubs, and I love the team, since I do tend to root for the underdog, which it seemed the Cubs always were. Not so now. Their first World Series win in 108 years. I hope the ancient fan in Chicago who was in the news didn’t have a heart attack – or if he did, that he died happy at the end of the game. Here in my little neighborhood in Colorado, people were setting off fireworks. My social media friends across the country were on tenterhooks, all of us, together. It was, I think everyone could agree, a truly great game.

Since the 1830s, Americans have played, watched, wept, and cheered as this sport that evolved to its current place in the history of our culture. It has touched fashion, film, food, art, and literature. In fact, one of my favorite books is called “If I Never Get Back,” and combines time travel with baseball. What could be better?

In a time of dangerous division within our country, last night, our politics really didn’t matter. It was a wonderful feeling to share the experience of watching “America’s game” with the rest of America.

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Chicago, Illinois.

Quote of the day: “Baseball is the most perfect of games, solid, true, pure and precious as diamonds. If only life were so simple. Within the baselines anything can happen. Tides can reverse; oceans can open. That’s why they say, “the game is never over until the last man is out.” Colors can change, lives can alter, anything is possible in this gentle, flawless, loving game.” – W.P. Kinsella

Daily gratitudes:
The man who plays the guitar at lunch at Potbelly
A beautiful day
Seeing MKL
Good moods
My flu shot (let’s hope I stay grateful for that)

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