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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

 

Another curious and entertaining doorway. I suppose the residents of this little duplex tell visitors to go to the right or the left of the cat.

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San Miguel, Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “If you want to believe in something like Fate, she’s a capricious character. Sometimes she stand there blocking the doorway you were born to pass through, and sometimes she takes you by the hand and leads you through the minute you poke your nose out. And the stars gaze down and keep their counsel.” — John Avide

Daily gratitudes:
Pussy willow
Pie with my sweetie-pie
Stark white seagulls agains barren fields
Intrigue in the early morning
The first blooms of a dwarf weeping cherry tree

 

 

 

I love shooting doors. There’s a magic to doors that is both obvious and mysterious. You don’t know what’s behind a door, and you don’t know how passing through a door may change your life or otherwise transport you. Doors themselves can be imbued with their own stories, as shown by their wood, their weathering, their color. Of all the interesting, quirky, and colorful doors I shot in San Miguel, this one was my favorite. From this shot, it’s hard to see the very best part of this door, but I thought I’d present you with the challenge, and then reveal the perfect little element tomorrow. So, if you can see it, let me know in the comments, but don’t give it away!

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San Miguel, Cozumel.

Quote of the day: “No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.” — Helen Keller

Daily gratitudes:
A visit from Joy
Being barefoot outside
Strawberries
Learning Spanish, little by little
Emotions

Prayers for Pakistan.

Always watching over us. Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers.

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Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”  — Marcel Proust

Daily gratitudes:
That my house is under the Canadian Geese flight path
Owls hooting in the darkness
Cozy Mr. Man
Having Kelsea home for a few days
Embarrassing moments that make for good stories

 

 

The lovely Art Deco courthouse, designed by architect Walter DeMordaunt and opened in 1932, is located in Salida, Colorado, and serves as the county seat of Chaffee County…..and the site of MKL’s and my civil ceremony. With our mutual passion for times past, fine architecture, and romance, as well as our love for Buena Vista and Colorado’s beautiful Banana Belt, it seemed most fitting, and it was perfect.

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Salida, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Sometimes there is nothing to do but surrender yourself to wonder… You must stop measuring – over and over – the line between loving and being in love. You must offer yourself, whole, to the cobalt starfish (and the orange one and the pale pink one and the biscuit-colored one with the raised, chocolate-brown art deco design) and to the clear, clear water and to the sweep of shining sky and to the silver scattershot of leaping fish (an entire school skipping across the ocean like a stone.)” — Marisa de los Santos

Daily Gratitudes:
Milk
A beautiful day
Beaches
What colors we have in autumn
Dried roses

Windows, doors…all ways in and ways out, and important in our lives both physically and metaphorically. I have seen doors not just slam shut, but implode before me, leaving me left to pull pieces of splintered wood and glass from my heart, but no matter how hard it has been, there has always been a window, albeit one I might have to smash with my bare hands to get through. The doors and windows in my life now are welcoming and clear, and that’s a very good feeling.

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St. Elmo, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” — Helen Keller

Daily gratitudes:
Tattered Cover’s broccoli-cheese soup
MKL
A strange tinge of fall in the air
Surprises
The sunlight on the wings of wheeling flocks of birds

Remember “Three Windows“? We’re counting down, down, down…

Two Windows
St. Elmo, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “The pursuit of happiness is a matter of choice…it is a positive attitude we choose to express. It is not a gift delivered to our door each morning, nor does it come through the window. And it is certain that our circumstances are not the things that make us joyful. If we wait for them to get just right, we will never laugh again.” — Charles R. Swindoll

Daily gratitudes:
The Paradise
Having all my electronics in place again (thank you, my love)
Kelsea’s AWESOME play during Ultimate All-Stars
Lots of dragonflies
Hearing Hazel Miller sing in Old Town last night

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I love windows. I love taking pictures of windows. I love light and how it shapes whatever it touches. The bungalow is a little bit dark, even though it has a big window in the living room; it’s a bit of a shotgun-style house, which I also love. But the bedrooms are light and when we put a new coat of paint in the living room, it will be much brighter. But I digress. Windows intrigue me in photography, giving just a glimpse of the life that lies behind them. Warmth. Shadows. A suggestion of the owners taste in lace curtains, beads, brocade. A suspicion of age and weather in cracks and dust. A hint of ghosts.

Three Windows
St. Elmo, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Daily gratitudes:
Rain (once in a while)
Tattered Cover
Soft blankets
Road trips
Traditions

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!

It is a night for positive prayers and intentions:

That people and animals less fortunate than I will find a warm and caring place to survive the projected cold and our current -7 degree night

That my sweet friend at work’s family finds strength and peace in their time of approaching loss

The MKL and I can successfully accomplish our tropical sabbatical to fend off winter for just one week longer

That this cold snap is gone before we return

That Mr. Man is well looked after by his caretakers in my absence (it’s his birthday on Friday)

That I can accomplish the long list of to-dos before departure time

That my physical not-rightness improves and is healed by rest and rum

I have always found my prayers more powerful when I turn my eyes to the sky and speak to the Great Spirit as a friend. This church in the Bahamas inspired me to do that. It was lovely inside and out, and a visiting orb accompanied me during my solitary explorations there.

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Georgetown, Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “Prayer is a relationship; half the job is mine. If I want transformation, but can’t even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I’m aiming for, how will it ever occur? Half the benefit of prayer is in the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention. If you don’t have this, all your pleas and desires are boneless, floppy, inert; they swirl at your feet in a cold fog and never lift.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

Daily gratitudes:
Straight roads and green lights
Loving my daughter
Feeling blessed by my relationship with my parents (and missing them daily)
A warm nightgown and bedsocks
The kindness of strangers, experienced twice today

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