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Another surrogate daughter shared something tonight that, on top of an anxiety-provoking experience, made me think about who I am. I am a person who:

Rescues ants from drowning in hot springs pools
Would prefer to shoo a fly out a door instead of splatter it on the wall
Says hi to every dog I get close to, even before saying hi to their owner
Picks up things for strangers when they drop them
Ask confused looking tourists if they need help with directions
Stops to see if I can help children who look lost and scared
Wants to tell you if your tire is going flat when I’m driving next to you
Tries to help an old friend who I haven’t spoken with in years who posts a suicidal message on social media (this is how I have spent much of my evening)
Will write “you are amazing” on any available public chalkboard
Is still trying to figure out how to get out of my own way
Looks for the tiny things that make me smile each day
Tries to see the positive in all negatives
Loves my daughter – and my many surrogate daughters – with my whole heart
Misses friends from my school years with whom I’m no longer in touch
Would give the shirt of my back (or in one case, my bra) to a friend in need
Tries to think before she speaks
Makes sure that my words are kind
Hopes I’ve made a meaningful difference in one life in the course of my own
Is crazy stupid in love with my husband
Thinks that there are positives in every person
Wants to have a good relationship with my ex-husband
Is happiest by water
Believes the people we have lost to death are with us still
Loves to draw hearts in the sand…

And so much more. That’s just a drop on the surface of the sea of me. But tonight, I felt the need to share it.

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Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “To be kind, honest and have positive thoughts; to forgive those who harm us and treat everyone as a friend; to help those who are suffering and never to consider ourselves superior to anyone else: even if this advice seems rather simplistic, make the effort of seeing whether by following it you can find greater happiness.” — Dalai Lama XIV

Daily gratitudes:
My truck
That MKL is a little happier
That my heating pad has chosen to work tonight
My physical therapist
Kelsea and my girls

 

 

 

The sea changes from day to day, as do I. Serene one day, restless the next. And ever sleepless. Forgive me for being gone a bit, and don’t forget about me. I am throwing myself into working on my novel (well, one of them) with a passion inspired by NaNoWriMo. Otherwise, I am still broken-toed and gimpy-armed and just managing.

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Great Exuma, Out Islands, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “You have to write the book that wants to be written.” — Madeleine L’Engle

Daily gratitudes:
Noticing the details but not getting trapped within them
Coffee shops
A good massage
Talking with Kelsea
My surprise from MKL

NaNoWriMo Day 2 word count: 3657

Maybe all I need is a little seawater, sand, coconut water, and time with MKL to cure what ails me.

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Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end.” — Elizabeth Wurtzel

Daily gratitudes:
Color coordination
Flocks of birds with white underwings
That the grass is still green by the Prairie Flour apartments
Remembering clothes from your childhood from out of nowhere
Sleeping with the window open

Not here, for we have clear weather here, and have been most fortunate for this time of year.

In Great Exuma, a place that MKL and I have come to love very much. The place that apparently Hurricane Joaquin loves very much as well, so much that he has decided to linger over the Out Islands, and seems to hate to leave. Bright waters and beautiful days will return though, and Georgetown and Hoopers Bay will dry out. That is the way of islands and islands along with them. Those who live by and love the sea know that, as I saw in tattoo form on a woman’s arm in a little café in RoadTown, Tortola, “the sea always wins’, but its people never give up. They love it too much.

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Great Exuma, Out Islands, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “she lived with hurricane eyes and fell in love with the way the waves collapsed against her cheeks.” — Christopher Poindexter

Daily gratitudes:
The couple getting wedding pictures taken in front of the train at Union Station
That Joaquin may be moving out to sea (but you can never tell with hurricanes)
A call from Kelsea this morning
That they caught the Trojan virus on my computer before it did any damage
That having the Tabasco bottle fall from the cabinet above the stove into the oven through the cracked open door (because I was broiling things) and roll into the back of the oven – not once but twice within five minutes – did not result in another kitchen disaster

That’s what MKL asked me on the phone this morning. Why? Because he remembers waiting in the car while I explored this abandoned ruin on Little Exuma, which was swarming with mosquitoes. I love abandoned and overgrown places. I’m drawn to them and always have been, so how could I resist this spot? And yes, I did get some decent shots, though not quite what I had hoped for. But I also picked up a little something else. A little something called Dengue Fever. This was back in November 2013, and it took me weeks to get through that bout – weeks of incredible body aches, light sensitivity, nausea, stomach problems, blinding headaches, fevers, chills, and doctors who had to look up the condition on their computers to tell me there was nothing they could do to help. I got the same symptoms last week, and couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me, until this morning, when I put the clues and the signs from the universe together to realize I was having another bout.

I am fortunate in many ways. Mosquitoes don’t seem to like me. On the other hand, I seem to be some kind of special prize for them. They save the finest and most powerful of their species just for me. Years ago, I got West Nile Fever; I had recurring bouts for years, every few months. And now I have Dengue, which doesn’t recur as frequently, but strikes with much more of a vengeance when it does. I’m glad I figured out what was wrong. At least I know that it will pass, though I don’t know when. Sometimes it helps if you can give your enemy a face and a name. But I can’t quite say yes to the question, “Was it worth it?”

Dengue Shot

Little Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

Daily gratitudes:
Wordpress’ rainbow header
Love in all its forms
Roses and a note from my daughter
“Wife” in many languages
That I get to see MKL tomorrow

At least I do, having had a mysterious bug for the last few days that has knocked me pretty low. So here’s one for all of us.

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Three Sisters Beach, Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “Coming delights, like tropical beaches, send out their native enchantment over the vast spaces that precede them – a perfumed breeze that lulls and drugs you out of all anxiety as to what may yet await you below the horizon.” — Gustave Flaubert

Daily gratitudes:
Being able to work from home when I’m sick
Cool showers
Plans
Baby bunnies
Summer breezes

While we’ve had two gorgeous days here in Colorado, I find myself missing Exuma and Anegada. Missing Anegada, the home of my heart, is nothing new, but missing Exuma is. When we were there for the first time (November 2013), the water was amazingly warm and buoyant. I could float standing straight up. I could carry MKL around in the water. There was no beach there that was not brilliant white sand and dazzling azure water. We could walk out 1/4 mile from the shore and still be only knee deep. And it was a place which neither of us had been to before, so our memories are just that – OURS. Without any shadows or ghosts of the past. I liked that. And so, I continue to share these images. Because I love to remember.

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Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “Ghosts don’t haunt people–their memories do.” — Alexandra Bracken

Daily gratitudes:
Walking
My mini-workout today with Christine
Beautiful days
Leashed bird dogs approaching sitting pigeons
Big storms

 

This has been a week of happiness. My darling cousin has been here, and I love having a sister in the house. We are identical in so many ways. I’m coming to the end of one large project. MKL and I have Valentine’s Day weekend at Cottonwood Hot Springs to look forward to. I bought my wedding dress yesterday. It is not at all what I expected, but it made me cry in a true “Say Yes to the Dress” moment.

So as part of the continuation of happiness, I will share this beautiful image of deep blues and whites. My wedding will be ivory and cobalt and on the beach, similar to these colors. I’m looking forward to starting my new life with MKL.

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Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: ““There is no choice more intensely personal, after all, than whom you choose to marry; that choice tells us, to a large extent, who you are.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

Daily Gratitides:
My sister-cousin
Commitment
A beautiful day for a walk
Having a lovely family
Downton Abbey night

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

Not a bar fly, but a bar cat. I can’t remember this little fellow’s name, but he was certainly friendly and adventuresome. And a poser. Still battling something being wrong with me, and hoping that our sabbatical on Little Cayman will be the cure.

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Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “I know of a cure for everything: salt water…in one way or the other. Sweat, or tears, or the salt sea.”   — Isak Dineson

Daily gratitudes:
Cozy covers on cold nights (but missing MKL)
Understanding doctors
Good talks with good friends
Hope
Tomorrow

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