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The earache is better, but doctors so often just seem useless, don’t they? I have been feeling homesick for my childhood Christmases. I have always loved Christmas, but it feels so different now, without parents or grandparents, with my brother and his family so far away, with living alone, with so much work, with MKL busy at his house, and Kelsea so close to gone and so caught up in her own life. I have been away from ex-Pat for five years now, but Christmas at my ex-house was also such a cosy thing.

I can’t capture the same feeling of wonder and delight I used to have, and that makes me sad. It makes me wonder if perhaps I should lower my expectations for how I will feel. I expect to feel as I used to, and I don’t. It’s a quieter feeling, very poignant. Sigh. Perhaps this weekend, when I go to experiment with taking pictures of the lights in Denver, of the tree in the Hotel Boulderado, and finish shopping and wrapping and decorating, I will be a bit more aligned with the times. Or perhaps I need to focus more on the true meaning of the season. And start some new traditions with MKL. I shall think on these things.

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Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the day: “It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love….If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you.” — Rosemarie Urquico

Daily gratitudes:
That Mr. Man puts his paw on my arm when he wants to be petted
That I dreamed about my house for the first time last night
That Kelsea is done with her finals
My Mother’s nativity set from Italy that she splurged on when she was first married
Tidying up

It was -15 when I got up this morning. -31 with the wind chill.

I had a very romantic view of the West when I was a child, fueled by classic movies like How the West Was Won and episodes of The Big Valley. It was a wild, open place, full of space and freedom and adventure. I retained that image until I moved here, and still, the little kid that lives inside me believes that that West is somewhere I just haven’t looked yet.

My image of living in the West never encompassed slogging through icy streets to an office in a tall building in downtown Denver. But with a warm coat enveloping me like the arms of a bear, I can pretend I am a displaced Russian countess, which makes the cold slightly more bearable.

And knowing that there are places like this also ease the frigid winter winds.

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Anegada, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the day: “ As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” —  Nelson Mandela

Daily gratitudes:
My bear coat
Salmon
That I got my sidewalk shovelled
Sparkling sprinkling of snow at night
A morning bus nap

Still too cold here in greyish Colorado. So I will wander back to the shore of Anegada, making the short trek down the beach between Neptune’s Treasure and Anegada Reef, towards the anchorage at sunset, heading for a dinner with my toes in the sand. Will you join me?

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Anegada, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the day: “With my last breath, I’ll exhale my love for you. I hope it’s a cold day, so you can see what you meant to me.” —  Jarod Kintz

Daily gratitudes:
That I can make an acceptable grilled cheese sandwich for my sickie MKL
Texts from Kelsea
Books where you can’t guess the ending
Baths in the clawfoot tub
Cozy days

A peaceful beginning for your Monday…

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Loblolly Beach, Anegada, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the day: “I want to walk on a beach with you, dragging a big stick behind us, making a message in the sand that we try to believe an airplane will really see. I want to kiss saltwater from your lips. I want us to listen to music with our eyes closed; I want to read musty books while lying next to you – books about fascinating things like mummies and eccentric artists and old shipwrecks in the Pacific. I want to have picnics on our bed and crawl into cotton sheets that smell like summer because we left the windows open when we were gone. I want to wake in the night with you and marvel at the stars and try to find the moon through the trees. I want all the sweet things in life. But only by your side.” — Deb Caletti

Daily gratitudes:
The elk meandering down the main drag in Estes Park
Men riding motorcycles with dogs in the sidecar
The inflatable Nessie in Lake Estes
Pretty wedding gowns
New friends

I was hoping to share pictures of our weekend in Steamboat Springs, but haven’t had a chance to download them yet. Suffice it to say, Kelsea and I had a wonderful time. It was filled with balloons, and mountain hurricanes, and new people, and pretty shops, and muddy rodeo riders, and trashy TV late night marathons, and crack pizza.  AND A MOOSE.

So instead of pictures of all of those things, we will retun to a beloved spot: the sea.  Enjoy!

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White Bay, Jost van Dyke, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the day: “All stories are love stories.” — Robert McLiam Wilson

Daily gratitudes:
That there’s a bus stop close enough for me to catch another bus when mine leaves early
Mr. Man snuggling with my feet
Watching one of my favorite movies from when I was five years old
Seafoam
Healing scars

Yes, I am homesick for Anegada again. For sand, and sun, and turquoise water, for floating off Cow Wreck, and diving for conch, and walking for miles without seeing another soul, except for stingrays cruising in the shallows. For water from freshly cut coconuts, and for lobsters in their cages, and for Lauren and Linda. For days that drift by like seabirds, and nights that sound like the breeze in the palm trees.

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Neptune’s Treasure, Anegada, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the Day: “Her grandmother used to tell her that a pink sky meant someone in the distance had just fallen in love . . . .”  —  Sarah Addison Allen

Daily gratitudes:
Outpourings of goodness
That Dutch is stil hanging in there (hence, the pink quote)
When Thunder Cat makes herself into a ball on the bed
Having MKL to snuggle with
Meeting some wonderful people today
Ninja tacos

 

I have been quiet and uninspired of late, not wanting to write, to create, to do anything but read, and I do not know why. I do not feel like myself, and hope that it is only indicative of the passage of seasons, winter into spring, and that I will wake again to myself soon.

Anegada Sunset

Anegada, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the day: “Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.”  —  Edwin Hubbell Chapin

Daily gratitudes:
Cozy snowed-in Saturdays
Laughter
MKL’s voice
The songs of new birds
Snuggly Thunder Cat
Trying to emerge from my shadow

It’s still brrrrrr here. Something like -12 with the wind chill. So we’re still hanging out on Anegada for the photo of the day. I guess I’m a little homesick.

Pomato Point Flotsam Sculpture

Anegada, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the day: “Grief is a most peculiar thing; we’re so helpless in the face of it. It’s like a window that will simply open of its own accord. The room grows cold, and we can do nothing but shiver. But it opens a little less each time, and a little less; and one day we wonder what has become of it.”  —  Arthur Golden

Daily gratitudes:
Geese, geese, geese
Iced green tea on an icy day
How my cold-spurred tears froze when they fell on my coat
Soft black leather boots
A shoulder to lean my head on waiting for the shuttle

If you walk south from Cow Wreck for a bit, you come to this bend in beach. It’s taken a beating from its open attitude to the sea, but it’s still lovely.

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Anegada, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the day: “Of course, if you’re hoping for a perfect world, you’re bound to be disappointed. But an interesting world–now that’s doable. It’s right here in front of you.” —  George Hammond

Daily gratitudes:
That my 16-year old still wants to stay up until 2:00 a.m. talking to me
A tidier room – not quite done, but better
That the struggle with the Christmas tree is nearly over
My first exposure to Downton Abbey
My small painting from Paris

It’s 5 degrees here in Colorado this morning, and Kelsea and I are heading out to opening day of the National Western Stock Show (woot!). The Broncos are primed for today’s playoff game against the Ravens, and all is right with the world. Except for the fact that it’s 5 degrees outside, so let’s imagine we’re at Cow Wreck.

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Cow Wreck Beach, Anegada, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the day: “I believe in the baby Jesus, and I believe he is handsome and lives in the sky with his pet cow.  I believe that it is essential the cow like you, and if you pet the cow with your mind, it will lick your hand and give you cash.  But if you make the cow angry, it will turn away from you, forget you exist, and your life will fall into shambles.  I believe that as long as the cow likes you, you can get what you want.  In order to keep the cow’s favor, you need to ‘let go and let God,’ meaning you can’t obsess about controlling every little thing.  You have to let things unfold naturally, and not try to change things you cannot change.  On the other hand, I believe that if you’ve made the cow happy by living this way, you’re allowed to ask for favors…” —  Augusten Burroughs

Daily gratitudes:
That MKL protects me in dreamspace
Yummy salad (and you’ll rarely hear me say that)
That I’m feeling better today (so far so good)
Payton Manning (or “P”, as I call him)
My tribe of wise women

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