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I’ve written about losing my journals, my words, those memories. But as a photographer, I’ve lost thousands of images that were taken in a pre-digital era. And that really hurts. I’m not alone in this. The images that I’ve shared of the cozy house were sent to me by a professional photographer from town who also lost decades of her beautiful work.

Believe me, I continue to beat myself up with “Why didn’t I transfer all those images to a digital platform?” Because it took time and money and resources that I didn’t have. “Why didn’t I take those photo albums on the top shelf of the bookcase – there were at least 15 – with me?” Because I didn’t have space for them yet. “Why didn’t I at least take the notebooks of negatives?” Because, and so much of it comes down to this, I thought the cozy house was a safe place. I thought it was invincible. I was wrong.

Perhaps I should have known better.

In 2013, the cozy house was hit by the 100 (or 10 or 1,000 or 10,000) year flood. The root cellar filled with water and the kitchen and two rooms had about four inches of muddy water, but the cozy house stood firm. Some boxes of photos were close to the floor of the cat room at the time. Much later, Ex-Pat brought them to the Bungalow, damaged as they were and I tucked them away to sadly deal with later. I guess today is later.

I brought some up from the basement today. Decades of photos stuck together. So I’ve spent some time meticulously pulling them apart. The mud has acted like glue in some cases, so if I can get a fingernail inserted into a stack, I can flex them a little, then a little more, and then still a little more, until I can gently separate them. Sometimes I lose a little backing. Sometimes some of the photo tears off. But overall, I’m making some progress.

These are mostly images from my travels, and that’s nice but what I was hoping to find are images from K’s childhood. There are some – of her and her best friend at the Renaissance Festival, of her time at Calwood – but not what I’m looking for. And none as yet of the house. I’ve lost my pictures of Scotland from when I was pregnant, and that’s a tough one. That was a very happy time. And the picture of K and ex-Pat taken right after she was born. You’ve never seen any newborn look more like she was saying, “WTH. PUT ME BACK.” She wasn’t even crying, just glaring at the camera from under her tiny knitted hat that hospital staff put on her little head.

On one bright note, I have one box of albums from my Mother (another was lost to the flames). When K was born, my mother asked me to get duplicates of the pictures I took and send them to her. It gives my heart a flare of hope that I have some of those. Now I just have to find the box in our Indiana Jones movie warehouse of a cellar filled with boxes.

A rescued favorite. Tortola, 2004.

He speaks (or sings) for himself.

Cripple Creek, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “The experience of beauty does something profound and powerful within the heart and soul of every human being.  Beauty creates wonder in us.”  —  Steve DeWitt

Daily gratitudes:
Changes
Stillness
Book titles that come to mind and then escape me
Commercials that make me cry
The endless supply of books that have revivified Sherlock Holmes

We are here at Topsail.

Our trip was loooooooonnnnnnngggggggg.  We’ve taken late night flights before, but never a red-eye to get here. For some reason, it really took it out of us.  We crashed immediately on arrival on Saturday, and really didn’t recover until yesterday when we checked into our rental cottage.

A crashed Kelsea.

The living room at Two Suns

We have seen a lovely sunset.

The edge of the sun

Rain.

Kelsea touches the rain.

And a rainbow.

Faint and lovely.

We waxed ecstatic over Annabelle.

A crashed Annabelle.

And opted not to walk on the beach to see the fam last night, prefering to avoid potential lightning strikes from an approaching storm.

Approaching storm.

We had some nice family time last night, but Kelsea and I stayed up way too late. It was surprisingly cool and gray today, so it was a good day for hanging out and reading on the porch.  Dinner is cooking as I type.  MKL arrives tomorrow.

As the saying goes, “God’s in his heaven and all’s right with the world.”

You were thinking the other kind of grill, because of the Fourth of July, weren’t you?

Boulder, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds.  We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil.  Serenity is contagious.  If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back.  And a smile costs nothing.  We should plague everyone with joy.”  —  Swami Satchidananda

Daily gratitudes:
My nieces
Early birthday presents
Lace
Old quilts
Sweet dreams

Photo title: Loretto Chapel

Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “You have to get lost before you can be found.” —  Author Unknown

Daily gratitudes:
A lovely Christmas
Trying to work through things
Loving and being loved
Copper
My new ring

Photo title: Weathered by Nature

Pomato Point, Anegada, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the day: “I do not define myself by how many roadblocks have appeared in my path. I define myself by the courage I’ve found to forge new roads. I do not define myself by how many disappointments I’ve faced. I define myself by the forgiveness and the faith I have found to begin again. I do not define myself by how long a relationship lasted. I define myself by how much I have loved, and been willing to love again. I do not define myself by how many times I have been knocked down. I define myself by how many times I have struggled to my feet. I am not my pain. I am not my past. I am that which has emerged from the fire.” – Author unknown

Daily gratitudes:
Animal crackers
My pillow nest
Gentle paws
Sea glass
Recycling

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