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It has been a lovey weekend. Warm and sunny. We spent two nights at the north house. I slept until noon – such a luxury. I am pondering many questions about the innate goodness of humanity, the overpopulation and skyrocketing expenses of our beautiful state, and just what the next steps for MKL and I are. They are all baby steps – just like spring appears – one crocus, one iris, one storm that knocks out the green, and then one that makes dandelions explode. Ups and downs, just like everything else in life. And more and more ideas and baby steps to finishing up books.

I have been digging in the garden. Experiencing the agony and the ecstasy of the lawn mower (note to readers: don’t buy a TORO.) (Not to TORO, if you want to know why I say this, feel free to ask.) I have had such plans for the Bunglaow’s yard space since I moved in, but it’s SO MUCH WORK. I have no idea where I had the time to do this back when I lived in a house with four times the garden space. But I sincerely enjoy getting dirty, and clearing weeds (well, enjoy may be a bit strong of a word) and I bought a Peace rose today – one of my mother’s favorites – to plant in a corner going through its second tilling now. My grandmother’s green thumb skipped a generation and passed to me and my cousin T, so I think she’d be pleased. I’ll keep you posted with pictures. It’s a bit funny to put a lot of work into the Bungalow when I’m going to rent it, but I do want to make it happy for the next people.

While my garden will not look like this, this will give you an idea of a beautiful spring afternoon.

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Sedalia, Colorado

Quote of the day: “Every way I turned the lush green peaks towered over me. Had it been winter or spring, they would have been iron gray or dappled with pink and white dogwood, sarvis, and redbud, but always they would be there, the mountains, their heights rounded by the elements like relics worn smooth by the hands of reverent pilgrims.” — Denise Giardina

 

 

Our view from The View Hotel in Monument Valley afforded us the opportunity to see the weather pass like waves across the monuments. This dust shower swept across Merrick Butte, followed by rain, rainbows, sunshine, sunset, and stars. It was a magical place, and like the sea, a vista that was truly ever-changing. We could have sat on our balcony for hours just watching the light and clouds and wind renew our view every moment. But the lure of the Valley itself was irresistible, and we had to take to the road that travelled through the monuments, getting up close and personal. We would go back in a heartbeat.

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Monument Valley, Arizona.

Quote of the day: “It has been well said that an author who expects results from a first novel is in a position similar to that of a man who drops a rose petal down the Grand Canyon of Arizona and listens for the echo.” —  P.G. Wodehouse

Daily gratitudes:
A new doctor
Skyping with Kelsea
Snuggly cat
Plans for NaNoWriMo
Ice water

All pink and blue, unlike our swirling yet unfulfilled storm clouds here in Lafayette this afternoon. And speaking of babies – or those who are no longer babies – my darling daughter goes off to college orientation tomorrow. Then she comes back, which is good, but then she will go away again. I guess that is the way of it. As today’s quote says, we all leave a bit of ourselves behind when we leave a place. I have left much of myself at Topsail. My darling daughter will leave much of herself here. But we both have so much more to see and do and give, and an endless amount of ourselves to leave behind in the places we will love.

Baby SKy
Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” — Pascal Mercier

Daily gratitudes:
Making it through a tough day
MKL
Sharing Kelsea’s excitement about college housing
Our two new wooden parrots
Voyager

It is still remarkably green here in Colorado, due to our unusually wet spring and early summer. Most years by now, the vista is brown and dry. But as of last week, the wildflowers werestill showing their fancy, making a lovely foreground for one of the sandstone Pawnee Buttes.

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Pawnee National Grasslands, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Men do change, and change comes like a little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, and it comes like the stealthy perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass.” — John Steinbeck

Daily gratitudes:
Getting fancy
A lovely date with my MKL
A generous pour of Glenmorangie
Snuggling
Loving attention to my wounds

Just to the east of Walden, Colorado (or what I call Mooseland) is Cameron Pass, which is one of Kelsea’s and my favorite views. I thought I’d share it with you today. We tried playing a little ultimate on top of the pass, but it was too windy and I broke a nail such an extent that I seemed to have a shiv attached to my thumb. But it was fun.

A Favorite View
Cameron Pass, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “And men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, yet pass over the mystery of themselves without a thought.” — Augustine of Hippo

Daily gratitudes:
My vet
How a little cleaning goes a long way
Watching storms blow through
When the justice system works
Sarong weather

It’s beautiful. The drive up Hwy. 101 in Oregon was magical. I wish I could have stopped more often and taken more pictures. It is definitely a future destination for MKL and myself. As for now, Kelsea’s and my journey continues…

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Highway 101, Oregon.

(Our internet connections have been dicey at best, so I’ll have more to share in a few days).

Being with MKL (who is a car guy extraordinaire) has enhanced my passion for the road. I’ve always loved road trips. I’ve always loved ANY trip. But under his tender influence, I’ve come to appreciate the curves, the straightaways, the texture of the road, and the personality and performance of my truck more than I ever have before. Our second date was a drive. He picked me up and suggested we drive up to Leadville, which is about two and a half hours away. I knew he was testing whether I was genuine about my love of driving and going places, and if we did well in a car together for an extended period of time, and I did not disappoint. Our five-hour round trip turned into an eight-hour round trip. We discovered a shared love of opera, and he put his hand on my knee after asking permission. It is still one of our favorite shared memories.

So on trips like Kelsea’s and mine this past weekend, I get on a stretch of road and think how he would feel about it. He would love to drive the road in this image, and I am looking forward to sharing it with him.

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Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

Quote of the day: “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”  — Robert Louis Stevenson

Daily gratitudes:
Seeing MKL after an absence (or really any time)
Morning walks
Books
Peanuts
Crickets

Because a day can start out really lousy, and wind up with skies like this.

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Lafayette, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. It is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live.” — Nora Roberts

Daily gratitudes:
The smell of warm asphalt
Glowing rain clouds
Helping others
MKL
The man in the elevator who cheerfully took the earful I gave him when he asked me how my morning was going

The evening we had a girls trip through Rocky Mountain National Park was magical and it was wonderful to spend time with my ‘sister’. I think we drove my niece and Kelsea, who were in the car behind us, crazy because we were stopping every 500 feet to take pictures, some of which I have shared with you before.

The beauty and openness of the space at the top of the mountains lets me breathe and reminds me how much life is always worth living. There is always beauty. You just have to look for it.

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Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow; but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”  — Agatha Christie

Daily gratitudes:
Feeling sorrow and knowing it will ease
Making soup
Mr. Man
Seeing MKL for the first time in three days
Returnable milk jugs

My fun little new camera (taking center stage until I can afford to replace the Big Gun Canon, which I discovered was broken when we got to Monument Valley) can do these swell panorama shots. These were my first efforts, so please pardon the bulges in the sea. I think it’s particularly fitting on the day that has been nothing but black and white in Colorado.

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From our hotel on Great Exuma.

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Elizabeth Beach, Great Exuma.

Quote of the day: “As long as this exists, this sunshine and this cloudless sky, and as long as I can enjoy it, how can I be sad?”  — Anne Frank

Daily gratitudes:
Soft things
Snuggly cats
Stark contrasts of nature
Ice cold water
Low carb pizza

 

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