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Only a few more days….and a thousand miles.

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Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds.” — Nicholas Sparks

Daily gratitudes:
A brief rain
Excellent blueberries
Being able to laugh at myself
Gothic novels
Having fallen in love with Mr. Man

I’ve been quiet, haven’t I? Sorry. Just pondering life. And working a lot. And trying to make Mr. Man feel at home. But I’m back now, and ready to share some images from the last roadtrip.

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Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Quote of the Day: “It was amazing how you could get so far from where you’d planned, and yet find it was exactly were you needed to be.” — Sarah Dessen

Daily gratitudes:
A cooler day
Walking home from the bus
Thunder and lightning
Gardens
Simplicity
Mr. Man coming to greet me when I get home (so happy to have a cat again)

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

Can you guess where we’re heading this weekend? Yup, up to Steamboat Springs for the Hot Air Balloon Rodeo (and the PRCA Rodeo). It’s super pre-storm windy here tonight, and Mr. Man is next to me on the bed. He’s not eating and not peeing, though he is drinking some, but that concerns me. It may just be that his gums are really sore from the dental work (and he did pee in the truck on the way home). I hate leaving him so soon. At any rate, the helpers will be keeping an eye on him, and I may ask one of them to get him some baby food. I remember doing that with my Boo when she was in her last month and couldn’t eat. He’s a darling. But with such a thick coat of fur, I’ll bet he’s looking forward to winter. Oh, and by the way, “Up we go” was how Kelsea used to ask to be picked up when she was a toddler.

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Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Quote of the Day: “Books. Cats. Life is good.”  — Edward Gorey

Daily gratitudes:
Getting things done
Thunder at night
Febreze
Breakfast for dinner
Cool showers

The view from our room at The View Lodge was like the West personified, although I guess that’s not really the right term when you’re talking about rocks, is it? The lodge projected John Ford movies set in Monument Valley on one of their outside walls every night, which was pretty cool.

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Monument Valley, Arizona.

Quote of the Day: “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” — John Muir

Daily gratitudes:
Soft air in a summer twilight
A working shower
Discovering my peanut allergy safely
Being myself
Morning Red Bull
The Bronte sisters

We had to turn around to go back to take a picture of this sign. MKL didn’t believe me when I told him what I had seen. I guess that’s common with UFOs.

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At an intersection of two roads in northern New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “Keep calm and don’t forget the whipped cream” — Quinn Loftis

Daily gratitudes:
The gorgeous green in our lovely State right now
A surprise drop-in by Kelsea
That my cooking is improving
Iced green tea especially on hot days
Josh the Barista

Please say a prayer tonight for young Dylan Redwine, missing since November, whose body was found by searchers this week. May his soul fly free.

Except for one particular spot that I’ll share with you later, cedar trees are just about the only trees that can survive in Monument Valley.  Some are more famous than others, but I liked this one, which is one of the lesser-known cedars.

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Monument Valley, Arizona.

Quote of the day: “Take wrong turns. Talk to strangers. Open unmarked doors. And if you see a group of people in a field, go find out what they are doing. Do things without always knowing how they’ll turn out. You’re curious and smart and bored, and all you see is the choice between working hard and slacking off. There are so many adventures that you miss because you’re waiting to think of a plan. To find them, look for tiny interesting choices. And remember that you are always making up the future as you go.” — Randall Munroe

Daily gratitudes:
Cleaning up
Baths
My little bungalow
Encouraging Kelsea
The smiling deaf man on 16th Street

We had a wonderful long birthday weekend for MKL. One night in Glenwood Springs, two nights in Monument Valley, and a night at Lost Canyon Lake Lodge, with lots of driving and laughter. I’ll be sharing images from this amazing place over the next few weeks. Hope you enjoy!

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Monument Valley, Arizona.

Quote of the day: “Creativity arises from our ability to see things from many different angles.” — Keri Smith

Daily gratitudes:
Purple silk
MKL
Flowers from my daughter
Surprise meatloaf
Hugs

In between the mountains lie the valleys. Mother Nature, perhaps egged on by man (we don’t know yet), has thrown a tantrum and is burning our Black Forest, which is about 75 miles west of where this picture was taken. This shot was from last year; at this time last year, we were confronted with the vicious and seemingly relentless Waldo Canyon fire. Now we are facing that horror again. If you are not here, you might think “horror” is a rather strong word. You might feel a certain detached sympathy for what we’re experiencing here in Colorado. But as a now longtime resident, this is horrifying and tragic. It is painful to watch on the news, painful to know it is happening just down the highway. I hurt for the people who have lost their homes, and for those who are waiting to see if theirs will go up in flames. My heart breaks for the animals, wild and domesticated, who have fallen victim to fear and flames. This fire is a monster and it is not even close to giving up. Poor Colorado Springs has had enough in the last two years, and this is just the beginning of fire season. MKL and I had talked many times about looking for a house in Black Forest. After today, I am thinking again about living in the midst of the trees. Please include Colorado in your prayers tonight.

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Park County, Colorado.

Quote of the Day: “Gaze into the fire, into the clouds, and as soon as the inner voices begin to speak..surrender to them.” — Hermann Hesse

Daily gratitudes:
Prayers
Tea
MKL
Firefighters
Coloradoan’s generosity of spirit

Little museums can be full of lovely little surprises. A still life reflecting the past, carefully displayed on an old coverlet, can still glow in the sunshine. And we’ll disregard the old wives tale that a hat on the bed is bad luck.

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Anna Maria Island, Florida.

Quote of the day: “Love is giving up control. It’s surrendering the desire to control the other person. The two—love and controlling power over the other person—are mutually exclusive. If we are serious about loving someone, we have to surrender all the desires within us to manipulate the relationship.” — Rob Bell

Daily gratitudes:
That MKL is my handyman
The coolness of my old house on hot days
Green
Snuggling
Beach webcams

 

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