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We’ll leave the beach for a day, and you can see what I see every day — Union Station in Denver. It’s a beautiful building, and often in the morning, people are lined up waiting for the California Zephyr to take them on to parts west. While in the past two years, it has been transformed from what was for me, a sanctuary of stillness and spirit, to a hub for people to sit, work, chat, eat, drink, and generally be social, it still retains a touch of its old self, especially on the outside. And I can still feel the ghosts, way up in the arches of the ceiling.

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Denver, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “These times are too progressive. Everything has changed too fast. Railroads and telegraphs and kerosene and coal stoves — they’re good to have but the trouble is, folks get to depend on ’em.” — Laura Ingalls Wilder

Daily gratitudes:
That the blues have lightened a bit
The magnificent view of the Front Range
How the stars seemed to have shifted tonight
MKL
Mr. Man all snuggled up by my side

No, not the kind you usually see from me, but an actual human-hand-wave. I’ll be away for a few days, so I thought it only fitting that I wave goodbye and blow virtual kisses to all my delightful followers.  Surprises for everyone when I return!

Kelsea and I took the Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Rail Road on a lovely June day. We sat in the open car and found ourselves still trying to get the soot and ash out of our hair two days later, but it was great fun.

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Cripple Creek, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” — Alan Wilson Watts

Daily gratitudes:
Kelsea
Books
Having all the laundry put away (and the dishes done)
Purrs
Earl Grey of Halifax’s Tuxedo Party

We saw this road from the train, and then we had the chance to drive it. It was as delicious as it looked. It was wonderful how the train crossed the road, back and forth, over and over. People would stop and get out of their cars to wave and take pictures as we passed by. I’d like to see the train from the road, now that I’ve seen the road from the train!

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Somewhere in New Mexico…or maybe Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep out alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no when you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. Believe in kissing.” — Eve Ensler

Daily gratitudes:
Jessica in physical therapy
That the ocean is somewhere out there, east or west
A patch of blue sky in the grey
Reiki bubbles
Knowing that what’s given to my heart is more important than what I wear on my finger

I miss cabooses on trains, especially little red cabooses.  When I was a child and we were fortunate enough to be at the front of a railroad crossing when a freight train came through, we would always wave at the man on the caboose and the man would always wave back.  This cheerful little Christmas caboose stirred up some nice memories, even as MKL and I made new ones.

Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.”  —  Jack Kerouac

Daily gratitudes:
MKL
Jerk chicken soup
A bath in my clawfoot tub
Slight fog
Rudolpho

Photo title: Between the Rails

Pueblo, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Patterns of the past echo in the present and resound through the future.”  —  Dhyani Ywahoo

Daily gratitudes:
Cool mornings
Cowboy hats
Hot air balloons in the morning
That the bus driver’s seat bounces
Old bank vaults

I wrote before about losing my friend Andrew to a tragic accident on September 1.  Today was the day of his memorial service here in Boulder.  I had definitely shed a few tears, but as is often the case with me, I had delayed my reaction to his death for several weeks.  I was tearful through most of the service, but once I hugged our friend C.J., the emotional dam cracked.  I started to weep.  After composing myself slightly, I sat and watched the slide show that Drew’s nephew had put together; then I lost it.  Just lost it.  The dam broke.  His dear friend Tom came and sat with me, clearly beaten down by his own grief, and let me cry.  He gave me one of Drew’s many (many) bandanas to cry in, to dry my tears, to remember him by.  Then I got better.

It is so hard to know that he is gone, that I won’t see him again. SO hard.

This celebration of Andrew was exactly what he would have wanted.  It was exactly what he DID want.  All his friends together, from all over the country, telling stories, laughing, crying.  So many of us walked away today with the same resolution – to be like Andrew and keep connected with our friends.   If there was one thing that stands out for me about him, it was his remarkable gift for staying in touch, for caring across the miles, for making sure you KNEW that he cared.  The best way that any of his friends could possibly honor him is to live our lives in that same spirit – the spirit of letting our friends know that they are not forgotten, not alone.  That is the simple, priceless legacy of this oh-so-human man.

One of the nicest things about today, aside from seeing some old friends, was making a new one.  What a wonderful surprise, what a wonderful gift, that I sat next to a woman I had met before, and we discovered we hit it off like we’d known each other for years.

I had been talking with a friend about this last night, about how bad I am at staying in touch with people who I love.  After today, I am more resolved than ever to change that facet of myself, to shed my own perception of myself as someone others don’t care about staying in touch with.  That perception is built solely by me and my own actions.  If I don’t like it, I can do something about it.  And that something will allow my life to be fuller and richer, just as Andrew’s was.  He never did anything halfway, and no one who knew him could say that his life was half-lived.  There were bad times and wonderful times, and he lived them all to the fullest extent possible.  The pictures of him on the slide show, on the cubes on the tables, all showed his joy.  I now wish I had been able to share in that joy even more than I did.

Of course, Andrew was there.  Towards the end of the afternoon, I experienced that odd shamanic phenomenon of seeing his face in others, just a glance, a glimpse, and it was gone.  On top of my visit with him a few days after his passing, it made sense – he did love to play and no one loved a good party better than Drew.  And he wanted so much to be sure that everyone was okay – especially Sarah.  He is playing now, playing with his new abilities to stay in touch with the people he loved.  He is smiling, as always.

His sister and his friends did a wonderful job arranging everything, expressing their feelings, and helping all of us remember the joy that was Andrew.  I thank them.  And I thank members of his railroad family for coming.

But most of all, I thank Andrew for having been a part of my life.  I miss him.

March 2019
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