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As Hurricane Patricia pounds Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, and little fishing villages such as my much-longed for Yelapa tonight, my thoughts and blessings and white lights and prayers are with the people who try to scratch out happy lives there. I have been dream shopping for trips back Puerto Morales, Isla Holbox, Yelapa, and Cozumel for February, and am always a fan of patronizing a place trying to recover from a disaster, just so I can help a place and its people recover. These areas, while know for tourism, are also homes to families who do not have steel-reinforced structures, and who can lost everything in 175 mph winds. I have seen the damage a strong hurricane can cause in North Carolina, a place where people have the resources to rebuild, and my heart goes out to those in poorer cultures who don’t have that kind of help.

I know that this worst-ever-hurricane pounded areas north of my previous stomping grounds, but I wanted to post an image of the white sand beauty of the area from when Niece #1 and I took our wonderful trip down there and I thought she’d been kidnapped looking for hielo. She’s an excellent traveling companion and the trip was a blessing I’ll always remember. So join me please, in prayers for Mexico and its lovely people and to many more beautiful, mystical trips there.

Riviera Maya
Tulum, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “Some things just couldn’t be protected from storms. Some things simply needed to be broken off…Once old thing were broken off, amazingly beautiful thing could grow in their place.” — Denise Hildreth Jones

Daily gratitudes:
Big skies today
A morning that looked like Scotland
A toast to the success ofAnastasia Fawni
Making it home just in time when your stomach is upset
MKL’s hugs

Today was my first semi-normal day since the flood. I was back in the office, and had a lot to do and wasn’t as freaked out as I was on Monday. So that’s all yay. I did take a Xanax last night before going to bed, so I slept better and my anxiety level was pretty low. Since I’ve never taken anything like that, it felt like going on a first date – you just don’t know how it’s going to go. Will it work out? Or will you be miserably uncomfortable? I’m glad it was a good experience, but I don’t wish to date Xanax regularly. I just want normal back – even if it’s a new normal.

The FEMA inspector/adjuster comes tomorrow morning, so we’ll see what happens next. The flood insurance adjuster has yet to send the paperwork we need to complete, though he did send a sample of what the completed form should look like (uh, dude?) Family comes in tomorrow to help ex-Pat with house stuff, which is good. I’m sure it will be nice for him to have his brother with him.

The ick part of today was the rainclouds. Where I am in my office, I am not next to a window, but if I stand up in my little cube, I can see the wall of windows to the outside world. However, I don’t have to stand up to see when it’s getting gray out. I can just tell by the slight variation in the light in the room. And as soon I saw the clouds today, I got cold sweats. In case I haven’t mentioned it, that’s one of the attractive ways that my el weirdo anxiety is manifesting. Any element over which I have no control that triggers thoughts of the flood also triggers clammy, cold sweats. Uber attractive.

And a sky that looks like this:

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And this:

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And this:

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really does a number on me right now. 

There have been a lot of poignant stories coming out of Boulder, of rescues and passings, of good and the kindness of strangers. I have always been impressed with the true character of Coloradoans, but never moreso than now.  Even though I, like so many others here, am a transplant, I’ve been here long enough to take root, and I’m so proud of my State.  As we unbury our treasures, and dry our tears and our carpets, as those lost souls who were unaccounted for continue to be found, keep us in your prayers.

Quote of the day: “It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space.” — Edward Abbey

Daily gratitudes:
Seeing MKL today
Work
Mr. Man
My cozy, dry house
The chirping of crickets
That Kelsea had a successful, super-long drive yesterday

 

 

It is a lovely day here. No rain, not even a drop. There is still debris in a lot of places – trees, boards, roots, and parts of people’s lives. But those lives are moving on, forward, ahead, and towards the next thing.

In the case of my half-house, the next thing is how quickly ex-Pat can get a new water heater, because apparently, when he has to scape the mud off the top of the water heater, the insurance adjuster considers it a total loss. And that’s one of those important things for doing dishes and showering. They cleaned out the last room yesterday, and I have lost a lot of photos and slides, which makes me very sad, but I’m hoping there is some way of salvaging them.

My anxiety levels are still super-high, but a little bit better this morning. The eye doctor, much as I love her, didn’t help by telling me that I have some pre-cataract thing in my left eye (seriously, body, how old do you think you are??????), so that added to the anxiety-cold-sweat-o-meter today. MKL says he will still love me if I go blind, and he has fabulous descriptive powers, and cataracts are surgically fixable. So. Yea.

I think I will try one of my newly prescribed Xanax before bed.  As I say, a beautiful life goes on.

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Lafayette, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Loss carves out a deep, hollow pocket. There’s no magical way to fill it, no medicine or Band-Aid or surgery to cure it. I suppose that over time you get used to it, but the feeling never totally goes away. And the more time you spend on earth, the more pockets you’ll collect. But it’s part of living. It’s life.” — Suzanne Selfors

Daily gratitudes:
Improvements
The little girl with the “Where the Wild Things Are Umbrella” as big as she was
My fluffy Mr. Man
MKL’s support
Peace
The sound of the ocean waves

 

 

I’m sorry if I’m writing a lot about the Flood. It’s been really traumatic – combine the empath-me with the flood-damaged-homeowner-me, and you have the unbearable-anxiety-riddled-me – who is trying to work and be a mom and stay in some kind of balance. It’s not working very well. I’m not used to feeling like this. Depression, I understand – anxiety, not so much.

The water is receding, though we still have hundreds of people unaccounted for. Hopefully, that number will go down as people who have no power get access to communications again. Kudos to Xcel Energy for working so very hard to keep the lights on. Even though my half-house has a lot of damage, it never lost power.  The flood insurance adjuster came today, took about 100 pictures, and will hopefully file a good claim on our behalf, or however that works. Turns out we’re insured by Lloyd’s of London, which makes me feel a little hoity-toity. We’ll see how they measure up in terms of fairness. I don’t have a lot of faith in insurance companies, but I’m trying to stay positive, beneath my strung-so-tight nerves and flesh and bone under this fragile layer of skin that covers them.

I hope that soon, I don’t get that frisson of fear when I see a rain cloud over the mountains. That soon, I will stop trying to take roads that are closed. Soon, I will be able to walk the mountains without fear of the earth collapsing beneath my feet. Soon.

And now, here’s a chicken.

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Denver, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” — Max Ehrmann

Daily gratitudes:
Not hitting a bird with my truck this morning
My new green chile-ground beef dish
Sunbeams at sunset tonight
MKL’s supportivenss (and hugs)
Wearing my softest T-shirt tonight

And a special shout-out to the lady in the grocery store who told me that “That color looks great on you!” You have no idea how much I needed to hear that at just that moment.

 

The day my Mother died, my brother and I packed up all her remaining things, dividing them between us and the donation people.  We then loaded her car and I drove off to Colorado.  Most of the boxes went into the shed.  And there they’ve sat.  I’ve opened maybe two of them, and that was two years ago – it was too painful.  Now that I’m in a better headspace around losing her, I am determined to start going through the boxes.

I brought two of them home yesterday and opened them.  One contained a narrow, metal, three-sided filigree rim that looks like it might have come from a tray or a shelf.  In other words, I have no idea what it is or why I wanted to keep it.  Hmm.

When I opened the second box, a wave of my Mother’s scent wafted forth.  It was wonderful.  Everyone has their own scent, and you don’t even notice it sometimes until that person is gone, but I always loved the way my Mother smelled – it was  a combination of subtle perfume, lavender, and just mommy.  It swept me back, so far back, back to when I was a small child flopping on the laundry on my parents’ bed, back to laps and cuddles, back to looking through her closets and trying on her shoes, back to hugs when I returned as a young woman, back to the last time I cried with my head in her lap.

Back to a good place.  A sweet place.  A poignant place.

The box itself contained silver candlesticks that I don’t remember and four silver-plated goblets that I had forgotten, but that instantly transported me to standing before the fireplace looking at them on the mantel.  Amazing that a box that contained household objects and not personal things like perfume or clothes, could still hold so much of her.  But the few things she kept when she sold the house all held so much of our family, our history, our love for each other.

I am not yet ready to open another box, even though it was not a bad experience.  It did leave me doing that thing where you think, “I need Aunt Ene’s sugar cookie recipe.  I’ll call Mother.  Oh….”.  So I guess I have to take it one little step at a time.

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