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Thank you all for your love and support from my last few postings. You are all so special to me. I read an article about the “Anniversary Train” in which we have a choice about hopping aboard the train that carries the memories and mourning from the days on which we lost loved ones. It was timely, and I wonder what choices I will make about remembering these anniversaries going forward, but as I say, I am not filled with sadness, but with a sense of honor of having been a part of such a rich and rare experience.

Enough of that now.

We had our first big snowfall yesterday – nearly up to my knees – and my back felt like I shoveled the entire state’s-worth last night, but it was pretty. And so I send you a holiday card from Colorado tonight. This was taken on Saturday up where I work on the weekends. I hope that whatever and however you celebrate this season, that your festivities are full of joy.

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Estes Park, Colorado.

Quote of the Day: “She was glad that the cozy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.” — Laura Ingalls Wilder

Daily gratitudes:
Unmet friends
Chance areas of complementary grace
Christmas lights
That Kelsea is home
As always, my MKL

My little town is an art town. We have sculptures lining our Main Street, and a program called Alley Art, in which you can have a mural painted on your alley-facing garage door. Murals are also found on the sides of buildings “downtown”, and I’ve had all good intentions of going on a few walkabouts at different times of day to capture images to share here. But we start where we start, don’t we? This is the first piece of art one sees as one heads into town coming South on the highway. It’s next to a bike path – and to WalMart, but we’ll forgive these two cheerful metal cows for that.

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Lafayette, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “We all have bovine instincts deep within us.” —  Anonymous

Daily gratitudes:
Knowing I can sleep in a little bit tomorrow
A single leaf waving like a little hand
New blog friends (and of course, long-standing ones)
The BBC
The dilly of a thunderstorm we’re having right now (though Mr. Man doesn’t like it one bit)

Because we have sunsets like this. I know sunsets are lovely almost everywhere (especially at the beach), but watching the sun go down behind the Rocky Mountains, and waiting for the changing, remaining light, is a blessing that not everyone gets to see in their life. If we position ourselves properly, we get to see it every day. There’s a Jimmy Buffett song that is one of my theme songs – come now, don’t you have theme songs? admit it… this one is called “Hula Girl At Heart” and you can hear it here, and one of the lines is “she always sees the sun go down”. Since I’m by no means a morning person, I’m making seeing sunset as often as possible (and as often as possible with MKL) one of my life goals.

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Lyons, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “You can never replace anyone because everyone is made up of such beautiful specific details.” — Julie Delpy

Daily gratitudes:
A single peony from MKL
Actually figuring out some electronic connection (even though I don’t know how I did it)
A quest for the perfect vintage hat
Making it from bed to bus in 19 minutes this morning
Sugar-free Red Bull

Because we have mountains that are over 14,000 feet. In fact, we have 53 of them. Do you know that’s the cruising altitude of some small aircraft? We drove up to the top of Mt. Evans yesterday, which is 14,130 feet tall. We didn’t do the final ascent to the very tip-top of the rocks because MKL did not have a jacket and it was freezing up there, but we will on our next trip up. In fact, this might be a fourteener that I could climb, something I have on my list for the next year or two. It was a winding road up, snowbanks on the sides of the road in spots, and wild and windy at the top, with beautiful amazing views all the way to South Park and the Sawatch Range. I was definitely a little disoriented by the altitude, spinning in my head and having to hold onto MKL, or fall down. It was hot in Denver yesterday, so this was a perfect day to go up.

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Mt. Evans, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know – unless it be to share our laughter.  We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.” —  James Kavanaugh

Daily gratitudes:
Drinking coffee on the abstract bench this morning
Soft breezes
A new restaurant
Singing along to my iPod in the truck
Shoes that make my feet look tiny

 

 

Because there are curvy roads that lead to beautiful mountains. And elk, which maybe I will share with you tomorrow. And for my fellow beach lovers, I know you haven’t seen any tropical shots for a bit, but the good news is I have two sets of tickets to beaches in the next five months – one, an old, familiar and most beloved spot, and one a new unexplored destination. Much to look forward to!

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Outside of Estes Park, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”  —  Anne Frank

Daily gratitudes:
A night with Kelsea
Fishtail dresses
MKL
Good work
Twilight blue

 

I have been quiet again because we had a scare with Mr. Man the Maine Coon being very ill. But some days, much trauma, many tears, many pills, many purrs and prayers, and it seems he is much better. Having his Aunt Tamara and Cousin Taylar here this week was a huge boost to both him and me. My dear Tamara is truly a cat whisperer and the similarities between us were simply astounding. More on that later. This image is the view that MKL and I had of Long’s Peak from Veteran’s Park in Boulder last weekend on our delightful date night. I hope you all had a lovely week. I’ll be sharing images of Denver’s new Union Station (aka the BoobWorm) and the Garden of the Gods in the coming week, so stay tuned!

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Boulder, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “You’re never lost. You always know exactly where you are. You’re right here. It’s just that sometimes you’ve misplaced your destination.” — Brian W. Porter

Daily gratitudes:
(So many lately!)
Friendly babies
The feeling of family
Natural beauty
Young deer
Photography

I have an earache. I don’t think I’ve had an earache since I was two, and I remember that one quite well. That’s what happens when you take public transportation. You pick up all kinds of things. Including knowledge. Yesterday, the gentleman on the bus behind me talked non-stop on the phone for the 45-minute ride home, which I consider rather bad form. But he did say his wife works for NCAR (the National Center for Atmospheric Research) in Boulder, and that according to their model, the incredibly devastating floods that we had in a couple of months ago were the result of a tropical storm. Yes, we had a tropical storm at 10,000 feet. Who knew?

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Estes Park, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.” — Karen Blixen

Daily gratitudes:
Mr. Man
Watching Mary Poppins as a grown-up
My Santa Hat
Doing good deeds
Getting the Christmas tree to (almost) stand up straight by myself

Kelsea and I took a lovely drive today. I needed to be up, up, up in the air, and feel the peace and solidity of the mountains surround me, helping me remember what’s real and what really matters. I have lovely memories of this spot and it was nice to make some more today.

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Boulder, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.  A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake.  But to live with a soul mate forever?  Nah. Too painful.  Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.  A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…” —  Elizabeth Gilbert

Daily gratitudes:
Sunshine
Kelsea
MKL tucking me in when he left this morning
Pam
Wind in my hair
My Coconut Chicken Thai Curry Soup

 

A gentle sunset on the Front Range…perhaps our last for a while, as the weather is to turn cold and snowy this weekend.

Boulder County, Colorado.

Quote of the Day: “Be still. it takes no effort to be still; it is utterly simple. When your mind is still, you have no name, you have no past, you have no relationships, you have no country, you have no spiritual attainment, you have no lack of spiritual attainment. There is just the presence of beingness with itself”.   —  Gangaji

Daily gratitudes:
Finding humor in awkwardness
Owning my grumblebunny attitude
Real bunnies
A brisk walk
Foster the stuffed koala bear

Photo title: Along The Road In Colorado


Somewhere on the way to Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Women don’t have halos built in.”  —  Lorraine Hines

Daily gratitudes:
A night in which I didn’t kick the covers off once
Howard Keel’s voice
Sunsets from high-up places
My brain
The Red Couch

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