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Still sending prayers to Fort McMurray today. The damage wrought by the fire there is unbelievable. But I do believe in the strength of communities and the hearts of the people who live in them, and who will rebuild them. Just as we have done in our mountain towns of Colorado. I have watched the changes in lives and landscape wrought by Mother Nature at her most tempestuous. I have wept at the devastation. And wept again watching strangers and neighbors come together to heal homes and spirits. From what I have read, the people of Fort McMurray have the same resilience. Tonight, I send them not only prayers, but a shot of calm, blue beauty to ease their heat and hurt.

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Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “It troubled her much to see what a great flame a little wildfire was likely to kindle.” — Thomas Hardy

Daily gratitudes:
A lovely Colorado day
The bird on the stoplight with a Christmas icicle twinkling in its beak
Kelsea being such a blessing on this earth
MKL’s love and encouragement
My little gallery

 

Here’s a quick post to usher in the weekend. I am feeling strangely anxious this evening, and have little to say,  other than that. Tomorrow, it’s the Colorado chainsaw massacre. Let’s hope it’s only the dead tree that loses limbs, not MKL or me.

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Ventanas al Mar, Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.” — Patrick Rothfuss

Daily gratitudes:
Brand new baby cows
The light on the snow on Long’s Peak
How MKL makes me smile a smile that spreads to others
The neighbor’s grandson playing basketball on the back patio
Little girls wearing princess dresses in the middle of the day for no reason other than that they want to, and mothers who understand that and let them

From the bed in our room, we could see the sun rise out of the ocean. The change in light woke me every morning, an awakening I was happy for, unlike the daily grind of an alarm clock, even though it was early. I would get up, slip into my white silk robe, watch the sun come up, shoot some images, and then crawl happily back in bed for another hour or two until breakfast. Every single sunrise was worth it.

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Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “One day you do meet a man who kisses you and you can’t breathe around it and you realize you don’t need air. Oxygen is trivial. Desire makes life happen. Makes it matter. Makes everything worth it. Desire is life. Hunger to see the next sunrise or sunset. To touch the one you love. To try again.” — Karen Marie Moning

Daily gratitudes:
Adults soccer players under siege by tiny soccer players
Sand
Cowboy boots
My poor baby girl with her black eye and sprained ankle
Missing MKL on days we don’t get to see each other

In my continued quest to raise MKL’s spirits, I’m taking us to the long, wide, windswept beaches of the Riviera Maya again. January in Tulum was quite breezy; I suppose February in Cozumel will likely be the same, but that’s just fine. I’m excited to go – we’re a month away as of tomorrow. And today is our five month wedding anniversary, and we’re heading to the Stock Show tomorrow to see llamas, alpacas, rodeo, and whatever other surprises we encounter. He has promised to do his best to take the place of Kelsea – this is the first year she will miss the Stock Show, having gone every year since she was a month and a half old. He’s a very good husband. 🙂

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Tulum, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “When we travel, we aim for the sublime. It’s the ridiculous stuff, however, that we tend to treasure the most.” — Erik Torkells

Daily gratitudes:
The surprise return of a favorite blogger after a year-long hiatus
Working from home on a snow day
A cuddly Maine Coon
My stepsons
A clean(ish) kitchen

 

 

 

I love the way the little palm spawn are playing around the grown-up palm in this image. This was taken at a very odd little resort that my niece and I passed through as we walked back from the main Tulum ruins to our little hotel. If I were younger, it’s a place I might have liked to stay, because each room was just a little tiny house, all painted in bright tropical colors. But there were communal bathrooms (no) and no cross-breezes in the tiny houses (oven) – neither of those things feeds the soul in need of sanctuary.  But palm trees, and the sound of the wind through the fronds, always does.

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Tulum, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “In the winter she curls up around a good book and dreams away the cold.” — Ben Aaronovitch

Daily gratitudes:
The Stock Show parade
Hearing coyotes howling in the open space near my bungalow
Old fashioned radiators to warm MKL’s feet
Island dreaming
Only 72 days until spring

And this was my buddy on one particular day. He looks rather magical doesn’t he?  I don’t know that my upcoming trip will afford much water time, but I don’t care. It will be a honeymoon at a remote spot on a long beach, and the only things I need are MKL, a book, and a bottle of something. We’re counting down. It’s wonderful to have someplace warm to count down to.

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Little Cayman, Cayman Islands.

Quote of the day: “When we travel, we aim for the sublime. It’s the ridiculous stuff, however, that we tend to treasure the most.” — Erik Torkells

Daily gratitudes:
Battling a bug
Experiences
New boots
Milk
New reading glasses

Rest in peace, Gig Michaels. Your heart and your music will be greatly missed here, but you’ll totally rock heaven.

We were in Hawaii for our last post. Let’s jet over to Grand Cayman for tonight’s send-off. Sunsets are one of those ubiquitous things that always happen, whether we see them or not. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to see many beautiful sunsets (though no green flash) and always love thinking of the sun rising on the other side of the earth as I watch it sink into whatever horizon is before me.

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Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

I encountered an odd coincidence in the news today. A 54-year old man was struck and killed by an Amtrak train in my hometown of Durham yesterday. A sad event indeed. The coincidence? That a 53-year old man was struck and killed by an Amtrak train yesterday in a town next to the one where my daughter is in college. Another sad event. Just kind of odd.

Quote of the day: “Meet me where the sky touches the sea. Wait for me where the world begins.” — Jennifer Donnelly

Daily gratitudes:
Cuddling
Ab workouts
Ocelet footie pajamas
Peyton Manning (regardless)
The Amazon commercial with the little pony

Not here, for we have clear weather here, and have been most fortunate for this time of year.

In Great Exuma, a place that MKL and I have come to love very much. The place that apparently Hurricane Joaquin loves very much as well, so much that he has decided to linger over the Out Islands, and seems to hate to leave. Bright waters and beautiful days will return though, and Georgetown and Hoopers Bay will dry out. That is the way of islands and islands along with them. Those who live by and love the sea know that, as I saw in tattoo form on a woman’s arm in a little café in RoadTown, Tortola, “the sea always wins’, but its people never give up. They love it too much.

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Great Exuma, Out Islands, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “she lived with hurricane eyes and fell in love with the way the waves collapsed against her cheeks.” — Christopher Poindexter

Daily gratitudes:
The couple getting wedding pictures taken in front of the train at Union Station
That Joaquin may be moving out to sea (but you can never tell with hurricanes)
A call from Kelsea this morning
That they caught the Trojan virus on my computer before it did any damage
That having the Tabasco bottle fall from the cabinet above the stove into the oven through the cracked open door (because I was broiling things) and roll into the back of the oven – not once but twice within five minutes – did not result in another kitchen disaster

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