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Are we here?

No.

But we did write this on the beach last year, so I thought I’d share it today, even if it is Boxing Day, not Christmas Day. MKL and I are celebrating our Christmas tonight, so for us it IS still Christmas Day. Love to you all.33

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Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ” — Norman Vincent Peale

Daily gratitudes:
MKL
Extended Christmases
Having Kelsea home
Mr. Man
Herman Douglas the Moose

You might have to look closely to grok this image. My words today feel like an interesting side dish to the picture.

When I was walking back from lunch with MKL today, a young man catcalled at me out of a car window. Now mind, I have just turned 53 years old, and I was not dressed provocatively. I found myself with a quick succession of thoughts that went something like this:

“Wow, that’s flattering. And at my age. Wait, no that’s not flattering at all – that’s rude. Where is my feminist side? Don’t parents ever talk to their sons about not yelling at women on the street [mind flashes to recent videos of a woman walking through New York with someone recording men’s responses to her and the video of reverse behavior with men facing hootsand catcalls from women]? Don’t most parents teach their sons to respect women? I was just totally objectified, and yet it doesn’t bother me. Why not? Because that young man did nothing to define me or who I am or how I feel about myself.”

Hmmm. Strange reflections.

Strange Reflections
Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “It’s not my responsibility to be beautiful. I’m not alive for that purpose. My existence is not about how desirable you find me.” — Warsan Shire

Daily gratitudes:
The small herd of black yak we saw driving up to Steamboat
That my truck has four wheel-drive so I can get through my own alley that the utility company has turned into a mud pit
That Jess at Half-Girl Half-Teacup has raised my consciousness – a young woman wise beyond her years
That Mr. Man is acting a bit more like himself
That MKL loves me

I love diamonds on the water . Because life is too short not to sparkle.

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Little Cayman.

Quote of the day: “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Daily gratitudes:
Kelsea, Kelsea, Kelsea
Travel planning
Downton Abbey
Traditions
My scrambled eggs with lox
Versaries

Why a random picture of a duck? Why not? He participated in one of my senior picture shoots with Kelsea. And he has an awesome Mohawk.’

Today would have been my father’s 93rd birthday. I miss him.

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Lyons, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.” — Hermann Hesse

Daily gratitudes:
A beautiful day
Working on the book again
A good visit with my darling daughter
Having the freedom to vote
New tires on the truck

It’s a shame that when I type that title, a phrase I’ve always considered lovely and representative of the best of these days, I have to wonder if I am being politically correct. I certainly don’t mean to offend. To me Indian Summer are the last days I can go barefoot, the days when I are planning for how to make it through one more Colorado winter, one more tropical trip in the offing, and then MKL trying to figure out how to combine houses…somewhere. Kelsea and I used the time today (much to her chagrin) to try once again to get a good senior picture for her. I’m a good enough photographer that I feel I should be able to do this, and there are some that will do, but none that I am completely thrilled with. Still, the choice is up to her, as most of her choices are these days. This is the spot we chose for both sessions – though her shots, for the most part, include her beloved truck, and in some cases, a random duck that we made friends with. MKL and I snuggled in late this morning. I made bacon and egg sandwiches, much to the chagrin of my still-tempermental stomach, and I realized that I actually do know how to not work for two consecutive days. Go me! Hope you had a happy weekend.

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Outside of Lyons, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.” — Anais Nin

Daily gratitudes:
Our Mohawk duck friend
A rare treat of a chocolate shake
Kelsea
Love
Snuggles

Yes. I am coming up for air. And soon, so soon, we will be back up in the air flying over and to waters like these. It has been a crazy time for work, for my daughter, for seemingly everything, but I am coming back to a pace that doesn’t kill. It seems to have been a lovely fall here in Colorado. I had seen the aspens briefly on the way to work at Job #3,  but had no time to take pictures. We had big winds last night, swirling the golden leaves in the pig run, and letting the trees show off their spindly bare arms. I am hoping MKL and I will have a day to drive into the mountains this weekend, just so I can get a proper taste of fall before it collapses into winter. But let’s all remember that, thanks to a calm hurricane season (touch wood), we will have blue skies, white clouds, and warm calm seas ahead.

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I love this shot – it looks like a slightly abstract painting to me.

It’s the end of a long-short week – curious, isn’t it, how four-day work weeks can feel as if they are six days long? I’ve had a lot of thoughts this week – about the future, about possessions, about forgiveness, about mortality – and have reached no particular conclusions, except that I am looking forward to the future. And the rest of those things take work – except for mortality, of course, because we have so little control over that.

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Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.” — Gloria Steinem

Daily gratitudes:
Watching tiny children determined to open heavy doors
Increasing the weights in my workouts every day
Snuggles with Mr. Man
Fred Astaire dancing on the ceiling in “Royal Wedding”
That stuff that melts ice on the sidewalk

 

We did not make it here for dinner or sunset, but I thought our short stop here was beautiful nonetheless. Hope you think so too. It has been so hard to come back to chill winds, long work nights, and having to scrape my truck windshield in the mornings.  Memories and dreams can keep me warm for now.

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Catchafire, Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”  — Ayn Rand

Daily gratitudes:
Two Bichon Frise sightings
MKL and a lovely date night
Mr. Man’s paw on my hand
My comfy couch on a day I’m not feeling good
The movie “Gravity”
My new zebra frying pan

And on a sad note, please say a prayer for the family and friends of one of Kelsea’s friends who passed away on Friday. 17 is always too young.

It’s the end of the week for most people (yea!) though not for me yet. But that’s okay. I’m having a quiet night at home tonight. Though I miss MKL.

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Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “She craved a presence beside her, solid. Fingertips light at the nape of her neck and a voice meeting hers in the dark. Someone who would wait with an umbrella to walk her home in the rain, and smile like sunshine when he saw her coming. Who would dance with her on her balcony, keep his promises and know her secrets, and make a tiny world wherever he was, with just her and his arms and his whisper and her trust.” — Laini Taylor

(And I have that in MKL. Mushy sigh…)

Daily gratitudes:
Little kids playing soccer
Pigeons with interesting feathers
Getting to pet three pugs today
Kisses
Clothilde’s mini-me
A cold Red Stripe on a hot day

 

I have books brewing in my head, three of them, and I started work again on my first novel, so I’m excited. I told Kelsea that each book would pay for one year of college. So I’d better get on with it.  I had forgotten that when I am in writing mode, I lose track of everything else. I got lost walking down a city block today. Fortunately, I was holding MKL’s hand, so he kept me from getting run over or covered in paint from the workers on scaffolding.

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Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”  —  William Wordsworth

Daily gratitudes:
The man with the turquoise tennis shoes on the bench this morning
Swirls and spurts of creativity
Inspirations
Good hair days
Pink

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