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This is Avocado – Avo, for short – facing the cold, blustery world of Bellingham, Washington. When he’s not looking out the window, he’s snuggling, cuddling to the point of being so contentedly limp as to slide off a lap, and perfectly happy being resettled, purring as loudly as I’ve ever heard a cat purr. He, along with his brother, (Indiana) Jones, are new to the world of my daughter and her wonderful housemates. Found far away from civilization, in a field on a nearby reservation, they are clearly bonded, and love to be loved. And I love them, and my daughter, and her housemates. I flew out to surprise her for her 20th birthday, which was yesterday, and she was indeed totally surprised. It was just how surprises are supposed to work. I have spent today, when she still had class and other social obligations, watching the wind and rain in the tall cypress in their front yard, snuggling cats, reading, writing, and meeting her marvelous friends. I’m not used to being in a house with more than one other person (or animal, for that matter), so it’s been an amazing sensation, to feel surrounded by lots of people who laugh, love, and respect each other, who have strong feelings and opinions about our world and the future, and who delight in each other’s company. Adventures to follow…

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Bellingham, Washington.

Quote of the day: “Time spent with a cat is never wasted.” — Colette

Daily gratitudes:
Music
Peaceful times
Smart souls
Laughter
My daughter’s love and openness to letting me into her life

Sticking with the theme of moving through and forward, this image was one of many windows — and windows always mean openings — and much light that we basked in last February. I love the yellow in this one. It was my Mother’s favorite color.

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Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “She wished she had a little yellow house of her own, with a flower box full of real flowers and herbs – pansies and rosemary – and a sweet lover who would swing dance with her in the evenings and cook pasta and read poetry aloud.” — Francesca Lia Block   (I have the sweet lover, we just need the house.)

Daily gratitudes:
That the Cubs won the World Series after 108 years – my dad would be so proud
Still feeling better
Casting my vote
A quick talk with Kelsea
My soup

 

It’s not a bad thing, but that’s the closest phrase I can find to describe it.

My daughter is in North Carolina. In my hometown. And I’m not there. I guess that shouldn’t be a big deal. It’s actually very cool, and I’m so happy she’s there. She was texting me today from Duke, from the library where my Mother used to work. She stopped by to see one of my parents’ dearest friends. She went to the Chapel, and the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. While she had been to Durham several times before my parents died, she was very small then. She and I spent two nights there when we were on the EAR, and I took her everywhere I could think of and told her as many of my memories as I could. Today, she made some of her own memories. She said it felt weird that I wasn’t there. But then, that’s growing up.

She is such a part of me in every way. I told her the first time she travelled without me and just with her Dad, that there is a very thin silver thread that connects our two hearts, and that no matter how far apart we are, that thin silver thread will always be there. It stretches to infinity, and yes, perhaps, beyond. We both remember this always. I felt it so strongly today. Having her, one who is literally a piece of me, in a place that holds and that shaped so much of my spirit, made me feel as if somehow I was there. It certainly made me feel as if I weren’t all here, in my body, in Colorado. It was such a queer feeling. It has yet to entirely subside. But as I say, it’s not a bad thing. Just very curious.

This is a window in my Father’s library – actually, the Divinity School Library, which will always be my Father’s no matter who the librarian may be. This window itself, the glass, the latch, the tree outside – it’s all the same as when I was a little girl. I can remember how much I liked opening and closing these latches. They felt old. And I felt powerful. It seemed like an appropriate image for today, the dusty glass opening onto a bright new world.

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Durham, North Carolina

Quote of the day: “Even when we’re apart, we’ll be looking at the same sky!” — L.J. Smith

Daily gratitudes:
Small clouds that float lower than storm clouds
MKL
When the people in the office across the way wave hello
Peonies
A newly graded alley (I think)

Windows, doors…all ways in and ways out, and important in our lives both physically and metaphorically. I have seen doors not just slam shut, but implode before me, leaving me left to pull pieces of splintered wood and glass from my heart, but no matter how hard it has been, there has always been a window, albeit one I might have to smash with my bare hands to get through. The doors and windows in my life now are welcoming and clear, and that’s a very good feeling.

And A Door
St. Elmo, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” — Helen Keller

Daily gratitudes:
Tattered Cover’s broccoli-cheese soup
MKL
A strange tinge of fall in the air
Surprises
The sunlight on the wings of wheeling flocks of birds

Remember “Three Windows“? We’re counting down, down, down…

Two Windows
St. Elmo, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “The pursuit of happiness is a matter of choice…it is a positive attitude we choose to express. It is not a gift delivered to our door each morning, nor does it come through the window. And it is certain that our circumstances are not the things that make us joyful. If we wait for them to get just right, we will never laugh again.” — Charles R. Swindoll

Daily gratitudes:
The Paradise
Having all my electronics in place again (thank you, my love)
Kelsea’s AWESOME play during Ultimate All-Stars
Lots of dragonflies
Hearing Hazel Miller sing in Old Town last night

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I love windows. I love taking pictures of windows. I love light and how it shapes whatever it touches. The bungalow is a little bit dark, even though it has a big window in the living room; it’s a bit of a shotgun-style house, which I also love. But the bedrooms are light and when we put a new coat of paint in the living room, it will be much brighter. But I digress. Windows intrigue me in photography, giving just a glimpse of the life that lies behind them. Warmth. Shadows. A suggestion of the owners taste in lace curtains, beads, brocade. A suspicion of age and weather in cracks and dust. A hint of ghosts.

Three Windows
St. Elmo, Colorado.

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:
Rain (once in a while)
Tattered Cover
Soft blankets
Road trips
Traditions

MKL and I have been off the grid, spending three blissful days at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs in northern New Mexico. It has taken me some time to grow to love New Mexico, and some of the landscape is still too stark for me to feel it in my soul, but the sky is a clear blue that I have never seen anywhere else, the quality of light is magical, and the earth has little to hide. Ojo Caliente was historic, lovely, and soothing. They had six soaking pools, and each had its own energy. I”ll share more pictures from our trip this week.

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Ojo Caliente, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “Even today the most jaded city dweller can be unexpectedly moved upon encountering a clear night sky studded with thousands of twinkling stars. When it happens to me after all these years it still takes my breath away.” — Carl Sagan

Daily gratitudes:
Birds flying motionless on air currents
The trees in the yard whipping in the pre-storm wind
Being away
Coming home
Cinnamon red dragonflies

 

The Mary Murphy Mine above St. Elmo is abandoned and (fortunately) one place that we could explore to our heart’s content. We just had to be careful not to fall through the floorboards.

Chaffee County, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”  —  Sophia Loren

Daily gratitudes:
Complimentary homeless people
Pumpkin spice latte
My dangly silver earrings from Santa Fe
Blue cheese stuffed olives
Novels from the 1900s
Salsa dancing with MKL

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