Chasing Sunsets

Time seems to pass quicker as we get older, or so they say…. and the days tend to run together in a blur.   I am determined to avoid looking back and wondering where the time went.  With that as a goal, there are a few things that I like to do to make each day a little more memorable:

My motto:
**go somewhere you haven’t explored before – as often as possible (daily is best, but at least once a week… Geocaching is a great way to discover places… even close to home!)**

And… along the way…

1) take lots of photographs – at least one a day, posted now in a photo-a-day album.. and included in my rotating screen saver so I am reminded of adventures long after they are history (digital photography makes this so much easier than it once was)

2) make notes about location and activities on calendar… I have a stack of calendars that mark events in my life through the decades- easy to leaf through and recollect.  The calendars we used as my kids were growing up are full of appointments and meetings.  Now they reflect more places and events.

3) celebrate daily transitions- take time to pause and watch the sun come up or go down over the horizon.  I’ve been stopping to sit and enjoy the sunrise or sunset since I was in high school.  Fortunately, I share my life with someone who appreciates this time of day, too.

As a matter of fact… Scott and I have been chasing sunsets together for over 35 years…. it’s something we can do wherever we are… set aside the craziness and rush, stop the car or venture to a scenic spot…. and slow down for a few minutes together.

You might think that sunset photos would tend to look alike… not true. As I searched through these, I smiled at the time and place each one recalled… The conversations, the adventures of the day, the shared memories.

Here are a few mementos of shared sunsets that we have gathered over the years:

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How do you slow down? Want to catch a sunset together? … Sure…. Let’s go!

Historical Places and Times

History was not my favorite subject in school.  So steeped in detail and far removed from my experience…. it was something I memorized long enough to ace the test.  It was not until I had lived enough years to feel a part of history that I could internalize some of the related details of familiar events.

Northern Arizona is a part of my life.  The changes that have happened since I left are recent history. . . sharing memories with “old timers” is an interesting pleasure.

Yesterday we visited the old mining town of Jerome… a small artisan community of free spirits when I was in college, now home to pricey galleries and shops catering to tourists as well as local craftsmanship.  Perched on a steep hillside, this town still flaunts its history.  It is rustic, rough and charming.  I love that local artists continue to create here.

The “new age” spiritual movement has drastically altered this region.  Sleepy, quiet towns and wilderness have become more well-known and popular than any of us could have imagined thirty years ago.

While I was mostly unaware of the infamous “Day of Harmonic Convergence” … August 16-17, 1987 was a particularly significant date in Sedona’s history.  I have  heard several local people talk about the day’s events with disbelief and humorous recollections. All I know is the sudden popularity drastically changed this region.  Luckily, they continue to cherish the landscape and have made much of it off-limits to further development.

I wonder if December 21, 2012 will have an additional impact on this community?

I am from…..

sunset on the rim of the Grand Canyon

I am from saguaro and ocotillo thorns
Poppies that bloom with the spring rain
and desert sunsets
I am from red ants and bare feet
Tarred dirt roads, trailer parks
And rainy night scrambles with neighborhood friends
gathering buckets of frogs in the dark
I am from my father’s arthritic pain
From my mother’s brusque demeanor
From “don’t take yourself so seriously ” to
“focus on what you CAN do, not what you CAN’T”
My grandma brushing my curls into ringlets
Family reunions, Scottish brogue and campfire music
Milk toast and tea to settle a stomach
Goulash and cream puffs made from scratch
I am from rustic cabins in National Parks
Grand Canyon, Zion, Yellowstone
Predawn fishing and trout for breakfast
Taking time for the color of sunset
I am from rebellion, risk, and curiosity
calmed by a thirst for knowledge
I am from broken families and forgotten lives
I am left behind and leading the way