A Summer Ending

Saying goodbye …

Deborah watching the last sunset of summer 2017 (JN Ranch, Sep 21 2017)

Summer, we hardly knew thee.

Fall will begin later this afternoon at 14:02 MDT (20:02 UTC), just in time for a late fall/early winter kind of weekend.


September 11th: Forgotten Stories

It seems like yesterday when so much had changed.

Many of us had seen the images. Each were horrific. The falling man. The falling woman. The collapsing towers. Black smoke pouring from the Pentagon. A smoldering Pennsylvania field. They were all seared into our memory.

In the years since, those images and the countless stories are slowly fading away. It is normal to let the painful memories fade. And, soon they will be forgotten stories though we’ll say, “I will never forget”. The time will come when the only remembering will be done by those families that suffered the losses directly.

These stories need not be forgotten if we choose to remember. To remember the horror. To remember the falling man and the falling woman. To remember the many that perished that day.

Yet in the tragedy of the day, we saw America at her absolute best. We need to remember the countless rescues. To remember the arduous and somber recovery effort at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. To remember the building of the Freedom Tower (1 WTC) and the rebuilding at the Pentagon. While some would call the many actions of the day heroic, to a man, to a woman, they would say, “No, it wasn’t. I was simply doing my job when it counted.”

Why we should remember? It was our worst day. It was our best day.

A pair of stories of why we should remember, and why it matters.


Counting: Twenty Two

A special post by Andrea Kanakredes, RN, MSN.

To be blessed with another beautiful princess was priceless. And, you are that, my baby princess.

Elizabeth: eyes for dad (age 5)

Though you liked the finer things, you were dad’s shadow. You loved to follow wherever he went. In many ways, you continue to accompany him wherever he goes.

When you napped with us, you snuggled ever so close to listen to our hearts beat, to listen to each breath taken. When we hold you close, you continue to listen for our rhythm. Our hearts melt whenever you have left handwritten notes of love for either of us. It is pure sweetness.

There is so much lying ahead of you, with unlimited possibilities. An intelligent and beautiful woman you have become. A successful equestrian, a talented musician. Our perfect baby princess.

Happy 22, baby!

mom and dad

Red, Smoky Haze Hour

The golden hour, this morning, was replaced by the red, smoky haze hour.

sunrise: big orange red

climbing in the sky

sunrise: the long view

Contributing to the sunrise, and the day, in general, the heavy scent of burning pine.

smoky haze at tree level

hidden: sun behind broken clouds and a smoky veil

The smoky haze is from the large wildfires burning in California, Oregon and Washington. It is expected to clear overnight with the passage of a cold front through the state.

Tuxie: Too Suddenly, Too Soon

A year has passed. Much of the shock has faded, but a touch remains. Tuxie’s missing presence is very noticeable too, from watching the world wake in the morning to chasing around the house to snaking on the lap in the evening. His quiet, laid-back personality is missed the most.

Maxie has missed his littermate brother the most. They did a lot things together since their kitten days. Tuxie and Midnight, they took turns bossing each other around. The trio lived true to their Musketeer title, always keeping an eye on each other.

watching the world: flying birds and melting snow

tucked in on a cold winter day

with the optic yellow

Tuxie was a happy cat, friendly once he got to know you. The boy wore his smile everyday. Since Deborah and Elizabeth wear their hair long, Tuxie loved to play with their French braid or ponytail. The braid and ponytail were exotic. Whenever Tara had her hair cut and styled, Tuxie would try to rub against her hair. He loved the scent of the hair product that was used.

Tuxie left too suddenly, too soon.

We love and miss you much.


A Hurricane Note

They were bracing since mid-week with the essentials – water, canned goods, gasoline. It is the kind of weather one does not underestimate, especially in an area that is prone to extensive flooding. Ben had encouraged Cindy, and Tom and Alicia, to stay with him for the duration. His home sits on slightly higher ground. Laurie has stayed in touch with her family, since the initial forecast, making sure they are safe.

San Antonio: a Sunday afternoon downpour (Aug 27 2017)
photo credit: Cindy Westin

While hurricanes can be unpredictable, the forecast models did not anticipate Harvey to reach far north to San Antonio. After making landfall, he certainly did make a run before stopping south and west of Victoria, about 105 miles southeast of San Antonio. They have had their share of torrential rains, but nothing comparable to the rains seen in the Houston area overnight into today.

Harvey is expected to linger along the Texas gulf coast for the remainder of the week, bringing more rain. Hopefully, it is not the additional 25 inches that is in the forecast.