Seasons (30 Days of Gratitude: Day 24)

When the days grow shorter, and sunshine seems in scarce supply, it is easy to complain about the change of seasons.

But the change of seasons also brings new perspectives, an appreciation of shifting landscapes — different, yet the same. The open water of summer, bordered by lush green foliage, transitions to the stark grays and whites of the frozen lake surrounded by shadows of spring in waiting. Each season has a beauty of its own.

~ Kat

Serene Sunsets (30 Days of Gratitude: Day 17)

Minnesota’s 10,000+ lakes create a special space … one where peace and serenity reign as the loon’s haunting call floats across the water. When the sun dips below the horizon, the sky may take on a golden hue, or brilliant pinks and oranges and reds … or sometimes it just quietly shifts to soothing blues and purples, fading seamlessly into the dark of night.

Serene Sunset on one of Minnesota's 10,000 Lakes

~ Kat

Magical Night Sky (30 Days of Gratitude: Day 15)

Even when it’s only a glow along the horizon, the northern lights still dazzle and leave us in awe.

Northern lights in the Northern Minnesota sky

Standing at the end of the forest, with eyes toward the Northern Minnesota sky, the rest of the world simultaneously falls away and seems to grow limitless. Every viewing is just as magical as if one were seeing them for the first time.

~ Kat

Change of Seasons (30 Days of Gratitude: Day 10)

Minnesotans love to talk about the weather. It’s probably because there’s always something to talk about. We gripe when the weather turns hot and humid; we gripe just as loud when the temps turn frigid and the snow piles up.

Winter versus Fall

Setting aside the aggravations, the change of seasons brings new delights — a shift in colors, a fresh look for old landscapes. The changing seasons also bring with them a perennial sense of renewal with the comforting pattern of spring to summer, fall to winter. Always a chance to begin again …

~ Kat

 

Preserving Moments, Part II (30 Days of Gratitude: Day 8)

On Day 6 of the 30 Days of Gratitude, I recalled fond vacation memories and spending time with family on St. John, USVI … years before the devastation of the Hurricane Irma ripped so much of the island to shreds two months ago. Before we even had time to fully comprehend the damage done by Irma, Hurricane Maria barreled through.

This time, Puerto Rico took the brunt of the storm’s wrath.  The post-hurricane images showed a land barren of green foliage, wiped clean by the powerful storm. Turning to the digital archives from 2014, I gratefully recalled the moments preserved by the camera as we explored that often-underappreciated isle.

The headlines are full these days, and we cannot forget about the people and places that need our help to restore even the most basic of services. News articles from the last day or two reveal the long road of recovery that Puerto Rico has ahead of it:

The animals of Puerto Rico are struggling, as well, with updates posted regularly on the Facebook pages of Save a Gato and Island Dog, two of the hard-working organizations collaborating with others to find displaced and stray companion animals loving homes, and caring for those left behind.

Many opportunities are available if you are interested and able to donate to relief and recovery efforts. There are many doing good work, but if you need a few ideas, we chose to direct our donations to these organizations:

Thoughts and prayers are great, but Puerto Rico, the USVI, and so many other regions which took the brunt of these monumental storms need action and money to help get them back on their feet again. Do what you can, even if it is only to spread the word to others about doing the same.

~ Kat