Sunday, October 30, 2011

1000 gifts: fall colors to the max

Continuing my list of gifts, blessings that I write down to remember all the wonderful things that God gives me along life's journey (from Ann Voskamp's book and her blog, A Holy Experience).

349. The San Juan mountains at peak color
Every year I try to take the family on a fall-color drive (this tradition actually began with my friend Karen, when we were both still single. We still talk about the great memories - and she made me a scrapbook of our travels). This year we traveled to Ridgway, Colorado and then took some dirt national forest roads back into the most amazing scenery. I think Mt. Sneffels and its adjoining mountains rival the Grand Tetons for awesome beauty. The next picture is from the wonderful website Colorado Fall Color Drives which also has specifics on how to get there and many other beautiful places.

Ridgway is in a giant valley with three different ranges surrounding it. It is now officially my #1 place to move to if I ever had to move. Just north of Ridgway, we took the Owl Creek Pass forest road up to Silver Jack Reservoir (beautiful, striking rock formations). The girls had fun hiking along forest streams and picnicking and graciously posed for me in front of beautiful views again and again and again - I couldn't stop taking pictures! 

350. Engagements
A dear friend of mine, Nicole, just got engaged! Her fiance is a very close friend of my husband's - at first it was kind of odd seeing them together, but there really some advantages "to opposites attract." From a Christian perspective, having someone with strengths in different areas than your own is an opportunity to grow and gain new perspectives. (It's caused some painful struggles between B. and I, being so different, but in the end I know it's made us better people).

351. Wisdom gained from literature 
Former Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev and Nobel Peace recipient spoke on our campus. When asked who was the most influential person to him, he said - literature. Shared many other insights and interesting opinions. A great man! He also endeared himself to us Wyomingites by donning a cowboy hat at the end.

352. Wisdom about the wind
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward (esp. true for those of us in windy Wyoming)

353. Scripture memory wars
I was delighted to find out Stars' boyfriend, Garrid, has many Bible verses memorized - one night he heard my daughter Blaze practicing her verses for AWANA, and they got into a scripture memory "war" (a friendly war) quoting verses at each other.

354. Visuals of fantasy worlds
I have always been a big fan of science fiction and fantasy and the movie Thor was right up my alley (esp. since it really is a blend of science fiction and fantasy). These images of Asgard and the rainbow bridge really caught my fancy.

Here's a picture of the rainbow bridge of Asgard, famous in mythology but fascinating how it is turned into a science fiction device in this movie. Director Kenneth Branagh said "An image that was absolutely central to me wanting to do this film was to have six warriors ride on horses across the rainbow bridge in the middle of space. Seemed to me weirdest, weirdest, most brilliant, thrilling image."
 Branagh said to design the Rainbow Bridge they researched everything from "discothèque floors" to Star Wars to the "chemical makeup of quartz."

The character Loki also appealed to me. He's the villain of the movie, but one you can relate to - abandoned by his people, overshadowed by his bigger and more popular brother - plus the actor, Tom Hiddleston, did a really impressive job making him both likable and hate-able.

355.  My daughter talking about God
My father always "shuts down" whenever I try to bring up my beliefs or the Bible into our conversations. But my seven year old daughter, Dreamer, can get away with it: she doesn't realize that Grandpa has "shut down" so she just babbles on about how she loves Jesus and how you have to believe in God and that "it's about relationship."  B. and I fervently hope her innocent delight in sharing her beliefs will win him over in the end (or rather, God will use her to win him over).

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