Autumn Adventuress!

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Isn’t it amazing?

Summer entrenched so thoroughly you think there will never be any relief…broiling day after sweltering night…and then, a little ripple of cool in the mornings, doors and windows open at night, the light coming from a golden place of softness and glow rather than harshness and flame.

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I love Autumn…perhaps because I love transformation. It is a season of great promise for me. A season I can actually plan to spend more time outdoors…in the garden, on a petroglyph hike, or with my beloved sister Kim

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at a week-long watercolor art journaling class in Yosemite with a fabulous teacher–Janet Takahashi, sponsored by the Yosemite Conservancy.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” John Muir 

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Kim and I hatched a glorious plan to return to Yosemite this fall when I visited her back in May. We fed it with all our hopes and dreams through the long hot summer. I clung desperately to its promise of cool water and lush green through a particularly harsh Tucson summer. I NEEDED this trip with my whole soul. But that was before my Love’s cancer diagnosis. That was before my world was up-ended. That was before everything changed.

As you know, my sweetheart is ill. Very ill. And the prognosis is not good.  I didn’t think I could leave home for this grand adventure with all the worry and concern for his care. But he insisted I go and so many others (including YOU) stepped in to help make it happen.

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But it was my sister Kim. Joy-filled. Authentic. Creative. Determined. Kim.

She made it happen.

With constant encouragement and love. She made the whole trip possible. In every way. Every detail.

She cheered me and boosted me and gave me time to curl up at her little cabin (Cabin Fever) for a couple of days before we left so I could get my mojo back.

She pre-prepared all the meals. Gifted me with comfy, sturdy new shoes and a brand-new, cozy, warm, double-sized sleeping bag.

She drove us up the winding roads to Yosemite to our little tent camp where she created a camp kitchen for us, set out chairs by the fire pit, and strung twinkle lights all around! 

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” John Muir

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“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean. ” John Muir

We walked sun-dappled paths.

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We watched the full moon rise over Half-Dome.

We saw an incredible performance by a fellow who has dedicated decades to sharing stories of John Muir.

We had wonderful campfires and long talks. There were bears and deer and excited, awe-struck travelers from around the world.

“There is a love of wild nature in everybody, an ancient mother-love ever showing itself whether recognized or no, and however covered by cares and duties.” John Muir 

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There was a glistening river and gorgeous leaves.

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There was a behind the scenes tour of the amazing Ahwahnee Hotel yosemite 3

about all the artists who contributed to its majesty, including the detailed talent of U.C. Berkeley graduate Jeannette Dyer Spencer who, in the 1920’s, created the striking basket patterns mural above the grand fireplace and the equally colorful stencil patterns found on the walls and ceilings.

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Our teacher, Janet Takahashi,

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is a wonderfully talented, funny, kind, joy-spilling woman who taught us so much about taking time to “see” and making room for little moments of sketching the world around us with no self-critic judging us or self-defeating “I can’t draw” talk in our heads.

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We loved all of our cohorts and creative side-kicks…and made many new friends.

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I had a soul-shifting, heart-lifting, spirit- stirring, magical time! I let my beautiful sister take care of me. I rested and journaled and laughed and drank in the lushness, the water, the colors, and the peace. For a few days, I allowed myself to just live

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I got things in my life a bit more “right-sized.”

Yes, Honey is very ill and we have a hard and difficult path ahead. Yes, I’m old & rickety & fading fast myself. Yes, there are lots of sad things happening in my life–including worry about my 90 year old Mom who fell and broke her hip & wrist while I was away. Yes, I returned to learn of the mass shootings in Las Vegas and the continuing idiocy, arrogance, and lack of compassion of our President. Yes, I escaped just as the apocalyptic wildfires in California were devouring the homes of friends and extended family. 

But I returned with a second wind. Scented with cedar and spruce, senses brimming with remembrance of joy and the spectacular play of light through changing leaves.

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I am changed like the leaves.

A little less exhausted. A little more optimistic.

But I’m a little slow getting back in the groove–reluctant to leave my dear Albert as he struggles with new challenges and the very real fear he may have to undergo a scary surgery in the next few days.

But I’m back…to take up the difficult tasks ahead with a little rest under my belt and a heart-full of sister love to tide me over.

So grateful.

So grateful.

So grateful.

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More soon…thanks so much for holding my place in your hearts! New classes and many new adventures to share with you coming soon! Please remember to fill you heart with gladness and seek out joy every danged chance you get. Remember that I am sending you so much love! 

Thank you Kim!

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Thank you Janet!

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Thank you Anne, Judy, Marnie, Audrey, & the whole beautiful Tribe for taking care of the Creative Cottage while I rested a bit! 

So much love and gratitude to share with you forever,

Adventuress Kait is back!

P. S. Check out Janet’s beautiful book–available on Amazon!

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© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2017. All rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

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SISTER LOVE!

What a wonderful, amazing adventure!

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I spent a whole week with my beautiful sister Kim in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.

(Made all the sweeter for the nearly 25 years we lost track of one another!)

This sweet Lisi Martin painting always reminds me of Kim and I…

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Each time I see her it’s as if a new part of my heart opens and blossoms. We leap into each other’s presence (no matter the time apart!) as if we’d just had tea together yesterday. We finish each other’s sentences. We find we like (and dislike) so many of the same (random) things. We nearly laugh ourselves into fits and almost jabber ourselves hoarse.

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We had sooooo much fun this last week together; excitedly sharing news of our lives, comparing our fondest dreams, conjuring collaborative projects, giggling like kids, & always up to some sort of mischief or other.

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It was such a pleasure to join my sister for her Spirit Doll class…

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at the beautiful Intermountain Nursery! It’s a gorgeous nursery, operated by very dear people who have dedicated their lives to plant ecology and restoration projects.

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The class was a pure delight!

The participants were lively and full of creative spark (like my beloved Cottage tribe!)

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Here is Kim’s Crow Woman…

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and my Sierra Autumn Crone

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Everyone adores my sister (ALMOST as much as I do!)

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and she is the most encouraging of teachers.

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We spent another whole day roaming the gorgeous green, spring Sierras, dabbling in the roaring creeks, picnicking and napping, exploring and rejoicing!

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We even discovered a rare Harlequin Lupine…067

And on my last day, Kim treated me to the most amazing surprise! A full day in my beloved Yosemite…

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at the very height of spring!

We took a watercolor class through the Yosemite Conservancy from the delightful Sonja Hamilton who taught us so much

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as we sat around her on the path to the majestic gush of Yosemite Falls.

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We had such an amazing day that we decided to gift each other a week long nature sketchbook journaling class in October at Yosemite with Janet Takahashi. We’re going to stay in the historic tent camps! We’re both incredibly excited!

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The water! The green! The cool! The trees! The flowers!

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I will hold all those memories so dear as we enter our scorching Sonoran summer.

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I feel Kim and I are two magical fairy sisters (like these delightful felted ones from chopoli) who have so much joy and love to share!

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It is my great good fortune to have darling Albert to hold-down-the-fort, keep the critters and the gardens afloat, and send me off with such a happy heart to be with my sister. I am so lucky that the Creative Cottage tribe sent me off with such love. I was so blessed that Kim’s husband Bro was such a wonderful naturalist guide and bemused encourager of all of our crazy fun.

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It was such a beautiful time shared and it will long live in my heart as one the most glorious weeks of my life!

Thanks to Kim & Bro, to dearest Albert, and to all my amazing friends who sent me on my way with such a heart full of love to share!

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Happy Summer & Happy Birthday Dear Sister Kim!

P. S. Please check out my June class schedule by clicking on the Cottage Classes tab and have a gander at our new Art Gifters Anonymous, Random Acts of Art, project by clicking on the Art Gifters tab.

Thanks to Pinterest for images mixed with many of my own photos.

Let love guide and keep you,

Kaitlin

Mistress of Much Merriment

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows. All Rights Reserved, 2017.