One late-summer evening, I sat alone atop the world, as a breeze chilled the night and tussled my hair, watching the sun fall beyond the horizon. Far below, cars rushed past on the highway. Unseen on my clifftop perch, I watched and wondered where they were headed. What adventures each pursued. Going camping? Visiting a loved one? Running from the law? This guy in the white BMW fancies himself an F1 driver racing up the hills of the Belgian Grand Prix, weaving in and out, passing everyone, safety be damned. The grey-green Wrangler, coated in thick red mud spent the day off-roading near one of the mountain lakes. Frightened its fair share of mule deer, elk, and a family of racoons, too, as it rumbled through the woods kicking up dirt and rutting the waterlogged backroads, soaked by recent rains. But, nature got its revenge — as told by the […]

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Atlas, I am not.

Contains strong, self-absorbed language. Unapologetic, rambling thoughts. Inelegant stream of consciousness stuff. You’ve been warned… The past year and a half has been brutal. Filled with suffocating sadness, heartbreak, and paralyzing confusion. Anger. Pain. Exhaustion. Isolation. Most days lived for others, to help them land somewhere on the spectrum of okayness. Still, all that I have to give is never enough. Indeed, I am no Atlas, and the strain of holding up the sky took a toll. A back injury. A sprained shoulder. A broken hand. Sleepless nights. Disturbed dreams. Lost thoughts. The goal: survive until tomorrow and tomorrow again. For a spell, I wondered daily when the breakdown was going to come. Not the kind where you bawl your eyes out in the shower and blame the redness on wayward shampoo. Nor the kind where you scream into a pillow so the neighbors don’t call the cops. Not even the kind […]

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Seeing Stars

beams of rising sunlight shining through the fronds of a Joshua tree surrounded by golden grass with a hill and pastel-colored sky in the background

October 18, 2020 | 7:30 a.m.  Out for an early hike. I can see my breath and need a jacket to ward off the chill as the sun peeks over the foothills and sets the world aglow. Sunrise is an hour passed, but dawn’s early light takes time to reach this canyon. Pausing to photograph the golden, back-lit grasses, I notice an odd shadow several feet away. Weaving my way through the prickly brush, the scene becomes clearer: “Oh, damn.” Breathing a mournful sigh, I kneel to honor the fallen, as Taps plays softly just for us, and tears flow. This is one of those inexplicable moments when a thousand thoughts flood your mind in a split-second, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. The way memories and questions and things you wish you had said and things you wish you still had time to do flash […]

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Mastered it.

When I began writing these stories, I did so with the grand intention of posting weekly, which was an entirely silly notion, given that I already had enough writing on my plate. Though, I managed to stay active over on Instagram, this little outlet got put on hold while I worked on my master’s degree research and writing my thesis. It’s not that I’ve had nothing to write about – I have plenty – it’s just that even though I love reading/writing, I can only do so much of it in a day, and work and school had to come first. On May 11, 2020 I will graduate with my Master of Arts in Communication. I am really proud of my accomplishments: 4.0 GPA; defended my thesis and received 100% / high distinction; and most importantly, I learned some really important things. But these are strange times, and celebrations are […]

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Time flies.

gravel trail surrounded by sagebrush heading toward horizon between red rock hills

Ever have times when days, weeks, and months zoom by faster than you can blink, and when you look back on them, you wonder “What did I actually accomplish?!” Yeah, me too. It’s way too easy to be hard on ourselves for the things we didn’t check off our to-do lists and feel like “I got NOTHING done!” when in reality, we’ve accomplished quite a lot. So, here’s my personal reality check, to remind myself what I have accomplished: Saw a fun Super Summer Theatre production of “Noises Off” by Poor Richard’s Players at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park. Wrote a couple drafts of the first part of my Communication MA capstone. Did some hiking in the Superstition Wilderness area. Celebrated a very special friend’s birthday. Completed one class, and began the next. Took the kiddos on a five-day road trip through Arizona, Nevada, and California to: Lake Mead National […]

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Collecting memories.

I take photos to help me remember the individual moments. The ones I want to last, and experience more fully. Photos are one of the ways I collect memories. I had company with me on this trip to the dunes. My two favorite people in the world. I took photos of them too, as we played in the sand, and I know just where they were outside the frame of this shot. It was a great day… How do you collect memories?

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Live a great story.

THNN - Tree Huggin' Nature Nerd

I spent way too much time thinking about what my first post on this blog adventure should be. How do I introduce you to me, to my story? A deep, important message, that lets you know who I really am, and what I am all about, perhaps. But, the longer I thought about what to write, and tried to settle on the perfect words, the more I realized that was entirely the wrong approach. My story isn’t a grand novel, with perfectly phrased prose, penned on gilded pages. It’s an album of short, messy, episodic vignettes. Doodles sketched in the margins. Sunsets and butterflies and bubbles on a windy day. Football and baseball games with nachos and popcorn. Brief moments, special people, and little things that make me laugh… And this is one such story. This weekend, one of my favorite people referred to me as a “Tree Huggin’ Nature […]

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