three weeks, three locations

Three weeks, six cities, two countries on different continents, travel by foot, car, 4-wheel drive and plane. Not a particularly abnormal three weeks of my life. In California I enjoyed wine country, in Michigan I was blessed with another week of stunning spring, and in Ethiopia I discovered regions I had not yet visited. Now I am back in California and am looking forward to a few weeks during which I will not be visiting an airport or living out of a suitcase.

week 18: San Luis Obispo, CA, USA

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week 19: Kalamazoo, MI, USA

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week 20: Ethiopia

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i love coming home

a photo a day: week 17

location: San Luis Obispo, CA

As much as I love to travel, I love to come home. I love familiar feelings of places that I know, that share a piece of my story and a part of my history. I intuitively knew that this is different than nostalgia, but I could not make that thought tangible, so I looked nostalgia up in the dictionary.

Nostalgia is “a sentimental longing or a wistful affection for the past, typically a period or place with happy personal association.” (New Oxford American Dictionary)

This love of coming home is not a longing of the past. Instead it is a sense of belonging and a placement within history. My home is my haven where I am free to create and to simply breathe. It is my place of peace that I share with loved ones. Every time I move, I work to make my new house my home as quick as possible, and I am glad to say that as I fill the pores of this house with the smells of cooking and her walls with my photos it is becoming a home, a place I love to come home to.

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a photo a day: discovering beautiful lands

Weeks 12 & 13

Location: Cross-country Atlanta, GA to San Luis Obispo, CA

After last bits of laughter and fun with family, dad and I towed the trailer across the country. It was long day through both beautiful and plain country and then we arrived at the ocean and drove north to find my new home in San Luis Obispo. Beautiful. Right now the land is green and full of stunning flowers. The strawberries are fresh and from the local farmer’s stand. I am soaking in the goodness before the season changes to bring brown colors and different fruits. I am blessed.

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a photo a day: the glory of spring

Week 12

Location: Atlanta, GA

This was a week of welcoming spring. I believe that there is a magical two weeks, sometimes it lasts as long as three, where spring puts on a grand show. Out of a barren wanter during which the trees of stood barren and cold come buds, then beautiful flowers, and finally fresh green leaves. Trees take their turn showing off their beauty before they slide into the green that will grace their leaves through the summer. If you blink, you will miss it.  I try and soak in every single bit of the glory of spring so that I can have my fill while it is here as it never stays for long.

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a photo a day: week 11

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

I have a new nephew, whom I love dearly. He was a whole two pounds heavier than his brother at birth, and his cheeks clearly show the chub. As such, we presently call him Squishy. We give him endless kisses and try to not gobble him up whole. The other glory of the birth of the nephew is hours spent with his big brother Thumper. Hours at the park and playing games and reading books. And hopefully hours of him napping. Pure glory dear friends, pure glory.

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a photo a day: weeks 8, 9 & 10

These weeks have been weeks away from the internets, slowing down and enjoying the space in my head. With time seeming to fly by at faster and faster rates, this time has been a gift. As I look forward, I am thinking about how I continue to build in balance and include the arts, the beauty I see everywhere, into my life. Which makes this little photo project even more beautiful and fun. I have loved finding the beauty in the journey so far this year and look forward to continuing to find these photos and share them with you. This is the photo overview of my past few weeks of quiet.

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a photo a day: week 7

Location: around Seattle, WA and Atlanta, GA

I started the week with friends north of Seattle and ended it at home with family in Atlanta. It was so good to be back in the region – I fell in love with the area years ago and simply love it. What I also remembered I do not love is not being able to see the sun. I think my whole family is heavily impacted by the sun. For example, just check out my sister-in-law’s news report over the magic of seeing the sun in Edinburgh (read: there was much celebration). Yes, we Cranes need to find homes where we can see the sun.

On Sunday I did a quick trip to the Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site. This week I also finished Fredrick Douglass’s autobiography about his life in slavery. One of the things I love about living in the south is that it is difficult to ignore or gloss over this part of our nation’s history. It is ugly and horrific. But, in the midst of that ugliness, there is inspiration. There are people that have been great and have done great things. I am thankful for these people and their legacy; thankful that they helped to make a better story. I also cannot imagine what they had to endure. If you don’t know what I am talking about, read the autobiography linked above  (it is less than 100 pages and costs less than $2), read something by Martin Luther King Jr, and visit sites like this one. I promise that it will be worth your while.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

~Martin Luther King Jr in his Letter from the Birmingham Jail, 1963.

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a photo a day: week 6

Location: Southern California and Portland, Oregon

A Mini Cooper. That had all of 624 miles on it when I got into it.  It was green, had a sun roof, beautiful racing stripes, and the boot was just large enough for my carry-on luggage. This is a car I doubt I will ever own because it simply does not carry the toys I take on many of my adventures (which often include real sized people in the back seat). But, if I could have a play car, I think this would be it – except it would have a manual transmission.

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a photo a day: week 5

Location: Nashville/Atlanta, Southern California Coast

This is where I admit that while I was in Atlanta for the first half of the week, I was still using photos taken while hiking in Nashville. I simply could not help wanting to share the fun of the small things I found using my olloclip lens while hiking. Then I jumped on a plane and headed to Southern California where I found a different beauty in the oceans, cliffs, flowers and old cars. As I jump around the country right now I cannot help but be amazed at the diversity in landscapes and am thrilled that I get to see more in the coming weeks.

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a photo a day: week 4

Location: in & around Nashville, Tennessee

Week four found me in Nashville for the full week soaking up more of what I love about Nashville: stunning sunsets, meals with dear friends, fantastic coffee shops, and endless little pieces of beauty. It is so easy to underestimate the beauty of a place when you live there. Then you move away and when you return its beauty is fresh. And I got a new toy, the olloclip, which is letting me capture the beauty in tiny spots and wide spaces. This is a good journey of finding beauty.

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a photo a day: week 3

Location: Atlanta, GA, Nashville & Pulaski TN

Week three began the travels for the year. It started with puddle jumping with Thumper and making stuffed squash. Then I packed up and headed to Tennessee where I am enjoying time with friends and colleagues. It is so lovely being back in a town where I do not have to use a map every time I walk out the door and nature is not that far away. Some of that nature is on a friend’s farm where it almost felt like we were off the grid. The last photo is a close-up of a rifle my grandpa made; I am thankful to have something that he invested hours of time on and that has fun memories attached to it. (No, this is not a comment either way about gun law… please leave this as a granddaughter’s memory of a grandpa who recently died.)

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a photo a day: weeks 1 & 2

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

These first two weeks of the year have been at home in Atlanta. I managed to be the sole family member to get the flu and so most of this week I have hardly ventured outside of the house. But, this project was about beauty, and that I have found. There have been winter flowers, raindrops on leaves, warm cups of tea, and games with Thumper. It has been a good two weeks, though I am glad to say goodbye to the flu.

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To follow this project daily, look for the photos tagged #365 – posted on instagram with links on twitter & facebook. As always, you can find me as pamthenomad.