I have been so fortunate in my life to have seen some BEAUTIFUL places.

I have toured several chateaux along the Loire Valley; had a snowball fight in July in the French Alps; seen the Mona Lisa at the Louvre and several Van Goghs at the Musée d’Orsay.

I have hiked the Kalalau trail, melted the bottoms of my sneakers at Volcanoes National Park and snorkeled in Hanauma bay.

I have swum in the Caribbean along the seven miles of white sand beach in Negril; bird watched in the mountain rain forest of Trinidad where humming birds were as common as sparrows in Minnesota, climbed the walls of El Morro in Old San Juan.

0812161933aHere in Minnesota I’ve canoed pristine waters of north woods Lakes; marveled at the handiwork of a Blue Ribbon quilt in the creative activities building at the Minnesota State Fair and sat around the bonfire on the edge of Lake Superior.

I am so grateful for the ways that travel and events have given me opportunities to experience beauty. I wish that I could travel more.  There is so much of the planet that I have not seen yet.

Throughout my recovery, I have been listening to the Audio Books of the Anne of Green Gables series.  Lucy Maude Montgomery creates these incredibly beautiful images of Prince Edward Island in different seasons.  Half-way through the second book, I found myself growing discouraged that we did not have the funds or the time, and I did not have the health, to travel to Prince Edward Island.

Then I remembered one of Gretchen Ruben’s tips from her “Happier” podcast.  “Be a tourist in your own hometown.”  I may not be able to travel to Prince Edward Island, but I can notice the same sort of details that the character Anne, and the author Montgomery noticed.  I could delight in the beauty of my own place.  Which is a big part of what the Daley Blooms story is about.

On Friday Night, Richard and I tried a new restaurant, PinKU Japanese Street Food. So good!  I could wax poetic about their pot stickers, shrimp and ahi pok, but I will just say, “go, it’s yummy.”

After dinner I looked across the street. Surdyk’s Cheese and Wine shop had some really pretty landscaping in their parking lot.  I asked Richard if we could go take some pictures.


Right.  I spent part of our “date night,” taking pictures in a parking lot of a wine store.  (He loves me.)

There is beauty in the parking lot.

I have a theory that if you don’t appreciate what is beautiful around you in the ordinary, it is easier to miss the beautiful in the extraordinary.  Noticing the beauty at home not only helps you to be happier at home, but trains you to notice the beauty when you travel.

I would still love to take a trip to Prince Edward Island.  (And South Africa, Croatia, Barbados, Alaska, Spain, Sweden, Norway, England, Italy, Bahamas, Ghana, and about 100 other places I haven’t been to yet).

But I will also delight in the beauty in the parking lot.