bunt sign

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Today started early (for me; some people always get up at that hour, whatever it was). Because we were tied up in a cove where we got afternoon shade, it was inevitable that we were also in the first place to find the morning sun.

It was already in the plans that we'd get the two houseboats' septic tanks pumped out today, and since ours was ready first (big surprise), we were underway, headed back to the marina, when I crawled down the ladder around seven. We've been going to bed about ten-thirty, and I've been sleeping much better than I do at home.

A few times I've even managed a midday nap, but more often there's just too much activity. It's not that I participate in the skiing and wakeboarding and such, or even that I'm much help with the general business of keeping a houseboat in full operation, but I like to watch people having fun, and to be available if I should happen to be needed for anything.

There was much discussion about how to keep cool today, and some dispute over where the best place to tie up the houseboats would be. Since we had another one of those hundred-year heat records, nobody was right, because there was no relief from the heat.

When everyone's wrong (even if it's no one's fault), tempers can get a bit short. Sometimes it's even hard for me to stay out of people's way, and you know that's something I've had a lot of practice at. Somehow, we always muddle through and remain friends. Things are always better by the time we sit down to our evening meal.

After moving the houseboat twice today (and ending up in the same place, because of the afternoon shade), we took a little ride up the Sacramento River in the ski boat, five of us. That both cooled us off, because of the speed and a few new clouds, and warmed us up, because really, it was still very hot. I jumped in the lake as soon as we got back to the houseboat.

After dinner on Bev's boat, we took the ski boat out again, to pick up David and Cynthia at the marina. By now it was dark, and the short trip took about forty minutes because you have to look a little more closely for rocks and other obstacles when you can't see. John knows the geography of the lake, though, and he had people in the front of the boat to throw a spotlight on any questionable points of land.

We got to the marina at eleven, and David's big red truck drove up just a few minutes later. We unloaded the truck, loaded the boat, and headed back. It was a wonderfully cooling ride after a very hot evening meal during which I had to ask for water. I was really afraid I might pass out right there in my plate. That would have been too bad, because I was really having fun talking to the little girls. For all the peace and quiet and beauty here, that's what I'll miss most when this is over.

Shasta Lake

The nearest point.

How to describe the little show Alexa put on for me last night? I think you had to be there. She started off talking to herself, without even knowing she had an audience. It was a little playlet, with props and a narrative, about bees and butterflies at war with each other. (I'm simplifying, of course. It was really much more complex, but I couldn't quite follow all the intricacies of the plot.)

Once she saw me watching her, it suddenly became a musical game show. She started singing about the colored foam noodles, and asking me questions about which one she was going to sing about next. "Purple," I'd guess for no good reason. "Of course!" she'd chirp, as if it were the most natural thing in the world for me to be reading her mind. Or, just as likely, "Of course not! Pink, naturally!"

They tell me this went on for over an hour. I don't know, because I lost track of time. By the end, she had everyone involved. She rather enjoyed being center stage, I think. You might not believe I could sit and watch an eight-year-old talk in rhyme and nonsense for that long, but if you don't believe it, it's only because you don't know me. And you don't know Alexa.

previousbunt signemailnext