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Monday, July 19, 2004

9:30 am. Last night was kind of weird. It was much quieter, with only six of us on the houseboat. I felt drained and exhausted, right up to the time I went to bed. Then I tossed and turned most of the night.

Tossing and turning inside a sleeping bag on a slippery mat near the edge of the top deck of a houseboat is a unique experience, unlike anything that ever happens to me at home. I get a little more twisted and slightly farther over the edge with each rotation.

I found that the only position that was comfortable to sleep in was flat on my back. Unfortunately, that's the snoring position, and every so often I'd wake myself (and who knows who else) with a mighty snort. I'm going to hate leaving the lake today, but I won't mind my own bed tonight.

It's quiet now because everyone is gone except Eric and me. John and Suzanne took Mike and Debbie to the marina for a one-day motor trip to Oregon to visit Debbie's grandparents for a day. It's a much shorter drive for them from here than it would be from home, so they take advantage of the proximity every summer.

It's nice they can do that, but it leaves kind of a void behind. They bring a lot of energy to the boat, and they're fun to be around. It seems the last day of my vacation will be a relaxing one, whether I like it or not. That's probably for the best anyway. Tomorrow it's back to the— Never mind. I don't have to think about that yet.

3:30 pm. The thing about going on a boat ride (we call it a "cruise," but that implies a leisurely pace, and we go fast) on Shasta Lake, surrounded by trees, mountains, wildlife— the thing is, a lot of the time you're not looking at the trees, mountains and wildlife. You're watching the other boaters, and the people stumbling along the docks in the marinas, and the skiers, tubers and boarders, and the campers on the beaches.

As much as we like to get away from it all, and as perfect a setting as this is for that, we humans are more naturally curious about each other than we are about anything else. In a couple of hours I'll be headed out of paradise and back toward home, where I'll see fewer people in a day than during an hour's cruising on the lake. Funny thing, that.

18 July 2004

Sunset in blue and white.

11:30 pm. When Eric drove me to the marina in the ski boat this afternoon, I called him a maniac, but I think maybe he was trying to make sure I'd be awake for the long drive home. We all said sad goodbyes, although I had the best reason to be sad, since the rest of them are staying until Sunday.

You wouldn't believe how dirty my car was when I hiked up the hill from the dock. If I hadn't had a spray bottle of cleaner with me, I wouldn't even have made it out of the parking lot onto the road. I took it easy driving, too, because I'd left myself with barely enough fuel to get to the first gas station on the road south.

And now I'm home. It took me a little over three and a half hours, including that stop for gas. I'm worn and frazzled and I'd really like not to have to deal with the Boss tomorrow. That doesn't mean I don't want to work, but I don't plan to make any big announcement of availability. Besides, I need to restock the fridge and pantry. And do a ton of laundry. I can't be messing around with business and such, with so many really important things on my agenda.

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