Monday, August 31, 2009

Fire, Water, Paper, and People

This weekend, my brother Steven came through on his way from Portland to a houseboat on Lake Shastsa. Steven is the family hero. All the brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles love him. My kids love him. So do I.

He brought his girlfriend Marie, and we all hit up Yogurt Hut, for our least expensive purchase ever there at $12 for 6 people. I don't know how that happened. Usually, the five of us go and it's over 20 bucks.

Then I left everyone here and zipped up to Eugene where my aunt was at a scrapbooking conference with her friends. There were stickers and papers and serious chocolates. While the women worked their craft, I watched a show in my room on scorpion infestation. Then I went down and watched the girls cut and glue and laugh. They are a wonderful group of women: wise and funny, open and kind.

When I got in my clean, fresh hotel bed that night, it smelled and felt so good, I cried.

The next day, I came home to a fancy dinner the kids had arranged. They'd picked flowers and made placecards.

They went through all the fun things my generous aunt had bought them for school, opening up everything and unzipping and showing me and their daddy and each other.

Yesterday, Dave and I went on a date. We had lunch out and saw "Inglourious Basterds." (Which I'll post about next). It was five relaxing hours of hand-holding and no one asking if they could have a Popsicle.

Steven and Marie came back through last night. The kids sat in silence at their feet, listening to the houseboat tales. Like how their pillows fell into the lake, and how a baby on another boat toppled over on the floor and rolled around a bit.

My dad had evacuated his house near Sacramento, because of a raging fire that had destroyed about 60 homes and structures. He was staying at my sister's, but seemed more concerned about the cat getting into the salsa when we talked to him on the phone.

Yes, it's been a struggle here lately. It seems like it's been a struggle many places for many folks. But the human resource is a valuable one; there's nothing like being surrounded by just good people to give you a huge boost.

That's why I'm having over a billion kids today. To give it all back.

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