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June 29, 2003: Sitting

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After the last few weekends of yard work and biking and all the muscle aches and sunburns that came with that sort of fun, we decided we really needed a weekend where there would be as little physical activity as possible. Also, we hadn't managed to get a weekend at the ranch in quite a while and since Richard's family was planning to spend their usual week-before-Fourth-of-July there, the timing seemed right to take a trip through the hills.

Naturally the moment we started pondering going away for a few days of relaxation, the weather suddenly remembered that yes, it really *is* summer, and reverted back to temperatures that can best be described as Beastly Hot. So when we drove up to the ranch on Saturday afternoon, I was not in the best of moods, pondering two days of hiding in the lodge in some nearly futile effort to escape the heat.

Saturday afternoon I did do a significant amount of lodge-lurking. Luckily it cooled down enough to venture back into the outdoors in the evening, and by the time we piled into our cars to drive back to Davis for the last show of the Davis Musical Theater Company's season, it was finally getting a bit more bearable outside.

The play was Showboat - a play which fit in quite nicely with the rest of the season's decidedly non-PC theme. There was Carnival, where the moral of the story is that it's okay if he treats you like dirt as long as he says he loves you (and does it with puppets, no less!). In Carousel we learn that sometimes a punch can feel like a kiss, and that it's okay if he beats the crap out of you as long as he tells you he loves you. In How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, one of the underlying themes is that the ultimate goal for any woman is to grab herself a husband, even if he *is* a self-centered schmuck. And finally, we have Showboat, where the moral of the story is that it's okay for him to simply disappear into thin air for 30+ years as long as (yes, you guessed it) he says he loves you.

Showboat also has the honor of being, without a doubt, the absolute longest play I have ever seen in my life, as well as the one most deserving of the "Most Extraneous and Irrelevant Plot Points" award. The first act covers a few months; the second act covers over 30 years, and all with a lot of additional stuff thrown in just to confuse the matter.

Then after the play and our typical after-play get-together with my parents (where we eat pie and discuss/praise/poke fun at the play we just saw) we went back home to sleep as late as we could before heading back to the ranch.

Thankfully, the weather today was perfect. We packed sandwiches (which we never did eat) and returned to the ranch, where we set up our camping chairs next to his parents' chairs and proceeded spend most of the day just sitting.

This is a novel thing for me just sitting. At first I read for a while, since I decided I should reread the newest Harry Potter book (it took me about 5 hours to read the book this time because I was actively forcing myself to take it slower). But once the book was done I made myself continue sitting and just do nothing.

We talked. We watched a pair of boys probably older elementary school aged construct a surprisingly impressive dam in the little creek that runs through the river, thus turning what was a shallow space of calmer water into a tiny pool so deep an adult could sink up to their chest in the water. I closed my eyes and sat in my chair while Richard and his sister read their books and listened to the sound of the water and the birds and the wind through the leaves overhead.

I did get up a few times once to go try out the little mini-pool the boys had so industriously created, and once to go on a short walk around the ranch with Richard, during which we saw two wide-eyed deer resting beside the trailer hitch of a camper. But for the most part, I made myself just relax and do nothing at all, and while I think if I'd had to do a few hours more of it I might have gone stark raving mad, the length today was just enough to be lovely.

The boys took down their dam eventually, amid cheers from all of us who'd been watching them put it together, and as evening started to close in the bugs came out in force, which is the reason I have mosquito bites all over the back of my knees. And then after dinner we reluctantly hugged our goodbyes and headed home.

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