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July 01, 2001: Getting in touch

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We drove today, down quiet two-lane roads, through hills of brown grass and trees - the gentle rolling kind that make you want to stop the car and climb to the top just to see the view that you're sure is incredible up there. We drove to spend an afternoon with Richard's parents at a ranch near Lake Beryessa.

I sat in the shade as Richard and his niece picked their way across rocks, watching a squirrel by the creek. Its tail was longer than its body, and it poured itself over the rocks with more graceful fluidity than the water itself; tail cocked over its head, end twitching so the fur stood straight out like a gray bottle brush.

After lunch, we fed pieces of watermelon rind to a doe as her two fawns watched from a careful distance. She would eat it, searching for the next piece with delicate movements and her fawns settled into the long grass on the hill nearby til all you could see was their ears.

We played a storytelling game - sitting around the picnic table dealing out cards that had to be worked into the story that had to be memorized. The game had words like 'peanut butter', 'slimy swamp', and 'kid brother', and so we concocted a complicated story about a skeleton with a wish to be a werewolf, an older sister about to marry a goose, and the flying Worm Brothers, interjected with snorts of laughter and the occasional bop of an empty water bottle, and comments from the peanut gallery of parents who noted, at one point, was I sure I wanted to marry into this family, until it was pointed out that the 'storm that was extra bad because it was pizza season' was *my* contribution, and then Richard was asked if he really wanted to marry into *my* family.

Driving home, we delved into discussions about life in general, the advancement of technology, and of desires to spend more time with family living further away, and inquiries into taking yet one more step into the wonderful world of yuppiedom (and should all work out, I will explain that step soon, I hope) .

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