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Sunday, July 9, 2000

I've stopped worrying about whether I'm going to get to go to the lake this week and started worrying about how I'm going to get there. I don't mind driving my car, but I'm not completely sure where to go, where to park, or how to let anyone know I'm there waiting on the dock, not having a cell phone and all. It would be really convenient if someone who did have a cell phone and did know the way needed a ride some time next Friday. Of course, they'd have to find a ride home, but that isn't usually a problem. When the houseboat is that heavily populated, people are coming and going all the time. I haven't put out any feelers yet, but I hope I get the chance. Besides, it would be kind of nice to make that four-hour drive with a passenger.

And then there's the money thing. Usually people pay for their passage by providing a meal for the whole crew some time during their stay. For the last two Julys, Eric and I have chipped in on the ingredients for David's famous paella. He's done the cooking, satisfying the requirements for all three of us. Schedules aren't going to accommodate that kind of symbiosis this year, and I'm in a cash-poor situation anyway, so I'm going to have to be creative. Food, unfortunately, is one area where I have no creative talents. No talents of any kind, actually. I could buy some snacks, but people don't eat that way on the houseboat. Usually there is very little junk food eating, because we have such high quality meals. So I'm in a kind of a quandary about what my role will be once I get there, and how to prepare for it before I leave.

My meal situation for the rest of the week has been attended to. Mom showed up this afternoon with a gigantic take-and-bake pizza that almost wouldn't fit in my oven, and she wouldn't take any leftovers home. So I offered her what I had available in return. She had a couple of glasses of pure spring water from my new cooler. We watched The Sixth Sense on my new DVD player. We didn't make any copies, though, even though the new copier was waiting and ready.

So my little plot is working. Make the place more attractive, and visitors will come. It's a lot easier to take if you don't have to drink water that smells like a bus station rest room. And with the TV and stereo finally working the way they were designed to, it's almost as good as seeing the movie in a theater. Better, even, because it's interactive. We watched all the interviews, trailers and deleted scenes. Once word gets out, I'll have friends dropping in all the time. Come on over. I even have a new microwave, with a popcorn setting.

It was a nice diversion, having Mom here today. I've been spending so much time alone with my dark thoughts. I managed to keep busy all day yesterday, but today had these gaps of time that I was having a hard time filling. I don't think there was less going on today, just that I was having more trouble concentrating and keeping focused. It could be the looming specter of Monday on the near horizon, and the knowledge that I have work to do (that's okay) and crises to handle (there's the rub). I will be relieved to get through this week, even if it doesn't go the way I'm hoping. Even if I have to stay home and solve more and bigger problems, at least the uncertainty will be behind me.

That's not good, is it? It can't be a good thing that I would rather know that I'm going to be disappointed, instead of wondering whether or not my plans are going to fall through. I thought I had that attitude problem licked, but I guess it still needs some adjusting. I don't know why it's so hard for me to assume that I can make things happen the way I want. After all, it's not as if I've had a lot of major disappointments in my life. (And I definitely don't want to go there right now. I don't want to be trying to enumerate reasons that I should fear the future, because that would take me into some dark places in the past.)

So, let's go back to the beginning. Let's say that things are going to work out. Let's say the money problems, both corporate and personal, will be solved. Let's take another leap of faith and say that no new crises will jam up the works. Let's even say that I don't drive myself (and everyone who knows me) all the way around the bend obsessing over things beyond my control. Let's say I'm going to be able to leave for the lake some time Friday.

In that case, there's work to be done. I have a cousin in Iowa who turns thirteen next week, and I should get his present wrapped and ready. I have to find time to get a haircut before I go. I don't think I'll stop the mail this time, since the post office didn't stop bringing it the last time I filled out one of their yellow cards. I need to stop the paper, though, even though I don't know when I'll be coming back for sure. And, of course, I'm back in packing mode. It's seems as if that's all I've done all year. I should be getting good at it by now.

What am I forgetting? Work! That's right, I'll have to get a week ahead, to be able to relax while I'm gone. And that's what it's all about, right? Otherwise, why even go?

But how could I need a vacation this badly, after having a week off just last month?

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