bunt sign

Tuesday, July 10, 2001

Everything's coming together for my departure Thursday. This week's payroll is done, and next week's will be done Thursday morning. All the bills that I can pay are paid. Sales tax and truck licenses aren't due until the last day of the month, and I'll have more than a week after I get back to get those handled.

That leaves just the satellite dish installation. I gave up on the installer himself, after five straight days of his not returning my calls. Today I phoned his dispatcher and gave her all the information, including the fact that I'm leaving Thursday (have I mentioned that?). She acted as if it was just the easiest thing in the world for her to solve my problem. She said she'd call me right back and let me know.

I waited for an hour, which isn't much time but also isn't "right back." But she did call and told me she'd contacted the installer. He's in Marin County today, she said, but has all my information and would call me tonight to set up an appointment. It would be "no problem" (those ominous words) to get it all done before Thursday. (I wonder if she realizes that tomorrow is the last day before Thursday.)

So now my fate is in the installer's hands again. I have confidence that he won't let me down, because that just can't happen. It's the last duck in the row, the last piece of the puzzle, the last chopped walnut on the banana split.

David also dropped by this afternoon. He's back from the lake so he can get a few days' work in at the shop. I'm riding back up with him Thursday night (day after tomorrow). He's been sick with the flu but is feeling better now. I think being home has helped him. As he mentioned to me, on a houseboat with just one head and seven or eight other people is not the place to have the runs.

This will be the longest I've spent on the houseboat at one stretch, I think. But ten days away from phones and faxes and weeds and gophers will feel like being transported into someone else's life. I'm the same person while I'm living on the boat, but a modulated version. It's a natural calmative and restorative to sleep with the stars overhead and the lake gently rocking the boat below.

I'm not going up there just to sleep, though. It's a big inducement, granted, but I'll also be surrounded by people. I mean, lots and lots of people, some of them quite loud and lively. Living alone out here with the birds and butterflies for company doesn't exactly prepare me for all the music and laughter and splashing around in Shasta Lake with so many other bodies.

The biggest shock whenever I come back from the houseboat is being alone again, and experiencing the quiet again. And also the rocking that continues for those few days until I get my land legs back.

looking from the driveway

The path to (and past) my front door.

I really have very little to complain about, do I? I'm getting an upgraded satellite dish at a discounted price, just so I can use my new TiVo. I'm about to spend ten days in an idyllic setting with people I care about. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and the grass is ... well, brown, but you can't have everything.

Can I think of things to worry about, even so? You bet I can, but I'm working hard on cleansing them from my mind. I don't want to think about coming home to some crisis that I can't do anything about in advance anyway. As long as I've beaten back all the goblins and gremlins I can see, I don't need to squint and scratch and search for more (because I just might find them).

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