Thursday, June 26, 2008

Out from Under

These are the days I longed for, and they do not disappoint. Last Friday morning I took my kayak out to the glassy, glittering, deserted reservoir and rowed around for an hour and a half until the wind picked up. Since it's inflatable (don't knock it, it'll still do Class III) it has a hard time with choppy water. Or I do, maybe. Instead of cutting through the waves, it bobs. Not good. I found a little cave beneath a bluff and made a mental note to tell Cordale about the crayfish, lobster-sized monsters scooting around on the shale in the shallows.

Everybody's favorite chemical vendor rep called the plant last week to schedule a July visit and we got to gossiping. I mentioned our new guy and she said she remembered we'd hired one, asked, "Is he cute?" which I thought was odd, since she's recently married to a DirecTV employee with the same name as a dead comedian. I said, too quickly, "Um, no." She laughed and I tried to explain that he's not really my type, that wild orange hair and freckles, glasses, a brotherly goofiness. I prefer dark men, brunette like Brent, a little grumpy and dignified. But I was quick to reassure her that he's a gem.

And he is. We were lolling in the control room this week after a particularly stressful two days, having switched to the river again from the reservoir. This always causes problems, no matter how many bases we think we've got covered. Jeff was daydreaming about horses, flossing his teeth with a folded Post-it, and Robbie, our new guy, was texting his wife, who had sent a video over the phone of their tiny daughter (who has the name of a fabled Russian princess and her father's violently red hair) sliding into home base and knocking over the tee ball tee, winning the game. Travis spent the week at home and Bud was making copies in the corner. And I thought, omigosh, all that fuss for nothing. Remember all my woe about our delicate dynamic being shattered? Forget it. Robbie fit in like a good-natured rookie in the dugout, clever but not obnoxious, jolly and giant and willing. I should have trusted Bud and Jeff to pick someone who would be just right.

He took a lot of the pressure off me, somehow, and boosted my confidence; when he started asking questions, I found I had the answers. And he comes to me more than the others, probably because I'm new enough to all this not to make him uncomfortable about what he's lacking and because if I don't know the answer, we'll find out together. Our team is still intact, and Robbie found a niche in it that I didn't realize was vacant. Bud keeps threatening to retire, but he's still here.

I've been devouring books, as many as five a week, sometimes three at a time. It's been a while since I felt like reading, over a year, and now I can't get enough. I've been tanning and walking a lot (how it helps my thinking, and my writing! Perhaps it's a good thing that power surge scrambled my VCR/DVD player's brain). We've had family outings, like the wonderful weekend picnic at Weeping Rock, just Mom and Morgan and I (and one dog, Molly), skipping flat rocks on the mossy Green River just below the Fontonelle dam. It was a cold day but wonderful. We took Henry's metal detectors out to an old man camp in the sagebrush and laughed at the baby-like squeals they made when we ran over a buried bottle cap or a rusted bolt.

I'm getting the Cadillac ready to sell, no point putting it off any longer. Both Tricky and Monte have sat since December when Puck arrived, each with their own problem; an $11 battery cable for Monte and an $89 starter for the Caddy and they're back in business. The Caddy needs a muffler, too, but she's been to San Diego and back and to Salt Lake at least five times since we discovered that, so it's clearly not pressing.

I got my first avocados of the season, glossy, thick skins, big as pears, $1.29 a piece but so rich and firm that I don't even care. I don't spend much on groceries anyway. I'm cleaning stuff out of closet, drawers and pantry. I don't want to have to do it all when I move, hopefully this fall. But before that there's The Cruise; you can hear the capitals when we talk about it. I've been mentally packing for two months already and it's a month and more away, inland passage Alaska with 50+ family and 20+ friends, an extravagant 50th anniversary fling for a pair of favorite cousins. When filling out the passport application I got to the space labeled "Emergency Contact," and they requested someone not accompanying you on your journey. For a minute I thought, there's no one. Everyone will be going. But there are a few of you staying behind. Sorry.

And before The Cruise there's The 4th, one of my two favorite holidays (why can't Halloween come four times a year?) and Brent will be here for a short weekend, just to tide us over until that long August vacation up north. And I still need to shop.

I feel like I've been cryogenically frozen since the end of November. I love this summer world, lilacs and peonies, lethargic flies and printed moths. I can't spend another winter here. I'll go nuts. So after The Cruise it's time to buckle down and make my way out of here, find a warmer, kinder world that's close enough for all of you to visit. But in the meantime, I'm going to enjoy this summer like nobody's business. Even at work.

3 Comments:

Blogger Shepcat said...

Andy Kaufman?
George Carlin?
Bill Hicks?
Mitch Hedberg?

[scratches head, ponders]

Henny Youngman?

June 26, 2008 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger A said...

Because it's you and me, your first guess will always be right. Only I don't think he spells it the same. And I hope to heck that's not who he looks like.

June 26, 2008 at 8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dancing bears,
Painted wings,
Things I almost remember,
And a song someone sings,
Once upon a December

Someone holds me safe and warm,
Horses prance through a silver storm,
Figures dancing gracefully across my memory...

(Instrumental interlude)

Someone holds me safe and warm,
Horses prance through a silver storm,
Figures dancing gracefully across my memory...

Far away, long ago
Glowing dim as an ember,
Things my heart used to know,
Things it yearns to remember

And a song someone sings,
Once upon a December

June 27, 2008 at 1:57 AM  

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