You haven't heard from me not because nothing is going on, but because there's been so much for me to think about that I can't possibly organize it all on paper. "Paper". Electronic "paper". The magic white screen that's here in front of me. Or whatever. And, actually, it's not that there's really anything going on but that many things are about to go on. Or are at least in the Vague Idea Stage of things that I think I might like to have go on. Renting a yurt in northern California, for example. That's not an actual plan. It's really more of a non-crucial design element of a complicated idea that will ideally cause me to become present in a situation sometime this summer in which I am able to pluck blackberries off the bushes in the Northeast and eat them by the handful at least once a day. It's not so much that I need to rent a yurt but that blackberries don't exist in Tucson except in Safeway. And I've been led to believe that Safeway frowns on people who eat them by the handful off the refrigerated shelves.
In the meantime, real life is moving right along. Our annual summer field school, Burro Creek, is coming up. We'll be pulling out of the parking lot on Wednesday morning, and I have piles of gear strewn all over the back room to prove it. I have not yet packed the campsite bling, but it's foremost on my mind. That and socks.
My hiking sock situation has been dire for many years because I always feel it's excessive to buy socks. I don't know why. I feel like a person should be able to buy socks once and then just have them for the rest of their lives. Clearly this has to do with how I was raised. Spending money on socks makes me feel like an irresponsible rock star minus the drug use and groupies. Spending money on bras also makes me feel this way, incidentally. Who do I think I am, buying socks and bras willy nilly all over the place?
I blame the entire thing on my Puritan ancestors who probably cut off their own feet to avoid the sin of wearing socks and considered women who admitted they had breasts (and possibly who owned socks) to be the daughters (or mistresses) (or, most likely, sock-wearing daughter-mistresses) of Satan.
So every year I buy exactly one nice pair of expensive and comfortable hiking socks for Burro Creek. But I've only been up there four times. So I currently have only four pairs of nice hiking socks. As for the bra thing, I was recently forced to admit that I needed to go bra shopping. Does anyone else feel absolutely ridiculous raising your arms like a four-year-old in need of a sweater so that a sixteen year-old girl can wrap a tape measure around your boobs and then offer very solemn and serious high-pitched opinions about your cup size?
The moral of the story is that I now own more new bras than pairs of good hiking socks. Though I've probably inadvertently sold my soul to the Devil somewhere along the way.
Shortly after Burro Creek, Raphael and I are heading off to the wilds of Ohio for my sister's little backyard wedding. (Yes, my sister is the one having the wedding slyly hinted at in the last post.) I've heard rumors of barbequed chicken, a jumping castle, and a wine-tasting. And a marriage will occur somewhere in there, presumably. (Hopefully in the jumping castle!) (Will have to concentrate really hard to bring down the swelling of my Burro Creek-induced gnat bites before I slide into my new strapless dress with the butterflies for the wedding.) (So much for all the bra-shopping.)
For the remainder of the summer, there's an ice cream social in the works, Mt. Lemmon-based afternoon picnics to be planned, and swimming to be done in the neighbors' pool, and we're hoping desperately to drop Lila off somewhere and head north for blackberries and yurts and forests for a few days. We need a blessing from our mechanic, first, however.
My little red truck is becoming elderly, and has, in fact, already broken down in Northern California once, although the experience wasn't so terrible. We dropped it off at a random car place in a small town near the coast and crossed the street to pick over piles of fresh fruit at the farmstand there and then had lunch on the pretty patio of a nearby restaurant. California is a magical, magical place. There are no farmstands loaded with fresh fruit or adorable cafes with lush, shady patios in the vicinity of my mechanic's shop in Tucson. There are people with no teeth and abandoned, graffiti-covered buildings, though. And he always lets me wait in his air-conditioned guesthouse with his five or possibly six dogs. (Don't let me fool you - my mechanic is awesome, and his dogs are all very sweet and only smelly in the usual way that dogs are when five or ten of them inhabit one small space. Still: not all fruit stands and cafe patios exactly .)
I'm writing this on my patio, by the way. It's the Friday of a long weekend. It hit 100 degrees for the first time this summer today, and I have a Stone IPA by my side to help me celebrate. My handsome boyfriend is singing hair metal songs and digging happily around in his plants with his old archaeology trowel - or possibly with one of my missing ones - and intermittently playing air guitar with the rake. My dog is chasing birds. And planes. My fridge is loaded with fresh produce, there's a cooling breeze passing through the yard, and the final Harry Potter is coming out this summer.
Life. Is good.