Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The same thing happens every year.

Awaken, to the sound of water softly lapping against the hull, or perhaps a far-off fishing boat speeding toward a favorite spot. Momentarily wonder what time it is, realize that it doesn't matter. Dave's already long gone, up on a ridge, taking pictures. Check the wind to see if the coffee pot's already percolated; if it is, then she's already up on the top deck, and you can take her a refill. Grab your book and a cup, maybe a piece of chocolate, and head up there to read for a while, maybe even take a nap - it's decaf.
Later on, after breakfast, read some more or put your headphones in and listen. It's time to let go of the junk that clouds your soul for a little while. Talk about stuff - it doesn't matter what the subject is, it's called enjoying each other's company, in their company. Being with them without something to have to do, so rare, anymore. Jump in the lake - usually good for a cool jolt before lunchtime. Dry off, grab a snack. Read some more. Doze off. Look for burro droppings nearby, maybe we'll get some visitors as the sun recedes. We stare, they stare, they drink, we drink, they leave.
Afternoons are for floating, napping (naturally), and getting dinner ready. The music heats up, more junk food is consumed, and the energy level reaches a peak of activity that, while not lathargic, is better described as unhurried. The sun goes down, we pause and admire the serenity of it all, the uncomplicated desert landscape, and get back to the big dinner. Dinner takes a while, like it should when good friends are together. At last, we clean up most of the mess and head up to the deck and the stars.
Even with the 'light pollution' of Las Vegas to the West, the sky is magnificent to us city folk. The "Milky Way" is, really. We can see (even with our aging eyes) shooting stars, planes, satellites, some claim to have seen a UFO, one year. Years ago, we would sit and talk and gaze up for what seemed to be hours on end. Nowadays, it usually doesn't take long before the sound of snoring begins. Too bad, but it's who we are. One by one, we either say our goodnights to the remaining sentinels and head down to bed, or make our bed upstairs, if the weather's right. By then, the lake is like glass, and the stars shimmer back up at you as you take a last look before you tuck in.
The time seems to pass more quickly, each year. Idle time, but by no means wasted. Time to breathe. Time to listen, to see. To gaze. To share both memories and expectations. It's hard to believe that we've done this 19 times. I can't wait to go, tomorrow.