come sing me a happy song to prove we all can get along the lumpy, bumpy, long and dusty road

Today a series of small but essential things happened that made me happy.

One, after checking in with my parents’ home (and watering plants) I walked with my kids to a local sandwich shop and people recognized us and greeted us; a woman behind the counter said to her workmate excitedly, “That’s the one that bikes with her kids!” This made me feel nice, as well as the fact my children ate every bit of their lunch then ordered their ice cream (each of them chose a horrid, electric blue bubblegum) in a very grown-up fashion. Their manners at restaurants are improving.

Two, after lunch when it seemed my son could not walk the whole way back home without incident (I had a cup of coffee to carry to boot) we crossed the street and I boarded the bus to Quinault in hopes it would get me a bit closer to my homestead. What I discovered immediately is that many people take this bus: it was more than 75% full and as soon as we climbed aboard they let out a collective gasp at my tousle-headed son, who is less than three feet tall and gets on buses with his hands in his pockets and in this case the pockets were in a handmade dinosaur costume. The driver kept trying to engage my son as I tried to ask him if he would be passing Emerson: “Yeah, yeah,” he waved at me vaguely, still chuckling after The Boy who mustered dignity, excused himself past passengers, and clambered up in a seat. Soon this driver was blasting past my street of destination as I desperately scrambled for the cord to save us an even longer walk to our house. This whole time half the bus raptly watched my children whose bus-riding skills really are funny to watch, although Nels did nothing more than act like a little boy.

Three, this afternoon as I did dishes a friend called me. She and I talked about our sick fathers. We talked about another dinner and movie date, which is exactly each of our speed. I put it on my calendar and it’s what I look forward to the most in July, second only to Ralph’s thirtieth birthday where I get him something outrageous (but useful) for his birthday. (Except damn! Ralph has a new rule where we dont’ have a kitchen gadget with only ONE function. Shit, I’d also been thinking about a sandwich grill. Back to the drawing board.)

Four, tonight another friend and her kids came over for dinner. Our four kids played marvelously together, and we had homemade pizza, veggies and dip, and more homemade chocolate cake. After our dinner my FOO came over; my parents having just arrived from their vacation. We talked about bears, churches, and I offered my mom as treasurer to my friend’s mayoral campaign.

Five, Ralph took charge of the four children as my girlfriend, my mother and I hit a local bar for one drink and some good talk.

I am so glad to have a few very dear, very lovely friends here in HQX. I haven’t yet seen much of them – honestly? I don’t want to screw anything up. I still feel slighly hermitty and sad, so it is only right I’m not painting the town. It already feels “right” and normal to have my parents back in town; to know I can see them any time (or almost any time) I want. Even to know I get to take my dad milkshakes at the hospital while he gets his chemo or feel aggravated at their pet-like creature.

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