If I can't find me a husband here...

Trip Start Jun 15, 2004
Trip End Jul 28, 2004

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Flag of United States  , Arkansas
Saturday, June 19, 2004

Today was the family reunion, and it was as much fun as a 73-person Event can be. Which is to say, I loved the one-on-one time I found with long-lost (and not-so-long-lost) relatives, but also needed to run for the sanctuary of the empty house on a fairly regular basis. Each time I come, though, I get to know someone new or get to know everyone else better, and that makes each successive visit a little bit sweeter.

The day was filled with prizes and games, my favorite of which was Torture the Turtle. I'm not sure that was the official name, but it consisted mainly of small children painting the backs of box turtles and then terrorizing them for the rest of the day. I tried to stay out of it, and did a good job for the most part. I only had one small moment of indiscretion, when I saw a turtle lumbering at full speed across the swim beach. I looked left, I looked right, I saw no one. Nonchalantly, I wandered toward the turtle, certain that I could casually lift him out of view of the child terrorists and speed his way to grass and freedom. By the time his particular tormentor noticed his absence and scooped him up, I was too far along in my plan to give up. "Don't you think he's scared?" I pressed. "Don't you think he'd rather go home?" Damn, I thought, I had promised myself that I wouldn't traumatize any children today. In the end, The turtles and I lost and he went back in the Turtle Pen, aka Turtle Death Camp. I tried my best to drown my sorrows in the hula hoop contest.

The rest of the day was much less disturbing, and I had a great time. I sat out on the dock with Shannon for a long time, which may have been the highlight of my day. There's something wonderful about connecting as well with someone as an adult as you did when you were both pig-tailed little girls. She reminded me of the time years and years ago when we swam out to the middle of the lake and treaded water ALL DAY LONG--All the other little girls wanted to play with us, but we only wanted to play with each other. I guess I was a one-on-one person even then.

Now I'm listening to the rain and the voices of men playing poker in the other room, trying to stay focused on the present. No matter how thrilling the present is, it's so easy to get lost in the past or daydream about the future. Here and now! That's where I want to live, and I hope to get better at it over the course of the trip.
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jesshiggins on

Hi Steve!
I really enjoyed talking to her, too...every year I meet someone 'new' (or, new to the grown-up me!) I hope I'll be able to make it next year. I'm applying for jobs at the moment, so cross your fingers for good vacation time!!!
Take care,

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