Thursday, June 15, 2006

Life is good!

"Julie, do you have any bright red lipstick?" As the sun settled near the horizon, I planned on wearing the brightest lipstick I could find. Julie, however, wanted to be the first to try. I took down the hummingbird feeder on the deck, held it below my waist and backed up several feet. Julie filled her mouth with sugar water, formed a red circle with her lips and stood where the feeder had been. Birds swarmed around her searching for the feeder. I glanced down to discover one was on the feeder I was holding. Julie was never kissed by a hummingbird. We’re going to try again.

We’re in Kanab, Utah on our way to Salt Lake City where we’ll meet my sister, the Tetons where we’ll meet Julie’s sister and Yellowstone, our final destination, where we’ll meet Julie’s cousin. The four couples have established a tradition of meeting in a national park each year. I loaded our backpacks and hope to take a short overnight trip away from the blacktop and the crowds. Julie prepared by reading about bears.

I’ve been getting up and starting work at 4:30 each morning. The day ends about ten at night. It feels good to have a sense of purpose (which I want to write about soon), to work hard and to plan some enjoyment for each day and each weekend.

Last Saturday evening, we went to a "full moon party". Our hosts live about four miles off the blacktop and have monthly parties during the summer. About 30 people attended and we met several people who live near us – interesting and fascinating people. On Sunday morning we participated in a walk through the historic part of Flagstaff. The walk was led by a couple dressed in costume from about 1900.

This summer's count of rattlesnakes in the yard is now three. After dark one evening, I watered a flower and took it outside to set it beside the grill so it would be shaded the next day. I heard a small noise and got a flashlight. I had set the flower pot within six inches of the snake. The second snake was in front of the compost bin. Once again it was after dark. Fortunately, I had a light with me and noticed an oval pattern before stepping on him/her. The third snake was in the sun and was the largest I’ve seen. Many people kill rattlers. I don’t. I think they have as much right to life as I do. We’ve adopted a policy of tolerance. I leave them as I find them and they do the same for me.

Recently, I put a decal on the back window of my car. The decal shows a dog holding a marshmallow over a camp fire above the words "life is good". Life is good and keeps getting better.