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March 19, 2000
two years ago

Real Work

Much of the morning was just waiting. Drinking coffee, reading the newspaper and waiting for the phone call from Rick and Carla. Not a bad thing, at all. Fezzik did his usual in and out routine and we enjoyed the birds, the sunshine and the time to just be.

We also got to Dot's early enough to sign up for a table and just wait in the sunshine. The air still has the bite of winter to it, and I was bundled up in my Eddie Bower coat, but we found a bench out of all possible wind and I just sat there and basked in the sunshine warmth coming down on me. There are some reasons that I like this place and the sunshine is one of them, as it's such a comfort when it's so cold out.

Carla and Rick showed up just as we were about to get our second call for our table, which was perfect. Dot's did its usual, good job of serving excellent food at cheap prices quickly and we had a great time catching up with each other. They're doing great even after the storms that hit their part of the country in South Carolina and they had fun listening to some of our adaptation stories of moving out to be by the Rockies.

It was really fun riding back home with Rick in his rental. Carla rode with John and we all went back to the house and it was really cool seeing everything through Rick's eyes, in some ways. It was nice to be reminded about just how gorgeous and astonishing the Rockies are against the near-Kansas flatness of the plains, how cool it is to have an airpark right next to the house and how much fun Fezzik is to greet. Fezzik was bouncing around, knowing he was with dog people, he rubbed up against everyone that would stand still long enough to be rubbed up again. That was very cool. They got to see the new basement, the whole house, and see just how different it was to have a little house on a prairie after having our little house in the deep, dark woods.

The great thing was that they liked this house, too.

They soon had to leave with the airport, and we hugged them goodbye. I really enjoy the times that we do get to have with them, and it was neat that they went out of their way to see us out here. We gave them good instructions to the airport and they went.

John and I spent the afternoon working on the back acre. There wasn't much wind when we started with pitchfork and rake to pile up the tumbleweeds and other weeds in the backyard into burnable piles. Again, we wanted a controlled burn, and went to the extra effort to make sure each pile was entirely separate from the others. The wind kept changing as we worked, and we went in all different directions to stay out of smoke. It was tough work to uproot those dried bushes of prickly material, and my back, arms, legs, and wrists felt the extra work pretty hard. I had to take a few breaks, as well, because of the dry air. I just went in, gulped water in vast quantities, and then found that I could go back out and do more.

I really enjoy fire. It was very interesting to watch and experience the heat of the dry brush crackling into a burst of intense combustion. It was also very satisfying to be able to use my entire body in ways that I never get to at work. Our neighbor came by a few hours into the operation and had fun kibitzing about what we were doing and lighting a few of the fires himself. He's actually a construction worker, and had fun commenting that "you're doing like real work!" I thought that was pretty funny. Even though I knew I was doing things that would hurt my hands for the next few days it was very satisfying to be able to dig booted heels into the earth and pulled entire mats of dead vegetable matter from the earth and pile it into piles that would then light incandescent with flame. Columns of smoke from the sections that were wetted by the snows of last week lifted into the pale blue sky.

There are supposed to be storms coming next week, possibly the largest storms of the year for the next four days. I think that is why the sky was a paler blue than usual.

The smoke was actually fairly choking if we stepped directly into it, so we kept working in various directions until we were finally backed up against our western fence. That was also when the rake that John was using to transfer fire from pile to pile decided that enough was enough, and the glue holding the head of it onto the handle melted. The rake promptly fell apart. We took that as a sign, and decided to stop burning. It was a good thing too, as a few minutes later the wind picked up. All the burning debris smoldered into blackness, so there was nothing burning that the wind could toss onto other dry brush. John and I went through all the burned spots to make sure that the fires were completely dead.

Both of us, by then, were covered in smoke, crusted by mud, and sore in every muscle. I really didn't want to make dinner, so after we showered we went off to find ourselves some dinner and a video. There is a Papa John's right next to the Blockbuster, so we ordered our pizza before going into the vid store. We thought about renting Notting Hill but then I saw the Jet Li's Fists of Legend and really was more in the mood for martial arts madness than a cute romance. So we rented that.

I was very glad of it when we saw it. It's really fast action, okay plot, good characterization for Li and there were some completely incredible moves that he does that just were like 'Wah!' It was really, really fun to watch and the previews made it so that John and I decided that we have to watch both Super Cop2 that centers on Michelle Yeoh and Dusk 'til Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter, which looks to be incredibly better than 2. Though some might say that that isn't saying all that much. I liked 1, though, so that might have something to do with it.

We had a really good time settling in for the movie, too. John made popcorn and I made my vice, which is the Reddenbocker caramel corn, and we had a good time just getting really comfortable and cuddling up for the movie. That was fun. I also managed to finish John's sock, just in time for the big snow storm that is supposed to happen tomorrow, along with the deadline for my project due Tuesday morning. Oof. That will be interesting tomorrow.

It was even cooler when I had super dreams of Jet Li all night long. That was very nice.

Brought to you by Dragon System's Point & Speak.

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