Tuesday, July 06, 2004


It's the season for picnics. It's sunny, it's summer, and yesterday was the Fourth of July. Jackie and I celebrated over cool salads and sparkling grape juice with friends. After dropping off the Pack 'N Roll (the item of envy for nearly every picnic-er we passed...okay, maybe "envy" is a strong word...), we watched fireworks explode directly over our heads from the patio of Elements, the restaurant we both call an employer. (Jackie's just on extended leave - she can't get off the employee register that easily!) It was fun sharing the Fourth with friends, the little scraps of extinguished fireworks lightly falling on us during the show.

Today, I met dear friends Shilo and Sharin' in Crawfordsville for a hearty breakfast before hiking the trails at Shades State Park. We'd been there before and used the familiar sites on the trails to try and reconstruct our Fearsome Foursome camping history. In different combinations of Alida, Shilo, Sharin', and I, we've hiked and camped all through the Indiana summers.

In a way, I guess those early adventures prepared us for the trails we're exploring these days. Sharin' leaves tomorrow for a month in China. Shilo leaves the day after to return to her New Mexico home and a job teaching three elementary school grades at once. We missed Alida at Shades and spoke about her graduate school projects in North Carolina. Jackie, too, is exploring new trails (literally...it's a perk of a spelunking instructor husband) in Italia.

With such amazing friends (and the trusty Pack 'N Roll in hand), there's no telling where we'll host our next Fourth of July picnic together.



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