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one day down

Today, officially the first day of my first summer vacation, was packed about as full as I could pack it.

Day breaks before 5:00 here in Tucson during the summer because we don't observe Daylight Savings Time. At 5:30 am I started a 4 mile walk with my friend Ana and my dog Cassie. After that, a furtive peek in the recycling dumpsters at the park, where I found a length of b-flute (for packaging some books I sold on half.com), three good shoe boxes (for sorting craft supplies), and the June 2007 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. June hasn't even happened yet.

I came home, brewed half a pot of coffee which I sipped while I packed my books, then schlepped my kid, a big box of toys, and the Dyson up to our rental condo. Time for a between-tenant cleaning. I learned several things today during the two hours I spent cleaning the condo: (1) It's much easier to clean a place that nobody really lives in; (2) I do a better job than the cleaning person we usually hire; (3) my Dyson will suck up the remains of a bird some neighborhood cat killed and devoured on the doormat, leaving behind the joints and feathers of the wings and tail. I'm glad we bought the purple pet hair model.

After the condo cleaning my sister Mandy came over with her sons Evan and Aaron. The boys played Stream in the backyard sandbox, then had a nice splash in the kiddie pool. While they splashed I filled the watering cans (from the kiddie pool) and watered all the plants. I cooked this awesome Cheesy Catfish dinner while Mandy bathed the boys in the pool (with biodegradable soap, of course). After we did the dishes I washed Cassie in the kiddie pool and by that time I'd abandoned all plans to bathe myself outside, too. It was still daylight and the pool water was cloudy and full of Cassie hair.

Tomorrow I'll keep busy too, packing a Soldier Boy box for my friend gnightgirl's son in Iraq. As I watched my own 5-year-old boy drift off to Dreamland this evening I thought about how, when I met gnightgirl, her son Brian was only a year or two older than Jack is now. Now Brian is a soldier serving in Iraq. I wonder where my own boy will be in 15 years. Wherever he is, I hope I can support him as strongly as gnightgirl supports Brian. She's an inspiration.

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