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Tue, May. 30th, 2006, 09:45 am

"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power."

--Alan Cohen

The whirlwind of the past couple of weeks is finally coming to a head; we will be entering the eye of the storm tomorrow, as our big move commences, and with the help of a few good friends, hopefully the dings, dents and heartaches will be minimized, allowing things to progress exactly as planned, just like they always do. Uh huh.

The packing (cramming, stuffing, shoving, grunting, sloughing, wheezing) was pretty much wrapped up on Friday, just before we hoisted anchor and set sail for a Memorial weekend camping extravaganza, forevermore dubbed Camp Pumpernickel Pancake. (Sure, the cats puke-shitted all across my living room, but I wasn't going to let a tiny, soluable thing like *that* stop me.) The journey was brief (only a few hours, plus site-seeing stops), but the results were spectacular. We found an ideal site nestled in between some sheltering pines in the Bowen Gulch Protection Area, very close to the Never Summer Wilderness. The weather the first day was sunny, and we became corporeal walking buffets for the local mosquitoe population for about an hour before the sun went down. After a dozen or so bites (each), we built a fire ring and set ablaze a campfire Pele could be proud of. We befriended Bacchus in the traditional manner, and ended up falling asleep by midnight. Which was good, since, as always, when in nature, I wake just after sunrise. In this case, around 6:30. And up I stayed! The pooch. She needs to poop. Often, as it were. I took her for a long walk, went off and found some more firewood, chopped it all down with our handy little hachet, and finally woke up the Better Half. Sunday was dazzling, albeit slightly overcast, and we focused our day's energy on hiking and exploring. By 6pm, it was snowing. We took shelter in the tent for the evening, reading, eating chili, simmering our souls, and after a long nap, emerged well after dark to light the firewood (which we had cleverly covered with a tarp) for the midnight spirits to enjoy. No bugs out that night! The 10 degree weather ensured it.

Little sleep, lots of cold, and we woke on Monday ready to leave. But first, we ate a wonderful, hot and spicy breakfast, drank some good French Press, and broke down camp. And during the last late-morning swing in the hammock, he gave it to me. He was even all down on his knee and everything. It was perfect, and I couldn't have hoped for anything more. But this is where I stop, because cheese just really isn't my style. ;)

Saw my karisma yesterday. She's doing well, and prepared for her own big move off to the East once again. She'll be taking on the realm of professionalism and cut-throat law schooling. No more four-inch-stilettos for her! Oh no, from now on, nothing higher than 3.5 inches will do. I will miss her, but I know we will see each other again soon.

Sold some furniture. Managed the kitties. Tonight is the NIN concert at the Rocks, and I'm dressed in obligatory black, ready to rock and roll with the best of 'em. After I find myself a nice patch of shade, that is: I do believe I've passed my sun-quota for the month. Or four.

The next time I wake up, I'll be running full-speed, I'll be with my best friend, moving boxes and driving around trailors. It's been a surreal month, and I'm so (SO) ready to be in our new abode. It's the beginning of a new life, new doors are opening as others close, and for this, I am thankful.

Another thing I am thankful for: this morning, I called my mother to make sure our family was alright in Indonesia (they just suffered another huge quake, this time claiming at least 5,400 lives, with the impending threat of a volcanic eruption overhead), and while talking, got a call from a number I didn't recognize. I answered it. It was my brother. I haven't spoken to him in years, and it was so good to hear his voice.

I'm ready to open the door.