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By the time the 4th of July party was over, or at least winding down, I felt like I had been so overstimulated that I was just about in tears for no particular reason.

I had started the afternoon by spending an hour or so out swimming in Lake Margaret, and playing on a huge floating trampoline. I had forgotten about "trampoline burn", not having been on one in ten years or so, but it was totally worth it to spend so much time laughing and playing like a kid with sometimes up to 10 other supposed grown-ups flopping around and falling in the water at every turn. And I didn’t even get sunburned. Those of you who know my history with water will understand why a bunch of roughhousing on a floating tramploline might have started my afternoon as a bit of an energy drain, as fun as it was.

After that came the potluck, to which some genius had supplied all the makings for shishkebobs, including the marinated meat and everything. Mmmm-mm! And there was much meeting of new people and chatting and such. Again, it was good, but also a huge energy drain for me. There are a surprising number of girls there to whom I totally don’t relate. In fact, most of them. I expect female naturalists and trackers to be, well, less "girly". I don’t expect them to say things like, "Wow, Melissa, those sandals totally make that outfit! Where did you get those?!" I don’t generally mind having my assumptions proven wrong, this being something that happens fairly regularly. But I’m dissapointed in this case, having hoped for some feminine connections here. If the women at this party are a fair sample of the WAS women in general, I may be out of luck. The one exception is Samantha, who is in the picture from last week, standing behind me. She’s both more "out there" and more "down to earth" than many of the women I’ve met so far. It’s a combination I like, and I’ve had a couple interesting conversations with her so far.

And then there were fireworks. Many bright, flashing, loud, seizure-inducing fireworks. What is up with these things, and why do people like them? But Evan, Jason, and some others played guitar and sang blues-y Americana music during all the fireworks, which was really cool. But after all the swimming, chatting, and sensory overload, I was ready for some peace and quiet. I headed to Dave’s house, and he showed up shortly after. He has another friend staying here, so we were figuring out sleeping arrangements. I suggested that I would be totally happy to sleep in my truck in the driveway. Dave was a little iffy about that, since he lives in a 4-plex with neighbors. And I found myself about to cry as I explained that I had been really overstimulated tonight, and was looking forward to being in my own little space. Dave was cool with that, so I had a really good peaceful night’s sleep.

I finally got a carpool worked out, and met Rayne at 6:15 this morning. After a quick stop at Safeway for coffee, we made it to the park with 10 minutes to spare. Rayne’s a cool guy, and fairly quiet, so I am thankful for the chance to get to know him a little better on the drive. On the way back, we stopped at this little burger-n-shake place, featuring this sign on the fence:small fryes burgers and shakes

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