It's been hot today. Dang hot. Makes me think of Robin Williams in "Good Morning Vietnam," when I say that. Yep, Dang hot here in the bucolic village of Cranbury, New Jersey. When the Ps, Beve and I ventured out this morning to buy some games for our designated game-day, we watched county road crews working on the blacktops, holding signs, with their feet so hot against the pavement they had to lift their feet every few moments. It was grueling out there. We stayed in doors where the air conditioning ran full-blast and still the temperature crept higher and higher. Outside, the thermometer claimed it was 109 degrees of moist heat like a steam bath sucking our breaths from us. As I told D today, the whole village felt eerily quiet like the same moist heat of TO KILL a Mockingbird. Too quiet and and strange.
So we stayed inside and played games. Laughed our heads off. At the old stories and the new ones. At the incessant comic relief D-boy provides at every table, the card tricks the Professor is mastering, and especially, laughing at the laughter of these men who laugh most at each other. Beve's silent guffaw, RP's red-faced guffaws, the giggles of the wives and,eventually, the out and out can't hold in it of the husbands. We shared good natured competition--male against female, right-handers against left, couples taking other couples. And enjoyed the good fortune of the others as much as the unfortune of ourselves.
So we elected to stay inside, to pretend we have all the time in the world and there's nothing beyond these walls that needs doing. Besides, outside is a dangerous place in heat such as this. Last night, when the temperature had dropped to a mere 89, some took a walk down town to an icecream shoppe, but by the time they returned, they needed a shower to cool off from the sweat shower they'd received from the mile walk.
So it was a game day. We went off and bought 4 new games for our sorely deprived NJ-ites. Some of our favorites. We laughed our way though all of them. Listened to D-Boy commentate until we could hardly play the game for laughing (which might have been his goal--I'm just saying!), watching the professor and his wife concentrate with perfect non-verbal communication strategy, and Beve and I bumbled about. It was typical of these three couples. Beve made two kinds of bread in a used bread machine we found the other day at Value Village in the poorer part of Trenton. "I guess this means I shouldn't leave my purse in the car," I'd quipped. The bread machine cost all of 4 dollars, though so was worth the trip, and has already earned its keep.That's my Beve for you, making himself useful in short order. I love that about him. So we had home-made bread, granola, tea. Then later, thought we'd go to lunch 'down town'. Alas, we got there too late. We were like retired folks, sleeping late, eating late, expecting lunch at 3:30. In stead we came home, glad to get back in the cool, where that luscious bread was waiting, and more games to be played.
How often do we stop our lives for a day to simply be with others. Without plan or agenda, without business to take care of, things to do? But simply play games, talk and laugh--for as long as you feel like it. Then take a nap because you feel a little sleepy, rather than pushing through to be more effective. How often do we take the time to enjoy those he's put in our lives in a deep and glad kind of way, where we follow them around, ask them what they'd like and have no stake in it for ourselves?
I think it's sweet to try. I think it's possible that he might give us great hidden treasure we might not otherwise see. And I don't want to miss them. So what if it takes playing games? Or if merely sitting alone is the key? I'll do it. Gladly.
Now if you'll excuse me, I must go to sleep...for tomorrow, it's back to the business of visiting.