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This year’s my annual Bowen Island sleepover went off without a hitch. Not that hitches are the rule, but still, yay!

As is my wont these days, I had things scheduled pretty tightly.  An ultimate game Saturday morning, followed by a ride home, stopping to pick up Laura (one of the party’s guests) and Laura’s cheese from Grotto del Fromaggio.  A quick shower and some last minute packing (Do I bring my juggling balls? Answer: YES!)

Dashing to Granville Island and a quick look around for the water taxi, piling on and in, with guitars in deck and bags of groceries under our arms.

The ride to Bowen was smooth and uneventful, with most of us passing the time playing Carcassonne on our cell phones. The weather was grey and rainy, but at least it was a beautiful, mystical, grey and rainy day, the kind that makes you think that you might see a pegasus pierce the low clouds at any moment.

We settled into Cabin 2, one of the cabins I’ve rented in previous years, and got to starting a fire.*  Quickly the gloom evaporated, like a spilled gin and tonic on a summer patio.

* In the wood stove; when I re-read this, I realized it made me sound like a 9-year-old pyro.

Speaking of gin and tonic, we poured some libations and got the party started. Mandy and Zak had been in the water taxi with Susie, Laura and I, and Siobhan and Chris showed up shortly afterwards in their brand new car. Which they drove. Because, you know, they have a car! And can drive! And Clint arrived as if by magic out of the darkness about an hour after.

Everyone brought food—enough for two people, each. Uh oh.  From a lovely beef stew to tremendous quantities of nachos, to more german and swiss pork products than I’ve seen at a non-buffet in my life…it was wonderful to simply graze our way through the evening. See if you can match the people to the food brought:

ingredients for braised beef stew plus a chef’s knife
brownies
nachos
coleslaw and pie
soft cheeses
swiss, german and hungarian sausage
tequila

Chris and Siobhan
Clint
Laura
Mandy
Susie
Travis
Zak

And as for drinking: we started out respectably enough with red wine out of wine glasses. But then someone brought out a little phial of Fireball: it’s a wonderful drink, like someone crossed candy for little girls with a barrel of horse kicks.  And so after that ran out, along with an extra-large bottle we bought at the general store… actually, I don’t remember what happened then.

But I do know we played Bananagram, and played guitars, and listened to music and mellowed out.  We also played a “game of questions” that was actually a gift given to me a previous year, and I laughed so hard with our self-amusing group that my cheeks hurt.

Breakfast the next day was amazing.  Simple ingredients (eggs, bacon, milk, fresh peppers) combined to make one of the best breakfasts I’ve had in ages, thanks to Zak. (Well, thanks to bacon, cooked by Zak.) People mostly seemed content to hang out around the cabin in the warmth—Susie especially, who is still fighting a sore throat and sinusitus that she’s had for weeks. A few little walks were had, but the rain was a discourager.

And while I do feel like the party went on a little too long—this was the first year we were given a 3 p.m. checkout instead of a noon check out—I can say that it was one of the best times I have all year.  I know the serenity and friendship of the weekend will help carry me through another four seasons.

Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

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