I don’t know how I managed it, but I got out of bed on time, to find the children awake and enthusiastic about going out. I made them eat cereal and then we all got in the car and drove to Coal Creek. There were no complaints, no arguments, and we walked the entire four mile trail without any yelling or shouting. Yes, there were a few times when Destroyer slouched aggressively, and the fact that La Serpiente kept telling me I looked like I needed a hug showed it wasn’t perfect, but we survived.
The other thing that helped was that both girls now like running. Or rather, they demand that I hold their hands and run as fast as I can along the trail, pulling them along. I can manage this for a while but then get worn out; in any case I was totally exhausted, without even any coffee, so for the first seven eighths of the hike I literally felt like I was going to die. I perked up near the end, in time to drive to Bellevue and get everyone a doughnut at Top Pot.
We drove home, and then instead of taking a nap, I spent an hour mucking about in VR before panicking and realising I had to go to the homeless outreach. I did a few useful things today; I carried some propane tanks for people up and down hills, and handed out water. Some people asked me what I think we should do for the unhoused people and I am still nonplussed; partly that my opinion might be useful, but also what should we be doing? How do we help them to organise? Once you go beyond basic human needs, what’s next? Having somebody ask for a birthday cake is a much simpler request; if you’re living in a tent in the winter and you want some cake, who am I to deny you?
Drove home, had an impromptu solstice celebration in the front driveway, drank a lot of mulled wine. And so to bed.