"Did you shut off the water?"
I am standing on our deck, watching the sun slowly lengthen the shadows of empty campers. We are not the last to leave on this summer Sunday, but most of our neighbors have packed up and driven off hours ago. Linda's question does not interrupt my thoughts; I have no thoughts. I am simply standing, watching, feeling soft breezes and barely aware of the background sounds of Renaissance on Sunday evening.
This has been a busy weekend, full of partying and laughter. There is always a party in the Ghetto, usually several. But this weekend has been unusually active; a birthday for this one, a baby shower for another, and the weather has been more than perfect. Impromptou gatherings in the field have spread to decks, food has magically appeared, coolers of beer have been emptied and refilled. Guitars have been dragged out from under beds and though both words and chords are more inventive than accurate, enthusiasm and good will is more important.
The day has wound down, but echoes of laughter and song are still in our heads. The people have gone, dribbling away in ones and twos, always reluctant. The few of us that are left are separate now, cleaning, repairing, packing; in our own worlds.
The warm air has held us here far too long. We have three hours to drive to reach our bed, and tomorrow's 5:00 AM alarm will find us bleary of eye and mind. Still, I move slowly to the back of our camper, and slowly turn off the water. It is too perfect, too good, to leave just now. A caressing breeze teases my still naked skin. Monday is not real, cannot be real. Only this can be truth.
"Aren't you dressed yet?"
Linda has come out to the deck, and found me staring vacantly into the trees. No, I am not dressed yet. My shorts are clutched in my hand, but I cannot bring myself to put them on. To do so is admission that the day is done, that we really are going home. I am in denial, am stubbornly resisting that moment.
"Come on, boopy, time to hit the road". Yes. I know. It is time, it is far past that time. We will both regret this tomorrow, but these few remaining moments must be stretched and savored. I sigh a long, forlorn sigh and slip on my shorts, then step back on the deck to lock the camper door.
The car has been packed hours ago. We have been ready, but only physically. Mentally, we are still not ready, but duty and habit gets us into the car and we drive toward the gate.
We see one of our neighbors puttering outside his camper. He lives and works nearby and often stays over. We envy him. He is too far way, and it seems too tranquil to shout, so we wave at him, and he smiles and waves back.
The gate opens at our approach and we slip through to begin going down Kittle Road. As we pass the neighboring farm, Linda slows the car and stops to watch the horses grazing in the field.
She looks ahead. down the road. "Home is where the heart is".
"Then this is home", I say quietly.
She raises her eyebrows and a half smile indicates agreement.