I am headed out into the wilds with a crew of unknown constitution. This is the planning and preparation phase. I am in my typical noir dream setting; a rambling, random collection of dark rooms in an old house. I am accumulating backpacker goods in an old pack ... and then somehow losing them.
I don't understand how the items can disappear like water. I place a blanket or sleeping bag in the pack and then in the next room find it gone.
I have a novel strategy for this hike. I will carry along three chests of drawers; very narrow and light, yet, still. I then determine I will only bring them along to the base camp. I then am convinced it's a dumb idea. My next notion is storing goods in my backpack. That seems the best solution.
The Sprouts are laughing and running. This is the happiest time I've had asleep in some time. PJ and Mei-Mei are cavorting in costume; PJ in his little suit and Mei in her full-body pink muumuu. They dress and then run for the stairs, giggling. I watch, delighted, cheer them on. Upstairs is a party of some sort and they are having a wonderful time.
PJ approaches me, straight to my front, very somber now. He has his serious face on.
"Grandpa, you're not funny."
He thinks I need to know this, to avoid unnecessary effort or avoid embarrassment. I think, he's graduated beyond my humor range. I take him at his word.
He goes back up the stairs, chortling. I cheer him.