I was talking to my sister, Heather and her friends, Sue and her husband Don, about life and traveling and how fun it is to see Sue's Christmas tree lit with real candles.
It was Sue's family’s annual holiday party and the room was packed with a lot of 30 somethings and a lot of 50-60 somethings and we circled each other at the food table and at the dessert table and around the Christmas tree.
What a friendly group of people.
I was tired. Exhausted. We had driven 2 1/2 hours to get to Argile, New York, for the fun and it was only ten o'clock and I was done. The constant pain of pleurisy tires me: today the pain was only a 4 out of 10; I would feel better if I were lying down.
Rather than announce my tired mood, I grabbed my bag and went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and get my pajamas on and returned to the pull out couch they had set up for Heather and I to share in the same living room where the partiers were hanging out.
I thought I would lie down and continue talking. Heather said something to me about how the partiers were still partying. I asked what time it was: 2:00 AM. Oh, so much for joining in the conversation from the couch.
The music system boomed old country music, not the kind you'd want at a party. I thought maybe they were playing that to make us go home, but then fell asleep again. Heather woke me up: "Come outside. Right now. Look at the stars."
"No." I said.
"Come." she begged. "You can wear my coat."
"No." I said, and fell back to sleep.
When Heather climbed back into bed, she felt like talking. She filled me in on the conversations I missed. The partiers continued their drunken stories from the opposite side of the living room. The music blared. Heather said the stars were the most beautiful she'd ever seen.
I wanted to go and see the most beautiful stars, but I fell asleep, again.
Heather said, "Come. Hurry. It's time for sunrise."
I thought she was joking. She wasn't.
She stood outside in the 20 degree, damp morning and absorbed the red sky rising over cascading mountains. I stood right behind her, but inside, and watched the sunrise. The sky glowed red over gray mountain ranges. I snapped photo after photo and even opened the sliding glass door a few inches to get a picture without the glare of glass.
Then I went back to the couch, climbed between the sheets, pulled up my comforter and relaxed.
"Do you have shampoo?" she asked.
I handed her my toiletry bag. and asked what time it was.
It was like I was time traveling from one moment to another, hours apart. I was lying in bed thinking about that when Heather climbed back into bed next to me and told me that there were three doors downstairs, and she didn't know which two were bedrooms and which one was the bathroom with a shower.
Pick the wrong door, and anger the sleepers. We laughed and laughed.
I wanted to talk to her about it some more, but I fell asleep, again