Rainy Day

Yesterday, Rafal and I both had the day off. We did not need to drive to town for groceries, there were no pressing car repairs, and nothing much that we needed to do. Also, it was pouring down rain.

Before we moved here, I thought I would relish our trips to town. “Town,” by the way, refers either to Jackson, Wyoming (known colloquially as Jackson Hole) or Cody, Wyoming (founded and named after Buffalo Bill Cody), which are each about a two-hour drive in different directions. I also assumed that of the two options, I would much prefer the bourgeois ski village to the rodeo town, but (as I’m fond of repeating) life is full of surprises. It turns out that while I enjoy the fancy coffees and larger selection of health food options in Jackson, I’ve got a little love affair with the town founded by Buffalo Bill—a man who became (at one point, at least in legend) the most famous person in the world by way of a traveling road show—with its honest-to-goodness cowboy flair and less expensive groceries. But even more surprisingly, either town is second banana to a day at home in the park with my family.

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Typically, a “day at home” means hiking, but yesterday was a steady rain. We had already watched all of our Netflix DVDs and every DVD we have been able to beg, borrow, or steal from Rafal’s co-workers (we’ve been here for seven weeks without internet). So we needed to get creative.

We started the day early (as if Lydia gives us a choice) and packed up the car. Then we headed out through the south gate of the park and into the National Forest. We’d been told about a rugged road (more of a trail, really, but for cars) that takes you to Grassy Lake (oh, such nostalgia for Carbondale), and if you stay on it, this road actually takes you all the way to a small town in Idaho. We spent a great couple of hours sloshing through the mud in our Nissan Pathfinder (product placement) through the beautiful mountain rain. Lydia fell asleep and I made a blanket wreath to product her little melon from bopping around too much.

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But even after all that, we were back in our apartment by 1:00pm with nothing to do. So we suited up in our rain jackets, and set off to investigate all of the laundry rooms in the NPS housing areas. These are often used as places to store communal games, books, or movies (though the pickings are notoriously slim). We found Taboo and a weird Australian variation of Sorry called Sorry Spin. And really, it was worth it just to see Lydia in her rain coat.

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The rest of the day was spent playing cards; our own made up two-person version of Taboo; and what we call “Guess Who,” (not to be confused with the board game) where one player thinks of a person, and the other player asks a series of yes-or-no questions until they figure out who it is (Is this 20 questions? We definitely don’t cut the questions off at 20. So maybe this is like Unlimited Questions, but we just call it Guess Who). Rafal and I ended up staying up in bed giggling and trying to stump each other with Guess Who’s until way after Ms. L fell asleep. What seemed doomed to be a boring day of cabin fever was actually the most fun we’d had in some time.

When I went in to work the following morning, I discovered that our Netflix DVDs had arrived a day earlier than anticipated after all, but I am so grateful that we were not sucked into Breaking Bad and instead spent the whole day making each other laugh.

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