This morning I delivered Jihong to the Sioux Falls airport, an hour south of us, for the first leg of an overseas business trip.
As he’d prepared to leave home, a strange sequence of problems bedeviled our household appliances:
My laptop died.
Our coffeemaker died.
Our hot water heater died.
Our gas fireplace died.
I’ve been out of studio this week. No worries, I’m fully recovered from last week’s kidney stone attack (thanks for your well wishes). But with Jihong’s university on spring break, we’ve headed for the hills—the Black Hills, that is, on the western side of South Dakota.
The Black Hills are in the middle of a March thaw. They still have enough snow for Jihong to ski, but the season will likely end next week.
After a long, strenuous hike, you happen upon a river. A crude raft is beached on the sandy shore. Tacked to it is a paper that reads: “Take me downstream.” The handwriting strangely resembles your own.
You don’t know who made the raft, or why they’ve left it here. You don’t know how well it’s constructed. Does it even float?