I rode to the mountains with Quilt Artist, Makes Bread, and Signing Woman, three friends I’ve known for years. The trip took more than three hours, and I think we talked the entire time. By the time we reached the reservoir, we’d talked about work stress, kids and grandkids, and the difficulties of relationships. The rain had stopped briefly, and the sun was low in the horizon. Below the dam, a herd of deer were running around in the field. We all got out to stretch our legs, and I could feel the stress of the semester sliding off my muscles and into the water.