I have always felt that it was rather fitting that we met on April Fool’s Day. As my mother was fond of saying during my childhood, there is no fool like an April Fool.
We went out to dinner last night to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of our meeting. Of course, we went to the Farmer’s Gastropub, where once I told the proprietor why we were there, he opened up a split of champagne for us, compliments of the house. Gosh it is fun to be friends with the person who owns your favorite restaurant! We dined on wonderful food, I had duck confit, which came accompanied by fresh asparagus and yukon gold potatoes. Jim enjoyed the pork roulade (pork rolled around spinach and feta), which also had some asparagus standing by, but he got garlic mashed potatoes. It was just yummy.
Anyway, we did a certain amount of reminiscing, and one rather spectacular weekend stood out for us. It happened in July (or maybe August) of the same year we met. Jim’s brother Don was stationed at Beale Air Force Base, and there was going to be a big air show that weekend, so we went up there to participate in the festivities. In addition to historic WWII airplanes, and a show by the Air Force’s flying team, we also saw aerobatics, and sky divers. The plum part of the show was being taken behind the scenes to see the SR71 – “The Blackbird” – which was still a pretty top secret airplane at the time.
There was plenty of other scenery too. This was all I could see, really. He was wearing the infamous “White Shorts”, which I found inspirational and sexy and the young nieces found to be entirely too revealing and rather disgusting.
And that handsome fellow happened to be looking down at this:
Oh, we were young and lusty! When we were driving up there through the howling wilderness, we were overcome by our attraction to each other and had to pull off the road to express it fully. We dragged a blanket off into a field and had a quite wonderful time. We were maybe 15 minutes from our destination, and when we got there there was a very large grasshopper riding along on my skirt where it had brushed off as we found a spot to spread our blanket.
This morning we got up very early as Jim had to work this morning. I made breakfast, and we both left the house before dawn. Jim went off to work, and I took Ruby out to Bennett Spring, where we enjoyed the dawn chorus as we walked out along the paths. No one was there but us and the birds.
We heard the demure “pock pock” call of a hen turkey, followed shortly by the gobbling of a couple of toms that responded to her. As we walked, we sort of circled the ridge they were all on, and as time progressed I could hear the toms getting closer to the hen. Eventually there was a very vehement discussion of territorial differences.
We also heard the rapid rat-a-tat of downy woodpeckers drumming to each other across the hollow, later on the more deliberate sounding from a couple of pileated woodpeckers resounded through the woods. Lots of tufted titmice calling back and forth, as well as robins and cardinals. Needless to say, the jays were chatting, the crows cawing. The world was filled with the sounds of avian yearning for connection and partnership.
For some reason, it all reminded me of the early days of our partnering. And as I walked along I was transported by the beauty around me. The path was a thin dark trace surrounded by mounds of emerald chickweed. Strewn through the greenery were white and purple violets. Floating above it were masses of ultraviolet wood phlox interspersed with the pale blue bells of jacobs ladder. Floating above in little groups were yellow stars of some sort of daisy like plant, mustard, and every once in a while a group of squaw root displayed their odd flowers. Up along the bank I found the red trillium in bud.
Up out of the hollow the path was still green, but the grass was short and my walk seened to be strewn with golden stars: the buttercups just loved this spot.
And when you look down the ridges, the dogwoods look like clouds amongst the pale green of the new leaves on the other trees.
It was a very beautiful morning indeed. Now I must go mow the labyrinth, and while I do it I suppose my mind will wander back 30 years to the afternoon when that sexy, handsome, intelligent man sprang up the stairs of my apartment and into my life.
I’m so glad he did.