Welcome to Sunday Stories, hosted by The Annoyed Army Wife! If you haven’t been over to her fabulous blog yet, please check it out.
Before I get into Part II of Our Story, I have a rather exciting announcement: My husband has agreed to be a guest writer for a segment or two of our saga! So be on the lookout for that in the coming weeks.
Yay! I just love him, don’t you?
Okay, on to Part II:
When we last left our heroes, my friend K and her husband Joe were planning a hiking trip/Sarah set-up day to Mount Washington. We decided to try for the second weekend in October. It rained.
We tried for the third weekend in October. It rained again.
And what had been rain in the lowlands was snow in the mountains, so by the fourth weekend in October, Mount Washington was already buried under 40 inches. So much for that hike.
We tried for the fourth weekend and moved our hike to Mount Moriah.
On October 22, 2005 the sun was shining brightly through the cool autumn air. We finally had our day!
I showed up at K and Joe’s house in the wee hours of the morn. K’s sister and babysitter for the day, Lu, was sitting sleepily at the kitchen table. She was in her Marvin the Martian pajama pants and had her hoodie pulled up over what was clearly bed head.
Then K walked out of the bathroom.
“Are you wearing make-up?” I asked her in disbelief.
She laughed a bit sheepishly, but came back with, “I noticed you’re looking pretty hot yourself.”
Okay, okay. So I hadn’t pulled my hair back yet. But I wasn’t wearing make-up!
T showed up a few minutes later. We introduced ourselves, made some small talk, then piled into the mini-van. We were off.
I remember that Mt. Moriah was one of the most beautiful mountains I have hiked. The start of the trail was thick with gray-trunked beech trees that canopied us in sunshine yellow. Fallen leaves carpeted the ground and I felt like I was walking in the silver and gold forests of Lothlórien. The very air was elfin.
I remember that as we climbed, the trees turned to scrub pine and were brilliant green with moss on one side and white with snow on the other. It was a striking combination. When we finally summited, the view was breath-taking, with a brightly snow-capped Mount Washington as the distant centerpiece.
I remember that T seemed to fit right in with us, but I don’t recall being particularly enamored with him. He was very nice and extremely polite, but I didn’t feel any sort of instant “click” or whatever. Maybe I was too jaded for that. I enjoyed talking to him when we did talk, but for much of the hike I walked with K and T walked with Joe.
I remember that when we stopped for lunch he ate cold chili-mac out of an MRE pouch, which I thought was disgusting and I told him so. He laughed and we had a nice chat while we sat there. T was easy to talk to and I didn’t feel like I had to be cooler than I really was (which isn’t all that cool, really). It was a nice change of pace to feel comfortable just being me.
(I suppose that should’ve told me something, but hey – hindsight is 20/20.)
I also remember that we stopped at Friendly’s for dinner on the way home and, somehow, the subject of politics came up. I asked T if he (like Joe) was a Republican, too.
“Oh yes,” he replied. “Very much so.”
“Oh boy,” K said in a tone that indicated she sensed trouble. Or maybe a deal-breaker, I’m not sure. (For the record, I’m not a Democrat. I’m not anything. I hate politics and fanaticism with equal fervor.)
But there was no trouble. We continued to talk (argue) politics for a while, then shifted to another subject. T and I discovered that we worked not only in the same city, but within a couple of blocks of each other.
When we finally got back to K and Joe’s that night, my two friends said good-bye and, with all the subtlety of a shotgun blast, left T and I standing alone in the driveway. It was starting to rain, so I said, “Well, it was nice meeting you,” and started to head toward my car, feeling a little let down. Maybe I was just tired.
“Since we work so close to each other,” T called. “Would you like to have lunch sometime?”
My insides jumped around nervously. “Sure,” I said. “That would be fun.”
“Joe’s got my number. Give me a call when you want to get together.”
I liked that he gave me a way to get his number instead of asking for mine. It seemed less pushy, more polite, safer…confident. And it is nice to have someone take an interest in you. I was excited in spite of myself.
“Okay,” I told him. We said good-night, got in our cars and drove off through the rain.