I can now take a direct flight to Pacific Northwest Paradise (see Sleep-deprived but Happy) and fly home before dark, but once I came back on a red-eye. Changing planes at one a.m. is just wrong for me. I usually go to sleep with the chickens. That night when I made the connecting flight, I might have been sleep-walking as I climbed into the bus to go from one end of the airport to the other. I slept fitfully the last leg of the flight in that cold, dark cabin. Would morning never come?!
Sam held the car door open for me at 7 a.m. and I fell inside. My feet and ankles were badly swollen. It had been a long, long night. He had brought a thermos of hot tea, cheese, crackers, and apples for a respite during the ninety-minute car ride home. Back at the house, I dumped my luggage on the bed and heard him running a hot bath. “I’ll make a fresh pot of coffee and bring it in,” he said. I slid down under the soothing water, legs stretched out, and sighed. The aroma of the vanilla candle he had lit on the edge of the tub brought back memories of all things fine and good. Here was a man to keep.
Sam says he was smitten with me the first night we met. Mutual friends conspired to get us together on the last night of the century. Known as Y2K, even experts wondered if all computers around the world would crash. What would happen when the computer clocks flipped to a date beginning with a “2?” They had only been programmed to begin with “19xx.” At the stroke of midnight, when clocks changed from 12:00:00 to 12:00:01, would all data be lost?
The next day, the world continued to turn.
Sam didn’t call, but e-mailed periodically. Polite and non-committal, I didn’t give in until nine months later, saying, “Why don’t we go out instead of e-mailing?” In September, he asked me to go canoeing with him. He couldn’t have known how I would like that. He had been a boy scout, and after college spent two years as a scout master. Camping and canoeing were a part of him. I had lived most of my life near the Mississinewa River, and crossed it back and forth daily to go to town, but I had never been on it. It was a good first date.
We discovered we had both taken piano lessons from Miss Shannon (see Turtles and Teapots). Growing up in small towns seven miles apart, we had probably seen each other in passing. Easy-going, he likes making tea in a teapot, and with a bit of panache serves cookies warm out of the oven.
In a few weeks we’ll celebrate sixteen years of marriage. We’ve had some rough years, but this has been a good one. It means a lot to visit family, but it’s always good to come home to Sam – and afternoon tea.