The summer slew of festivals has waned down and Syracuse is once again a town of college sports fanatics and college parties. Although there was the long running Westcott Street Cultural Festival and the Italian Festival for whatever reason the pirate and I decided it would be a good weekend to take out the canoe and go for what he called a hike and I called a very short walk in the woods. I literally was on the verge of buying a canoe or kayak this spring, but a new lap top was needed first and I never did get around to it. In the midst of it all was the Pirate Festival in Marathon, and the willingness of the pirate to load up his canoe, though we did not use it, left me with a question of whether I might at some point get to enjoy his boat, though this summer thus far we had not. Earlier this week, when we talked about the weekend, I said lets go for a hike or take out your canoe.
The day was crisp and cold, the sun warm, but the chill in the shade left me shivering and pulling my fleece lined hoodie close. We went to the Regional Market, which is a flea market on Sundays. Then to his ritual Sunday breakfast with his Mom and step-Dad, my first invitation in the three months of actual dating, preceded by two months of platonic friendship and over two years of peripheral awareness of one another. I tried liverwurst and though I despise liver I really like the liverwurst. He loaded the canoe on his truck and off we went to Labrador Pond. It was a lovely quiet pond, surrounded by bog, flanked by driftwood, and bordered by lily pads. We saw so many minnows, frogs, monarch butterflies, blue and red dragonflies and some beasty that left a long wake of bubbles moving so quickly underneath the water, we paddled hard and could not keep up. We followed the inlet back in as far as we could, stopping by a beaver house, and on the return saw either a beaver or a muskrat closely followed by the green head of a water snake. Our evening of long laughter and persistent teasing carried over as we continued to gently spar with one another on the sparkling clear water. He kept me laughing for the entire time we spent together. Including his ode to Bob Dylan “Don’t stand up in the boat, or you’ll sink like a stone…oh the times they are a changin'” after I pretended to not know that you should not stand up in a canoe.
After we reloaded the boat on top of the truck we headed to Tinker Falls. Although it is mostly blocked off near the falls themselves and truly a short walk it was just an added bonus to the day.
Driving home I had butterflies, in my belly. I cannot explain it. All I can say is that one day some long long months ago, when the brutal rawness of the ending of my marriage was not so bad, I envisioned a relationship with a man of a certain type, a certain caliber. I wrote out a long list of important qualities, though one day in a huff, (the “this shit is never going to happen so why should I curse word bother” kind of huff) I threw it out. But here riding home in the afternoon sun with my strong, hardworking, resourceful, down to earth, nature loving, funny, sweet, handsome, creative, intelligent, family oriented, warm, sexy boyfriend, I felt this wave in me, a wave of happiness. He is so much the kind of person I have wanted to be with for a very long time, even while I was married, I wanted so much for my former husband to be like this, though he so wasn’t.
I don’t know what the end of this book will read like, but I sure as hell am having a wonderful time reading these chapters. I wouldn’t change a thing. I am so very lucky to have the pirate in my life. Though he will not see these words, I will say it: he is an awesome boyfriend, and I treasure every moment I spend with him.