Mr. Wonderful surprised me this morning. I was stumbling around making coffee, when he said “No band practice today, how about we go for a walk on the canal?”
Early in our history, a lot of our “dates” were walking on the C&O canal. We met as I was ending a long relationship with a bad boy. I had sworn off men.
Mr. Wonderful asked me out a few times, but I didn’t want to hang in restaurants or bars, or even go to the movies. I sure as hell wasn’t going to sit around watching tv – esp not football games.
Finally, one Sunday in late October, he rode his bike the 20 miles to my house and woke me up at 8am. He said, “I’m a nice guy – give me a break. You pick the activity.” I stood there in my bathrobe on the front porch with bed hair and bad breath thinking “Huh?” I’m not a morning person.
So we walked on the canal and talked to each other and threw rocks and sticks into the Potomac River.
Those days (26 years ago) my Parents had a black lab named Elesar. They traveled a lot, so I often had weekend doggie duty. Elesar was the only retriever in the history of the world who would not chase a ball, stick or Frisbee. You could throw it, but he’d sit and watch you pick it up and throw it again. That dog lived 15 years and never retrieved anything.
So there I was, with this guy I didn’t know too well, and the dog, walking the canal on a Sunday morning. Elesar fell into the Potomac River. Sank like a rock. Apparently I had custody of the only non-retrieving, non-swimming Labrador retriever on the planet.
Mr. Wonderful dove into the Potomac and rescued the dog, dragging him out by his collar. The dog was gasping and Mr. Wonderful was soaking wet. Elessar barfed on Mr. Wonderful’s shoe and proceeded to shake water all over him.
Once the drama was over, I almost died laughing. I remember driving home with stinky wet guy and dog. For the record, my car stank for weeks.
Today, we had a really nice time together. It wasn’t too hot. We saw fish and birds and turtles sunning. The memory of the kids, when they were little, running and tossing rocks and sticks into the canal and the ghost of the dog were with us.
It was a really good day.