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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day Date, part five

As we were leaving the vineyard, I remember I have our camera and for once I want pictures of Mark and I together. I often take pictures, but I take them, so there are hundreds, no maybe thousands of pictures with Mark in them. There are many pictures with our children and Mark. There are ones of our trips before children, scenic settings and again, many of Mark. There are gigs he played, pictures of musicians and Mark. Pictures where he is on stage singing or blowing his saxophone. There are some but very few pictures of Mark and I together, but on this day date, I am determined to get a couple. A camper pulls up and several people get out, obviously all of them a bit intoxicated. They all enter the building quickly except the driver and one woman. The driver seemed sober and walked into the building slightly ahead of the last passenger. The woman lingered, taking pictures of the building and the scenery. She appeared to be the only option I had to take a couple pictures of Mark and I. As she agreed and I handed off my camera, my nerves were a bit high. This woman had apparently visited more than just one vineyard. I was handing her my camera that I really couldn't afford to replace if she dropped it. Well, she took the pictures and she didn't drop the camera, but the stress on my face in the pictures is apparent. After getting my camera back, we get in the car and decide our next destination. Bully Hill's restaurant was recommended when we asked about local places to have lunch, so we decided to go there. The ride was quick between the two vineyards, but we wouldn't realize until we got home that it didn't include the same road where we saw the mangy cat.  Now we will never know if that cat has a home or not. I still think about him on occasion, wondering if he is wandering those country hills alone. My Mom instilled this love of animals in me, we could bring home any stray and she would let us keep it. My siblings and I had many animals; snakes, turtles, cats, dogs, rabbits, chickens, even an orphaned baby raccoon. My Mom had a soft spot for vulnerable animals, I have the same and from what I can tell, my kids do too. But back to the date, the time is ticking and based on the drive up, we calculate that to be home for Teale's bus, we must leave this area by 1:30pm at the latest. Beau is obviously fine getting home alone, even Gwenn can get herself into the house. She knows how to call my cell if I am not there and besides Nana is almost always home. But Teale, we have to go to her bus to get her off, she can't just walk up the driveway alone. I have even been called by the bus garage when I have had sitters at our house meeting her bus. Her drivers are very protective of her and won't leave her in just anyone's hands. Beau could get her if needed, but considering it is a Friday and his soccer team lost in sectionals the night before, I had my doubts he planned on going home straight from school. His friends and he would probably get together. After all, soccer had been all consuming for months, so this would be one of his first free afternoons in a very long time. We had about another hour and a half, lunch would mostly consume the last of our "free time." We walk into the restaurant, the room tasteful and simple, all warm wood and huge windows overlooking the fall colored hills. The host tells me they can accommodate my Celiac Disease, a bigger plus at any restaurant, no matter how nice the setting. We are seated and both order diet sodas. The wine tasting was quite enough for me and I am still feeling the effects. Looking around I notice we are the only ones without a wine or beer glass. Often at a restaurant, I try to figure out couples around us. I find it interesting to contemplate if the couples are happy, married, newly dating or just hanging on. You can tell a lot about a couple by their body language, whether they are talking or staring into space avoiding each other's eyes. Do they laugh too easily or just "enough?" As Mark reaches for my hand across the table, I wonder if anyone is analyzing us? As we laugh and talk easily, do they think we are newly dating or maybe even a couple having an affair? I look into Mark's green eyes, once again thinking how blessed I am to have a husband who I truly enjoy being with. I'm thankful I conjured up the courage to invite him on that first date many years ago and thankful that he accepted. And at that moment, I am especially thankful that Mark brought a bottle of Dr Konstantine Frank wine on that first date. As that bottle of wine gave us many memories and an excuse for this beautiful day date together.

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