Saturday, October 06, 2007

It Just Suggests Happiness

I’ve had a very interesting week. Tuesday I was at Barnes & Noble proofreading in the cafe and a guy about my age came over and hit on me - gave me his card and told me he “just had to come flirt with me.” I haven’t had anyone approach me like that in years. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I was flirted with by a stranger. It was nice to know I’m still that attractive. The incident wouldn’t have been so weird by itself, but...

On Thursday I was at the mall and decided to get Starbucks before I left. As I was standing in line another guy came up and hit on me! This one looked no more than mid to late 20s. I was like WTF? I haven’t consciously been putting any of that kind of energy out there. He was probably a really nice guy but his tone of voice was a little creepy so I was nervous walking to my car in the garage, but it was all good. I figured he may have been talking like that because he was nervous.

Today was a beautiful day for an entirely different reason; I went on an apple picking adventure. I’ve never done that before and it was a fun new experience. It was a large group that went - about 25 in all. Kristy, who I work with, organized the outing. Most of the group were Kristy’s friends, and they were some nice folks. Jess (who also works at Pearson) and her boyfriend, AJ, are closer friends of mine and went with me in the car. We met the rest of them there. I was disappointed that Mark didn’t go, but I know these kinds of things aren’t his cup of tea and he had some obligations with his son this weekend.

It was like romping in a fairy tale. The sun warmed my skin, the orchard was full of monarch butterflies, and the apple-scented breeze followed everywhere you went. There is nothing more awesome than picking an apple right from the tree, polishing it up on your shirt, and getting sticky hands eating it out in the fresh air. If Eve had really existed, I couldn’t blame her a bit.

We found one tree that was loaded with fruit, and I ducked under the leaves to get a particularly fat beautiful apple. I found myself in a little alcove between the branches and it was so cool looking from inside out, greeness and sweet-smelling fruit all around... a very surreal moment. I could’ve stood there for an hour just taking it in. Made me wonder if the birds appreciate that view as much as I did.

The orchard was on a pretty steep hill and after hauling a half-full bag around for an hour we took a little rest. I picked up three apples to see if I could remember how to juggle. I was surprised it came back so easily. My friend Merle Hampton from high school taught me originally, but I haven’t tossed any beanbags around since I graduated. I miss Merle. None of our mutual friends seem to know what became of him. He was great at juggling and magic tricks. Anyway, Jess wanted to learn how to juggle so we spent a good half hour teaching her. She picked it up pretty well and by the end of the day she could get the apples around a few times before dropping one. It takes a lot of practice.

After running around the orchard all afternoon we went to dinner in Warwick. It’s a quaint little town (blink and you’ll miss it) and the restaurant didn’t look like much from the outside, but turned out to have amazing food. I had Caribbean seasoned pork chops - a little out of the ordinary for me, but wow it tasted good. My friends agreed that the food was deserving of their Zagat rating.

Most of the group went to a drive-in movie after dinner. That would’ve been fun, but the three of us decided to hang out at the coffee house around the corner instead. We had a great chat on the porch while sipping tea and lattes. Welcoming in autumn doesn’t get much better than that.

We brought a bushel of apples home and set them out on the counter, but quickly gave up trying to remember which was what kind. You can smell them all the way upstairs - it’s awesome.

I’ll tell you what too: a hot shower is more satisfying after you’ve been getting good and dirty all day out in the sunshine and fresh air. It’s like a special kind of clean. A good meal, good friends, and good conversation just make this day one for the books. My only regret is that I forgot my camera.

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