Well, it was Valentine’s Day and that’s when they had met, he and his wife, and even though she had passed away 10 years ago, every Valentine’s Day he took the hike where they had met. So with a smile, he proceeded to the trail.
He placed his feet very carefully on the trail. There was a lot of loose stones and sand in places so he had to be very careful as he hiked down into the canyon.
It was a warm day, so he rolled his sleeves up to enjoy it but he kept his hat on because it was also very bright at that time of day there.
As he went down the trail it switched back and forth so it wasn’t too steep. It was fairly wide and deeper in the middle which he appreciated because it lent a sense of there being a safety ridge on the sides so that there wasn’t much chance of falling off the edge which he appreciated a great deal.
He had hiked the mountains for years and years and he was getting on in his age but he still loved to do it. At this time of his life he used a walking stick and from time to time would brace himself on it or would dig it into the ground just a little bit so that he could get a firm hold on his next step and lean against the stick.
As he got near the bottom he appreciated the beautiful stream that was running there. Suddenly he heard a little sound off to his left. He looked over and there was a lady sitting on a rock. He noticed that she was eating a sandwich and he mumbled to himself, “I wonder, this would be rather bold.” But he had a sandwich too and he went over and introduced himself very politely and said, “Hello, my name is Dominick and do you mind if I share this rock?” She replied, “No, certainly. Sit down. Nice to have company. My name is Donna.”
He sat down and took out his sandwich and started eating it. He also had a apple and a pear. So when he got done with his sandwich and she did too he offered the pear to her and she said, “Oh, isn’t that funny. I also brought an apple and and a pear. Since you gave me your pear maybe you’d like mine.” He laughed and accepted her offer.
The time of day was quite early still. It was about 11:00 o’clock but since they were in a canyon they knew they would have to get up out of there by at least 4:00 o’clock or it could get dark in a hurry. Sundown in a canyon happens early.
After their lunch and pleasant conversation he asked her if she was taking the same trail up that he had taken down and she said, “No. I’m taking this other trail. It’s a little steeper but I like it better. He said, “Oh, I know that trail.” So she said, “Why don’t you join me?”
And so he did and up the trail they went slowly but surely stoping to rest along the way because they were both getting on in years but they enjoyed their hike and eventually they got to the point of the trail that had an overlook and from there you could see not only the whole canyon in both directions but very far to mountains all around. The spectacular beauty of it all was enthralling.
Quietly he said, “This must be magnificent in the morning when the sun’s coming up,” and she replied softly, “Oh yes, it is I assure you.”
He asked, “You’ve come here often?” “Yes,” she said, “I have a little cabin just up at the top.” “Oh,” he said, “I’ve seen that cabin so many times and always wondered who lived in it.” She smiled and said said, “Well, it’s me!”
They continued on up the hill with the trail twisting, at this point, back and forth and not as steep as it was so that it was easier going and they could walk steadily. They got to the top and they both rested a bit on a log that was there for that purpose.
They got to talking. She asked, “Well, where do you live?” He answered, “You know where the other trail is?” She said, “Yes, yes.” “And at the top of that trail,” he continued, “if you walk down the hill there’s an old house that’s near the Italian restaurant - have you seen that one?” “She said, “Oh my, is that the one with all the gingerbread carving on the wood around it?” He said, “Yes, yes, you’ve seen it.” She said, “Oh, I’ve walked past that house hundreds of times.” And they laughed at their similar experiences. She said, “Why don’t you come up on the porch and we’ll have a lemonade.” And so they did.
Well, one thing led to another and before long they were seeing each other, becoming great friends and enjoying each others company.
She’d had a long marriage and raised several children but her husband had passed away many years ago and the children were grown up and lived a little ways away but they would still come and visit her when they could.
He had been married as well and his wife had also passed away quite a few years before and so they felt it was fate that they should meet at this time of their lives.
One day they had planned to go to the Italian restaurant so he walked up to her place, not as far as he had to walk the first time they met. There was a back trail from his house to her little cabin and they walked down from her place to the restaurant together.
He paused thoughtfully for a moment and said, “You know, we’ve been seeing each other for about a year now. Why don’t we make it permanent”. She smiled and said, “I’d love to.” And so they did.
May you all enjoy pleasant surprises and good times. Happy Valentine’s Day!