Guess what? I’m writing another book! It won’t come out ‘til spring 2016, if you can believe it, which seems like a long time away, but it’s not. Neither is my deadline for getting ‘er done.
In my first book Finding Your Inner Moose, I talked about your relationship with yourself and how you can make your good life even better. The new one is about sharing your better life with a mate. So for the next six months or so, you may be seeing quite a few posts on the topic of marriage and “other contact sports.”
This project has got me to thinking about my early days with Charlie. As many of you may know, we were high school sweethearts. Heck, I can’t really remember a time in my life when I didn’t know him. See, Mahoosuc Mills is a small town, so Charlie was always there in the background somewheres, plowin’ with his dad, stackin’ wood for Mrs. Thibodaux, ridin’ his bike to Blue’s General store to get some licorice or playin’ hockey or little league ball.
So, I’ve been trying to place exactly when Charlie moved from the back of the picture to the front. I think it started off kind of gradual. He was a couple years ahead of me in school. Close as I can place it, it was probably the last half of my freshman year. That’s when my friend Dot started datin’ Tommy.
Charlie and Tommy were friends back then; still are. So Dottie, me and the usual suspects, Celeste, Rita, Betty and Shirley would be eatin’ in the school cafeteria, and Tommy’d come up to our table and start flirtin’ with Dottie. ‘Course, there was much giggling and awkward pauses galore, but Tommy’d hang in there, Dottie all flushed and moon-eyed. And sometimes, Charlie would be there with him, hangin’ back a bit, to be sure, but takin’ everything in.
And one day, I remember thinkin,’ Wow, Charlie’s sure gotten taller. And when did he fill out like that? Skating parties on the pond behind Shirley’s farm always seemed a little more fun if Charlie was there. Before I knew it, he was my favorite hockey player, and in the cafeteria, I always knew where Charlie was, and sometimes, I’d catch him lookin’ at me.
Then came the Fourth of July party at Dottie’s parent’s camp. There was a whole gang of us there: Dottie’s brother and his friends, Dot and Tommy’s friends and a few kids who heard about it and just showed up. We had a cookout and spent the day hanging out on the dock, horsin’ around in the water, swimmin’ out to the float and divin’ off.
Charlie ended up sitting beside me durin’ lunch. Can’t remember what we talked about. I was too distracted by his bare arms restin’ on the table, our bathing suits almost touching, the heady aroma corn on the cob, Coca-Cola and burgers cookin’ on the grill.
Then, out of the blue, Charlie says, “Want to go out in a canoe?”
“What?” I replied. It kind of took me by surprise ‘cause, like I said, I was a little distracted.
“We can’t swim for an hour. So what do you say we go for a paddle. You know, something to do.”
“Ya, sure. Kind of boring to just hang out waiting,” I say, pretendin’ to be casual.
And off we went. I’ll tell you, from the minute we got into that canoe, things just clicked. You know, some folks have a hard time paddlin’ in sync. Some never do get it. But with Charlie and me, it just flowed, one smooth stroke after another, like we’d been doing it for years.
So began our summer of love. Between movies at the Strand, cookouts, and trips to the Dairy Joy (as it was known back then), Charlie and me spent many a steamy evening up to the Moose Megantic Lake Overlook, otherwise know as Makeout Point.
Alot has change since then, but you know, some things stay the same. Makeout Point? That’s where the Sky Lodge Restaurant and Inn is now. Holding hands no longer has that electric thrill. It’s more like slippin’ into your favorite pair of gloves. They may be a little worn, but they’re still warm and, boy, are they comfortable.
And you know what? Every once and awhile, Charlie and me drive up to the Sky Lodge and park, overlookin’ the lake, and we never do go into the restaurant.
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flipside!
Upcoming Shows and Book Events
February 6-8: The Moose in Me, The Moose in You, Garrison Players, Friday & Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 3:00 p.m., Rollinsford, NH
March 12: Catching Up With Ida, Cumberland County Retired Educators, 1:00 p.m., Portland, ME
March 28 & 29: The Moose in Me, The Moose in You, The Footlights, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. & Sunday at 2:00 p.m., Falmouth, ME
May 26: Book Reading Finding Your Inner Moose, Old Town Public Library, 11:00 a.m., Old Town, ME
For a good time, call Ida! I love entertaining groups, small and large! The following are wicked fun for after lunch, after dinner, rewards banquets, keynote speeches and what not.