It was February and it was cool. Not cold, not snowy or sleety or icy. Just cool, as in 59 degrees and raining sun. The town was situated on the San Francisco Bay – hilly and green, with the sailor blue water on one side, Mt. Tamalpais on the other, a mountain with an Indian maiden’s figure curved into the prayer position. I’d never been there before, but when we drove in, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. The sky was laden with heavy thick gray clouds, yet the sun peeked through like it was flirting with us. I was charmed and instantly captivated.
After my new man and I settled our luggage in the town’s lodge, just 100 yards from the Bay and Main Street, we walked. The air was as cool and clear as a glass of chardonnay. The streets were empty – it was a Sunday early afternoon, and the forecaster did threaten more rainstorms. Go ahead, I dared the weather god. Go ahead. You couldn’t possibly ruin my joy at walking these romantically puddled streets with this tall trim blond holding my hand, making promises I wished he’d keep.
We passed a café where customers were sipping coffee while reading their San Francisco Chronicle. A laundry mat, a delicatessen, a bicycle shop and an antiques store. A drizzle began, and I raised my face to the sky. Bring it on. I could feel my hair frizz and my eyelashes curl. We passed the park that faced the Bay, bright yellow daffodils and lipstick pink tulips waving as if in greeting. Flowers! In February! Then just as we passed a small flower shop a woman jumped out, glee on her face mingled with surprise.
“Jerry?” she exclaimed. “Jerry? What are you doing here?” She was adorable, with short black hair that curled around her ears, small bright black eyes that sparkled like dynamite, and red cherub cheeks that were bursting with happiness. Her black trousers and a black shawl that she wrapped around her shoulders gave the impression that she lived in France, not Marin County,USA.
“Visiting,”he said noncommittally, seemingly taken aback by seeing this woman. I nudged him lightly and he said, “Oh, Peggy, this is Pam. Pam, Peggy.”
“I’m so excited to meet you!” Peggy said sincerely. I couldn’t figure out why it meant so much to her, that would come years later, but only one immediate thought came to me at that moment.
I wish I could be her friend.
I was shocked with the thought, because I tended to be a loner and could count good friends on my right hand. And still have fingers left over. Yet, that was my wish, along with the realization that I’d just found a place I could easily call home, and a man who I could easily live with for the rest of my life.