The last two weeks have been eventful.
Friday, 14 August, I flew home for a week of vacation.
Flying home from New York is an all-day affair. There are no direct flights. Even with a 6AM first leg and picking up two hours with time zones, it was mid-afternoon by the time I arrived.
I first met my Love one year, to the day, before.
For our first anniversary, we reserved a table at the restaurant where we met.
Growing up, this was The City. Now that I’ve seen New York, London and Singapore, well, it’s a town. But it’s a delightful town. Someday, I want to have one of the 19-aught houses with a yard for a half-dozen wild kids. Ozzie, the girl mathematician entrepreneur. Harriet the girl engineer.
I reserved a room in a bed & breakfast in one of those 19-aught houses. When I made the reservation, I delicately asked the owner if she would be comfortable hosting a lesbian couple. She laughed and told me that they had just hosted a gay wedding.
I checked in and took a little nap. I got up, soaked in a hot bath with my Love’s favorite oil. I made myself as pretty as I could.
I took a car to the restaurant. Last year, she was there first, waiting for me. This year, I was there long before she arrived. I wanted to savor her entrance.
She came in. The world narrowed to her. She wore the same dress, the same pearls, the same studs as last year.
I stood up.
She saw me and smiled. My world exploded. I felt what I felt last year, when she first touched my cheek. That I would never draw another breath. And that would be fine.
She is tall. Slender. She moves with exquisite grace. Her dress moved with her. Every eye was on her. All conversation stopped.
Last year, we didn’t touch. I didn’t dare. I was deeply in the closet.
This year we kissed. Not a public display of affection. Just a, “Hello, sweetie,” kiss. But we were radiating such happiness that no one would doubt what we were to each other.
Last year, she hadn’t had trout in a year, so she had trout. I had rabbit.
This year, I hadn’t had trout in six months, so I had trout. She had rabbit.
We are firm believers in swapping bites.
In the mountains, trout tastes sweet. I tried it once in New York. It wasn’t sweet. It tasted odd.
I’ve gotten accustomed to Atlantic fish – other than Atlantic salmon. I love Pacific salmon. But Atlantic salmon tastes rancid to me.
The trout was pan seared and served in almond shavings and tarragon butter. It was as sweet as I remembered.
The rabbit – in a rosemary-mushroom reduction – was a warm note on a cool summer night.
An elegant light Willamette pinot.
Dinner conversation was New York heat and humidity, Western wildfires, putting up hay, hay yield, calf yield, food, wedding plans, the next day’s cookout.
She gave me background on the parts of her family I would meet for the first time at the cookout. A warning that we would be the first lesbians some of them had ever met. She wasn’t sure how open-minded some of the distant cousins would be. I could tolerate some pleasant bigotry, and even a suggestion or two that I was headed to Hell. Still, I suggested that – for the sake of inter-family harmony – we keep any doubtful relatives away from my mother.
The chef came out of the kitchen with three glasses and a half-bottle of Sauternes to toast us over a deep dish berry crisp.
The B&B was romantic and gay-friendly. Very romantic. Very gay-friendly.