When the clerk looked over her shoulder and asked if I was here to amend the ownership on a deed, I said " Yes". But, the sound of my voice had a strange echo that was much higher, and softer than mine. That was when I realized that I was not alone on the customer side of the counter at the Country Recorders Office. She was a very attractive woman who appeared to be in her mid 30's. She had brown eyes, long auburn hair tied in a pony tail, and an impish smile on her lips that suddenly turned into laughter as we realized that we were both there for the same reason. She noticed the white skin on the ring finger of my dark tanned left hand, and said " looks like Judge Pearson finally cleaned out his in basket ". He was the Judge who handled most of the simple no-fault divorce cases, and apparently we had both accepted the house as our part of the settlement. When the clerk had taken care of us, I looked into her eyes, took a deep breath and said " are you hungry."
That was how I came to find myself across the table from Heidi Anderson who was a dentist in a small neighboring town. She was 43, and I had just turned 55 but we seemed to have found a common bond on that warm September afternoon. After a long lunch we shared as much as we dared of our life stories. We had both been dumped after many years of marriage, and although one side of our bed was empty, we both agreed that we needed time to decide if we wanted to risk being hurt again. But, we exchanged phone numbers, and went our separate ways knowing somehow that it was not the end of the story.
A couple days later on way to my Law office, I answered my cell phone and there was that smooth voice again that said " Hi, Bob it's Heidi ". She told me that as she went past the State Park on her way to the clinic, she spotted some beautiful red and yellow colors on the Maple Trees. It was supposed to be unseasonably warm that weekend, and would I like to share a picnic lunch on Saturday. That night when my daughter called from school " just to see how I was doing ", I told her that I had a date and not to worry about dad turning into a grumpy old hermit. "Hey Dad, have fun but you better check her ID". We had a long talk after her mother moved out and she agreed that it would be nice to know that there was someone around to keep me company, but she did not want another sister. "
I picked Heidi up the next day about 10 am, so we could get into the park before it filled up, but we were too late. I could see from the entrance, that the warm day had given the same idea to a whole lot of people. The State Ranger just shook his head and said that he was sure that all the cooking grills were occupied. Just as I was getting ready to turn around, a car pulled up on the outgoing side of the guard house, and I heard a young man say that he would not be able to stay the night because of a problem at work. I promptly offered to take that site, and since there was no waiting list, it was ours. The Ranger gave me a map and told me that it was the last site on the road at Lonesome Point. There was a fire pit and a grill, and since I paid for the night, we could stay in the park until 10 am on Sunday, if that was what we wanted to do.
The trip to the campsite took almost an hour as we followed the road along the shoreline, stopping every so often to savor the view and then scamper through the leaves before returning to the car. The afternoon went by in a blur of red and yellow leaves, a lunch of grilled steaks, potato salad, and wine enjoyed in that quiet isolation that must be what prompted someone to name that little spit of land Lonesome Point. It was still very warm as the sun started to set. Heidi leaned back into my arms as we stood on the shoreline listening to waves gently lapping over a small sandy beach. I tried to relax, but when her little butt pushed back into my groin, I am sure that she noticed that my response to nature was becoming very personal. After a long silence, she whispered " how long has it been for you ". I thought for a moment and finally said, " well, she left in June, but the last time we tried was last December. I started one night, but when she said that I was only doing it because I did not want to go through the hassle of the divorce, I went limp. She took the kids to her parents over Christmas, and by the time she came back, we were both too stubborn to show any affection." Heidi stared across the lake and finally said " about that long for me too, but it was because after spending all afternoon at his girl friends apartment, he was just too tired." I leaned down and kissed her neck and slid my arms up a little higher until they brushed across her breasts, She leaned into me, and said " do you think anyone would notice if we went skinny-dipping? I haven't done that since I was a kid." Looking across the lake, I could see that the main picnic area was almost empty, and I said " we could. The Ranger won't be around until after 10 to check on his overnight guests." Then I hesitated, realizing that this was going beyond just a quiet picnic in the park.
Heidi must have sensed my reluctance and she pondered a moment. Without turning around she said, " Bob, I know what you are thinking, and believe me, I am not ready to be anything more than a friend, but we are adults and we are both single. When the court order arrived yesterday, the pain of my broken marriage came back again, and right now I can not think of a more appropriate way to celebrate my independence then by doing what I would have never dreamed of doing when I was married. Let's let our bodies enjoy the day, and we will worry about our minds some other time.
.... There is more of this story ...