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The Sassy Sandpiper: April Love 101

By M.R. Wilson, TB Reporter

First they exchanged phone numbers, and then . . .

It all started when she noticed his Chicago tee shirt as they waited in the Winn-Dixie customer service line. She is not one to start conversations with strangers, but something about this gentleman intrigued her. They lingered and chatted. After polite prefaces, they exchanged phone numbers.

For simplicity’s sake, I’ll call them Dick and Jane, after the main characters in the first books I ever read. (There is even a cat, Puff, and a recently departed, beloved Spaniel, Spot.)

My dear friend Jane is a youthful 80-something-year-old. She has the body and the energy of a hummingbird, and she’s found herself a younger man. I’m happy for her, enjoying a blossoming relationship. She and Dick both lost their spouses in the prime of life. Jane never lost her zest for living.

I smiled all through the phone conversation when she told me about Dick. Her excitement was palpable, though characteristically ladylike. She related plans to meet for coffee “sometime” and how she probably told him “way too much” about her life on that first “date.” I didn’t want to pry, but had a million questions. I encouraged her to call Dick because he’d asked her to. She was reluctant. Shy. “We’ll just take it slow.”

Last week as I was leaving after a visit Jane asked, “Do you wanna hear what he sounds like?” She eyed her phone. “I saved his message.”

I felt like I was back in junior high school. “Sure!”

Well, that message impressed me. He was a gentleman, all right, soft-spoken and deliberate. Kind and considerate. Dick served the ball neatly back into Jane’s court.

I couldn’t wait to hear about the most recent adventure, a morning bike ride.

Dick and Jane pedaled around Bear Creek Park and lunched afterward at K C’s Korner Restaurant.

“He has so many stories! I just love to hear him talk!”

Dick told about growing up on a farm, working as foreman with ruffians on the Chicago docks, going to college, working in business. They talked and laughed and had fun, sharing life lessons and philosophies:

“Ya gotta keep moving.”

“No matter what happened in the past, it’s all just stuff. The main thing is to keep ourselves healthy and happy.”

“When you’re happier, you’re healthier.”

“They say that happy people live longer.”

Jane offered, “Maybe I’m going to help you live longer and you’re going to help me live longer.”

It’s never too late to share life with an intriguing companion.

Big bear hugs in parting.

May the Force be with them.

This is April, after all, and love is in the air. Not only “for the very young.”

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The Sassy Sandpiper: April Love 101
Article Name
The Sassy Sandpiper: April Love 101
First they exchanged phone numbers, and then . . .
Publisher Name
Tampa Bay Reporter

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