September 2020

“He’s bringing a woman-friend to camp!” Katie shouted to Greg, over the sound of his power saw. Patti was coming to camp, and it was about time. It had been a bachelor cabin for too long. New linens, cleaned grill, emptied drawers and closets. Not too much fussing, but closer to civilized and and above all, welcoming. Katie admonished Greg to wear a clean t-shirt and pair of shorts for Patti’s arrival. A woman coming to camp marked a new chapter in camp life. This was no ordinary woman. Patti was and is the woman in my life now. We had both been happily married for many years to different spouses and had been friends. We were both widowed within a few years of each other. I was relaxed about her coming and knew she would enjoy the hiking and fishing. Out in the canoe Andy was a charm. He practiced catch and transfer—he caught the fish and delivered the rod to Patti who reeled it in. It was great. Patti didn’t need the help. She soon brought in several bass on her own, with grace and confidence. Lunch on shore was a new experience. The bathroom thing was a bit odd since there are no facilities on the lake shore, but Patti adapted like a gal from Decatur would. It was all fun and non- violent. The biggest shock came later: redecorating the cabin. The time-worn LL Bean-style décor needed a bit of Patti upgrading. During my afternoon nap, Patti and Katie moved the furniture around and stored the unwanted pieces. It all worked out and we are still together. The camp is now woman- friendly and I am happy for it.

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