Then, it was my turn to travel; pre-wide-spread free online maps or personal GPS, sans cell phone.
Armed with written directions and an old-fashioned fold-up map, I made my way down 127, to where the highway temporarily ends turning into Business 127. I wound my way through the city, following-up on M50 and driving for what seemed like forever through 30 mph and 55 mph and unmarked back-roads where I was passed. Frequently.
Soundly directionally impaired, I arrived on time only because I’d left remarkably early to counter-act potential problems. Even with no wrong turns, it took me 2 hours to travel the distance Jeff said would take about an hour and a half.
After missing it a time (or two), I pulled into the slightly steep gravel drive, parked and hoped I was actually in the right place. I surmised I wasn’t because I knocked and rang the bell and no one answered.
I was turning to leave the front porch when a man came out of the car-barn wiping his hands on a chamois rag and curiously asked if he could help me.
“Uh,” I stammered. “I’m not sure I’m in the right place… I’m looking for Jeff?”
“Yep. S’ probably in the basement. Who should I tell him is here?”
I was standing there for a kind of uncomfortable bit, when Jeff came out to greet me looking a little sleepy. “Sorry. Just woke up,” he said, “need a few minutes.” I told him not to worry, I’d just wait in the car, but he insisted I come inside.
I knew he lived at home. I don’t know why it never occurred to me, but it just never registered in my newly love-preoccupied mind on long my anticipatory way to Tecumseh that there would be people to meet. And, there were.
I totally wasn’t expecting to meet Jeff’s mom, but there she was camped out in the living room at a folding table surrounded by artificial flowers, glue guns, vases, baskets, blocks of green floral foam, and mini-piles of floral tape.
Sally’s welcoming excitement and the fact that I am attracted to (and easily distracted by) craft supplies instantly blew away my knee-jerk nervousness of being presented without warning.
As she prepared centerpieces for her daughter’s upcoming wedding, she started talking and I started talking. Within five minutes, we were craftily experimenting with different ideas and quietly Jeff disappeared.
I’d say it was a good and very good half-hour later when he reappeared, freshly shaved and showered and ready to head out on our first Tecumseh-based date.
On our way out the back door, Sally waved and sort of yelled/commented after us that she was looking forward to seeing me again in a few weeks at the wedding.
I must have looked as surprised as I was, because she put her hand to her heart and earnestly asked, “You are coming to the wedding, aren’t you?”
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