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Friends and Fun

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WhoTheBleep posted 11/14/2020 11:37 AM

I'm loving where this thread is going. I'm so happy for you, countrydirt!

countrydirt posted 11/17/2020 17:37 PM

My friend is off on a long scheduled beach trip, so I'm flying solo for a few days. However, she has been texting me quite a bit and even took a travel mug I loaned her and has sent me a few pics of the mug taking in the sights along the way. She even messaged me mid-flight.

Fun the way this is going for me as well.

countrydirt posted 11/20/2020 16:21 PM

This is more along the lines of fun and less about friends, but friends are involved in a way.

I pay attention to the weather here. Late fall and early winter generally mean winds, sometimes severe and sometimes mild, but often just breezy. Today I could see that even if was a bit cool, we wouldn't have wind until the early afternoon.

So I loaded up my mountain bike and hauled it out to our local reservoir for a little single track riding. It was a briskish 45F when I started out, but within a few miles I was pretty warmed up. I loved feeling my legs power the pedals as I climbed, coasted, pedaled, balanced and generally just focused on being alive and on a bicycle! As the trail moved in the cedar tree breaks and little canyons, I started seeing little groups of 2-5 mule deer, who just sort of watched me as I pedaled and grunted my way around.

Here is where friends come in. The nice lady I've referred to previously in this thread is in California for a well deserved break herself. We've been talking and messaging daily as she's shared photos and videos of the beaches and ocean. We had been walking together almost every night before she went on her trip, so we decided that we would keep moving together in spirit. I messaged her this morning and told her that her spirit was going mountain biking.

She responded by sending me pics and videos of a foggy morning on the beach in San Diego. I sent her a picture of my bicycle at the trailhead and then a few more shots as I went along.

At the midpoint of the ride, I stopped to sit and look at the reservoir a hundred feet below. I sat on the brow of a hill and just soaked it in. I reminded myself that I am now on Thanksgiving break and didn't have to rush through the ride and could commune with nature a bit. I enjoyed listening to the gulls, ducks, geese, ravens, hawks and little songbirds and felt the healing power of the water below. I sent a few photos to my friend and she immediately asked me to stand by so she could call.

We had a really nice conversation and pretty much just made small talk. It was nice.

After the call, grabbed my bike and started for the next 8 or 9 miles until I got back to the trailhead. I realized that I was just riding my bike, not racing and stopped occasionally to just take in the beauty of my world. I would let out a might YOP when I cleared a steep place or a happy WHOOP when I negotiated a tricky descent.

I'm appreciating the physical condition that this shitshow of infidelity and divorce has given me. I haven't weighed this weight in probably 20 years and I don't know that I've been this fit since high school so many years ago. I'm punching holes in belts to keep my pants up and will soon be buying sizes I never expected to fit in again.

At times I find myself thinking that everything in my world is all effed up beyond control, but then a day like today comes along and I realize that I am still pretty blessed. I haven't done everything right in my situation, but it is working out.

I'm so curious to see what is next.

annanew posted 11/20/2020 18:03 PM

This is the sweetest. Congratulations!

countrydirt posted 11/22/2020 04:33 AM

I was feeling a bit down yesterday and my friend on vacation in Cali suggested that I masterDATE. Go do something I wanted to do, just for myself. So I decided to go for a hike.

I was driving to the trailhead when she texted me to say she had just hit the beach and had her shoes off and asked if I was ready to walk. I voice texted back via Siri that I would be walking in about 5 minutes. Her response was that she would wait and sent me a photo of her feet in the sand. When I got to the trailhead, I sent her a pic of my feet in the gravel. Yay was her response.

Over the next two hours, we sent pictures and short videos of what we were seeing. It was the sweetest thing. I mapped my hike with my fitbit GPS and posted my nearly 8 mile hike on Strava and titled it hike with K virtual on the beach. That hadn't been posted more than 2 minutes when she texted that I was funny.

This sure is fun.

countrydirt posted 11/27/2020 07:47 AM

My son and I drove to my parents' house for Thanksgiving and to help them celebrate their 60th anniversary. My younger brother and his family and younger sister and her family were there, so a pretty small gathering. It was nice to see everyone and feel their love - this is the first time we've gotten together since the marriage ended.

On the drive home, a text from my lady friend popped up on my phone "Let's go for a walk!" I had my son take a picture showing the traffic. She was at her dad's house with her kids. When I got back to my house, I texted her that it was dark and I would walk tomorrow. She responded back, "Get a flashlight."

So I did. I walked 2 miles in the not so dark (that waxing gibous (sp?) moon cast plenty of light to see quite well and the few streetlights were plenty as well.

Having an active friend is good for me. I asked her how old she thought I was and she responded late 40's. That made me feel both good and a little sad. Good in that I know I look much younger than I am. Sad in that I'm 14-15 years older than her. I really don't know where this is going, but, we are having fun, both virtual and in person.

AnnieOakley posted 11/27/2020 13:10 PM

I read several messages back about the age difference and I was honestly surprised that someone that young was interested in a man in our age range...Iím 56 too. I assumed she knew.

So did you tell her your age? If not, you need to stat! I deal with it constantly. Both ways, if they state 4+ yrs younger, I think...really, why? I donít even reply if it is more then 8 yrs younger. Iím 1000% honest with my age with online dating. I learned very quickly the majority of men I encounter are not. I straight up ask now. You lie, mislead me, deflect, or gaslight...next.

[This message edited by AnnieOakley at 4:21 PM, November 27th (Friday)]

countrydirt posted 11/27/2020 18:03 PM

The age difference doesn't seem to matter to her. Her ex-husband is 2 years younger than me. She just said, "let's keep getting to know each other." It likely is a bigger issue to me and may end up being the thing that keeps me from moving forward.

[This message edited by countrydirt at 6:04 PM, November 27th (Friday)]

countrydirt posted 12/3/2020 12:48 PM

My friend came over for dinner last night. This was the first non-family member I've had at the house since probably 2018, let alone being the first since I became a single guy. It was nice. We visited throughout the meal. We planned a walk, but I had a work video meeting and she came over anyway and I cooked for her, we ate then she sat while I was on my meeting (thank goodness for mute and turning the camera off) Then off for a walk in the 25F weather. Only a short lap around our riverwalk then back to our own places.

Going to try to get a walk in this afternoon. Her business comes in cycles (massage therapist) so she will always take on clients during this pandemic time -- she's giving free sessions for nurses.

countrydirt posted 12/4/2020 06:23 AM

We have a "riverwalk" in our city (all manmade) and a river trail walking path along the Arkansas River. There is a several miles long levee along the river. It used to have the longest public art mural along it for at least a mile, but when they rebuilt the levee, all of the art was removed. Now our local arts council is facilitating repainting the murals. We decided to walk and look at what has been done so far.

The walking path is on the opposite side of the river as is the levee and the murals. We walked and looked around and saw that we could cross on a pedestrian bridge and cut over on a construction road and get on the levee. So we did. We met a couple of members of the arts group and they gave us a nice explanation of how the murals are done. I think my friend is going to design and paint one. I told her I would lower paint on a rope to her.

Remember, she has a business, so we were walking between appointments for her. We kept looking at the clock,but also kept seeing new things to look at and explore. About 30 minutes before her next appointment, we could see that it would take us about an hour to retrace our steps to get her back to her office, so...we looked around for a way to get back and decided to explore another way. We climbed the fence on the top of the levee and clambered down into the railyard, crossed some tracks, walked quickly away from the approaching railroad police, bashed around through weeds and alleys, talked to some homeless dude lounging in his cardboard house and finally made it back to a bridge across the river and walked back to her office. She made it back with 2 minutes to spare.

Today, she is going skiing in the mountains. I am going on a mountain bike ride with another friend and am leading a small group ride on Saturday.

New beginnings have certainly kept my life busier than it ever used to be. My new motto "Live a Great Story!"

countrydirt posted 12/10/2020 11:39 AM

She came over last night and we had dinner. Salmon and asparagus along with some banana bread and herbal tea for dessert. Then, she needed some steps in, so we geared up and went out in the dark cold and walked down my street for a couple of miles and then back home. Really nice.

My mother sent her a facebook friend request, so now they are talking. She told my mom that she raised a gentleman. But I want to be a little edgy That was nice to hear, even if my friend has told me that I am kind and am a gentleman.

Today, we are going to try and give the warmish weather one last chance with a long bike ride, but 48F and 10 mph winds doesn't seem that warm, but a mutual friend wants to go, so I need to man up and put on my thermals and go!

Tonight we are going to the local nature center for the annual 'luminaria' walk with my son and his girlfriend. Ought to be a brisk stroll among the trees and lighted pathway.

countrydirt posted 12/11/2020 08:50 AM

Funny end to the evening of an adventuresome day. As I mentioned earlier, it was cold yesterday and we were trying to capture the last little bit of warmth with a bike ride. My friend that I've been hanging around with was unable to make it to the bike ride, but the other friend who actually arranged it did, so we rode in the cold for about 13 miles. She's another divorced lady (10 years this week), so I picked her brain about how to be single. She's also a very strong bike rider, so I had to work pretty hard to keep up with her. It was fun, but cold. Her and I have tried to arrange a ride together since early October, so this was the first time and enjoyed actually getting a chance to visit.

She gave me a lot of good advice about how to find my own identity as a single man and we left it open for further adventures as the weather changes in winter.

After the ride, I headed home to clean up and then over to my main friend's house for homemade carnitas and visiting. It was the first time I've been in her apartment so that was sort of momentous and the food was outstanding!

The temperatures were dropping all afternoon and the sky was starting to spit a little snow, so the teenagers (my son and his girlfriend) begged off going to see the luminarias at our local nature/raptor center. My friend and I went anyways. I had to make reservations due to the "social distancing" and our time was 7:30 p.m. As we drove in, I noticed a sign that indicated the gate would be closed and locked at 8:00 p.m. but didn't really think much about it.

We walked around the short quarter mile loop with the luminarias and took a few pictures. Did I mention that she had a few glasses of wine with dinner? Well, in the dark, with the rough path dimly lit by tea lights in brown paper bags, she stumbled quite a bit and made me laugh.

After a couple of laps around the loop, we thought we needed a bit more of a walk, so we headed up the river trail for a couple of miles. I eventually started whining enough that we turned around and walked back to find that the little bit of spitting snow we'd seen earlier was now more intense so felt the stinging cold of tiny ice crystals bouncing off our cold faces.

We made it back to the parking lot and saw that all of the lights were off in the visitor center and that my pickup was the only vehicle left in the lot. We took a few more photos of the falling snow and the Arkansas River and I jumped in the pickup while she walked up the road a bit to try and get her 10,000 steps.

When I got to the top of the hill I was greeted by a locked gate! They have lined the approaches to the gate on either side of the road with boulders so we searched around and saw a couple of places where the spacing was 'just' wide enough to drive through. So we bounced out of the road, bounced along beside the road for about 100 yards and bounced back on the other side of the locked gate. Thank goodness I have a pickup and not a car. Once we were back on the road, I glanced over and saw her tapping on her phone screen. I asked what she was doing and she said, "I'm cancelling the Lyft I just ordered!" Laughter ensued and the short drive back to her house was uneventful as we watched the snow continue to fall. We made it back before the 10 pm city-wide curfew and then I headed back to my house and beat my teenage son home by about 5 minutes.

Westway posted 12/11/2020 12:41 PM

She did say that I could be a little bolder and not worry so much about offending.

She's asking you to step up and lead the relationship.

So have you kissed her yet? If you haven't, then at some point you need to make the move.

countrydirt posted 12/11/2020 15:54 PM

You're right Westway. I'm just so darn indecisive. I haven't so much as kissed anyone other than my ex in nearly 34 years. I need to get of the damn dime and do something.

Westway posted 12/14/2020 10:03 AM

Or maybe you're not ready. You're still hurting and in pain.

Hutch posted 12/14/2020 11:41 AM

Go with your gut instinct. Youíll know when itís right. She is clearly smitten as are you. Enjoy the process and youíll know when itís time to move forward. 😊

countrydirt posted 12/14/2020 17:54 PM

Thank you Westway and Hutch. We're going to do something on Wednesday (after her ex picks up the kids). No concrete plans yet, but I'm sure food will be involved.

What is most interesting and encouraging to me is the way the friendship has grown. I almost think that is the most important part.

Westway posted 12/17/2020 09:20 AM

Well, don't be afraid to start start touching her a little. When you are in a public place and going through a doorway put your hand on her back and lead her in. Little stuff like that. If she responds well then do a little more... And then when she gives you that body language, pull her to you and plant a nice juicy one on her. (No tongue).

C'mon... this is high school sh*t man...

countrydirt posted 12/18/2020 18:22 PM

We had a long talk yesterday about that. She actually came over to my place twice yesterday - for breakfast and dinner. I told her I wished I was further in the process or single for longer so I felt more confident about being romantic. She sort of laughed at me and said it will come back. I told her that I was pretty certain it would be a mistake if I pushed it forward to a romantic thing with her and we agreed that friendship is probably the best and safest thing.

I don't want to be transferring the void in my emotions due to the abrupt ending of my marriage. I can see that happening pretty easily. My adventure friend is too nice of a person to get ambushed like that.

I'm still figuring myself out. It will all be okay. I have the rest of my life to learn what to do.

countrydirt posted 12/26/2020 07:29 AM

Christmas morning started out pretty rough. I was trying to do all the things - listen to Christmas music, start on the meal, and etc., while I waited for my 17 year old to wake up. But it all was just making me sad. This season of "firsts" has not been that much fun.

I texted my friend a quick question, "Does it ever get easier?" after I had sent her a few pics of the meal I was making and told her my kitchen smelled amazing and went on with the morning. My older sons video called me and it was really nice. About 20 minutes into the call, a text came through that simply said "Open the door"

I walked to my front door and there was my friend! She met my boys, via video, and then I passed the phone onto my 17 year old so he could talk to his brothers. She brought me a couple of gifts - wrapped in multiple layers of plastic wrap, bags and paper and took about 15 minutes to open. We have a motto - Live A Great Story and she gave me a mug with that motto on it.

My 17 year old came down and we opened presents to each other. My friend held the phone for the 'live' video that went out on facebook. We had a nice pot of tea together and then I realized my beef stew would be ready in about 20 minutes and asked her if she wanted to stay and eat. Up she hopped and joined me in the kitchen to finish it up. The stew as amazing!

After we ate, she mentioned that the weather was really nice and maybe a little lake trip would be nice. I agreed, so she headed to her house to pack her kayak and I put on warm clothes and loaded up my kayak. As I headed away from my house, she called and said it might be too windy, so I said I could just come to her house and we could decide.

By the time I got there, there was absolutely no wind and the temps were getting up near 60. So we agreed we ought to at least give it a go. Her mother popped in to her apartment,so I actually started meeting her family. We headed to the lake (I put my kayak in her pickup and let her drive) and we had a great time paddling around on Christmas day. She's a stronger paddler than I am, so we enjoyed the lake and the weather and the water 'distanced'. After that, she thought maybe we should hike around a little. So we did and enjoyed the watching the sun start going down.

Back to her house and she suggested we go up and cook some supper, so I joined in dicing onions while she did the other stuff. Just as the meal went into the instapot, her 94 year old pappy called to ask her to come over for dessert. So we did. Of course, the old people wouldn't let us only have dessert, so ham and potatoes and green beans, etc, then 5 desserts were consumed before we escaped.

After that we drove around and looked at Christmas lights then back to her place for a bit more food! I was exhausted and we said goodnight and I headed home with an agreement to go on a bike ride tomorrow (actually today as I type this). By the time I got home, she and another active friend had arranged the place and time to meet for an epic mountain bike ride!

What started as a tough emotional day ended with me being tired and happy. Adventures sure are fun.

[This message edited by countrydirt at 7:39 AM, December 26th (Saturday)]

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