Driving home from our road trip, I was content and happy. I had a wonderful time with my kids and new granddaughter. And it felt like John and I were closer, even though we hadn’t seen each other in two months.

On our way back, I was looking at a text John had sent me and I said out loud, “I think I’m falling for him.” My son said, “Yeah, I noticed.”

I could see the man he was before his divorce. The one who was devoted to his little family and their life together. I could also see the profound hurt that kept him from “going there” again.

So I wasn’t surprised when he texted me and asked what day I would be home. Or that he asked to come over and play tennis with me the very next day.  

I was, however, surprised after our tennis game that he asked to use my shower. I said yes, and that I’d make us some lunch to enjoy poolside.

My little pool cottage had the kitchen right in the middle of the house. At one door way was the small dining area, and at the other end was the doorway to the bathroom.

When John came out of the bathroom with nothing but a towel on, I laughed and said, “I thought we weren’t going there again?”. To which he gave the corniest line I’ve ever heard, and can’t repeat here.

It made me laugh all the more, and we grabbed our lunch and headed out to the pool. As we were enjoying our sandwiches and beer, I couldn’t help notice that we were both flirting and smiling a lot.

We talked about dating and online dating specifically. I said I’m done with it all, and John said he was too.

Everything felt right.

Trying to figure out dating …

John stayed for two days and we were both happy and enjoying not only tennis and hiking, but also an intimate relationship that was so different from any other I’d had.

When John told me he needed to go to the Central Valley to work on a home he owned there, I offered to go help. His home had been vacant for a few months and prior to that he had a tenant that ran out, leaving the place a mess and rent due.

So a few days later we drove out to work on his home together. I brought lawn chairs and food and provisions to make breakfasts and dinners. John brought cleaning and paint supplies and music.

Each day we would scrub and clean and paint and trim hedges and fix faucets and by night we would sit around the fire in our camp chairs drinking wine, eating dinner and listening to music and talking.

The living room where we camped out

We worked well together and I it all felt so natural.

We placed an ad for new renters and took applications and four days later drove back to Napa and our “normal” lives.

I loved our days together in that house and John did too.

At least until we got home…