Every time we see each other, Goose and I have a period of getting re-acquainted with each other’s presence. We chat and email and talk on the phone everyday.. it’s kind of like we’re treading water during a marathon swim. But physical presence is something entirely different. It’s the sprint part of the marathon. Where actual progress and growth are made. In a perfect world, Goose and I would live in the same town. We’d have the same group of friends and neighbors. We’d see each other every weekend and maybe once in a while during the week. But the 90 miles between us prevents that. So for now we’re content with spending every other weekend together. I even think it’s good that we have some distance between us. Otherwise I think our relationship might get ahead of itself.
During dinner we always make small talk about the drive here or what kind of things happened today. It’s like two kittens sniffing each other’s noses. Trying to figure out where the other has been, saying hi.. it’s good to see you again.. what’s new.. and gosh, I’ve really missed you. DING DING DING.. connection re-established.
After dinner it’s the drive to the AA meeting. I really look forward to these meetings. It’s almost like going to ‘pre-couples therapy.’ It’s a chance to learn. And for me, that’s important. I’m often in the teaching role, but here, nobody knows that. I can just be here for me. Goose is always gentleman here, pulling out my chair for me, offering me coffee and holding my hand through the entire meeting. Sometimes the topic and the subsequent conversations that take place really pull me to wanting to add to the discussion. But I remind myself that I’m here to learn. After the meeting though as people are standing around chatting, I share with Goose that I wanted to join the discussion. I asked if it would bother him if I do that sometime. He then told me that in all of this year that he’s been coming he’s never once said anything at all. He’s never even gone forward to get his progress ‘chips.’ I reminded him that those are important milestones that he has earned and should be recognized for them. He shared that he gets nervous talking in front of people, but he’d think about what I had said. I feel as if Goose and I have made a deeper connection through the meeting tonight. I love the feeling of connection with people. And with Goose.
I don’t notice the cold and the light snow falling now as Goose and I walk hand in hand in the dark to the car. We were both quiet as we drove to the movie theater. Once in our seats, Goose made a fantastic discovery! The arm rests between our seats lifted up and behind us… it’s like we’re sitting on a love seat in the livingroom with a really big screen in front of us. Let the snuggling begin!
Saturday greeted me with huge surprise! Goose had gotten a phone message from his Aunt Diane. It’s lefse making day! I know what Lefse is.. it’s made from cooked potatoes and flour mixed together and rolled very thin and fried on a special lefse iron. It’s almost like a potato tortilla. They are best eaten warm right from the lefse iron and spread with butter and sprinkled with sugar. Mmmmmm. I had never made them before, but for Goose and his aunts, it’s a tradition every year. And it seems today is the day. But when we came out of the bedroom and looked outside.. we were having quite a snowfall. I turned on my computer to check the weather radar. We’re in the midst of a major snow event. I asked Goose how far it was to his aunt’s house. “About 15 miles.” Goose saw the worried look on my face… “Ahhh, Don’t worry, a little weather never stops me.”
Normally, 15 miles would take about 15 minutes to travel. But today it took much longer. There comes a point when driving through any snowstorm where you realize that you shouldn’t have ventured out, but that you’ve gone too far to turn back now. We reached that point. I didn’t want to let on that I was getting pretty worried about our situation. The roads were back country black tops that were completely iced over from the snow blowing across them. Layer after layer of ice had built up by the time we travelled across them. Every few feet there were drifts of snow that we had to drive through because the snow plows knew better than to be out til the storm stopped. I was glad the plow drivers were safe and warm. I was too.. it just didn’t seem like it. It didn’t help that I’d never been on these roads before. I had no idea how close or how far we were from our destination. The wind is howling around the car windows swirling snow all around us. At times it was a billow of white outside every window in the car. I knew Goose was concentrating on what he could see. He knew these roads well, he’d been driving them his whole life. Still… many an assured driver has spent the night buried in a snow drift. It looked like we were turning into a snow pile, there was a snow bluff that was taller than my five feet height. Goose parked the car alongside the only empty spot he could find. He came around the car and opened my door. He was smiling.. “You look a little pale, are you alright? You weren’t worried were you? I told you a little weather doesn’t stop me. Ready to meet everyone?” Everyone?!