There I used to be, dancing a wild Irish jig to a reside Irish band in Blarney Stone, a small, energetic pub in Fountain Valley on the night of March 17. It was a wild Orange County crowd. Because the clock neared midnight and the band performed louder, I shouted to my dance accomplice that it was virtually my birthday.
I had met “Denver” Dave from Colorado that night time. He had just lately moved to L.A. for a brand new job. Slim and good-looking in a inexperienced shirt with a honey-colored beard, he seemed like an actual mountain man. He pulled me nearer and yelled, “What?” The music was so loud, I grabbed his hand to have a look at his wristwatch solely to see that it was 12:05 a.m. March 18, and I introduced to him that it was formally my birthday.
With a large grin, he whirled me close to the stage and advised the band that I used to be a birthday woman. The band members started to play “Blissful Birthday,” and the gang encircled us and cheered us on. On the tiny dance ground, it was scorching from all of the pulsing our bodies, however I cherished it. All eyes had been nonetheless smiling on me when the band segued into one other music, “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.”
Blushing and overheated, I swam by way of the gang to flee outdoors for some air. Dave adopted me.
Then I remembered my ski plans. In a number of hours, I used to be happening a day journey with the Sierra Singles skiers. I defined this to Dave and stated, “I gotta go,” so he requested for my telephone quantity. As an alternative I took his. Driving off into that calm, chilly March night time, I felt so blissful — single and blissful. My Irish gramma at all times advised me to rely my blessings and consider in Irish luck. And I at all times did.
Daybreak got here all too quickly. Working a bit late, I drove like a banshee on the empty L.A. freeways to the carpool assembly place — solely to seek out everybody gone. When snow is concerned, skiers are inclined to stand up early, and the Sierra Membership coverage is to depart on time. I most likely missed the group by minutes. The place was my Irish luck?
Then I noticed a automotive dashing towards me. To my shock, it was the mountain man, “Denver” Dave. He was additionally a Sierra Membership member. Later I discovered that he was usually late. As for me, I normally arrive within the nick of time, however I’m by no means early. I ran over to him. I requested if he had been a leprechaun, and in that case, the place was his pot of gold? Laughing, he stated, “Irish lass, I could also be a leprechaun, however it’s important to catch me first.”
We carpooled collectively to Inexperienced Valley Lake close to Working Springs within the San Bernardino Mountains. We had been each cross-country skiers, so we spent the right bluebird-sky day exploring new trails. We by no means caught up with the opposite Sierra Membership members, however we shortly acquired caught up with one another. His inexperienced eyes had been a magnet to my coronary heart, and we bonded like outdated buddies. Our spirits had been adventurous. And as he taught me methods to telemark ski safely down a steep slope, I suppose I fell in love. My birthday lunch was shared path combine, apples and water by the small, frozen Inexperienced Valley Lake. Greatest. Birthday. Ever.
On that day, our friendship was born, adopted by many extra out of doors adventures collectively: ski journeys, mountaineering Mt. Baldy and seashore bike rides. That wonderful summer season we took an epic highway journey, driving by way of Utah to Colorado to go to his household. We waded by way of the Narrows in Zion, dared to climb Angels Touchdown and explored desert arches close to Moab. In Colorado close to his residence, we stood bathed in golden sundown awe within the Backyard of the Gods close to Crimson Rocks Amphitheatre.
Someday we began up the famed Longs Peak however turned again as a consequence of a sudden summer season storm. I’ll always remember the great thing about the Rockies and the fragile alpine flowers on the Maroon Bells path. We additionally picked wild cherries with “Denver” Dave’s sister in Boulder to take advantage of superb, mouthwatering cherry pie (my favourite) I’ve ever tasted.
As soon as again in Southern California, Dave realized he missed his majestic mountains. After a painful choice and a goodbye to L.A., he moved north to Fresno to be nearer to Yosemite Valley. He performed within the Sierra Mountains each weekend. I visited him that first winter, and we had been on the base of Yosemite Falls one midnight to witness the particular lunar full-moon rainbow that John Muir, the Sierra Membership founder, described in his journals. We climbed from the valley ground to the highest of Yosemite Falls at Easter and camped within the snow, subsequent to the roar of Yosemite Creek.
Nonetheless, it was too far for me to drive for fast weekends, and we each knew it. Plus I cherished my job and profession an excessive amount of to contemplate a transfer.
After he climbed Half Dome on his fortieth birthday in August, he noticed the writing on the wall. He missed Colorado and his household an excessive amount of, and shortly Dave relocated to Denver for good. I flew east to go to him that frigid December, and we celebrated our finish as we did our starting — this time with a cross-country ski journey in Winter Park. A wee bit older than I used to be, he was able to calm down with me, however I nonetheless yearned to be free.
He quickly re-met a highschool pal and married her, and collectively they’ve a daughter.
Possibly he was the fortunate leprechaun I let slip away. Nearly each March 17 and 18, “Denver” Dave remembers and calls to want me a contented birthday. This wild Irish woman will always remember the nice and cozy magic and candy love she discovered one night time in a small Southern California Irish pub removed from Eire’s damp emerald shores.
The creator respects the planet and serves on the Sustainable Metropolis Committee for the town of Sign Hill. Culturally curious, she has traveled, lived and labored abroad, in addition to backpacked solo in Australia for 5 weeks. She at all times follows her coronary heart.
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