Last year right before I started blogging, I met three Dan’s.
My grandkids made up little chants, “Dan, Dan, the bike shop
man” for one. “Dan, Dan, the motorcycle man” for another. And
the third one we could never quite figure out what would be a good
little way to include his diverse thinking and interests.
Anyway, I met Dan who owns a bicycle shop in a nicer suburban area
at a park with his nephew and niece. He was pushing them on the
swings on a particularly warm late winter day. He started asking me
about my grandson, who I was pushing, who was three years old. I
told him he was my grandson and he was sweet enough to say I looked
“too young” to be a grandma. Micah told him, “She’s not my grandma!
She’s my Nana!” We all laughed.
I am going to fast forward to where I am giving him my cell phone number
and he was going to call me. We ended up having one nice date. He was
also a big caller that month. We never finalized a second date, but I have
to admit I found out through a long phone conversation, he was a seriously
religious man. He also was not in the same frame of mind about politics as
I am. Dan was a nice man, but I am going to have to say I ‘blew him off’ by
being busy. I won’t call him a ‘holy roller,” but he was definitely more than
I could handle in that area!
The second man, Danny, I met downtown in my small town at a local
watering hole. It is so small, it takes “cash only!” He was younger, wearing
a black leather jacket and had a quiet nature. I did enjoy some casual dates
and our best but craziest date was going on his motorcycle all the way to
Old Man’s Cave in Logan, Ohio. I will tell you that is about a 3 hour drive
one way! One funny (now) thing that happened that killed my interest in
EVER going on a motorcycle again was while we were driving through
Nelsonville. I saw a swarm of insects, I thought, coming our way, but
guess what? They were bees!! And 3 bees were inside my helmet and while
I was tapping and tugging on Danny’s jacket trying to get him to stop
the motorcycle. He waited until he saw a little park, driving straight to
a rest room area. I could understand he thought that is why I was so
strenuously trying to get him to stop! But I was stung by those darn 3 bees!
He saw the red marks on my face and my tears as I took my helmet off. He
felt so bad and we did have some fun finding an ice cream place to cool my
face off. We also walked a bunch of times after that but I found out he was
into smoking pot and I realized I was a little too old for that again!
The last Dan, the one who is hard to label but I called him “Daniel” because
of his serious nature and so I could differentiate my strange month of dating
the 3 Dan’s. I am not making this up and if you ever were to come to Ohio,
to my town, I would have one of my three kids tell you, “Mom is not making
this stuff up!”
Daniel was out on a path in a woods that is by Blue Limestone Park in Delaware,
Ohio when I met him. He was hiking with a backpack, had a water bottle in his
hand and was holding a weird tool in his hand. I saw him from a distance and
believe it or not, I turned around and decided to retrace my steps on the path.
I did not know what or why he was looking downward nor why the tool, he
was a little off the path, and I guess I could have passed him, but my better
instincts were carried out. As I started to increase my pace going back to
where there were fishermen and the playground where plenty of parents
were supervising children, I heard him call my name! I slowly turned and
saw still an unrecognizable man. But I did stop to listen to how he knew me.
Daniel’s father had been in the nursing home I worked at for 4 years, one of
my many odd jobs in my pursuit of my final teaching job. He said I had been
a “lifesaver” for his Dad, a volunteer we called “Sarge.” And, I responded by
saying, “How do you know me and I don’t recognize you? I do remember your
father and mother, Alice, too.” He said he had stopped by one time at his Dad’s
house after Alice, his mother died and seen me getting into his Dad’s car. He
said he also had seen a picture I had painted in his Dad’s den, entitled “Alice’s
Garden.” Sarge would never take hand outs for our activity trips, if there was
a charge like for going to the Clippers baseball game, he paid it. So, after talking
to him a lot after Alice died at the nursing home, I had suggested he come volunteer
and also, that I would like to do a painting as a gift. He said, “make a beautiful
garden please where my wife in Heaven is taking care of it. You know she was
my angel.” Daniel was a coffee shop worker, a spelunker, and an Indian relic
seeker. He showed me one time cases of Indian arrowheads. He was and is a
very good friend. He has moved into my apartment building and we talk about
once a week. Although we decided to not date, we have an affinity for the memory
of his parents. He has listened to my stories of dating, my father’s death, and
my children’s lives. Strange but we just feel like “brother and sister.” Good friends
are always needed! Never can have too many.
That is the end of the month of Dan’s where only one remains in my life.