Steve Lisa Corn Maze pumpkinsWhich pumpkin do you like the best?  Funny thing is, we weren’t having a competition, we were just having fun.  After a day stomping carefully through a muddy corn maze, riding pedal go karts, playing silly games, eating deliciously warm apple cider donuts, we capped the day off by eating dinner together and carving pumpkins.  It was a relaxed kind of fun, the way I like it.

Mine is the one with the bloody fangs.

We’re having fun.  It’s been a year I wasn’t expecting.  At the beginning of this year,  I broke up with my first post-divorce romantic endeavor, an interesting sort named Deborah who taught me a few things about dating in this stage of my life.  She wasn’t a bad thing, just not the one who was going to be able to sustain my heart for the rest of my life.  When I broke up with her, I thought I was going to take the rest of the year off from dating, enjoy my free time and ride my bike more, spend more time indulging the bachelor life.

Notice that I said ‘we’.

Lisa lives in the condo building next door to mine.  I live in a cozy little community, each little four unit condo it’s own village.  The condo association as a whole is small, quite a bit like a very small town.  I see my neighbors a lot, talk and visit as we all live.  I noticed Lisa shortly after I moved her, and as I now know, vice versa.  She stopped by to talk often when I was out in my garage putzing around on a bike or cleaning my car.  We got to know each other.  I was interested in her and I thought she might be interested in me.  But she had a boyfriend.  I had a girlfriend.

He died.  I killed mine off (not literally).

Last February, after I had finished an icy ride on my fat bike and was sponging my bike off (in my tights, no less), Lisa stopped to say hi.  She was walking her dog.  I had just found her online dating profile, had found out that she is a Christian from reading that profile, and I was curious.  So I asked her about it.

Her boyfriend had died from a heart attack last November, I knew.  She knew I had broken it off with Deborah.

Coffee was our first date.  March.  We started seeing each other more frequently.  Then her youngest son was found dead of an overdose in May.  People started looking at me as the guy who supported her through that time.

The condo pool opened.  We became a ‘thing’ as we swam together, as the rumors spread around the community that we were dating.

It was strange at first dating someone who lives close enough to walk over in a few seconds just to say hello.

Her other son has grown close to me, as has her granddaughter.  She likes what we have, a bond that she never has had before.  We do things together.

Yet she is giving me the space to live my life.  We know that a relationship takes time.  My children don’t know her yet, probably aren’t ready for that.  I am not sure we are at that point yet.  That’s OK.

But I have some people that keep me grounded.  It’s nice.