February 10, 2017 By Dick Smith

Magic & Marie: A Second Chance at Love

How lucky can one guy be? The moon is full and the night sky is sparkling. Just like that night 10 years ago: I was at 32,000 feet on my way to Fort Myers, Florida to see Marie again, and this time we were to get married. At last, the months of late night and early morning phone calls and emails back and forth across three time zones were over.

My plane passed over a small town somewhere in Utah and its lights penetrated the darkness of the earth below. I remember thinking how many kinds of magic there are. Fort Myers is a small town. There are so many small towns across this country; each one is home to a woman that I could have met. But there are no other women like Marie.

She is special, I thought. What wonderful magic brought us together?

I smiled.

There was more. We had both lost spouses in the previous year. We were both content. Neither of us was out looking for a date at our age. Someone said that it would be comforting to know someone you could talk to, take to a movie or take for a walk. That idea appealed to Marie, but it did not strike me with any long-range enthusiasm.

I already had everything that I wanted. I had my airplane. My sailboat was docked at the Corinthian Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay. I had a large family with a long and mostly comfortable history. I was enjoying my life and my freedom and a few really good friends. In addition, Marie’s daughter was very close to her in Florida, at Boca Raton. How special this trip is, I thought. Marie is going to marry me and I’m going to take her back to California to live.

During our first year or two of marriage, it all came together. Marie adjusted to a larger family. I adjusted to making joint decisions. I found that two cooks in the kitchen were often better than just one. Marie not only let me keep my airplane, she even learned how to fly it. She loved flying around Northern California together, and she also became an avid sailor. Marie took sailing lessons at the yacht club in April. During the sailing lessons, she met Anita and they have been best friends ever since. We often sailed together, taking turns with one boat or the other. Their boat was larger and we used it when we took cruises to other yacht clubs around the bay. Benecia was one of our favorite destinations in summertime.

What are the odds of finding Valentine magic? There are lots of small towns in this country, but there is only one Marie. We have been married for 10 years. Many of our friends began to age and some passed on. Our children each have their busy lives and are helping their children grow. Since then we’ve found a new kind of magic: Paradise Valley Estates. But, as they say, that is another story.


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