Snow Plowed
Joanne Faries
It takes a lot of snow to stop life in Maine, but Trevor and I were holed up at the Bangor Motel. Separate rooms, of course. We were here on forestry business - a symposium. However, the keynote speaker had pneumonia, flights were cancelled, and only a few hardy souls drove in from respective parks. Muffled chains churned through snowpack, and my four-wheel-drive Jeep rarely slipped. Concentrating on the road was tedious, and I was wired.
I got up and knocked on Trevor's door. "One second," he said, before opening it. "Can't rest, Rita? Me, neither. Think there's a bar here?" I nodded and he slipped his room card into his pocket and shut the door. "What the heck, it's a snow day, right?"
We padded down the hallway, the swirl patterned carpet hiding years of use. We worked in two different state parks, but communicated through the year. Graduates of University of Maine, Trevor and I had been in the same orbit for ten years.
Settled at the bar with a local brew, we tapped mugs and had a swig. "So Rita, what's new in your neck of the woods?" He rolled his long-lashed green eyes at the oldest forestry joke in history. I inwardly swooned, my old school girl crush refused to die.
We chatted about our parks and environment issues. "I'd ban snowmobiles," he said. "Hate those suckers."
"Cross country skiing is my favorite way to patrol. The swoosh of the skis, the slight ting from the poles, exhaled misty breath, and the sun glint from the snow," I waxed poetic, infused with beer, camaraderie, and mutual park love.
Trevor's ruddy cheeks vouched for his time outdoors. "That's profound. Let's go ski. Now."
"Sure, snowstorm's let up. There are woods behind us. Got your gear?"
"Well, yeah."
"C'mon." We hustled to our rooms to change. Emerging at the same time, we walked out the lobby door, and strapped on our skis. I raised my face, stuck out my tongue, and caught a snowflake. Trevor mimicked me, then stuck in his poles and took off. I scrambled to follow. We skied for thirty minutes, and stopped to rest on a fallen log.
"You know, Rita, you're my kind of gal. Ski at a moments notice. No fuss. Just slap on a woolen hat and go," said Trevor. "We've known each other a long time."
Where was this going?  He hugged me.
Trevor turned and kissed my cheek. "I'm going to miss you." He paused, " … and this." He raised a ski pole to the woods. "Hawaii, Rita. I got the Maui assignment."
I inhaled Bangor's cold air and exhaled. "Aloha, Trevor. Aloha."

First published: February, 2013
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