The Hope-Chest

For First Line Friday: February 1st, 2019

Below, I give you the first line, and you all get to write the rest.I’ll provide the first line, you get to write whatever comes afterward. Length, genre, and structure are completely up to you. Feel free to modify the line as you see fit, adding punctuation, quotes, or other bits if so desired. No need to tie it to the picture, unless you want to. Or for more of a challenge, change nothing. You have a week to write it, enjoy! Include the first line of course!

Millie couldn’t believe her luck, an eighteenth century, hand-carved oak hope chest with original fixtures intact and all she had to do was convince them to sell it to her.

It’s been quite a while since then. But I remember it well. Millie and I crossed paths off and on for a few hundred miles. That sounds strange so I’d better explain. I’d flown to Oregon to begin a cross country bicycle ride beginning in Florence then up to Eugene and over the McKenzie Pass and north to Hood River. As best as I can remember now, I first ran into Millie at a lunch stop near Dalls. Quite literally ran into her. She was coming out as I was going in. A few hundred miles later the same thing happened. Then a few hundred miles passed before we met again.

Many cyclists ride the ‘trans-con’, as we called it, crossing paths over and over so I wasn’t surprised when I walked into the Cowboy Cafe in Dubois, Wy. and found Millie seated by herself. She sort of recognized me and beckoned me over to share her table. This was the first time we took time to say anything other than “Having a good ride?” in passing. She was the first to introduce herself, saying “Hi, I’m Millie.” It’d been a while since I’d taken any time to talk, and my throat was dry from the dust kicked up by construction on the road from Mount Moran. So I felt I was making a fool of myself. But after a couple of glasses of cool water, we started to have a long chat. She’d started her ride near Vancouver but our destinations were the same, Williamsburg, Va.

She told me about spending the day in Dubois just strolling around and about the hope chest she’d spotted. And was scared that the seller would take her up on the offer to buy it. Then she’d have to figure out how to get it 2000-miles across the country to home.

Before dinner was over we discovered that we lived rather close together, only 20-miles, or so. For the next few weeks our paths crossed from time to time, and phone calls became more frequent. She was a faster rider on the up-hills, while I did better on the down-hills and level roads, so we arrived on the east coast within a day of each other. She was waiting for me with ideas on how to get her hope-chest home, and it involved the two of us and a cross-country drive. I had some spare vacation time and wanted to see more of the west, so I accepted her idea.

That was about 25-years ago, yes Millie and I became good friends and soon we were married. Now our son is preparing to ride across the country, and we alternate between telling him to avoid women looking for antiques on the ride, and to be sure to find one. It worked out for us.

We still have that hope-chest, storing winter blankets during the summer months. It reminds us of our earlier adventures.

About Mike

I'm an avid bicyclist, that also enjoys Kayaking, Nature Photography, Cross Country Skiing and Geocaching. There's nothing more boring than sitting indoors in "good" weather.
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