|Fact: Summertime is No-Pants Time|
We had just spent the day at the beach. Which is a sentence that, I think, was meant to be used often in life. On the way back, there was traffic. Which is California - favorable temperatures and traffic. We decided to take the scenic route, which is something I have never found, at this point, to be a bad idea.
This was no exception. We found ourselves winding through desert landscapes that quickly turned to forests and mountain ranges reaching upward to kiss the low-hanging clouds. I was in awe at the picturesque valleys, orchards, little rivers. As our four cylinder flew down a two-lane highway through indecisive patches of sunlight, I looked over at you and you smiled through your tan.
Right as we made our way around the side of a hill, the scenery seemed to fall out from under itself. For a second I felt nervous, like I was falling with it. But then you said, "Hey, look at the lake."
And there it was. For just a few fleeting moments, the loveliest view. The sun hadn't dropped below the horizon just yet, and it was bathing the whole valley in that caramel-glazed glow you only get for a short window of time toward the end of the day. What is it about us humans that makes us so love being above it all? Part of me thinks it's about getting perspective, the other part thinks it's about arrogance. Regardless, as soon as I thought to pull over and take a picture, it was gone. We were headed downward at an increasing rate, leaving the view where we found it.
I told myself it was okay, that I had my whole life to take pictures and what made these ones special? It was just a lake. Just a view. Just the perfect view to end our perfect drive on our little vacation we took together to start our third year of marriage. Why would that be an image worth going back for?
But, as it turns out, I didn't mean any of that. Because as soon as we made it to the bottom and went through the first traffic light, I turned to you and, in my most effortless and persuasive voice said, "We should drive back up there and take a picture!"
You looked at me with that face that does all of the talking for you and asks with that one crooked eyebrow, "You're kidding, right?" And then you said it, "You're kidding me, right?"
I was not kidding. I wanted to turn around and drive fifteen minutes back up the busy two-lane road to pull over and take a picture. You protested for a minute, but I can be a pretty good saleswoman when the product is something I actually care about.
"We aren't in a hurry, are we?" is what I said. You couldn't argue with that, and so you did it. You turned the car around and drove right back up the mountain.