Our destination for the night was Portsmouth Yacht Club on the Piscataqua River, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The river is the borderline between Maine and New Hampshire. While we hadn’t been here by boat, it was familiar territory by land. Portsmouth is where Tim and I first met. The whole online dating experience is a subject for another day but meeting someone in person after many email exchanges is a big step in the process. And bearing in mind that I hadn’t dated for 35 years, it was also a big step in my process. I found myself asking my son Mike for dating advice. To which he flippantly replied, “I don’t know what old people do”. Regardless, I met Tim at Popovers, a great cafe in downtown Portsmouth. He was standing out front waiting for me to arrive. When I saw him at a distance, I thought I hope that’s him; part of the mystery of online dating is wondering just how old the photograph they post is. His was current, and he looked nice. So here we were 5 years later back in Portsmouth on the Piscataqua River.
Whenever I’ve been downtown Portsmouth, I always feels as though I’ve been transported back in time. It seems almost everything is made of brick, that is except for the church. The gleaming white steeple of the North Church pierces the sky with a demanding call for attention. Looking up at the connected buildings along Ceres St. I almost expect to see Dick Van Dyke dancing to the chimney sweep song in Mary Poppins. Along the waterfront a row of restaurants look out to Old Harbour and the red tug boats that are always docked there. If you find yourself taking a step down into one of these shops or restaurants you are more likely than not going to see stone foundations and hand hewn beams supporting them. We would not be getting downtown this trip but it was nice to know we weren’t far away.