Authors: DW Davis
Tags: #love, #marriage, #beach, #sailing, #horseback riding, #finding soul mate
A River Dream
D W Davis
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Copyright © 2013 Douglas W.
River Sailor Literary
Post Office Box 458
Pikeville, North Carolina 27863-0458,
All rights reserved. No part of the contents
of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any
means without the permission of the author.
This work is a work of fiction. The
characters, places, and events portrayed in this book are the
product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any
resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely
brings my River Dream
Trilogy to a close and as I bid adieu to Michael, Maeve, and
Rhiannon I want to take a moment to acknowledge again my most
ardent fan, my harshest critic, and my constant source of
inspiration - my lovely wife Karen.
Karen, and our sons –Alex and Zack – have
patiently (usually) and supportively acted as my proofreaders,
sounding boards, and cheerleaders throughout the long process from
the first draft of
through the final edits of
. I could never have done this without
Every author needs an editor and I have been
blessed with an awesome editor in my dear friend Jeanie Sherman.
Thanks to her advice, support, and constructive criticism my
readers have enjoyed much more entertaining books than I could have
produced on my own.
And finally, to all the River Dreamers out
there who have encouraged and supported me; thank you for helping
me realize my personal River Dream.
The grass strip at River Dream looked brown
and forlorn through the wind screen of our new Cessna Skylane as I
lined up to land. The wind sock showed a stiff wind out of the
northwest. Northwest winds promised a cold weekend on the river.
Maeve and I would be glad for the woodstove once I got a fire going
and it started putting out its dry, comforting heat.
My preference would have been for a light
north wind for my first attempt at landing the Cessna at River
Dream. The fine folks at Cessna had assured me the landing gear on
the Skylane was rugged enough for the twelve-hundred-foot grass
runway at River Dream, and that the runway was plenty long enough
to handle the Skylane.
The Cessna was a late Christmas present for
Maeve. As attached as I was to my old Piper Cub, Maeve convinced me
we needed something with a greater carrying capacity than the
little two-seater could manage. The Skylane, while still being able
to land at River Dream, could carry the two of us in the cockpit as
well as two passengers and two hundred pounds of baggage. I found a
good home for the Piper Cub at the Air and Space Museum.
Our first trip to River Dream in the Cessna
would be the first of many cold, wet weekends at River Dream that
rainy winter. Cold in Coastal Carolina may not be like the cold of
a New England winter, and it has nothing on a cold day around the
Great Lakes, but we were spoiled by the relatively mild winters
with which our part of the world was normally graced. The chilly,
damp, gray winter we endured between our October marriage and our
June wedding was not the kind of winter to which Maeve and I were
Our weekdays that winter and spring were
consumed with class work, homework, wedding plans, and the details
of daily life. We spent our weekends at River Dream recharging and
rediscovering our passion for one another.
At long last, winter, like a reluctant stray
resigning itself to the idea that it wasn’t wanted, gradually gave
way to the warmer days of spring. With its green leaves and scent
of honeysuckle, it was the kind of spring that reminded folks why
they loved living in the South.
Eventually, summer weather, if not technically
summer itself, arrived in eastern North Carolina, and the date for
our June wedding - eight months after our marriage at the
Magistrate’s office - drew close. When classes were done and the
wedding was only a week away, Maeve and I decided we needed one
more weekend at River Dream before the big event.
A crosswind set the grass on the landing strip
swaying - reminding me it needed to be mowed - and buffeted the
Cessna as I lined up for a landing at River Dream. We had one good
bounce before I could keep all three wheels on the ground, and for
a moment I feared we wouldn’t stop before reaching the end of the
runway. It wasn’t one of my better landings. Maeve, who’d become a
fair pilot herself, let me know it.
Don’t you know the old saying
about landings?” I asked, after I breathed a sigh of
Which old saying would that be?”
Maeve said, raising an eyebrow in my direction.
Any landing you can walk away
from is a good landing,” I quipped as I climbed from the
Then I guess that qualifies as a
good landing, barely,” she said.
Using a lawn tractor, we towed the Cessna into
its new hangar before climbing into the Jeep.
It’s a good thing we left the
doors on,” Maeve said as, on the short drive to the house, large
drops of cold rain began to splatter on the hood, turning the dust
on it to mud. Leaves left over from the fall were kicked up by the
wind and stuck to the wet windshield. The weatherman had predicted
a strong cold front moving in from New England overnight. Winds out
of the northeast always made for interesting conditions along our
stretch of the Neuse.
I think we should check on the
boats before we get comfortable inside,” I said, “while it’s still
Maeve glanced at the darkening sky. “That’s a
good idea. We’ll get soaked, though.”
I nodded. “Then I guess we’d better
We parked the Jeep and made our way carefully
down the rain-slick dock to the boats.
twenty-six foot cruising sailboat, was up on the lift and looked
, the nineteen-foot day sailor, needed
some tightening up on the spring lines. The twenty-foot Grady-White
fishing boat was riding fine.
Maeve was right. By the time we were done, we
I smiled when I looked at Maeve in the fading
light. “We’d better get inside,” I said. “I’ll put some water on
for tea while you dry off and change.”
Good idea, Mike,” Maeve said,
running her fingers through her wet hair.
When we got to the porch, it took me a moment
to dig the house key out of the pocket of my soaked
Maeve pressed herself against me, shivering.
“It’s a good thing we’re not expecting company,” she
I finally got the key in my hand and opened
the door. We hurried inside. The house was still warm from the heat
of the day but would cool quickly as the rain and wind pulled the
heat away. I hurried to the kitchen and filled the copper tea
kettle. Maeve headed straight for the bedroom to change into dry
clothes. After lighting the burner under the kettle, I went to
the living room and started a fire in the wood stove.
What’s the matter?” Maeve
asked. She was wrapped in her fluffy pink terrycloth robe, a
matching towel around her neck. “You're not cold, are
I’m not cold, sweetheart,” I
responded, smiling at her over my shoulder, hoping she couldn’t
hear my teeth chattering, “but I thought you might be
You’re so thoughtful, Michael,”
she said with a smirk. She pulled the lapels of the robe closed and
shuddered. “Actually, I was starting to feel cold.”
Looking at Maeve in her robe, her wet hair
plastered down on her head, I couldn’t get over how beautiful she
looked even so.
Michael,” Maeve said, a light
blush coloring her cheeks. “I must look awful.”
No,” I said, as I stood up and
reached out to take her hand, “you look beautiful to me. You always
look beautiful to me, Maeve.”
A shy smile lit her face as I took her in my
arms. Just as my lips covered hers, the tea kettle
I need to get that,” Maeve
It’ll wait,” I told
I held her to me, pressing my lips once more
to hers. The tea kettle whistle intensified in counterpoint to the
rising passion of our kiss.
When, at last, we parted to draw breath, Maeve
pushed me away playfully and said, “I really need to take care of
the kettle before it burns up.”
Reluctant to release her, I replied, “Hurry
back. I’m burning up, too, and need to be taken care
Maeve smiled, kissed me quickly, and sashayed
out of the living room toward the kitchen, her robe swirling about
her, giving me an enticing glimpse of her trim, toned
The rain continued through the night and all
day Saturday, finally blowing on out to sea in the wee hours of
Sunday morning. Maeve and I spent the time enjoying having nowhere
to go and nowhere to be. When Sunday dawned cool, clear, and
relatively calm, we decided to sail
for lunch at the Wharf. We called my folks to let them know we’d
decided to stay home another night and would fly back to Wilmington
My mother was not happy to hear about our
change in plans. “What about final arrangements for the wedding?”
There’s nothing that can’t wait
until we get home Monday,” I told her. There weren't any
arrangements that hadn't already been checked and double checked
that I knew of.
It was a short walk from the Wharf to the
market. I was in the mood to grill some steaks for supper. Maeve
agreed, and we picked up the fixings for steak, corn on the cob,
and baked potatoes. The market had some fresh-baked apple pies, so
we added one of those and some ice cream to our list. At the last
minute, we remembered to get some ice for the cooler on
. The ice cream wouldn’t have made it far
Theresa, the girl working at the register,
smiled when she saw our choices.
It looks like someone’s planning
to grill out,” she said. “At least the weather's nice enough for it
Smiling as she slid her arm around my waist,
Maeve replied, “Oh, I don't know. We haven't minded the
Theresa gave Maeve a knowing look. “I know
what you mean. Sometimes it's nice to be stuck at home with nothing
The wind had moved from the northwest to
almost directly west as we headed back to River Dream. We were able
to make good time on a close reach, only having to tack once before
dropping sail and motoring the last little way to the
I walked out onto the back porch to get the
grill going and realized I didn’t know if we had any charcoal.
Fortunately, we did, just enough to cook the steaks. While I was
busy cleaning the grill, Maeve put the potatoes in the oven and
then came out back to shuck the corn.