As I See It

15888620321_7c0d95686e_bFebruary is always an important month for me. It is when I had my first date with Esmeralda Ybarra. Little did I know that she would become Esmeralda Ybarra Hetrick a few years later?

It was on a Valentine’s weekend in 1998 and I was living in an apartment in Millersburg, Pa. I was going through a very rough stretch in my life, which at this point is best not explained. I was alone and on that particular weekend felt very isolated. I was working on my computer just as I am now and realized that the coming weekend was Valentine’s weekend. I didn’t want to spend it alone in the confines of my small apartment.

I started looking through my contacts on the computer and remembered meeting Esmeralda and at one time receiving her phone number and address. Sure enough I found her number and gave it a ring.GRAM HETRICK

Fortunately, she answered and I asked her if she could get away for day trip to New Hope, PA. After a very short pause she replied, “Sure” and we made arrangements for the trip.

I picked Esmeralda up in my convertible and we headed down the turnpike, listening to the acoustical guitar of Jesse Cook on the radio. The first thing I noticed was that we both sighed at the same points in the music.

If you have been to New Hope, you know it is a very beautiful center for great art stores, quaint restaurants and antique shops. It is right on the Hudson River and there is a walking bridge over the river to Lambertville, which is equally beautiful.

The next thing I noticed was when we got out of the car. I walked around and assisted her out of the car and as we headed down the main street, I put my arm around her shoulder and what happened next was hard to explain. It just felt so right, just to hold her. It was as though this was what my arms were meant for. This was the only shoulder in which such peace or rest could be found.

The entire day was a Valentine’s Day card. We ended up in a small restaurant and as we sipped a bottle of Ecco Domani wine (loosely translated it mean: “a new beginning”). As it turned out, we both needed a new beginning.

There was one moment when we both looked over at an older couple sitting at another table. They were so attentive and loving to each other. It was a kind of intensity one does not generally expect from two people who seem to have been together so long. We both talked about how wonderful it would be to be with someone for a long period of time and still have an intensity of love and caring.

Here I sit writing this article about the most romantic date in my life. We are now that older married couple. Through good and bad times we have always had that intensity we saw in New Hope on that day. We never have just one Valentine’s Day a year. We try to have many by doing the little things each day that say; “I love you”. I try my best to open her doors, buy that special bottle of wine or have what I call a “sleep over”, a day when we take no phone calls if possible, make a nice meal,

drink a little wine and maybe watch a movie or make love. It’s that day in New Hope all over again.

Happy Valentine’s Day and why not plan a sleep over with your special someone.

By Graham Hetrick

February 2015 Issue



Graham Hetrick

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