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The Date.

He is what my mom would have called a silver fox, a handsome man whose hair is prematurely more white than gray. He's better looking in person than in print, with a strong jaw that I haven't yet seen translate into photographs. He works outdoors, and his skin is a golden tan from head to toe.

He joined me on the beach for our date. Having met and talked briefly online, we agreed to meet on the beach on a weekday afternoon. He'd bring sandwiches, I would bring a second chair and some cold drinks.

He was running late, I didn't care. My thinking was that the less stress surrounding meeting someone new, the better. It was a free day for me, the threat of Florence had brought my business and the boys' schedule to a screeching halt. I had time on my hands and had decided to capitalize on it. If I went to the beach and the date was a bust, I had still been to the beach, so it was going to be a win either way.

Within moments of him sitting down I was intrigued. Five years older than me, he was a retired teacher and coach. He'd started his own business doing something entirely different a couple of years ago and had found some success. He was a bit self-deprecating with a clear moral compass.

I knew right away that this wasn't someone who made a habit of taking off in the middle of a workday. He later confirmed and said it was just the second time he had sat on the beach all summer, kind of a big deal since the word "Beach" is in his city's name. We ate our sandwiches and talked, then went in the water.

As we stood in the water and talked, his attention kept being pulled to a truck down the beach quite a way. It was a large pickup, that had backed up to the oceanfront to off-load a boat and gotten stuck. The rear axle was almost in the sand. A little slow to catch on, I realized he was curious and wanted to go down to see the situation first hand.

We dried off a little and headed down the beach, chatting and laughing about online dating and other topics. We reached the area where the truck was stuck and my date was practically coming out of his skin wanting to get involved. I said to him that I didn't mind if he helped (I think the hesitation being that it would take the focus off of our date).

It took telling him two times, but once he was involved he was the leader. Surrounded by young men half his age, he knew precisely what to do to get the truck out of the sand. He took off to get his own truck and while he was gone a brigade of three 4x4 pickups with young men arrived. As I waited for my date to return, I watched the brigade succeed in spinning up a bunch of sand and getting a second truck stuck.

My date returned and I got a text: "Come over by the white truck," so I did, thinking he must have thought his date could at least be in his proximity while he worked. I approached him as he was letting air out of his tires. He handed me a little tool, and instructed me to go to the other side of his truck and start doing the same to the tires on that side. I kind of chuckled in my head and admired his effiiciency.

It took quite a bit of time, but, using brains, not brawn, my date lead the charge and got the truck out of the sand. I never doubted it for a minute. The young men kind of stood in awe, the pickup truck owner eternally grateful.

My date was packing up his tow ropes, putting them in the back of his truck, sort of apologizing for the disruption to our date. I assured him I didn't mind. I looked at him and said, "You do realize that was hot, right?" He looked at me slightly quizically and smiled a bit.

We relaxed and cooled down with a couple of drinks at the nearby marina. The truck owner came through and picked up our tab. Another one of the young men from the beach stopped to talk to us for a bit, until my date said something to conclude the conversation, so the guy would leave us to talk on our own.

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