Mars lives next door...and he has a working shower

The kitchen is in working order! Even the fifty-year-old refrigerator works, and surprisingly well at that. I also got the parlor cleaned out and the fireplace operating. By this time I had worked up quite a stink, so I threw on my bathing suit and went out back to the water pump to wash up. While I didn't exactly feel clean when all was said and done, at least I smelled clean.

After all that I was starving, and though my kitchen was ready for use I had no inclination to set foot in that room for a while. I decided to go across the canal to the Lock 33 Tavern. It was nice out about 68, so I walked down to the lock crossed the canal and came back up the other side. The Lock 33 Tavern is a 2-story yellow clapboard separated from the towpath by a patio and low stone wall. I asked for a table near the wall so I could watch the boats and bikers. The hostess escorted me through a large dining room, on to a wide porch and finally onto the patio. There were several older couples seated inside, a number of people in rocking chairs on the porch reading and chatting over cocktails and a handful of people out on the patio. I wondered if this was their normal crowd and nearly asked the hostess when I remembered it was barely 5pm - Early Bird Special time.

I ordered a bottle of Towpath Stout and the special; baked chicken, salt potatoes and corn-on-the-cob. While waiting, I watched the boats and people going by. Eventually, I looked across at the other bank and noticed an old abandoned house behind overgrown shrubs. Apparently my assessment of the place was written allover my face, because the familiar looking guy at the table next to me said:

"Real eyesore, isn't it? I heard some lady from down south just bought it and is going to turn it into a B&B. I just hope she realizes we are 'Yankees' here and don't want some girly-Laura Ashley place. I'm Logan."

Stifling a laugh, I replied, "I'm 'some lady from down south', but you can call me Thisby. Pleased to meet you. Don't worry about any Laura Ashley. I can't stand that stuff either. And I realize you are all 'Yankees' here…I grew up here."

At least that is how I remember the conversation starting. Logan ended up sitting at my table and we continued to talk over dinner. Logan, who I recognized as the gorgeous scholar-athlete two years ahead of me in school, was just as Mars like as he was in high school. Tall, dark hair, green eyes and possessing that crazy mind power some guys have. You know the ability to clouds everything you see and hear.

During the course of the meal, Logan told me how after college he moved home for the summer while deciding what to do next and ended up taking over his father's boat tour company when his father succumbed to a heart attack. He has been here ever since, living over the boat house.

I told him all about my plans for Lilac House, the problem with the roof, toilets, the missing bathtub. He knew all about the bathtub. It seems some local boys hauled it out of the house over the summer to use as a boat in the canal. It sank of course. As consolation he offered me the use of his bathroom until I was able to get one of my own working.

Somewhere around 10pm, Logan gave me a ride across the canal in his canoe and reminded me to stop by whenever I needed to feel clean. I don't think I have ever gone to a guy's house to "feel clean"!