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To Be or Not to B & B

I have been hiking and driving all day and can't wait to get to Bandon where I will take a shower and fall into bed exhausted. I'm sorry I have booked a Bed & Breakfast, though, because I do not want to visit with anyone this particular evening. I just want to go to bed and read until I fall asleep. The owner, Shirley, is out, but has left keys and instructions about finding my room.

Thankfully, there are no other guests when I arrive and since it is mid-week, I am hoping it will stay that way. I locate my room, shower, and start to flop into bed, but it really is a gorgeous evening and the mouth of the Coquille River and the ocean are just outside my window. The tide is out and I decide to take a short walk along the banks of the river looking for rocks and fossils. The short walk becomes a long walk and I cross over the sandy grasslands at the jetty to the beach where I stroll, hunting for perfect skipping stones. This is pebble paradise on one of the most spectacular beaches in Oregon with aqua-marine ocean, Face Rock and an array of ancient seastacks just offshore.

My jacket pockets sag with stones and I head back. I shall forget dinner, have a glass of wine and finally repair to my room where from bed I can watch the sun set on the lighthouse across the river.

Alas, there is a youngish man in the living room. I sneak in and stealthily go down the hall to my room. I unload my pockets full of rocks, take off my jacket and start to change into my pajamas which are not pajamas at all, but just a t-shirt old enough to be as soft as silk. Oh, shoot, the glass of wine. That means I'll have to go down the hall to the kitchen where the complimentary bottles sit on the counter. Unfortunately, the kitchen is open to the living room where the new arrival is watching the river and drinking his glass of wine. Well maybe I can just slip in there, pour a glass and slip out.

I put my shirt back on and head down the hall to the kitchen in my bare feet, trying to be as quiet and invisible as I can. Great. The white wine is open. The red isn't. I look in various kitchen drawers to find a bottle opener and am out of luck. I have to interact with the stranger.

Excuse me, do you know where the bottle opener is? He does and is quite gallant in retrieving it for me off the wall next to the refrigerator. We exchange a couple of niceties and I pour my wine as he goes back to the living room, which is a peninsula of windows overlooking the river, lighthouse and ocean. As I drift toward my room, he says, spectacular isn't it? I start to mumble "uh, huh," and think, you snob, at least go visit a little.

I join him in the living room. The sunset show reflected on river, ocean and lighthouse is so captivating that we do not visit, but exchange gratifying comments on how beautiful it is. We watch, mesmerized, until all the gold, pink and vermillion colors begin to fade to lavenders, purples and black. He asks if I've eaten and I am suddenly hungry. We walk down the road in the dark, laughing that neither of us knows exactly where we're going but had both seen a restaurant on the pier a mere two blocks toward town.

Our waiter, a young man who is trying out different personas with odd accents keeps us entertained. Who could ask for more? Good food, good wine and Peter Sellers waiting on us.

My new companion is charming and fun, a young lawyer in town for deposition, having discovered the Lighthouse B&B by accident and tells me because of the location and especially the warm vivacity of our hostess (whom I shall meet in the morning at breakfast and confirm) has been there for nearly a week.

It is midnight when we stumble back to our B&B guided by the rising full moon. I start to go to my room and he asks if I'd like to see his magic tricks. Magic Tricks? This is the most amusing proposition I have ever heard, but he is actually sincere and so of course I say I'd love to.

We sit on the living room floor and he proceeds to amaze and stump me with card tricks. I am the perfect foil. Skeptical, gullible and astonished. He is very clever. And awfully sweet and appealing too. By two a.m., I really must get to bed.

At last, nearly ten hours later, I get into my beloved t-shirt and climb into bed. The moon spreads a magical path across the river onto the lighthouse and I fall asleep, smiling at myself trying to avoid what really became the loveliest of evenings.

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