"But I got a great deal else from the experience. I learned to pitch a tent and sleep beneath the stars. For a brief, proud period I was slender and fit. I gained a profound respect for the wilderness and nature and a benign dark power of woods. I understand now, in a way I never did before, the colossal scale of the world. I found patience and fortitude I didn't know I had. I discovered an America that millions of people scarcely know exists. I made a friend. I came home."
-Bill Bryson. A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
After hiking Mount Katahdin together, we traveled to over 40 states in eight months, a testament to the connection we share. He is my catch partner, handyman, shoulder to cry on, editor-in-chief, sounding board, dinner date, greatest support and lover of my pantaloons. His creativity inspires me, his singing makes me smile, and his honesty is refreshing. He accepts me, all of me, and for this I am grateful. To my love and best friend on his birthday: "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."
P.S. I lured him to go with me to Sears because I was picking up a table saw his dad and I bought for his birthday. He thought I bought clothes myself, which only added to the fun of the surprise.