"Either you love it or you hate it", Joel proclaimed again, for the umpteenth time. His reddish
face almost glowed against the gray sky. The combination of giddy grin, round cheeks and tousled hair
yielded a face far too boyish for a man in his mid-fifties. But the always-present twinkle in Joel's eye was
ever so slightly diminished today, and I knew why: he feared that his intuition might be mistaken and
that I might not, after all care to partake in today's activity. His concern was compounded by the
weather; which was far from ideal for my first sail. Why was it so important to him that I like sailing
Given our relatively short acquaintance, it startled me that I could read his face so
transparently. But in the few months since Janice and I had moved into our still unfinished house, Joel
had become more than just a next door neighbor. We certainly had our differences because Joel was
old enough to be my father and our personalities were as far apart as our ages. He was always teasing,
playing practical jokes, and smiling sarcastically. I was quieter compared to Joel one might say I was
comatose. Yet we both seemed to know that we had something in common, something strong.
We shared a few similarities, at least in areas of interests. Typically impulsive Joel, upon
learning that I rode a dirt bike every other week had gone out and bought a brand new one for
himself. I guess both of us were builders of some sort. He was down to the nagging little finishing
details of the house that he and Louise had built with their own hands.
Janice and I were not nearly so far along on our little beams, but we had decided to go ahead
and move in as soon as the sheet rock was hung. We would finish the rest ourselves, enduring life on a
bare concrete floor and eating out the microwave while we painted, built cabinets, and nailed trim....