You’ll Stay In the Barn with Steve.

This story comes from March 9, 1989. Four days after meeting Steve.

As you remember, Steve was working as a Counselor/Coordinator at Calvin Crest and I had gone up with my cousin to serve as a Cabin Leader. We had met, and looked for a bed, but then we went our separate ways. He had to run the program and I had to deal with ten 6th-grade-girls I didn’t know.

As a cabin leader, there were a few things I had to do. I had to monitor my girls, go to early morning cabin leader meetings, and help by chaperoning on nature hikes, activities, and campfire sing-a-longs; the typical camp stuff. Of course, I did a decent job; nothing special, I thought. Just going along with their program and helping when necessary.

On Wednesday afternoon (March 8), I was approached by Laura, the outdoor education camp director. I had a free period and was sitting with my cousin, near the camp office. Laura said that she was impressed by my eagerness to do things, and my ability to handle the kids in a way that showed authority but didn’t seem controlling.

She asked if I had a job or was going to school. I said that I wasn’t doing either at the time. Then she surprised me by asking if I wanted to come and work for them for the rest of the outdoor education program that went until June 2. I was shocked! I had never had anyone offer me a job for which I hadn’t applied. I responded, “Are you sure I’m qualified?” She said, “You really don’t need anything other than an ability to work with the kids and teachers, and you’ve got that.” I said yes before talking to my family or boyfriend/fiancée…..Oh, did I tell you already that I had a boyfriend and a promise ring on my finger? That’s another story too!

The next 24-hours passed with camp as usual, except I made two phone calls home to tell the parents and boyfriend that I had a job at the camp, and I completed all the paperwork necessary to start as a Counselor/Coordinator on Monday.

That afternoon, again during a free period, I met with Laura in the cafeteria. We talked about the job, getting keys to all the required buildings, how I would fit into the nightly campfire routine. Then I asked the big question, “Where will I be living?” Laura responded, “You’ll stay in the barn with Steve. But don’t worry, it’s not really a barn, that’s just its name. It’s actually a house with a kitchen and rooms downstairs, and then more rooms and a bathroom upstairs.  There’s lots of empty rooms to choose from; the only one living there right now is Steve.” I asked, “Who’s Steve?”

She motioned with her head, over past me toward the large window and window seat at one end of the cafeteria. I turned around and saw him sitting on the window seat, holding a newspaper. He was looking straight at me and began to blush bright red. He said, “What?” and Laura replied, “Nancy’s going to start working here and will be staying in the barn.” He gave me his wide-eyed, open-mouthed surprise face and started to rise. I walked over to him and we shook hands. That’s it. No chills, goosebumps, or sweet story.

About two months later, as we were sitting on my parent’s front porch talking about how we met he confessed his thoughts at that moment. He said, “You know, I had been watching you and Laura talk. While you were talking, you were absentmindedly pulling your hair into a high ponytail. I was looking at the back of your neck. I can’t resist the back of a woman’s neck, especially yours. I had some lustful thoughts going through my mind as you were adjusting your ponytail. When you turned around and looked at me, I was embarrassed.”

I took every opportunity I could to show him the back of my neck for the next 29 years.

1994 summer trip to Los Vegas and the Grand Canyon. I’m not sure I see how the back of my neck can be “sexy”. 

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