Netting in Lemon Bay

Left to Right: Gulf of Mexico, Manasota Key, Lemon Bay. Photo by Jin from Adobe Stock

Netting in Lemon Bay

For several hours that morning, in blazing sun,

our group waded in the knee-deep muck

of Lemon Bay, netting sea creatures

and collecting them in pails. Then we gathered

on shore with the naturalist to observe and

discuss the animals we had found:

juvenile flounder, shrimp, tiny crabs…

I left a bit early because I had a lunch date

with a man who lived nearby.

We had been communicating on Plenty of Fish

and were meeting for the first time.

Woops! There were no showers at the park!

I cleaned up the best I could with a wet towel.

Still sweaty on top and muddy on the bottom,

I went to meet my date at Chili’s.

We met in the parking lot with a hug

and a kiss on the cheek, not my usual handshake.

We talked for two hours over chicken fajitas.

Time flew by! I felt I had known him forever!

…That’s how I met my soul mate!

Reprinted from Life in Inspiring Places


Copyrightยฉ 2019 by Cheryl Batavia


Robert and I have been together for six very happy years since that meeting at Chili’s. I was sixty-five, and he was sixty-six when we met. My husband had been dead for over twelve years before I started dating, and I had nearly given up on ever finding a soul mate… someone with whom I have so much in common!

36 Comments

    1. Thank you, Eliza, for your kind comment. It is a very happy memory for both of us. Sometimes we return to Chili’s and sit at “our” table and remember that day. Take care and have a happy day! All the best, Cheryl

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  1. Amazing story. It kinda reinforces my belief that one should never give up on life. Wonderful things happen for those who stick on with it. Wish Robert and you many years of togetherness.

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