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"You don’t step in the same river twice." -Kathy, Judi's wife

Judi Blumenthal_.jpg

Picture it,

1970’s New England woodlands, Girl Scout camp.  Judi watching in awe as a swaggering 16-year-old in cowboy boots and hat sauntered past her and directly into... Judi’s bunk. "Who the hell is that?" she gaped. Days later, they were sneaking midnight trips to hunt for foxfire- those weird glowing hunks of rotting wood, a camper and country people pastime.  It led them to a lifelong bond of friendship, respect and love, even with drama-filled relationships and miles between them for years at a time.

December in New Hampshire is earnest, white and F’in freezing. We drank whiskey at a grand hotel pulsing with history, ate homemade cookies, played with their (people-like) Shelties and got the history of a relationship that's seen its share of upheavals. One of which is Judi’s near decade living with MS. Her partner of 20 years and wife of 13, Kathy, is a stoic and pragmatic ex-military member and I hang on her words- she doesn't waste them. At their bucolic home, Wolfwood, I get insight into the mind of a caregiver and what it takes to make love keep going, as painful and unpredictable as it is. Life is a river, Kathy told me- impossible to control, never the same. But, on the bright side, there’s always another chance to do things different, better.

I try to see foxfire the way they do- it's pretty, yes, but isn't the glow just wet logs? Why is magic so hard for me? Judi and Kathy, my friends, know I'm like this; they're amused and believe that if I stop looking so hard, I might see better. Yes, foxfire is dead wood; it's also a special, rare coincidence you may not see again. Why not eat up every hopeful second, peering over in that moonlit summer chill?