I can't remember fully but I'm pretty sure it was October of 2010 the first time I really noticed Josh on campus. I was in our student union on the upper floor in the midst of one of those it's-been-28-hours-since-I-last-slept so I"ll-just-play-on-my-computer days; sort of barely-existing up there at my lonely table. I decided a month before that I was going to escape for a bit and study abroad in Italy which meant that I spent most of my days planning my travels. I glanced around downstairs, skimming the floor for a familiar face when Josh walked through reading something on a piece of paper. I sort of cocked my head to the side to peer through the slits in the railing to get a better look. I did know who he was, the younger brother of another guy on campus, which had earned him the nickname "Baby Kern", but I had never really noticed him around. Perhaps it was the lack of sleep but my head made the forward (and correct, I would find out) observation that looks like a mountain man who could build me a fire and then read me a book. Wouldn't that be nice? At that moment I affectionately nicknamed him "mountain man", returned to Italy on my computer, and left the country three months later without another thought of him.
The following fall I returned to Pennsylvania, to our college, and to my job at the local coffee shop. I left one morning preoccupied with a handful of coffees for my fellow classmates in our 11:20 class; behind me, leaving from the bank, walked Josh. He followed me on the sidewalk through town and past the neighborhoods up to campus, just sort of observing me. I stopped at one point to look over the bridge and watch Wolf Creek pass underneath me, and at that moment Josh affectionately nicknamed me "that girl". (I still try to pretend he nicknamed me "nature girl" or "river girl" or anything slightly romantic but, I mean, it all worked out.) And we went our separate ways for the day. A week later somehow I ended up in a car headed for an unknown Syrian restaurant for dinner with an eclectic group of old friends and strangers. We stopped at Hopeman Hall to pick up some people. The car door opened and I thought, "Oh my goodness. It's mountain man. Uh, he's more attractive than I remember." Josh remembers thinking, "Oh hey. It's that girl." (We are prime examples of the female and male minds.) And we went to dinner with this odd group of people in a new restaurant, passing glances but not speaking to one another, because speaking would have been too much.
And the best thing came from the strangest situation.
Quick Raw Honey + Avocado Pesto Pizza
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons raw honey
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped raw almonds and sunflower seeds
1 1/2 cup basil
2 garlic cloves
1 gluten-free tortilla
assorted roasted vegetables
This pizza is an easy fix for lunch or dinner, or when your cute but non-gluten free husband decides he wants pizza for dinner and the smell alone is killing you. Make this.
Cook vegetables or toppings as you would like. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees for the pizza. For the pesto combine the olive oil, parmesan cheese, almonds and sunflower seeds, basil, garlic, and avocado in a food processor until creamy (this is acting as the pizza spread).
Place the tortilla in a large cast-iron skillet and drizzle the honey over the "crust". Be sure to spread the honey out evenly before layering the avocado pesto on top. Garnish the pizza with your favorite vegetables, meats or cheeses. I used an assortment of roasted tomatoes, sweet and green onions, eggplant, red pepper, and chicken.