Enduring on the Lake

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Chapter 12

Zane found out about the winery down in the cellar but only gave me a little bit of trouble about it when he found out it was actually Daddy’s hobby.  “Did you know you can make wine out of cabbage?” 

My sandwich was half-way to my mouth when Zane made his strange statement.  I told him, “Now look, you wanna make fun of me for stinking up the house and running us out here onto the screen porch that’s one thing but …” 

With a big cheesy grin he said, “If I’m lying I’m dying.  I had a taste of some last summer.  Wasn’t bad if you don’t mind being a little adventurous.” 

“Uh huh.  Sure.” 

“I’m serious.  Your father makes traditional stuff but you can make wine out of just about anything so long as you’ve got enough sugar and the right kind of yeast.” 

I checked my phone as we sat there and sure enough you can do just that.  “Ok, I admit it, I was wrong.” 

He grabbed the table and looked around like the earth was shaking then grinned and said, “See?  Not everything you think winds up being true.” 

Suddenly I lost my appetite.  “Yeah I’ve run into that fact a few times.  You want the rest of these chips?  I’ve had enough.”

At my abrupt response he said, “Hey, I … I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings again.” 

“I know and you didn’t.  Just the facts.” 

“I just meant …” 

“Zane don’t worry about it.  Pass me your trash and I’ll …” 

Getting frustrated he retorted, “You know, you’re just about approaching stubborn.  Now let me say my piece before I manage to screw up again.” 

That caught me off guard.  “Huh?” 

Carefully he said, “All I meant was that just because I agreed to keep a look out for you that doesn’t mean … what I’m trying to say is …”  He took his hat off and a bunch of sawdust came out and got all over the table.  “Dammit.” 


“I swear Max would be better at this and he hates girls.” 

Warily I asked, “That good is it?” 

“What?  No!  I just mean … Look I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.  And I didn’t mean for you to think that I wouldn’t appreciate being a friend.  I’m just out of practice at it … especially with females and you surprised me is all.” 


“Why what?” 

Why would you be surprised I’d want to be friends?  You have girls jumping on you too much?” 

He laughed harshly, “Not hardly.  Oh I used to have my fair share but …” 

“But what?” 

“You don’t know do you.”  He shook his head, stuck out his leg and lifted his pant leg. 

I got a good look and said, “Wow, is that one of the new titanium ones?  I went to school with a guy that said the joints on those are way better than what the VA was giving out a couple of years ago.  He said they hardly need adjusting and the way they attach to the stump doesn’t chaff near as much either because it breathes or something like that.” 

Momentarily stunned Zane finally asked, “Your father told you?” 

“Huh?  Why would he since it doesn’t keep you from doing what he hired you for?” 

“Then you heard it someplace else.” 

“Not hardly.  I can’t even see why it would come up in a conversation.” 

“I’m missing a foot.” 

“No you’re not.  It’s made out of titanium but since it’s right there it’s certainly not missing.” 

He snorted.  “Trust me, that’s not the reaction I normally get.” 

“Apparently not given your attitude but … well … I guess the world is full of people with no sense but that’s not my fault.  You want more tea?” 

He just looked at me for a moment then picked up his glass and said, “Please?” 

Zane worked the rest of the afternoon finishing the new cellar stairs.  After he finished we walked up and down them several times and they didn’t even squeak. 

“You plan on using the cellar a lot?” 

“Yeah,” I told him. 

“Well you’re gonna need better lighting than that one bulb on a string.” 

Cautiously I hedged, “I don’t know if the breaker could handle anything else on that circuit.” 

“That why the chest freezer is out in the barn?” 

“That and can you imagine trying to get a deep freeze down those old stairs?” 

“Can you padlock it?” 

“The cellar?” 

“Well that too but I mean the freezer.  You might lose stuff if you don’t.” 

Guessing at what he really meant I said, “You mean have it stolen.”  At his nod I told him, “I don’t plan on storing anything but ice for more than a day or two.” 

Changing subjects he said, “I see you like to can.  I don’t know too many who still do it.” 

“Like is a funny word.  More along the lines of I like to eat and I like to keep Mom happy.  Most of this will be going home with Daddy next time he comes.  Food is cheaper out here that it is at home and my aunt is stick, unable to work, and my cousin is still getting used to being in a wheel chair.  Just makes more sense for me to do the canning so Mom can focus on nursing.” 

“Gran thinks similarly though it’s because of all of us living in or around her place.” 

“I remember you and Josh and I’ve met Junior and Max.  However, Mrs. June and Daddy both mentioned sisters.” 

“Let’s see there’s Josh, Annie, Jane, John, Me, Belle, and then Max.”  He stopped for a moment then said, “About Max …” 

“Someone has already told me and I still say it’s none of my business.  You say he’s your brother, that’s good enough for me.  Next subject.” 

Zane was uncomfortable for a moment then shrugged and said his good byes.  “I have a previous commitment I have to work on tomorrow but I’ll be back on Wednesday if that’s ok.” 

“Sure.  I hate to be a nag but can it be the chicken coop next?” 

“If that’s what you want.” 

“It’s what I need otherwise I’d leave you alone about it.”  Then I explained why the chicken coop before the wood shed. 

“Ok but let’s put on a couple of padlocks first.  On the barn too.  I’ve got some junk rebar that I’ll fabricate hasps out of for the barn.  Do you have locks?” 

“Daddy brought a bunch he had re-keyed.” 

“Good deal.” 

Since he left I’ve been sitting here trying to decide whether to go out tomorrow or not.  I could make another store run but then again I still have stuff here at the cabin that needs canning.  I also need to let Daddy know the stairs are finished but I’ll do that by texting him a picture.  I would call him but I found out our phone plan changed.  We still have unlimited texting but they had to cut the long distance minutes.  I’m gonna check to see if moving my cell over to the bill I already pay for internet access at the cabin would be cheaper.
Looks like I’m gonna need to find something besides consignment work or my savings is going to completely disappear before next semester’s bill comes due.


  1. Far out, oh did I just tell my age lol.

  2. Great story Kathy thanks.

  3. "Far ou"t no you been watching Austin Powers too much. Thanks Kathy