Enduring on the Lake

Friday, August 22, 2014

Chapter 13

“Well why the Sam Hill were you in the shower in the middle of the day?!” 

“Daddy stop yelling.  You’re making the connection go all static-y or you would have heard me the first time.” 

“Don’t sass me Sydney Marguerite.  Why was that boy answering your phone?” 

“Probably ‘cause he saw it was you calling and worried it was an emergency.  I told him about Aunt Rhonda being sick.”  At his snort I also told him, “And I was in the shower because a 2-liter of pop fell off the top of the frig, hit the floor and exploded all over me and everything else.” 

“What was a … what?!” 

Starting from the beginning again since he hadn’t listened the first time I said, “It all started when I fell out of bed this morning.  Wait, just let me explain.  I fell out of bed because those people that bought the house from Mr. Karlson decided to start trimming trees at 5:30 in the morning because he had to leave early and go back to Atlanta.  Maybe I could have gone back to sleep after that but about fifteen minutes into it there was this loud whoomp noise that rattled our windows.  He apparently hired Larry, Moe, and Curly to do the deed and they dropped a tree on the house, the stove had been on for coffee … a propane stove … and basically they had to call three ambulances and two fire trucks and we are lucky I close the shutters at night or we would have probably lost windows; three other places sure did.” 

“Sydney …” 

“Well needless to say my nerves were shot for the foreseeable future but I still had pickles to put up that I canned yesterday.  Only I dropped a jar of them and had broken glass and pickle juice all over the counter top and floor.  I move everything to clean that up and I’m moping the floor when I backed into the frig – where I’d set the bottle of pop to keep it safe because the table was full – causing things on top to fall over only the pop didn’t just fall over it fell down making an even bigger mess than the pickles had since it exploded like Mount Vesuvius.” 

“Sydney …” 

“And that’s when Zane walks in to tell me he was late because they’d not been letting anyone down Lake Road and the other bottle fell off the frig and repeats what its predecessor did only right at my feet so I took the brunt of the fizz and syrup.  I’m dropping cola from every millimeter.” 

“Sydney …” 

“It has been a very difficult few days.  I started classes, have all this other stuff going on, I’ve barely slept in three days and Zane just standing there trying not to laugh … I started crying.  Well I guess I shocked him ‘cause his mouth fell open and he took two steps into the kitchen and you know how slick this old linoleum is when it gets wet.  When he fell I got scared and tried to run – bad idea – and wound up face forward on the floor nearly drowning in a puddle of mixed cola and pickle juice.” 

“Sydney …!” 

“Only see Zane has sisters so he saved me from drowning, sends me to shower off and tells me he’ll clean the mess up and I was ready because at the rate I’m going I worried I was gonna bring the cabin down.  I’m finally clean – though from the feel of it I missed getting all the syrup out of one of my ears – and climbed out of the shower …” 

“Sydney Marguerite!” 

“Only to find that the first time I’ve heard from you or Mom in two weeks beyond a txt’d ‘OK’ you’re yelling ‘cause you thing I’m jumping Zane’s bones!!” 

Zane yelped and snatched the phone away from me and starts squawking at Daddy that he has the wrong idea and can prove it because Uncle Red and Lawrence are on the porch. 

Oh they’re on the porch all right laughing like hyenas.  Zane gives the phone to Uncle Red like it’s a nuclear device about to go off.  That only makes the two of ‘em laugh even harder and then to add insult to injury after Uncle Red confirms what I told Daddy – tears streaming down his face ‘cause he can’t stop laughing – I hear Daddy join in. 

At that point I’d had it.  I went back to my room, slammed the door, and vowed I wasn’t ever coming out again.  A little while later there’s a knock on my door and it’s Zane.   

I asked him, “You got a death wish or did you just draw the short straw?” 

“Did you know my sister’s full name at birth is Calamity Jane Slowthower?” 


“Yeah.  As a matter of fact all of us are named after cowboys except for Josh who is named after our grandfather.  There’s Josh Todd Lincoln Slowthower, Annie Oakley Slowthower, Calamity Jane Slowthower, John Wayne Slowthower, Zane Gray Slowthower, Belle Star Slowthower, and Mom decided to continue the tradition with Max Brand Slowthower.” 

“You’re pulling my leg.” 

“Am not.  Don’t believe me ask anyone around.  My dad was never east of the Mississippi but he had a real thing for cowboys and the Wild West.” 

“And why are you telling me this?” 

“’Cause you remind me a bit of Jane.  She used to get so busy trying to prove that she wasn’t the problem child our sister Annie was that when a problem did happen it was usually a doozy and she wound up acting like she was gonna die or something because she thought people would suddenly start thinking less of her.” 

I cracked open my bedroom door and said, “I hate people laughing at me.  With me is OK, at me if I’m fooling around on purpose is OK, at me for other stuff … no OK.” 

“So I gathered.” 

“I’m sorry.” 

“For what?” 

“For throwing a tantrum and ‘cause Daddy ….”  I shrugged. 

“Well it’s straightened out.”  He handed me my phone.  “He said call him when you’re done being mad.” 

“Might be what he said.  What he means is pick my bottom lip up off the floor and deal with it.” 

“Uh … your dad doesn’t seem that … er … harsh.” 

“No.  But he’s … let’s just say he is intolerant of people living in the land of self-pity.  If you get the can’t-help-its every once in a while that’s to be expected, just don’t settle in and act like that all the time.”  I sighed.  “I better call and find out what’s up.”


  1. Very good, lol funny after the fact for the folks.

  2. What a movie you paint with words, you had me laughing as I was reading it. Thanks for the great story and new chapters.

  3. Hysterical. Loved the description.