Enduring on the Lake

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Chapter 14

After the call Zane carefully asked, “You sure your Dad doesn’t think …” 

“I’m sure.  I’m sorry he made you upset.  It’s not you, it’s me.  I don’t have a great track record.” 

“One guy doesn’t make a track record.” 

Startled I glanced his way still embarrassed by him witnessing my behavior earlier.  “Uh …” 

“Your dad told me.  But … why don’t you tell me?” 


“’Cause I’m no fonder of being a fool than you are.  And if I’m supposed to steer guys away from you at your dad’s request it’d be nice if I knew why.” 

“Why?  ‘Cause Daddy is normally the protective type.  Why is he being over the top right now?  Because a guy I was dating for three years exploited his stupid gene, got into a lot of trouble, and the in the process hurt me.”  I explained in more detail and then went on to explain why my aunt, uncle, and cousin lived with us.  How the economy was taking its toll, yada, yada, and etc., etc. 

“Sounds sane compared to some stuff in my family.  I wouldn’t let it get you down.  Everyone has crap happen to ‘em.” 

“Like your foot?” 

Slowly he nodded.  “It was over a year before I got fitted for a prosthetic.  People just … they still see what is missing.” 

“Except nothing is missing.” 

He gave a small grin.  “And I’m not going to try and convince you otherwise.” 

“Good.  ‘Cause you can’t.” 

He leaned against a tree while I hung the last of the rags on the clothes line then he asked, “Think those cluckers are going to be ok if you take tomorrow off?” 

“You tell me.” 

“I say if a chicken can be happy, those feather dusters are.  They’re already laying.” 

“Yes they are.  They are consistently giving me an egg a day each.  Don’t let me forget to give you that dozen eggs.” 

“You don’t have to do that.” 

“I want to.  You bring me the scraps to feed the chickens from your sister’s restaurant.” 

“You kidding?  She’s thrilled to get rid of it now they are charging by the pound for disposal.  Old guy that used to get the stuff for his pigs died over the summer and Annie says no one answered her advertisement offering things for free.” 

“Well I’m thankful.  What the chickens don’t eat I rake up and throw on the compost pile I’m building.  Mom used to have one when I was little then she went to work at the hospital and she didn’t have time to do it anymore.  They stopped doing a lot of things after Sam died.”  I shook my head.  “Sorry.  I know how that sounds.” 

“It’s ok.  People … change.  Mom just about gave up living after Dad’s liver gave out and he didn’t qualify for a transplant.  Max … well that’s the reason why none of us squawked about the adoption.  John did a little but he and Annie don’t get along.” 

“John is the one that doesn’t live around here.” 

“Yeah, he works on oil pipelines and right now works for a refinery in Mobile.” 

“There was only Sam and me and he was ten years older.  Must be nice to have so much family.” 

He shrugged.  “About like anything else.  If you don’t work at it, all you’ve got is a crowd with no much in common.  Hey, you mind if I bring Max tomorrow?  Junior and Max … let’s just say they get along better when they don’t have to be around each other too much.” 

“Sure I guess.  But won’t he get bored?  And isn’t tomorrow a school day?” 

“Max does online school.  He don’t do so well in the classroom.  We’ll call going a geography lesson and then let him find the math, history, and English.”  Glancing at me he said, “It’s not as weird as it sounds.” 

“It doesn’t sound weird at all.  I was homeschooled until high school.  That’s the year our state law changed and Mom didn’t have the time or money to get the right certification.  Plus with Mom working more they didn’t like me being home by myself so much during the day.” 

“I take it they only thought they knew what goes on in public school.” 

I grinned and shrugged.  “And I didn’t complain much because they already felt guilty about what they did know went on.” 

“You sure you don’t care if Max comes?” 

“Positive.  You still want me to pick you up at the store?” 

“Yeah.  And thanks for driving.  Josh needs my truck ‘cause he blew a head gasket and the part won’t be in ‘til Monday.” 

“Not a prob,” I told him.  “Sandwiches OK for lunch?”

“Yeah but it’s my turn.  I did some work at the Bait ‘n Tackle and got paid in gift cards.  I’ll grab something from the deli.  Plus tonight’s the night Annie brings home leftovers from her restaurant.” 

“Well, what can I bring then?” 

“Jug of tea?” 

“OK, and I’ve got paper plates and stuff too.  I’ll also bring the rest of this cake so it doesn’t get stale.” 

“Sounds good.” 

Zane left and I txt’d Daddy that the foundations for both the greenhouses were well under way.  One greenhouse was your typical stand-alone structure.  The other one was going to end up as an addition to the cabin.  The stand-alone one wouldn’t be so bad but the attached “sun room” required permits and to get those some wiring was going to need to be replaced though not much because the cabin only had electric primarily in the kitchen and family room and the kitchen had been rewired five years ago when the panel box blew.  Luckily Zane kept his electrical license up since that is what he’d trained to do in the military.  Normally electricians make a pretty good living but the company Zane had been working for shut down rather abruptly rather than comply with the new small business laws and concurrent taxes.  It caught Zane off guard and it had taken him a while to admit he needed the prosthetic and by then he’d used up a lot of his savings. 

It was also then that he moved home and tried to start over thinking that starting at the beginning would be better for him and the family.  Josh had been going through a nasty divorce – he was real invested emotionally in his step kids and wanted visitation which the courts surprisingly granted twice a month over their mother’s objections – and his grandmother’s and mother’s health was getting problematic.
I just had a weird thought.  I know more about Zane’s family’s day-to-day than I know about my own right now.  I’ve tried emailing Patrice but she replied that she didn’t want to be friends and even unfriended me on all our mutual social media and made it so I can’t see anything on her pages at all.  I’m starting to feel cut off.  Maybe I can find out from Uncle Herschel what is going on.

1 comment:

  1. Well that does not bode well if Patrice is being a jerk. Hmmm....hope the mom and dad have everything in order estate wise.