Enduring on the Lake

Friday, August 8, 2014

Chapter 7

I didn’t get as much canning done today as planned.  Propane delivery in on a waiting list and our cabin is two weeks out.  And apparently when the gas company got our order – several times more than we normally order – they called the sheriff’s department who paid me a visit. 

I was two hours and a lot of frustration trying to get them gone and prove I had every right to be there.  It took me calling Mom (Dad was at work) to dredge up the name of a retired cop that Daddy goes fishing with a couple of times a year … a man I’d always just known as “Uncle Red” … before they looked even half way inclined to believe me. 

Tires on the gravel drive had me more relieved than I’m comfortable admitting.  “Uncle Red!” 

“Hey Girly Girl.  Got an SOS from your momma.  What’s up?” 

“Did Daddy happen to mention that he was installing me up here as a year round caretaker?” 

“As a matter of fact he did.  I’m gonna see him on Friday after you go a few rounds with Mr. Tennyson.” 

I chucked as he’d meant me to and then he turned and had a discussion with the two gung ho hot dogs that had been two seconds away from putting me in cuffs on suspicion of trying to create fraud by adverse possession or some such stupidity as that.  After they left Red turned to me and said, “I doubt you’ll have any more trouble.  However, I’d avoid having any wild parties or company in large numbers.” 

I snorted.  “If I was to do something like that it wouldn’t be the police I’d need to worry about.  Daddy would be the one looking me up.” 

Red laughed then left rather than stay for the lunch I offered to fix him.  “Gotta run Girly as rain or not I have a honey-do as long as my leg.  But I’ll see you on Friday.  Your ol’ man and I have some business to attend to.” 

After Deputies Abbott and Costello left I tried to can yet again but only got one canner full finished because I ran out of dry wood to burn in the stove.  To my disgust I found the wood shed roof was more sieve than solid.  Then the internet provider that was supposed to come install a new and faster satellite connection called to say their driver was lost. 

I asked Customer Service, “Don’t you people use GPS these days?  You are techies.  How’s he going to set up my service if he can’t even follow a map?” 

Two hours later the tech arrives and I notice BBQ stains on his shirt that look suspiciously like the ones I see every time my family eats at the Lake House Lodge.  This time of year they have a killer lunch buffet that takes a minimum of two hours to wade through.  I’d been had.  However I didn’t say anything until after he was finished with the install and set up. 

“I’d was them BBQ stains off the shirt before you go back to your office.  And I sure I’m not going to be charged extra for your trip down to the Lake House Lodge.  Right?” 

After letting him know my mom didn’t raise no fool, he existed the drive way like Mario Andretti.  Just to be on the safe side I called the cable company, thanked them, and added it was a shame that Mr. Smith had had to rush his mid-day meal on my account.  They asked for the tech’s name and the work order number on the paper he’d left me.  Maybe it was a snarky thing to do, but so is billing for hours you don’t work. 

The remainder of the day went a little smoother.  I did a little cleaning so that Dad could report to Mom that I wasn’t slacking off in the housekeeping department and then started going through the recipe book Mom and I had started when I was a Daisy girl scout. 

I need a menu so I don’t fall back on the nuke-able meals and junk food for my three squares a day.  I also need an efficient plan so I can get all the canning done that Mom expects me to do.  Between that, fixing up the cabin, trying to earn some money doing consignment pieces, taking care of chickens, plus school when it starts in two weeks, I’m honestly not sure how I’m going to get it all accomplished. 

I suppose I can only do what I can do but tomorrow I am going to sit down and prioritize the general list of repairs Dad and I made.  First, second, and third in whatever order I can get them is the wood shed roof, the chicken run, and refurbishing the stairs down into the basement and old root cellar.  I really hope Zane Slowthower passes muster with Dad.  It will be cool beans to get started on everything sooner rather than later. 

Dinner tonight is also going to be breakfast in the morning; I made Portobello sausage using some mushrooms I picked up on my next to last stop. 

To make the sausage you take twelve ounces of Portobello mushrooms and cut them into chunks.  Take those chunks, ½ cup chopped onion, 2 chopped cloves of garlic, and a tablespoon of olive oil and toss the mess together until everything is coated in oil.  Throw it into a baking dish and roast everything for about 8 to 10 minutes.  Then you take the roasted mushroom mess, including the juices, into a food processor and add one can of drained and rinsed black beans, ¼ cup of chopped fresh parsley, one teaspoon of kosher salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, and one tablespoon of lemon juice.  Process all of that until you have a chunky gunk. 

Dump the chunky gunk into a bowl and add ½ cup of bread crumbs and two tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese.  With wet hands, shape a half cup of the mixture into patties about ½-inch thick.  Freeze the patties you don’t use immediately.  For the patties you do want, fry them over medium heat until crisp and heated through, about five minutes per side.  Best way I’ve found to eat them is with salsa and sour cream. 

Mom has passed a lot of these “fake meat” recipes to me.  Another, similar sausage that Mom makes is Apple Tofu Sausage.  She also makes killer bean burgers, meatless meatballs, and this totally unbelievable fake meatloaf.  The strange thing is you would think those recipes came from all the latest vegetarian and vegan diet crazes but most of them are from my grandmother’s and great grandmother’s files of Depression Era recipes. 

I’ve grown up with Mom using those recipes to stretch the household budget without leaving any of us feeling deprived.  Mom said that we lived like we were poor so that we didn’t wind up really being poor.  Dad would then counter with, “Margie, the way you cook and take care of us a sane man would never feel poor.”  Mom would blush with pleasure at Dad recognizing all of her hardwork and Dad would smile real big and make her blush even more.   

“Oh stop it,” she’d say.  “The plain fact of the matter is it is good for the bottom line and the waist line.”  Dad would wink and say, “Well I definitely like you bottom line woman.”  Mom would giggle and roll her eyes and I would suddenly feel the need to be any place else.  Geez.  Parental units. 

I used to imagine that Dan and I would have the same kind of thing eventually.  I really loved him; the real forever love, not just kid mush or lust.  For a whole there after it all fell apart I honestly felt like dying.  I still don’t understand how I could have been so wrong about someone.  It makes me leery of being able to trust anyone … myself most of all.  This thing … the feeling … about Zane Slowthower is the first time in over six months that I’m positive I’m right about someone but there again I’m glad Dad has the final say.


  1. Two more good chapters, very nice.

  2. Kathy thanks for the new chapter, Great story