Saturday, March 2, 2013
Wind in White Birch - Issue # 9
Hello all! My name is V.L. Locey. I am a self-published and traditionally published author that lives in the mountains of Pennsylvania with my husband of over twenty-one years, my sixteen year old daughter, a herd of dairy goats, chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys, two dogs, two cats, and a partridge in a pear tree. For more info about me and contact links, check out the author bio tab up above.
Enough about me, let`s get back to Wind in White Birch and our lovers Jonah and Dana.
Wind in White Birch
I was trying to spit clean the dried yolk from my son`s face. It was a lesson in exasperation for me, him, and it seemed the driver as well.
“Dana, just leave the kid alone, okay?” Jonah huffed. I glowered at the yellow crust on the boys chin. “Turn around and enjoy the ride,” he added in a softer tone.
“Yeah Mom, just leave the kid alone!” Rhett slapped his arms over his chest.
“Two against one isn`t fair,” I said, returning to face forward. The rolling countryside was a canvas of varying shades of white and gray.
“We men have to stick together in the war against mom spit,” Jonah raised his hand for - and received - a very hearty high five from the backseat rider. Rhett cranked his red and white kids MP3 player up to dangerous ear safety levels. Jonah grabbed his travel mug of coffee with his freshly slapped hand.
“You weren`t complaining about mom spit the last time we kissed,” I muttered. The man at my left nearly spewed his mouthful of java across the windshield. I smiled smugly as Mr. Big Deer dabbed at the front of his coat.
“Damn Dana, the things you say,” he teased, reaching over to squeeze my knee. I was proud as punch. Rhett was singing along to 1985 sung by a group of kids instead of Bowling for Soup. He flatly refused to listen to the toddler songs he had loved before he went to kindergarten. I suspect some older kid (probably a third or fourth grader) teased him for his collection of Barney songs. Sometimes I wish he never had to leave my side or the innocence of time before school.
“I think I know where we`re going,” I announced as we rolled down the bare two lane; a stark black path between two rounded bumpers of white.
“I think you don`t know where we`re going,” Jonah responded. I had to concede he was right when we drove past the tiny turn off that led to Mud Puppy Lake. I turned my head to watch it go past, feeling a wash of something very much like longing flow over me. “Soon as the ice is off the lake we`ll come up and do some fishing.”
Confused about how he knew what I was yearning for, I looked at him questioningly. “You`re pretty easy to read at times, Dana,” Jonah confided. “I guess I should have said if we`re still seeing each other in April we`ll come fishing, huh?”
“Yeah, I suppose so,” I turned my head to catch the last bit of the road to Mud Puppy Lake disappear in the side view mirror. The thought of not being with Jonah in a few months left me feeling very empty inside.
“I hope that`s not the case though,” the man whispered, his fingers still resting on my kneecap. “Who would I tease if you stopped seeing me?”
“You`d find someone, I`m sure, “I said with a forced smile. There would be women lined up at his door for the chance to date Jonah Big Deer. His eyes rolled to the roof.
“How did we get onto this depressing subject? Let`s chuck this crappy topic to the curb and get back to your spit,” he stated, throwing the dour mood out the window with my blessing. The cold air blowing over me was refreshing. It took the sadness of the unknown future away. The window went up after the fake mood tossing was concluded.
“Or we could get to where the heck it is we`re going.” I tried to read the road signs we would pass occasionally but they were either gone or buried under the plowed banks of snow.
“Have you ever looked at your future?”Jonah asked, the turn signal coming on right before we took a smooth left onto a nicely plowed driveway. “I mean, have you ever seen something and known that no matter what this thing was the going to change your life?”
I nodded when he looked at me fleetingly. Enthusiasm was bubbling from the man. “Yes, I felt that way when they placed Rhett in my arms the day he was born.”
The truck slowed. “Beautiful and profound,” he murmured, touched the brake then leaned to the right to get a soft kiss from the lady who had spoken so profoundly. Rhett made a gagging sound in the backseat then fell back into singing Sk8r Boi.
I was sort of mesmerized by Jonah`s sultry eyes. The engine quieting took a moment to register. I turned from my blatant admiration to gaze out the windshield. A large redwood log home sat before us. Two stories and filled with glass and porches it was surrounded by nothing but white birch trees.
“Holy cow,” I whispered. Rhett, sensing the stillness of the vehicle, leaned up between the bucket seats. His face showed his appreciation of the majestic cabin. Jonah was silently watching us. I could feel his steady perusal. The wind gusted and clouds of new snow blew down from the thick canopy of boughs. I followed its decent. One rather large powdery cloud landed on top of a realtor`s sign.
My right eyebrow climbed upward. I turned from the beautiful sight to look at Jonah.
“Are you thinking of buying this place?” I squeaked although the answer was obvious by the eagerness he was fighting not to show.
“Yeah,” he grinned widely. I was stunned. I craned my head back around to study the house. It was huge. I could not comprehend how anyone could afford to purchase such an extravagant log house. My mind simply would not do the necessary math. “I mean, I`m giving it some serious thought. It`s not a house though, it`s a lodge. There are eight bedrooms for clients who come here to hunt. I`d be their guide, you know? Take them out and hopefully hook them up with some big game. Whitetail, bear, thunder chickens in the spring, fishing once the ice is off.”
“Thunder chickens?” I asked, pleasantly surprised to see my voice was back to normal.
“Big wild turkey gobblers,” he explained. Rhett had peeled off his headphones and was following our conversation closely; his head going left then right then left like he was at Wimbledon. “The owner died two months ago. The widow can`t run the place by herself and just wants to sell and go to Arizona. I`m a licensed guide, Dana,” he said, leaning back into his seat to stare lovingly at the sprawling lodge. “That`s what I was doing down in Florida when I got those cougar claws, looking for a guide job. I have all the certifications I need here in New York and would much rather work here. If I can get the down payment, I can buy White Birch Lodge and have my own outfitting business.”
“Wow,” Rhett said. I echoed his response. Jonah smiled even wider. He was so keyed up he could barely sit still.
“I know, right? You guys want to check it out closer?” he asked. We both nodded. To do otherwise would have broken the poor man`s heart. Jonah was humming like a tuning fork. We all piled out of the truck. I landed in snow up to my knees. Jonah slung Rhett up to his shoulders. The boy screamed in joy, his hands high above his head in hopes of slapping more snow free from the birch branches. I let the guys break a path from the plowed drive to the lodge. Rhett slid from Jonah`s wide shoulders when we started to climb the four steps to the long porch.
“Can I go explore?” the boy asked.
“You stay right here.” I wagged a finger hidden inside a purple mitten at him. His bottom lip slid out but he managed to find an icicle he could use as a sword. A strong hand slid into mine. Jonah led me to a bow window. I cupped my mittens around my eyes and peeked inside. The room was empty. The floors were warm honeyed wood, the walls rich oak logs, a stone hearth large enough for me to stand in was set into one wall, and hanging from the ceiling was a chandelier crafted from horns. “Lifestyles of the rich and famous,” I muttered in awe.
“More like lifestyles of those in debt for the rest of their life,” Jonah muttered, leaning against a stout log then folding his arms over his chest. “This is like a dream come true for me if I can pull off the down payment. There`s only one problem, Dana,” he said, his face reflecting his worry. I turned to face him.
“What`s that?” I asked, my son racing past with a frosty light saber.
“If I do this,” he jerked his head at the lodge, “It will mean I`m here at the lodge all the time. Like, every day all the time. I`ll have very few weekends off. This lodge will be the other woman. ”