Saturday, June 8, 2013
Wind in White Birch - Issue # 23
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 seventeen 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
Two weeks. Fourteen miserable, lonely, long days had dragged past since I had last spoken to Jonah. I was beyond depressed. I was wretched. I hated that we had parted in such a bad way. It was a horrible misunderstanding and it had split us up so easily. Was I being stupid for not calling him to try to explain? My family was not above telling me so, God bless them. Leave it to family to put your stupid behavior into perspective.
“How long to you plan on sitting here wallowing in self-pity? Why don`t you swallow your pride and call the man? ” Aunt Jo was chiding me as I sat on her couch balancing a plate filled with stuffed cabbage and bratwurst on my thighs. I threw a nasty look her way. She just prattled on undaunted. “Why are you being such a dunderhead about things? I swear if I put the two of you together we couldn`t squeeze out enough sense to fill a shot glass!”
I swallowed loudly, bumping Herr Poopbottom further away with my foot. “Don`t you think that would look rather bad for me to call him? I didn`t do anything wrong. It was him that flew off the handle.”
She waddled past me, tossing the cap from her bottle of Iron City Beer onto an end table that really had no room for one more bottle cap. Nothing like a Friday afternoon on glorious State Street! The illustrious beginning to my long awaited three day weekend begins with a bratwurst and a babushka beer swiller.
“Nope, I think it would look like you`re missing him and want to help him get this lodge up and running and get back together. Seems to me you`ve been pretty shitty about the whole thing,” she said, easing into her favorite blue recliner then resting her IC lager between her rather substantial breasts after she took a long pull.
“I`m sorry, but I am not being shitty!” I sniped just like the dachshund at my feet when he didn`t get his own way.
“Sorry but you are,” Jo-Jo told me then belched. “Better out than in,” she said as she always does. “Dana, it`s clear to everyone that you miss the man. He and you belong together. Why you feel you can`t lower yourself to go up there and show him just how much he means to you is beyond me! He`s not the only one in this relationship who drives. Get in your car, go up to New York, and throw yourself at him like you want to. You always did take after Helen with your uppity thinking.”
“I am not uppity!” I hissed, shaking my fork at the pudgy, beer-loving gnome eying me with far too much certainty. “I`m just not sure if haring up there like some sort of nymphomaniac is the right thing to-”
“Would you listen to yourself?” Jo-Jo said then took another long pull. “Dana, that is my sister talking, not you. She never would go that extra mile for any man. Always felt they had to come crawling to her if they really loved her. Poor Leroy, that man danced once hell of a jig to get her hand,” Josephine clucked in remembrance then leveled those knowing eyes right at me. “Honey-Jukes, love ain`t about one person carrying the load, it`s about both people doing what they can to make it work. Someone has to make the first move.”
“My car isn`t reliable enough to make the trip.” Oh God, was that as lame as it sounded. Yes, yes it was if my great aunt`s eye roll was any indication.
“Then borrow Helen`s Caddy for the weekend. She won`t drive the thing until next Thursday for shopping day. Take the boy to his father`s, go see Jonah, toss in to help with the work he`s doing. Show him you`re behind him. There isn`t one damned thing wrong with a woman being aggressive, sugar-patty. If Hans were alive, the stories he would tell you! Hell, one time I chased him from McKeesport clear to West Mifflin on a bike just to grab a kiss before he went to work. Sometimes a woman has to take the bull by the horns, Dana.”
Her burp was robust. I fiddled with my cabbage roll and brat. “Why go that far for just a kiss?” I asked, forking the cold cabbage idly.
“So he didn`t forget me,” she winked over the dark lip of her Iron City.
Two hours later I was waiting outside Rhett`s school, watching a robin hopping over the muddy lawn. The bell rang and I turned in time to dance aside lest I be run over by the pack of children rushing out into an early spring day. I waved at my son when he exited the building with two other boys his size. He was shocked to see me. I smiled and waited as the masses went to the buses idling in the long curved driveway. The smell of diesel was strong yet brought back wondrous memories of my own school days spent in this very same elementary school.
“Hey slugger,” I grinned when Rhett jogged over to me after waving goodbye to his buddies.
“Did someone die?” the child asked, blue eyes riddled with concern.
“No, of course not,” I quickly said, placing a hand on his shoulder.
“Oh okay, I saw G-G Helen`s car and thought maybe someone died. They`re like ancient old,” the boy told me. We walked to the Caddy with my hand on his neck. He didn`t complain or push it away so I left it there.
“Nope, G-G Helen and all the other brittle old Clairton bats are fine. I borrowed the Caddy so that I could go up and spend the weekend with Jonah. I want to see if we can work things out,” I said as we neared the boat that disguised itself as a car. Rhett spun to face me.
“Mom, don`t tease me.”
My stars, what an earnest young man! I nearly laughed at his serious words but didn`t. “I`m not teasing.”
“It`s about time. I`m getting tired of hearing you crying when you think I don`t hear you,” he announced then jogged to the car. Well, talk about an eye-opener . . .
As it turned out tootling along in a Caddy as long one of those Rose Bowl Parade floats is quite enjoyable. I hadn`t packed much; I was in too much of a nervous state. The ride was made more pleasant by my grandmother`s classic country music CD`s which helped keep my anxiety level down somewhat. I was still concerned about showing up unannounced. What would Jonah think of me just arriving like this? He`d think I was being slut. Maybe he was over me and had some other woman helping with the lodge. Ugh. Who invited my grandmother?
I found the lane to White Birch Lodge and crept along the muddy drive flanked by bare trees. Snow lingered alongside the narrow road where it had been so deeply plowed. Past the edge of the driveway the dark brown forest floor could be seen. The trees were thick with buds. I rolled down the window and inhaled the clean air. The early thaw had done wonders up here.
I eyed the dark red Jeep with suspicion as I parked between it and Jonah`s big truck. I sat in the car staring at the huge redwood lodge with a cocktail of envy, admiration, and unease being stirred not shaken in my stomach. The big front door opened. Julia Windtalker emerged instead of Jonah. Damn.
She walked to the end of the porch, placing her shoulder to the post as I climbed out of the Caddy. With a forced smile on my face I walked to the bottom step.
“I was wondering when you`d grace us with your presence again,” Julia said, looking down at me.