Saturday, November 9, 2013
Dear Jon-Chapter # 15
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-two years, my daughter who is seventeen, a herd of dairy goats, chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys, two dogs, two cats, and a partridge in a pear tree. For more info and links about me and my work, check out the Bio tab up above.
Enough about me, let`s get to the romance!
Yep, I was up at sunrise again. This time it was with brush in hand, thank God. Andy had slept like a rock despite being rousted from a warm bed, plunked into a car, driven home, and dropped into a cold sleeper sofa. He slept plastered against my back until I had been awoken by the first red tendril of a new day. Knowing the sunrise was going to be something to see, I grabbed the easel and my supplies.
I had spent two hours in the front yard, barefooted, as the new sun stretched its red and pink embrace over Hannity Hills. George and Gracie arrived once, honked, but then raced back to the creek when they spied the easel. They were a lot like people I knew who, when presented with something new, ran around making terrified blustery noises.
Finding myself pleased with the landscape, I stretched. My body twanged with intimate aches. That`s what happens when you have an eager beaver lover. My skin pimpled and it made me smile. Gathering up my goodies I went inside. Andy was nothing but a lump under the covers. I slid past the snoozing lad. Coffee was needed. Once the percolator began bubbling I found myself facing a horror that I had put off for too long. I was out of clean clothes. The Maytag sat in the corner smirking at me.
I dragged the old wringer washer over to the sink and then began filling the tub with a bucket. After one filling the rusty Crane water heater in the corner began to clatter. I then began hauling in armloads of dirty laundry that had been piled in the bathroom. I`d be here all damned day. Plugging the washer in set the agitator into motion. I stuffed a few armfuls in and then dumped a scoop of Tide flakes into the swirling water. I glanced up from my cup to find Andrew stumbling into the kitchen. The kid looked like he had been up be-bopping all night.
“The washer squeaks,” he complained. I patted his head as he walked past me. I`d have to oil the pulley that was squealing under the washer tub.
“When does the milkman come?” I asked. The kid shrugged then climbed into a chair, his bleary green eyes settling on me. “I`ll have to call to set up service again.” I left the wash to get the lad some breakfast. Eggs and some armored heifer were on the menu. I hated the taste of watered down canned milk, but the half gallon I had bought was already gone. Andy went through milk like Grant went through Richmond. After our scrambled and half moo I sent the kid out with a single slice of bread for the geese.
“Can I help?” he asked when he returned, muddied and flushed from running along the creek bank with two geese.
“Sure,” I said,” Just watch the rollers.”
“I know,” Andy shouted over the screaming pulley. “Mom showed me. Monday is wash day.”
“Well, today is Tuesday,” I shouted, lifting a pair of boys knickers out of the tub then carefully feeding them through. “Guess we started our own tradition, huh?”
“Guess,” he said, concentrating on keeping his fingers free from the wringer. I had forgotten the laundry basket, so I went to fetch it. When I returned from the bathroom with the big wicker basket I found Andy pushing a slice of bread through the wringers.
“What are you doing, Buddy?” I asked, dropping the basket to the floor. He smiled.
“Making the bread flat.”
“Guess you are.” That set us back as we had to clean the rollers. By the time we were outside hanging up the first load, Ross was pulling in. He gave us both a long look when he sauntered across the tiny front yard.
“You two gents forget to get dressed this morning?” he asked with a twinkle in his grey eyes.
“We didn`t have anything clean to put on, Wisenheimer,” I replied, pushing a clothespin down over the shoulder of a shirt. Andrew had wandered off, still in his pajamas, to find something dirty to wallow in. “You`re headed the wrong way if you`re going to work,” I pointed out.
“Gas is cheap.” He smiled. I snorted.
“I wouldn`t call twenty-one cents a gallon cheap,” I said moving along to the next item to be hung up to dry. “What brings you out here, Ross?”
“I was hoping to join you for breakfast, but I overslept.”
“You`re not going to buy the farm trying to keep up with me, are you, Gramps?” I inquired.
“You just worry about yourself, Skippy. Been painting?” he asked, reaching out to run the tip of his index finger over my cheek. I was a notoriously sloppy artist. I nodded and found myself leaning closer to the man. Ross cleared his throat and stepped back. The road was clearly visible, and while traffic was light, it was just asking for trouble to be seen touching each other in public. His hand dropped to his side. “Good. When it`s done bring it to town and we`ll see if we can sell it for you.”
“That`ll be great.” I heard Andrew and the geese splashing behind the bungalow. “Ross . . .”
“I should get going. I`m already an hour late opening up,” he said, his hands now in his front pockets. I had a randy thought about sneaking a kiss hidden by the wet pants and shorts. That was all I could do though. Think about it. “Can we get together tonight?”
I reached down to tug one of my dress shirts from the basket. The sun was warming nicely. A wind was just beginning to tickle the wet clothes on the line.
“Sure, bring some cards and we`ll call it a poker night,” I said. Ross nodded.
“I wish . . .” he started to say. I shook my head.
“You know what they say about wishes and beggars.”
“Someday men like you and me will be able to ride in public, Jon,” he said before he left for the shop.
Personally I thought he had spent too much time inhaling turpentine vapors, but who was I to squash his idealistic fantasies? I would have far greater concerns over the upcoming week then the happy-go-lucky ideals of my new lover.