Buck Chapter 3

Buck Chapter 3
I did not like keeping a secret from my parents but both Buck and I was worried they would not continue to pay for my schooling if they knew. One night when Buck came to see me my dad walked in my room.

Dad Yelled: “Buck if you think you are going to disgrace my daughter in my house you have another thing coming.”

Buck responded: “Sir we have been married for a month.”

My stomach stirred I ran to the bathroom and threw up. Damn I know it was not just nerves. My dad walked to the bathroom and closed the door.

I heard muffled conversation my hacking was too loud to make out what they were saying.

I came out my mom had brought up some tea Buck was sitting up in bed and asked: “Are you okay?”

“Yes, Buck I think I might be pregnant,” I said

Buck took in a breath; I crawled into bed and laid my head on his lap. He stroked my hair and said: “Don’t worry darlin we can make this work.”

The next morning instead of Buck crawling through the window we went down stairs my mom was making breakfast she knows how early a farmer needs to get up. Bless her heart dad came out blurry eyes sat down with a cup of coffee. His voice still sounded sleepy.

My mom was the first to speak: “You two kids, I don’t get why did you not trust us enough to tell us you were married let alone let us be a part of it?”

I said: “We were worried that you would be mad and not continue to pay for my schooling.”

My dad said: “We only want the best for you two. We knew since you were in middle school you two would be together. Buck knows how I feel about farming. It is a profession only real men can tolerate. I am proud he will continue his family’s tradition. I am proud you want to be a Vet. As a lawyer, I can well afford to pay for your college and we have the cottage on Gains road you two can have. Instead of Buck climbing through the window. The commute to the farm is closer.”

Mom said: “I will take care of the baby once it’s here while you are in school.”

Buck and I were amazed and grateful for their love and support. 

We moved into the cottage that following weekend. Now I had to be a wife which meant finding time to cook and clean and still do my homework. Bucks aunt was a blessing she would bring over casseroles and such for dinners, she made Buck lunch my biggest duty was breakfast and the first few months of my pregnancy eggs made me hurl. But I managed.

Winter came Buck was nervous about me driving my due date was April my stomach got in the way of the steering wheel when I dropped something I had to pick it up on an angle. Every night Buck spoke to our little boy his name is William Buck Karten.  I realize we will have our hands full if William will be the same free spirit as Buck. I sure hope he has more sense while he is growing up. 

I am saddened that Buck’s mom and dad don’t want to be apart of our lives they were fed up with Buck and his lawlessness as they called it. Buck’s Aunt Mary was more of a mom to Buck than his own mom. Some boys learn to be men in different ways and at different speeds. Buck tried to do everything a mach speed.


Buck Chapter 2

Buck Chapter 2
“Buck I got buck shot up my ass and it hurts like the dickens!” I protested

He laughed and said: “I will take you to my cousin Mitch he can take it out.”

I said: “He is a Veterinarian!”

Buck looked at me as he squirmed and drove, I did not sit my legs were aching but I refused to sit. 

“Here we are I will call to let him know why we are here and we can meet him in the office,” Buck said

Mitch came out shirtless in a pair of jeans shaking his head yelling: “Buck you son of a gun what have you gotten Morgan into now?”

While he was gently taking the buckshot out of my ass Buck told him what had happened. Mitch said: “Buck you need to settle down and decide what kind of man you are going to be. You are too big to be playing the fool. After a while, Morgan will figure out she can do better.”

I said: “That’s right Buck you have gone too far this time.”

I did not mean it he was my Buck I would probably put buckshot in another girls butt if she tried to step into my place with Buck. 

When I got home I showered and went right to bed. I placed a pillow under my knees hoping it would lift the bottom portion of my bottom off of the mattress. 

Buck did not call the next day. I was surprised and angry at myself. I should not have said what I did. It was a week before 

I called Mitch and asked if he had heard from Buck he said: “No, give him some time Morgan his behind was bruised as well as his ego. He will come around.”

I know he was right but I was worried I was too harsh. My dad asked: “Did you and Buck have a beef? I haven’t seen the dust stirred up in a while.”

I work for and with Mitch, I will be starting Veterinary school this fall, for me, I know it’s a calling I can’t imagine, not knowing what your life work should be. I am guessing and hoping Buck is taking this time to figure things out for himself. 

It was two weeks before I heard from Buck, I had already gone to bed when I heard a tap at my bedroom window. Buck was sitting on a tree limb just outside my window. I opened the window and popped the screen out to let him in. 

He climbed through the window and climbed into my bed we held each other and whispered:

“Morgan I have decided what I want to do with myself it doesn’t make much money and it will be a hard life but I can’t imagine doing anything else. I want to farm. My uncle Mason and I have talked it over since Mitch is doing what he loves Uncle Mason wants the farm to go to the family. I will be that family. I have been working it with him on and off since I was old enough to drive a tractor. These past two weeks I have been doing it full time. That means we will not have as much time to get into trouble. That may be a plus no more buckshot.” Buck said

“Well Buck I love that you want to farm once I get my degree I can take care of the livestock and critters we could make a team. I love you, Buck.” I said

“Morgan I love you and I meant it when I said I wanted to marry you. After you finish school we will get married.” Buck said

“I want to marry you Buck but I don’t want a fancy wedding not even a barn wedding how about we get married and not tell anyone just you and me, Gloria and Jason as our witnesses,” I said

“How about doing it before you go to school? I can sneak away telling Uncle Mason I have an appointment and I can meet you at the court house.” Buck said

We were married on a Tuesday and did not tell anyone just yet. School started on Thursday. I have to drive one hour a day to and from it will be a long 4 years I already have my Bachelors degree so now I just need to finish Veterinary school.

Buck Chapter 1

Buck Chapter 1

Buck said he would pick me up at 2 we would go to the swimming hole and spend the day just knocking around. My backpack was filled with my towel and a dry clothes, my bathing suit was under my clothes. I could see the dust created by his truck but I could not see the truck. I smiled to myself, my dad always yelled at Buck: “Hey youngster if ya would drive slow you wouldn’t be gagging the farm animals.”

Buck loved kicking up the dust whether it would be on a dirt driveway or a dirt road. It didn’t matter he loved to kick it up and out. Buck was smart but never liked school he lived by the seat of his pants and hormones; I lived by my love for Buck and my hormones it was just supposed to be that way I guess.

Once his truck came to a stop and the dust settled I climbed in, Buck made a sharp turn stirred up the chickens and dust in one crazy move. We were on our way to a day of crazy fun. First, it was the swimming hole; no one was there which surprised me on such a hot summer day. I threw my clothes over a branch of a tree and jumped right in. Buck did a wild hoot and joined me we played tag and kiss me before we got down to love in the current. After a couple of hours of jumping off the edge, swinging on the rope trying to reach as far as we could we tired of it. Besides others were joining in on the festivities and we lost our privacy. I changed into dry clothes before I climbed back into the cab of Bucks truck.

Buck looked at me with a devilish grin and said: “I know where we could go to have privacy and some laid back conversation.”

“Buck I know what you mean when you say laid back conversation it’s all about getting laid,” I said

He laughed and said, “Morgan you know me all too well, one day I am gonna have to marry you.”

I said: “You ain’ t the marrying kind.” I hoped he meant what he said

Buck looked incredulous at me and said: “Girl you are the only girl for me.”

I hope he meant it I was in over my head in love with Buck. Buck slowed the truck down to a creep as we turned down Willow ridge at the end of the road is a large farm with 3 barns. Buck pulled over near a split rail fence and said: “Come on girl let’s go.”

I had no idea where we were going but I could not wait to get there. We ran across a field and slid into a barn through a partially opened door. Buck was behind me while I was climbing the latter into the loft. Each step he squeezed one cheek of my butt. I loved every squeeze.

Once in the loft Buck picked me up and threw me into a layer of straw. He jumped next to me with a sprig of straw in his mouth. He slowly took my clothes off as I did his. We had just finished our laid back conversation when the barn door opened. I was pulling my clothes on and Buck turned to me with his finger across his lips hushing me. I paused all the while wondering who just walked in I assumed Buck knew the owner. I am quickly getting the impression he does not.

As soon as the barn door was closed Buck motioned me to follow him he climbed first I slowly descended. We crept to the door and Buck peeked out. He whispered to me “The coast is clear, don’t be slow run like your life depended on it.”

I said: “Buck you ass.”

I ran as fast as I could I heard the shot before I felt the sting of buck shot hitting my ass. I yelped as did Buck but Buck also laughed I was not laughing.


Shuffling through life Chapter 6

Shuffling through Life Chapter 6

I meandered through my house not knowing what to do with myself. Detective Brice showed up at my house I told him to call Shepherd and sons they would have the latest information for him He gave up after a half an hour asking the same question 100 different ways.

I decided to sit in the sun on my porch and watch the squirrels make their decisions. Being we are closely related I might actually learn something from them. My stare was the blind type looking but not really seeing just zoning out.Until I heard a car pull up and cried because it wasn’t Gary

My dad and brother got out of the car, my dad leaned in the trunk of his car my brother told him to wait, they pulled a cooler out as well as some paint cans, tarp, brushes.

I asked: “What are you guys up to?”

Dad answered: “We figured we could paint the living room while listening to the game if anything exciting happens we can set the brushes down until it gets boring again.”

I shook my head and said: “I will help, I will go change clothes.”

I have a small living room between the three of us we could get it done in 3 hours tops. We moved the television into the kitchen, setting it on top of the stove, turned the volume up. My brother and I started to tape off what needed protecting Dad finished moving the light furniture, some were placed in my bedroom while others were put on my porch. Kevin was done before I was he started to wipe the surfaces down that needed cleaning, which was the whole wall.

I had cleaned my carpet with Oxy clean, I was glad it took out blood. I took the small brush and started on the trim. I smiled realizing dad remembered I wanted to change the color from white to gray. The change will do me good. As expected we were done 3 hours later, it was not quite half time yet. Pregame took longer than the game had thus far. We placed the TV back hooked it up, put the sofa and chair in place, sat down with a beer each while the hot dogs were boiling.  During commercials, we put another piece of my living room back into place.

I had a mouth full of chili dog when someone knocked on my front door. My brother and Father cheering a goal when I screamed: “Gary where have you been?”

My brother and father fell silent. Gary stepped in I grabbed him and gave him a Coney dog kiss. He smiled and wiped his lips and said: “I wouldn’t mind having one of my own and a beer.”

I gladly made him a plate and grabbed a couple of beers. The TV was turned down as Gary told me what had happened.

“I met Brad Kous on Highway 35 near the rest area there is a weigh station there that rarely gets used. He had his wife and kids in the car. They were on their way out to their cabin in the UP. I told him that was not a good idea they would look for him there. I told him he should follow me to a place no one from Dynamic Components would know about. Brad was frightened to the point of being irrational as was his wife. I told Brad to get into the back seat I will drive. I forgot my phone in the rush and concern for Brad and his family. Brad’s wife climbed in the backseat, Brad calmed a bit and moved to the passenger’s seat. I took them to my uncle’s place in Lupton. Once I had them settled in, my cousin drove me back to my car. It was gone. At first, I thought it was stolen. My uncle called my cousin and told him what he heard on the news. I decided to go back to my Uncles until the police got things under control. I am sorry to have worried you.”

I just stared at him for a moment. I did not realize my brother and dad had left. He reached over to me and pulled me onto his lap. We sat quietly for a while. Gary whispered: “I love you.”

I tearfully said: “I love you too.”

I asked Gary if he had contacted Allen he said he had and told him everything. Once Allen told Gary about what happened here he came right over.

Gary and I finished watching the game. Dad and Kevin took half the chili with them but left the cooler of beer. It was a great game and a wonderful night.

We both slept till noon. When we turned the TV on the news it said that John Marshall and his partner would be arraigned on Monday. The men that were in the office and had shot at Tony and his partner would be arraigned Friday for attempted murder. At least the bad guys are on their way to justice and Gary and I will probably be on our way to the altar. Just not yet, you know me I have to think about it.

Shuffling through Life

Shuffling through Life Chapter 5

I made it to the hospital and went to Allen’s room to wait. Ten minutes later they brought him in and placed him on the bed. While they were making him comfortable I went to see Jim.

Jim was sedated he opened his eyes slowly I held his hand and asked: “Have you seen Gary?”

He said: “Sorry no I have not.”

Just then a woman came running in and pushed me away. She said to Jim: “You asshole you promised me you would not get hurt that this was just a routine missing person job.”

I heard Jim say: “Carla I am alright the shoulder will be sore for a while and the stitches will come out in a week. I am fine.”

I left the room and walked back to Allen’s room. Just before I reached the door I could hear a male voice: It wasn’t Gary

“Allen, there were at least 10 guys in all when we went to Dynamics Inc. They were going through Kous’s office. We stood in the door dumbfounded, they rushed us. Two of the guys beat feet out of the office while the others took offense at our presence and started to shoot at us. They were amateurs. We took their legs out from under them and then handcuffed them. I waited for the police and Jim came to talk to you” Joe said

I stood in the doorway and Allen asked: “Have you seen Gary?”

Joe said he hadn’t.

A man in a suit was coming down the hall he walked up to me and asked my name as he introduced himself as Detective Brice. I told him my name and when he asked me to tell him what I had to do with the evening’s events I looked over at Allen to see if I could tell him anything. Allen said: “She works for me. She came to see if I was alright. I had stopped by her place looking for my partner when all hell broke out.”

The Detective asked: “How would your employee know the whereabouts of your partner?”

Allen smiled and said: “They are sweet on each other.”

I did not say anything at this point I just wanted to know if Gary was alright.

Allen told me to go home and he promised he would let me know if there was any information about Gary.

I went home my dad had replaced the door. I decided to forgive him if he ate all the chili. He is a great guy.

I finally fell into a fitful sleep until my phone rang at 8 am. It was my brother Kevin “ Hey Bonnie I am dropping off some breakfast for you. Tess and I went out to breakfast with the kids, Tess figured you need to eat.”

I thanked him and Tess when she brought it to my door.

Tess said: “Kevin will come by for the game at 4 I told him he had to spend time with me and the kids first.”

I told her I understood. Tess looked at me and asked in a quiet voice: “Have you heard from Gary yet?”

I answered: “No, I have not I am about to call the hospital and talk with Allen I hope he has heard something.”

Allen picked up on the third ring. His voice was groggy: “Hello, Bonnie have you heard from Gary yet?”

I answered: “No I was hoping you had.Is there any other developments?”

Allen told me that the police went to check on the Kous family no one was home, the neighbors and family had not heard from them.

I said: “This doesn’t sound good, Gary is missing and Kous and his family are missing.”

Allen said: “Actually that may be good news so don’t get discouraged, he may be with them held up somewhere. The police have arrested Marshall and his partner for suspected theft of the component specs and attempted murder. He and his partner were the two that ran out of the office when Tony and Dennis showed up at the office.”

I asked: “How is Tony?”

Allen answered: “He should be out of here before me. By the way, you have no obligation to speak to Brice, our attorneys will handle that.”

I said okay and hung up. Still no Gary.


Shuffling through life Chapter 4

Shuffling through Life Chapter 4

Allen turned to me and said: “Stay put I will be right back.”

I decided to get water I am too light headed and I need to be able to think straight.

I reached in the refrigerator for a water when I heard the shots outside. I flung myself flat on the floor and crawled over to retrieve my phone.

Pop Pop Pop three more shots rang out. As quickly as the shots started the silence descended,. I could feel and hear my heart beating and sweat soaking my shirt and shorts.

The door opened Allen stood and then fell like a tree in the woods he whispered: “Call the police and an ambulance.”

I was already dialing I told dispatch what was going on they told me to stay put. I said I won’t I have to see if Gary is out there. She was asking who is Gary while I was running outside. I tripped and fell into something warm and sticky. I knew exactly what it was. Blood.

I pulled myself up without looking, I ran over to the first car I did not recognize it, there was a man in the driver’s seat slumped over the wheel, one bullet hole was in the windshield one through his head.

I ran to the next car and I did not recognize this car either but I did recognize the man with his head back and blood coming from his shoulder, there was a gash on his forehead. It wasn’t Gary it was Jim he is one of the Private Detectives Allen and Gary use. I leaned in and asked: “Jim can you hear me?

Jim said: “Yes! Get back in the Fucking house there are more coming.” My phone was still on and the person on the other line said: “Ask him how many.”

I tried but Jim had passed out.

I ran back to the house hoping that at least one of those cars did not have Gary in it. I wanted to believe he is held up somewhere safe and sound.

Police sirens were blaring the cars that approached applied their breaks the screeching and rubber smell filled the air. Shots were fired I screamed realizing that they were shooting at me.

I jumped into the house flat out and landed next to Allen he turned his head slowly and whispered: “I told you to stay in the damn house.”

I shushed him and slammed the door with my foot. Bullets hit the door as soon as it closed shattering the class at the top of the door.

Allen said: “We owe you a new door and siding.”

I laughed and then started to cry. I could hear someone yell: “Police! Put your guns down and lay flat on the ground.”

I was hoping for silence I did not hear any just more gun fire. After what seemed like an eternity it finally fell silent, except for the sound of rain and footfalls.

I heard a knock and voice at the door asking if we were alright in here. I said: “No my boss has been shot he needs help.”

The man at the door wasn’t Gary

The police came in with guns were drawn one said to me: “We are just making sure the house is clear.”

I sat up and nodded the Paramedic was taking my blood pressure and pointing a light into my eyes. Allen was being put on the stretcher. I called out to Allen that I would meet him at the hospital.

I called my dad and told him what happened he said he would come over and see if there was anything he could do with my door.

My dad is the best. I thanked him and told him I loved him he said he loved me too and asked if I made the chili yet.

I said: “Yes, I did dad and you can’t have any until tomorrow. Promise me there will be some for tomorrow.”

He said he could not promise.

Shuffling through life Chapter 3

Shuffling through Life Chapter 3


It’s Gary’s partner Allen Denton. He was tall dark skinned, rough looking with a cleanly trimmed beard to hide the scars. You would not want to piss this guy off.

“Bonnie? Do you have a minute we need to talk? Allen asked

“Sure come in,” I said

Allen had with him a six pack of beer, he cracked one open handed it to me. As he opened one for himself he asked me “When was the last time you saw Gary?”

I should have said it was a date! I am a damn squirrel.

I told him of the night’s events everything I found on the audio and then asked: “Why do you ask? What has happened?”

“Gary’s car was found abandoned on Highway 35 his phone was left in the console. The police called me right away. Yours was the last number he called so I figured you may have an idea where he was going. Now that you told me about your conversation I can guess where he may be headed. I am hoping he is having a clandestine meeting with our client.”

I yelled: “Why are you here and not out looking for him?”

“Calm down Bonnie. I have people out looking for him and I am here with you in case this is about Dynamics Inc. There is no telling if someone found out about the listening device and if so they would look to see who we used to transcribe the audio.” Allen said

Again my knees went weak because of Gary but this time the predicament I and Gary are in. I made the right decision telling Gary otherwise he would not be out there checking on things I am going to stay positive and believe he is alright. He will come back with more information and the bad guys in handcuffs.

The next few hours Allen went over the audio with me. There was one part of the audio that was extremely distorted at the end. I told Allen someone probably picked up the book the device was in. Allen said: “No someone found the device.”

“Shit! Now what?” I asked

Allen asked: “We are out of beer you got more?”

I had some IPA and some Killians he opted for Killians I took an IPA. I finally asked him: “Have you eaten?”

Allen said he had not. I fixed him a couple of chili dogs and asked if I should cancel tomorrow’s festivities. He said no we should know something by then.

I nodded sipped my IPA ate some chips and dip staring out the window hoping to see car lights pulling in.

Finally, car lights did pull in I jumped up, Allen pulled me down and told me to stay as though I were a dog. I Barked. He laughed and shook his head. Allen is sexy in a mean ruff sort of way. I do like his deep laugh.

Allen pulled his gun peered through the blinds the person called out “Allen it’s me!”

It wasn’t Gary

Shuffling through life Chapter 2

Shuffling through life Chapter 2


By the time I arrived at home I was extremely hungry and frazzled. On one hand, there is no real evidence of intent on Marshall’s  part on the other hand, if there is a slight chance Marshall is considering killing someone over this would it be Brad Kous? Should I call Gary and have him decide?

Gary is ex-military, tall solid and handsome. I can’t figure why the most handsome sexiest man I had ever met would want a flake like me. The only thing I can think of is he thinks I am amusing.

There is one thing I can say about me I do not have a problem deciding where or what to eat when I am hungry. There is an Italian restaurant in walking distance from my house. The night is cool the leaves smell dry from the sun, walking would be good for me and may help me clear my head and make the decision.

The leaves made a rustling sound as I pushed them with each step. I was at the restaurant within 5 minutes  I decided to call Gary and tell him what I heard.

Gary picked up on first ring and said: “Hey Bonnie ready for dinner?”

I laughed and said: “I am at Luigis for dinner I have been ruminating on a problem that came up at work.”

I told him what I had heard he said he will meet me at Luigis for dinner and a conversation. I convinced myself it was not a date it was work related.

Gary arrived 10 minutes after I sat down he came over gave me a peck on the cheek and sat down across from me. I looked at him and said: “This is not a date! This is work!”

Gary grinned from ear to ear leaned in to me from across the table and said: “It’s both!”

Gary told me his concerns in regards to what Marshall had said he also said he would handle it and just to relax and enjoy our date. I protested he grinned.

Gary walked me home after dinner and said goodnight with a lingering kiss, and then turned back towards town to retrieve his car. I stood for a moment watching him until he went out of sight. My knees were too weak to move. Darn him now he has me wanting to call him and say slide back here big boy. It wasn’t a date!

I did my laundry and threw some hamburger and all the fixings into a slow cooker for tomorrows chili dogs the game was on and I did not want to be stuck in the kitchen my brother and dad will be coming over to yell at the TV.

The Chili was done I set it out on the porch to cool. Headlights brightened my driveway, I could not see who it was I stood for a moment until the overhead light went on in the car. It wasn’t Gary.

Shuffling through life chapter 1

Shuffling through life


Fall brings dark skies and rain but it also gives off vibrant beauty with the changing of the leaves. I often think how life is like fall the dark times seem to engulf you yet if you look about you can still see the vibrant beauty of life.

My life can be best described as a shuffle. I have changed jobs more than a prostitute changes her close. It takes me forever to make a decision I don’t want to make the wrong one so I obsess over each detail. I have a friend that said, “Bonnie you remind me of a squirrel in the road not knowing which way to run and then Bam you get hit.”

This time I believe I have made the right decision I am a trained transcriber I can listen to audio and type out verbatim what people say and then take that transcript edit it to make it more concise. I have landed a job with a security firm I do the vocal portion of videos and what is gleaned from our listening devices.

This is the first job I have held for more than a year I have been here for 5 years my bosses sent me flowers they know how flighty I can be and decided to reward me for sticking around. I really do like working here. I have my own office and am given privacy to do my job. At my other jobs, there was always someone hovering over me wondering what I was hearing or wanting immediate results.

We are looking into infringement or espionage between two companies. One CEO Dynamics Inc. Brad Kous says that the CEO of Dynamic Components  John Marshall has stolen a concept that they had patented the Kous contends it happened when a disgruntled employee Tony Jacobs quit and was hired by Dynamic Components.

There is a listening device placed in the CEO’s office and boardroom. I listen to benign conversations and sometimes heavy breathing while someone sneaks a quickie. Today the tone seemed different, John Marshall was speaking on the phone and said: “When Jacob hired in here it was for the expressed purpose to get information about the new line of components for a military drone. I will kill to get what I need for this job. We need all the information we can get so we can sell it for the highest price.”

I was bothered by his tone yet I know sometimes people say things in the heat of the moment and they really do not mean what they say. Something about how he said “I will kill to get” he did not say “I would kill to get”

After finishing the transcript I took it to my boss Gary Fredric’s office I was hoping to give it directly to him and tell him my concern. I did not realize how late it was and being Friday everyone was gone for the weekend.

I pondered whether or not to call Gary to tell him. Gary has expressed interest in me beyond the professional we have had lunch together but I really do not to mix business with pleasure but Gary insists we would make a great team. If I call him we would end up together listening to the tape while he read my transcript this would be the first time dinner would be part of the equation. Damn, I can’t decide.


When the Dust Settles Chapter 3 conclusion

When the Dust Settles Chapter 3
It’s Mid-September it’s been a great year for hay we are harvesting our 3rd cutting. Many people confuse hay and straw. Hay is sweet smelling clover and a variety of grasses to feed the livestock, straw is a byproduct of wheat. Once you harvest the wheat the stalks (straw) can be baled and used for bedding. Or you can use them as chairs on either side of a spool for ambiance.
Our neighbor miss judged his straw believing it was thoroughly dry, they stacked it in a lean to, it combusted and nearly burn down the barn it was near.
October brings its own special treat, the pumpkins; squash are ready for harvesting and placed in a root cellar. Apples and pears can also be picked. I put up apple and pear butter, applesauce and pear sauce. Henry’s mother taught me how to can apple pie filling. I am enjoying the harvest this year because I am not feeling rushed or exhausted from a day’s work. I had 3 pies cooling when Henry came in and heavily sat down at the dining room table. I know that look something terrible has happened. I grabbed two shots of whiskey and two beers and took a seat across from Henry. He tipped back mine and his shot then took a long pull on his beer. This is the first time I have ever seen tears in his eyes. I went and brought the bottle of Jack Daniels to the table; while pouring a shot for me Henry waved off his glass and took another pull on his beer. I sat and waited.
Henry sighed heavily and said: “Melinda and Ross were walking out of the Pack and Save when a car barreled into them and killed them instantly. Jordon had to go down and identify their remains.”
I was in shock my ears were ringing as I took the shot of Jack Daniels  Jordon walked in I could tell he had been crying he grabbed a beer and a shot glass sat between Henry and I. We drank in silence until Chester poked his head in the door and said: “Henry take your time with your liquid refreshments neighbors have stepped up we have enough workers to take on the chores tomorrow.”
I just wept I was crying so hard I did not hear Jordon crying until Henry let out a guttural wail. I looked over to him and he was on his knees next to his chair. I knelt on the floor crawling over to my husband wrapping my arms around him I can not tell him everything will be okay. It will not, not for a very long time.
The person whose vehicle that took the lives of Jordon’s parents was an 85-year-old woman who stepped on the gas instead of the brake. She was beside herself with grief and guilt she now sits in a convalescent facility staring at the wall.

Christmas is only two weeks away I am having a hard time putting out the decorations. Jordon came into the living room after dinner looking at the tree; I had boxes of ornaments out on the coffee table, he asked if he could help with the tree I said: “Of course have at it.”
He put on Christmas music and said: “This was mom’s favorite time of year she said that if, and when she is gone always remember the whole purpose of Christmas was to give man hope.”
We started to sing hymns and then the more upbeat songs. Henry walked into the room with a Poinsettia plant placed it on an end table and then joined in. Slowly the burden of grief lifted even for just for the evening yet it refreshed me and I think it did the same for Jordon and Henry.
Jordon’s parents had everything setup into a living trust; Jordon did not want to live in the house he decided to sell it instead and move in with us. We were fine with him moving in since he spends more time here than at home anyway. Once the house sold and the banking and other details were addressed Jordon settled in as we moved forward living our lives yet still missing the two people we loved.
One morning a representative from our bank called to inform us the papers are finished for us to either pickup or they would send them registered mail. I asked what papers? As it turns out Jordon paid off the loan we took six years ago when we built the new milking parlor I told the representative I would pick up the papers. At lunch, I told Henry what Jordon had done he was as surprised as I was but said: “Maybe he felt it was the best way to go knowing when we are gone the farm goes to him. We should set up a living trust to keep him from paying any inheritance taxes.”
I said: “Actually I was thinking we should put his name on the title of the house.”
We decided to put him on the title and agreed when Jordon marries we will build a small house on ten acres of the property for him. Henry let Jordon know he was going to need some time off because he had an appointment in town. At dinner we told him what we did he smiled and told us he loved us and he was hoping that this would work for all of us.
It did work for all of us; two years later Jordon married Savannah. The wedding was in the hay barn all the neighbors brought a dish to pass and gifts for the newlyweds. We ordered a Modular and had it set up on 10 acres at the southwest corner of the property; that section is not tillable it is mostly wooded and the Modular was tucked back nicely within the trees 200 feet off the road.
It has been 7 years since Jordon’s parents passed away; there are moments while holding Jordon’s son and daughter I grieve what we are missing as a family but I am thrilled to be called grandma instead of an aunt. Henry has been working fewer hours these days the older we get the more we slow down but Jordon is strong young and healthy and still loving his job. Savannah started to work alongside Jordon as I did with Henry but Henry put a stop to it and told her how I had miscarried twice because the strain was too much for me. Savannah instead decided to get a job in town to make extra money to help with expenses. I get to babysit these sweet babies.
In life when the dust settles all you have is family and friends how you choose to live your life will determine the pattern the dust makes.
My sweet grandbabies are now out of high school they come by to take care of Henry and I. I love sitting on my wrap around porch watching the farm take shape each season with my sweet Henry next to me. It is a warm summer afternoon Henry and I are sitting on chairs next to each other holding hands I had turned to Henry and said: “I know it’s 80 out but I feel chilled.”
Henry said: “I do too not sure why but I get the feeling we are going on a journey today.”
He squeezed my hand tight; I squeezed back not wanting to go alone.

“Dad! Come quick something happened to Grandma and Grandpa on the porch.”
Jordon approached the porch and new instantly that his beautiful surrogate parents passed holding hands.