Saturday, August 16, 2014

Chapter 18

"I can't believe you found even more of that stuff."

Trying not to yawn I told him, "Yeah.  There were more boxes under the beds upstairs.  I had to use a broom handle to push them out.  The rooms on the second floor I mean; I haven't even made it to the third floor yet."

"I'll help with that tomorrow.  I'll also drag those mattresses out and down the stairs.  Did those movers happen to say what we are supposed to do with the unopened boxes and the spare sheets and stuff?"

"I didn't come right out and ask them but kinda mentioned it the long way around; but when I did those movers seemed to act like I was going to ask them to haul the stuff off and they got all defensive - guess people are getting kind of funny about their jobs.  They told me if I wanted to get rid of the stuff I'd have to call someone that dealt with medical waste.  By putting together what they said apparently a box of that stuff should have come every week and that Mr. Baffa had been sick enough to need hospice almost two years and was getting medical supplies for dialysis and wound care and stuff like that even before then."

"That's a lot of dang boxes."

"Yes it is and when I get the last one down I hope I don't have to haul them all back up.  I think the cardboard has absorbed some of the smell so I'd rather just unbox things if I can."

"Trouble is going to be finding a place to put it all.  I suppose we can turn some of those upstairs rooms in to storage."

"Actually, you said there were shelves down in the basement right?"

"Yeah.  There's also a lot of junk down there too."

"OK but I can clear off shelves a few at a time.  But my idea is that there are a lot of unused milk crates out in the barn and ..."

"You went out to that barn?!  What if there had been a snake or something?!"

His yelp of agitation surprised me so much my mouth must have fallen open and hung in mid-air.  "Uh ..."

"Don't do that no more.  Or at least let me go first to check things out ... like I did with them basement stairs."

"Uh ..."

"Don't take this the wrong way but if something was to happen I can move faster than you."

"Uh ..."

"What?  Why are you looking at me like that?"

"Uh ... um ... I ... I guess I just never had anyone that ... I mean ... you know ... care like that."

"Wha ... oh. Well what about them foster families and stuff?"

"Some of 'em did, some didn't, and some were just plain awful.  Linda's family was the exception, not the rule.  Foster homes are supposed to be temporary housing, not potential adopters.  They move the kids around a lot to try and avoid letting attachments form.  But none of them ever ... at least for me ... I mean every time I turn around ... and you don't even know me.  Not really anyway."

"We're married."

"Yeah and from what I've seen and heard that doesn't always mean anything.  I ... look it just feels funny I guess.  Not funny in a bad way just ... like weird.  But not in a bad way."

He yawned, "Well get used to it ‘cause that's the way it is.  Promise you won’t go crawling in places you could get bit or stung or ... hurt."

"Well I won't do it on purpose but accidents kinda just happen ... that's why they're called accidents."

"Ok ... just don't get hurt."

I wanted to tell him he was over reacting but didn't.  Instead I changed the subject.

"I think I can piece out the food here in the house through the weekend but Sawyer, we gotta use some of that money to get some groceries.  A lot of what was in the cabinets was way passed spoiled though there are some syrups and things like that that are still ok, just crystallized.  I was worried what to cook for breakfast until Linda sent those eggs and cornmeal.  I looked over the stuff that was in that pantry and some of that stuff was just gross.  I started a trash fire like you said but ... yuck."

"Linda was asking me what all there was and I had to tell her I didn't really know.  Aunt Pearl and some of the others got into a discussion about what it would take to feed us all and it sounds like they plain on feeding an army."

I snorted.  "All you Hartford boys put together are an army and that's just the ones I know of.  Add in the ones I don't ... and there have to be some because I didn't know you existed until yesterday ... geez was it just yesterday ...?"  I stopped and shook my head.  "Anyway, guys need a lot of calories.  Guys who work need more calories or they aren't going to be able to keep working.  If you're sitting around all day playing video games you won't need as many."

"There's a few that try and be that way but Gramps put his foot down and said they wouldn't get much more play out of it.  Some of the parents tried to get irritated with the way he's being about it all but Gramps said if he is paying the bills then he gets to have some say and that if they didn't like it they knew where the road was back to town."

"Wow.  Did anyone take him up on it?"

"Yeah.  One of Uncle Forrester's daughter in laws took her kids and went to live with her parents over in Mississippi.  She'd been making noise about doing it for a couple of years and this was just the tipping point.  Bud ... Uncle Forrester's son ... may follow her there when he gets done working the oil fields.  He's got an itchy foot and has a hard time settling any place.  Uncle Forrester knows it and says that he can live with him being gone.  Every time Bud comes around he always causes a flap in the family and then leaves in a huff.  Last time he was around he and I even started to fight and Bud and I used to get along ok."

The idea of this huge extended family he kept alluding to made me really nervous.  "How many of your family are going to be at the flea market?"

"Don't know.  We don't pile on top of each other when we're there, usually just meet out in the parking lot afterwards for sandwiches and hellos.  This time though Gramps seems to have some kind of game plan.  Everyone is going to have a list and we're to get things on that list first off before going after anything else ... unless we see a deal we just can't pass up."

I thought about something I had been wondering and said, "I know that paper Mr. Baffa left said that nothing from this place was to go anyplace else but when you get right down to it you can probably read into it just stuff that is like heirlooms ... like antiques and stuff."

"I ... I guess."

"It just doesn't make sense to have eleventy-dozen bottles of alcohol and peroxide and enough gauze and bandaids to mummify everyone on Consolidated Central's football team if no one else has any right?"

"Well ... sure."

"And I don't know about you but finding a place to store all this stuff is going to be a real puzzle.  And it's a shame to just burn those boxes before someone else can get a use out of them.  So if you really do have that much family and Gramps really does think that things are going to get bad why don't we just tell him to divide that stuff up and have 'em come over in dribs and drabs and pick it up right off the porch."

He laughed. "You just don't want to have to carry it anyplace else."

I gave him a silly smile.  "Well, this would save those milk crates for something else wouldn't it?"

He laughed again and then we spent some quieter time going over what we thought we would need and what we thought it would cost and then multiplying it out so we would have a year supply.

I sighed.  "That money isn't going to go very far.  Looking at these lists it doesn't look like near as much money as it did to begin with especially if we take out for new mattresses."

"I've got some savings.  We'll ... we'll just have to be careful.  I'll see if I can't pick up work here and there but running all over looking for work isn't cheap given the cost of gas."

As we were climbing into the truck I finally admitted that making those lists and trying to figure out a budget hadn't been as relaxing as I thought it would be.  I'd rather have kept cleaning.



  1. Thank you, sorry about the rain out. we had some of that this past week also. Dh is on the roof now trying to get more done.

  2. Kathy thanks for the new chapter I am really liking this story.