Thursday, October 9, 2014

Chapter 43

After all the women left I decided to take a moment to think about the new stuff I was learning.  First off was canning and pressure canning to preserve food.  If I understood the plan by the time we finished for the year each household would having their own sort of grocery store in their basement, cellar, or however they ultimately stored their pantry full of goodies.  I’d gotten some new recipes and even started a new section in my recipe file I had started in H&C at school. 

I had actually started two new sections, one for canning and preserving and the other for wild foods.  The more I think about all those wild foods just hanging around begging to be harvested … or as Aunt Nel called it, foraged … the more I like it.  It means that I don’t have to be so beholden to the aunts for so much stuff.  I also learned that wild forage tended to have a more extended harvest time so long as you didn’t over dig or cut what you were after.  Some wild forage greens are even like that fancy cut-and-come-again lettuce like you find at high end restaurants.  You cut the salad greens when they are babies but you leave the root and tops and they just keep growing for a good long while; you get many harvests out of a single plant instead of one plant equaling one harvest. 

I also like the idea that the wild forage is something that I can do myself.  The real question yet to be answered was whether Sawyer would eat it or go balky at eating something different.  I was thinking about that when I heard the door slam so loud that it made me jump.  I rushed out of the pantry and was narrowly missed by a flying boot.  The near miss startled Sawyer so much that his temper tantrum stopped right there and he ran over.

"I ... I didn't throw it at you Kay-Lee, I swear.  I just meant to throw it ... but not at you."

"Ooookay.  But if I ask you why you threw it will it make you angrier?"

He deflated, leaned against the doorframe, and slid down.  "This day has had more suckage than I can even describe."

I sat on the floor beside him and said, "Sounds bad.  If you can explain it to me just a piece at a time ... well I might not be able to fix it but maybe talking about it will help?"  I admit I was grasping at straws, trying to remember all those courses in conflict resolution they had us take at school to deal with the "frustration with our injustices" that we apparently felt.

He snorted.  "I got to Gramps' place this morning just in time to run into Delly who tried to rip me a new one for putting a brick through her new car's windshield."


"Seems when Mason was out here that morning that's what he was driving.  Delly's new car."

"That's been weeks back now.  Why take so long to bring it up?  Doesn't she have insurance?  Or more to the point why isn't she getting the money to fix it from Mason?"

"Well see, she'd been out of town when that happened and since then Buttface told her there was a recall on it - which there was and he tried to hide getting the windshield fixed in amongst that work.  But she caught it and all she'd been told by Buttface is that I was the one that broke the window and he hadn't wanted her to find out, not the circumstances that it happened in.  Lucky for me Gramps had a copy of the police report to prove to her what happened."

"So that fixed it.  Right?"

"Wrong.  All it did was embarrass her and to deflect from that she brought up all sorts of crap from my past to cover why she'd automatically assumed I had been in the wrong.  And finally Gramps said she could either keep a civil tongue in her head or she could shut up.  Well that really tore it and she started in on how the family was always taking my side even though ..."

"Even though what?"

"Look, I'm no angel Kay-Lee and there was a time that ... well after ... after getting free of prison I was ... I'm not proud of it and I'm not trying to make excuses but I was angry and ... and I acted a little crazy.  OK, a few times I acted a whole lot crazy but I started getting my head on straight after I finally started sleeping regular and not having to worry about every shadow coming up behind me with a shiv or ... other stuff.  Delly has some legitimate complaints but she's getting things all turned around like everything is my fault when a lot of what she is complaining about is stuff from Mason's past, not mine."

"I'm sorry Sawyer.  I saw brothers and sisters torn apart in foster care.  They were like destroyed and stuff.  I can't understand why your sister is acting like this."

"I can.  Buttface has always been good at getting Delly to see things his way.  Only lately he isn't - at least according to family gossip.  I don't keep up with them no more 'cause it makes me too mad and when I get that kind of mad ... anyway I just had to trim it back to stay on the straight and narrow.  Delly is ... well I guess she is looking for someone to blame.  Gramps explained it to me after the aunts pulled Delly into the house to get her to calm down.  And ..."

"And what?"

With a sour face Sawyer said, "Delly is preggers."

"Why are you acting like that?  She's not that old."

"Old enough.  She’s thirty-seven and they stuck her in a high risk category apparently and Jeannie told me that some of her crazy is probably related to hormones and things like that.  My niece Rissa isn’t helping things.  She’s fourteen going on forty and claims she’s embarrassed too … of Delly for you know having sex to make the baby because apparently she’s too old for that too.  Burt Jr. is excited but most because at ten he is tired of being the baby and is looking to have some of the heat taken off.  The thing is ... Buttface got fixed after Burt Jr. was born so ..."

"So?  Oh you mean ... oh, sooooo maybe the baby isn't ..."

"Delly swears it is, that somehow Buttface got unfixed, and she's crazy because she swore up and down she wouldn't have a houseful of kids like all the other Hartfords."

"That's kinda unfair.  This baby makes three, that's not a houseful.  Besides your parents only had two - you and Delly - and you were spaced far apart."

"Not because my parents didn't want a houseful of kids.  It just didn't happen for them.  Mom had fibroids or some female thing like that.  And Delly definitely doesn't want a houseful of kids.  She's always claimed she was teased pretty hard about it when she was a kid and then when she was first married everyone expected her to bang out a bunch of her own.  It embarrassed her and Delly hates that.  She made Buttface go get fixed after their second one.  I honestly don't know what to believe."

"Isn't that kind of like what she did to you?"

He just sat there looking at me and then snorted.  "OK, fine, I'll give you that point and I'll call Delly in a few minutes to make sure she understands.  But seriously if that was all that happened today I would have been ok ... not great ... but ok; I could have handled it."


  1. I know a man at work who is fixed as well as his wife is fixed, only she got pregnant. Turns out they had both come unfixed. They ended up having a health baby girl. Surprise, surprise!

  2. I have a set of beautiful twin girls that are the result of a "fix" coming undone. : ) They're nearly 30 now and I don't regret it one moment. I had only boys and the Sweet Lord planed on me having girls, soooo..... what is meant to be will be.