December 24Posted on: December 25, 2012
I had planned on going into the office, since its Monday, even though it’s Christmas Eve, but the roads still haven’t been plowed. John walked out to CR 695 just after noon. It had finally been cleared, but not my road, so I still can’t get out. I almost don’t care.
John and I seemed to be avoiding each other, embarrassed by our brief intimacy last night. Although our morning toast was a bit tense, by lunch-time soup we were fine. I shared with him the menu I had come up with for tomorrow, and he said he was looking forward to meeting my family and friends.
I asked him to gas up and start the generator so I could do some laundry. His clothes have been soaking long enough. I set the washer to spin out the dirty water, then refilled to wash, adding the dark sweatpants he’s been wearing these past few days. I also found a camouflage one piece coverall that Eric had left behind his last trip here. It’s a little baggy on John but it’s meant to be worn over clothes not as them. It’s better than nothing while his other clothes are washing. He has so little to wear. I need to ask Jason if he has any to spare, or maybe find a way to get to the Eagle Beach house so John can get some of his own things.
Just as I was hanging the heavier wet clothes on the drying rack by the stove, maybe around 1:30, the plow went by! At least everyone should be able to get in tomorrow. I tossed the sweatpants and underwear into the dryer. Now seemed like a good time to discuss how and why I do things like I do.
“John, let’s go over some things I’ve found necessary to adapt to without power,” he sat, attentive. “The generator can run the whole house as long as we use only one 220 line at a time: Either the well pump for water or the clothes dryer. Using both will put a lot of strain on the gennie, and could possibly damage it, which we can’t risk.”
“That makes sense,” he agreed, “what else?”
“That’s all I can think of right now, because of doing laundry,” I laughed, “Oh, hot water! I’m keeping a pot on the stove at all times, for dishes, washing, whatever we need it for. If you use the pot, replace it.” Uncomfortable memories flickered across my mind of times in the woods with inconsiderate guests. “If I think of anything else, I’ll mention it.”
“Fair enough,” and he gave me one of his shy smiles.
It was close to 4:00pm when I heard the car in the driveway. Jason was here! Out of the car came Angela and Jacob. When I opened the door, Jacob ran up and flung himself into my arms. It was so good to see him! Jason grabbed a duffle out of the back and caught up with Angela.
I introduced John to them and explained that he was staying with me, at which point Jason asked if they could stay tonight too.
“Of course you can!” I said, then realized the sleeping arrangements would have to be…. Adjusted. “Just put your stuff in the computer room, and make yourself a drink. John, can we talk for a minute?”
Once in the privacy of my bedroom, I said “I should have talked to you about this first, but I didn’t know Jason would be here today, and wanting to spend the night. Ummm…” I hesitated, “Will you sleep in here tonight, so they can have that room?” I gazed into his blue eyes, hoping he’d say yes, afraid he’d say no.
“Deb,” he said softly, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear, “Once you let me share your bed it must be completely and nightly. I won’t go back to the futon once they leave. Are you ok with that?” I swallowed, and nodded, my voice gone. He’d obviously already thought about this. Oh, boy….. Ready or not, our relationship has just changed. As we walked back into the kitchen, John slid his hand into mine. I think we just became a couple.
“I was just getting ready to organize dinner. Are you hungry?” I looked from Jason to a much thinner Angela. Jason had fixed himself what looked like rum and cola, Angela had a glass of water; things seemed tense.
“oh, yeah,” Jason answered sullenly. “Yesterday, I ran out of that food you brought last week. I still had some ramen noodles for Jacob for this morning, but that’s why we came early. I hope you don’t mind.” There was something else going on here, but I didn’t ask.
“Of course I don’t mind! Don’t be silly. You’re always welcome here. I was thinking of some chicken on pasta for dinner, there will be plenty for everyone.” I gave John’s hand a squeeze and let go, so I could collect items from the back pantry.
I selected two pint jars of chicken, one dark meat one white; two cans of mushrooms; a half pint of peas, and another can of milk; plus a package of fettuccini noodles. My arms were full. As I turned, there was John.
“I really wish you would ask for my help,” he frowned, “you’re on your feet too much.” With a smile I unloaded as much into his arms as I could, grabbed Jacob’s toy basket, and led the way out.
“What would Jacob like to eat?” I asked Jason. Angela looked far away. I’m wondering if her time in Marquette was traumatic. “More noodles? Scrambled eggs? A grilled cheese?” Jason decided to fix a grilled cheese, since he knows how Jacob likes it. Sure glad I got that log of American cheese when I did!
I put a pot on the cook stove and added some butter to start the roux. First adding the flour, then the juice from the cans of mushrooms that John had opened for me. Once thickened, I added the juice from the jars of chicken, and then the canned milk. From here out I would thin with water. I added the mushrooms into the pot, then the coarse chopped chicken. John was being very helpful! I drained the pea liquid into the ever present soup pot on the stove and set peas aside to be added last. I got a bottle of Marsala wine from the rack in the cold pantry and added a healthy splash to the sauce. Once stirred, I moved the pot to a simmer spot, for the flavors to meld while I cooked the pasta. A very easy dish.
Jason had finished grilling Jacob’s sandwich, and cut it up small. Jacob’s eyes lit up when he saw it and ate every last bite. Oh, my, the little guy was really hungry. I know I frowned; my heart hurt for my grandson.
“How would Jacob like some popcorn?” I looked at Jason. “and I know there are juice packs still in the pantry.”
“Oh, I’m sure he would love some,” Jason was holding his emotions in check, but this bit of normalcy was taxing him.
“John, would you start the generator again? It won’t be for long.” He grabbed his jacket and a flashlight.
Once the power came up, Jason put a pack of popcorn in the microwave. When it was done, he put a second one it. “For later.” He grinned.
The water I had put on for the pasta was boiling and I stirred the fettuccini in. “Ang, would you stir this, please?” When she was close enough, I asked, “where have you been? We’ve been so worried!”
All she would say is, “I don’t want to talk about it.”
The table was aglow with lamp light as we sat down to eat. This simplified Chicken Marsala was well received. It almost seemed like a contest between Jason and John who could eat the most pasta! By the time we were done, Jacob was already curled up on the futon, fast asleep. Jason pumped up the air-mattress, and everyone settled in for the night, exhausted from the busy day.
As I snuggled up next to John, I could hear those two in the other room, arguing. I fell asleep troubled.
1 thought on “December 24”
I’m enjoying your story. It has given me lots to think about. I know I’m not completely prepared for something to happen but hopefully I can continue to work on it.