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Count your blessings
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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Count your blessings

    #1
    The resulting uproar shook the rafters as voices yelled in protest and people scattered from the slippery, odoriferous droplets Inky, Ruby and Junior seemed hell bent on sharing with their unappreciative people.

    "Oh gag!" Clora hollered with feeling. "Out dogs, get out! Open the freakin door Wayne!"

    Wayne was rolling on the floor in laughter, covered in as much manure as the dogs. Tears were streaming down his face and he was trying to talk, but couldn't.

    Evie marched over and opened the door, sternly ordering the dogs outside. Inky and Ruby obeyed, Junior thought this was a wonderful time for a game of chase and he really got into the spirit of the fun.

    Back and forth under the table, Junior wiped his sodden fur and assorted hitchhikers from the manure lagoon against the pant legs and skirts of the Hanson clan. Benny waited until Junior made a round and opened the door, blocking the pup and sweeping him outside with a swift foot.

    "Thank goodness," Evie breathed a sigh of relief. "I don't think I could have taken another minute of all that fun. I believe those dogs are getting worse as they gang uo on us."

    "Evil and vicious monsters," Sandy spat with feeling. "What ever is on my face and whatever goo I just spit out, I'm warning you, don't say a word about what it is."

    Benny, Inga, Lainey and Clora laughed with good feeling. Wayne was still enjoying the fracas from his vantage point on the floor.

    Evie had a curiosity she needed scratched. She wanted to see what the trophies might hold, a big heaping helping of skepticism doubting that story about diamonds.

    "Benny, you and Wayne run downstairs and bring up Inga's trunk. If we women grab a rag and make a clean spot, we can test Stan's lies." Evie looked in disgust at the mess in her kitchen.

    "You don't believe Stan?" Lainey was curious.

    "Not a bit," Evie replied firmly. "Something doesn't sound right."

    "Don't forget, my trunk took almost a year to reach here," Inga said softly, thinking back on the unusual circumstances, finding now that it made more sense.

    There was crashing, bumping and some under breath cussing as the men maneuvered the trunk up stairs.

    "There must be lead pigs in here," Benny panted as he levered the trunk next to the table. "How much did it cost to send this monstrosity home? It weighs a ton."

    "No idea, let's get one of those up on the table and take it apart," Inga opened the trunk and lifted out a gold plated cup a foot long.

    "See if the base will loosen from the trophy," Clora suggested, leaning over to grab another statue from the trunk.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    1,863
    Oh Pac, you dear. You just can't leave the old computer alone, can you? Well, we are happy to see you launched into the next episode. Won't expect to hear from you every day, just when you find time. Thank you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    West central Georgia
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    Woo hoo, Pac! NICE to see you and Evie and Benny and Clora and Inga, etc back!
    Visit my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/TheCrochetFarm

    If we aren't showing love, His love, then what are we doing calling ourselves Christians?

    Psalm 73: 25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
    26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

  4. #4
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    What a nice find tonight. Thank you Pac.

  5. #5
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    Thank You, Pac. It is a wonderful find.

  6. #6
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    State WA
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    Thank you me thinks those things are REAL GOLD. Or the truck is made of the stuff.

  7. #7
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    May 2001
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    NW GA.
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    1,640
    Wow! Short summer! Fall already! Time sure flies when you're having fun.

  8. #8
    this was a nice surprise! Curious what is going on with the trophies.

    Russ

  9. #9
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    Yea! Pac and the gang is back!

  10. #10
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    Pac I see your here. I will check back for more in little bit.

  11. #11
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    #2

    The pile of cups, horse statues and garlands littered the table. Benny and Wayne worked over the bases to the trophies finding nothing. Sandy used her knife to scrape the imitation gold plating from each piece, looking for the composition of the metal underneath. They kept on drawing a big nothing.

    Evie, Clora and Lainey carefully shook each part, hoping to hear something rattle. Inga was lost in a reverie, looking at the programs, ribbons and pictures of yesteryear.

    "You were really good Auntie, it's a real shame you had to get hurt." Sandy peered over Inga's shoulder and perused the pictures with the former concourse rider.

    "I did do well," Inga replied with confidence; "it's what I lived for. Up at 4, exercise the horses, school which ever current horse I was riding in the next event, clean the stalls and barns and tack and do it all over again the next day." she smiled wanly at the remembrance.

    "Who's that guy?" Sandy pointed to a picture in Inga's hand of a strong, handsome blonde man dressed the same formal attire as diminutive Inga.

    "Gunnar, I expected to marry him in the winter. Then I had my fall. You know the rest after that." she replied sadly.

    "Let's see," Benny got up to walk around the trunk. He also looked over Inga's shoulder. "Handsome dude," he remarked quietly, "kinda familiar looking through. Can't place where I might have seen him."

    Evie took the picture when it was passed to her. She stared intently at the images, tapping the picture edge against the table. "This is a long shot," she said thoughtfully, staring at the picture once again. "Gunnar certainly is a handsome gentleman and he does remind me of someone familiar. Look at the woman in the background to the left of Gunnar, who do you see?" she passed the picture around the table.

    They might have all been young adults, but when they looked at the picture they were children staring at the picture of their mother.

    Not a word was said. Clora, Benny and Sandy looked stricken, swallowing hard and nervously drumming their fingers, or wringing their hands under the cover of the table.

    "Which one?" Inga questioned as the picture came around to her. "Oh, that's Gunnar's sister. She didn't happen to get to his show's very often. She was always trying to bum money from him, which was funny, as Prix riders hardly make diddly-squat." Inga chuckled at the recall of the mousy blonde whining to Gunnar about needing more funds.

    "Gunnar had a small inheritance from his Grandfather that was dribbled out to him monthly, but his sisters weren't included in the largesse," Inga smiled as she fondly remembered the good times that happened the week Gunnar's allowance was deposited in the bank. The good red wine was ordered along with the house specialty of the evening. Perhaps a violin player or two would appear and Gunnar would get amorous after the evening closed down. Good times to have in her heart, Inga decided.

    "Do you remember anything else about the sisters?" Evie questioned.

    "Not really," Inga shook her head in a negative way. "Like I said, they didn't come around very often. Whined until they got a bit of cash and then were gone once again."

    Lainey was watching Ben's reaction to the picture. It was easy to tell he was upset about something.

    "What's wrong?" she questioned quietly off to the side for his ears alone.

    "That's a picture of our Mother," Ben said aloud, putting a name to the huge amount of emotion he and Clora were feeling. "It also looks like the woman who dropped Sandy, Zander and Jane off at our house."

    The words were like a bombshell from out of the blue. Gone was the acrid stink of pig manure and wet dog. Instead the shocking truth of simple words caused time to stand still. "That's our Mom," Benny repeated softly.

  12. #12
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    Thank you, and the plot gets thicker and thicker.

  13. #13
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    Thank You. Those poor kids. At least it looks like they will have answers.

  14. #14
    Was scared the story ended!!! Thanks, Pac!!!!


    WAB
    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."---- Robert A. Heinlein

  15. #15
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    Ooo another twist to the hanson family...

  16. #16
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    Glad your back Pac. Thank you for not letting us wait too long to find out what's next in this fantastic story.

  17. #17
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    #3
    Davis McCann was bored to tears. His hospital room was tiny, his hip hurt where the infection had gotten a foothold, TV was lousy, and he hated the night nurse with a passion.

    He was in a secure hospital used by the FBI, military and other law enforcement. That meant no visitors and he was allowed a 10 minute conversation with Jennings every night. The only thing that kept him grounded was the delicate ladies handkerchief that smelled of lavender. He kept it in the overbed tray drawer, away from the snoopy, prying eyes of that she devil that delighted in tormenting him.

    Davis was sure Nurse Redding was a direct decedent of Frankenstein, probably his daughter, he grumbled. He eased the drawer open and took a deep sniff of the white with faded blue border flowered hanky. That little scrap of material held more hope for him than a thousand promotions. Davis knew without a doubt he was finished with his work. No more, he had decided, the second time he had remembered to smell the nostalgic token given him by Evie.

    That old gal was a pretty shrewd lady, Davis smiled as he recalled the bossy way she had ordered the Grandchildren around as they cared for him. She had looked at him with caring in her eyes, but a hint of fear had been there also. It was intriguing, the way she had said volumes without saying a word.

    Davis knew the next move was up to him, and it kept his mind busy plotting the various ways he could answer the feminine hint. He heard footsteps in the hall and carefully hid the hanky out of sight. Closing his eyes, Davis let his head roll to the right, feigning sleep.

    Nurse Redding stuck her head in the door, ready to blast her difficult patient. Good he was asleep. She would take his vitals as a way to interrupt his rest. She had checked him an hour ago when she irrigated and bandaged his hip wound, and he had been grumpy.
    Paybacks are hell, she thought with relish as she banged the door open to push in the blood pressure monitor pole. She smiled.




    Mark Linderman battled his devils day and night, the intense therapy working him over as roughly as if he had been in a free for all bar fight. The nights were the worst and he tried to solve the problem by staying awake. Three days ago he had finally collapsed in sheer exhaustion and slept for more than 24 hours.

    Mark wasn't aware of the therapy used on him during his sleep, he only knew when he woke that he felt different. He lay in bed, one arm folded behind his head, staring out the window into the blueness of the sky. The only link that kept him sane in the black hole he had been trying to fall into, a ladies handkerchief with a line of tiny cross stitch sewing. With my heart, he read for the thousandth time, rubbing the raised threads with his thumb. For as equally many times, he wondered if she meant it. The thing was, he knew she did. He could feel it.

    Mark wasn't aware that he battled mightily when the Doctors had tried to pry the material from his hand, so they backed off and allowed him to retain the hanky. It smelled like her, and his heart started to get glad in a tiny spot, bracing him against his misery.




    The Wilson household was warm and relaxed, Cheryl sat on the couch watching her husband and daughter play checkers together. It was just plain nice to be loved and to love the one's that love you. Cheryl almost wished Sandy wouldn't come back tonight, she had all that she needed and didn't want the good vibes disturbed.

    Ev felt her eyes on him and looked up to smile and wink at his wife. They were going to be alright, he could feel it in the air. There was a scratch at the door and Ev got up to let Ruby in. It sure wasn't like her to be gone when he was home. Usually she stuck to him like glue. The stench was unbearable when the little red heeler pranced in and curled up in her spot behind the stove.

    Ev was speechless, his normally lady like dog had been wallowing in the manure lagoon. It had to be because of the mutt pup over at the Hanson's, Ruby and Inky never got into trouble like this.

    Ev got up and opened the door. "Go to the barn," he banished his dog, and she practically cried dog tears.




    Benny started to say something when the helicopter closed off all hearing as it buzzed the house twice. He stepped out the door and waved at the pilot, the encroaching darkness shielding him until the spotlight broke the night into white shards of light..

    Ben saluted and yelled for Lainey to get in the SUV, he had to leave. Lainey surprised the gathering with the speed she obeyed the request. "Don't get in her way," Clora said dryly, "she's likely to hurt someone."

    Sandy snorted inelegantly, shaking her head at the woman's alacrity. "It's a wonder Benny didn't whistle, that woman's worse than a pickup dog." Evie had to laugh at that, thinking about Ruby and the way she shadowed Ev.

    "I like Lainey," Clora said with resignation, "but I hope they hurry up and get things settled. Their behavior is disgusting."

    At that, Evie, Sandy and Wayne laughed long and hard, all three thinking about Clora and the saccharine way she and the Guard Sargent made moon eyes at each other.

    "What?" she protested, giving herself away by blushing.

    Evie just patted Clora on the arm as she went to the sink to wash out the rags she was using to clean the kitchen.

    Wayne gathered up the trophies and dumped them in the trunk, only then did he look at Inga to see that she was crying. The reason Gunnar had romanced her was abundantly clear. It wasn't her, it was the money. That was a knife that cut deep.

  18. #18
    Glad for an update!
    But what about Inky's lumps? At his age, he's at high risk for death?
    Will he take out the hidden observer who took out his Lady friend?
    Inquiring minds want to know!!!!!!

    Jeepcats3

  19. #19
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    Ev got up and opened the door. "Go to the barn," he banished his dog, and she practically cried dog tears.

    Pac, you can sure write in ways that make me love your characters. Dog tears.. love it.

  20. #20
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    Yes so hard to learn it wasnt her he loved at all.

  21. #21
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    Poor Inga. Need more Pac. Thank you.

  22. #22
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    #4

    The doctor reading Davis's chart the next morning frowned when he noted the frequency of the vital checks during the previous night.

    Davis was dressed and ready, when the doctor strode in his room. "I'm leaving," he informed the white coated, freckle faced Leave it to Beaver looking youngster. "I'm going to lodge a formal complaint to the hospital board and have that woman relieved of her nursing license."

    "I noticed the frequency of the vitals," the young orthopedic resident said noncommittally. Personally he thought that Dragon Lady nurse Jennings needed a comeuppance, but she was a competent nurse. He didn't want to lose her skills on the ward floor.

    "It's your call," he allowed reluctantly, understanding that the lack of sleep made irritably an over the top medical problem.

    "My son will be here in two hours to pick me up, please get my discharge papers ready. But I want you to know, I don't care if they aren't processed by that time, I'm going anyway." Davis spoke politely, but there was no mistake that he meant every word of his threat.

    What could the man do but nod his head in agreement. This particular patient had a couple of stars next to his name on the chart. That gave him a lot of clout, and the hospital a possible problem.

    "Please wait for a 'pink lady' and a wheel chair," the resident requested. "We still have to abide by the rules."

    The doctor went out of the room with his hand over his mouth. A very clear and distinct "abide by the rules my ass," was heard floating behind him.

    Crusty old buzzard, the medical man regulated Davis to a specialty group. He rounded the corner toward the nurses station and rapidly punched out a phone number on the in house phone. Not on his watch, he figured angrily.



    Borg Linderman was entering the hospital to visit his son, when the central automatic door was pushed open aggressively and a older woman dressed in a white smock and pink pants stood trying to wrestle control of a wheel chair from a short stout man.

    "Sir, Sir," she tried to reason with the enraged man, "please sit in the wheelchair, it's hospital regulations that you can't walk out by yourself."

    "I've waited on this hospital long enough," the obviously injured man shouted back. "The hell I will be wheeled out like a baby."

    Borg's interest was piqued, and he stepped forward and spoke to the man's back. "Sir, may I assist you?"

    Blue eyes snapped around to glare at the interruption. "Linderman? Is that you?" the yelling increased, as Davis looked at his Sargent from a war that had been long ago.

    "First Looey, what do you think you are doing?" Linderman's blue eyes twinkled with good humor. "You always were short on manners."

    "Don't you patronize me, you whippersnapper. I'll give you KP so quick your head will spin!" Davis roared back, enjoying the exchange.

    Borg deftly pulled the wheelchair from the astonished woman's hands and pointed to the seat. When that produced no results, he whirled it around and pushed the seat against Davis's legs, collapsing that inflated old windbag into the wheelchair with a plop.

    "Behave yourself," Borg reproved his superior. "He's with me, Ma'am. I'll see to it he waits for his ride," Borg doffed his hat to the 'Pink Lady' and she fled with relief.

    Davis groaned and pressed his hand on his hip, the pain harder to control now that he was outside on his own.

    "What's got you all hot and bothered old man?" Linderman jibed at the best superior he had in 'Nam. "Your barkin like you'd been shot."

    "I have, you idiot," McCann growled back in an instant. "Hurts more when your an old man, let me tell ya."

    "Every thing does," Borg said sadly. "I sure ain't the man I used to be."

    "I can see that," Davis sniped back. "What are you doing here?"

    "Got my boy in here, PTSD from the 'Stan," Linderman admitted reluctantly, hoping that the Looey wouldn't think him weak cause his boy had problems.

    "Tough call," Davis commiserated with his Sargent. "Hope he can overcome it." he added in a low tone.

    "So who shot you? You get in the way of a mugging?" Borg asked with interest.

    "A traitor," Davis spat out the word. "We were living up in Evergreen, I was on duty and the double agent happened to be my daughter-in-law. Killed the man that was assigned to me.

    "Evergreen huh, tell me, do you know a Hanson family up there?" Linderman grinned. This was getting interesting.

    "Yeah, an old lady and her passel of grandkids," Davis spoke casually, watching Linderman's reaction.

    "My boy Mark, is pretty interested in one of the Granddaughters," came the reply.

    "Well," Davis added slowly, "I know a little bit. What do you want to find out?"

    "How about a cup of coffee in the cafeteria? I have a lot of questions." Borg started pushing the bristly old gent smoothly back into the hospital. "When will you're ride get here?"

    "Not until 4," Davis groused, as they sped along the corridor.

    "Good, I've got a couple of hours worth of questions," the lawyer countered easily.





    Benny, Lainey and the Sheriff's SUV ran out of fuel at the edge of town. Ben bowed his head and beat his hands against the steering wheel in frustration. This was about the last straw. He was defeated before he got started.

    "Head into the office," Lainey urged. "I'm going over to the cafe. I'll be over later with a snack." she smiled at Ben and her love lit up her face with a angelic glow.

    "OK," Ben agreed as he kept an eye on the chopper settling down on the ball field. "Thanks Hon."

    The agent in charge was a quiet, competent man that listened more than he asked questions. The doctor went with his bag into the jail and Ben gave the keys to the second in command agent. She looked amused and was about to say something, when she caught her boss's pointed look and hurried to assist the doctor.

    "There is a complication," Ben took a deep breath and looked Agent Carsen in the eye. "I found out tonight that Ron Porter is my Great Uncle. I had never met him before I arrested him trying to break into my Grandmother's house."

    "I'm aware," the head agent said simply. "You abided by your oath." he added.

    "I've got a doozy of a tale to tell you," Benny took off his Stetson and ran his hand through his short cropped hair. "It concerns implants and a weird scheme to transport diamonds, my father, international spies and many murders. I haven't got the whole thing reasoned out as of yet, but I'm working on it."

    "Start from the beginning," Agent Carsen invited calmly. "I know some, but you tell me what you know first."

    Lainey brought coffee, sandwiches and cookies over after she closed the cafe. Ben and a big league type were deep in conversation and she left the meal on the desk.

    Tired, Lainey went back to the cafe, locked the doors tightly and went to bed.



    Evie, Clora and Sandy worked for a couple of hours cleaning the stink from the kitchen. "We can't let it dry," she explained unnecessarily as she clucked her tongue against the damage the dogs had caused.

    Inga got up and walked into the living room. She settled on the couch and turned to face the back and covered herself with the afghan. She didn't want to talk to any one.

    Clora and Sandy went to bed tired with the emotional toll that had gripped them. Wayne settled in Ben's room and Evie blew out the oil lamp and walked with a tired droop into her room. She said her prayers, thanked her Heavenly Father for the day's blessings and thought briefly about Davis before she fell asleep.

  23. #23
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    Love is in the air and so are a bunch of answers. Thank you Pac.

  24. #24
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    I always do a happy dance when I find a chapter, thank you.

  25. #25
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    Whoo Hoo! Thanks, Pac. Another chapter sure is appreciated.

  26. #26
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    Thank you Pac. So is Agent Carson really a good guy or a bad guy?

  27. #27
    Am so happy to see more on this family

  28. #28
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    #5

    Evie's morning came in as a fine Spring day. The world seemed so right snuggled under the covers and half sleepy, she relished the quiet, private moment. Swinging her feet to the floor seemed easier, the aches and pains of arthritis held at bay with the warming weather.

    Before she got dressed, Evie could hear Clora and Sandy talking softly and the scrape of the coffee pot sliding on the cooktop. Wrinkling her nose, Evie knew the brew would be weak. Clora just didn't have the need for really strong coffee, and Sandy drank both strengths but preferred the lighter side. Wayne would drink anything as long as the cup didn't get up and walk away from him.

    Dressing, Evie felt the tiggle of unease that caused her to look outside the curtained window. Nothing seemed out of place, but she stopped putting on her sweater and looked again. Still nothing.

    The house was silent, Clora and Sandy had stopped talking. The only sound was Wayne's faint snoring coming through the old walls.
    Wayne had been sleeping almost 20 hours a day since the 'funny white bump' had been removed from his hand. It was thrilling to see him improve mentally and physically. He wasn't the same, he was better.

    Evie checked the pocket in her skirt, patting the lump that was her gun as a satisfaction. Quietly she opened her bedroom door and eased out into the living room. All was silent, no unwarranted problems.

    The kitchen was warming, the coffee starting to spit and fizzle as it started to perk. Clora and Sandy were standing in front of the windowless kitchen door talking quietly. Silently they parted and invited Evie to stand between them.

    The sunrise was an astonishing combination of gold, pinks and purples shot through with lightning bolt flashes of pure sunlight.

    "Praise be to God on high," Evie whispered reverently, overcome with emotion at the proof that she was small and insignificant. It was good to be reminded of how little she actually mattered to the world. The blessing was that she mattered to God, and that was enough.

    For ten minutes they stood watching the sunrise, not needing to speak. Evie wanted to close her eyes and pray, but she couldn't tear her gaze away from the coming morn.

    Then it started, the rumbling under their feet. Evie whirled around and grabbed the coffee pot and a fistful of mug handles. "Grab the skillet and the bread bowl," she yelled as Sandy shut the damper to kill the fire.

    Clora went flying to the boy's bedroom door and threw it open. "Wayne, get up! Earthquake!" she slapped the bottom of his feet to wake him up.

    "Owww, what the hell you doing?" he muttered sleepily. Then he felt the floor move. Grabbing his pants, Wayne streaked out the door in a pair of gray long john's practically running over Clora who was pushing Evie out the door.

    The four of them gathered in the driveway, away from potential danger. Inky and Junior came loping up from the creek, clean, shivering in their damp fur. Junior promptly sat down and began to howl. His puppy yipping was a funny distraction during a serious event.

    "Where's Inga?" Clora looked around, going to the door of the barn to yell for her aunt.

    "I'll check the outhouse," Sandy tried walking over the pulsating ground as another tremor hit. "Holy cow," she cried as her feet went out from under her.

    Wayne got his pants on, buckled his belt and bellowed out Inga's name. Nothing. Junior kept on yodeling his discontent and from the distance they could hear Ruby join in as the Wilson's scrambled out of their house.

    Clora looked over the distance and said, "it's just Ev, Cheryl and Christy. Inga's not there."



    The agents had concluded their business during the wee hours of the morning, hustling the mob boss and the body of Stan into the warming up copter. Agent Carsen had the transmitters safely parked in the inner pocket of his suit coat, and several pages of notes he had written.

    Ron Porter was a sad case, his prediction that he wouldn't live long seemingly an accurate one. Ben was happy to see him safely in the FBI's care. With his guests gone, Ben slept until the earthquake struck. He jumped up, grabbed his hat and ran into the street.

    Lainey came rushing out the kitchen door in her nightgown, from his vantage point Ben was struck how much like Evie she looked. He smiled and went walking toward her, enjoying her rumpled, tousled look.

    That's when he knew for sure. He wanted to marry Lainey and today seemed like a good day.

    Lainey was not amused. "You what?" she gasped, "right now?" she looked helplessly around. "Here?" hopping from one foot to the other as the ground rolled and the buildings creaked and bricks fell. "Well Yes," she shouted into the wind and flaming colors of the morning. "Yes."


    Ben's "YAHOO," sounded up and down the deserted streets and he caught up his beloved and twirled her around. As they were kissing, the tremors continued and the few folk left in Evergreen came rushing outside. They slowly gathered around the couple and when they finished, there was a round of clapping.

    Lainey blushed a deep embarrassed red and would have gone rushing back into the cafe if Ben hadn't caught her.

    Ben looked to the comfort and safety of his citizens as the aftershocks rattled windows and nerves. The once bustling town of Evergreen was down to less than twenty people. The town was dying right before his eyes.

    Ben locked glances with Will and could tell he was thinking the same thing. Later in the cafe, Will stated the obvious. "This is it. I'm packing up the store and moving on. I won't endanger my family."

    Several other men and their wives agreed, there wasn't enough left of Evergreen to save. No work, no money to buy items and no reason to stay any longer.

    "We can't even leave," Cassy lamented. "No fuel to carry us out. We can't stay or do any thing, one way or the other."

    The impromptu town meeting took a serious turn as the residents brainstormed what it would take to shut the town down and leave.
    Once the idea took hold, it gained strength on it's own. Ben realized the people left had been afraid to leave, the unknown more frightening than the problems caused by staying. Not any more, the residents disbanded the town and left to salvage what they could from their quake damaged homes.

    Ben requested two weeks to get the paperwork processed, as the mayor had hightailed it out of town month's ago. "We're not staying while you get the papers done," one woman objected to the delay. "If they need any money, that's just to bad. We're done payin."

    Everyone agreed, even Will and Cassy as much as it pained them to do so. Ben stood up and asked the residents to put down their names and where they would be going, in case they had mail or inquiries as to their whereabouts. He asked Lainey for a piece of paper and laid it on the table.

    "When we figure it out, we'll let you know," was the general consensus from the town's people. Ben could only shrug, he was bitterly disappointed in the vote and the resulting abandonment of the town. It was a foreign concept to him, to turn his back on friends and family and just give up. Grandma had not instilled those ideas in him, and he knew no other.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    State WA
    Posts
    12,918
    Give up and leave sheesh, like others arent faceing the same kind of troubles if not worse elsewhere. Thank you Pac.

  30. #30
    the grass only LOOKS greener on the other side of the septic tank.... (erma bombeck)

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Southern born, Southern bred
    Posts
    3,376
    Thanks Pac. This story is the first thing I look for every day..even before I go to the Main.
    I've followed it from the very beginning (For Pete's Sake) and can't get enough of it, lol.

    Sully
    Got Jesus? It's hell without Him.

    * When the People become scared of the government it's called Tyranny. When the government becomes scared of the people it's called LIBERTY!!*
    Thomas Jefferson

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,092
    Quote Originally Posted by Sully View Post
    Thanks Pac. This story is the first thing I look for every day..even before I go to the Main.
    I've followed it from the very beginning (For Pete's Sake) and can't get enough of it, lol.

    Sully
    Me too! It's a great story and I want it to go on and on and on....

    We love you Pac, really and truly.
    Visit me on Etsy: ModernMaille

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    NE Iowa
    Posts
    1,863
    I third that. The story really grabs ahold of a person and won't let go. Thanks, Pac, for writing so creatively.

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    624
    Guess I need to fourth it then. Cause this is one earth moving story. Thank you Pac.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    W. Georgia
    Posts
    7,093
    Just checking (again). Thanks for the chapter Pac.

  36. #36
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    the pacific north west
    Posts
    4,549
    #6

    "Walk with me out to the farm," Benny asked Lainey in a plaintive, defeated voice. "I need to get out of here."

    Lainey grabbed her jacket, well Mildred whats her name's jacket and shut the door to the cafe. Benny reached for her casted hand, and stopped to look puzzled at the grungy, dirt smeared plaster.

    "You still have this on?" he laid her hand on top of his arm for inspection. "Nobody has cut this off yet? I think you are overdue," he smiled but frowned at the same time. The acute lack of medical was a good reason to leave Evergreen. Not for himself, but Ben felt negligent not providing Lainey with good care.

    The walk to Grandma's house gave them alone time that they sorely needed. There was so much about each other they needed to discover, and talking about hopes and plans for the future was an excellent beginning.

    Inky gave a happy woof to alert his people that the incoming visitors were friendly. Clora stood at the sink finishing the dishes. The clean up from the last earthquake had taken all day. The jars downstairs had survived mostly intact, giving the tired Clora a break.

    Sandy served as Evie's personal massinger, fetching and putting away the jumbled mess in the house. Evie was out of sorts but tried hard to keep her anger contained. She was sick to death of the earthquakes interrupting her life.

    This time, there was a foot wide rift running across the pasture between her house and Ev's, filling with water as the creek changed course. Water flow from the well was cut by half, and the barn had slipped off the foundation on the back North corner. The windows were cracked all across the back bedrooms and the stove pipe had come apart and dropped a disgusting pile of soot in the kitchen.

    For the second time in two days, the kitchen had to be scrubbed and sterilized. The soot leaving smears every time they wiped with a rag. Evie sat with a fresh cup of coffee, catching a quick rest. They had struggled putting the stove pipe back together this time, a frustration they simply didn't need.

    Benny rapped twice on the windowless door, feeling his own censure for not remembering Grandma needed a new window.

    "Hey everybody," he opened the door and let Lainey enter first. Inky thumped his tail and Junior scrambled up to stand at attention and snap out a puppy bark.

    "Very good," Lainey approved and patted Junior on the head, earning his forever gratitude. "I like your style," she encouraged the pup. Inky watched for a bit, then heaved himself up and stiffly paddled over for his measure of approval. "You too," Lainey cooed at the brown eyed Newfy. "Such a good dog." Inky wiggled like a pup and drooled just a little on the floor.

    Clora, coming up from the basement with a couple jars of peaches and applesauce looked in disgust at the slobber puddling on her clean floor. "I swear, they make more work than 5 kids," she groused unhappily.

    "Do you ladies have time for a family meeting? how about you Wayne?" Ben pulled out a chair for Lainey and scooted another chair close to her. All hands gathered at the table to stare knowingly at Ben and Lainey.

    "Lainey and I are going to be married." he said with a blush. Lainey dimpled up with a adoring grin as she nodded happily.

    There was a flurry of hugs and happy exclamations as the family approved. "Grandma we would like to have your blessing," Ben asked seriously, not letting go of Lainey's good hand.

    "You have my blessing," Evie consented with a serene smile. "I approve in every way."

    Ben smiled at Lainey and the world centered on her.

    Clora rolled her eyes at Sandy and Sandy made a face at the absorbed attention Ben and Lainey gave each other.

    Wayne felt a pang at the devoted rapport the two shared, and he couldn't help but wonder if that might ever happen to him. He felt so much better, he thought he might turn his attention to the ladies to see if he could scare up some interest.

    "There is another part to the meeting," Ben announced as the family made moves to scatter. "Evergreen had decided to disband and cease to be a town. All the residents, even Will and Cassy are planning to move. I will be out of a job in two weeks, and I need to find another, somewhere."

    The Hanson's looked at each other and then rested on Evie. "What would you guys think about moving out of here to another place?" Ben asked almost fearfully.

    Nobody said a word and the silence grew long and uncomfortable. Finally Evie took a deep breath and said, " I'd rather move than sit here and starve to death." That brought nervous laughter from all around the table. "Let's" she started and her voice faltered a little, "think and pray on this overnight and meet back here tomorrow night and have a discussion." The family agreed, each knowing in their hearts that it needed to be done.

    "I'm going to run over to Ev's and ask him his thoughts on the matter," Ben rose and pushed his chair in. "Want to come along?" he asked Wayne. "We won't be long." he assured Lainey.

    Ev and Cheryl didn't react in a surprised manner. "We discussed that very subject while we were out at the hospital," Ev admitted slowly. "This last quake finished off my water supply. The well went dry, my barn is cracked and shouldn't be used, and frankly we need the money a job would bring in. I can't pay my taxes this fall. No way to earn the necessary money."

    "Our barn's shot," Wayne ticked off on his fingers all the problems they had at the Hanson farm.

    "How are we going to get out of here?" Ev wondered aloud. "No fuel, no running vehicles, no place to go?" He got up and refreshed the coffee mugs. "More tea?" he asked Cheryl and she shook her head no.

    "We are having a family meeting tomorrow night, you are welcome to attend," Ben invited his life long friends. "If you guys happen to see Inga, would you let her know? She's disappeared somewhere."

    Ben and Wayne finished their coffee with small talk and walked back to the Hanson spread.


    As they walked back into town, Ben and Lainey discussed seriously the logistics of moving. "All I have are the horses, tack and a few clothes," Lainey laughed as she said, "I travel light."

    Ben chuckled and said "you have more than I do," teasing his intended. "It's Grandma I'm worried about. She has a lot of things and then there is Grandpa's grave. Do you think she will leave him behind?"

    "I honestly don't know how to answer that," Lainey said softly. "Your Grandma is very practical, but she has spent many years here. What do you think?"

    "I don't know how to call this one. I think Wayne, Sandy and Clora will be a yes, but not one hundred percent sure until they vote. Now what Inga might do, I admit I'm plumb mystified about her. Can you imagine lugging that trunk around, as much as it weighs?"

    Ben hugged Lainey tighter as they neared the cafe. "I want to go in and clear the house," he calmly drew his weapon and hit the lights beside the back door. The house was empty. He turned them off again as he completed a good night kiss with the single minded devotion he approached all his situations.

  37. #37
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    West central Georgia
    Posts
    17,575
    Love the story, but I really, really hate to see the town disband and, worse of all, Evie and family leave. Surely there's a way out of this...
    Visit my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/TheCrochetFarm

    If we aren't showing love, His love, then what are we doing calling ourselves Christians?

    Psalm 73: 25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
    26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

  38. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    W. Georgia
    Posts
    7,093
    The end of the town and I fear the end of the story is near too, and I don't want it to be over. We still have a ways to go don't we Pac?

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    the pacific north west
    Posts
    4,549
    Well............they do have to move, get settled, get married and have children. Don't know if it can be konger than that.

  40. #40
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    W. Georgia
    Posts
    7,093
    Quote Originally Posted by PacNorWest View Post
    Well............they do have to move, get settled, get married and have children. Don't know if it can be konger than that.
    Oh good, it's going to last at least another year then. lol

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