By E Walk
(Copyrighted by the author)
Edited by Radio Rancher
Chapter 16 - Taking Care of Business
I hadn't heard anyone arrive home and was busy doing some calculations for one of my client's accounts when I felt two arms wrap around my neck. I looked up to see Bill standing there. "Les, the visitors are all here. David and Darrin are ready to start the meeting. I think you need to be there."
As we walked into the dining room where everyone was seated, Mr. Madsen was talking to Mike. "Michael, how's the football team going to be this year?"
Mike looked up, "If we can find some line people to keep me from getting creamed when I pass the ball, we should do rather well. The coach is optimistic even if I am only a junior. He is already looking forward to next year."
David looked at us, "Dad and Father Bill, let's get this meeting started. We're starved. Please sit down. We have some sheets of paper and pencils at each of your places, so you can take notes to help everyone remember what each of us needs to do. First, let's introduce ourselves so everyone knows who they are talking to. I'm David Philips." He pointed at the Madsens and then Doctor Jacobs, Mrs. Archer. He stopped, "Mike, you and your friends are up."
The four teenagers introduced themselves. There were two guys, Mike and Cory, and two gals, Jodie and Tina, how interesting. David pointed to Bill. Bill was very calm, "I think everyone already knows me Mr. Phillips."
We were interrupted by the doorbell. I went to answer it, since only I knew who was missing. I took the two visitors to the dining room. "Ladies and gentlemen, this is George Degan. I invited him for several reasons; first, he was with us when the idea of the Madsens contributing money for the project started; second, he is a lawyer and may be able to offer legal advice. And thirdly, he is a member of the church's board so he may be able to help us from that standpoint."
Mike interrupted, "And fourthly, he and Mr. Daniels just happen to be two of the Senior High Youth Group's sponsors."
I looked at Don, "So, I guess you know everyone then, Don?"
Don looked around, "Yep, I know everyone except that young man sitting next to Mike."
Darrin frowned, "Just wait until Monday, Mr. D. You'll wish you had never said that."
David started the meeting, "The first thing that needs to happen is that the Senior Youth Group needs to agree to be the focal point for the project. Mike says he will talk to the group tomorrow and see what they think. If they agree, we need to have plans in place to make it happen."
I was really proud of David and Darrin. They must have talked about this when they were doing the lawns. David looked at the clock, "Dad, what time did you ask for the pizzas and things to be delivered?"
I didn't even get a chance to answer because Denny and Danny appeared with some boxes, "Dad, the pizza person is here and here's the bill. Someone needs to get the rest of the stuff. Where do you want to eat?"
We wound up eating around a very crowded dining room table but no one complained. As we were finishing, Mrs. Madsen suggested, "How about we all meet at our house to make more plans after we know what the high school students decide. We'll have an old fashioned hot dog and hamburger cookout; I'll take care of the food."
Darrin jumped up, "Aye, Aye ma'am, we'll be there with our bells on, if Grandmother will give them back to us."
The boys started the cleanup and the four high school students were helping them. There was a lot of laughter coming from the kitchen. The four high school students came in and thanked us and took off and that was the signal for the other guests to depart also. Mother Archer and Dr. Jacobs decided to go for a walk around the lake.
I went to get the guys, "Guys, we need to talk." I hadn't told Bill what I was going to do.
The guys were sitting on the sofa as I was pacing back and forth. They picked up on the fact that I was very nervous. David asked, "Dad, did we do something wrong?"
"No, Guys, you did nothing wrong. We need to talk about what you said the other night when you were talking about nuts and balls and cocks and whatever. First, I would like for you to refer to those parts of your bodies and anyone else's by the proper terms. The proper name for the thing that hangs down between your legs is your penis. The proper name for the round eggs that are in the sack behind your penis is testicles."
I looked at the twins, "Danny and Denny, you two are a little young to be hearing this talk, but since you spend so much time around David and Darrin, I think you really do need to hear it. You may hear them or other people talking from time to time; maybe you will be better able to understand what they are talking about."
"Guys, I know I'm not doing a very good job, but I have two requests. If your friends start talking about sex, that's fine. Please just listen and don't make any comments about what you or any of the rest of us do. That will make everyone think that you know more than they do. But the most important thing that I want you to remember is, if you have any questions, please ask Father Bill or me. We will answer the best that we can."
I turned to Bill. He took over, "Guys, I know you are very young, but it is extremely important that you do what your Dad said. If you have any questions, please come talk to us. I made some mistakes when I was younger because I was afraid to talk to my parents. I had to pay for my mistakes and that is why I am a Father. You four guys are the only sons I'll ever have."
The four guys started to hug us and David looked at me, "Dad, you had better take Father Bill and get him ready for bed since he has to get up at oh dark thirty. We'll come and tuck him in after we take our showers."
I sent Bill to the shower by himself, since he had decreed, 'Never on the weekend.'
He had just gotten into bed when there was a knock on the door and four boys came running in and jumped on the bed and hugged him. I was standing there in my shorts. After they hugged and said goodnight to Bill, they hugged me and were gone. I laughed, "I guess the Phantoms of the Bedroom have come and gone."
I leaned down and kissed Bill and went to take my shower after turning out the lights. I crawled into bed after my shower and Bill was already sleeping, so I didn't even touch him because I knew how nervous he got about Sunday and it had been a very busy day.
I guess I was more tired than I thought because the next thing I remember was Darrin coming into the room. "Dad, it's already nine thirty. It's time to get up. Grandmother says that your omelet is going to get cold. You can take another shower after you eat if you need one."
I climbed out of bed and was going to get some sweat clothes and Darrin came and hugged me. "Dad, you and Daddy Bill are the greatest. We'll try very hard to not do anything that would upset either of you."
Darrin disappeared and I was left by myself at the dresser and I started to get tears. I was feeling guilty about having laid a guilt trip on the boys. That was not at all what I wanted. I just wanted them to feel free to come and talk to Bill or me if they had questions.
When I got to the kitchen, everyone was already dressed for church and they were eating. The twins looked at me, "It's about time you got up. You need to scarf down your food real fast and get dressed so you can go to church, or Daddy Bill will have a conniption fit. Hey guys, maybe we can lead Dad into the church and proclaim that we have captured Bigfoot."
I looked at the boys and turned to Mrs. Archer, "Mom, tell the boys that they need to be nice to me or they are going to be so sore from the paddling that they won't even be able to waddle into the church."
I left and quickly got dressed for church. The boys were still in the kitchen when I returned and I gave them a hug, "Sons, I love you."
That solicited four hugs from the four guys as they told me that they loved me too. Our love fest was interrupted by Dr. Jacobs. He announced, "We're ready to roll. We'll squeeze ourselves into the van and some of us can catch a ride home with Father Bill."
We got to the church just as the processional was starting so we were sitting toward the back. When Bill was making the announcements, he looked out and saw us and flashed some sort of signal.
As the recessional walked by, Bill passed us a signal that told us we were to stay until he came back. We were waiting for Bill, but in the meantime Mike came up, "David and Darrin, I'll come by and pick you guys up at 4:00 so you can explain to the Senior High Youth Group what you have on your mind. Mr. Degan and Mr. Daniels said you could explain what you have planned, better than we could."
The guys looked at me. I answered for the boys, "I'll have them here at the church at 4:00. Where does your group meet?"
Our conversation was interrupted by Bill, "Let's bust out of this place. Father Roberts wants us to meet him at The Summer Kitchen Café. He's starving, so let's get moving."
After a fun lunch, Mother Archer and Dr. Jacobs took Bill's car and the six of us guys climbed into the van. Bill looked at the guys, "Guys, what would you like to do today?"
The guys huddled and neither Bill nor I were expecting the answer that Darrin gave us, "Dads, we think it would be fun to go to the lake and learn how to use a canoe so we could maybe go to the river sometime and try our skills."
We made a quick stop at home to change clothes and went to the lake and found a canoe rental place. We rented two canoes and life jackets, and we separated into two teams. Darrin and Danny were with Bill and I had David and Denny with me. As we climbed into the canoes, Darrin yelled, "The losers have to do the dishes for an entire week."
We started to canoe across the lake and it was rather slow at first until we realized that we needed to synchronize our strokes. It was like a revelation hit both teams at about the same time and the canoes began to glide across the water, and we reached the opposite shore at almost the same time.
We were wearing shorts, so we took off our shoes and socks and waded ashore. We sat down and rested. The twins looked at us, "Dads, we're too tired to race back. Please, can we just take it easy?"
We did as Denny and Danny requested, and then we dropped the twins off at the house and took David and Darrin to the church. Bill showed us where the Senior High Group would be meeting and Mike came to greet us. David and Darrin made their presentation and the group overwhelming voted to support the idea, if they would serve the meal on a Sunday in place of having a youth group meeting. Bill and the group's sponsors concurred. They could do most of the preparations on Saturday and have everything ready for Sunday.
Bill and I just sat back and listened. Mike turned to Darrin and David, "Guys, thanks for coming. We're really excited that we might be able to make a difference. I'll call you guys, and we can make some visits to local businesses and ask for their support. I'll talk to you later."
When we got home, there were all sorts of good aromas in the house. The twins were watching TV, "Grandmother kicked us out of the kitchen."
Bill and I went to see if there was anything that we could do and she put us to work. I was sent to make sure there was some white wine chilled and Bill was put to work mashing the potatoes. At exactly six o'clock, I was sent to call the boys. It seemed odd that there were only going to be the seven of us for dinner for a change.
Mrs. Archer decided that we should serve the dinner family style since she had no idea how much roast pork and sauerkraut the boys would eat. The boys demolished massive amounts of the pork roast, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut and applesauce with cinnamon. We were all amazed.
Danny looked at Mother Archer, "Grandma, that was great. I'm so full that I don't think I will even need to eat desert tonight."
Mrs. Archer frowned, "But I worked so hard to make some baked apples with brown sugar and cinnamon. I guess I'll throw them out and not even bother to bake them."
Darrin went and put his arms around Mrs. Archer, "Don't worry Grandmother, after we do the dishes and take our showers, we'll probably be dying from hunger. Now you sit here and make sure that the Dads don't get too drunk. Dads, why don't you go check Grandma Hattie's house while we're doing the dishes. We'll mow her lawn tomorrow. Don't forget to check her house plants."
When we got to Grandma Hattie's house, there was a notice on her front screen door, "Please, I need to make some money to take care of my sick Mother. I'll mow your lawn for five dollars. Please call me at 592-3810 and ask for Kent D."
Bill and I checked the house and we watered the plants and when we got home the same note was taped on our front door. The guys were still in the kitchen finishing up. I showed the guys the two notes and David read them to the twins.
David pondered, "It looks like someone wants to take away our business. Dads, do you have any idea who it is?"
We both shook our heads and I answered, "Guys, I have no idea who this is. It could be some punk for all I know. Why don't you call and invite him over so he can give us an estimate and find out who he is?"
Darrin went and made the call and within five minutes a young man who looked to be about Darrin's age appeared at the door. David answered the door, "Dads, this is the Kent who is trying to steal our clients."
David led the young man into the living room. The young man started to cry, "Guys, I'm sorry, but I need to make some money so my Mother and I can eat. What little money she had was needed to pay the utility bills and the rent. My Mother won't be able to go back to work for at least two or three weeks. We have hardly any food in the house to eat. I want to quit school so I can make some more money."
I hadn't realized that Mom Archer and Dr. Jacobs had been standing there. Mom asked, "Kent, what happened to your mother?"
Kent started to get more tears. "We had just moved here because Mother was to start a much better job. One of her friends with whom she had worked with back home had come to visit and they went white water rafting. They hit a rock or something and were thrown from their canoe. Mother somehow managed to get a broken arm and a broken leg. Her friend managed to get her to the shore and called 911."
David asked, "Where is your mother's friend now?"
Kent shrugged his shoulders, "She had to take her son and go home so Greg could go back to school and she could go back to work."
Darrin looked at Kent, "You go to my school but you are in a different third grade class than I am."
Kent nodded, "I know that your name is Darrin and that you sang that solo about red roses in the music program"
Darrin diverted everyone's attention, "Grandmother, let's go see what we can find to give Kent, so his Mother and he will have something to eat for at least the next several days. There are still some casseroles in the freezer aren't there?"
The four guys practically dragged Kent into the kitchen and before Kent knew what was happening the boys had filled three bags with things for him to take home, plus several casseroles left from the funeral. The guys came into the room and David looked at us "Dads, why don't you take Kent and his things home. Grandmother, you might want to go with them so Kent's mother wouldn't feel threatened by a male invasion. We'll be fine. We'll take our showers and baths and get ready for bed."
Darrin looked at us, "Dads, can I give Kent some of my money so he can buy hot lunch at school? I think he has only been eating peanut butter sandwiches."
Dr. Jacobs put his hand on Darrin's shoulder, "Darrin, you keep your money and I'll pay Kent's lunch ticket when I'm at school tomorrow."
Kent started to cry, "People, my Mother is going to be angry with me for accepting any charity. We'll be just fine when she can go back to work."
Darrin put his arm around Kent, "Look dude, just consider it a loan and you can pay it back later. Now, let our Dads take you home. It is going to be time to go to school before you know it. I'll see you at recess time."
What's going to happen when we meet Kent's mother?
Author's Comment: If you would like to read more of this story and other interesting stories, you might wish to visit www.storylover.us.
Editor's Notes: I wonder what Kent's mother will do or say when the guys and Grandma Archer show up. It seems to me that Kent is a good boy and he will be just fine. I also think that his mom will be okay with the help, since they put it that she can pay them back once she gets well again and can get back to work. Maybe the boys can let Kent join them in their lawn mowing group. They can probably use the help and he really needs the work. Maybe the boys will become friends with Kent and he can spend some time with them too. Since his mom works, it might help if he could spend time with the boys and that way she wouldn't have to pay for day care for him. All things considered, I think this could work out pretty well, If Kent's mom doesn't get all upset, and maybe it could work out good even if she does get upset.
I'm ready for the next chapter.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher
Other Notes: For the boys', Les and Daddy Bill's sake I sure hope life slows down soon so they can stop and smell the roses. The four boys sure do seem to have their head screwed on straight and their dad is finally learning how to be a father. Les is finally beginning to realize that he missed a whole bunch of stuff with his nose buried in his work.
I hope that things work out for Kent and his mom and regarding charity my money is on Grandma Archer.
The Story Lover